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Semi-ER in 50 days!
Old 04-05-2013, 11:58 AM   #1
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Semi-ER in 50 days!

Somehow I think that the first response will be "there's no such thing as Semi-ER, it's like being half pregnant."

The process is in motion to take the ER package from Mega-Corp at 55 and then start at State University. I probably could have struggled to stay at the high paying job a few more years in an effort to go "Full-ER" but I'm happy with the decision. Things are getting worse at w*rk, travel, stress, impossible expectations, etc. Most have been there, done that. I won't trade more time in that environment for more money in the savings account.

I'm looking forward to new challenges, being part of a great university and beginning my PhD studies (tuition free, work time for dissertation).

I know my life will improve (not my bank account) and I can always do something different later. The key is enjoying the now.

Anyone else follow a similar path?
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:24 PM   #2
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Congratulation Tedward. I'd say you are ER if you don't need the money from the University to live. Otherwise you are just trading jobs, albeit at a hit to the bottom line.

I'm not exactly in the same situation, but I'm pretty much ready to give up expanding the retirement accounts at the cost of my individual freedom.
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:48 PM   #3
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I am currently negotiating a reduction in hours by one-third and to do my Texas job from my Florida Beach condo. Otherwise, I am done at year end.
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:36 PM   #4
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Somehow I think that the first response will be "there's no such thing as Semi-ER, it's like being half pregnant."
Of course there is.

"Semi-retirement" is a great goal. It is mine, too. For me, it will mean retiring from my normal career in about 17 months, and after a period of "detox," exploring various possibilities for part-time, creative/productive work that both 1) taps my individual strengths/gifts and 2) is something I enjoy doing. Basically, I'm downshifting from a stressful, full-time career to experimenting with a wide range of part-time work possibilities that will be enjoyable and a better fit for me. I plan to work only 10 to 20 hrs a week, max, and I won't be taking jobs out of financial necessity, but based on whether I want to do them or not.

To me, a life of pure leisure would be boring. I have to be creatively and productively engaged in projects/work of some type, or I'd feel like I was just wasting my life. I mean no disrespect to the no-work folks, I'm just trying to support you in your choice. The book, "Work Less, Live More" is a good one, if you haven't read it.
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:02 PM   #5
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I think semi-retirement does exist. I semi-retired almost 3 years ago moving from a very full-time, high stress job to continuing to work at the same place but working 1 or 2 days a week doing the parts of my job that I enjoyed the most. Is it full retirement? No. But, it is materially different from full-time work. And, of course, I've known since the beginning that I could call it quits whenever I wanted to.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:13 AM   #6
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Somehow I think that the first response will be "there's no such thing as Semi-ER, it's like being half pregnant."
That's true enough. Working part-time is not the same as true FIRE status, and NanoSour is correct to suggest that you are switching from one job to another.

However, that's not to say that it isn't a great move for you, or that you would have been better off putting up a few more years at megacorp so that you would then have enough capital to permit true retirement. Few people on this board are so dogmatic as to insist that there is only one path to personal happiness.

I hope it all works out for you!
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:03 AM   #7
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However, that's not to say that it isn't a great move for you, or that you would have been better off putting up a few more years at megacorp so that you would then have enough capital to permit true retirement. Few people on this board are so dogmatic as to insist that there is only one path to personal happiness.
This is pretty much where I am now that I spend my first Monday morning since 1987 as someone who is not employed. At church yesterday I remarked that I am presently considering myself "semi-retired" -- not really actively seeking a new full-time, career-oriented position and not desperate for work, but I will eventually entertain part-time offers in due time and not really determined to "never work again".

My criteria for work I would consider (in the future) are likely to be as follows:

(1) No more than 20 hours per week, 25 as an absolute max;
(2) Decent working hours (not too early in the morning and done by about 4 PM);
(3) When I am off, I am *off*. No taking any work home with me or doing anything where I have to worry about the work piling up while I am gone.

Note I said nothing about pay or benefits here. At this point those are secondary (even tertiary) to these other factors. I have busted my butt for two different Megacorps for a total of nearly 26 years -- and saved and invested aggressively to get me to the point where I no longer need to (combined with DW's new career and earnings). And it's nice to not be desperate, to know that if I accept new work in the future it will be because I WANT to and not because it's the only way we'll be able to pay the bills. If a j*b fulfilling all the points above only paid $10 per hour, so be it. Twenty hours a week at $10 per hour is $10K per year, and that would likely be the difference between having to dip a little into savings and investments and not having to do so at all.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:06 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post

My criteria for work I would consider (in the future) are likely to be as follows:

(1) No more than 20 hours per week, 25 as an absolute max;
(2) Decent working hours (not too early in the morning and done by about 4 PM);
(3) When I am off, I am *off*. No taking any work home with me or doing anything where I have to worry about the work piling up while I am gone.
I hear Sonic may be hiring...
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:09 AM   #9
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I hear Sonic may be hiring...
Oh yeah.

(4) Low stress and no ball-busting bosses.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 04-08-2013, 09:10 AM   #10
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Kidding aside, I wouldn't spend too much time right now worrying about finding employment. You probably need to decompress for a few months to adjust to your new freedom reality. My guess is you'll end up stumbling across an opportunity when you least expect it rather than have success pursuing a job search strategy.

