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They are killing me here!
Old 04-13-2006, 08:01 AM   #1
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They are killing me here!

I'm counting down, and have just until 4/27 to work.* Since I'm taking Easter Monday off, and I don't work on Fridays, that leaves 7 days after today.* Wahoo!* But now my coworkers and my boss are starting to panic with me getting ready to head out the door with everything I know.* Can I just work 3 days a week?* Maybe what I need is a sabbatical?* How about doing contract work?* How about taking off a month and then re-evaluating?*

All of that coupled with the fact that I've had a few interesting (in a good way) challenges here on the job lately - well, it's making me wonder.* There is another woman who left and is doing some contract work, and my boss says she works maybe 10 hours or so a week.* So now I'm thinking...* I actually told my boss that I wanted all of May off and then I'd re-think whether I wanted to do some contract work.* I could actually do a lot of it from home.* Ten hours a week?* I'm not sure what I'd get paid for that but I'm sure it would be substantial (> $100 per hour, I'm sure).

Quick!* Someone talk me out of it!* *

CJ
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Re: They are killing me here!
Old 04-13-2006, 08:13 AM   #2
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Re: They are killing me here!

cj,

Why would you want to do contract work? I mean, is there a reason you want to do it or do you feel you need to do it? If you want to do it to keep your mind busy then maybe there are some other things you could look at in that regard. If you need the $$ then that is another story and it would make a good choice in my opinion. I wish I could go PT or contract but it is not done here; it is full time or 0 time.

Taking off all of May makes some sense to think it over. Maybe even June too. Do what YOU want not what they would like for you to do.

Good luck.
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Re: They are killing me here!
Old 04-13-2006, 08:16 AM   #3
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Re: They are killing me here!

In your own words:

When people ask me why I am retiring so young, I tell them that I have been working full time since May of 1972 when I graduated from HS. *Later while still working full time I got my bachelor's at night and then my MBA at night. *When I have changed jobs (not very often) I never took time off between them. *I am so ready for a break! *And you are right. *Picking the date was hard, but once the date is on the calendar, there is nothing that can make me change my mind!!

My last day is 4/27, and I can't wait to enjoy a work-free May, which is one of the nicest months of the year. * "


You're gonna love it......AND it's great that you have options and no burning bridges. *

Give it up and give it a try.......and then see what you want to do next!!!

Life goes on.......for those of us lucky enough.

Best wishes.......from Starry Night!
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Re: They are killing me here!
Old 04-13-2006, 08:21 AM   #4
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Re: They are killing me here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cj

Quick!* Someone talk me out of it!* *
"You've got to walk that lonesome valley. You've got to walk it by yourself. There's no one else gonna walk it for you. You've got to walk it by yourself. ..."

Please hear my advise in the non-denominational way it is intended.........

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Re: They are killing me here!
Old 04-13-2006, 08:37 AM   #5
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Re: They are killing me here!

I love this forum, you all are the greatest!* I guess we've already had the discussions about last-minute panic setting in (Can I really do this* Am I nuts??)* Starry Night - nothing like hearing my own words to remind me why I am doing it!

My gut feeling is that once I have some real time off, I won't want to go back.* I've been fortunate to have a really good job at this point in my life, so I know that I've made the decision for the right reasons, and not because I'm trying to get away from a bad job situation.* I guess the idea of making some easy pocket change is somewhat appealing.

It's nice to have like-minded people to keep me straight.

CJ
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Re: They are killing me here!
Old 04-13-2006, 08:48 AM   #6
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Re: They are killing me here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cj
My gut feeling is that once I have some real time off, I won't want to go back.
cj, listen to your gut. When I left 10 months ago, I would have loved an opportunity for part-time or contract work after a couple months off...or so I thought. After a few weeks I realized I would just as soon have a root canal as go back, even for a few hours.

Try it, you'll like it.

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Re: They are killing me here!
Old 04-13-2006, 08:52 AM   #7
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Re: They are killing me here!

