The Semi-Retired Option

So when I decided to focus on paying off my mortgage for the next few years I stated one of the reasons to consider doing that was to allow me to pull off a semi-retirement earlier than 45.  So an obvious question is how much earlier since I have previous looked at doing this option when I was 40.

Well the truth be told, I could do it the day after I finish paying off the mortgage.  Which would put me about age 36, about nine years earlier than my original goal.  I could get away with working about three days at week at my current job.  I would have enough to live on and also still have enough to continue saving for full retirement.  Yet like all things there is a price to our choices.  This choice would mean I would have to stay employed part time until about age 50.

The numbers on my quick analysis here isn’t as much as I normally do for a full run, so it might not actually be that long, but still the general concept is valid.  If you go semi-retired earlier it allows you work less up front, but often you have to keep working longer on a total basis.  So the real question becomes would you make that trade?

The reality is for me is I’m now seriously considering it.  After all I never planned to stop working entirely when I pulled the plug at 45.  I was considering doing some part-time or contract work anyway, but the income would just be for fun things like extra trips.  So in the semi-retired case I end up just having to work for a few more years, rather than it being optional for a few years.  In exchange I could possibly have four day weekends for nine extra years.

Obviously I’m not deciding this right now or anything.  I’ve got a few years to roll this around in my head and think about what kind of work would I like to do if I did it.  After all I don’t have to stay at my same job if I do this option, which is good considering I have no idea if my current job would allow me to work three days a week in the future.

So you might wonder why I’ve change my mind of this option from my last look at it.  The reality is I’m starting to think people really shouldn’t be working full time.  There is so much more to life than just a job, that I don’t think I want to push off getting more time for myself for too much longer.

So would you be willing to make a trade like this?  More time off sooner, but you have to keep working longer.

6 thoughts on “The Semi-Retired Option”

  1. I have recently become debt free (except mortgage which will be paid in 8 yrs) and briefly thought about working part-time. While this would be nice, I am 44 and have 9 yrs with my job and 11 more to go in order to get in 20 yrs of service. At 20 yrs, I’ll be eligible for free healthcare. If I go part-time, it will take twice as long to get 20 yrs of service credit. So, I decided to retire at 55 and go part-time if I feel the need to continue working. I am planning to agressively save from here on out so working beyong 55 will be an option.

  2. I’d rather work really hard for fewer years, becus you may suffer health or medical problems later that will preclude your continuing to work. I’d rather work full-time now while i know i still can. The future is always uncertain and impossible to predict.

    Many studies have shown that while many people plan on working til 65, a significant % do not becus they were forced out of their career or had medical issues or had to take care of a loved one

  3. I guess it depends on what you want to do in retirement.
    Working part time also means that your retirement is part time.
    That may not fit into everyones game plan.

    I was thinking about going part-time a couple of years ago but I was not motivated enough to make the change.
    Then the market crashed and I was glad
    the plug was still plugged in.

  4. I completely agree that you should take time off at the very least. If not work part time. Fern speaks of an injury/illness preventing you from working. Well if you work in your youth and then suffer injury/illness, you can’t enjoy life as much and you’ve wasted your youth at work. Enjoy life while you are young and healthy! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my job. But my greatest memories come from the time I spend with friends and family.

    Other people may have different priorities, but for me:
    1. Family
    2. Friends
    3. Self
    4. Some other stuff
    5. Work

    I can’t say it enough, take the time now, because you may not have the chance later.

  5. You may find that work will allow you to work full time for 8 months of the year and part time the other four months, or something similar. I can do this at my work, I go part time in June then back ft in october. Let’s me enjoy the warm weather in Canada, and all 4 day weekends!

  6. Interesting debate everyone. I sort of like Dave’s idea. Work full time for part of the year, and then do something else. Now I just have to find a job that lets me do it.


Comments are closed.