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Continuing to work after financial independence?
Old 12-19-2014, 04:11 PM   #1
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Continuing to work after financial independence?

Have you or anyone you know continued to work after being financially independent? In other words, you are in a financial position where working is optional, but you continue to work anyway? We all know famous examples of people who are fabulously financially independent and yet they continue to work, like Warren Buffett or Richard Branson or Bill Gates or Peter Lynch, and of course there are many people who are not famous who continue to work even though, financially, they don't have to.

As a related question, have you or anyone you know retired and then un-retired and went back to work?

I can imagine a variety of reasons why someone might continue to work beyond the point of being financially independent, including just simply enjoying your work, or feeling like you are contributing to society, or you can't imagine what else you would do with your free time, or you just want to run up the score of your net worth, or any number of other reasons. I suppose an early retirement forum is not the best place to ask this question because this is a self selected group of people who are in favor of early retirement, but I would think there may be some people on here who participate because of the focus on financial independence and are not necessarily retired?
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Old 12-19-2014, 04:24 PM   #2
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I think most of the OMY crowd may be like that.

I am nearing my FIRE date. I was able to save 100% of my net pay from 2014 at my real job, max out my 401K, max out my HSA, live a decent life style, plus an additional $7K per month.

For 2015, I have additional outside income sources, and I am planning on saving $11K per month, over and above 100% of my net pay, my 401K and HSA.

My living expenses are less than $40K a year, so, I guess I am FI now too.

I do not like to work, I am just building a nice foundation to cover all foreseeable financial situations.
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Old 12-19-2014, 04:30 PM   #3
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You missed a big overriding factor

YOU might be not be OMY but your spouse is paranoid and is....

so you do OMY in the interests of marital bliss
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Old 12-19-2014, 04:34 PM   #4
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Back in 2006 I determined I was marginally FI. I plan to resign / retire Jan 5, 2015. I have been a OMY-er for nominally 9 years. I definitely have been working for my grandchildren for the last 3 or 4 years.

This isn't really unusual. There is a lot of angst involved in being "comfortable" that you have "enough." Some people are willing to take the leap more readily than others.
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Old 12-19-2014, 04:44 PM   #5
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Yeah, I'm still working a little bit. How can I turn down $200k a year? Basically like 10 minutes of work a day.


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Old 12-19-2014, 04:44 PM   #6
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I know at least one fantastically rich man, 70ish, who continues to go into the office almost every day. He was one of the very early employees of what is now a very large company; he both enjoys his work and feels very connected to the company, its owners, etc.

I likely know several others who have invested assets in the tens of millions who do the same. These are coworkers of variously flavor continuing to work for some combination of the reasons you mentioned; mostly, I think they like the game. Some probably cannot really wrap their head around the idea if ER.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Senator View Post
I think most of the OMY crowd may be like that.

...

My living expenses are less than $40K a year, so, I guess I am FI now too.

I do not like to work, I am just building a nice foundation to cover all foreseeable financial situations.
This definitely describes me and a couple of my friends. Basically, continuing OMY as insurance against various financial situations down the road. One gets to lock in a generous pension at 55; so, even if he doesn't strictly need it, he will likely stick it out for that (several OMY's for him).
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Old 12-19-2014, 05:27 PM   #7
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Yes. But I work when I want at what I want - no stress no pressure no nonsense but it keeps me engaged and amused.


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Old 12-19-2014, 05:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by nuke_diver View Post
YOU might be not be OMY but your spouse is paranoid and is....

so you do OMY in the interests of marital bliss
Or in my case, the DGF of 24+ years and who is 12 years younger wants to quit work when I do. So, the extra year helps build some for that too.
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Old 12-19-2014, 06:03 PM   #9
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I retired in 2011, 7 years after we reached FI. But I wasn't interested in retiring then, and I wanted to increase our (S)WR probability of success to 200%. And theoretically we would have been OK thru the 2008-09 meltdown/GFC, but I am glad I was still working.

DW has now worked 10 years beyond FI...and still going. She's at the peak of her career and still enjoys her job (most days), says she's going for at least OMY.
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Old 12-19-2014, 08:22 PM   #10
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OK, I'll chime in.

We have eased into RE. DW semi-retired two years ago, cutting back to 2 days of work per week, and I downsized my job. We took a 60% pay cut with no adverse affects. In fact, it's been really good....less stress, more travel, no worries. In terms of work, this was a good period of time where she was still connected, still had a company cell phone and computer and was training people to take over her territory, and I took it easy.

