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Yet Another OMY Dilemma
Old 06-21-2015, 06:23 PM   #1
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Yet Another OMY Dilemma

Hi Everyone,

I am coming up on the end of my 2nd OMY when the lease for my business ends this August. Money does not appear to be an issue, all projections are go at age 52 (significant assets, LBYM lifestyle, no dependents, good health).

By way of background I have been in workaholic mode since my 20s. Primary issue is I need to find something else to retire to when mostly what I have done as an adult is work, work, and more work. I've done some reading on this subject ("How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free," etc.) and believe that figuring out what I really want to do with the rest of my life will take a fair amount of time and personal exploration.

Lately I have been considering whether to not quit work completely but instead cut back hours from 50 to 20 hours per week as an interim step. My business is very lucrative and mostly enjoyable *if* the level of work is kept under control (right now it is *not* under control but fewer hours should help address this).

I am thinking that part time work may be a healthy transition for me. Either that, or it is just fear of the abyss driving a rationalization!

Appreciate any feedback.

Thank you.
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Old 06-21-2015, 07:17 PM   #2
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Why do you think you will be able to keep in under any more control for the next year than you have for the last year? What are you really committed to doing differently? If you are not ready, then don't retire but be realistic on the life style you can accomplish if you keep working.
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Old 06-21-2015, 07:49 PM   #3
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Doing part time work as a transition makes sense to me, but then again I am also a OMY person . Cutting back on work is a good thing *if* you can really hold onto it and not give into the demands of others. I have had colleagues who did this officially (Megacorp offered a retirement transition program) but they had to put their foot down to keep to those hours or else they would have been working just as much.

If you enjoy your job, moving first to part-time work is a good interim step.
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Old 06-21-2015, 08:34 PM   #4
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I had a couple of OMY's before I retired too. For me it wasn't an issue of money either but more $$$ would be okay too. (greed ) The last two years really help me to be sure I was really done with work and ready to retire. After I retired I had a couple of offers to do some consulting/part time work which I turned down. I knew then I was going to stay retired. If you have the money, I still wouldn't recommend retiring until you feel you are mentally ready. You should know when the time is right.
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Yet Another OMY Dilemma
Old 06-21-2015, 08:59 PM   #5
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Yet Another OMY Dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by marinauser View Post
Why do you think you will be able to keep in under any more control for the next year than you have for the last year? What are you really committed to doing differently? If you are not ready, then don't retire but be realistic on the life style you can accomplish if you keep working.
Thanks for the reply. What I plan on doing differently is making myself less available for work and more available for other things.

I run a service business in a retail space where I perform repairs and other related services. There are a couple of things at play here:

I plan to cut store hours from 8 hours per day to 4 hours per day (5 days a week). This will result in some reduction of business. Regular time off here and there will result in further reduction of business.

I recently implemented an online appointments system. This system has really helped to regulate my workflow. It is highly customizable and my plan is to use it to help reduce or eliminate the types of jobs I no longer wish to perform.

Thank you.
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Old 06-21-2015, 11:11 PM   #6
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I think I'm in a similar situation to you. A couple of years ago I abruptly quit to ER, but that didn't work out when I ran out of stuff to do after only a few weeks. Management talked me back in with several major changes to give us both a smooth transition.

After a couple of years of navel gazing, I've come to realize that over the past three decades I've lost interest in pretty much everything I wanted to do before I started working full time. During this period I invested a great deal of time and effort to build my expertise, so work is now the only context where my opinion matters. It's the respect that counts, way more than the paycheck in my mind. But that pull probably isn't strong enough to keep me from doing more interesting things-- when I find them.

