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Partial retirement sooner or full retirement later
Old 02-28-2020, 02:13 PM   #1
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Partial retirement sooner or full retirement later

I am excited to be on the early retirement journey. I am 36 and happily married with two daughters (5 and 2). My wife is a teacher earning roughly $45k/yr. I am a manufacturing manager earning $100k/yr (BSME, MBA). I also own/operate a video production company earning $25k/yr and we have rental property that is essentially paid for that returns $20k/yr. This is a total of about $190k/yr. We have non retirment investments of $80k in conservative mutual funds and bonds.

Our mortgage is our only debt and is about $200k (25 years remaining on 30 year loan). We are investing the difference between a 15 year payment and 30 year payment.

Unlike many other early retirement stories I've read, we want to have our cake and eat it to. We estimate we could maintain our lifestyle with annual income of $120k. We both enjoy our careers and my wife has the luxury of being off when our kids are out of school. I would like that same luxury. Using our non-career income ($45k/yr), I am researching income streams that could generate $30-50k that would give more flexibility.

I too love teaching and have considered being a community college instructor. Ideally I would love to an option to be a remote instructor in mathematics, statistics, programming, electronics, or business administration/analytics.

With that said, I am torn. It would be great to be off with my daughters by the time I turn 40. However, I could work until I am 50 and save up so that I am fully independent of any career.

Two Questions: Anyone have experience with remote instructor positions that could give advice?

What advice would you give someone in my position in terms of planning for a partial retirement in 4-5 years versus a more full retirement in 6-10 years?
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Old 02-28-2020, 04:43 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by bradtreadwell1900 View Post
... we want to have our cake and eat it too.
From what I've heard, launching kids toward an upper-middle-class lifestyle can be rather expensive these days. In 12-15 years - when your kids are ready - who knows what the situation will be?

I agree that developing independent income streams is your ticket toward future employment flexibility. Keep up the good work! No spouse or kids (i.e., low overhead) allowed me to convert to semi-retired status at age 44. Your conversion may be delayed a bit due to your kids, but only you can perform this calculation.

Good luck!
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Old 02-28-2020, 04:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradtreadwell1900 View Post
I am excited to be on the early retirement journey. I am 36 and happily married with two daughters (5 and 2). My wife is a teacher earning roughly $45k/yr. I am a manufacturing manager earning $100k/yr (BSME, MBA). I also own/operate a video production company earning $25k/yr and we have rental property that is essentially paid for that returns $20k/yr. This is a total of about $190k/yr. We have non retirment investments of $80k in conservative mutual funds and bonds.

Our mortgage is our only debt and is about $200k (25 years remaining on 30 year loan). We are investing the difference between a 15 year payment and 30 year payment.

Unlike many other early retirement stories I've read, we want to have our cake and eat it to. We estimate we could maintain our lifestyle with annual income of $120k. We both enjoy our careers and my wife has the luxury of being off when our kids are out of school. I would like that same luxury. Using our non-career income ($45k/yr), I am researching income streams that could generate $30-50k that would give more flexibility.

I too love teaching and have considered being a community college instructor. Ideally I would love to an option to be a remote instructor in mathematics, statistics, programming, electronics, or business administration/analytics.

With that said, I am torn. It would be great to be off with my daughters by the time I turn 40. However, I could work until I am 50 and save up so that I am fully independent of any career.

Two Questions: Anyone have experience with remote instructor positions that could give advice?

What advice would you give someone in my position in terms of planning for a partial retirement in 4-5 years versus a more full retirement in 6-10 years?
For starters, congratulations on diversifying your income streams. Impressive.

As to your first question, I have some experience, albeit anecdotal, with remote instruction. Higher education generally is under a variety of economic stresses.

First, as with many other fields, higher education -- and remote learning specifically -- is gradually being disrupted. AI/machine learning is expected to make more inroads in the years ahead. For example. I heard from a friend last week that some online courses now are being "taught" by machines, even in the liberal arts. I have not independently verified that.

Second, online education outfits such as Udacity are creating both opportunities and challenges. Shell just had a major announcement about training via Udacity.

Third, certification programs are growing. Could be opportunities there.

And fourth, the pay (adjuncts, etc.) is generally poor. But since you have diversified income streams already, maybe making a couple of thousand additional bucks by teaching an online course per semester would reflect further economic diversification. You wouldn't have to live off of that income stream alone.

So I would stay abreast of how online education evolves for these and related reasons over the coming years. New opportunities may be created. Existing/traditional paths may be foreclosed.

