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Subject:  Re: Beginning Retirement Investing Date:  2/25/2013  2:29 PM
Author:  katiewa Number:  71449 of 88777

You can consider early retirement, or starting your own company, or teaching at say a university, consulting, etc, etc.

OP might want to research working as a consultant sooner rather than later. The amount that can be funneled into retirement for self-employed is considerably greater than for employees, and you can frequently charge almost double your salary. You can, depending on the subcontract, charge for all hours worked rather than donating 5-10 hours/week throughout your career as an exempt employee.

On the chance that OP works under a JCI government contract.... Many government contractors have requirements to do a certain dollar volume with local small/minority-owned businesses. Also, subcontracts generally don't count against headcount; transferring people to a subcontract can sometimes be looked on as a reduction in headcount even though nobody has actually left.

While there certainly are risks associated with this (the primary contractor can (and will) not renew the contract when budgets get tight--like right now), the rewards can be considerable. Work up a spreadsheet with the numbers, contingencies, probabilities, etc. Since it sounds as though you have a good job, there is certainly no rush on this, but it's a good exercise regardless to understand what you are paid, what your benefits really cost, what you'd have to pay for insurance if you actually bought it yourself....

Another thought. If JCI offers a health savings account (NOT a flexible savings account!), be sure to take advantage of this. This money remains yours and can generally be controlled by you as you would an IRA/401K.

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