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Any ER business ideas?
Old 05-06-2005, 08:13 PM   #1
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Any ER business ideas?

If you wanted to try some type of self employment after ER ... What would you do?

Not too much time or cash to be invested.
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Re: Any ER business ideas?
Old 05-06-2005, 08:22 PM   #2
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Re: Any ER business ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTM
If you wanted to try some type of self employment after ER ... What would you do?

Not too much time or cash to be invested.
Real estate. You can hire management and you don't need any cash.

JG
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Re: Any ER business ideas?
Old 05-06-2005, 08:46 PM   #3
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Re: Any ER business ideas?

About one of the best ideas I never did was 'petsitting'. You should get a bond and some insurance just in case you break something in someones house or lose their dog

Other than that, the costs are extremely low and you can get $20 a pop for visiting, changing food and water, maybe scoop a litter box or take in the mail. About 20 minutes. Charge extra for twice-daily walks of the dogs, watering plants, etc.

I had a friend who did it as a full time job...she liked it because she could take on 4-6 'stops' a day 7 days a week if she wanted some extra money or be 'busy' for a couple of weeks and do nothing. At least a dozen times a year clients would want her to house/pet sit for a weekend or a week or two. If she really wanted to make some money and 'go on vacation' to someone elses house, she'd take on a couple of those. They were generally $500+ per week with a "help yourself to food/booze within reason" rule.

If you like animals, pretty low stress way to make a few bucks.
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Re: Any ER business ideas?
Old 05-07-2005, 09:02 AM   #4
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Re: Any ER business ideas?

Internet business. I sell on Amazon, occasionally on Ebay. Good revenue so far. Revenue is much higher than expected but so is the time I am putting into it. I don't mind though and it is definitely parttime. You can turn the thing off whenever you want to go on vacation. No marketing, no customer calls or anything like that. Once in a while an email and that is it. Fixed costs are minimal and the tax write offs are great. If can get your niche you are set.

I am thinking about real estate in the future. Not the RE agent thing - these people are sales people only. I am thinking about the fixer upper thing. Another real estate area that I am interested in is real estate inspection (prior to the sale). Half a day yields about $300. Depending on your state, it may take a license and more education before you can do it but I think the competition is also significantly lower. Not everybody wants to crawl under the foundation.

We recently had some real estate person come over to do an appraisal on the house for the bank. All he did is show up and took a few pictures (out of the door in 5 min). He was an agent but did not sell anything. Just did this to finance his music career.

I am keeping my eyes open for future opportunities that are worth my time but don't tie me down too much. Otherwise I might as well stay within the 9-5 cube walls with the benefits.

Vicky
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Re: Any ER business ideas?
Old 05-07-2005, 09:09 AM   #5
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Re: Any ER business ideas?

The fixer-upper idea is excellent if you have the skills and enjoy
doing that sort of work. I don't have either. Wish I did.

JG
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Re: Any ER business ideas?
Old 05-07-2005, 10:04 AM   #6
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Re: Any ER business ideas?

Wal-Mart greeter...sorry guys I had to throw that one in there

I agree with JG in respect to real estate. I know some people that retired early and sell real estate p-t and do a few auctions throughout the year. The job never gets in the way of their travel plans.

TH - What did you do prior to retiring if you don't mind me asking?
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Re: Any ER business ideas?
Old 05-07-2005, 11:22 AM   #7
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Re: Any ER business ideas?

I concur with the online selling idea.* My wife started doing this as a pure fluke about 3 yrs ago when we were cleaning out the basement.* We now do pretty good at it.*

As for selling real estate my wife started doing this part time about 7 months ago.* It is working out real well also.* *

Before CINC House became a realtor/online selling guru she was a teacher and has a PhD.* She consults periodically editing text books for publishing companies.* $3000-$4500 per book. So now you know why the price of a college education is so high

Tomcat98

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Re: Any ER business ideas?
Old 05-07-2005, 12:48 PM   #8
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Re: Any ER business ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcat
TH - What did you do prior to retiring if you don't mind me asking?
In the '70's I wrote code and did hardware design, mostly chip stuff, in the '80s did sales, in the 90's some IT stuff, then marketing. Mix in some odd jobs washing dishes, working in hardware stores, and for a couple of years I also worked the register in a convenience store from midnight to 8am on weekends. And two years running my own business designing, making and selling jewelry.
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Re: Any ER business ideas?
Old 05-07-2005, 11:06 PM   #9
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Re: Any ER business ideas?

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Originally Posted by th
And two years running my own business designing, making and selling jewelry.
If you have anything left from this, let me know, my wife is finicky about jewelry, and I've had most of it custom made. I'll bring you out of retirement yet!
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Re: Any ER business ideas?
Old 05-08-2005, 08:59 AM   #10
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Re: Any ER business ideas?

