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Anyone consult for "fun"
Old 01-09-2016, 05:15 AM   #21
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Anyone consult for "fun"

Yes - I consider myself retired, but I have a consulting business anyway! I don't do a lot of selling; word of mouth tends to bring people to me. I end up doing between zero and ten days a month. I set my rates high to scare off time wasters and I turn down work that seems boring. So far it keeps me engaged and stimulated...and even brings in some cash. If I had to do it, I'd feel it as a burden. But as it is really optional, it is a lot of fun. At the end of the year I said no to two gigs in a row, and that felt just great! I have the kind of personality that needs to get out of the house and involved in issues. And I'm young enough - 55 - that having the consulting also slams the door on the annoying prying and questions and judging about early retirement we've discussed on other threads.


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Old 01-09-2016, 06:35 AM   #22
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I retired at 56, spent a year traveling and enjoying things. I got offered a 2 year consulting gig in Dubai, then 2 additional 2 year contacts in SE Asia - 75% of my time is just teaching young people my skills and a bunch of leisure travel - I get about 40 days holiday and 6 weeks vacation and am very well paid - l love it - Putting on a 3 day seminar next week for about 30 people.
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Old 01-09-2016, 08:35 AM   #23
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Jabbahop,
I am not retired, so situation is different than yours. The work side of consulting can be fun, but the money side can take the elation out of the balloon. Consulting work does energize you, and it may require extra hours to keep things going. Be aware of that when setting your rate.

I was laid off from one Megacorp, and essentially offered a consulting job. However, all terms were in their favor. I rejected the offer a few times. Beware the situation where previous employer is the other party.

I've had consulting business for a long time, and maintained it while employed. Some of those consulting clients continue to interest me. If you get a true consulting rate and reasonable delivery schedule, try it. The extra money may help, but watch the tax impact.
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Old 01-15-2016, 03:30 PM   #24
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Old 01-15-2016, 03:37 PM   #25
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I volunteer for fun. Getting paid for it would -- well - turn it into a job.

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Old 01-15-2016, 04:06 PM   #26
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Anyone consult for fun?

Yes, I did that on a part-time basis for 9 years for fun and money. When the fun went away, and I figured I had less time than money, I quit for real.
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Old 01-15-2016, 04:31 PM   #27
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I was retired 18 months, and had the opportunity to do a three month contract at the end of the year.At the end of the contract they wanted to do another 3. I will be happy to finish in March. The pocket money was nice, but not required long term.

Glad I did it, but will be gladder to finish up.
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Old 01-15-2016, 08:39 PM   #28
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I do about 10 hours a week consulting for a few startups. It's fun and give me a chance to contribute to others' success.


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Old 01-16-2016, 11:54 AM   #29
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Doing anything you find 'fun' is fine for as long as it continues to be fun. I've done several things for that long and NO LONGER. My advice to anyone would be careful you do not get into an 'obligated' situation.

It's always interesting to me when someone newly retired asks about 'what do you do with your time' in whatever way they ask the question. I see it as being like someone who gets a driver's license saying, 'now how do I win at Le Mans?' They seem to think they can go from 0-60 in .5 seconds.

Retirement is like any other phase in your life, it takes time to learn. You didn't learn how to function as a teenager in your first year. You didn't learn how to be the best there is at whatever you did in your working life, in one year. Why would anyone think retirement is any different? It's a new phase, new rules, new norms, new things to learn.

I always think about when I first started living on a Greek island and would go for a coffee at the local kafenion (coffee shop, but oh so much more than that). It would take me about 15 minutes max to have a coffee. It took me 3 years to learn that it takes 3-5 hours to drink a cup of coffee in a kafenion. That's because it is not about drinking coffee, it is about everything else you learn to do in a kafenion. Solve world problems, play tavli (backgammon), etc.

I find it sad that a lot of people don't seem to have much imagination when it comes to what will they do with their time in retirement. The easiest thing to do is to fall back into your old comfort zone. I consider consulting based on your past experience to be doing just that.

