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Semi-RE - did it meet your expectations?
Old 07-12-2007, 10:46 AM   #1
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Semi-RE - did it meet your expectations?

I am fairly new here, and have been learning a lot from the money/life/health boards. I realize most folks here that have FIREd went straight fom FT w*rk to FIRE, but we are planning several years of semiRE first.
We feel that half time in non-managerial positions will mean less stress, more time with the kids and each other, and a way to enjoy life more without waiting to reach FIRE. DH is 52, so if we wait for FIRE it might become FIRA - fin ind ret "average age."
Our expenses will be less when we semiRE, so we plan for our incomes to cover everything, without needing to use savings. On the other hand we won't be contributing to savings, so a down market could postpone full retirement.

My question is for anyone that has semiREd - did it work for you? In what ways was it better/worse/different than expected? Did you wish you had stayed FT longer to reach FIRE earlier?

Thanks!
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Old 07-12-2007, 10:53 AM   #2
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My question is for anyone that has semiREd - did it work for you? In what ways was it better/worse/different than expected? Did you wish you had stayed FT longer to reach FIRE earlier?
I don't have any part-time experience to share, but have you gone through the stories and the ideas in ESRBob's "Work Less, Live More"?
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Old 07-12-2007, 11:07 AM   #3
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I am currently working 3 days per week - Tuesday-Wednesday at the office, and Thursday at home. I'm loving it. I really like my job; I don't think I'd do it if I didn't like what I do. But I have 4-day weekends every week, and lots of time to do what I want. It's really a good deal, for me, for right now. I'm also 52. DH is still working FT, 1 mile from home, doing something he enjoys. I think if he could get a PT gig there, he'd do it. We were FI before I went PT, but we are still saving at a pretty decent rate. We live way below our means, and have for a very long time. (well, except for the 2 new cars we just bought... having an income helps justify these... )

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Old 07-12-2007, 11:12 AM   #4
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Yes, in the past few months I have read his and several other books often recommended here. They have definitely educated us, helped us feel more comfortable with our semiRE plans, and get our investments in line with our plans.
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Old 07-12-2007, 11:18 AM   #5
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Here is a thread with a poll and all, about phasing into retirement with part time or occasional work: part time or occassional work
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Old 07-12-2007, 11:27 AM   #6
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In one consulting assignment, I was drafted as interim CEO. I did not apply for the job permanently (in the wrong city) but was kept on for six months to advise the new permanent CEO.

Very complex, having been in management then around as a worker. Fellow workers are uncomfortable and new management have this successful former manager hanging around. If you want to try it, by all means change companies. Otherwise you may encounter more stress rather than less.

No matter what you say, people will wonder what you did wrong to lose your management position. They all aspire to the power & privilege. What is wrong with you?
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Old 07-13-2007, 05:25 PM   #7
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This is something I think I will do when I approach FIRE, but I think it would be reallly hard to find decent part time employment. I am a designated accountant so presumably I could work part time at an accounting firm or do some accounting/tax work on the side, but it's a lot harder than it sounds I think. On the corporate side, I don't see anyone in my company that has a part time position (at least on the admin/accounting side of things) and I think once you get to more senior positions in your career you become a "go to guy" and that usually means 5+ days a week at work...
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Old 07-13-2007, 07:31 PM   #8
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I think once you get to more senior positions in your career you become a "go to guy" and that usually means 5+ days a week at work...
So true! I keep telling then I'm "part time" but they just keep piling on the work! When the time comes I plan to quit, move away, and then dabble in consulting at my own pace, and only if I feel like it.
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Old 07-20-2007, 07:07 PM   #9
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My wife and I did an early retirement 2 1/2 years ago at 52. Both of us now 3 days a week with her employer providing the insurance. Was a bit scary at first but the planning we did before hand paid off and we haven't looked back. Every day is Friday as we have everyother day off. We intend to do this for another 5 years then its full time for us. We have no regrets.
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Old 07-25-2007, 09:21 PM   #10
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I did something sorta like that. I retired from my primary job (Naval Officer) when I was 50. I planned to take 90 days off before I got a job. It turned into something like 105 days. I worked the first job for 2 years and decided I wanted a change. I quit without having another job. I had about a 2 month hiatius and then got my next job. Worked at that for about 2 years and quit to take another job (which I had already lined up - no chance to take too much time off.) After about two years there, I quit and had about 3 months off. Almost didn't go back to work but I took a job which I only kept for about a year (I had "misunderestimated" the lenght of the commute and it turned out to be too much.) Again, almost didn't go back to work but was convinced by a friend to go to work for him. It didn't work out and I retired for good about a year later. Since then I've been happily retired for good with no need or desire to have a job.

Interestingly, although this sounds like the pattern of a guy who can't keep a job, every one of my employers tried really hard to get me to stay on.

My conclusions:
- I got a chance to try retirement, albeit only for a few months at a time, on several occasions. It always was nice and it just reinforced that I wanted to be retired permanently.
- I wouldn't recommend what I did to a person who doesn't already have a pension/source of income. I was, fortunately, in a position where I didn't really need the job.

jtmitch
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:41 AM   #11
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jmitch - I loved your post. That's the cool thing about FI - you can try out stuff, and if you work for a while (PT, FT, whatever), and decide it's not for you, there is no pressure to do something else. Being FI gives you options.

CJ
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:25 PM   #12
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I semi-retired in January--I went to 3 days a week (Mon., Tues, Thurs) hoping it would make the w*rk more tolerable. I was really ready to quit, but we still needed the money, and so I figured part-time would make the unbearable job bearable. It didn't. I don't really feel semi-retired because I still think about the j*b most every day. My experience is that part time w*rk is still w*rk. Ugh.
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:59 PM   #13
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Rocketdog - I am curious if your PT w*rk is at the same company, and same position, as FT?

I went to a 30 hour week a few years ago (after baby) and I completely agree. My responsibilities were not really reduced with the hours and pay. Then last year we moved out of state so I now do a 30 hour week from home, with reduced responsibilities. It is much better this way, although I do a fair amount of w*rk at night, so it sometimes feels like I am w*rking all the time.

When DH (social worker) goes PT in a few years, he plans to get a counseling position, working with clients again instead of managing programs/budgets/etc. This is not uncommon in his field. We expect it will be a better transition to PT than I had. Also he plans to work no more than 20 hours, so that should help too.

Brenda
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Old 07-26-2007, 10:48 PM   #14
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Yes, I still work for the same company--I just switched to part-time. I think that's part of the problem--just like you found out--the work load was somewhat reduced (especially at first) but then started creeping up and up. I was trying to do my old job but with fewer hours and less pay.
I think starting over someplace new sounds like a big hassle, though. I guess I'll just tough it out until RE early next year.
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