Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

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3CT_Paddler
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by 3CT_Paddler »

While the OPs example of a restaurant or an online business that generates $60k/yr on 1/hr/wk of effort are probably not great examples, I do agree that some form of semi-retired business has some real appeal to those of us that are not looking to go into retirement cold turkey. It could be as simple as getting your CDL and driving local routes part time, looking for part time contract work based on your previous skills (or pick up a new related skill) or start some kind of home improvement business if you are handy.

I would avoid a business with high capital startup costs and one with the potential to have some autonomy on your schedule. It could even be a seasonal business that you work on full time during that season, but then are off the rest of the year.
mptfan
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by mptfan »

3CT_Paddler wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:22 amIt could be as simple as getting your CDL and driving local routes part time...
This sounds simple on the surface, but the practical realities of getting a CDL license are time consuming, then you would have to fill out an application to get a job which likely involves an interview, and then if you get the job you probably have to go to some form of orientation or training which may involve watching various videos on various topics, and you will likely have to sign up for the corporate portal and have a corporate email and be required to log in and check it periodically, then you will have to probably learn the corporate policies and then deal with the corporate politics...and then you will have to work a certain schedule that is probably not set by you, and being the new guy you will get the crappiest hours and the worst routes... and on and on. That's not my idea of retirement.
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Godot
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by Godot »

Jags4186 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 8:29 am Ah yes, the retirement dream, pump smelly gas in the sweltering heat or frigid cold and then go slap some ham onto crappy chemical tasting bread and then squeeze out some Mayo from a plastic bottle that hasn’t been cleaned in 7 years.
You had me at "smelly gas."
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HomerJ
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by HomerJ »

ramram22 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:06 amWould it be so terrible to quit your job once you have a paid off house and $1 million and run a simple business until you’re 75?
If I could be guaranteed a part-time job making part-time money from 50-70, I would totally take that deal instead of working full-time until 60.

But there's no such thing as a guaranteed part-time job.
I personally own an online business that I can run from anywhere and could scale it down to work not more than 1 hour/day and still earn at least $60K/year.
For the next 20-30 years? If you have that, you're set indeed and should go to 1/hour a week.
Alternatively, you could run something like a gas station or a Subway franchise that is five minutes from your house. Obviously exact incomes vary with location but from some cursory research, a gas station can earn $50K or $60K per year and a Subway franchise can earn $40K/year if you hire a manager to run it (more if you’re an owner/operator but the point is you’re retired). For someone smart enough to save $1 million relatively early in life, you can figure out how to get systems in place so these franchises run themselves with minimal effort on your part.
Now here you are just inexperienced and wrong. Hope you are not as mistaken about your 1/hour week gig lasting for 30 years.
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Mike Scott
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by Mike Scott »

There are as many answers to this question as there are people asking the question. You do you. I will do me.
pasadena
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by pasadena »

How old are you? I know a LOT more young people who think they want (or have no problem with) to work until 70 than I know middle-aged people who do. At 35 I thought I'd work until 67 and had zero problems with that. At 47, there is no way I will do that if I can avoid it.

Also, the younger you are, the more dangerous it is to stop working completely - you're right on this one.

That said, I'd much rather work 10 more years at my current full time, white collar, high paying job, than 20 at a gas station, whether I'm the boss or not, whether it's part time or not.
Last edited by pasadena on Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:45 am, edited 2 times in total.
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HomerJ
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by HomerJ »

Wanderingwheelz wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:22 am How much money do you think could be earned by running a YouTube video showing people how to make $60,000 from an hour of work per week?

I feel like you’re missing an opportunity to at least quadruple your income by adding 5 to 10 more minutes of work each week.

If you filmed your videos from your Subway or your Chevron, or better yet your Subway/Chevron and you had the manager film the videos for you since, let’s be honest, he probably doesn’t have a ton of things to keep him busy and you’re paying him pretty good, then that would add another $100,000+ per year. And you don’t even have to lift a finger. (You just have to hope the manager doesn’t quit to start working an hour a week for himself to make $60,000 once he knows your secret.)
LOL. Post of the week.
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MJS
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by MJS »

ramram22 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:06 am Alternatively, you could run something like a gas station or a Subway franchise that is five minutes from your house.
Instead of a gas station, consider an electric car charging station at one of those giant freeway filling spots. Lots of governments & businesses are providing incentives. Instead of a fast food joint, consider an online-only grocery store.

Both of your suggested businesses are ... very traditional. I suspect your "cursory research" may be from decades ago. Modern businesses try to minimize messy human contact, with both employees and customers.
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vanbogle59
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by vanbogle59 »

ramram22 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:06 am If you can earn $60 K/year working 1 hour/day — and be able to “retire” much earlier —...
I’ll probably run my business one hour/day until the day I die or am too sick to do so.
My BIL has a gig like this.
He's on the board of directors at a big bank.
All you have to do to get a similar job is be an incredibly successful bank president for 15 years.


On a completely unrelated(?) note: He passed 25X many, many times over years ago. :D
Funny how that works.
Escapevelocity
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by Escapevelocity »

pasadena wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:43 am How old are you? I know a LOT more young people who think they want (or have no problem with) to work until 70 than I know middle-aged people who do. At 35 I thought I'd work until 67 and had zero problems with that. At 47, there is no way I will do that if I can avoid it.

Also, the younger you are, the more dangerous it is to stop working completely - you're right on this one.

