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Old 11-18-2012, 09:39 AM   #21
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I worked 50% time the last few years that I worked - essentially, hours, pay and most benefits were 50% of what I would have got as a full time employee but health care was 100% (was 0% if you worked less than 50% time). It worked out well for me.

In the job that I had where we serviced demanding clients, the problem ultimately became working 50% of the time but being "on call" 100% of the time. The nature of the work was such that it wasn't practical to say I was "off" on Mondays and Fridays and available only on Tuesday-Thursday. If a client had a pressing issue that I was critical to and wanted to discuss it on a Friday, it wasn't practical to tell them that it would have to wait until the following Tuesday. Since I wanted more down time and didn't to be "on call" all the time and we couldn't figure out a practical way for me to continue to work without being on-call all the time I decided to pull the plug.

If you work as a consultant, you should get at least 150% of your current gross earnings to make up for having to provide your own benefits. My billing rate was 250-350% of my gross earnings, so even 150% would be a good deal for your employer.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:32 AM   #22
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More than anyone would pay me I'm sure.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:52 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBum
....If you're easily FI, do whatever feels right. I'd probably take #2 because the extra money would be pretty meaningless.
I'm safely FI - I've been working for some time just to make extra bucks for toys. But my need for toys is diminishing, making #2 more attractive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelyman
A related question is "What is your dead time worth?".
Good point

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Originally Posted by audreyh1
..... I didn't want to worry about how to fit my personal schedule around the work commitments, not to mention still always having to "go back to work" on a regular basis.
This is my biggest concern, and I would need a lot of flexibility.

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Originally Posted by MichaelB
....A "time clock" attitude is a must.
Yes I agree, and my replacement must be in place to handle all day to day issues before I'd agree to this.

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Originally Posted by target2019
....Are you giving up any of your benefits? .....
For the term, I'd counter with limiting this to 3 years maximum. Two years at 2 days per week; one year at 1 day per week..... Would you be an employee or consultant?
I'm going to counter at 1 year max term. I'd be giving up health ins because i have it through DW until ss. My idea of 110% is really about 125% because i figure the extra 10% tacks on after an increase to account for my current vacation and holiday time. I'd technically be an employee because the contracts I work on require subs to have insurance having premiums that would not be cost effective.

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Originally Posted by pb4uski
...In the job that I had where we serviced demanding clients, the problem ultimately became working 50% of the time but being "on call" 100% of the time......
If you work as a consultant, you should get at least 150% of your current gross earnings to make up for having to provide your own benefits. My billing rate was 250-350% of my gross earnings, so even 150% would be a good deal for your employer.
I work primarily on govt roadway projects where about half of my work is "on demand" . But I can handle this remotely via email, so 4 days a week of 3 hrs remotely plus one day in the office would serve as "on call". The problem with my billing rate to govt agencies is that it is a set pct of my earnings, and any increase exceeding their allowable limit is denied. So I'd have to figure out a workaround.

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Originally Posted by Lazarus
More than anyone would pay me I'm sure.
Thanks - I'm getting this idea from almost every retiree.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:14 AM   #24
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Ronstar, the part-time deal you described is a lot like the various part-time deals I had in the last 7 years of working (2001-2008). Wanting very much to reclaim my personal life and do some things I used to do and some things I wanted to do but could not, I was able to lose my awful, lenghty, and often sickening commute which only became worse after my company moved from lower Manhattan to Jersey City, New Jersey in May, 2001.

For 27 months I worked part-time (20 hours per week) and about 2/3 of that from home, going to the office only one day a week. I did lose some of my benefits such as paid sick time (I never got sick anyway), some vacation time, as well as any benefit tied to my compensation such as 401(k) matching funds and company stock allocation. I also had to pay 50% (instead of 25%) of the health insurance premiums. But with low expenses due to having paid off my mortgage in 1998, my reduced pay (only down about 40% because of taxes) was still more than enough to cover them. With my new supply of free time I regained my personal life which made me quite happy, bringing back to life an hold hobby and taking on some volunteer work with the school Scrabble (see my screen name?) program.

But then the company ended its open-ended telecommuting deals in 2003 so I had to fulfillmy work hours at the office. My part-time work hours remained intact although I lost most of the paid company holidays because they did not fall on my scheduled work days.

