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Anyone consult for "fun"
Old 01-08-2016, 09:42 AM   #1
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Anyone consult for "fun"

I retired in April of this year and so far I haven't found something to replace the intellectual side of my former career. Getting up to speed on the financial side of retirement scratched that itch for a while but as I am a boggle head vs a trader, there isn't much I need to do on that front now.

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.

Has anyone done this and have advice on whether I am being silly?


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Old 01-08-2016, 09:52 AM   #2
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Not really consulting, but for the past 15 years, since retiring in 2000, I have worked each winter as a tax preparer at a CPA firm, mostly for the brain simulation, a feeling of accomplishment, and get me out of the house during the coldest part of the winter. The firm lets me set my own schedule, though I am cognizant that I must be of value to them. Will start out (next week) a just a few hours per week, ramp up to 50 hours in the real hectic period in late March, then back to full retirement in mid-April. It's cold and snowy near the Great Lakes.
I'm not an accountant, just good with logic and numbers, comes from being a retired engineer.
The extra money created a tax problem this year, but I gain personally from the experience. Just make sure it is on your own terms.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:52 AM   #3
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I think there are a few folks who consult and enjoy it. Fuego and aja888 come to mind.
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:12 AM   #4
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I'm considered a "consultant." I work for my old employer 2 days a week, and enjoy interacting with young folks who either think I know everything (flattering), or challenge me on everything (keeps me on my toes).

Two days a week is the limit, though, and I refuse to be more than a spectator when it comes to politics and drama.
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:18 AM   #5
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I think it sounds reasonable. I have also pondered the seasonal tax prep idea. Would H&R Block be good for that?
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:29 AM   #6
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I've had no itches to go back to work at all but know many, many who do. My old company regularly brought back retirees for full time or part time work. Almost every one told me they really enjoyed the ability to pick and chose what work type and hours they were willing to contract out their time for. Many did this for years.

I say go try it if you think you'd like it. Can always go back to full retirement if it turns out you don't like it.
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:31 AM   #7
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I have a small gig designing hands-on educational activities for a national science competition. It taps the one part of teaching that I really enjoyed, keeps me involved with science and gives me a creative outlet. Also, the hourly rate is very good and the hours (with the exception of one weekend per year) are totally determined by me.
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:38 AM   #8
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I have taken some consulting work on a project by project basis for the last six years. I also serve on a BOD that takes a small amount of time each quarter preparing for meetings.


Keeps me engaged in my former industry. Only take work from established entities looking for my expertise. Not looking to get involved with anything that takes too much time. Best way to scare the "unwanted" clients away is to charge a high fee. That usually sends them running. Those that want to pay that level really want my input!


The money can be quite good and I probably don't work more than 30 days in an entire year.
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:40 AM   #9
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I'm contacted regularly by small businesses who know that I have some specialized expertise that can help them compete.

I'm always glad to help them because I enjoy sharing what I know and also enjoy talking with like-minded folks. I almost never charge them anything, so although it's certainly fun, I'm not sure if it counts as consulting.
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Old 01-08-2016, 11:07 AM   #10
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If you enjoy work or "consulting" more than you enjoy your free time activities, and you can pick up a few extra bucks, go ahead and do it. I've done some consulting, but only to help someone out - not for my own satisfaction. The consulting that I've done so far was not fun enough for me to pursue more. But if something fun presents itself, I'll do it.


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Old 01-08-2016, 11:14 AM   #11
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Definitely. When I retired I left the high stress, long hours , high pay life and continued to do the 'fun' stuff which for me is teaching and programme development. Some people say that I haven't really retired but when you take a 99% pay cut and you are doing something that you would do for free (Shhhh!) then I think that qualifies as 'retired'.
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Old 01-08-2016, 11:20 AM   #12
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If you enjoy work or "consulting" more than you enjoy your free time activities, and you can pick up a few extra bucks, go ahead and do it. I've done some consulting, but only to help someone out - not for my own satisfaction. The consulting that I've done so far was not fun enough for me to pursue more. But if something fun presents itself, I'll do it.


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I don't know about enjoying it more than my free time activities, but it does provide a change of pace and a creative outlet for my energies that isn't available otherwise. If the time commitment amounted to more than about 100-150 hours per year I almost certainly wouldn't continue, however. I also probably wouldn't do it for free, although I might consider a much scaled-down role (say 20-25 hours per year) for no pay.
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Old 01-08-2016, 12:14 PM   #13
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I do a small amount of consulting for my former employer, and would consider doing it for others -- but only established businesses that know me and need my expertise/experience. I set some limits that work for me (<10 hrs per week; < 3mo project duration; work 100% remote via email/phone/conf call; any travel is business class if > 3 hr flight + day rate for the travel day; and an hourly rate that I am happy with (still < than I would charge in private practice and a lot less than they would pay outside help for the same skillset/experience)) ... and so far I do like it.

