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Old 02-27-2010, 08:55 PM   #1
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First post and a question

Ive been lurking for a while and really appreciate some of the info posted here by you folks. So, I just registered and this is my first post.

I'm about to turn 56 and am probably submitting my application for "the package" at the megacorp that I've worked at for over 32 years. It hasnt been all bad. I had the chance to live in Japan for over 5 years, I got a few patents, helped shape some new products that involve huge investments and I worked with soime really smart people.

However, as with many manufacturing oriented corp in the US times have ben tough for several years. Ive survived as my companyh shrunk by over 50% in terms of employees.

However, this isnt why I'm leaving.

There is the severnce package ( about 1 ful year of salray). More imortant is the fact that my defined benefts retirement formula will pay out more of a lump sum now than in 3-4 years. This is the rusult of ERISA rules and the expectatioan that interest rates will be at least 1 pt higher 3 years from now. So, I figure I could work for 3 more years and end up within 5% of my net worth if I stay. So, i see little reason to stay.

However, to have a lower risk FIRE plan Id like to get some low key inccome betwen now and SS age. Two years ago this would have seemed easy. In todays environment I'm not so sure. The good news is I dont need to earn anyting right away. Between my wife and I I'd like to earn 100-150 K in the next 6 years. Seems pretty modest. However, Im now over 55 and will be unemployed as of March 31.

Getting to the point... Do any folks here in my rough age range have any input on the prospects for such employment?

I know Im not the first one to think this way. Rob Clyatts book is all about this scenario. Ive got a couple of degrees- but hope do do something truyly low key. This would be after moving out of taxland (upstate NY) to someplace like Florida.

Cheers to my new buddies,

Ken
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:19 PM   #2
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It is very hard to answer without knowing your current job and skills.

I am semi-retired and in your rough age range. I work a few weeks a year teaching advanced courses to MDs and PhDs. Can you teach? Could you organize and teach a course from scratch unaffiliated with any learning institution? Or would you rather be affiliated with a college?

I also still work part-time at my company and pull in a nice bit of dough. Could you work as a consultant to your current company for a few days a month? How about for a competitor to your current company?
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:23 PM   #3
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Hey Ken

Welcome to the forum. As for your question, it really depends on the line of work you are/were in (you did not mention it). There are some areas of very high demand, even though the economy is in the tank, while some jobs have very few opportunities because of myriads of factors (offshoring, nearshoring, little need for programmers/engineers who only know legacy languages, etc). If you are in IT or engineering, I would suggest going to a job-shopper or temp firm that specializes in those areas, and ask them about the prospects. It seems that this area in the US is beginning to pick up a bit. From what I have heard the pay is pretty decent, although it won't be what you made at the end of a 32 year stint with megacorp. Often, with those kinds of places you can also get health insurance (but you have to pay a bigger part of the tab), which is probably much better than having to find it on your own, if that is not part of your severence/retirement benefits.

Hope this helps.

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Old 02-27-2010, 09:30 PM   #4
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Hi Ken, and welcome to the Early Retirement Forum.

Sounds like your plan is a good one (great severance package, by the way!).

I am probably not the best one to answer your question about earning money during the six years between now and age 62. But for what they are worth (very little), here are my thoughts. Unemployment is pretty bad in many areas, so I am thinking of low key ways to earn money that don't involve working for a business. Could you work as a handyman, gardener, or mowing lawns, perhaps? Or, could you and/or your wife care for the children of a working woman? Jobs like these might give you the flexibility and change of pace you are looking for.

Now if it was ME, I wouldn't be looking for work. I'd just work on pinching pennies a lot more. What I spend is under my control; what I earn is not always as easily controlled.
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:54 PM   #5
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Unemployment is pretty terrible lots of places, but no matter how bad there are usually a few places that need help. If your income needs are modest and you are willing to "make" less money in exchange for a less stressful, less fulltime arrangement, then your best opportunities are probably found with people who already know you and your work. Have folks been leaving your employer in the last few years. Try to network with them. They are probably your best leads to the kind of part-time jobs that can bridge partial retirement. Looking for such an arrangement with people you do not know is much more difficult.
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Old 02-28-2010, 08:29 AM   #6
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Thanks for the responses. Yes, its hard to give an answer.

