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Old 07-19-2014, 09:04 PM   #21
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I made it to FIRE. Based on the comments made on this thread, I'm glad I don't need to engage in PT work such as tax prep or sub teaching.

OTOH, for folks whose retirement began on terms less desirable than they planned for, I tip my hat to those doing whatever it takes.........
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:15 PM   #22
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I worked for part of a tax season preparing taxes. Never again. Volunteering is much more rewarding with VITA program.

And you don't have to pay for the books or the training with VITA.


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Thoughts - Tax Preparation as PT Work?
Old 07-19-2014, 10:33 PM   #23
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Thoughts - Tax Preparation as PT Work?

Hi Youbet. Thankfully we are well prepared financially for retirement. Jan.-April will be a quiet time for me from a biking/hiking/kayaking/camping perspective - so earning some "fun money" and keeping my brain stimulated seems like Win/Win for me. It's worth checking out - if I don't like it - then I don't do it. The benefits of FI 😀


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Old 07-19-2014, 11:23 PM   #24
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For me subbing was not worth the time and trouble and the pay was pretty low. Every job has its pluses and minuses. I get my work done in 3 months and earn more than I could earn subbing .
But subbing was one of the options I explored. Keeping certified , getting called at 6:00 in the morning, and dealing with poor lesson plans and unruly students, not for me. Each to his own.

If you are only getting $10 per hour, subbing pays more... DW gets like $100 per day.... and does not work 10 hours...

She does not get calls... she turned that option off... she goes online and picks where she wishes to sub a few days before... some schools know her and will call ahead when they know someone is going to be out...

Yes, she has bad lesson plans and some schools have bad students... she tries to avoid the bad schools.... but do not think that you will not get some bad people doing taxes... AND you do not have a choice in your work schedule... you work every day for a few months or you just might be out of a job...
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Old 07-20-2014, 02:26 AM   #25
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I moonlighted for HRB for 3 yrs in the late 90s so my experience may be dated.
The work was very interesting and the training good. I enjoyed doing the tax returns and working with the clients... but the pay was very low - I doubt if I made more than minimum wage - but I was a bit slow/careful with the tax prep.
I really hated the pressure to push the rip-off Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs) on the clients. I would actively discourage my clients from using them - but the lower income clients sometimes have no choice - that's the only way they can get their taxes done and collect their EIC - because they can't afford the tax prep fees up front. That's the exploitive business practice that HRB is engaged in.
After my first year, I moved to a Premium Office - the returns there were more interesting/complex so i enjoyed it very much - and the best part about it was that this office had the highest rate of tax returns with balances due in the country - so RALs were not even an option!
There was more petty office politics than I liked - but by working only evenings and weekends (around my regular job) I managed to avoid most of it.
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Old 07-20-2014, 05:51 AM   #26
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you are only getting $10 per hour, subbing pays more... DW gets like $100 per day.... and does not work 10 hours...

Well when I started my pay was $9 an hour, but that is only for the first season. Subbing in my geographic area payed about $65 a day, it may be a tad higher now.
I did, but only occasionally, work a 10 hour day at Block. My pay now with Block is much much higher than $10 an hour. I can collect unemployment if I choose to, on the off season.
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Old 07-20-2014, 05:54 AM   #27
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Thoughts - Tax Preparation as PT Work?

Hi Youbet. Thankfully we are well prepared financially for retirement. Jan.-April will be a quiet time for me from a biking/hiking/kayaking/camping perspective - so earning some "fun money" and keeping my brain stimulated seems like Win/Win for me. It's worth checking out - if I don't like it - then I don't do it. The benefits of FI ��

#1 I like earning some money, but it is not a requirement for my lifestyle.
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Old 07-20-2014, 06:00 AM   #28
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Hi Rothlev, do you think I have a good chance to be hired by the location/office where I take the training? The time of year, nature of work do appeal to me.

I would call the district manager directly for that office. You can probably get his/her name and number from the office. And try to feel him/ her out. The DM is the one who does hiring. Due to the age of the employee base, and the seasonal work, and the low starting pay, there is usually considerable turnover and always new hires.
if you do it, you have to understand that you won't make much money the first year or two. If you stick it out the money is decent.
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Old 07-20-2014, 06:31 AM   #29
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I made it to FIRE. Based on the comments made on this thread, I'm glad I don't need to engage in PT work such as tax prep or sub teaching.

OTOH, for folks whose retirement began on terms less desirable than they planned for, I tip my hat to those doing whatever it takes.........
Like some of the others who posted in response to this, I'll work if it's fun and on my terms. Three months post-retirement, I'm beginning to see that I need some structure. It will probably take the form of a community college course this Fall (Geology, with lab), so maybe tax preparation will work for Q12015. Anything that requires me to go back to setting an alarm for 6:30 AM 5 days a week, or limits my vacation days, is off the table!
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:41 AM   #30
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Thanks for feedback.

