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Old 02-07-2012, 09:01 AM   #21
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Hold out for the job where they pay you to surf, and you set your own hours.

...or would that ruin surfing?
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:06 AM   #22
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We have an expression about overcommitment in retirement. One task per day is enough. As the number of tasks increases beyond one, the stress level increases. We look at all requests for volunteer work as it relates to our skills THAT WE WANT TO USE. We are not into doing other things. And we do not mind saying NO. It will be 10 years in August.

Glad to see that you having finally rejected the ideal job Nords. Now get on with retirement! And consider outsourcing those unfinished elements of your projects. They are unfinished for good reason: you do not like doing that part.

We kept our maid when we retired. We had argued that we needed her when we both worked because of time, now we admit that it is because she does what we don't want to do.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:34 AM   #23
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It would appear that my perfect job is: writing. Whether that's books, blogs, or just a "To-Do" list, it seems to satisfy all my wants.
I hear ya! I spend tons of time writing. Books, blogs, lists, plans for the future, you name it. It's satisfying and all I really need. I have been choosing to stay home and write instead of going fishing!!!

I had a friend/coworker stop by the house yesterday. He's a principle for a consultant firm that I used a lot. I was talking to him about a little part-time work last spring. Well the legislature passed a law in June that prohibits me from working on State projects. Just when he needed me he couldn't hire me.

Well, we talked about it and he's bird dogging a non state project and he asked me if I could still work with the CADD software. I could and I told him if he needed me to pick up some slack I would be willing to do it. He's a friend. However, I also told him that if someone else is out there feel free to push the work their way and that he shouldn't feel obligated to find work for me. I don't need it.

Translation: I was being nice. Please don't call me. I'm glad that law was passed.

Honestly, the money appeals to me. He'd pay well and the work would be mostly from home. But every time I think about making money, I think about the work (and all the associated stuff Nords described so well) and it just isn't worth it. I'd think I'd rather be all but broke than work for money again.

Thing is, I'm making a little money writing but that's not work. I be doing it anyway. Engineering is work. No thanks! Good for you Nords! Glad you saw the light. Now, if you go surfing more, I'll go fishing more.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:51 AM   #24
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Nords,

I think I'm made of less sterner stuff than you. Last year I was a Taxaide volunteer which involved doing some studying in November and December, taking the IRS test in January, a couple of preparatory meetings, and then from Feb 1st to April 15th working 10 hours a week (5 hrs, 2 days a week) at the local community center doing tax returns.

It was a job that was right up my street, and I thought I enjoyed doing it at the time, but was relieved when it stopped and we flew to England mid-March. I had to get up early and be at the center for 8am, 2 days a week, and we worked non-stop without a break until 1pm because there was such high demand. That meant missing some classes at the Y that I really liked, and although I cycled 3 miles to and from 'work' it was nowhere near as good as the classes and associated socializing.

This year I started on the training, but quickly became stressed at the thought of it all and decided to call in and quit. I felt embarrased and a little ashamed to begin with but that has passed. I've waited a long time for this ER thing and I really love it and not ready to miss any of it yet.
I think you are made of sterner stuff that I.

I did the very same Taxaide volunteer gig the first year after retiring. It was all I could do to hang in there long enough to finish out tax season. I worked to the last day and then gracefully declined both the Dutch treat 'celebration dinner' the next night and the invitation to return for the second year.

Too much like w*rk...
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Old 02-07-2012, 08:04 PM   #25
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Nords - could it be that all your unfinished projects were your safety net? The old "I can't take this job, I have way too much to do at home" syndrome.
Maybe now that you've been offered and turned down the ideal job, getting those projects done will be a snap.
C'mon over, we have an extra shovel and a spare weedwhacker!

I think that the project backlog helped me sort through my thinking a lot faster. If this had happened after I finished with the house & yard then I'd probably have needed another 48 hours of spouse critique assistance thoughtful contemplation to arrive at the same answer.

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Hold out for the job where they pay you to surf, and you set your own hours.
...or would that ruin surfing?
Been there, done that too... I'd much rather support AccesSurf with my donations than with my sweat equity.

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We kept our maid when we retired. We had argued that we needed her when we both worked because of time, now we admit that it is because she does what we don't want to do.
The week before our familyroom renovation was finished, we got a call from a woman who'd moved to the Mainland over a decade ago. She'd moved back to the islands. She's a housecleaner par excellence, and she was looking for work. Boy, did we have a backlog of sawdust & drywall for her to help shovel.