That said, I'd much rather work 10 more years at my current full time, white collar, high paying job, than 20 at a gas station, whether I'm the boss or not, whether it's part time or not.
I agree. I got tired of my job around age 47, but happened to be rolling into my peak earning years. I pulled down more money and build more net worth from 47 to 54 than I had from 22 to 47. I'm retiring at age 55 and do not plan to work for money again. Had I taken my meager savings at age 47 and quit to start some sort of business I probably would have never been able to retire period much less at age 55.
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ramram22
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by ramram22 »

OP here.

1). To those of you who say running a Subway franchise seems like a crummy job, I agree with you! That’s why I said I’m personally going another route. I suspect those of us who are interested in a website like Bogleheads are of a more analytical bent and could find better things to do than running a restaurant franchise. I simply mentioned that because franchises, while of course still carrying some risk, provide a proven business model for entrepreneurs who can execute them effectively.

2). The main point that I was trying to make is that people on this website seem to be hyper-focused on maximizing efficiency of their capital while completely discounting another huge source of leverage, i.e. other people’s labor. There’s a reason that the Forbes 400 are all business owners and not passive equity investors. If you rely solely on your own labor and savings, you’re going to have to trade away a lot larger portion of your life to achieve financial independence.

I agree you do need some significant safety net because businesses can fail, which is why I suggested doing this after you have a paid off house and $1 million in equities. But as someone else said, to each their own!
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by Candor »

stoptothink wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:12 am
dboeger1 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 4:39 am I agree that these options should be discussed more, but I disagree that the options you listed are so easy. If generating $60k from a side hustle web site was so easy, everyone would do it. The fact of the matter is that through some combination of luck, skill, knowledge, foresight, connections, investment, and/or hard work, you were fortunate enough to build a successful online business. That does not mean everybody in the world can just register for a domain and suddenly be making money online. Having grown up with a restaurateur for a father, I can tell you from experience that the food service industry is one of the last industries you want to be in to live a relaxed lifestyle. In fact, the restaurant business is known for chewing up and spitting out people who transition from other high-stress fields thinking it can't be any more difficult. My father was pretty well connected in our small town when I was growing up due to his successful restaurant, so he knew all the local politicians, police officers, firefighters, construction workers, etc. Many of them saw what looked like incredible wealth on the outside based on our large home, nice cars, well-educated children, etc., and thought they would try their hand at the restaurant business. Literally every single one failed miserably with a new appreciation and respect for the work. My father would trade stories with police officers who had spent careers watching people die, and they were brought to tears by the work it took to run restaurants. Many successful people in the restaurant business work >100-hour weeks and feel like they're barely hanging on at all times. You say many immigrants succeed in restaurants, and that's true to an extent, but you may be failing to account for the extensive use of free to illegally underpaid labor from family and friends. Most immigrant restaurateurs employ their children for years, and even if they don't, their form of "babysitting" is often to just have the kids stay in the back office for most of the day. I spent many a weekend doing homework and playing GameBoy in my father's restaurant growing up. Maybe, just maybe, running an established fast food franchise with mostly repeatable processes might be able to cut down on some of the overtime, but I doubt it. Have you ever thought about what it takes just to clean a restaurant? If you want to keep a restaurant even remotely presentable, it requires staying after hours and manually hand-scrubbing countless surfaces. Then there are the books, the order management, the shift schedules, etc. Don't let restaurants open from lunch to dinner fool you into thinking they're not full-time jobs. Those places are 2 full-time jobs in 1, at least. The only royalty in the restaurant business are those celebrity chefs you see on TV that license their name out to a bunch of restaurants they rarely ever step foot in. Unless you're Gordon Ramsey, you're going to be doing a lot of manual labor in a hot kitchen, because hiring good people just to take care of all the extra scrubbing gets expensive. Say what you will about the celebrity chefs, but most of them put in their dues and then some for many years. Even the owners/investors often get roped into the management and having to cover sudden expenses just to keep their businesses afloat. And forget about if anything happens like a health crisis. My father got forced out of the restaurant business after my mother got cancer. He tried to get back in years later, and failed miserably, despite some 20 years of success. The moral of the story is, absolutely do not underestimate the work of running a restaurant. It is not compatible with anything resembling a retirement lifestyle, at least not if you want to make a profit. I suppose one could try running one part-time for fun, but now we're talking part-time Uber driver levels of money, which is not exactly $60k annually for 1 hour per week.

I don't know that a food truck or a small stand would necessarily be easy work, but I think they're a much more condensed version of the restaurant business that could realistically be done as a sort of semi-retirement plan for many people. I doubt the money is that great though, and there's still significant capital investment required, so expect to work a couple of extra years to fund startup costs. When all is said and done, it's often just more optimal to continue working a corporate job until one has enough. Honestly, I think people could do a whole lot worse than get into trades as a sort of second career. The licensing and equipment costs don't have to be that high, assuming you don't get into really specialized jobs requiring high-end equipment, and the earning potential is pretty good with the ability to scale up or down work as desired. Maybe I'm underestimating the difficulty of plumbing or electrical work like people tend to underestimate restaurant work, but I think it's much more viable to be your own boss and make decent money with those jobs than it is with many others. For the most part, earning money is going to be hard work regardless, so the key is to pick something enjoyable that fits the lifestyle one desires, hopefully without risking the annihilation of the nest egg that was used to justify making the leap in the first place.
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HomerJ
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by HomerJ »

ramram22 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:14 amI simply mentioned that because franchises, while of course still carrying some risk, provide a proven business model for entrepreneurs who can execute them effectively.
After working for 60-70 hours/week for many years building up the business.

No one just buys a Subway, and then hires a manager to run everything, and sits back and collects $60k/year.

