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Question for those who did a partial RE
Old 08-29-2004, 08:06 AM   #1
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Question for those who did a partial RE

I've seen a few people mention that they went into a partial RE mode for a few years, then later fully retiring.

I'd like to know what made you decide to transition. Were you just sick of working full-time? Did you have a nice portfolio but not enough to fully RE, so you just wanted to let it grow for a few years while you lived off a part-time job? Did you just want to transition into the retirement lifestyle?

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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE
Old 08-29-2004, 08:21 AM   #2
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE

I initially thought I would take a 1-year sabbatical and then start another business. * *That was 2.25 years ago. *I still think about starting businesses every once in a while, but passive investing and goofing off is a lot easier and more fun

The triggers for me were turning 40 (mid-life crisis?), realizing I had sufficient assets to cruise for a *long* time, feeling a little burned-out on my tech career, assuming that any stock-option upside was at least two years off (which was two years too long for me to wait), and a really nasty commute.

It was quite a mindset change from "sabbatical" to retired. * Part of that change came from realizing how toxic the daily grind really was even though it felt pretty comfortable at the time. * Part came from having a kid and really enjoying the time with her. * Part came just from the passing of time and brushing off the social "stigma" associated with retiring early. * And part came from hanging out on this board with somewhat like-minded folks.
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE
Old 08-29-2004, 10:46 AM   #3
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE

Change Wabmesters name to mine and its the same story.

I intended to take a year off with pay, reconsider things, and then proceed.

A big factor, like Wabs, was realizing that my stock options for the next two years were underwater and that my bonuses would be zip as a result of the company struggling financially.

I gritted my teeth and did that job for high six figure income. Theres no way in the world I was going to do it for salary.

About six months in, I did some envelope math and realized I really didnt have to go back...at least not for a long time. And I wasnt bored or sick of rattling around the house like the last pea in a big can.

A couple of years later, I discovered Safe Withdrawal Rates. Good thing too, because I was in danger of completing a successful ER without even knowing what the hell they were. God knows what might have happened
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE
Old 08-29-2004, 01:09 PM   #4
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE

When I first started thinking of ER, I invisioned it as a stop-cold-turkey-have-a-party scenario. As my ER mind matured, I decided I didn't have to work as hard as I could and then make a sudden stop.

Being self-employed has allowed me to work fewer hours and in 4 years cut my workload to the point where I will only work single-digit hours a week. My plan is to completely stop at 42.

I have noticed that it wasn't the work that I minded, but the hours of my life the work consumed. Just by the small reduction in work hours, I've found a fantastic balance between work and free-time. I don't know who invented the 40 hour workweek, but I can tell you it was one of the worst inventions of all time. If people just worked 20 hours a week, life would be so much better. I guess that may be easier said in theory for the population at large, but it works for me now.

Even though my plan is to stop working completely at 42, I'm open to the possibility that if I can work 5 to 10 hours a week and generate $500 or more a week doing so, then I may continue beyond age 42 until I get sick of it. At that point the money will all be gravy and will either be added to the pot or will be considered additional discretionary spending, not sure yet.
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE
Old 08-29-2004, 05:48 PM   #5
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE

Unexpected mulitple layoffs did it for us. Then we found low tax rates plus paid off debts plus independent kids meant we didn't really need to scramble for full time jobs again anyway. And my husband had a partial pension benefit including the possibility of buying health insurance.
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE
Old 08-30-2004, 09:07 PM   #6
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE

I'm working up to one year (Oct 1) of dropping to self-employed, part-time. My circumstances were unusual, I'd guess: I was WAY overstressed by coping with an emotionally draining job/workaholism (11 years at this job), a painfully slow divorce, and my sister's illness and death. It got so bad that I just couldn't stand having the responsibilities I did at work (and I wasn't holding them up very well). With the time I spent at my sister's house (out of state), and later as executrix of her estate, I was already working part-time.

