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Anyone Else Enjoy Consulting?
Old 10-12-2015, 10:22 AM   #1
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Anyone Else Enjoy Consulting?

I stepped away from full time w*rk in the spring and hung out my shingle as an independent consultant. So far so good. I have one client who has booked me for a week every month going forward. Some factors I appreciate:

- I have a lot of control on when and what (last week was a leadership team building workshop at a manufacturing plant). There is no contract or timesheet.
- I enjoy using my skills and experience to help people and organizations. I do some similar activities for free.
- One week per month easily covers all the bills and keeps my current WR below zero. I keep my rates high to manage the demand.
- The pay allows me to deduct professional expenses, medical benefits and continued education.
- I keep my contacts and skills current in a field I really enjoy.

I know this is not for most people on the board. I wonder how many others are finding a similar point of balance.
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Old 10-12-2015, 10:28 AM   #2
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Not me. Before I retired, I told several levels of management above me (when asked), that our agency didn't have enough money to pay me as a consultant.

I haven't regretted those words for even one minute.
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Old 10-12-2015, 11:26 AM   #3
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I've been a consultant for nearly ten years, and yes, I enjoy it. I get to choose my clients, the pay-per-hour ratio is great, and I have a lot of control over how I do my work. The work itself is interesting.

DH and I are getting ready to semi-retire in 2016 and consulting is going to be excellent for that. I can take 3-4 projects a year and cover our basic expenses. We're "technically FI" at this point but young enough that we'd like to hold off on withdrawals as long as is practical.

The only caution I'd make is that the economy is hopping and there are too many good gigs right now. Consulting (especially training and development) gigs dry up very quickly when the economy tanks or the industry you work in has troubles.

On the whole - I love it. I'm glad you're having a similar experience!

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Old 10-12-2015, 11:28 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
Not me. Before I retired, I told several levels of management above me (when asked), that our agency didn't have enough money to pay me as a consultant.

I haven't regretted those words for even one minute.
It's best to consult for people other than your previous employer. Consulting for your old company is kind of like providing marriage counseling to your ex. You know too much!

SIS
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Old 10-12-2015, 11:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tekward View Post
I stepped away from full time w*rk in the spring and hung out my shingle as an independent consultant. So far so good. I have one client who has booked me for a week every month going forward. Some factors I appreciate:

- I have a lot of control on when and what (last week was a leadership team building workshop at a manufacturing plant). There is no contract or timesheet.
- I enjoy using my skills and experience to help people and organizations. I do some similar activities for free.
- One week per month easily covers all the bills and keeps my current WR below zero. I keep my rates high to manage the demand.
- The pay allows me to deduct professional expenses, medical benefits and continued education.
- I keep my contacts and skills current in a field I really enjoy.

I know this is not for most people on the board. I wonder how many others are finding a similar point of balance.
You didn't mention the ability to set up a sole owner 401K (ira or roth) at Vanguard which allows a max contribution of about $54,000 per yr.
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Old 10-12-2015, 12:24 PM   #6
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I'll probably do quite a bit of consulting in ER - but at my own pace; heck it's all I've ever done for 30 years
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Old 10-12-2015, 12:51 PM   #7
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I just started consulting in the last few weeks. Trying not to do more than a few hours per week. All remote stuff - phone/email/skype video chat.

Like you, OP, I set the rate high enough to limit the actual hours I'm working.

So far it's been fun and rewarding to help out where I can. Like volunteering but with a monstrously high hourly rate.

I started a solo 401k in 2014 to essentially get rid of any tax liability from my side hustle earnings (other than self employment payroll taxes).

So far, between a few hours per month of freelance writing, running my monetized personal blog, and now consulting, we're pulling in roughly enough to cover what we're spending without it feeling like work (since I can always turn down work if I'm busy or the project/client seems uninteresting).
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Old 10-12-2015, 02:02 PM   #8
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I've been consulting since the month after I retired from my career job 5 years ago. I love it for all the above reasons. Pick your projects, pick your customers, pick your hours, get paid far more per hour than I was making when working full time, get to travel occasionally which gets me out of a rut but not so much that it becomes onerous. Plus I get to work in bare feet most of the time because I mostly work remotely (I really hate wearing shoes).
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Old 10-12-2015, 02:41 PM   #9
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I've done a fair amount of consulting over the last six years. Some for former company, some for other clients. I enjoy it and I charge absurd rates so they really have to want/need me. The assignments are usually mostly accomplished from home with minimal travel.


Dump as much of the $$$ into my SEP/IRA as I can and take as many legit business expenses as I can. I have noticed that as time passes by the calls come fewer and farther between. That's fine by me as I'm pretty busy just being retired!
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Old 10-12-2015, 03:00 PM   #10
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I have been consulting to the oil & gas and petrochemical industries for 17 years now.