I have a friend who owns 4 sub shops, and for the first few years he was up at 5 am everyday, and working until late in the evenings.

Profit margins are slim, employee turnover is always an issue, good managers are hard to find (and the good ones always leave for a better opportunity after a year or two).

And then COVID happens, and he had to completely change how he did business. No owner managed that crisis with just one hour/week.
2). The main point that I was trying to make is that people on this website seem to be hyper-focused on maximizing efficiency of their capital while completely discounting another huge source of leverage, i.e. other people’s labor. There’s a reason that the Forbes 400 are all business owners and not passive equity investors. If you rely solely on your own labor and savings, you’re going to have to trade away a lot larger portion of your life to achieve financial independence.
Those Forbes 400 people didn't work 1/hour a week!

You're confusing two very different points.

Yes, starting your own business absolutely can be a path to wealth. And, maybe at the end of the road, you can even have things running so smoothly that it generates a ton of passive income. But it takes years and years of hard work to get to that point.

You can't just quit your worker-bee job, and start up a business and expect passive income to just roll in from day one.
Last edited by HomerJ on Tue Sep 14, 2021 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Firemenot
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by Firemenot »

Wrong forum for this sort of question, unless you want to be talked out of it. Bogleheads is generally very negative on entrepreneurial threads.
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by bhsince87 »

I don't want to sound like "The Retirement Police" here, but from my reading (and I've been following it for many years), most folks who FIRE before age 50 or so actually do what you are saying.

They don't completely walk away from work that generates income. They mostly shift gears from a traditional job to something non-traditional. There are hundreds, if not thousands examples on the internet of people who have done this.

There seems to be some cross over in the 50-60 year olds. Some walk away completely, but many still generate some kind of non-passive income. Maybe consulting, maybe through previous hobbies, maybe through blogging, etc.

The "I'm done with work completely" crowd percentage grows as the age increases.
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by bb »

Yes - please share details on earning $60K for 1 hr per week of work.

Prediction - crickets.
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by SnowBog »

To OP's general idea, check out The New Retirementality: Planning Your Life and Living Your Dreams...at Any Age You Want https://www.amazon.com/dp/1119611482/?t ... ads.org-20

The book recommends thinking about retirement differently, and basically encourages you to find something that you are passionate about doing and feel energized by doing for as long as you want. (This does not necessarily mean paid work.)

That said, I think OP's specific ideas, including the most recent post trivialize the risk, time, and knowledge required. In much the same way people "assume" you can simply buy a bunch of rent paying properties and take it easy.

There are absolutely people with the knowledge, skill, drive, and personality to do these types of things.

I know I'm not...

But I wish you well on your journey.
ramram22 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:14 am ... while completely discounting another huge source of leverage, i.e. other people’s labor. There’s a reason that the Forbes 400 are all business owners and not passive equity investors. If you rely solely on your own labor and savings, you’re going to have to trade away a lot larger portion of your life to achieve financial independence.
...
Jags4186
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by Jags4186 »

ramram22 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:14 am OP here.

1). To those of you who say running a Subway franchise seems like a crummy job, I agree with you! That’s why I said I’m personally going another route. I suspect those of us who are interested in a website like Bogleheads are of a more analytical bent and could find better things to do than running a restaurant franchise. I simply mentioned that because franchises, while of course still carrying some risk, provide a proven business model for entrepreneurs who can execute them effectively.

2). The main point that I was trying to make is that people on this website seem to be hyper-focused on maximizing efficiency of their capital while completely discounting another huge source of leverage, i.e. other people’s labor. There’s a reason that the Forbes 400 are all business owners and not passive equity investors. If you rely solely on your own labor and savings, you’re going to have to trade away a lot larger portion of your life to achieve financial independence.

I agree you do need some significant safety net because businesses can fail, which is why I suggested doing this after you have a paid off house and $1 million in equities. But as someone else said, to each their own!
Many here have good careers, high savings rates, tax minimization strategies, and capital maximization strategies in order to build capital as quickly as possible. At the age of 35 I already have more than $1 million plus enough to pay off my mortgage and I am no where near a big earner compared to many here.

Let’s say you need $1.5mm to generate $60,000/yr in income. I am confident that I could increase my investable assets by $1.5mm faster by working and saving diligently than I could build a business that generates $60,000 in passive/1hr a week of work income.
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vanbogle59
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by vanbogle59 »

Jags4186 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:31 pm a business that generates $60,000 in passive/1hr a week of work income.
If I had such a business, I would work 40 hours per week. :sharebeer
jadedfalcons
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by jadedfalcons »

As a retail business owner who works 60-70 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, and hasn't had a 3 day weekend since May 2006, report back to us after you open up those new businesses.
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by Elsebet »

I would like a part-time job in retirement unrelated to my current field, but I'd never start a restaurant. My cousin owns a Firehouse Subs franchise but she and her husband and most of her immediate family work there and it's a very life consuming job for not much money. I think the better money is being able to scale up to own a number of restaurants (kind of like rentals).

My husband's grandmother worked part-time at Wal-Mart well into her 70's, she didn't need the money but it got her out of the house and provided some social connections.
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David Jay
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by David Jay »

KineticSync wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 9:41 am One of my major goals for retirement, maybe the biggie, is control over my time. I haven't yet found any part-time gig, except maybe some kind of craft, that doesn't ultimately end up with my time being regimented or under someone else's control.
I’m even having a hard time volunteering. They want me to show up every Tuesday (or whenever).
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ramram22
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by ramram22 »

SnowBog wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:09 pm To OP's general idea, check out The New Retirementality: Planning Your Life and Living Your Dreams...at Any Age You Want https://www.amazon.com/dp/1119611482/?t ... ads.org-20

The book recommends thinking about retirement differently, and basically encourages you to find something that you are passionate about doing and feel energized by doing for as long as you want. (This does not necessarily mean paid work.)

