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Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...
Old 11-08-2006, 11:39 AM   #1
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Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...

"Please allow me to introduce myself, I (wanna be) a man of wealth & taste..."

I have a decision to make and wondering how bored board members would choose. I'm 38 years old and will have an opportunity present itself in about 4years.
My choice is to work parttime (16-24hrs a week) probably until I'm 67 vs.
work fulltime until about 55 then fully FIRE'd. I believe that both of these choices
are financially viable for me and just wondered how others would choose. I enjoy
my job moderately, some good days/rare bad ones.
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...
Old 11-08-2006, 12:06 PM   #2
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...

Welcome to the board, ST.

I'd go part-time and use the extra hours to get my life back. Then I'd go looking for a third option!
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...
Old 11-08-2006, 12:12 PM   #3
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...

Is the choice stark and irreversible? Having to make that choice once and for all wouldn't make me too happy.
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...
Old 11-08-2006, 12:33 PM   #4
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...

The choice would depend entirely on the individual. Personally, I'd take the full time and out route. Working 24 hrs a week, I'd still feel I was in the harness, my schedule would be severely constrained and I'd probably find a way to continue to bring the headaches, etc., home with me. And to do that until 67........ :P
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...
Old 11-08-2006, 12:46 PM   #5
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowTwitcher
I'm 38 years old and will have an opportunity present itself in about 4years.
My choice is to work parttime (16-24hrs a week) probably until I'm 67 vs.
work fulltime until about 55 then fully FIRE'd. I believe that both of these choices
are financially viable for me and just wondered how others would choose. I enjoy
my job moderately, some good days/rare bad ones.
Welcome.

It might be helpful to share with us how the part-time option would leave you financially. If you are well on your way to financial independence (that is, have savings which would clearly be sufficient by the time you wish to retire) it seems clear that part-time is a good choice.

But if you have a ways to go in your investments and savings, going part-time too early might be a bad idea -- better to hang in for a few more years and then cut back with a lot more security.

Also, will you be able to meet all expenses on a part-time income? If not, then the above cautions are even more important.

Just some things to consider.
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...
Old 11-08-2006, 12:52 PM   #6
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...

Part time during years you have kids in school isn't so onerous, since their school calendar keeps you from just jumping up and going wherever whenever anyway. But after that, part time until 67 sounds like a really long time unless you know you're going to like the work for that long.

I'm a big advocate of part time work (the "S" in my moniker stands for semi-retirement) but more for avocations and volunteering and things that might or might not make much money, and less about having to keep up with a job to make ends meet for a really long time. Full time work is generally a more efficient way to make the dough.
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...
Old 11-08-2006, 01:41 PM   #7
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...

Could you use the spare time to develop another source of income? This might enable you to have your cake and eat it too.

Many entrepreneurial pursuits can be run from a home office. And they can continue after FIRE as a way to stay engaged. And they can be maintained from remote locations.

If this approach has merit for you, check out

http://www.earlytorise.com

for some ideas on such approaches.
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...
Old 11-08-2006, 01:41 PM   #8
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...

PT until 67 is nearly 30 years. Bank robbers don't get that long.

Figure out a way to get out before then. Life's too short.
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...
Old 11-08-2006, 02:13 PM   #9
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...

Like it or not, benefits must be part of the discussion. If health insurance is mostly paid for with full-time work, but not with part-time, we are talking about $12k+ today for a family and rising.
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...
Old 11-08-2006, 04:45 PM   #10
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...

The numbers in the original post seem to say that part time would be half the number of hours per week (20 versus 40) and that you would work twice as long part time (25 years PT versus 13 years FT). Because those numbers are so neat, I'm assuming you are just guesstimating. I would suggest you run your detailed numbers through Firecalc or some other calculator because it may turn out that in your case depending on how much you already have, how much you can save, etc that the actual numbers are different. You might have to work more (or less) years at full time than the "half of part time" figure you presented. Knowing how much could really drive the decision.

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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...
Old 11-08-2006, 05:03 PM   #11
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...

What kind of job do you have? One problem with many professional level part time jobs is job creep. You end up working more and more but don't get paid accordingly. What about benefits? What about vacation time?

My experience is that if you work half time you will not get half the pay, generally it is less. What is the effect on your pay if you go part time?

Tell us more.
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...
Old 11-09-2006, 02:25 PM   #12
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...

Thanks for the responses, I'll try to add details without going on forever:

Nords: I like the idea of having some free time now and always vs. little now and
maybee too much later. Not sure about a third option yet.

Brewer: the choice is fluid, I could return to fulltime likely at any time from a
parttime position (it'd be tough mentally though). However, it would be
much more difficult to go from fully retired back to work, if a few years
have passed, because the job knowledge/info grows rapidly.

Youbet: It is never required to bring work home for me physically and very rarely
mentally. Hourly wage.

RichInTampa: my wife will going back to work as a teacher in about 2-3 years.
This income along with paying off mortgage in 4 years,coupled with no
other debt, is what makes everthing FIRE possible at this time. We have
$190,000 saved (mostly in trad IRA,401).We could bank most of my salary
about $70,000/yr in 4 years and live off hers. This is if I stay fulltime.
Savings would grow very quickly at this rate. Have already factored in
saving for college for kids, 11 & 9. Estimates put this pile-o-cash at
about $1.9 million at my age 55(when we both could retire). Pensions,
albeit fairly small, would kick in for both of us at this age of 55.
At 62 a small annuity kicks in. At 67, my social security >sic< kicks in of
about $24,000 and wifes $12,000 (in todays dollars).
***************** vs. ****************
Wife to work, I go parttime, we save about $10,000/year, and it grows
untouched to $1.9M when I'm about 63.

