Sorry for the mixed metaphor, is anyone else contemplating a major "downshift" in lifestyle at what might be considered a fairly early age? Anyone trying to "escape the rat race"?My wife & I are DINK(Y)s who work hard and make a nice living ... but LBOM. One day, we "woke up" and realized 2 surprising things:1. 40 is a few years away, and we aren't spending our days doing things we really enjoy. We had always enjoyed our jobs, the professional achievement & advancement, but it's not fun anymore. And we don't have forever to start doing what we want.2. The assets we've accumulated could be adequate to "buy our freedom" way, way earlier than we would have thought. We watched our excellent parents work their entire adult lives away and retire in their mid-60's. Maybe there's another way?Now we're not zillionaires, but we don't care to live like the "Rich & Famous" either. Plus, we don't want to "retire" in the classic sense. We don't want to go from working 60hr/wk to zero. We want to go from killing ourselves as corporate executives to working fewer hours at some smaller income-producing activity. We no longer want to make as much as we can, rather, we want to make as much as we need. The goal is more living, starting now!Anyone else considering this? What businesses are you looking at? Are both of you "exiting" at the same time, or are you taking a step-wise approach? Are you staying connected somehow to your professional field, or trying something completely different? Any other thoughts?
Anyone else considering this? What businesses are you looking at? Are both of you "exiting" at the same time, or are you taking a step-wise approach? Are you staying connected somehow to your professional field, or trying something completely different? Any other thoughts? I've been thinking about retiring, or semi-retiring since about a year after I started working! While my husband likes his job, I'm not a big fan of mine. We're both in our late 20s, and when we have kids I won't work at least until they're in school. I guess that means I get my escape before he does. ;)Once kids are in school, I've given some thought to becoming a teacher. My mom works for a school district, so I've seen up close and personal some of the *&^%$ that goes on -- politics and the horribly inefficient way that our government runs education. Plus I don't know if I could handle the teachers union. But a job that has the flexibility of being a teacher with the same holidays off as my kids and has a summer vacation just might overcome the nasties.I guess while the (as yet non-existent) kids are really small I'll have a chance to look for other potential occupations with similar upsides -- just working part time would be one option. I'm interested to see what sorts of careers other people think of when they want to pull back the pace a little...:)Stephanie
Here are some of the jobs/businesses/careers I hear other people talking about:- Manufacturer's rep- Certified Financial Planner (independent or franchised)- Consultant (must have expertise in something, of course)- Freelancer (must have saleable skills, of course)- Corporate trainer- Personal fitness trainer- Distribution/delivery route- Local franchise owner for pest control, carpet cleaningThe keys are flexible hours, independence and the ability to decide how much you want to work (and, correspondingly, how much money you wish to make).
I'd like to think I never entered the rat race. I've always worked for the government, which means I've never had to work more than 40 hours/wk and can take vacation whenever I want. Also, everywhere I've worked "normal" retirement age has been around 55. In my current position I can work 3/4 time and still get full benefits, which is something I'm going to aim for if I'm still there in a year or so.My husband started his own business this year, and due to its nature he doesn't need to put more than 40 hrs/wk into it (he might even put in less...and when it starts earning money, he can hire someone to sit at the front desk, instead of doing it himself). This is a year or so away, but our plans then are to each work 1/2 to 3/4 time and enjoy ourselves.BTW, you should "advertise" this board on the New Board/Notable Boards board--more readers there than the DINKs board. The Passion Saving and Retire Early Home Page boards might also be interested.Ellen
Very wise of you to start thinking of it as early as possible! We're in OK shape financially, but I do kick myself a little when I think of all the money we spent when we were just going along thinking we would be working for big corporations for 40 years.Just like you, when our as-yet-nonexistent kids come along, we really want to spend our time raising them! We've waited until our 30's, so now it's really something we want to throw our hearts & energies into.This board just opened, so I'm hoping some others will come along with nice ideas on jobs/businesses that can be done with flexible schedules.
I'd like to think I never entered the rat race. I've always worked for the governmentThat sounds great! We hadn't intended to end-up there either, but the years flew by until a combination of things caused us to ask, "What on earth are we doing?"My husband started his own business this year, and due to its nature he doesn't need to put more than 40 hrs/wk into it (he might even put in less...and when it starts earning money, he can hire someone to sit at the front desk, instead of doing it himself)I am envious! Can you tell us what this business is (or at least what sort of business it is)? I'm >2000 miles away, so I promise I won't compete!you should "advertise" this board on the New Board/Notable Boards board Thanks very much for the tip. I'm new at posting, so I'm afraid I don't quite know how to do that. I had intended to post a message on LBYM similar to the one I put on DINKs. Other than that, I don't yet know how to "promote" a board.