That said, I think OP's specific ideas, including the most recent post trivialize the risk, time, and knowledge required. In much the same way people "assume" you can simply buy a bunch of rent paying properties and take it easy.

There are absolutely people with the knowledge, skill, drive, and personality to do these types of things.

I know I'm not...

But I wish you well on your journey.
ramram22 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:14 am ... while completely discounting another huge source of leverage, i.e. other people’s labor. There’s a reason that the Forbes 400 are all business owners and not passive equity investors. If you rely solely on your own labor and savings, you’re going to have to trade away a lot larger portion of your life to achieve financial independence.
...
OP here. I am absolutely NOT trivializing the difficulty, cost or time of doing this. I have been self-employed and/or a business owner basically since the day I graduated college. The adage is generally correct that to start a successful business, it takes two years, a lot of hours worked and no salary taken. But after that, the payoff can be significant. There is an oft-quoted statistic that the self-employed account for 20% of the general population but 67% of all millionaires.

Medical school is hard. Law school is hard. But people still do them because the payoff is high later on. For privacy reasons, I don’t like disclosing exactly what I do but it’s in the online lead generation space and earns me $90,000/year with not more than 1 hour/day of work — that’s apart from my main business. (Look into online lead generation. It’s a hugely important part of the new economy and is how companies like Facebook and Google can become behemoths seemingly overnight.) It did require specific knowledge built up over a few years but if I can do that in my tiny corner of the Internet, there must be other people doing things in related spaces.
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by sureshoe »

ramram22 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:06 am Once you have say $1 million in equities and a paid off house, do you really want to work until you have $3 million in equities so you can safely draw down 3% or 4% per year? Considering likely prospective returns, it’s probably going to take a lot more sweat equity to do that going forward. Would it be so terrible to quit your job once you have a paid off house and $1 million and run a simple business until you’re 75? I personally own an online business that I can run from anywhere and could scale it down to work not more than 1 hour/day and still earn at least $60K/year.

Alternatively, you could run something like a gas station or a Subway franchise that is five minutes from your house. Obviously exact incomes vary with location but from some cursory research, a gas station can earn $50K or $60K per year and a Subway franchise can earn $40K/year if you hire a manager to run it (more if you’re an owner/operator but the point is you’re retired). For someone smart enough to save $1 million relatively early in life, you can figure out how to get systems in place so these franchises run themselves with minimal effort on your part.

$60K/year is the income from $2 million at a 3% withdrawal rate. If you can earn $60 K/year working 1 hour/day — and be able to “retire” much earlier — that seems far preferable to slaving away until complete retirement. I would much rather do that and just have my $1 million keep doubling every 7 to 10 years until I *really* need/want it. Heck, in my case, I’ll probably run my business one hour/day until the day I die or am too sick to do so.

Anyone else have plans to do something similar? Why is this not more discussed in these types of forums?
I honestly have to wonder if this is a post that is going to try to sell people a business.

This is talked about lots on these forums. People retire, but work part-time for health care, spending money, etc. Starting a business from scratch as a retirement plan is silly as others have noted.

But if you really have an online business you could scale down, have at it.

I know a guy who does sprinkler work. He comes up to Ohio from April-May and turns on sprinklers full-time. He goes back to Florida. October-November, he comes back and turns them all off. So he works full-time 4 months of the year, retired the rest.
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HomerJ
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by HomerJ »

ramram22 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:49 pm
SnowBog wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:09 pm To OP's general idea, check out The New Retirementality: Planning Your Life and Living Your Dreams...at Any Age You Want https://www.amazon.com/dp/1119611482/?t ... ads.org-20

The book recommends thinking about retirement differently, and basically encourages you to find something that you are passionate about doing and feel energized by doing for as long as you want. (This does not necessarily mean paid work.)

That said, I think OP's specific ideas, including the most recent post trivialize the risk, time, and knowledge required. In much the same way people "assume" you can simply buy a bunch of rent paying properties and take it easy.

There are absolutely people with the knowledge, skill, drive, and personality to do these types of things.

I know I'm not...

But I wish you well on your journey.
ramram22 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:14 am ... while completely discounting another huge source of leverage, i.e. other people’s labor. There’s a reason that the Forbes 400 are all business owners and not passive equity investors. If you rely solely on your own labor and savings, you’re going to have to trade away a lot larger portion of your life to achieve financial independence.
...
OP here. I am absolutely NOT trivializing the difficulty, cost or time of doing this. I have been self-employed and/or a business owner basically since the day I graduated college. The adage is generally correct that to start a successful business, it takes two years, a lot of hours worked and no salary taken. But after that, the payoff can be significant. There is an oft-quoted statistic that the self-employed account for 20% of the general population but 67% of all millionaires.
But we're already millionaires if we're ready to retire. So why we would start a business and work our tails off for 2+ years in hopes of becoming a millionaire? And that includes a chance of losing money instead even after working long hours for 2+ years.

YOU have a great situation. Good for you. Never seen anyone project their own situation so strongly onto others without a clue about how tone-deaf they sound...