Chill...
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:14 AM   #11
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Kidding aside, I wouldn't spend too much time right now worrying about finding employment. You probably need to decompress for a few months to adjust to your new freedom reality. My guess is you'll end up stumbling across an opportunity when you least expect it rather than have success pursuing a job search strategy.
I'm not thinking about finding a new j*b. But I do have a pretty good idea of what it would take to get me out of "retirement" should the situation materialize -- several weeks from now if not months (or more). If it happens, it happens. And it will most likely be because it fell into my lap or because someone offered it, not because I ran the gauntlet of applications and resumes and interviews and such...
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:18 AM   #12
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I'm not thinking about finding a new j*b. But I do have a pretty good idea of what it would take to get me out of "retirement" should the situation materialize -- several weeks from now if not months (or more). If it happens, it happens. And it will most likely be because it fell into my lap or because someone offered it, not because I ran the gauntlet of applications and resumes and interviews and such...
+1

You realize the odds of finding anything worth giving up your freedom again are tiny - not that there is anything wrong with that whatsoever.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:32 AM   #13
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When I quit the job the plan was definitely to take some tome off, decompress, then return to the labor force and look for something less stressful and more rewarding / fulfilling. What I found was, as time went by, my expectations began to change, my willingness to make trade-offs was still declining, my awareness of the other parts of in life was growing, and I was enjoying the new lifestyle. If needed to remain retired, today I would trade off much more than I would have 14 years ago.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:38 AM   #14
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My criteria for work I would consider (in the future) are likely to be as follows:

(1) No more than 20 hours per week, 25 as an absolute max;
(2) Decent working hours (not too early in the morning and done by about 4 PM);
(3) When I am off, I am *off*. No taking any work home with me or doing anything where I have to worry about the work piling up while I am gone.
I like the criteria above and that type of thinking has factored into my decision. My take:
(1) Not yet key for me. 40 hour weeks looks real nice coming from 60 hour weeks. But as you said, it is nice to have the flexibility when you don't need the j*b.
(2) Agreed, but for now, I'll be happy with weekends off.
(3) Total agreement. Long overdue - in March I worked all weekend catching up from a week of vacation.
(4) Compensation (including non-monetary) makes it worth dedicating my time. Working in the service of others has a lot of attraction after years in a bottom-line, profit oriented mega-corp. I actually considered teaching HS (JROTC) but it did not meet the above criteria.
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:28 PM   #15
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I considered myself to be semi-retired for the 7 years I worked for my company part-time, before I fully retired in late 2008. I had 3 different part-time work arrangments in those 7 years. One was working mostly from home but going to my office 1 day a week, working 20 hours total. Some of my work-from-home hours were during the day but others were whenever I felt like it, often working in the evening or on weekends for a few hours because my type of work included maintaining my division's computer programs (so maintenance was best done in off-hours when staff wasn't around). The work-from-home gig ended after 2 years so I then had to fulfill all my hours at the office but could still work 20 hours per week. I hated that and knew it would be my eventual undoing.

I did that for about 3 1/2 years before I reduced my weekly work hours from 20 to 12, eliminating a day trekking to the office and getting home an hour sooner on the days I went in. I was now working only about 1/3 a full-time schedule so I suppose I was now 2/3 retired? That lasted 17 months before I got rid of those 12 hours and ERed in late 2008.

Merely sticking around for those 7 years was enough to see my company's stock price rise a lot which greatly enabled me to ER after I cashed it out at low tax rates. Most of my other fringe benefits had disappeared (including group health eligibility) in those last 17 months but not seeing my company stock rise!
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:59 PM   #16
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At church yesterday I remarked that I am presently considering myself "semi-retired" -- not really actively seeking a new full-time, career-oriented position and not desperate for work, but I will eventually entertain part-time offers in due time and not really determined to "never work again".
I'm keeping my options open too, in the form of maintaining my professional license and not expressly telling anyone that I'm 'done' and not really interested in paid employment. No point in unnecessary closing doors.

Happily, I'm fully FI so there is no need to supplement my passive income stream. However, in the unlikely event that I was offered work meeting your four criteria I would give it a try, why not? I would no longer be ER'd according to my own definition, but so what: it is not a 'merit badge' outside this small circle.

IMO, the first two letters of FIRE are the important ones, and the last two are optional at the discretion of the person concerned.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:37 PM   #17
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Working part-time is not the same as true FIRE status, and NanoSour is correct to suggest that you are switching from one job to another.
I think that there is such a thing as being semi-ER which is different from working part-time.

Some years ago I worked "reduced hours," which in my job was about 30 hours or so a week. In no way was that semi-ER. My job was important to me at the time. It was a large part of my life. It was certainly essential to my well-being. At the time, I was not FI and couldn't have just walked out if I didn't like stuff. I needed my job.

For the last 3 years I have worked part time, which now means working about 10-15 hours a week. My job is not a large part of my life. Certainly, it is important to me that I do my job well. However, that job is not at all essential to my well-being. Most importantly, I know that I can just walk at any time. While the job has been nice to have, I don't need it.

I see what I am doing now as semi-retirement. The FI part and the willingness to walk away and the fact that the job is not emotionally important to me puts this far different than simply being someone working part-time.
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