I would also do BOD work and have pursued a couple of those so far ... but more just for the stimulation.

Only 6 mos into ER and have a very active trading business that both takes time (4 hrs most days) and makes $$ ... so I am very hesitant to do much more than that.
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Old 01-08-2016, 12:46 PM   #14
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I don't know about enjoying it more than my free time activities, but it does provide a change of pace and a creative outlet for my energies that isn't available otherwise.....

I forgot about the creative outlet part. That's a good enough reason to do some consulting.


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Old 01-08-2016, 02:11 PM   #15
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Not really consulting, but for the past 15 years, since retiring in 2000, I have worked each winter as a tax preparer at a CPA firm, mostly for the brain simulation, a feeling of accomplishment, and get me out of the house during the coldest part of the winter. The firm lets me set my own schedule, though I am cognizant that I must be of value to them. Will start out (next week) a just a few hours per week, ramp up to 50 hours in the real hectic period in late March, then back to full retirement in mid-April. It's cold and snowy near the Great Lakes.
I'm not an accountant, just good with logic and numbers, comes from being a retired engineer.
The extra money created a tax problem this year, but I gain personally from the experience. Just make sure it is on your own terms.
Wow. This is kind of like what I might try my hand at. I figure if I earn about 'substantial earnings' for SS, contribute to an IRA and maybe a 401k if I am lucky then the taxable income will mostly go away. I am still before second bend point and in year 19 of SS so it works out quite reasonable I think (WEP reduction in second year of 5% plus at least 5k to IRA converted to Roth). Not done any hard numbers on it though. I expect 401k is likely not possible.
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Old 01-08-2016, 06:53 PM   #16
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About a year after I retired I missed my work so started doing p.t. consulting. I found that volunteer work was mostly menial type of work and I missed the stimulation. Then I got an offer to teach an online uni class and I also do that. I totally love that and of course can do it from anywhere with internet so it does not cramp my style at all. I feel like I have the best of both worlds. I call myself "semi-retired."
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Anyone consult for "fun"
Old 01-08-2016, 07:48 PM   #17
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Anyone consult for "fun"

Consulting would not be "fun" for me. The last thing I want in retirement is to get back in the rat race again. It's just fine with me if my successors keep all that "fun" to themselves.

As for me, I have other things to do. So, no

Before I retired I was asked to consult now and then in retirement. I told my supervisor, and those on up the line from her, that my agency didn't have enough money to pay me to consult. (Yes, saying that felt really great..... ) I meant it.
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Old 01-08-2016, 07:54 PM   #18
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I think it sounds reasonable. I have also pondered the seasonal tax prep idea. Would H&R Block be good for that?
While I enjoyed the job, and got started at a national storefront chain, would not count on making very good money. Basically start at a little above minimum wage and as you build a client base, earn more but at a retail storefront, being a salesman was about as important as knowing tax regulations. Did it for five seasons and I should have left earlier. But it was that experience that got me in the door at my current CPA firm. Made 50% more per hour than at the storefront and got a lot more hours. But even my current pay rate is only a third of what it was in my career job 15 years ago. Just a way to keep busy in the winter and keep the brain engaged.
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Old 01-08-2016, 08:09 PM   #19
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I went in to ER to my employer 5 1/2 years ago. I was asked to stay on part-time and come to the office once a week. I did that for a few years (sometimes 2 days a week). The last 2 1/2 years I've worked entirely from home. I'm an employee, but the type of thing I work on is basically more like consulting. I spend about half a day a week doing this, some weeks it is more and some weeks it is less. I am free to turn down stuff if it is something I want to do.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:52 PM   #20
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I consult on occasion to former energy and investment banking clients in the oil & gas business. Generally, the project is related to the sale or acquisition of producing wells and leases.

Believe it or not, with energy in the "tank", so to say, just about everything out there is for sale or being investigated for a joint venture. So for the last 6 months or so, I have had way too many opportunities for lucrative consulting gigs. It's kind of fun since I have over 30 years in the business and have a pretty good understanding of the energy business and the assets being sold or acquired.

This year is "it" for me as I can't handle the travel as most of the opportunities are out of the area. Flying is not fun anymore and I have enough "hotel points" to last a lifetime.

I have been squirreling the net earnings away in a Solo 401K with Vanguard to offset rising income tax brackets.
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