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Old 10-11-2015, 09:13 PM   #21
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I worked PT at my old job for 7 years (2001-2008) before fully retiring in late 2008. The main reason was the commute, a long, tiring, and sometimes sickening.


My 7 PT years were in 3 parts. The first one was in 2001-2003 which was a mostly telecommuting deal where I went to the office 1 day a week and worked from home for the remaining ~14 hours of my total 20 hours. It was nice reducing my commute from 5 days a week to 1 day a week and being able to have lots of free time during the week to pursue other hobbies and interests. I was able to retain most of my benefits, at least on a prorated basis.


That lasted until late 2003 when the company ended all open-ended telecommuting. I could still work 20 hours per week but had to make 3 trips to the office to fulfill them instead of 1 trip before. I hated that but put up with it until 2007 when I asked to reduce my weekly hours worked to 12, or two 6-hour days. I had to give up my company-subsidized health insurance and went on COBRA for 18 months. I gave up most of my remaining benefits, too, but still earned enough to cover my expenses.


In those 7 PT years, I was able to shed some of my less desirable work tasks but it was still becoming less enjoyable over time. So, after 17 months of that, and with my company stock's value skyrocketing, I ERed at the end of October, 2008.
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Old 10-11-2015, 09:46 PM   #22
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I semi-retired aka w*rking part-time in April. I hope to fully retire by the end of the year. I no longer enjoy work although I am very involved and occupied when I am there.


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Old 10-11-2015, 10:23 PM   #23
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I have worked 30 hours per week for the past 2 years with a former business I used to own. After this October I agreed to work 16-20 hours a week following up on projects for a satisfactory hourly wage, with a lot of flexibility for time away. Current plan is to do this until late 2016.
I don't really 'need' the income but it will be appreciated. I have thought about law school or volunteering for certain causes but for now I really need the time to regroup. I never realized how tied I was to the business I used to own. I am really enjoying doing things I had never had time before, but still feel a little guilty being idle in the afternoon. But, I certainly don't want to go back to w@rk!
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:46 PM   #24
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How many here are semi-retired or aiming to be?

By semi-retired, I mean working part-time (20 hrs/week) or less. Usually you're working because you want to, rather than because you have to, but some semi-retirees will be doing it because they have to.
I have probably a somewhat uncommon situation: I have a unique, very desirable and sought-after set of skills involving design of construction projects as well as coordinating them in 3 dimensions. To complicate things, I work for my family's construction company and am in the process of finalizing taking an ownership stake.

They are still finalizing the buy-sell agreement, but they are including the provision that in order to be a shareholder, you have to work for the company. If you leave to go work for someone else (I left in the past when the stress/BS/lots of variables drove me out), or retire, then you officially have to sell your shares back to the other shareholders for half of what you paid for them.

I currently do a little moonlighting work for an engineering firm for design, so I do have some resume experience to try and find a little job here and here....but the problem is that my type of work isn't something you can steadily expect a constant X hours/week type of work, since jobs are somewhat variable for both my family's firm and engineering firms in general. There might be a project for an engineering firm that has a budget of 200 hours over the course of 3 months. There might be a few other jobs going on at the same time with 1 or more progress deadlines in the same week sometimes...and other times, several weeks with no deadlines and just sporadic working.

My goal is to semi-retire at 48 or thereabouts (still single, trying to find "the one", which would cement long-term plans). I should have enough money to make things last, but if my wife doesn't retire until later, I'd certainly be open to doing some side work or part-time work for a year or three.

My dad (a shareholder) tried to tell me that "you mentioned early retirement before, but if you buy part of the company, you are expected to work until you're 60. At least....".

: laugh:

I'm sorry. Forgive me if his slave forgot his manners in a public forum. I just find it funny when people expect to be able to tell you how to live your life and live "for the company". Funny how no one cares how many extra hours I work now (unpaid). But they expect to tell me how long I am 'supposed' to work for!

