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Author: jtmitch Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 736988  
Subject: New Thread Based on Seattle Pioneer's Advice Date: 3/30/2001 4:02 PM
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This is from the RE Envy thread but seems like it might be a tangent that needs its own thread...

Seattle Pioneer advised: ....... I would really like to commend the idea of some kind of self employment as part of an Early Retirement strategy. There are lots of tax advatages plus I personally value the great flexibility it gives in controlling your income.

You might find you could retire five years earlier if you were willing to work a business three or four months per year or some such. It might be worth considering.


This concept is beginning to lots of appeal to me. Although the idea of being RE'd is still one I focus on, I am also coming around to the realization that I may not yet be 100% suited to having absolutely no job responsibilities. But I'm not sure that staying in/moving to another large organization in an administrative management position -- even in a part-time capacity -- is the way to go either. Besides, it appears very difficult to work for someone else on a part-time basis unless you are willing to do lower paying retail work. You (Seattle Pioneer) seem to have a particular skill set as a repairman and find it relatively easy to work on your own terms. Unfortunately, I don't currently have a hard-core, hands-on skill set that is in high demand. My sense is that people with hi-tech skills can sometimes pull this off (although I also think many of them get sucked back into more and more hours). I have seen others take hi-tech skills and move to part-time teaching with community colleges, universities and proprietary schools. (Strictly speaking, they're not working for themselves, but the idea is pretty much the same.) Skilled tradesmen seem to have the best situation -- if you can install, fix or build something that people want installed, fixed or built it seems you are in good shape. What other skills lend themselves to this kind of part-time, intermittent working life?

jtmitch









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Author: aquila66 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35110 of 736988
Subject: Re: New Thread Based on Seattle Pioneer's Advice Date: 3/30/2001 4:21 PM
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I used to be a raft guide in the summer and a ski instructor in the winter. Felt like I was RE. I will probably go back to that sometime too. Somebody always wants to go down a river or learn to ski. So teaching a sport might be an option. Golf Pro, whatever.

Of course, the pay really ain't all that great. But, so what, your're retired.

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Author: BigRedJim Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35114 of 736988
Subject: Re: New Thread Based on Seattle Pioneer's Advice Date: 3/30/2001 5:21 PM
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Actually, this can be pretty easy to do with a limited high-tech skill set. Every small company uses computers now, and most of them could use them better. The same applies to local charities like Red Cross, Boy Scouts, United Way, etc. Most of them can't afford fulltime IT people, and they certainly can't afford the bigger consulting firms. It can be pretty easy to set yourself up with some of these smaller firms for anything from a few hours a week to a few days a month to assist them when they need help.

It's a matter of finding your target clients and letting them know that some things will be beyond your ability to contract. I did this for two years in between fulltime jobs, and did pretty well working two days a week.

The same can apply to a lot of different skills. I know that a number of places would like to find part-time people to handle recurring items like payroll. Anyone with a good grasp of Quickbooks can do this easily.

Jim


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Author: ResNullius Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35116 of 736988
Subject: Re: New Thread Based on Seattle Pioneer's Advice Date: 3/30/2001 7:46 PM
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Seattle Pioneer advised: ....... I would really like to commend the idea of some kind of self employment as part of an Early Retirement strategy. There are lots of tax advatages plus I personally value the great flexibility it gives in controlling your income.

Yes, but beware of what you wish for, because part-time work can easily start to take over your life. I retired early a year and a half ago. For various reasons, I decided to do a little part-time consulting on the side with some of my former clients. I have thoroughly enjoyed doing this, but it has started to take way too much of my time. I originally wanted to work not more than 20% of the time. My main problem has been having too much work. While I enjoy what I am doing, I want to limit the time I put into it. It's hard to have your cake and eat it too. I keep trying to find the sweet spot, but it is easier said than done. I know I shouldn't complain, but staying out of the rat race is very important to me, and I don't intend to back slide back into the race.