FWIW- Ive got a degree in physics and an MBA.
My recent work consisted of Strategy & Business Development.
Ive been responsible for negotiating the pricing for our companies sales to our JV partner in Asia.
Ive manged some inter-company partnering interactions including with Asian firms.
So, my time in Japan and interactions with Asian business cultures is what differentiates me. However, Im not sure any of this plays into a low key role in a place like Florida.

My hobby is music produciton/recording. That business is generally in a death spiral.
Oppotunities in it (if any) reside mainly in LA or NY. Too expensive.

I could possibly leveage my MBA in to a teaching role. However, that's not me.

I want to sell ice cream on the beach (metaphoricaly speaking).
I dont want to have to invest in a busines since my FIRE plan doesnt provide for that much risk.

So, I think W2R has the right thought. I may need to find a no- investment approach to working for myself. I have no idea what that might consist of. A dog sitting business? I could potentielly do the financial advisor route. To the extent that is a sales job and involves pressure I'm not sure its a good fit.

Of course my question is unanswerable. I'm probabaly leaping forward with just a vague notion of where this might lead job wise. Fortunately, we wont starve if employment doesn't pan out. We will have about 1.2M net savings excluding a paid for hourse and cars. About 32K due to my wife and I in SS if we start at 62. We'd like to spend ~65K a year but might have to scale back a bit if no employment occurs or if the market is uncoopereative in the first few years.
With some low key income we can stay at/below 4% SWR prior to SS and spend at the desired level.

Comments welcome.
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Old 02-28-2010, 08:43 AM   #7
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Welcome , Since you will be moving to Florida there are lots of part time positions that you might enjoy . Lots of retired people work a few days down here especially during the crazy winter months or like me and millions of other people you could sell on ebay .
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:06 PM   #8
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Welcome , Since you will be moving to Florida there are lots of part time positions that you might enjoy . Lots of retired people work a few days down here especially during the crazy winter months or like me and millions of other people you could sell on ebay .
This is encouraging.
The Sarasota area seems nice. I visited this past summer.
Siesta key is gorgeous.
I've heard some of the same about low key jobs in Naples.
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:34 PM   #9
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I could potentially do the financial advisor route. To the extent that is a sales job and involves pressure I'm not sure its a good fit.
You might consider taking the Tax Preparation course with H&R Block this fall and then being a tax preparer next year. The earnings potential is not huge, but the employment is only for 3-4 months of the year. Every little ho-dink town in America has an H&R Block office and they're always looking for preparers.

That's been my personal route for supplementing portfolio income until I take SS. I'm 52 and in my fourth year of semi-retirement.

My folks live in Sarasota for 10 years after my Dad retired...beautiful area of FL, lots to do, and cost of living was reasonable. Somehow every 2-3 years I'd manage to visit, along about February or so...
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Old 02-28-2010, 03:06 PM   #10
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You might consider taking the Tax Preparation course with H&R Block this fall and then being a tax preparer next year. The earnings potential is not huge, but the employment is only for 3-4 months of the year. Every little ho-dink town in America has an H&R Block office and they're always looking for preparers.

That's been my personal route for supplementing portfolio income until I take SS. I'm 52 and in my fourth year of semi-retirement.

My folks live in Sarasota for 10 years after my Dad retired...beautiful area of FL, lots to do, and cost of living was reasonable. Somehow every 2-3 years I'd manage to visit, along about February or so...
Thanks. That is not something I thought of.
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:03 PM   #11
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You mentioned your hobby was music production and recording...is this something you could teach? If you play an instrument you can always give private lessons...

Or if you want to sell ice cream on the beach, go rent one of those carts and go for it
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:31 PM   #12
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You mentioned your hobby was music production and recording...is this something you could teach? If you play an instrument you can always give private lessons...

Or if you want to sell ice cream on the beach, go rent one of those carts and go for it

What Florida really needs is someone to sell margaritas , pina coladas or beer on the beach . The ice cream is already taken care of .
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