I just do select part time assignments these days because certain clients have a long term relationship with me. I turn down overseas work as the travel is a pain in the butt. I've had a Solo 401K for a few years now, but still end up paying too much in taxes to suit me.

I have been averaging one plus weeks per month of billings, which at my rate is more than adequate income beyond SS and portfolio withdrawals. Next year I plan to stop consulting completely, but I said that two years ago.
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Old 10-13-2015, 06:23 PM   #11
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Retired last year & have done a bit of part time work for former employer; 300-500hrs/yr, which is about right for me at this time. It's stuff I enjoy & is short term by definition-in & out stuff.

I like the occasional change of pace & stimulation. Have been asked about consulting for other companies & am considering it; would be the same kind of short term stuff.


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Old 10-13-2015, 06:51 PM   #12
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I've done a little, but I can't say that I enjoyed it.


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Old 10-13-2015, 08:11 PM   #13
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Hell ya, It's great being told I'm not a real person.


Edit to add: Oh, sorry, I thought you said counseling.
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Old 10-16-2015, 01:34 PM   #14
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Not me. I had thought about it before I retired since I couldn't see how I could go from working 50 to 60 hour work weeks for so many years and just stop. Plus, I had learned a lot in my field of expertise, earned all the top professional credentials and I was actually interested and enjoyed the "subject matter", but not the work BS. My last employer had hinted, before I retired, that they might be willing to hire me back as a consultant. However I was clear with them that I would not be interested in working for them "as a consultant". During the first year of retirement, I got several unsolicited consulting offers but I never took any of them.

It didn't take me long to realize that going from 50 to 60 hour work weeks to "zero" was just what I wanted. YMMV
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Old 10-16-2015, 05:54 PM   #15
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After 3 months of ER, I was itchy to try some consulting. Worked with a coach to figure out a business plan, etc., and started networking for clients. After a year, I had ended up with just one gig (for someone I knew through a volunteer position, not even in my target clientele) because I really didn't aggressively pursue clients. As my volunteer gigs had increased in both number and time commitment, I decided that pursuing consulting when we are well and truly FI was more about my ego than anything else. So I happily took down my shingle.
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Old 10-18-2015, 10:25 PM   #16
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My retirement is next April, but I landed a role as an independent board director for a family owned manufacturing company in another state. It's kind of like glorified consulting. They were looking for big company know how and I like having a three year contract (and annual retainer) to work with the company's senior leaders.
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Old 10-19-2015, 12:36 AM   #17
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I cannot say I do 'consulting work', but I have done temp jobs... except that the company I was 'working' for had mgmt issues and got rid of the people in my city... just now starting to get another group... all jobs offered lately have been terrible commutes or not a good hourly rate...


Have thrown my name in with another firm... but so far nothing... however, they are allowing me to do my CE hours under their company... so I save some money there....


Have not done anything since last Nov... so maybe I will not get anything... but I think I will... if I can get 4 to 6 months of part time I will be happy...
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Old 10-19-2015, 01:05 AM   #18
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I did an onsite consulting gig for about 9 months about 2 years into my ER. My rationale was "Hey it's good money and I can top up my portfolio a bit", plus I saw it as a chance to check whether retiring was the right thing or else maybe I wanted to get back into working again. Plus it was based in Arizona which I found appealing.

The money was good but I quickly tired of the 24/7 emails, last minute requests for PowerPoint pages, and especially the bottom of the barrel projects that no one else wanted to do.

It was a good experience, but I was glad when it was over. I have not wanted to do it again.


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Old 10-19-2015, 10:56 AM   #19
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I did an onsite consulting gig for about 9 months about 2 years into my ER. My rationale was "Hey it's good money and I can top up my portfolio a bit", plus I saw it as a chance to check whether retiring was the right thing or else maybe I wanted to get back into working again. Plus it was based in Arizona which I found appealing.

The money was good but I quickly tired of the 24/7 emails, last minute requests for PowerPoint pages, and especially the bottom of the barrel projects that no one else wanted to do.

It was a good experience, but I was glad when it was over. I have not wanted to do it again.


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I guess my experience was different.... since I was a temp, I was paid by the hour.... so there was no string of emails or late nights requested at the last minute.... heck, some of the time they would say they did not need me right now, would I mind going home early
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Old 10-19-2015, 01:38 PM   #20
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I am not doing any on site consulting right now, but I do some 1099 work from home. One of my current little hobby projects is seeing how much money I can make a year from various "get paid to apps" that are passive or close to it.

With lowering our expenses and adding in lots of little easy or passive / semi-passive side income sources, each year we are covering more and more of our retirement living expenses with side income earnings.
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