It seems that you have full control over your load, so if I were in your situation, I'd dial it back to halftime and let it walk slowly to whatever suits my tastes. If you find your hours sinking to zero, congratulations, it means you've successfully launched into retirement. If your hours are creeping higher, that's probably a sign that you're not yet ready to retire. Nothing wrong with that IMO, for some of us "happy, wild, and free" means a life in which we occupy an occupation. BTW my work happens to be my best source of "mental exercise", so it's not just ego stroking, there are health benefits too.
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Old 06-22-2015, 10:21 AM   #7
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Sounds like you are in a good position. I like the idea of part time working until you really know what you want to do. Only suggestion is that you make the same level of commitment and organization on finding how you want to spend your time in retirement that you have spent on your business. Something as simple as focusing on doing something new each week is a good start. Reading books, volunteering somewhere, planning / taking short trips, visiting museums and sites you've neglected before, starting a poker evening with friends, taking up cooking.....the possibilities are endless when you have time. Good luck with the adventure.
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Old 06-22-2015, 10:49 AM   #8
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Is there an opportunity to sell the business to a competitor? or an employee (if you have employees)? If so, you might be able to sell and then sign on as a half-time employee as a transition step.

By transitioning to part/half time it seems that in essence you will be giving away half the business as your existing customers migrate to another service provider.

A neighbor of mine sold his used car dealership to a couple of long time, younger employees. He is still involved but about half-time and has a lot of flexibility.
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:31 AM   #9
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Sounds like there is a good plan but I do like the idea of trying to get some $$ out of the business rather than just shutting it down. I guess if there are no employees, that might be tough but there has to be someone else in your area that may see value in your contacts and business. Enjoy the additional time off.
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Old 06-22-2015, 03:08 PM   #10
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I am not yet retired but I learned a lot from how my parents did it, especially my dad. The one thing I have learned is that if you have a curious mind, you can find lots of things to do.

My dad loves golf, and has been playing since his 20s. He's now 77 and plays 3 times a week. He also plays tennis.

But, OK, you can't exercise all the time. He is a very intellectual engineer. He has been retired for 20 years. Over that time, he has taken up the following hobbies/activities, not necessarily all at once, although he still does a lot of them: photography (including matting/framing his own prints); antique tool collecting/restoring (he's actually been doing that for 40 years); rock hunting; volunteering at the historical society (helping rebuild a barn/museum and now he is their treasurer); he studied geology; he's learning to cook (in the last year, as my mother's health is declining); woodworking (he's been building furniture since I was a kid); working with the town's art council....etc.

I have a list of things I want to do, and figure that I can easily come up with more once I have the time!
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Old 06-22-2015, 03:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
Is there an opportunity to sell the business to a competitor? or an employee (if you have employees)? If so, you might be able to sell and then sign on as a half-time employee as a transition step.

By transitioning to part/half time it seems that in essence you will be giving away half the business as your existing customers migrate to another service provider.

A neighbor of mine sold his used car dealership to a couple of long time, younger employees. He is still involved but about half-time and has a lot of flexibility.
This was my same initial thought, try to sell the business and you can stay on part-time to aid the transition.
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Old 06-23-2015, 10:17 AM   #12
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Thanks for the replies everyone, very helpful.

As for selling the business, that was my original plan. My sole long term employee quit suddenly in April and I've been hanging on by myself doing the work of 3 or more people since then (which has proven to be completely unmanageable).

The job is fairly technical with many facets and training takes a fair amount of time. At this point I just don't have the energy to devote another year or two to training staff and then trying to sell the business (even though that would likely be the most financially sound idea). Cutting back to part time seems like the next best thing.

Thank you.
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Old 06-23-2015, 07:35 PM   #13
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I'm planning to cut back and work remotely, in a few weeks. I'll let you know. I like to fly-fish, hike and read; but the income will reassure DW and help her retire earlier and allow me to dangle the calves in the water without going full Monty.
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Old 07-02-2015, 09:27 AM   #14
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Yesterday I gave notice to the landlord of my office lease. Part time hours starting on 9/1/15!
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Old 07-02-2015, 09:43 AM   #15
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Congrats ! - Enjoy your new, hopefully much less stressful, life!
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:35 PM   #16
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Congrats ! - Enjoy your new, hopefully much less stressful, life!

Thank you!!!
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