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Originally Posted by laurencewill
If you have anything left from this, let me know, my wife is finicky about jewelry, and I've had most of it custom made. I'll bring you out of retirement yet!
There you go - you should go into that business and as long as you control your costs and take some smart decisions, you will probably do ok and have fun. Our local community college has professional jewelry making courses that are very cheap.

I started with book selling because of virtually no strart-up costs and the excellent tax benefits. The other big reason was that DH loves to read. This used to be a huge expense. His hobby does not cost me anything any more, instead it generates revenue. The only problem is that he accumulates a huge personal collection on the side - faster than I would like to see it grow. We now have to put extra beams in the foundation in our new house to make sure we don't fall through the floor with his book collection.

Vicky
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Re: Any ER business ideas?
Old 05-08-2005, 11:08 AM   #11
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Re: Any ER business ideas?

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If you have anything left from this, let me know, my wife is finicky about jewelry, and I've had most of it custom made. I'll bring you out of retirement yet!
I'm going to make you laugh at this story. My dads vocation was that he owned a dental lab...the folks the dentists send the impressions of your mouth out to make the dentures, gold teeth and whatnot.

I learned most of the skills from him as a kid. Not a lot to it except for practice. Turns out that 99.9% of what you need to make gold jewelry and set stones is the same stuff you use to make and set gold teeth...he had a cheap wholesale supplier for all the metals I needed...white and yellow gold of various grades, platinum, etc.

There are entire catalogs of wax 'blanks' you can buy for a couple of bucks. You 'invest' the wax by surrounding it with a heatproof plastic epoxy-like material after attaching a couple of plastic tubes to it. It hardens in about an hour. You put it in a firing oven upside down, your plastic straws and wax melt out, leaving a mold. Drop that in a centrifuge, melt the metal of your choice in the bowl in front of the mold, let it fly. Trim and polish. Set your stones (the second hardest part). The hardest part was the heavy gold necklaces I used to make that had 30-40 plates that all had to be assembled together.

Given that manufacturing markup usually starts at 5:1 and wholesale to retail markup is usually at least double, you can make a lot of money at this. I just dabbled at it with friends, relatives and their friends. With a few hours of work on a weekend here and there, I made about 15k a year at it. Now if I had to buy all that equipment and pay higher materials prices (my dad had some serious volume) it probably wouldnt have been so much fun.

Rings are really, really, really easy.
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"Do what you love..."
Old 05-09-2005, 04:56 PM   #12
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"Do what you love..."

Quote:
Originally Posted by th
Rings are really, really, really easy.
I watched a couple Thai jewelers for 30 minutes. It may be easy work but it sure looked like a hard life.

GTM, if you're trying self-employment then how can you call it ER? Please turn in your ER badge at the nearest cubicle and avert your eyes while we develop a new secret handshake...
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Old 05-14-2005, 07:14 AM   #13
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Re: "Do what you love..."

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GTM, if you're trying self-employment then how can you call it ER? Please turn in your ER badge at the nearest cubicle and avert your eyes while we develop a new secret handshake...
Nords, the way I look at it, if we could define "work" as being either paid or unpaid activity you commit to or somehow have people counting on you for, then a lot of what we do here in ER could be called 'work'. Whether home maintenance, rehabbing, volunteer work, -- and how long until your Tae Kwon Do teacher asks you to help teach a kids' class?

The other thing is that some people legitimately in ER don't have that safe federal pension to give them the full peace of mind in the financial department. Earning a few bucks on the side in a relaxing way can be a great way to maintain a little financial security over the long run.

So given all that, I don't think its fair to come down too hard on people here who do a little paid work in ER. I know you were just kidding around, but still the notion that doing any paid work = a failed ER would do a disservice to a large number of folks here.

I look at it this way: ER is about filling up your days with activities you enjoy and find meaningful, without having to have a full-time or career-track job to support yourself.
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Re: Any ER business ideas?
Old 05-14-2005, 07:37 AM   #14
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Re: Any ER business ideas?

Perhaps ER is like the definition of art - you know it when you see it.

Of course, one peron's art is

Well - you know. Don't you??

Heh, heh, heh.
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Re: Any ER business ideas?
Old 05-14-2005, 08:12 AM   #15
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Re: Any ER business ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by unclemick2
Perhaps ER is like the definition of art - you know it when you see it.

Of course, one peron's art is

Well - you know. Don't you??

Heh, heh, heh.
I think that's right unclemick, i.e. "You know it when you see it."
Now, in my case, I had no idea how all this would shake out.
Made it work anyway. You might say it was the "no plan" plan

JG
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Re: Any ER business ideas?
Old 05-14-2005, 11:12 AM   #16
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Re: Any ER business ideas?