Retired last June and after two months off my boss ask me to come back on a consulting basis for only $65 an hour (substantial to me). I told him thanks but no thanks. Having full control of your time and priorities is priceless. Screw work, did that for 35 years.
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Re: They are killing me here!
Old 04-13-2006, 09:02 AM   #8
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Re: They are killing me here!

cj,

I found that part time contract work provided a very valuable gradual transition to full retirement. A week after I retired from NASA I was back at essentially the same job as a three day a week contract employee. I made more working 3 days than I would have if I had stayed and worked full time as a civil servant. After a year I reduced it to two days a week and at the end of that year I fully retired at age 57. The gradual transition gave me the time and energy to develop new interests that have carried over to full retirement. Also, since I was drawing my full gov't pension I was able to invest almost $200K during the two years. That has provided a great cushion for our nestegg, allowing us to splurge on some luxuries that otherwise would have been out of reach.

Grumpy
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Re: They are killing me here!
Old 04-13-2006, 09:06 AM   #9
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Re: They are killing me here!

cj....

Leave it open ended with your employer if you lie. Tell them you'll let them know if you decide to do contract work....once you have some time off.

Then it can go either way and you have a little security if you decide you need it.

Enjoy your time off.
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Re: They are killing me here!
Old 04-13-2006, 09:10 AM   #10
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Re: They are killing me here!

cj,
Every case is diffferent of course, but I'm enjoying the consulting work I do. I get to keep my hand in the business (which I enjoy) but avoid a lot of the less fun parts of ful-time w*rk. Financially, the extra $$ is handy:
-- We can do fun, frivolous stuff that might not be in the regular ER budget we've built.
-- We can pay for/help with our daughter's schools bills without dipping into the pot
--- which means the nest-egg continues to grow without major molestation
-- As a self-employed person/couple we can contribute to a "solo-401K" which let's me defer taxes on some of my income (until my rate will be lower). Actually, I sold some "losers" in my taxabe accounts and shifted the $$ into this 401K vehicle. Without earned income couldnt ave done that.
-- We also contributed to my wife's "spousal IRA." She doesnty have earned income, so we coudn't have done ths uness I'd had earned income.

I think ESRBob's book has more on the advantages of semi-ER (I intend to buy it today. Yep, I'll use the link at the bottom f ths page.).

Best of luck whatever you decide. It's great to have options, eh?

samclem
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Re: They are killing me here!
Old 04-13-2006, 09:40 AM   #11
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Re: They are killing me here!

If you can get big bucks (on a per hour basis), do it if you really want to. Take May off. Before you leave, tell them you might consider working 2 days per week, 6 hours per day (or whatever you want to do). And that you'll reconsider the arrangement in 6 months. Let them know that you will give them your decision at the end of May. You may want to stick around to tie up loose ends, and get buckets of money for it in the mean time.

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Re: They are killing me here!
Old 04-13-2006, 09:51 AM   #12
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Re: They are killing me here!

Don't feel pressured either way. Just because you hadn't considered the idea of a few hours of contract work per week before doesn't mean it's not something that you would enjoy. But also don't feel pressured by your colleagues at work - it's NEVER gonna be a good time to lose a good employee.

Personally, I think you're best bet is to take May completely off and then decide. And heck, if you decide you want to do 10 hours per week, commit to only a limited time, like 3 months, so that after 3 months you can reevaluate. And if you decide to stop the contract work and ER altogether, then there should be no hard feelings.

Enjoy the approach of your last day at work!
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Re: They are killing me here!
Old 04-13-2006, 10:04 AM   #13
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Re: They are killing me here!

Yep, you're all right. I am definitely taking all of May off, and then I'll decide. I have a good enough relationship here that I can pretty much do whatever I decide to do. The funny thing is that the boss totally understands, and she'll accept my decision no matter which way I go. It's a good position to be in.

Thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences.

CJ
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Re: They are killing me here!
Old 04-13-2006, 03:23 PM   #14
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Re: They are killing me here!

Taking a month off will probably help you decide. I think I've told this story before, but I used to work with a guy around age 65. He repeatedly said he just wasn't ready to retire. He was forced to take extended time off from a hip surgery and realized "hey, this ain't so bad!". He retired a few months later.

That said, I think part-time ( and maybe moreso - contract ) work can greatly solve working woes. 10 versus 40-50 hrs/wk is a lot more bearable. It's easier to have perspective when you don't have to come back day after day. If it's high-paid work you'd genuinely like to do, why not? If it's mundane paper-pushing and corporate BS, why?