"Hey, guys? How come the rest of you aren't working 1/hour a week for $90k a year after you retire?" (now it's 90k?)
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Watty
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by Watty »

Setting aside the problems with a owning a gas station or a Subway a big problem with planning to work part time in retirement is that it implies that you will be in financial trouble if the part time job does not work out.
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by broncocountry25 »

Yes, I do believe it is.

I think this forum is geared towards people who mostly are W-2 and paid well. They work hard and save, save, save and then pull the plug. Nothing wrong with that at all, it is just the most traditional way of living and investing. It is proven, it works, and you will have a great life when you live a conservative life and save for the future.

It sounds like you have a great situation however to bridge the gap until you want to truly retire. As long as you are ok with a slower rate of saving or not saving at all based on your annual expenses. This term is COAST FIRE.

I think there are a ton of opportunities to "think outside the box" and improve your life. Many here will end up saving to much money and it will be passed to their kids or others. Hard to "work for the man" then flip a switch and spend down your balances. Usually people stay frugal and kids inherit money, again (great problems to have).

There is no point in doing something you don't want to do when you are a millionaire in America. To many fun and profitable opportunities out there. I hope to ALWAYS be doing something it is fun to engage your brain.

I have also seen so many happy people with way less then those on this forum living very fulfilling lives and being responsible with money overall. You are now in a position where you have options.
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

Tom_T wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:08 am
Grt2bOutdoors wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:24 am A gas station is a capital intensive business. The idea of “oh, I’ll just go open a gas station with no capital or actual business experience in operating a cash business with huge regulatory and environmental compliance requirements is a “pipe dream”. I worked in one so I know first hand what’s involved there besides the time commitment.
Also: there were quite a few small gas stations near me here in central New Jersey. And they are rapidly being replaced by gigantic Costco and Wawa and Quick Chek gas stations which have 20 pumps and the lowest gas prices. I've even seen Exxon stations close up because the mega stations are taking most of the business.
Exactly! Volume buyers of gasoline can obtain discount pricing which are then passed on to the customers. The local Costco by me is undercutting the non branded gas by 10-15 cents a gallon, they are pumping more than 75,000 gallons a week! Costco is one of the largest sellers of retail gas nationwide. The Exxon stations are mainly owned by jobbers who have the license to use the Exxon brand, Exxon itself is mainly out of the direct retail business but will sell its branded gas to those jobbers with their additive package. It’s the branded jobbers who can’t compete with Costco or WaWa. So they might switch to a sign like Delta or U.S. Gas (generic names with no additive package that requires them to charge a higher price to account for the branded gas price).
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by AerialWombat »

This really feels like OP is just being an Internet troll, but I have too much time on my hands, so I'll bite.
ramram22 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:06 am Sure, the market is good now and saving and investing has been very profitable. But what about the next 10 years when the market is flat or down?
You're making a huge assumption. You don't know what the market will do. It could be flat, down, up. Nobody knows.
ramram22 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:06 am Considering likely prospective returns, it’s probably going to take a lot more sweat equity to do that going forward.
It is impossible for you, or anybody else, to definitively know this. We could be at the start of the longest bull market run in history, nobody knows.
ramram22 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:06 am Would it be so terrible to quit your job once you have a paid off house and $1 million and run a simple business until you’re 75? I personally own an online business that I can run from anywhere and could scale it down to work not more than 1 hour/day and still earn at least $60K/year.
No, not so terrible at all. It's more or less what I'm doing.
ramram22 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:06 am Alternatively, you could run something like a gas station or a Subway franchise that is five minutes from your house. Obviously exact incomes vary with location but from some cursory research, a gas station can earn $50K or $60K per year and a Subway franchise can earn $40K/year if you hire a manager to run it (more if you’re an owner/operator but the point is you’re retired). For someone smart enough to save $1 million relatively early in life, you can figure out how to get systems in place so these franchises run themselves with minimal effort on your part.
You need to do more than just "cursory research", because you're extremely far from reality here. Other commenters have already beat this to death, but these franchises do NOT run themselves with minimal effort. These are both capital-intensive and labor-intensive businesses, with extremely high failure rates.
ramram22 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:06 am $60K/year is the income from $2 million at a 3% withdrawal rate. If you can earn $60 K/year working 1 hour/day — and be able to “retire” much earlier — that seems far preferable to slaving away until complete retirement. I would much rather do that and just have my $1 million keep doubling every 7 to 10 years until I *really* need/want it. Heck, in my case, I’ll probably run my business one hour/day until the day I die or am too sick to do so.

Anyone else have plans to do something similar? Why is this not more discussed in these types of forums?
First of all, forum rules prohibit discussions about business finances. That automatically limits the business discussions that will pop up on a finance discussion board.

I have not paid off my primary residence, but I have the cash to do so if I desired. My net worth is several million dollars, and I'm happily semi-retired. I own three businesses, and I earn a healthy six-figure income, working an average of 5-10 hours per week. If I want to take a particular day, week, or month off entirely, I am at liberty to do so at my whim. Because my customers are required by law to purchase my product, my main income source is fairly well protected.

To get to this amazing place in my business life, it only took 10 years of 60-100 hour weeks. I'm in my early 40's, and I'll ride this gravy train until it dies, or I do.

Are there online businesses that can generate high income with short hours? Yes, they exist. In fact, as an educated guess, there are probably a few hundred thousand of them in the US alone. We're talking YouTube channels, social media influencers, affiliate sites, directory sites, ad-supported content sites ("Adsense sites"), etc.