I am envious! Can you tell us what this business is (or at least what sort of business it is)? I'm >2000 miles away, so I promise I won't compete!Well, do you have musical ability? :-)He's a musician--he actually makes money playing (he had two gigs tonight), but he also has a day job. His new business is a private music lesson studio. Lessons run from after school (around 3 pm or so) to no later than 8. People don't want to go later, and don't want to come in Friday or Saturday (the latter kinda surprises me--he'll get calls and walk-ins on those days, though...) I think he goes in around noon to catch up on paperwork.Thanks very much for the tip. I'm new at posting, so I'm afraid I don't quite know how to do that. I had intended to post a message on LBYM similar to the one I put on DINKs. Other than that, I don't yet know how to "promote" a board. Just type in "New Boards/Notable Boards" (or whatever board you want) in the box below (that should take you there) and post the same message you posted on DINKs. That should do it!Ellen
Hi michaelangela, Great idea for a board. My DH and I are in a similar position. AT 37 we're in the process of making the shift now. DH is a corporate attorney who travels way too much for work. We're looking at him becoming a SAHD and working part time as a consultant. He's already transitioned from being an employee to a consultant. The goal is once we have a child for him to tele-commute p/t from home. I already have a nice secure 10-6 blue collar job that will allow me work p/t any schedule I want for a year after the birth or placement of a foster or adopted child. We plan on both. I can also take a second year off w/o pay, so that's the plan. I like my job so right now I have no desire to quit. I just intend to take full advantage of my company's generous personal leave privileges. My sister is at home with her first baby now. We're looking at Ebay to see if that can be a reliable source of income. I find the deals and she sets up the auctions. So far we're doing well.Crazyinlovefool
Stephanie, my sister-in-law went from being a teacher to a librarian. She plans to apply to work in the public school library when she has children in school. That way she can be off when they are. That might be an option for you.Crazyinlovefool
I am 21 and just started in the "real" world. I used to always care about making the most money. Now i dont. I have a job that i love that lets me utilize every skill i have. I dont even call it work, i call it fun. There is a lot of room for Promotion as well. I rather work where i am working and make less money than go somewhere where i could make 10 times the amount. The stress and hours that go with making that much money is not what i want. I have started LBMM and saving for retirement. Being happy is more important to me than making lots of money. If you do what you liek, the money comes to you. I grew up in a house where my dad worked 12 hour days. I do not want to do that. I love the 9-5 M-F hours. Jason
Hi, CILF. Glad to see you here. I believe I just recently replied to one of your posts on another board (DINK, LBYM, REHP?). I'm very interested to hear your situation. Surely others are moving in this direction as well.This Ebay auction deal sounds intriguing. Can you share more?DW (?) & I are your same age (!), and we've both found ourselves in your DH's situation: corporate management/executive jobs, too much travel, too much pressure, too many direct reports. For a long time, this was fun. It was exciting. It was exactly what we thought we wanted to do.Now, though, we realize that what we really want to do is much more like what you describe: more time at home; more time to make :-) -- and enjoy raising -- kids. Even professionally, we've learned & accomplished enough to know that we can (and want to) be more "self-directed".Gotta run...more to follow....
Stephanie, my sister-in-law went from being a teacher to a librarianJust goes to show that there are many, many opportunities. Like your SIL, in considering "downshift" job/career/business opportunities, I'm not wedded to my original professional field. I might go from running a global business unit to owning a delivery/distribution route here in my area!
I grew up in a house where my dad worked 12 hour days. I do not want to do that. I love the 9-5 M-F hours. Glad to hear that you're pursuing exactly what you want, and not someone else's image of what you're supposed to be doing.Since you're just starting out, though, let me share just one little element about the different alternatives. I don't want to work 12hr days anymore, either. But here's the kicker: I don't want to work 9-5, either! I want to "work" way less than that, and on my terms!So here's the irony: the thing that gives me the latitude to consider a "semi-retirement" in my mid-30's is the money I earned working those 12hr days early-on.Being happy is more important to me than making lots of money.Being happy is what this is all about! You might love this work, and you could enjoy the 9-5 lifestyle for a long, long time. Just consider that, if you ever want to break out of that (maybe when spouse, kids, etc, come along), you may find it was beneficial to have "made hay while the sun shined". Keep up the LBYM!Just food for thought. Good luck!