That lasted until 2007 because even 3 days a week to the office was too much, interfering with trying to schedule my midday activities around the 2 days off from work. The commute even 3 days a week became tiring and often sickening. So I cut it down to 2 days a week and got home an hour earlier on those days (12 weekly hours of work down from 20). It cost me some more money in pay and most of the remaining benefits such as eligibility for the group health insurance, paid days off, 401(k) match, and company stock allocation (not that I was getting much anyway). I went on COBRA for 18 months.

This went okay for a while, as it was easier for me to schedule my midday activities with the extra day off, and getting home at 6 instead of 7 was helpful. Covering my monthly expenses was still no problem but I was not saving very much of my salary any more. (including 401(k) because the match was gone and I needed to save as much as I could in non-retirement accounts).

But this was part of my plan to ER by the end of 2008. After a while even a two-day commute was too much. I had to eliminate it altogether, to zero. The company stock kept rising, so my large number of existing shares grew in value, the only really meaningful benefit I still had. So when it remained at a targeted value at the end of September (its value took only a tiny hit despite the rest of the market crashing that month), I put in my notice and got out.

I do credit my 7 years of part-time work as enabling me to keep working long enough for the company stock to grow while establishing a personal life. Working part-time did not prevent a burnout but it did slow its pace so I could stick around to get to my ER.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:32 AM   #25
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For those of you already FIRED, think back to the last few months before you retired. Knowing what you know now, would you:

1. Accept a part time job with your employer continuing doing something you like 2 days a week for 48 wks per year - 1 day per week from home and 1 with 30 min commute to an office, at a pay rate starting approx 10% more than your rate when you retired, 401k but no other benefits. And do this under contract for 2-3 years?

Or,

2. Not accept the part time gig because 2 days a week of free time is worth more to you than the $ you would receive under scenario 1?

This is the decision i'm facing, and i'd like opinions from others- especially those that have been retired awhile. Another issue is that I still have 80k of company stock that the company would buy in 2012 if I agree to stay on part time. If I don't agree to the part time contract, I don't know when or to whom I would sell the stock.
It depends on your age and how financially prepared you are for FIRE.

If you're young and your FIRE stash is marginal, by all means stay on part time for a while.

If you're older (I didn't FIRE until 58) and your FIRE stash is very conservative (belt + suspenders + padded budget), don't tie yourself down. In this case, the grains of sand running through the hour glass are much, much more important than a few more bux you'll likely not spend anyway.

BTW, I turned down an opportunity for part time contract work post FIRE and never regretted it for a moment. DW, who FIRE'd at 55 yo, 3 yrs before me, did do some part time work (4 half days/wk). But once I FIRE'd, she resigned. Her compensation was fine, she liked the work (a continuation of her profession) but we were more than ready to head off in new directions. 6.4 yrs into FIRE, it's been great!
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:45 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Ronstar View Post
For those of you already FIRED, think back to the last few months before you retired. Knowing what you know now, would you:

1. Accept a part time job with your employer continuing doing something you like 2 days a week for 48 wks per year - 1 day per week from home and 1 with 30 min commute to an office, at a pay rate starting approx 10% more than your rate when you retired, 401k but no other benefits. And do this under contract for 2-3 years?

Or,

2. Not accept the part time gig because 2 days a week of free time is worth more to you than the $ you would receive under scenario 1?

This is the decision i'm facing, and i'd like opinions from others- especially those that have been retired awhile. Another issue is that I still have 80k of company stock that the company would buy in 2012 if I agree to stay on part time. If I don't agree to the part time contract, I don't know when or to whom I would sell the stock.
Soon after I made my specific retirement intentions public, the topic of potential part time consulting after I retired came up during some serious talks with my supervisor. It also came up in casual discussions with middle management not in my chain of command, that were feeling me out for possible consulting work.

With a straight face and eye contact, I politely but firmly told my supervisor and the other middle management folks that my entire agency didn't have enough money to afford what I would cost.

That is still true! If anything, my desire to work has decreased even farther since the months before retirement. Possibly this is because I have found that my expenses in retirement are lower than I had planned for.

YMMV, but to me this video comes to mind when reading your post.