The problem is that it's mathematically impossible for every person in America to make $60k as an Amazon affiliate or whatnot. Our economy depends on division of labor -- the entire economy would collapse if everybody only worked 1 hour a week, online, and made $60k.
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by JoeRetire »

ramram22 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:06 am Sure, the market is good now and saving and investing has been very profitable. But what about the next 10 years when the market is flat or down?
That's only a problem if you aren't financially independent.
Once you have say $1 million in equities and a paid off house, do you really want to work until you have $3 million in equities so you can safely draw down 3% or 4% per year?
Many do.
Would it be so terrible to quit your job once you have a paid off house and $1 million and run a simple business until you’re 75?
If you want to work until 75, then I guess you don't consider it so terrible. I wouldn't be interested in working until 75. I'm guessing lots of others aren't interested, either.
I personally own an online business that I can run from anywhere and could scale it down to work not more than 1 hour/day and still earn at least $60K/year.
Perhaps. Sometimes online businesses have a lifetime after which they stop being viable. And few online businesses can be started up by only spending 1 hour/day. Perhaps your business is the magic exception.
Alternatively, you could run something like a gas station or a Subway franchise that is five minutes from your house.
Right, you can work. You may be able to work 5 minutes from your house. And perhaps you like running gas stations or fast food restaurants. And perhaps you can physically do that work until 75.

Or perhaps you would be better working at your real job for a while longer and having a real retirement long before 75.
For someone smart enough to save $1 million relatively early in life, you can figure out how to get systems in place so these franchises run themselves with minimal effort on your part.
That's an odd assumption. Having $1M doesn't mean you are good at anything in particular.
$60K/year is the income from $2 million at a 3% withdrawal rate. If you can earn $60 K/year working 1 hour/day — and be able to “retire” much earlier — that seems far preferable to slaving away until complete retirement. I would much rather do that and just have my $1 million keep doubling every 7 to 10 years until I *really* need/want it. Heck, in my case, I’ll probably run my business one hour/day until the day I die or am too sick to do so.
LOL! Sure. If you can earn $1M/year working 5 minutes/week that would be even better.

Good luck with your plan.
Just remember: it's not a lie if you believe it.
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by Firemenot »

Back to your title. I do think complete RETIREMENT is over-rated. I could do so now, especially not in my VHCOL area, but haven’t yet. I plan to be a well-compensated worker for 20 years or so and then try to build business valuation for the next 20 years — which I’ve already started on a nights/weekend/vacation basis. I mostly plan to risk my time and keep capital input to a minimum.

This strategy becomes more appealing by the day with very high tax rates for well compensated W-2 work.
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by Wanderingwheelz »

HomerJ wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 3:11 pm
ramram22 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:49 pm
SnowBog wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:09 pm To OP's general idea, check out The New Retirementality: Planning Your Life and Living Your Dreams...at Any Age You Want https://www.amazon.com/dp/1119611482/re ... 6HZXA7MWWZ

The book recommends thinking about retirement differently, and basically encourages you to find something that you are passionate about doing and feel energized by doing for as long as you want. (This does not necessarily mean paid work.)

That said, I think OP's specific ideas, including the most recent post trivialize the risk, time, and knowledge required. In much the same way people "assume" you can simply buy a bunch of rent paying properties and take it easy.

There are absolutely people with the knowledge, skill, drive, and personality to do these types of things.

I know I'm not...

But I wish you well on your journey.
ramram22 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:14 am ... while completely discounting another huge source of leverage, i.e. other people’s labor. There’s a reason that the Forbes 400 are all business owners and not passive equity investors. If you rely solely on your own labor and savings, you’re going to have to trade away a lot larger portion of your life to achieve financial independence.
...
OP here. I am absolutely NOT trivializing the difficulty, cost or time of doing this. I have been self-employed and/or a business owner basically since the day I graduated college. The adage is generally correct that to start a successful business, it takes two years, a lot of hours worked and no salary taken. But after that, the payoff can be significant. There is an oft-quoted statistic that the self-employed account for 20% of the general population but 67% of all millionaires.
But we're already millionaires if we're ready to retire. So why we would start a business and work our tails off for 2+ years in hopes of becoming a millionaire? And that includes a chance of losing money instead even after working long hours for 2+ years.

YOU have a great situation. Good for you. Never seen anyone project their own situation so strongly onto others without a clue about how tone-deaf they sound...

"Hey, guys? How come the rest of you aren't working 1/hour a week for $90k a year after you retire?" (now it's 90k?)
This story is hard to believe, since almost every entrepreneur is aware restaurants are one of the most labor intensive businesses of all, but I guess if something is told on the internet it has to be true. $90,000 side gigs that take up only a few hours of time per week are out there I suppose.
Last edited by Wanderingwheelz on Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by wrongfunds »

Well, it has been now one plussed with "my customers are required to buy my product by law"
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by vanbogle59 »

ramram22 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:49 pm (Look into online lead generation. It’s a hugely important part of the new economy and is how companies like Facebook and Google can become behemoths seemingly overnight.)
Eva Diana is that you?
Put down the computer and go help Barbie get the car started!

ramram22 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:49 pm It did require specific knowledge built up over a few years but if I can do that in my tiny corner of the Internet, there must be other people doing things in related spaces.
And if you PM me, for just 3 EZ Payments of 99.99, YOU TOO can learn my secrets.