If retirement is a new beginning, shouldn't you be thinking about beginning NEW things, not doing more of the old? As I said, I have done several things that paid me since retiring but they were things I had never done before. Consulting at my old line of work is something I would consider boring, I know that already, I want to learn new things if I am going to do anything.
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Old 01-16-2016, 12:27 PM   #30
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I know what you mean about the intellectual side. I am working part time as a University professor and a trainer consultant. I probably only work two or three days a month and it helps. I have looked into both SCORE (SERVICE CORPS OF RETIRED EXECUTIVES) and MicroMentor for volunteer consulting to keep me intellectually stimulated. Might be something to look at.
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Old 01-16-2016, 01:03 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by jabbahop View Post
I retired in April of this year and so far I haven't found something to replace the intellectual side of my former career. .....
I know I could do some part time consulting during the winter for my old company but wondering if that is a mistake.

It is not so much about the dollars but the brain work vs getting into too much work commitment. I am thinking ideally maybe 10 hours per week or less for a month or two.
...
It's not a mistake, but be sure to charge enough $$ so you get double fun!

I do a gig for 1 old client, every now and then I go in. The actual hours are flexible to a large extent, and I tell them when I'm going to be on a trip for weeks at a time (not available).

I like to work for a week or two, then have no work for a month or so, I would dislike the choice some folks make of 1 day per week.

I'm picky about what I work on, and turn down work from them that I sincerely don't feel I'd be good at, as I don't want the stress.

I like the creative stimulation and satisfaction the work brings, and the double fun comes from the $$$, as it certainly can pay for a few trips each year.
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Old 01-16-2016, 04:33 PM   #32
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What's creative about doing what you already know how to do? Why is there this seeming belief that intellectual stimulation comes from doing what you did before?

I'm sorry but if you were a Fortune 500 CEO and do some part time consulting on 'how to be a Fortune 500 CEO' or the equivalent in whatever it was you did before, I do not see anything creative in doing that or anything intellectually stimulating. It's old hat.

Intellectually working is not the same thing as intellectually stimulating. You may be doing work that requires you to use your brain but that is not creative or stimulating. An accountant doing some part-time accounting is not intellectually stimulated, he's just intellectually busy using his brain.

In retirement, when you no longer need to work for a living, you have the opportunity to do something NEW. Doing what you did before is the equivalent of throwing that opportunity away. But I fully agree that it is your choice to make. Just don't say it is about being intellectually creative, challenged, stimulated, etc.

If you want to be intellectually stimulated, challenged or creative, do something NEW and yes you can do that just for FUN.
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Old 01-16-2016, 04:57 PM   #33
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I suppose what I am saying jabbahop is that I do basically consider consulting to be a mistake.

Maybe some examples of things I have done for payment during retirement would be of some use.

The first thing I fell into doing was property maintenance. What I mean by that is learning how to maintain an orchard which meant learning how to prune trees and use a rotavator. How to inspect lemon, pomegranate, apricot and grapefruit trees for disease etc. Something I knew absolutely nothing about before.

The second thing I fell into was designing and printing menus for restaurants and bars. Have you ever tried to design a menu? Was that skill set ever in your wheel house before? It sure wasn't in mine.

The third was a bit closer to my sales background in that it was designing and selling house decks. I'd built a few decks of my own in the past and sales was certainly not new to me but it was the designing of them that I found creative, stimulating and challenging. I designed and sold well over 100 decks before I got bored with it and stopped.

But I have never had to do anything for payment to find something that was intellectually stimulating. Learning to play tavli against the local experts (or chess if you don't happen to spend some time living in Greece) can be just as stimulating as anything else. You don't have to look far for intellectual stimulation. Build yourself a classic car from the ground up, you'll get plenty of intellectual stimulation.

The point is that it should be about something that interests you, not something that presents little or no challenge because you already know what you need to know. There is nothing new or challenging in doing what you did before. That's just 'keeping busy'.

Retirement is not an ending where your usefulness ends. Yet that is how many people see it whether they admit it or not. Doing some consulting makes them feel like they are still useful and have a purpose. It is part of their 'self-image'. 'I am what I do' rather than 'I am who I am'.