Rather than be proud that his son has busted his butt like no one else and saved and invested well and is able to retire early, he just wants to exert his control in his narcissistic way.
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Old 10-11-2015, 11:00 PM   #25
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Eight months ago I moved to a new experimental work group within my company that allows employees to choose their projects and hours. I downshifted to half-time, working a three-month-on, three-month-off schedule. It's been a good experience but how great it was to have those three months off really solidified my determination to leave, and I'll be retiring in January next year.
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Old 10-12-2015, 12:28 AM   #26
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I retired, but work for a special client every now and then for a few weeks at a time, then I'm off for weeks or months.
It gives me the excitement of work, the freedom to travel as I tell them I'll be gone for X amt of time.

Of course it puts $$ into the Roth accounts as you have to have some 'work' earnings to do that each year. And the self-employment 401K Roth account too

I don't need to do it and I refuse to take on more clients as I enjoy the free time to do my own thing.
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Old 10-12-2015, 02:59 AM   #27
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I'm somewhat in the above described situations.

Currently free-lancing to see if I like it, with no set career goal and financial independent by some standards. Having fun is priority #1, and so far that's working out quite well. Didn't work a single hour from november 2014 up to june 2015, then it was 60% or so, now I'm full time for a few more weeks, than back to one day a week or even less.

Took some basic sailing lessons during the down time, traveled a bit and enjoyed the morning coffees and sleepins alot.

Also thinking now about setting up a new company, helping a friend out with maybe launching a VC fund, traveling to NZ for two months, also to see if I might want to move there.

Basically, I'm using my FI status to experiment. Not that strange, I'm 35 with no wife or kids so energy-wise I still have some juice left to do this.

Can't see myself going back to soulless job though. Would be irrational to do at this point. But you never know. There is an OMY element in there as well.

Who knows what I'll do when there is no income and a crashing stock exchange in the next five years.
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Old 10-12-2015, 06:02 AM   #28
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I'm still solidly in the accruing stage of life. If everything goes perfectly, I could afford to ESR in about three years. But I just noticed my roof has a leak and my furnace is getting old, etc.
I expect to reach Stage 1 retirement within six years: mortgage paid off and enough of a portfolio to survive off ramen for the rest of my days. A part time gig would provide for a quality life until the nest egg becomes adequate. My first option would be to continue with megacorp, but I don't think the work ethic there would allow that. In the past, part-time workers are the first to be cut during drawdowns, or literally sent to one of our salt mines.
Second option would be field related and more active like bridge inspection or safety engineer, but I think I'd be happy even folding towels at the Y if it was only 15-30 hours a week.
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Old 10-12-2015, 11:51 AM   #29
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I'll be semi-retiring next year at the age of 37. Although I feel leery of using the "R word" because it sounds so permanent and I don't know what the future will hold.

Our situation is that we've paid off the house, reduced our expenses, and we are FI at a comfortable but not extravagant level. Because we're young I'd like to delay or reduce our withdrawals. Because I enjoy my work (and I'm self-employed) I'd like to continue to work on a scaled down basis.

Kind of like Totoro we're moving from "full time hard working DINKs" into an irregular mix of working and playing. Work sometimes. Travel sometimes. Volunteer sometimes. And hell - if we think we made a mistake we can always work full time again. But I don't think we'll need to.

I'm nervous about the transition. But our expenses are really modest once you subtract out taxes and retirement contributions, so I have a hunch it will be pretty easy for us to earn enough to let our retirement funds grow untapped for as long as we'd like.

In the short term we're ready to decompress, take some trips, and get into a new kind of rhythm where one or both of us isn't rushing off to work all the time. I can't wait.

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Old 10-12-2015, 01:10 PM   #30
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I am also hoping to find the right type (somewhat elusive) of part-time work within the next couple of years. I think a 15-24 hr. schedule would be a great transition for me.
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Old 10-12-2015, 06:04 PM   #31
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I was semi-retired for several years, ratcheting down from 60 hour weeks in 2002 to one working day a week in 2013. My reasons for ESR were about the same as OP's. Plus DW wouldn't let me retire years ahead of her.
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Old 10-12-2015, 06:54 PM   #32
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Yes, I semi-retired a little over 5 years ago. DH was completely retiring, but I was mid-50s. We had kids still in high school at the time. I was actually going to retire entirely, but when I went in to give my resignation I was asked to work part-time. I decided that with the kids that financially it would be a nice transition to do some work that wasn't too onerous. It wasn't necessary, I didn't think but would make it all easier.