Thanks, Ellen, for the tips on promoting the board. I've placed messages in DINK, LBYM & REHP. I'll also try the "New Boards/Notable Boards" tip. Is that a board unto itself?Regarding musical ability, let's just say that I "have a very nice personality"!
My DH and I have been doing this for several years. We're both in our mid-thirties, have no children, are basically debt-free, and own our home. We are technical writers who work about five months out of the year, if you added up all the time we work and compressed it into traditional work-weeks. The rest of the time, he plays jazz guitar and I spin/knit/quilt/sew. I am also working on building a side career in voice-overs.DH quit a series of non-MLS library jobs to stay home and write, but I made a conscious choice to get off the career track. I am nearly done with my PhD, but chose to leave my assistantship and stop searching for academic jobs when we started to write. I am a workaholic in traditional work environments and bring far too much stress home with me, so it was both a health decision and a lifestyle decision.We were self-supporting for a few years before my father died. Dad left us enough money to purchase our house free and clear, so we don't have a mortgage. Various insurances, routine monthly utilities, groceries, and taxes result in a monthly cost of living that's about $1200. We rarely need to buy clothes, make-up, shoes, or other cost-of-working items. We travel a lot, work on our "handyman's dream" house and garden, entertain, sock away the maximum in retirement accounts, give to charity, and basically enjoy our lives. We're far nicer and calmer people than we were when we worked every day; BostonSpouse commuted 75 miles each way, and I was working evenings and weekends for much of the year.The best thing I can tell someone wanting to do this is that you CAN do it. Figure out what you're going to do about insurance, make sure you understand self-employment taxes, network your butt off, and learn new hobbies which don't have significant constant ongoing costs. The book Your Money Or Your Life describes the breakeven point when your investment income matches or exceeds your monthly costs of living, and that's really the key. Investing has provided a buffer in certain months when the income from work is slow or non-existent. It doesn't have to be much as long as you don't need much.Are we retired? No. We're happily self-employed. It just looks like we're retired. ;-)
To the list of part time jobs, add real estate sales. I am told that commercial and industrial real estate tend to be wine 'em and dine 'em, close the big deal situations. Depends on your area, but can be a nice part time business opportunity.Anyone who can sell can always find something they say. In addition to manufacturers rep, dozens of organizations are willing to hire on straight commission basis. You get paid for the orders you take. Work when you want to.
So here's the irony: the thing that gives me the latitude to consider a "semi-retirement" in my mid-30's is the money I earned working those 12hr days early-on. I've made the observation previously on the Retire Early board....it's ironic that one of the primary means to get to early retirement/financial independence is to invest heavily in the very same kinds of corporations whose environments we seek to escape.jtmitch
Are we retired? No. We're happily self-employed. It just looks like we're retired. ;-) Wow ... you are my idol, BostonKate! You describe the exact kind of thing we're looking to achieve. Not entrepreneurship exactly, just self-sufficiency.Of course, you don't mention if kids are in the future picture (we sure hope to be able to say they are in ours). Plus, our parents look like they're going to be enjoying their hard-earned savings for years to come, and we're very glad for that. But it also means that no windfall is on the horizon.With "Boston" in your username, you must be subject to a very high cost of living. Same with us -- among the highest in the nation. One thing we're contemplating is a simultaneous move to a lower COL area, to make the whole thing easier. The LBYM ideal would be to take a corporate relocation (paid!) to a low COL area, work through the payback period (~18mo), then finally transition to self-employed status.It sounds like your DH & you enjoy each other immensely, and that's a major factor for us, as well. Best wishes for continued success!
To the list of part time jobs, add real estate sales.Yes, absolutely, pauleckler!! We thought of that one today, too. We know several specific examples of people who are making that exact thing work for them in this way.Anyone who can sell can always find something they say. No question about this one. We live in a very population-dense, thriving economy area, so there are many options along these lines.Although we're not in the sales profession, the management ranks have taught both of us quite a lot about persuasion. Especially if I could find a product that "meant something to me", I'm sure I could go out and get those orders.
Hi, jtmitch. Good to see you here. Have been enjoying the Unconventional Ideas community -- thanks for the tip.....it's ironic that one of the primary means to get to early retirement/financial independence is to invest heavily in the very same kinds of corporations whose environments we seek to escape. You're right, of course. And if by "invest heavily" you mean of your own time & sweat, then we're on the same page. Here, I'm referring to the salary & bonuses that come from the promotions that come from the excellent business results that come from the long hours. That sorta thing.I get lots of options, but they've never amounted to much cash. My own investments in other companies, on the other hand, have been quite lucrative! In fact, spending more time managing that is one of the things I would like to do ... once free of the 12hr/d grind.