She's cut back from four hours/week to two, but we've kept her on. Having her in the house every week forces me to get outside to fix sprinklers, clean weedwhacker carburetors, and troubleshoot microwave ovens. And go surfing.

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I hear ya! I spend tons of time writing. Books, blogs, lists, plans for the future, you name it. It's satisfying and all I really need. I have been choosing to stay home and write instead of going fishing!!!
Thing is, I'm making a little money writing but that's not work. I be doing it anyway. Engineering is work. No thanks! Good for you Nords! Glad you saw the light. Now, if you go surfing more, I'll go fishing more.
Exactly!
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Old 02-07-2012, 08:23 PM   #26
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My friend says we're good. We'll get together this week to figure out a different approach to solving this problem.

This topic is one blog post. I'm going to have to come up with a catchy name for the phenomenon... better than "I could SO do this job". Maybe we should call it "the retirement job trap".

This was a big shift for me. I'd always assumed that if the working conditions were perfect then I wouldn't mind working-- and the pay would be just a bonus. But then we've had all the threads here about returning to work, and how much would it have to pay for you to return to work, and what conditions would you want before you returned to work.

Along the way I began to appreciate the benefits of "writing during retirement". Like playing jazz music, it's a career you have to save up for. I can tackle as much as I want, or as little.

I think that's the biggest issue-- being in charge of setting the limits on the scope of the job. If you're working with/for someone else then you lose control of those limits. And if you're giving away the money in the first place then more money has no retention value either. When I retired I found it hard to believe that I could pass up "free money", but that's exactly what's happening. I have enough. "More" is not helping.

I'm going to do a separate post on the hazards of volunteering. At first it seems so easy to volunteer for certain groups or positions, but suddenly things change and you find yourself sucked into the power vacuum or asked to take on additional responsibilities. If you've formed friendships during that period then you're dealing with issues of "retiree guilt" or abandonment, especially if you "have the time" and others do not.

Perhaps given your reason for volunteering in the first place, working there for a brief period becomes the right thing to do-- but it's still way more work than you really wanted to have.

As you can tell, I've become a big fan of giving generously of your money-- not your time.
That's me. I have been giving money to individuals and organizations, and I may even show up at a meeting (if daytime and good weather); but will run from anything resembling a job.
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Old 02-07-2012, 08:43 PM   #27
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Old 02-07-2012, 08:48 PM   #28
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I have been a homebrewer for almost 20 years. I have lost count of the number of times someone has told me I should open my own brewery. They cannot seem to understand that such an endeavor would take away my hobby and replace it with hard labor.
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:42 AM   #29
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I am good at a lot of things. Being an engineer made figuring things out natural. But whenever someone suggests that I could make money at it, I ask them what part of retirement they do not understand. Getting paid means priorities and deadlines. I put up with that at tax time. Even that is too much.
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:05 AM   #30
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I have been a homebrewer for almost 20 years. I have lost count of the number of times someone has told me I should open my own brewery. They cannot seem to understand that such an endeavor would take away my hobby and replace it with hard labor.
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I am good at a lot of things. Being an engineer made figuring things out natural. But whenever someone suggests that I could make money at it, I ask them what part of retirement they do not understand. Getting paid means priorities and deadlines. I put up with that at tax time. Even that is too much.
Absolutely - to both of these posts. Although I was laid off from my dream job, it lasted so long that I had plenty of time to get the thing that drove me to want to do it in the first place, out of my system (mostly). I've been told many times that I should get back into that line of work (DJ/voice-over/production) because, for many, that is how they knew me, and they think I'm good at it. Yes, I can do that line of work, but life is short, so why would I need to spend another 20 years doing the same thing?

I have a blog about my hobby of ham radio that is doing quite well. It's a niche interest, but has gotten more attention/page views etc than I expected it to. The other day, an electronics distributor asked if I would consider reviewing some of their offerings on my blog in return for free product. It felt good that they thought the blog was worthy enough for them to ask me, but there's just no way I will do it. If I start accepting freebies and putting them on my site then my hobby blog, which I enjoy writing, will lose some of it's integrity and will start to feel like a job. Why the heck would I do that?

You really need to get some more surfing time in Nords
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:27 AM   #31
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I have been a homebrewer for almost 20 years. I have lost count of the number of times someone has told me I should open my own brewery. They cannot seem to understand that such an endeavor would take away my hobby and replace it with hard labor.
I think that's the issue I had with not doing computer forensics after I retired. The issue was that I didn't want to deal with the marketing end of it, the mechanics of running what is a small business and all the stuff that one has to do with that. Some guys I worked with are doing that and it's working out well for them. Others not so well.