Sorry for the bit of a rant but I've seen a lot of this. In my case, I retired in my early 40s and really had no choice but to see it in a different way. You can't keep consulting for 30 plus years. You have to take a whole new view of what life is about and what defines you as a person.

Retirement above all should (in my not so humble opinion) be about NEW.
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Old 01-16-2016, 05:00 PM   #34
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I don't think that's a rant, OldPro. Your points are worth thinking about.
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Old 01-16-2016, 05:39 PM   #35
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I retired in April of this year and so far I haven't found something to replace the intellectual side of my former career....
I retired in early May last year, and eight months into retirement the biggest surprise is the swiftness of the deflation of any motivation to be attached to the workforce in a traditional manner. I was thinking this morning of the various horrendous commutes I used to endure (is there any other kind in Southern California?) and wondered if I ever did that, as it all seems like some kind of bad dream now. This afternoon reading at my favorite cafe I heard a young man asking how long it would take to prepare his food as he had only so much time on his lunch break (that made me look up from my book!). Seemingly a lifetime ago now, I wondered if I ever endured those types of outrageous restrictions on my time.

My intellectual stimulation comes from reading all of the non-fiction books I never had time for before, and from working on creating this fantastic next stage of my life (from scratch--so many possibilities!). What I did before--professionally, personally, materially--is of no interest to me now.

H*ll no I'm not going to consult. I had promised myself to work a few weeks this year for extra fun money. We'll see if that turns out to be a broken promise.
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Old 01-16-2016, 06:58 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by OldPro View Post
What's creative about doing what you already know how to do? Why is there this seeming belief that intellectual stimulation comes from doing what you did before?

I'm sorry but if you were a Fortune 500 CEO and do some part time consulting on 'how to be a Fortune 500 CEO' or the equivalent in whatever it was you did before, I do not see anything creative in doing that or anything intellectually stimulating. It's old hat.

Intellectually working is not the same thing as intellectually stimulating. You may be doing work that requires you to use your brain but that is not creative or stimulating. An accountant doing some part-time accounting is not intellectually stimulated, he's just intellectually busy using his brain.

In retirement, when you no longer need to work for a living, you have the opportunity to do something NEW. Doing what you did before is the equivalent of throwing that opportunity away. But I fully agree that it is your choice to make. Just don't say it is about being intellectually creative, challenged, stimulated, etc.

If you want to be intellectually stimulated, challenged or creative, do something NEW and yes you can do that just for FUN.
You have some valid points there, but that does not apply to every case.

For the 9 years that I did consulting work (at an aerospace megacorp with 100K+ employees, another aerospace mid-size company with 4,000 employees, and a small telecom company with 10 employees), I got to work on diverse and different problems that were not at all related. There were plenty of head-scratching problems to solve, and no two were alike.

I guess I was fortunate that people entrusted me to help them with their problems (I often worked from home using my own equipment and software tools and just billed them for the hours), but I am sure that there are other jobs that would have the same fun factor. For example, while an accountant may be doing the same bookkeeping type of work over and over, an embedded-system engineer may be working with different software and hardware from one project to the next.

So, why did I quit? I could easily do OMY after another, but there were some life events that served as an impetus for me to stop. Also not helping was the political conflict at work that I would rather not have to deal with. Of course, the bull market after the Great Recession also took away the financial worry.
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Old 01-16-2016, 07:09 PM   #37
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I'd have to agree. It seems to me it's a highly individual decision, as some people have found it highly rewarding/stimulating to be connected with their field in one way or another into their nineties (a subject of a recent NY Times article series on aging in NY comes to mind). This is why I didn't feel the OP was being silly (OP's word) at all in questioning/exploring what's right for them in retirement.
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Old 01-16-2016, 09:31 PM   #38
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That would require work and deadlines. That's no fun.


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Old 01-17-2016, 10:46 AM   #39
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I retired in early May last year, and eight months into retirement the biggest surprise is the swiftness of the deflation of any motivation to be attached to the workforce in a traditional manner. I was thinking this morning of the various horrendous commutes I used to endure (is there any other kind in Southern California?) and wondered if I ever did that, as it all seems like some kind of bad dream now. This afternoon reading at my favorite cafe I heard a young man asking how long it would take to prepare his food as he had only so much time on his lunch break (that made me look up from my book!). Seemingly a lifetime ago now, I wondered if I ever endured those types of outrageous restrictions on my time.