AND, my sister left me money. So there was a cushion to start in private practice (I'm a psychologist), set my own hours, decline difficult work, and spend more time skating, exercising (well, in theory anyway), hanging out in the house in a t-shirt and shorts, and seeing more of my kid. A newspaper article steered me to FIRECALC, and I found this site, and realized that I might work toward not working at all. Which has looked more appealing since I abruptly quit being workaholic.

I'm actively working on getting other streams of income going: I'm buying investment property, applying to teach online university courses, selling antiques on eBay. It will be some time before I can stop working, but I am out of my own particular overcooked work situation. Thank goodness!

Anne
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE
Old 08-31-2004, 03:18 AM   #7
 
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE

Hello Anne. Your life sounds good. I was struck by
"abruptly quit being workaholic" as that is my story as well. If you are like me, you will need to be on guard
against backsliding. After not working at all for 6 years,
and getting 6 years older it is getting easier, but my old
tendencies will live as long as I do. For example,
yesterday I was running a few errands in town.
Nothing special, no time pressure at all. I found myself rushing to get to the post office to mail 2 letters.
I immediately slowed my pace by half. Being a Type A
was very useful in business although I think it took a
toll on my health.

John Galt
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE
Old 08-31-2004, 05:29 PM   #8
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE

My work now has its deadlines and occasional spurts of major pressure (depositions and trials, to be specific. Testifying therein). But most of the time I take it quite slow. I have been driven since college; it took quite a jolt to get me off that speeding train.

I do have to watch out. Now that I have something to contrast it with, I can see what a toll it took, to work that hard under so much pressure.

And I catch myself hurrying for no reason, too!

Anne
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE
Old 08-31-2004, 09:40 PM   #9
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE

Quote:
I've seen a few people mention that they went into a partial RE mode for a few years, then later fully retiring.

I'd like to know what made you decide to transition. *Were you just sick of working full-time? *Did you have a nice portfolio but not enough to fully RE, so you just wanted to let it grow for a few years while you lived off a part-time job? *Did you just want to transition into the retirement lifestyle?
Okay . . . I am going to confess something. I am not completely and fully retired. I still do some things that pay me (although I do not need or count on the income). Among the things I still do is helping a couple of start-up electronics companies with technology managment. I do this only when I want to and I let the people I work with know that I will only work when I want to -- never because they think they need me. I travel and take as much vacation as I want. I find that I enjoy the work. I had enjoyed electrical engineering early in my career, but I did not enjoy it anymore when I decided to quit a few years ago. One nice thing about working infrequently is that I never work on things with critical short-term deadlines. My time is best used to look at long term strategies, intellectual property positions, etc. and that's what I like to do. Details have to be handled by others.

The work is rewarding financially. This year my sub-quarter time effort will earn me about 2/3 of my required living expenses. It allows me to launder some of my taxable investments into tax-sheltered investments since I live off my investments now, and put my entire pay into a 401K. Both companies have also made it so that I will benefit significantly if they do make it big and go public some day.

I assume that the companies that are willing to put up with me under these conditions will eventually either go belly-up or will reach a point when they don't need me. Similarly, the time I spend with these companies could start to look like work eventually. When that happens, I will move on.

So while my original intention was to retire outright, I have transitioned back to working part time because it was fun, easy and stimulating.

I realize that this is blaspheme to many of the posters here. I may feel the same way in a few months or years. Then I will walk away and pursue other interests.
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Hey, SG, that's the difference between...
Old 08-31-2004, 10:55 PM   #10
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Hey, SG, that's the difference between...

... an avocation and a job. The former appear to be all too rare.
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE
Old 09-01-2004, 11:55 AM   #11
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE

Donald Sutherland is pointing at SG and shrieking!
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE
Old 09-01-2004, 12:52 PM   #12
 
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE

Quote:
applying to teach online university courses
Anne
I looked into teaching at the University of Phoenix. I interviewed with them, and they wanted to hire me. After reviewing the compensation of the executives I decided that their business is exploitative. The pay for instructors is very low, and they don't offer any benefits or stock options. The tuition for students is high. The Apollo Group is making tons of money, and the execs are handsomely rewarded with high salaries and stock options. What they offer is the 'prestige' of University Instructor. No thanks.