I enjoy photography but loathe the idea of doing all the business-end stuff that goes along with the marketing, seeking/keeping clients, equipment amortization/depreciation schedules and all that stuff. From reading about pro photographers, I get the sense that they spend 1/4 to 1/3 of their time behind a lens. The rest is running a business.

Several people have told me that I could make a good living house painting. (I'll spend two/three days prepping a room's wall surfaces before opening a can of paint, and that's what makes the final job look good.) But just because I'm good at something doesn't mean I like it.

So I'll continue doing what I'm doing until I don't feel like doing it anymore.
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Old 02-08-2012, 03:56 PM   #32
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Gee Nords I thought you worked harder than anyone I know of to maintain your status as a bum. Don't let me down now.
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:22 PM   #33
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I'm going to have to come up with a catchy name for the phenomenon... better than "I could SO do this job". Maybe we should call it "the retirement job trap".
I'm thinking a morph of "nature abhors a vacuum". "Your friends and acquaintances abhor your not working." "Hey, you're not doing anything (that I consider worthy to me/society)...." "Get a job!"

Ah, I have it: "Working Sucks: How To Avoid the Vacuum"

Edit: Or "why" or "when" to avoid....
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:05 PM   #34
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The other day, an electronics distributor asked if I would consider reviewing some of their offerings on my blog in return for free product. It felt good that they thought the blog was worthy enough for them to ask me, but there's just no way I will do it. If I start accepting freebies and putting them on my site then my hobby blog, which I enjoy writing, will lose some of it's integrity and will start to feel like a job. Why the heck would I do that?
Another way to handle that would be to warn the manufacturer that you're tough but fair. They don't care, they're just taking it out of the marketing budget.

After you review the equipment, you give it away to the lucky prizewinner who wins the contest on your blog.

This way you'll have plenty of readers and someone will always want the free stuff, even if it's crappy.

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You really need to get some more surfing time in Nords
25+ feet on the North Shore, 1-3 feet on the south shore, 75 degrees in the water. This has been a tough week for geezer surfers, but I have high hopes for Friday...

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Ah, I have it: "Working Sucks: How To Avoid the Vacuum"
Perfect!
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:33 PM   #35
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Nords,
I feel your pain. I also have people that try to suck me back into the working world all the time, and I usually say thanks, but I only like to work on things (I own). This has worked quite well on several occasions. Having control/management of deadlines and due dates that are personally prescribed is the way to go.

By the way, tomorrow, I'm going to meet a friend for a few days to surf a perfect right hand reef break on a small island off the Pacific coast of Panama on my friends boat...low 80s water temp, mid 80s air temp. Many times in the past we surf (alone) at this spot or a few other guys out. The great recession has kept the crowds down over the past several years.

Surf
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:38 PM   #36
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Good post Nords.

It reminds me of Bob from Pasadena. He used to live in his garage, talk with whoever came to visit and drink beer. One of his hobbies was to play dead for search and rescue dogs to find him up in the mountains.
Bob used to wake up at dawn and go around to the neighborhood construction sights and "inspect" the progress. I suggested that maybe he could get paid to do his daily inspections. People might find the updates valuable. He said that getting paid for it would make it work and stongly implied that the experience would then be tarnished beyond repair. I did not fully understand. I guess I still do not "know" his point of view but I am much closer to understanding him now than I was years ago.
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:50 PM   #37
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By the way, tomorrow, I'm going to meet a friend for a few days to surf a perfect right hand reef break on a small island off the Pacific coast of Panama on my friends boat...low 80s water temp, mid 80s air temp. Many times in the past we surf (alone) at this spot or a few other guys out. The great recession has kept the crowds down over the past several years.
Excellent! Is that a liveaboard or do you go ashore at the end of the day?

Our "Bob" is Uncle Bob at White Plains Beach, who shows up there every morning near dawn to deliver the surf report for a local website. Of course if the report at White Plains is good then the doesn't get to the other beaches for a couple hours...
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:27 AM   #38
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Excellent! Is that a liveaboard or do you go ashore at the end of the day?
We go ashore and stay at my friends house on the mainland, 15-20 minute boat ride out to the islands.

Being surfers, as you know, we want the flexibility to be able to (postpone) all projects and to-do lists when the surf is good. Friday-Saturday are lining up to be head high to a few feet overhead here.
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