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Redefining ER "work" after intermission
Old 10-01-2014, 09:13 PM   #1
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Redefining ER "work" after intermission

Just read an interesting article ("The New Retirement Workscape: An Antidote To Aging") from a few months ago. I couldn't find a previous thread about it. A highlight:

Quote:
"A new generation of working retirees is redrawing the retirement roadmap to include four different phases: (1) Pre-retirement, (2) Career Intermission, (3) Reengagement, and (4) Leisure. ... Although the length of this recharging period varies based on individual needs and desires, the average career intermission is now 29 months."
I know many of us consider "working retiree" an oxymoron, but put that aside for the moment. Having just retired, I'm curious about that "career intermission" idea and am surprised the average is as long as 29 months. I would have thought it was more like 18 months, based on anecdotal evidence.

Now, as to what constitutes "working." As you can see, the article uses a much expanded definition:

Quote:
"What's particularly revolutionary is how these retirees are working: They told us it's a chance to work 'on your own terms.' They generally don't want to work as much, or as hard -- or even at the same thing they used to do. They see it as an opportunity to pursue entrepreneurial ambitions or to use their skills to give back to their communities or worthy causes.

"Compared to their core careers, people in the re-engagement phase are nearly five times more likely to work part-time (83% vs. 17%) and three times more likely to be self-employed (32% vs. 11%). They told us that after a lifetime of work, they felt they didn't need to prove anything to anybody and are now more interested in crafting a better work/leisure balance."
If you're further into your retirement, what's your experience been? Did you have an intermission, and if so, how long did it last for you?
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Old 10-01-2014, 09:21 PM   #2
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I can't pontificate since I'm still a little way out from retirement but I would think that if I've been retired for 23 months, I'm going to find it very difficult to find motivation to find a j+b of ANY KIND.

Sent from my mobile device so please excuse grammatical errors.
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Old 10-01-2014, 09:27 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by wishin&hopin View Post
If you're further into your retirement, what's your experience been? Did you have an intermission, and if so, how long did it last for you?
It has lasted 9 1/2 years so far, with no end in sight.
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Old 10-01-2014, 09:35 PM   #4
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I retired from my career job 6/2/06 and enjoyed my intermission until 03/10. I have been working part-time at an easy job in order to finish getting my social security credits. I should have my 40 quarters of coverage sometime around May of next year. We shall see if I quit working then or not. I like my job and my coworkers and the patients, but I do miss not having a schedule.
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Old 10-01-2014, 09:37 PM   #5
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I work part-time from home. I plan to continue this and actually decided to ramp the hours back up a bit until it is no longer profitable or my brain deteriorates, whichever comes first.

I actually interviewed for a volunteer job the other week, which helped clarify in my head that if I am going to work part-time I'd rather get paid, and I don't want to do anything with set hours, an application form or a boss.
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Old 10-01-2014, 09:54 PM   #6
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I view these "prescription" articles or books as by someone who still needs some income.

It's sort of like the "Stages of Grief" thing. Everyone's different.
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Old 10-01-2014, 11:20 PM   #7
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Being new at ER, I am finding doing some contract work for a week or two every now and then with gaps of 2-4 months is ok. It usually is a bit hard the first day to recall how to do stuff, then it comes back and feels really good to make something.
This work/no work thing is odd, because when I mow the lawn I don't feel I'm working, but the landscape guy in the truck driving by sure feels its work.
So if we all did nothing that one could consider work, then what would be left? As some people are paid (work) to fish/hunt/watch tv/test cookware/test recipes etc
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Old 10-02-2014, 06:43 AM   #8
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I consider myself "semi-retired." The 3-day-a-week consulting job is now into its 7th month; I have reduced my contribution to 2 days a week, starting next week. I enjoy the work and my co-workers, but "turf wars" are holding up the portion that comes to me.

While the extra $$ have come in very handy this year, it is annoying to pay into SS without any chance of receiving it...since I only have 10 quarters to my name, and don't plan on working 30 more quarters

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Old 10-02-2014, 06:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wishin&hopin View Post
....I'm curious about that "career intermission" idea and am surprised the average is as long as 29 months. ....

If you're further into your retirement, what's your experience been? Did you have an intermission, and if so, how long did it last for you?
I must be abnormal because I have been retired for 34 months and the thought of returning to work in any form isn't anywhere to be found.

Besides, between new hobbies, projects around the house and doing projects for others, I'm not sure where I would find the time to work.
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:46 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
I consider myself "semi-retired." The 3-day-a-week consulting job is now into its 7th month; I have reduced my contribution to 2 days a week, starting next week. I enjoy the work and my co-workers, but "turf wars" are holding up the portion that comes to me.

While the extra $$ have come in very handy this year, it is annoying to pay into SS without any chance of receiving it...since I only have 10 quarters to my name, and don't plan on working 30 more quarters
Amethyst
You only have to earn approximately $4,000 in a year. While they call it quarters, that is just old terminology. You could earn $4,000 in 1 month and quit work and you would get the 4 quarters for the year.
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:55 AM   #11
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It has lasted 9 1/2 years so far, with no end in sight.
+1 For me, 5 years with the same results.

Honestly sometimes I think those who write these articles just CAN'T STAND the idea that people still can and often want to retire like their predecessors did 20, 30, or 50 years ago or more.
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Old 10-02-2014, 09:53 AM   #12
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I'm only 34, so take what I say with an adequately sized grain of salt. After I called it quits, I was done working. Or so I thought. After about six months, someone approached me with an interesting opportunity for some freelance work that would pay a bit more than what I was earning in my old career but proved more interesting. And it offered a very flexible schedule, no real commitment, and intellectual stimulation of the sort I get from this board all the time (without getting paid).