But WAIT. THERE'S MORE!!!
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by vanbogle59 »

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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by AerialWombat »

ramram22 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:49 pm For privacy reasons, I don’t like disclosing exactly what I do but it’s in the online lead generation space and earns me $90,000/year with not more than 1 hour/day of work — that’s apart from my main business. (Look into online lead generation. It’s a hugely important part of the new economy and is how companies like Facebook and Google can become behemoths seemingly overnight.) It did require specific knowledge built up over a few years but if I can do that in my tiny corner of the Internet, there must be other people doing things in related spaces.
Here's one huge part that you're missing: There aren't enough X to feed Y to pay all the Z. Meaning, the super-easy, highly lucrative, online-only, short-work-week business opportunities are finite.

For example, there simply aren't enough Amazon shoppers buying enough Amazon products with enough margin to pay millions of people an affiliate commission that's enough for them to live on.

Or, to use lead generation, there aren't enough people in the country looking for life insurance online to feed leads to hundreds of thousands of insurance agents by millions of lead generators. There is a finite supply of leads that can be generated by a finite number of lead generators to feed a finite number of insurance agents.

Yes, I know what you're going to say: There are thousands of verticals, and thousands of people in each vertical to feed leads to. Yes, that is true -- but that entire universe of economic activity is still finite. It's not big enough for everybody to have a $60k or $90k a year side hustle doing it. Now, I know you didn't say everybody. But, you are painting an incredibly broad stroke with the things you've stated so far in this thread.

Here's another thing: As more businesses do these kinds of things, several things start to happen. The dollar amount that other businesses are willing to pay per lead goes down, because of greater competition. As the ad space becomes more crowded, such as on Google Ads and Facebook Ads, the clicks get more diluted, and your income goes down even further. If the market is lucrative enough, bigger marketing agencies will swoop in and outcompete you.

In other words, your lead generation business can be easily attacked. It will not last forever. Even if you have some special sauce, you need to consider how it can be eroded by changes in consumer behavior, public sentiment, technology, regulatory encroachment, and much more.

These are just two small points, out of many, many more. But, I'll digress.

Bringing this more on topic: Yes, for some of us, the concept of "complete" retirement doesn't resonate. And yes, for some of us, there are opportunities to work very few hours while earning high income. But on both fronts, we are not the norm. Most people want to quit working, and never work again a day in their life. Plus, there are simply a very limited range of opportunities to earn high income with super-low hours. That's just reality. So no, "complete retirement" is not overrated, and will continue to be the social norm.
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by AerialWombat »

wrongfunds wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:21 pm Well, it has been now one plussed with "my customers are required to buy my product by law"
I'm not sure why you're taking umbrage with my use of that statement. It's accurate. Regulatory compliance of some sort is a reality in most industries and professions.

For example: Many states have laws regarding where automatic defibrillators (AED) need to exist. This might be on every ambulance, on every fire engine, inside every fitness club, etc. Such a regulatory compliance mandate probably makes AED manufacturing a decent business to be in. I don't know for sure, I'm just guessing, but I think it's a decent example.

Another example: Auto insurance. Is there a state that doesn't mandate minimum auto insurance requirements? I could be wrong, but I think liability minimums exist all over the US. That provides a pretty significant moat around the auto insurance industry, since it's a legal requirement.

Oh, how about this: The Coast Guard requires that I have unexpired flares on my boat. They have to be replaced every few years. It's a legal requirement, amongst a few others. I have no interest in building a flare factory, but I'm sure for a small handful of companies somewhere in the world, this regulatory requirement gives them a steady revenue stream.

I could do this all day, looking for additional examples. Since I only work part-time, I have that kind of time on my hands, plus I really enjoy this kind of business exploration. :sharebeer
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by vanbogle59 »

wrongfunds wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:21 pm Well, it has been now one plussed with "my customers are required to buy my product by law"
I've seen plenty of this.
Think: life-preserver approved by XX, antivirus xxx required to access netowork xxx, Notaries, encryption, FDA...
The list seems very long to me, and I'm not even a lawyer :wink:

But, there's usually plenty of competition to "earn" those captured markets (except in IL of course :D )
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by Dottie57 »

No way Jose! Not working. Managing a small business like subway will take more time than 1 hour per day.
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by wrongfunds »

vanbogle59 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:51 pm
wrongfunds wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:21 pm Well, it has been now one plussed with "my customers are required to buy my product by law"
I've seen plenty of this.
Think: life-preserver approved by XX, antivirus xxx required to access netowork xxx, Notaries, encryption, FDA...
The list seems very long to me, and I'm not even a lawyer :wink:

But, there's usually plenty of competition to "earn" those captured markets (except in IL of course :D )
Yes, that was the point, customers don't have to buy "your" product "by law" aka it is NOT government supported monopoly. Lots of things are required by law e.g. automobile airbags would be one example. The last I heard, one very large manufacturer of airbags had its own airbag deployed after the company crashed :-)
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by lws »

No. It is not overrated. I retired completely and finally learned the art of idleness.
I tried consulting thing but it's still work.
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by SnowBog »

ramram22 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:49 pm
SnowBog wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:09 pm To OP's general idea, check out The New Retirementality: Planning Your Life and Living Your Dreams...at Any Age You Want https://www.amazon.com/dp/1119611482/re ... 6HZXA7MWWZ

The book recommends thinking about retirement differently, and basically encourages you to find something that you are passionate about doing and feel energized by doing for as long as you want. (This does not necessarily mean paid work.)
...
But I wish you well on your journey.
OP here....
For privacy reasons, I don’t like disclosing exactly what I do but it’s in the online lead generation space and earns me $90,000/year with not more than 1 hour/day of work — that’s apart from my main business.
Then it feels like you've answered your own question. I think many of us would gladly give up "working hard" for a part time job that pays more than the medium US income, especially if we'd already built up comfortable savings.