Initially I said I would come to the office one day a week. During the early years I did that. For awhile I even came to work two days a week. Then a couple of years ago I got tired of that commute (we had moved so I was almost 60 miles away from the office) and went in to resign again. I was asked if I would stay if I could work solely from home. I agreed to do that.

At this point, I average about 4 to 5 hours a week entirely from home. Some weeks are zero hours, others may be 10 hours. Doing it entirely from home makes it fine for me. I have no specific time to stop doing it. It is totally money that it is not necessary for us to have, but I have some specific discretionary things that I've earmarked some of the money for.
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Old 10-12-2015, 07:37 PM   #33
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How many here are semi-retired or aiming to be?

By semi-retired, I mean working part-time (20 hrs/week) or less. Usually you're working because you want to, rather than because you have to, but some semi-retirees will be doing it because they have to. ....
I did this for the last 10 years that I worked. Initially 80% to have time to address some issues with DS, then later 50% because I wanted less travel, then back to 80% for about 9 months for a special client project and then back to 50%.

I loved the flexibility of working part-time. In the end though, my 20 or so hours a week was spread out too much and was taking too much of my day and calls would frequently get rescheduled at the last minute and further mess up my time so I decided that I wanted all my time to myself so I quit.
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:09 PM   #34
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Semi retired at age 33 and have not w*rked more than 10-20 hours/ week since, always from home and always managing to earn full time executive-type wage. Now 43. Kids are still young and since my passion is travel, I can't do a ton of it given school schedules, etc. At 50 (or if bs bucket fills before then) I'll throw in the towel.


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Old 10-12-2015, 09:13 PM   #35
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Now that I've set the date for the transition to semi-retirement (45 weeks away), I'm really looking forward to it. I was in an ambiguous, "wait and see" mode before, but I recently made a clear decision and set a firm date for the transition, told my boss and everything. That has made me want it more.

I've also been reading books about simple living, which illustrate how much focus we put on materialism, "success," climbing the ladder, acquisition, etc. (e.g., Cecile Andrews' The Circle of Simplicity) and the enormous amount of time and energy we spend on our work in America and how different that is to most of history (John de Graaf's Take Back Your Time). Both of those subjects have gotten me more fired up about cutting back my work hours and impatient to get to the cut-off date.

I'm sure I'm going through most of the feelings that people looking forward to full retirement do -- that sense that time is crawling, you can't wait to get to the finish line, impatience with the work world, etc. My BS bucket isn't too full, though, so I can wait it out...
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Old 10-12-2015, 10:05 PM   #36
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Now that I've set the date for the transition to semi-retirement (45 weeks away), I'm really looking forward to it. I was in an ambiguous, "wait and see" mode before, but I recently made a clear decision and set a firm date for the transition, told my boss and everything. That has made me want it more.

I've also been reading books about simple living, which illustrate how much focus we put on materialism, "success," climbing the ladder, acquisition, etc. (e.g., Cecile Andrews' The Circle of Simplicity) and the enormous amount of time and energy we spend on our work in America and how different that is to most of history (John de Graaf's Take Back Your Time). Both of those subjects have gotten me more fired up about cutting back my work hours and impatient to get to the cut-off date.
I've spent the last few years reading either those books or similar ones. I think there are two kinds of American dreams - the ones developed by advertisers which keep many people on spend - work treadmills and the ones based on the neuroscience of happiness. Luckily the neuroscientists' versions are likely to be bring real happiness and don't cost as much.
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Old 10-13-2015, 01:19 AM   #37
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My plan was to always go PT at 55, assuming there is a position open....PT at current megacorp is 24 hours a week and it would include decent benefits, specifically healthcare and would still pay me above the average median family income >$50k.

It would be less responsibility, presumably less stress and hopefully more time for myself (getting in shape, more time to cook, etc). One problem is that I would be at the mercy of a manager making my schedule and if history is any indication, the PT would get the crappy shifts...could be 5 five hour shifts 4 six's or 3 eights...whatever. Probably mostly closing....but the BS bucket wouldn't fill as fast, in theory.