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Author: CMangano One star, 50 posts CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35118 of 736988
Subject: Re: New Thread Based on Seattle Pioneer's Advice Date: 3/30/2001 7:55 PM
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Hmmm, I kind of look at early retirement as a chance to improve some of my skills (such as golfing, hitting a jump shot, etc.). Also, I think of it as a good time to travel and just do whatever the heck I want. I couldn't imagine having to lose some of this time to work!

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35128 of 736988
Subject: Re: New Thread Based on Seattle Pioneer's Advice Date: 3/30/2001 9:58 PM
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<<The same can apply to a lot of different skills. I know that a number of places would like to find part-time people to handle recurring items like payroll. Anyone with a good grasp of Quickbooks can do this easily.
>>


I was a volunteer Treasurer for a homeowner's association, and learned a variety of bookkeeping jobs that might be marketable to small businesses. Just entering invoices and paying bills is work that needs to be done. I learned to do payrolls and payroll taxes on my own --- not that tough to learn for small businesses (very small, probably).

One advantage of running your own little business is that you suddenly start seeing all kinds of things around you that need to be done and that people would pay for. I have a neighboring business (machine shop) that lets their grass and landscape grow wild ---just no one to do it I suppose. I've considered sending them a bid to do this work since I'm already a licensed contractor and I get sick of seeing the mess!



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: retin10 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35138 of 736988
Subject: Re: New Thread Based on Seattle Pioneer's Advice Date: 3/31/2001 12:37 AM
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What other skills lend themselves to this kind of part-time, intermittent working life?

There is a viable market for temp work in just about every skill/job you can imagine: nurses, doctors (locum tenens), accountants, engineers, home health and administrative workers to name a few.

I have a friend who is an occupational therapist and she takes assignments from three different agencies. At first the thought of being a temporary worker scared her, but they keep her pretty busy (30-35 hours per week) and the pay is good. Now she really enjoys the work because she has more control of her time. If she wants to ski every Wednesday, she just tells the agency not to schedule her on Wednesdays. My plumber is a young guy who has his own business. He works hard and long but when he's had enough, he forwards his calls to a backup plumber and takes time off when he needs it. He's been gone as long as a month at a time for R&R to Mexico and Arizona.

I'm seriously considering the temp life myself. Of course full time early retirement is the ideal, but sometimes it seems so far off and almost unattainable. Perhaps a combination of work/retirement might be the next best thing. My nest egg isn't big enough for full time ER now , but within five years it will be big enough for part time ER. I could temp part-time (6 mos or so) and live off the safe withdrawal rate for the other half of the year or some such combination.


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Author: golfwaymore Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35176 of 736988
Subject: Re: New Thread Based on Seattle Pioneer's Advice Date: 3/31/2001 1:59 PM
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For various reasons, I decided to do a little part-time consulting on the side with some of my former clients. I have thoroughly enjoyed doing this, but it has started to take way too much of my time. I originally wanted to work not more than 20% of the time.

Res & Others,

I realize there are many here at REHP who do part time consulting. I'm curious though, as to how you launched this effort?

I am interested in doing a tiny bit of consulting upon RE. However, the value of my put option for the company I founded is significantly decreased if I participate in anything that could be construed as breaking my non compete.

In other words, I could not consult based on the network of contacts made over the past 10 years, as it would impact my buyout.

So, while I'm likely qualified to consult in a number of different industries, I'm not sure how one would go about getting "consulting work" in industries where he/she has not contacts.

Thoughts?

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Author: ogrecat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35201 of 736988
Subject: Re: New Thread Based on Seattle Pioneer's Advice Date: 3/31/2001 9:44 PM
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I used to be a raft guide in the summer and a ski instructor in the winter. Felt like I was RE. I will probably go back to that sometime too. Somebody always wants to go down a river or learn to ski. So teaching a sport might be an option. Golf Pro, whatever.

Just be aware that for most this will be a limited time span. Depending on DNA, arthritis or such will start limiting many people at some point. Plan accordingly.

