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The Lure of Consulting
Old 04-29-2014, 06:19 PM   #1
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The Lure of Consulting

I'm in semi-ER after downshifting to teach a local university. It's about half pay compared to my previous gig, but flexible, easy hours. I'm still being tempted by consulting jobs. I have a phone interview in a couple of weeks that would be challenging, financially rewarding and allow me to feel professionally valued. I should have the self-control to turn it down (>$150k with 75% travel) but I wonder if others have been tempted.
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Old 04-29-2014, 07:00 PM   #2
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75% travel will get old really quick. Been there, done that, was great but I have no desire for a second act.
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:03 PM   #3
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If it seems that tempting, you could always try it. If it ends up being fun, good. If not, you won't have trouble turning down the next ones.
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:26 PM   #4
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I enjoyed short duration or longer part-time consulting. But I only had to telecommute and was doing interesting stuff. My tolerance for it decreased the longer I was retired.
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:31 PM   #5
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I commuted 40 weeks a year for 4 years........no fun! But, we're all different...you may enjoy it but I missed my DW when on the road and restaurant food isn't the best since you really don't know how much sugar, as an example, is put into the foods you eat. If the income helps you save for your retirement it could be worth it. Good Luck and much happiness in whatever path you choose.
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Old 04-30-2014, 05:28 AM   #6
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I consulted for three years after leaving the last megacorp instead of immediately retiring. I agree with other posters, the 75%+ travel gets old quickly and is not conducive to easing into retirement. At this stage of life I wanted to be home with family and I found it difficult to stay in shape with long hours and restaurant food. One of the good things about consulting, if you are an independent contractor, you can fully deduct private health insurance premiums for yourself and your spouse from your consulting income. SEP IRAs allow you to move 20% of your consulting income into a tax deferred retirement account. Depending on your income you may also be able to contribute to a regular IRA as well as take deductions for automobile expenses and home office.

If you go the consulting route, when you decide to hang up your hat try to defer some of your consulting income to the following year so you can take advantage of the health care deduction and retirement savings for one more year. One of my clients worked with me to pay my last invoice in the next year. Income for tax purposes is earned when you receive the cash, not when you bill, if you are reporting your consulting income on your personal tax filing.
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tekward View Post
I'm in semi-ER after downshifting to teach a local university. It's about half pay compared to my previous gig, but flexible, easy hours. I'm still being tempted by consulting jobs. I have a phone interview in a couple of weeks that would be challenging, financially rewarding and allow me to feel professionally valued. I should have the self-control to turn it down (>$150k with 75% travel) but I wonder if others have been tempted.
It wouldn't matter to me what anyone else's experience has been, we all have different makeups. Most here enjoy retirement, but it's not for everyone, some people enjoy their work - full or part time. If you have time on your hands and want to do some consulting, you should. The "allow me to feel professionally valued" statement tells me you should give consulting a try.

I don't know what "self-control" has to do with it. You don't win a prize for being retired, any more than you do for working. This community is just a bunch of friendly, like-minded strangers...
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:01 AM   #8
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A couple of people I know that went into the consulting world after retirement pretty much ended up working full time. I think it had to do more with earning money to support their lifestyle in addition to feeling professionally valued. Two close friends I know are Type A personalities, workaholics, held top management positions and admitted retirement did not appeal to them.
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:21 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tekward View Post
I'm in semi-ER after downshifting to teach a local university. It's about half pay compared to my previous gig, but flexible, easy hours. I'm still being tempted by consulting jobs. I have a phone interview in a couple of weeks that would be challenging, financially rewarding and allow me to feel professionally valued. I should have the self-control to turn it down (>$150k with 75% travel) but I wonder if others have been tempted.

$150k and 75% travel for how much of a time commitment?
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:54 PM   #10
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I'm still being tempted by consulting jobs. I have a phone interview in a couple of weeks that would be challenging, financially rewarding and allow me to feel professionally valued.
It is always flattering to be wanted.

Only you know how tempting this offer really is. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
  1. do you really need the extra money, or would it be more of a perk? I.e., how sufficient for your needs is your current teaching pay?
  2. do you need additional challenges? I.e., does your current teaching job leave you feeling unfulfilled? Be aware that "challenges" can be a euphemism for "insatiable, unreasonable client demands".
  3. how important is "feeling professionally valued" to your emotional wellbeing (I am not implying that it should be unimportant, just asking the question)?
If I were in your shoes I would not feel tempted, at any price … to my way of thinking, life is too short to waste more of it trying to fix other people's problems. But we all have different psyches, and Midpack's comments are quite valid.
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Old 05-01-2014, 06:33 PM   #11
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>$150k with 75% travel
I wouldn't be tempted by that even if it had another zero on the end. I've never been a road warrior, and hate traveling for business.

I gave business travel up a long time ago, and have been at my current employer for just over three years, and haven't had to take one business trip yet. My goal is to go my full 4-year vesting with no business travel.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:58 PM   #12
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+1 to Milton's comments.
Let the initial flattery wear off, then try to imagine your life working that new consulting job. If you need the $$ to shore up the nest egg, that's one thing. But maybe that extra $$ really would not change your lifestyle. Would leaving your current teaching gig with "easy, flexible hours" really make you happier?
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