The original goal was to have approx $2million in savings, house paid off at that point and just work PT for benefits and bridging till 64 with cobra to medicare. Now with ACA I could probably go earlier but just need to work out the budget.

Now at 47, the goal is to get to $1.4M by 55, hopefully throwing off $70k year and having enough cash on hand to pay off mortgage, but in reality it will be tough.

We are currently ahead of our saving goal, but a bear market could dash that quickly and the house probably won't be paid off, unless we downsize, which is the ultimate goal but have a boomerang kid living with us now. Here's to 2023!
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Old 10-13-2015, 09:50 AM   #38
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I stopped full time work in 2013 at 57 yo - which was not planned (position "eliminated"). All my calculations and financial planning (and great advice from this site!) projected that I was able to leave paid employment entirely, and that was in fact my expected and intended path. About two weeks after leaving work, however, I got offered a short consulting job, and decided "why not"? It was in my field, it was easy, and (most importantly), it was a concrete number of days after which it would be over.


Since then I've had a pretty steady stream of short-term gigs that have come my way. I *never* let it interfere with my plans for travel or other non-work life plans, and have turned down quite a bit due to that, but I've also actually done some short things while on the road, too, with zero negative impact on the experience. In all, the consulting has totaled 25-40% of my time over the course of each year, but in concentrated chunks, and actually fewer calendar days than that because the consulting day is calculated on an 8 hour basis, and I'll often work longer than that to get stuff done. I generally work from home but have also had interesting international trips as part of a few jobs (which I actually like - YMMV). I've also increased my rate to make it comparable to my most recent FT work pay including benefits, so feel I am being paid what I'm worth.


So I plan to take this semi-retirement situation "one day at a time", but figure I'll continue to do it at least another year or two assuming (a) jobs are still offered without me having to seek them out/market and (b) I don't start hating it. The driving motivation for me is absolutely and 100% the money! It has allowed me to be much more indulgent about spending than I normally would be, especially on travel -- both based on reality, i.e., what would be a conservative SWR, but also psychologically since I know I would be way too cheap to splurge even though I could (so basically I haven't had to psychologically transition to living strictly without work income yet...). In fact, having the extra consulting $$$ means I haven't had to take a dime out of my investments in 3.5 years, which has increased the pot some (even with a dismal returns year like 2015 :-)). I've also been able to add more to my Roth and also opened an individual Roth 401(k).


Re: down sides to this set-up: (1) well, it's work after all, so it does mean *some* exertion and interference with total lounging around (although still low stress and flexible); (2) my taxes are really high, dramatically an added expense but also dramatically limiting the amount I can convert of my tIRA to Roth and still stay within the 25% bracket (as a single person, the limits are very low).


So the bottom line is that I sort of backed into ESR instead of full ER, but it has actually worked out great! I actually recommend this 'transition' approach of going from FT to PT work (and eventually to zero work!) to all my friends now, as a way to escape the rat race a bit earlier than they might normally do.
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Old 10-13-2015, 04:32 PM   #39
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So I'm in my third week of P/T (20 hours per week). To be honest I've enjoyed the days off much more than the working days. So my week looks like this: I skip Mondays because they were the most hated days of the week for me. I work Tuesday then BOOM, another day off! Work Thursday and come in half of Friday to recap the week with my boss.

I am in more of a support and consultation position without direct sales numbers to hit. That's the only way I would take the job. I've had to hit a number every year for 30 years. I get full benefits and half my full time salary. They accidently gave me my car allowance so I make $500/mth more than I thought.

I think this will work just fine through the winter months. Then I'll get a feel if I'm missing out on any trips. I will be gone three week's in January (paid). I might move Tues to Wed so I can have longer weekends in the Spring if they let me. If not, I'll fade into the sunset.

I have worked to retire. I will feel no guilt or that I"m not contributing to some grand corporate plan. I have made the companies that I worked for a ton of money. So, it's time for others to take on that responsibility.
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Old 10-15-2015, 01:58 PM   #40
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I am also hoping to find the right type (somewhat elusive) of part-time work within the next couple of years. I think a 15-24 hr. schedule would be a great transition for me.
I found a great transition was going from lotsa work to no work! It went smooth as a whistle and I'd recommend it to anyone.
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