In summary, in 4 years I'll be 43 and :
(1)Work fulltime for 12 years then FIRE my boss when I'm 55.
(2)Go parttime for 20 years then FIRE my boss when I'm 63.


ESRBob: Kids are in school, we're not big on travelling. Might see more of the
U.S.A. if we were fully FIRE'd. I mostly enjoy my work and it pays far
better than anything else I could do.

newthinking: benefits covered under wife's work until 55 then we pay big if
fully retired vs. about 1/2 covered by employer plan if I stay parttime
until Medicare? Lot's of ass-umptions here. Who knows?

Free4now: having difficulty wrapping my brain around all the variables. The
numbers above are as best I can get for now. Some income is not
inflation adusted-my pension, my annuity; others are - both
of our social security, our wages, her pension, retirement
withdrawal at 4%. Not sure how long the old girl will work
for. I tried to be conservative with any numbers.

Martha: No job creep fortunately, I punch in give 100% and punch out and
give 0%. I would accrue some critical benefits such as 403 match
vacation/PTO time although at a reduce rate, some inside/on the down
low health care benefits. Pay would likely go up about 5% because of
no employee health benefits (I'd be using my wife's).

For extra credit can you guess my profession based on the clues given
in the text. One more clue, members of this profession earn the same
wage right out of school as someone who's been doing for any
number of years. This was a huge benefit to allow early savings.

Thanks again, and sorry for the long read,

SlowTwitcher

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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...
Old 11-09-2006, 02:36 PM   #13
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...

If it were up to me, I think i'd rather work full-time until 55, rather than par time until 67. But it's a call that's entirely up to individual taste.

I've actually had a chance to experiment with my reaction to taking more time off. I got close to hitting my maximum accrual for vacation, so I had no choice but to use it or lose it. So I've been basically taking off 1 day every other week. At first it was nice, having that extra day to make a longer weekend, get more done, or just relax and feel free. But then, after awhile, I noticed that it made me despise the days I had to work that much more. And with the government holidays added in, a week that I have to work 5 days instead of 4 is definitely in the minority. Plus, I find that if I had a bad week at work, a 3 day break from it still isn't always enough to get it off my mind, and I never feel totally free.

And I hate to say it, but once you get used to them, the 3 day weekends go by just as fast as the 2 day ones.

I'm tempted sometimes to cut down to part time sometime in the future, but I have a feeling that with me it's going to be all or nothing. Once I get that taste of freedom, I want to just throw off the shackles completely!
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...
Old 11-09-2006, 02:48 PM   #14
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...

pharmacist?
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...
Old 11-09-2006, 03:03 PM   #15
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...

Pharmacist it is, very impressive in merely 20 minutes!!!!
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...
Old 11-09-2006, 03:45 PM   #16
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...

I'll swim against the tide. I would say work less hours and stick around longer, if you like your job that is. I was a registered nurse before I FIRED and worked part time with bennies for years. Like you I punched in did my two 12-hour shifts then left. Spent the rest of the week ducking phone calls from the staffing coordinators trying to get me to come in extra. (Got asked all the time what do you do with all that free time?) I could have and would have done this until age 62 when I was planning to leave "early" collect SS, pension and live off savings. Large inheritance changed plans and I left at 50. No regrets and no looking back, still doing cartwheels . I was ready to go. Nursing is a more physical job than pharmacy and having to work short staffed got old years ago. Ah. To think it was fun at one time.

Anyway if you still like what you do I say cut back. You would be better off than most wage slaves and would have more time to do what you want. That is what it is all about how you shape your life, we all FIRE in our own way. Why defer? Tomorrow may not get here.
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...
Old 11-09-2006, 04:07 PM   #17
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...

Now that we know more of the story. . .

I would give the part time a try. It sounds like it is pretty easy to go back to FT if you want. Even a number of years from now. You won't be bringing your job home and healthcare is covered under your wife's plan. So sounds like a go to me. Think of all the things you could be doing now when you are young and healthy with the extra time.

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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...
Old 11-09-2006, 04:55 PM   #18
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...

Yup. With the current vs. projected demand for pharmacy choosing PT sure doesn't seem like a one-way decision that you can never change.
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...
Old 11-10-2006, 04:33 PM   #19
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...

Yeah, as long as you like pharmacy it seems like the sort of thing you could do with a reliable income on a PT basis. Harder things are more consulting-oriented in a former field, where you need to keep up a lot of effort just to be in the running for contracts and get them, then work hard to execute on them, etc etc. and that can get old for people after awhile.

I have a buddy who is a part time doctor -- anaesthesiologist in a group of rural hospitals-- who does very well out of it. Flexible enough too -- he can take off for several months to go sailing, then come back and get assigned to work when and as he likes.
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...
Old 11-10-2006, 06:27 PM   #20
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Re: Fulltime for a while vs. Parttime forever...

I'd opt for the part-time choice. The reduction in stress is priceless and the extra time will give you a chance to find more enjoyable activities in life.

Chances are you are not making a permanent choice since you can always increase your hours, fill in for others, or float.

And, chances are, part-time won't be forever anyway. You'll figure out a way to make full retirement before 67.
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