Free To Canoe, Would you recommend that I contact the local office to see what my chances are of getting employment if I pass the course? I will be living on island and there is only one H&R Block (also a Hewitt office). Are there any other costs involved? I prefer not to invest the $ and time if there isn't much chance of getting employment on the island (doesn't make sense to commute off the island for PT work).

I have lots of years in customer service, sales and am good with software and numbers, so this could be a good fit. Plus it would end at just the right time of year and provide some "mad money".
I would definitely want to have employment contingent upon successful completion of the training. Since you will be "volunteering" many of your hours for training I would not want to have to also pay for the training. A customer service background is good. Former bank tellers are very good in that they know local customers (could bring in new business), are familiar with the privacy issues and some of the legal/money issues.

Now is a good time of year to approach the owners about training/ position. A friend that owned a tax prep business recommended to me that you should want to service about 100 clients or more in the 1st year.

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Old 07-20-2014, 09:29 AM   #31
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Just checked and the H&R Block course is $199 here. It's 6 hours a week during the same time period I was planning to take the geology class and lab (late August-early December). I'd really need to choose one or it would feel like going back to work.

I think the rocks are going to win. Maybe next year, HRB., after I've gotten through Elementary Ancient Greek and Art History.
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Old 07-20-2014, 09:38 AM   #32
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The only thing I see about that which would give me pause is that it produces an unpredictably intense w*rk season, even if short. Sure, you could limit the number of clients so that you're never hammered too heard even in March and early April, but then there would be little or no w*rk the rest of the year. I guess I'd prefer a more constant and steady PT j*b than one like that, but maybe that's just me.
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Old 07-20-2014, 09:46 AM   #33
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Wow, I am looking to retire to get away from the stress and headaches of tax season. 35 years has been enough!
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:00 AM   #34
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For anyone considering working for H&R Block, you should know that (based on my experience three years ago) you have to pass the course with 80% before you'll be hired, and the course isn't easy.

Ours was an 11-or-so week course that started with about 40 students. By the end we were down to about ten students, only five of whom passed the course. Four were asked to work for Block.

I won't tell you who scored the highest....
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:07 AM   #35
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I had originally planned to work through the end of this year, but quite frankly the BS bucket was overflowing
I think as the personal FI bucket get more full, so does the BS bucket at work...

There are volunteer opportunities too, if you do not need to get paid. I am not even sure there is a huge training requirement, and I think it's mainly 1040A forms.
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:07 AM   #36
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athena's comments just prompted me to sign up for Italian 101 at the local community college. The CC is just down the road with my kids' school (which is a commute/magnet school) so the class will dovetail with driving them/dropping them off. And we're doing a big travel summer next year that includes 3 weeks in Italy - so improving my Italian should be useful.

Thanks, Athena, for mentioning the classes you're enrolling in.... that got me off my heiney to enroll.
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:28 AM   #37
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Volunteering is much more rewarding with VITA program.
Not necessarily. I did tax returns for a season with the local VITA program. It was exactly like work, but without the paycheck.
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Never again.
Got that right...
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:04 AM   #38
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Well when I started my pay was $9 an hour, but that is only for the first season. Subbing in my geographic area payed about $65 a day, it may be a tad higher now.
I did, but only occasionally, work a 10 hour day at Block. My pay now with Block is much much higher than $10 an hour. I can collect unemployment if I choose to, on the off season.

So I assume that you are doing tax work... is this correct


If so, then what can one expect to be paid in future years I know that subbing there is no higher pay... it is what it is.... but if you can get more doing taxes in future years than maybe it can be an option..


What about work hours Can you choose to work one day, not the next, then 3 days in a row... then skip a week? I do know you can do this subbing without any problem as you choose the days you want to work...
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:04 AM   #39
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#1 I like earning some money, but it is not a requirement for my lifestyle.
I understand where you are coming from. Having some activities that help us financially is pleasing even though we seem to be doing OK and could even increase our spending according to FireCalc.

But I like earning money completely on my own terms. I choose what I want to do around the house such as small remodeling projects, maintenance, portfolio management, taxes, etc., that save us money. I don't like to work for other people anymore, especially if it involves customers, clients, and others that need to be pleased.

Paint the LR and DR myself saving us $500, yes. Maintain ongoing connections with the local school district and substitute teach for 6 days to net $500 in after tax compensation, no.

Each to their own.
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:13 AM   #40
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What about work hours Can you choose to work one day, not the next, then 3 days in a row... then skip a week? I do know you can do this subbing without any problem as you choose the days you want to work...
Isn't a comparison between seasonal tax prep work and substitute teaching an apples to oranges comparison? Tax prep, for folks with an aptitude for it, requires a class that takes a few months to complete and which you do well in. You can decide tax prep is what you want to do and be prepared in a few months following a path outlined by the employer. Sub teaching in our area requires full teacher certification, frequently experience (retired teachers seem to be preferred) and glowing recommendations. There seems to be a glut of teachers here and substitute teaching, day care jobs, tutoring, etc., is most commonly done by certified, experienced teachers with solid resumes and good references. Not too easy to qualify for unless you're already in the field.
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