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Originally Posted by th
About one of the best ideas I never did was 'petsitting'.

and you can get $20 a pop
Holy crap $20 a poop? Hmmm anyone have rabbitts?

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Re: Any ER business ideas?
Old 05-14-2005, 01:56 PM   #17
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Re: Any ER business ideas?

I define work as something that I have to go do anyway whether I want to or not on any given day, which produces an income that I'm dependent on and therefore need to do or not do things I would ordinarily not do or do if I didnt have that dependency.

If you can decide not to go if you dont feel like it, you're not compromising yourself for the money (aka, you are a not whoring yourself to the companys needs), and it either doesnt produce any income or it does but you dont need the money, then it aint work.
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Re: Any ER business ideas?
Old 05-14-2005, 03:37 PM   #18
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Re: Any ER business ideas?

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If you can decide not to go if you dont feel like it, you're not compromising yourself for the money (aka, you are a not whoring yourself to the companys needs), and it either doesnt produce any income or it does but you dont need the money, then it aint work.
That is a reasonable definition -- Work as four letter word -- it ain't work if it doesn't hurt.

I realize that there are lots of things people do in ER that involve time, commitment and even sometimes earning money, and I have been thinking of them as "part time paid or unpaid work' but if there is a better name than the four letter word starting with a "W", then I think it would be useful for all of us to have that. It would probably help clear up some confusion.

I just think we need a word for the things we do in ER that are not pure recreation and relaxation, travel or household chores. I think a lot of people have cottoned on to the idea that doing some of this whatever-it-is-if-it-isn't-work is a good way to stave off boredom, depression, torpor etc. and would be useful to highlight for those people considering ER and wondering if, once they get over the first few months, there is enough 'there there' for them to give up the challenges and stimulation that their careers currently provide. (that is, for the ones who are not already frito cases at their jobs.)

Anybody got a better word for it?

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Re: Any ER business ideas?
Old 05-14-2005, 03:39 PM   #19
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Re: Any ER business ideas?

I believe its "Hobby"
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Re: "Do what you love..."
Old 05-14-2005, 03:48 PM   #20
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Nords, the way I look at it, *if we could define "work" as being either paid or unpaid activity you commit to or somehow have people counting on you for, *then a lot of what we do here in ER could be called 'work'. *Whether home maintenance, rehabbing, volunteer work, -- and how long until your Tae Kwon Do teacher asks you to help teach a kids' class?
Bob, first let me say that if you see my tae kwon do you'd reconsider that "help" offer I agree with you and I'm happy to accept a few handyman bucks. *($25/hr because people seem uncomfortable if I don't charge them for my time.) *If it helps a person to sleep at night and provides an added measure of financial security then so much the better.

But that's not the question, which had hypothetical "self employment" and "ER" in the same sentence. *At least the phrase was broken with the word "after", indicating that ER will end when self-employment begins. *I also see ER as filled with enjoyable & meaningful activities, but too many of us are preconditioned with Type-A work habits which will inevitably corrupt the original pure PT intentions with cashflow. *Spending time with your family is a great idea, but not if you're drafting them into helping with your new home-based business. *It'd be self-delusional that you're retired or that others wholeheartedly support your efforts. *I wonder how many of us really know how to earn a few bucks in a relaxing way-- I have to throttle back on that empire-building instinct all the time.

I also see ER as a chance to explore but it's too easy for us to fall back into a safe, familiar groove. *Unfortunately that groove is frequently based on safe, familiar cash-producing activities without significant purpose or direction. *ER is meant to give us the time to do things we otherwise wouldn't-- family, travel, charity, volunteer, or even just introspection. *Growing my ponytail is a haircare hassle but it's a daily reminder of the ER metaphor. *

I enjoy surfing & tae kwon do. *I also enjoy teaching people how to surf and to do tae kwon do. *But if I had to show up on White Plains Beach at 10:30 AM next Tuesday to teach a surf lesson, along with handling the receipts and doing the taxes (which I know how to do!), then it wouldn't be enjoyable anymore. *Heck, I barely enjoy serving on a nonprofit board and I'm resigning at the end of my three-year term.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ESRBob
The other thing is that some people legitimately in ER don't have that safe federal pension to give them the full peace of mind in the financial department. *
Sure they do, and everyone can go buy one of their own. *My $33,864 COLA'd pension can be produced by $705,500 of I bonds yielding 4.8% at the same default risk. *

Admittedly today's military medical benefits didn't exist when I joined up, or even at mid-career, and that appears to be the winner's ticket to the survivor lottery. *Judging from the effort it took to achieve I sure hope it lasts until I need it, but regardless I paid my risk premiums up front. *How much additional I bonds would have to be added to the portfolio to provide $3K-deductible medical insurance for two healthy adults in their 40s with a kid?
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