Then along came another offer with better terms. These days I'm working 4-8 hours/month on average with perhaps an hour of admin BS (invoicing, accounting, project management) that isn't entirely unenjoyable. The pay is enough to cover 10-15% of our somewhat skinflint ER budget without really detracting from ER enjoyment.

So far the side hustle hasn't inconvenienced me. "I'm traveling next month so I may not be able to get back to you" or "I'll be out of the country sans internet all next week" are good enough excuses for my "clients".

I really doubt I'll ever go back to a traditional working environment (unless out of necessity). Even something part time like 20 hrs/wk with a fixed schedule sounds crappy. However I haven't ruled out other forms of employment as long as the employer/client is flexible. If a good friend or former colleague approached me today with a kick ass idea that sounds fun, I just might join them on an endeavor.
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Old 10-02-2014, 10:12 AM   #13
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Eased into it about 3 years ago. Ain't goin' back. No way, no how. I'd really like to find some volunteer work I'd enjoy for the social aspects but no luck. If it requires me to be somewhere on someone else's schedule, no thanks. I truly enjoyed my career up until last few years, and truly thought it was important work (it was) but now it just seems like, well, a lot of others could do it so what was the big deal? I've dropped my engineering license, haven't been to any professional society meetings, and have no desire to do so. I'm done. I realized we're all different, but that's my take on it for me.....
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Old 10-02-2014, 10:29 AM   #14
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I am still working for now, no more than 2 years planned until full retirement. I have a small home-based side business and will continue that once retired, so technically I would fit the definition of work provided in the article. I do the home-based business mainly for the tax benefits, certainly not enough to affect my retirement decision.

I also view retirement as working because you want to, not because you have to. So if someone wants to have a job for any reason, after retirement from their original career, then it is by choice. For some the choice is monetary (need/want the money), others it is for fun or social reasons, some may be for structure having a schedule, or other reasons.
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Old 10-02-2014, 10:30 AM   #15
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My sister has taken several unpaid sabbaticals from being a teacher. She's well thought of by her principal so getting her position back has never been an issue. She was able to take time off when my grandmother could no longer live independently and moved in with her. She took time off when her mother in law was in decline, since her husband had a gig that was mostly out of the country - so visits/caregiving fell on my sis. We had long talks about how these sabbaticals allowed her to recharge her love of teaching... and that I hadn't had that opportunity in my engineering career. I guess these gaps were her "intermission".

A friend/former coworker is getting ready to quit. He can't afford to retire - but can afford to take a year off and recharge... He's desperate to get out of the workplace and travel for a period of time. This will be his intermission.
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Old 10-02-2014, 10:42 AM   #16
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I've been what I call semi-retired for 14 years now, left my career job at age 50. Each year from Jan to April (a call it my "dog days of winter" job) I'm working and while I need to commute to an office, they allow me to largely set my own schedule, but the more the better. Fortunately, I can largely avoid all the regular office BS as they know I don't need the job for the money, not interested in a career. Only go in when there is work to do and usually start out at about 15 hours a week, ramp up to 50 hours, then back down to zero. Haven't had a job evaluation ever, figured they don't want me anymore when the ask for the keys back
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Old 10-02-2014, 11:57 AM   #17
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Sunset, thank you for that thought. If I were only 2 years short of SS credit, it could work. Thing is, my job applies recent, perishable experience to a specific project, and I expect to be replaced by a full-time career employee in a few months (employers have been open about this). Although I might be able to extend my current gig into 2015 to earn $4,000.00, I can't come back in 2016-2021 for another $4,000.00 per year (especially since we are about 60% determined to move to another state).

I've tried to think of other options to work a few weeks a year for 7 or 8 more years, but nothing realistic has occurred to me.

Amethyst

Quote:
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You only have to earn approximately $4,000 in a year. While they call it quarters, that is just old terminology. You could earn $4,000 in 1 month and quit work and you would get the 4 quarters for the year.
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:17 PM   #18
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I have given my notice for a July 1, 2015 retirement date. My clients and coworkers all want me to "be available" for projects and do consulting w**k. I heard from a coworker that the budget for next year includes a consulting item to keep me in place for part of the year. My retirement plan included some work (I do taxes and would like to keep my hand involved for a time for the enjoyment of it), but not for the money. I am torn about whether I should consult for my current employer (I will miss my clients if I don't), work for another company (already have someone asking me for some time in the Jan to April timeframe), or just say screw it and just do no w**k and find some volunteer and other things to keep busy.

This is somewhat off topic, but after July 1, it will be back on topic!!


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Old 10-02-2014, 12:29 PM   #19
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It has lasted 9 1/2 years so far, with no end in sight.
Perhaps you need an intercession
to get a rescission
on your decision
for no intermission.
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:37 PM   #20
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When I went in to talk about a volunteer job, they were giving the cr*ppier jobs to the new volunteers and the more fun jobs to the long standing volunteers. It is their nonprofit, so I guess if they want to operate like that it is their choice, but good luck recruiting new volunteers with a caste system in place from day one.

So for brain work and side income I am going to continue the hobby jobs with my own hours, no commute and no caste system and for social time we're sticking to hobby and social clubs where we can attend the meetings and events or not, depending on what else comes up.
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