I would not, on the other hand, assume that adjunct-type positions that exist today will still be around in the same way a decade from now.
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Old 02-29-2020, 08:25 AM   #4
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Congrats on your journey! I semi-retired at 45 (last year) and planned for it 9 years ago around your age. The clock-strike for us last year was having our mortgage paid off AND our kid 100% out of our nest (100% self-sufficient + mortgage free home as well). Now, I work because I want to (not because I have to) with the goal of completely shutting down (if I need to) in another 9 years. We save 50% of our income each year increasing gradually until we cap out at saving 69% at the 5 year mid-point mark (we need 31% of our total income to live comfortably and do the things we like to do . As you can probably tell by now, retirement is simply a state of mind (not a financial status). Once you grasp that concept you can develop a plan that works for you (not anyone else). Oh, regarding income streams... One that I haven't heard mentioned on this site is day-trading cryptocurrency (you can easily make $2000 a month doing that in your spare time sometimes more if you have $20K to play with. You can literally do that in the span of 48hrs if you know what you're doing and understand the crypto markets and know what makes them tick. BTW, thanks for the teaching idea! That just might be my next adventure!
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Old 02-29-2020, 09:34 AM   #5
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Oh, regarding income streams... One that I haven't heard mentioned on this site is day-trading cryptocurrency
There's a reason for that.
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Old 02-29-2020, 09:49 AM   #6
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there's a reason for that.
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Old 03-02-2020, 11:43 AM   #7
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This is all great information. Thanks for sharing. Day trading in general is a little intimidating to me given the risk. Glad to part of this community.
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Old 03-02-2020, 12:47 PM   #8
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I've been teaching online college classes since 2003, mostly at community colleges but also at a few for-profit colleges.

Online education is becoming more popular for students, even though many students don't have the discipline to be successful in the online environment. Online education is becoming more popular for teachers, and you will probably find that there is a lot of competition for a limited number of online teacher positions.

Pay for part time college teachers varies widely across the country. In my personal experience, my highest paying job paid more than double what my lowest paying job provided.

If you want to be an online teacher in the future I would strongly recommend trying to find teaching work now, either online or on campus. The more experience you have, the easier it will be to find a position later.

To teach at the college level, you generally need at least a masters degree with at least 18 semester hours in the field of study. College preparatory courses require less education. Based on the information in your posting, it will be difficult for you to teach college-level courses in all of the disciplines you mentioned. You may want to take some additional graduate-level courses which may open up some more disciplines in which you can be qualified to teach.

There are also some options to teach in the K-12 age range. In Florida, for example, there is a "Florida Virtual School" that allows K-12 students to take some or all of their classes online. These teachers must go through the regular K-12 certification process.

Feel free to send me a private message if you have more specific questions.
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:43 AM   #9
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I've been teaching online college classes since 2003, mostly at community colleges but also at a few for-profit colleges.

Online education is becoming more popular for students, even though many students don't have the discipline to be successful in the online environment. Online education is becoming more popular for teachers, and you will probably find that there is a lot of competition for a limited number of online teacher positions.

Pay for part time college teachers varies widely across the country. In my personal experience, my highest paying job paid more than double what my lowest paying job provided.

If you want to be an online teacher in the future I would strongly recommend trying to find teaching work now, either online or on campus. The more experience you have, the easier it will be to find a position later.

To teach at the college level, you generally need at least a masters degree with at least 18 semester hours in the field of study. College preparatory courses require less education. Based on the information in your posting, it will be difficult for you to teach college-level courses in all of the disciplines you mentioned. You may want to take some additional graduate-level courses which may open up some more disciplines in which you can be qualified to teach.

There are also some options to teach in the K-12 age range. In Florida, for example, there is a "Florida Virtual School" that allows K-12 students to take some or all of their classes online. These teachers must go through the regular K-12 certification process.

Feel free to send me a private message if you have more specific questions.
Great info. I just PM'd you.
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Old 03-11-2020, 11:04 AM   #10
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I taught a hybrid introductory statistics class, and a face to face version for a year after retiring from full time work.

The community college was starting a requirement that instructors be certified to teach online. This amounted to having all the online content built ahead of time for your course. In my observations/experience there is little to no support for new instructors, meaning you have to build it all from scratch, or find it online. The chances that you find just the right material to match your teaching style are slim.

If I decided to get back into education, it would be as a tutor. The major platforms online take a hefty commission, but you have greater flexibility, and in the end would make about as much as an adjunct, without having to build/modify course content.

Good luck
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