But you still have 167 hours a week to "spend" on other activities. I hope they bring you enjoyment and satisfaction.
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by deserat »

Interesting thread.

I am planning on $10-$20K consulting income in retirement. As MrSpock said, I came by this after I left a job and started consulting part-time. I'm now a known quantity and people come to me. $60K is a stretch but doable if I was much more aggressive. I am an adjunct professor and that is basically less that minimum wage for a lot of work. I will not be doing that after I retire. That's considered a part-time job (hah). I also currently have a full-time job in addition to the professor work and consulting work.

As for restaurant work (dboeger1), I consider the work I did as a teenager in high school and college as some of the hardest work I've ever done; on your feet for hours, have to be bustling about constantly doing stuff quickly, making sure you have a happy face on even with a customer possibly screaming at you, exhaustion and only getting paid for the clocked in work and not any extra not scheduled, always having 'side-work' outside of the primary job, etc. I know the managers worked even harder....Dboeger1 is spot on.
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by retire2022 »

ramram22 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:14 am
2). The main point that I was trying to make is that people on this website seem to be hyper-focused on maximizing efficiency of their capital while completely discounting another huge source of leverage, i.e. other people’s labor. There’s a reason that the Forbes 400 are all business owners and not passive equity investors. If you rely solely on your own labor and savings, you’re going to have to trade away a lot larger portion of your life to achieve financial independence.
While I can't speak for others on this forum, at 61 I just retired with full pension, which includes health benefits and 2.6 million portfolio.

I don't need to work nor want to.

I can live on my assets, my expenses last year was 48K.

In 11 years my pretax 457 funds if double from 1.6 million to 3 million, due to RMD my distributions will be 257K (32% Tax Bracket) a year more than my annual salary (24% tax bracket) once was.
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by wrongfunds »

retire2022 wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:59 pm
ramram22 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:14 am
2). The main point that I was trying to make is that people on this website seem to be hyper-focused on maximizing efficiency of their capital while completely discounting another huge source of leverage, i.e. other people’s labor. There’s a reason that the Forbes 400 are all business owners and not passive equity investors. If you rely solely on your own labor and savings, you’re going to have to trade away a lot larger portion of your life to achieve financial independence.
While I can't speak for others on this forum, at 61 I just retired with full pension, which includes health benefits and 2.6 million portfolio.

I don't need to work nor want to.

I can live on my assets, my expenses last year was 48K.

In 11 years my pretax 457 funds if double from 1.6 million to 3 million, due to RMD my distributions will be 257K (32% Tax Bracket) a year more than my annual salary (24% tax bracket) once was.
And what are you doing to solve that HUGE problem if I may ask? (actually your numbers are incorrect as the 3 million will not result in 257K RMD unless that is the total of your income including pension+SS+RMD)
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by CyclingDuo »

bb wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 12:48 pm Yes - please share details on earning $60K for 1 hr per week of work.

Prediction - crickets.
You could pitch 3-4 innings per week, or maybe even 2x a week. That only pays, on average, $6.9M in annual salary and you have to wear the required uniform. However, it's nice work for those who can do it in the majors. :mrgreen:
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by retire2022 »

wrongfunds wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:12 pm
And what are you doing to solve that HUGE problem if I may ask? (actually your numbers are incorrect as the 3 million will not result in 257K RMD unless that is the total of your income including pension+SS+RMD)
I am in process of discussing Roth Conversions with my accountant.

Yes pension and SSA will push it up I used the Charles Schwab calculator.
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by surfstar »

ramram22 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:06 am Anyone else have plans to do something similar? Why is this not more discussed in these types of forums?
Nope. Work is overrated. Also discussed ad nauseum on the forum, IMO. Some people will work until they die, even though they do not have to. *shrug*
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by loghound »

The OP had a legitimate question (why don't people semi-retire early) but folks have gotten caught up in the "$60k/hr/yr" which does seem.... optimistic.... but if we ignore that specific subway/gas station example and just focus on the question of 'why it's not discussed' its an interesting discussion.

I think a lot of people have summarized it we but the reasons you don't see a lot of discussion is:
  • The bogle head forum is not so much a "FIRE as fast as possible" group of folks. Arguably it's a group of largely risk-adverse people who prefer the slow-steady (but likely) path over a higher risk approach so you don't see a lot of this kind of thought. You may have picked the wrong audience to ask..
  • Side hustles are, often, a lot of work (this get's to the 'work or an hour a week for $60k claim') -- and that is not really retiring as much as a career change... There is a lot of discussion around people who are asking if they can take a 'less stressful/less money job' and if you look you'll find plenty of those (although what the OP describe strikes me as pretty stressful)
  • Most bogleheads would rather be set financially (whatever that means for them) and allowed then to pursue side hustles as their interest dictates (as someone who took on a side hustle once 'for fun' and then realized three years later it was not so much fun anymore because I was forced to do a bunch of stuff I didn't have interest in anymore I can tell you that the freedom to decide when & how to control your time is a great gift)
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Re: Is COMPLETE retirement overrated?

Post by secondopinion »

surfstar wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:30 pm
ramram22 wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:06 am Anyone else have plans to do something similar? Why is this not more discussed in these types of forums?
Nope. Work is overrated. Also discussed ad nauseum on the forum, IMO. Some people will work until they die, even though they do not have to. *shrug*
Sometimes, the work is a way to socialize. If that is the case, then it is one of the cheapest ways of doing so because one gets paid to do it.

Each person is different; long-term happiness is the ultimate goal.
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