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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE
Old 09-01-2004, 02:00 PM   #13
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE

Quote:
...The tuition for students is high. *The Apollo Group is making tons of money, and the execs are handsomely rewarded with high salaries and stock options. *What they offer is the 'prestige' of University Instructor. *No thanks.
hmmm... sounds very familiar to most for-profit institutions.
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE
Old 09-01-2004, 02:59 PM   #14
 
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE

Quote:
So while my original intention was to retire outright, I have transitioned back to working part time because it was fun, easy and stimulating.

I realize that this is blaspheme to many of the posters here. I may feel the same way in a few months or years. Then I will walk away and pursue other interests.
SG,

Not blaspheme at all. If it works for you it works

Myself, I tried the part time consulting stuff, and it got to be an interruption. Most of the projects that I got were short lived, expected to be done immediately and high pressure.

I decided to bag it this year and go fishing for good
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE
Old 09-01-2004, 03:54 PM   #15
 
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE

I'm with Cut-throat.................. I did the consulting thing.
It got in the way of ER, although the money was good.
Anyway, I was offered about the best package of my life
to come back full time. I did not seriously consider it.
Sure, it was big money. So what? If you can do what you want without it, why work? Prestige? Something
to get you out of bed? It may work for some. Not for me.

John Galt
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE
Old 09-01-2004, 09:53 PM   #16
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE

John Blake wrote:
Quote:
I looked into teaching at the University of Phoenix. I interviewed with them, and they wanted to hire me. After reviewing the compensation of the executives I decided that their business is exploitative. The pay for instructors is very low, and they don't offer any benefits or stock options. The tuition for students is high.
I decided to let the university fly me out to Minnesota and see what they have to offer. I'm careful about my time, though, and I'm not going to pick up anything that will eat up time without paying handsomely. My CV is fat enough; I don't need any university credentials to fatten it further.

Thanks for the heads up, though, John!

Anne
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE
Old 09-03-2004, 05:46 AM   #17
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE

Salary Guru,
RIght on, man.
I know I take some heat here for being 'semi-working bob' but i genuinely enjoy the companionship and a little sense of keeping my brain engaged with something besides home repair and hobby projects or kids activities. but it may be transitional -- or it may have been because of marginal financial need. Each year that goes by I find the type of work I want to do shifts more toward artistic/creative/non-paid (writing a book, teaching yoga, and turning my sculpture hobby into a mini-money-maker) and away from the business/finance/consulting stuff that I used to do. (helping little companies raise venture capital or get acquired). At some point I may be too far gone to go back there but for now the blend works. I spend about 10 hours a week in the part time work stuff, and it remains very much on my own terms.

ESRBob
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE
Old 09-06-2004, 04:55 AM   #18
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE

Seems to me that a part time job, if enjoyable and not high pressure can be OK The cushion of some x-tra $ helps when the ER is new and you are uncertain. The thought of running around in circles and responding to idiotic bosses when working FT is not what I am speaking about.
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE
Old 09-06-2004, 06:35 AM   #19
 
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE

I have posted before about the consulting gig that
dropped in my lap after I semiretired. This was
one of the best pieces of serendipity in my life.
Unfortunately, I mostly squandered the chance to stay
focused on ER and mostly backslid into my old
high consumption lifestyle. A major mistake. If I had
remained focused, the last 4 years working could have set us
up in fine fashion. Instead, I sailed into full retirement
on a wing and a prayer.

John Galt
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE
Old 09-06-2004, 09:48 AM   #20
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Re: Question for those who did a partial RE

Quote:
Salary Guru,
. . .i genuinely enjoy the companionship and a little sense of keeping my brain engaged . . .*but it may be transitional . . . . *Each year that goes by I find the type of work I want to do shifts more toward artistic/creative/non-paid . . . *At some point I may be too far gone to go back there but for now the blend works. *I spend about 10 hours a week in the part time work stuff, *and it remains very much on my own terms.

ESRBob
Wow. That pretty much describes my situation right now.
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