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Old 11-18-2012, 01:59 PM   #27
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I did return for an additional year after retirement .The pay was good but it just reinforced my decision to fully retire as soon as the year was up .Once You get a taste of freedom it is hard to return to the workaday world.
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:13 PM   #28
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....The problem with my billing rate to govt agencies is that it is a set pct of my earnings, and any increase exceeding their allowable limit is denied. So I'd have to figure out a workaround.....
I guess the question becomes whether it is worthwhile for you to work for the rate that they will allow. Is there flexibility in the expenses that you can charge given the rules that they have in place that could be utilized to help the situation? If all you can charge for expenses are your direct, incremental costs then that is a wash and there isn't much more you can do.
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:18 PM   #29
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I worked a little 1/2 time for a few months at a time the first few years after I retired. I enjoyed the work and didn't resent the time spent too much. I think that would be different now, a couple of years later. I'd do it now, while you can.

One thing I think makes it work is having your DW still working. That makes the time more your own and lessens the impact on travel constraints due to your 48 month schedule, since she is already restricted. I'm sure she would appreciate the contribution.
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Old 11-18-2012, 03:32 PM   #30
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A good point about the spouse working. I told my husband that if I retired, he needed to shut down his part-time consulting business as well, otherwise we wouldn't have the flexibility to travel together that we really wanted. If he had wanted to keep his business going, I might have waited to retire.
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:27 PM   #31
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.....I do credit my 7 years of part-time work as enabling me to keep working long enough for the company stock to grow while establishing a personal life. Working part-time did not prevent a burnout but it did slow its pace so I could stick around to get to my ER.
Wow Scrabbler1 - a 7 year transition is a long time, but you did it incrementally over time and it worked. And a stock increase as well- I never considered a longer transition to let me stock value rise - maybe I shouldn't be so focused on selling my stock

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet

It depends on your age and how financially prepared you are for FIRE.

If you're young and your FIRE stash is marginal, by all means stay on part time for a while.

If you're older (I didn't FIRE until 58) and your FIRE stash is very conservative (belt + suspenders + padded budget), don't tie yourself down. In this case, the grains of sand running through the hour glass are much, much more important than a few more bux you'll likely not spend anyway......
I'm 57, DW 58. FIRE stash is enough and DW gets a pension when she retires in 2013. I'm starting to heed the "sands of time" idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R
....If anything, my desire to work has decreased even farther since the months before retirement. Possibly this is because I have found that my expenses in retirement are lower than I had planned for.

YMMV, but to me this video comes to mind when reading your post.

Good to know that you were approached to stay on but refused. And that you spend less than you expected. Thanks for the great Video- I'll forward it to my boss.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moemg
I did return for an additional year after retirement .The pay was good but it just reinforced my decision to fully retire as soon as the year was up .Once You get a taste of freedom it is hard to return to the workaday world.
I know the taste of freedom thing - I worked about 3 days a week during 2010 and 2011, but now I'm back to 5 because of workload, and it has not been easy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski

I guess the question becomes whether it is worthwhile for you to work for the rate that they will allow. Is there flexibility in the expenses that you can charge given the rules that they have in place that could be utilized to help the situation? If all you can charge for expenses are your direct, incremental costs then that is a wash and there isn't much more you can do.
I may be able to charge my time at the company principal rate instead of my project mgr rate, especially with the reduced hours. But then I'd have to find a project mgr. it's worth looking into.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Animorph
.....One thing I think makes it work is having your DW still working. That makes the time more your own and lessens the impact on travel constraints due to your 48 month schedule, since she is already restricted. I'm sure she would appreciate the contribution.
She would appreciate the contribution- right up to the day that she quits and wants to travel, etc.

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Originally Posted by audreyh1
A good point about the spouse working. I told my husband that if I retired, he needed to shut down his part-time consulting business as well, otherwise we wouldn't have the flexibility to travel together that we really wanted. If he had wanted to keep his business going, I might have waited to retire.
That's the way I see it- it seems to work better when spouses retire at roughly the same time. One of my friends retired last year, but his DW is planning to work for several more years. It's causing some strain in their relationship.
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:24 PM   #32
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Soon after I made my specific retirement intentions public, the topic of potential part time consulting after I retired came up during some serious talks with my supervisor. It also came up in casual discussions with middle management not in my chain of command, that were feeling me out for possible consulting work.
With a straight face and eye contact, I politely but firmly told my supervisor and the other middle management folks that my entire agency didn't have enough money to afford what I would cost.
When I put in my retirement request, my XO called me to "check on a few details".

During the conversation he mentioned that BUPERS had been persuading Congress to approve an occasional waiver for O-4s to stay a few months beyond their 20 years in "critical billets" to allow for continuity. Since my billet supervised the training of nuclear submariners, it was judged to be critical. He offered to submit the waiver paperwork. He probably thought he was doing me a favor because I was being "forced" into retirement during my prime earning years.