Best wishes and congrats!
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Re: They are killing me here!
Old 04-13-2006, 08:08 PM   #15
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Re: They are killing me here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cj


All of that coupled with the fact that I've had a few interesting (in a good way) challenges here on the job lately - well, it's making me wonder.* There is another woman who left and is doing some contract work, and my boss says she works maybe 10 hours or so a week.* So now I'm thinking...* I actually told my boss that I wanted all of May off and then I'd re-think whether I wanted to do some contract work.* I could actually do a lot of it from home.* Ten hours a week?* I'm not sure what I'd get paid for that but I'm sure it would be substantial (> $100 per hour, I'm sure).

Quick!* Someone talk me out of it!* *

CJ
I think you are in a good situation.

Do you plan on living where you currently live if you totally ER?*
What do you plan to do with all your time?

Why nor just take the contract work and the $1000 plus a week for doing some work from home where you will be anyway. You don't dislike your job.

When you decide to travel the world then stop the contracting.




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Re: They are killing me here!
Old 04-13-2006, 09:47 PM   #16
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Re: They are killing me here!

Well, I think it's JUST GREAT that you are retiring with all your options open!

Yeah - evaluating your options after a month off sounds just brilliant!

Congrats!

Audrey
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Re: They are killing me here!
Old 04-14-2006, 11:50 AM   #17
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Re: They are killing me here!

CJ,
Have you decided anything at this point? Curious how it works out for you. I do think it's critical to make some kind of clean break at the beginning of ER, if only for a month, to just remind yourself that it really is a new ball game. I think when you go back (if you do) for a couple days a week, it will be instantly clear to you -- either, "hmmm.. this gradual transition thing isn't bad (like Donner's experience) -- I can do this for a few more years, have some structure and income with plenty of free time to start exploring all my ER interests..." or "Yuck! How did I stay here this long! Sorry guys, I'm outta here!".

I think your gut will tell you which way to go -- don't over-think the $$ aspect of it too much, though, or you can get sucked back into the 'gee ER would be so much sweeter if I just had an extra 5k a year...' or whatever. Don't let yourself stay in an uncomfortable part-time work environment just for the bit of extra $. You are ER now -- free! If you need a few extra bucks, there are all sorts of pleasant ways to earn them once you settle into your new rhythms and interests.
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Re: They are killing me here!
Old 04-14-2006, 12:22 PM   #18
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Re: They are killing me here!

Hey ESRBob - thanks for the reply.* I love your book and now people at work are starting to ask me about how I got to where I am, and I'm loaning your book out (and a few others).* (Guess I should make them buy their own, eh?)* *:

Anyway, I am definitely going to enjoy all of May and intentionally make no decisions.* I'm a type-A (have to be organized and busy all the time) so this is totally opposed to my nature.* But I have promised myself and DH that I will hold off jumping into the "next thing" until the end of May at least.* I have a few fun things planned - a week-long trip to see my family in western North Carolina to start.* It will be nice to go away without having to think about rushing home to get back to work!* I also want to organize and clean out at home, and sell some stuf on Ebay.* I want to spend a LOT of time in my garden, and take daily long walks.* I want to read one novel after another.

I have thought all along that I'd pick up a part time job, but have thought more along the lines of working in a local garden center or the "pet resort" down the street - something that lets me do what I love and get a little lunch money.* *Definitely I'll do more volunteer work.* I used to volunteer regularly at the Humane Society but gave that up when my commute increased.* *So I don't know if I'll ever have time for that contract work!*

Anyway, thanks again to all for your encouragement.* I am practically foaming at the mouth at having unlimited "time off", when I haven't had more than 10 days of vacation at a time in at least 34 years.

CJ
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Re: They are killing me here!
Old 04-14-2006, 12:29 PM   #19
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Re: They are killing me here!

Wow, CJ -- I'd say you're ready! Good luck with it. Just a couple more week to go.
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Re: They are killing me here!
Old 04-14-2006, 12:36 PM   #20
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Re: They are killing me here!

7 days. I don't work Fridays, and I took Easter Monday off. But who's counting
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