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Author: ogrecat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35204 of 736988
Subject: Re: New Thread Based on Seattle Pioneer's Advice Date: 3/31/2001 9:50 PM
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Yes, but beware of what you wish for, because part-time work can easily start to take over your life. I retired early a year and a half ago.

My father is an electrician, and has run a business of just himself (and mom keeping books and such) for the last 30 years. He is 74 this month and still works sometimes, mostly for some old clients. Usually he is just paid for giving expert advice.

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Author: duggg Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35210 of 736988
Subject: Re: New Thread Based on Seattle Pioneer's Advice Date: 4/1/2001 12:00 AM
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BigRedJim writes,

Actually, this can be pretty easy to do with a limited high-tech skill set. Every small company uses computers now, and most of them could use them better.

This stock market fiasco created a $1300 shortfall on my already tight budget, forcing me to seek some part-time work to cover it. So last week I walked into the newly-opened neighborhood grocery store and asked what positions were available.

They wanted early-morning "courtesy clerks". Although the $5.50/hour pay didn't bother me, the hours did, and they even insisted I dress up. I took the application and told them I would get back with them. I'm currently using the application as a floor mat in my car.

Then later that day while mountain biking, I saw a "Now Hiring" sign at the plant nursery down the street. I stopped in and was immediately hired at $7/hour. Their busy months are March, April, October, and November, and they only need extra workers then---which works pretty well for me, since working half-time just one third of the year is still pretty much ER, is it not?

It can be hard work---last week I personally moved 800 5-gallon rose plants an average of 600 feet each. But it's mostly just retail work, keeping the place tidy, manning the cash register, and helping carry plants and stuff to the car. But it's nice to work outdoors, and it makes me feel more part of the community, being able to bike to work and all. It's good exercise and there's a sense of accomplishment. I even get to practice my Spanish with some of the migrant workers there.

Well, talk about getting one's foot in the door! Today I learned the nursery is looking into some computer technology to handle their inventory better. They've been putting off looking at the software because it was just too intimidating to them.

As a former computer network engineer, I told 'em straight out, "It's no big deal---I can help." They jumped right on that, and I spent an hour setting up a little consulting deal for me over the summer when business slacks off and they have more time to look into such projects.

I'm pretty sure if I had just walked in off the street and said, "I can solve your computer issues for you", that they would not have been quite as receptive.

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Author: foolkath Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35211 of 736988
Subject: Re: New Thread Based on Seattle Pioneer's Advice Date: 4/1/2001 1:11 AM
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Good going Dugg! Congradulations

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Author: DaveLee One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35233 of 736988
Subject: Re: New Thread Based on Seattle Pioneer's Advice Date: 4/1/2001 1:21 PM
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My original plan was to work just a few evenings a week as a Chippendale dancer. But others have suggested that maybe I haven't completely thought through the qualifications aspect here :-)

Another alternative that I have considered is working for H&R Block (for example) 3 or 4 months a year. I haven't researched this completely but I used to have an employee who did this on a part-time basis and he was basically self-taught. It is my understanding that local offices typically have a high demand for people to handle the routine stuff during tax season. I wouldn't object to long hours 3 months a year (otherwise RE).

Does anyone out there have more detailed info on this alternative. It appeals to me because it would force me to learn something personally useful (tax issues).

dave

ps. My wife considers me currently unqualified for either option, but feels that I have a better shot at the latter than the former :-)

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Author: RonBass Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35234 of 736988
Subject: Re: New Thread Based on Seattle Pioneer's Advice Date: 4/1/2001 1:40 PM
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DaveLee wrote:
My original plan was to work just a few evenings a week as a Chippendale dancer. But others have suggested that maybe I haven't completely thought through the qualifications aspect here :-)

If it worked in The Full Monty, why not for you...?

Another alternative that I have considered is working for H&R Block (for example) 3 or 4 months a year. I haven't researched this completely but I used to have an employee who did this on a part-time basis and he was basically self-taught. It is my understanding that local offices typically have a high demand for people to handle the routine stuff during tax season. I wouldn't object to long hours 3 months a year (otherwise RE).