Of course, you don't mention if kids are in the future picture (we sure hope to be able to say they are in ours). Plus, our parents look like they're going to be enjoying their hard- earned savings for years to come, and we're very glad for that. But it also means that no windfall is on the horizon.No kids - we can't have 'em. We made the choice to channel funds we'd use for a child into philanthropic avenues instead - we'll help send someone else's kids to college. ;-) As for the windfall, yes it was helpful - but it was a supplement to what we had already earned and saved. Not having had it would merely have meant a small mortgage.Your relo plan sounds good. We did it backwards - moved from semi-rural Georgia to Boston proper. Still, we bought the cheapest house with the most land that we could find. Our COL would be less outside Mass, but we really wanted to be in the city so we didn't look in NH or RI. For us, part of COL is the resulting Quality of Life. It would suck to have a really low COL but have to drive 2 hours to see good theatre or hear the symphony (been there, done that).
Hi, CILF. Glad to see you here. I believe I just recently replied to one of your posts on another board (DINK, LBYM, REHP?). I'm very interested to hear your situation. Surely others are moving in this direction as well.This Ebay auction deal sounds intriguing. Can you share more?Our situation is pretty basic. DH was an attorney employed by a company that needed outside counsel for a multi-state lawsuit. After the case was resolved, the law firm offered him a position. It quickly became more the he wanted and he resigned. Additional worked was needed on his original case so the law firm arranged to hire DH as a temp thru an agency. This pays less, but allows him to participate in the agency's 401k plan and pick up benefits if needed. For over 5yrs the law firm has kept him working steadily. Moving him around to help on other cases. He can accept or not. The agency allows him to work for other companies and keep his options open. The Ebay thing is really just getting started. A little background. I'm a great bargain finder. It's just who I am. Living in NYC means that there are plenty of bargains to be found. Things that are sold on the street for a few dollars here, go for a lot of money on Ebay. Until recently I was very passive about this. I waited until someone posted on a board what they were looking for. I'd track it down and post an offer, which usually resulted in additional requests. I accept payment via Paypal. Purchase the item if I haven't already and ship it off. With Paypal payment is so quick that even if someone changes their mind about the purchase, I still have time to return the items.Now that my sister is home with a new baby, she has time to set up auctions. Doing a search on Ebay I found some items selling for enough over what I can get them for, that I can order them online. I have them shipped directly to the bidder and still make money. This is less hassle and makes it seem less like work. I made sure to get several of the items on hand first. Just in case the online retailer runs out of stock. So far we're making a little money. We'll see how it works out.Crazyinlovefool.
So here's the irony: the thing that gives me the latitude to consider a "semi-retirement" in my mid-30's is the money I earned working those 12hr days early-on.I have a "9-5" job that offers alot of overtime. Being a union member I'm paid double for all OT over 9hrs a week. If it looks like I'll hit double time, I try to live at the office. I'm at a point where I'm now able to take a 4-5weeks off every year w/o pay. I've already made my money. Just another thought.Crazyinlovefool
Well, I'm currently "in search of" a way to gracefully exit the rat race, just to put it bluntly and simply: I'm lazy.Not lazy in the means that I don't like work and put out as little effort as possible. It's lazy in the way that I don't want to put in effort where do I don't want to and would rather put effort into something I like doing or feel is more worthwhile.I'm in my 18th year of being a computer technical support rep. Not for the same company, mind you, I've just had 18 years of working on and figuring out problems with computers. It's a little bit like working as a police officer, a fireman, and EMT and the like. You only work on stuff when things go wrong. I'd rather work on stuff in a "happy" environment, not when people are anything BUT happy as is usual in a tech support or support line environment. I do my job well and have been VERY well compensated for doing so, but I don't see myself doing it much longer without burning out. Right now I'm working to fix computers that all they do is spit out your phone bill.MrsDuck and I have a good combined salary right now, have been fully funding 401k's and several things on top of that, plus have a 3-month cash-only efund.However, I was hoping on our last move that we'd be able to buy into a less expensive house, save even more, and perhaps get my way out of the computer tech support career and into something else. My salary is half of MrsDuck's.That hope went out the window when the only house that would make MrsDuck happy was to get a McMansion that was approaching pre-foreclosure that was 95% complete and about $70K under comps. Sure, that's a good deal, but if you can only afford a Honda, what good is getting a half-price