In 2015, DW will be fully retired. I will keep working for a while. I vest in a nice retirement system 4/1/2015. I thought April 1 would be my exit date, but my job is so low key and easy at this point that I am thinking of staying through the end of 2015 just because it gives us a bit of a boost in terms of $. Do we need it? No, but it's not real hard on me and in terms of taxes and planning, I can get a little more insurance, a little more money, increase my pension a little, and sell some long-term gains in non taxdeferred accounts at 0% tax. So I am working past FI, but by choice because the pain is minimal for the gain I will receive.

Now I will kick back in my easy job and see how DW adjusts to RE.
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Old 12-19-2014, 08:36 PM   #11
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I worked for many years after I was FI because I enjoyed my work and they were paying be an obscene amount of money. It actually worked to my benefit because I was able to be more candid in weighing in on the issues at work and my team and clients appreciated it. I suspect that in many cases they were thinking the same thing but were reluctant to push ideas that would be somewhat controversial.

Later I downshifted to part-time for many years.

My uncle has been a multi-millionaire for many years but still goes into work every day (often very early). I don't get it but it works for him and he's happy so why not!
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Old 12-19-2014, 11:15 PM   #12
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We have hobby jobs we work at part-time from home. I like the mental work and extra income. I don't put the extra income in the retirement plan so we can use it for extras or additional savings, or not put in any hours weeks we have other stuff going on.
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Old 12-20-2014, 12:31 AM   #13
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I am in that the position. All of the financial calculators, as well as a paid (by Megacorp) financial adviser say that, given our planned RE lifestyle, we are FI now. I like my job, and since becoming FI the stress has gone practically to zero - maybe because I can walk anytime. With that, along with a relatively large income (at times it feels like I'm beng paid big bucks for a hobby) and much lower expenses, I've decided to push my target retirement date to 2017, after our youngest graduates from college, which is a good "marker".

Of course, I am not ignoring the line about "the best laid plans of mice and men". Based on Megacorp decision or a change in personal circumstances that might not hold. But being FI allows me that flexibility. If Megacorp lays me off before that, or makes some change where I might lose some benefit if I do not retire by a certain date, I can make that change and live with that. In the meantime I will keep working at a relaxing pace, building the nest egg, and raising our LBYM level a bit - still saving plenty but spendng more to enjoy things now.
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Old 12-20-2014, 06:03 AM   #14
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Retired in 08 at 60, was off for a year, company had an oop's,they retired too many of us old farts, now work 4 days a month as an independent contractor. Keeps my brain sharp, get to see old friends, and provides
bowling money. The nice thing is I don't have to deal with any management stuff, do the work and leave.
Been there 37 years now, LOL.
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Old 12-20-2014, 06:17 AM   #15
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We retired almost 3 years ago ages 55/54. Nice pension, cheap medical and plenty of money in the bank. I started doing some part time sales and some install work for friends companies and then went and got my real estate license.
I don't work because I need the money but because I like to work.
My wife, on the other hand, settled into retirement just fine.
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Old 12-20-2014, 07:01 AM   #16
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One more thought: although I'm not yet retired I'm am still in favor of ER, and sites like this one helped drive the desire for ER through the path of FI. I don't think I could be flexible in planning a "late ER" retirement without first focusing on the goal of "FI in case of an unplanned early retirement". I hope that makes sense.
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Old 12-20-2014, 09:21 AM   #17
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I reached FI about 3 years before I qualified for retirement benefits so I continued to work. I turned my notice in to coincide with the day after my 56th birthday (I had hit my 20 years of service 3 months before.)

I almost screwed up though. I had read that one could retire the day before their 56th birthday. I emailed HR and laid out my plans including the fact that I was going to postpone my pension. The HR person said everything looked in order and to contact them 2 weeks prior to my birthday.

I decided I wanted a face to face meeting and fortunately the person I had been dealing with was out that day. The new person looked at the email exchange and said that I would be resigning and not retiring (since I was postponing the pension) and therefore needed to retire on or after my birthday.

In other words I almost screwed myself and my spouse out of life time medical benefits by resigning ONE DAY too soon.
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Old 12-20-2014, 09:33 AM   #18
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I think it all boils down to whether you have control over your situation. That's why many people work who don't have to work. They have control over their environment at work. I guess it's not a job or work anymore, then.

For me, since I don't need the money there's no way I would waste my life and time on a job that confines you. Volunteering to do what you enjoy may the way to go, just don't get sucked in.
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Old 12-20-2014, 10:09 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbugdave View Post
I think it all boils down to whether you have control over your situation. That's why many people work who don't have to work. They have control over their environment at work. I guess it's not a job or work anymore, then.
+1

Bingo!
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