Does anyone out there have more detailed info on this alternative. It appeals to me because it would force me to learn something personally useful (tax issues).


When I was living in Colorado Springs, H&R Block routinely recruited retired military personnel to work the tax season. IIRC, they'd post a notice in late summer, offering their "tax university" to train folks for the following season. I'd go talk to the local manager a couple of weeks after tax day. (Give them a chance to wind down from this years big push.)

In fact, opening the local Yellow Pages at "Tax Return Preparation", I found a half page ad for "Jackson Hewitt Tax Service". At the bottom of the ad is the line "Tutition Free Tax School - Call Nearest Office: 800-234-1040"

-Ron

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Author: SloanT Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35235 of 736988
Subject: Re: New Thread Based on Seattle Pioneer's Advice Date: 4/1/2001 1:40 PM
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"Another alternative that I have considered is working for H&R Block (for example) 3 or 4 months a year. I haven't researched this completely but I used to have an employee who did this on a part-time basis and he was basically self-taught. It is my understanding that local offices typically have a high demand for people to handle the routine stuff during tax season. I wouldn't object to long hours 3 months a year (otherwise RE). "

I have a friend here in engineering school that does this every year. He says they get paid by the return, but that it generally averages out to around $10/hr if you are good. He had no previous experience, like I said, he is an engineering major.

st

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Author: intercst Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35239 of 736988
Subject: Re: New Thread Based on Seattle Pioneer's Advice Date: 4/1/2001 1:47 PM
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SloanT informs,

"Another alternative that I have considered is working for H&R Block (for example) 3 or 4 months a year. I haven't researched this completely but I used to have an employee who did this on a part-time basis and he was basically self-taught. It is my understanding that local offices typically have a high demand for people to handle the routine stuff during tax season. I wouldn't object to long hours 3 months a year (otherwise RE). "

I have a friend here in engineering school that does this every year. He says they get paid by the return, but that it generally averages out to around $10/hr if you are good. He had no previous experience, like I said, he is an engineering major.


Shouldn't an Engineer be able to do a bit better than $10 an hour? (Unless you actually regard tax preparation as a recreational activity. <grin>)

intercst


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Author: griz946 Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35240 of 736988
Subject: Re: New Thread Based on Seattle Pioneer's Advice Date: 4/1/2001 1:55 PM
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Working at H&R Block -- I did that for a couple of tax seasons in the early 90's. What I didn't like was the exobitant interest rates charged on the refund anticipation loans 150+% to people making the bare minimum to get by on -- thats one of the main reasons I didn't go back. You do get to see a different slice of life and people talk to you about a normally taboo subject -- money.

Griz

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35245 of 736988
Subject: Re: New Thread Based on Seattle Pioneer's Advice Date: 4/1/2001 3:28 PM
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H&R Block has a course in preparing taxes that begins around the first of the year. When I solicited comments on the Fool, it came highly recommended by people who had taken it.

I understand that many people who complete the course get job offers from H&R Block.

Sounds interesting to me!



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: washu Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 35289 of 736988
Subject: Re: New Thread Based on Seattle Pioneer's Advice Date: 4/2/2001 1:32 PM
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<< What other skills lend themselves to this kind of part-time, intermittent working life? >>

Well, being a cheap S.O.B. helps.

I have a hobby I could do without (maybe that's why it's called a hobby...). It's become less LBYM than getting more stuff for the same price -- I think I'm getting five or ten times as much product as I used to. I run game demos (and know someone who does sales for gift items as her hobby), and a retailer has given me a lead for a job in gaming distribution. I'm interested in the business aspects of games, but won't take the job until I ER.

Not all hobbies can become jobs (and I have given up some hobbies because I couldn't get a discount!), but review what you enjoy and see how you can help someone promote their business -- and get you something for it.


Washu! ^O^

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