Rolls Royce if you can't afford it? But we were able to get this McMansion in and under our current budget, but it really doesn't allow for me to try going into another career (at an entry-level wage or salary).Part of this is just me venting from losing out an argument to get a different house that would have been $100K less than our old house we moved away from, but is located in a more rural area. I mostly lost out on the argument because (1) "her" house was a good deal as described above and (2) "her" house is in a good school district, has more rapidly appreciating property values, etc, etc, etc... I'm considering going into real-estate (as others have suggested can even be a part-time deal), teaching, collectible car-trading, and even radio. But a lot of that will have to wait as my salary has to help support two ducklings and a McMansion.Early in my computer career, I had to wear 3-piece suits, or coat and tie, eventually working my way up to sport shirts and dockers, and now the ultimate setting, working at home, I can work naked and with bunny slippers (if I only HAD bunny slippers). So I have the ideal work environment (work at home, no commutes, etc), I just have to get rid of the actual JOB and replace it with something I'd rather be doing. I know, I dug myself INTO this hole, I know if something has to be done, I'LL have to do something about it.So I'll be frequenting this board to hopefully get some ideas and inspirations on ways to get out of my current, higher-stress, thankless job where people are whining all day and into something more productive.Thank you all for reading and allowing me to vent.DIMP
Still, we bought the cheapest house with the most land that we could find. Our COL would be less outside Mass, but we really wanted to be in the city so we didn't look in NH or RI. For us, part of COL is the resulting Quality of Life. It would suck to have a really low COL but have to drive 2 hours to see good theatre or hear the symphony (been there, done that).Yes, and that's the key, isn't it? We could all just accept an ultra-low quality of life, and not work for a living. But there's a word for that: being a bum! :-)In your case (and in mine) the goal is different: achieve a healthy & desireable balance between the quality of life, the cost of maintaining that quality, and the effort we have to expend to cover that cost.
Being a union member I'm paid double for all OT over 9hrs a weekHaving such a direct (and immediate) correlation between effort expended and money earned is definitely a nice feature of the hourly scenario.In my case (salaried), there have certainly been payoffs, but much less direct. The 12 hr days have to produce a tangible impact on the business's bottom line. When they do, the payoff is nice (cash + promotions). When they don't, I'm SOL.Don't get me wrong...I'm very happy with this equation. And I guess I had better be! "Exiting the fast lane" will surely move things only further in this direction!
You're right, of course. And if by "invest heavily" you mean of your own time & sweat, then we're on the same page. Here, I'm referring to the salary & bonuses that come from the promotions that come from the excellent business results that come from the long hours. That sorta thing. Actually I meant investing money . In seeking to get out of the rat race, retire early or whatever, you sock a lot of money into stocks and mutual funds so you have the financial wherewithal to do your own thing. But your success in achieving your goal depends on the financial success of the companies you invest in which, for the most part, are companies not unlike the one you are seeking to escape. I just find that kinda ironic (but will keep investing and cheering for their financial success!)jtmitch
Hi michaelangela!I'm putting together a list of 'board spin0ffs' and someone suggested that Moving Out of the Fast Lane could be considered a spin-off of the Consumer Debt/Credit Cards board OR the LBYM board. Since you're the originator of the board, I figured I'd go straight to the source. Would you consider yourself to have been inspired/motivated to create MOOTFL (love it) by one, both, or neither? You can respond to the thread on my board if you don't want to email me.http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=17585613Thanks!mapletree
Well, I dno't know what michaelangela was thinking when he got it running, but I don't see us as an offshoot of the CC boards at all. Kind of LBYM, kind of FI/RE. (LBYM only because that's where I found the link.)CC/LBYM are how to build the path to the goal, which is MOOTFL or FI/RE (or both, if that's your style).
...but I don't see us as an offshoot of the CC boards at all. Kind of LBYM, kind of FI/RE. You're right, BK. I responded to mapletree via email and explained the parentage -- if you could call it that. I really didn't have any other boards in mind. I just wanted to sponsor a forum where people could talk about crafting a productive but self-directed & self-sustaining (read: working) lifestyle outside the mega-corporation structure.I guess the closest ancestor is REHP, but the thrust there is more to accumulate enough "stash" to be able to retire (in the classic sense) and not work at all. LBYM is, of course, a key part of the independence we seek here, so there's also some LBYM genetic material here.
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