He caught me by surprise, and I couldn't help myself. I burst into laughter just thinking about the scene of going home to announce "Hey, honey, guess what! I'll be working for another six months!!"

He felt that I thought he was joking, and he was a tad miffed. But at least he gleaned my true sentiments on the subject...

My "relief" didn't show up for over six months after I left.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:12 PM   #33
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I think I would be tempted to choose the 2 days a week option. But maybe ask for more than 10% over my full time rate to compensate for loss of vacation days, sick days, holidays, etc. And work out that they pay for professional development time for licensure, and paid time to complete it.

This would allow a smooth transition to ER and if you find you get bored on your 5 day weekends, you could probably renegotiate more hours or reinstatement to your old gig. As long as the work is there.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:53 AM   #34
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I think I would be tempted to choose the 2 days a week option. But maybe ask for more than 10% over my full time rate to compensate for loss of vacation days, sick days, holidays, etc. And work out that they pay for professional development time for licensure, and paid time to complete it.

This would allow a smooth transition to ER and if you find you get bored on your 5 day weekends, you could probably renegotiate more hours or reinstatement to your old gig. As long as the work is there.
I sent an email to the boss yesterday stating my terms for 2 days a week, 1 year, roughly 15% increase, 401k, stock buyout, and duties. And I had license fees and pay for req'd continuing education in there. We're meeting Weds.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:28 AM   #35
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I think if my DW was still at the grindstone, I wouldn't mind putting in a couple more years with 1 day in the office, and another day's worth equivalent of being on call. But, she has been a SAHM/SAHW for the past 20+ years, and now it is my turn to pull the plug.

BTW, I would not at all mind an occasional consulting, advisory, or board role, for a week or two at a time, once or twice a quarter, but with DW out of the workforce, I'm not too keen on being tethered to a job with a weekly schedule.

Good luck with the decision.

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Old 11-20-2012, 09:36 AM   #36
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I've been ER'd for about 2 yrs now. I would not go back, even part time. You really need to know how comfortable you are about being active and happy in retirement. I have a friend who retired who then went back 1/2 time but worked full time (at 1/2 pay) because he didn't know what to do with his time. He is now fully retired but bored. However, transitioning to retirement with part time work is common option for many people.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:42 AM   #37
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:26 PM   #38
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I think if my DW was still at the grindstone, I wouldn't mind putting in a couple more years with 1 day in the office, and another day's worth equivalent of being on call. But, she has been a SAHM/SAHW for the past 20+ years, and now it is my turn to pull the plug.

BTW, I would not at all mind an occasional consulting, advisory, or board role, for a week or two at a time, once or twice a quarter, but with DW out of the workforce, I'm not too keen on being tethered to a job with a weekly schedule.

Good luck with the decision.

R
Thanks Rambler - part of reason I'm considering this is that DW will be working long into 2013. So I can wrap things up though a 1 year gig at 2 days a week, and finish up a little after she retires.

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I've been ER'd for about 2 yrs now. I would not go back, even part time. You really need to know how comfortable you are about being active and happy in retirement. I have a friend who retired who then went back 1/2 time but worked full time (at 1/2 pay) because he didn't know what to do with his time. He is now fully retired but bored. However, transitioning to retirement with part time work is common option for many people.
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I won't be doing the full time work at 1/2 pay deal - I have more than enough hobbies to keep me busy, and I think I have my replacement lined up.

Met with the 2nd in command today - looks like we may have a deal on the 2 day a week gig for 1 year, beginning April 1 when my current contract expires. 2 days a week in the office if I'm in Illinois, but 2 days a week remote if I'm out of state.
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:28 PM   #39
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For me it goes beyond the dollar cost per hour. The cost of my time also includes flexibility. Next week I will spend 3 days at a mountain cabin thanks to a friend, and the fact that I have no commitments that keep me from accepting his generous offer.
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:36 PM   #40
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For me it goes beyond the dollar cost per hour. The cost of my time also includes flexibility. Next week I will spend 3 days at a mountain cabin thanks to a friend, and the fact that I have no commitments that keep me from accepting his generous offer.
I'm like you - flexibility is the key. I gave a list of my priorities. 1 was term length, 2 flexibility, 3 benefits, 4 pay, 5 stock buyout and 6 duties. Once I got the 1 year term, and the flexibility to work remotely if I'm out of state, then the rest fell into place.
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