My intellectual stimulation comes from reading all of the non-fiction books I never had time for before, and from working on creating this fantastic next stage of my life (from scratch--so many possibilities!). What I did before--professionally, personally, materially--is of no interest to me now.

H*ll no I'm not going to consult. I had promised myself to work a few weeks this year for extra fun money. We'll see if that turns out to be a broken promise.
Your comment re commutes and lunch breaks makes me think of some things I have pondered since retirement Options.

1. Everything is relative to your 'norm'. I went from living in a major N. American city to living on a small Greek island. Part of my usual daily routine involved meeting a few friends for a morning coffee (around 11am, not 7am). The kafenion I frequented was across the street from the local primary school. At noon, all the Mothers would show up to pick up their children. The police had a cop there to direct traffic and attempt to stop the traffic jam that resulted from the Mothers double parking. You might be able to develop a mental picture of it but you have to adjust that picture to include the fact that the resulting 'traffic jam' consisted of no more than a couple of dozen cars.

As a result of this daily traffic jam, this was an area to avoid with a car and instead go by scooter to. I came to see that as a 'traffic jam' and change my habits accordingly. Yet back 'home' I wouldn't have even notice a couple of dozen cars at all.

2. The other thing I have pondered is 'fast food'. The USA basically invented fast food and it's interesting to ask yourself why it was invented and why it has been so successful. Then ask yourself if it is a good thing or a bad thing? What is it telling us about our society when no one has time to eat lunch? It isn't just about, thank goodness I no longer have to do that. It is the inheritance we are leaving for our children and grandchildren.

In most countries around the Mediterranean, they still have the siesta. Offices and shops close from 12 till 3. Everyone goes HOME for lunch and a nap. That's civilized in my opinion and about taking care of yourself first. You are not your job first. Cellphones are turned off, you are not available. Cellphones may be an even worse invention than fast food when it comes to taking away your privacy and personal time.
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Old 01-17-2016, 02:02 PM   #40
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Your comment re commutes and lunch breaks makes me think of some things I have pondered since retirement Options.

1. Everything is relative to your 'norm'...Yet back 'home' I wouldn't have even notice a couple of dozen cars at all.

I've found this to be very true. When I look back on what had become the "norm" for me while working, it's almost surreal in terms of what I tolerated. I keep thinking to myself, "did I even do that? how did I do that?" Again this morning while leisurely (as opposed to hurriedly, were I working) making the bed I was recalling one of my more difficult commutes and the way I used to integrate my self-imposed mandatory gym workouts into before and after work. I was always so time-starved, and yet what choice did I have, if I wanted any kind of life while earning a living (no wonder so many people are so unhappy today)? It all seems like such a bad dream now.


2. The other thing I have pondered is 'fast food'. The USA basically invented fast food and it's interesting to ask yourself why it was invented and why it has been so successful. Then ask yourself if it is a good thing or a bad thing? What is it telling us about our society when no one has time to eat lunch? It isn't just about, thank goodness I no longer have to do that. It is the inheritance we are leaving for our children and grandchildren.

In most countries around the Mediterranean, they still have the siesta. Offices and shops close from 12 till 3. Everyone goes HOME for lunch and a nap. That's civilized in my opinion and about taking care of yourself first. You are not your job first. Cellphones are turned off, you are not available. Cellphones may be an even worse invention than fast food when it comes to taking away your privacy and personal time.


This morning I was also thinking to myself, "no wonder I was always mad when I was working, I was always so stressed." I also notice now how much people are in such a hurry, particularly when driving--how can they not be? Their lives are not their own.
Your description of your morning coffee meetings parallel my daily treat of afternoon cafe reading (although I like mine solo), and yes, now I take a "siesta" (nap) whenever I want. I am so much more calm, so much happier now. So glad I've awaken from the bad dream of my former life, if you can even call it that!
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