This is a guest post by Dave, who is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any. Dave is from Ontario and is working towards his CGA certification.
Some weeks, I just don’t feel like working 40 hours. These weeks it would be nice to be retired, or at least working fewer hours. My wife and I have decided that our ideal workday would be from around 10 a.m. to 3 pm three or four days a week. In our current jobs, this really isn’t an option – no matter how productive we may tell our bosses we would be in those 5 hours.
At some point in the future, we will have our house paid off as well a significant quantity of investments, which will hopefully be enough to live off of for our entire retirement. I will always worry about running out of money though and will want to make some cash on the side, as some form of diversity. Although I would prefer to not have to work, having some money coming in wouldn’t be a terrible thing, as long as the hours weren’t too long and the work was something I liked to do.
One of the people I work with is semi-retired and was telling me about his side-business, he picks up broken wooden pallets from factories, takes them apart, rebuilds them and sells the “new” pallets to companies. I was talking to someone else who said that for charity, one of their friends pulls apart broken electric motors and sells the component metals to recyclers, making $6,000 – $8,000 per year.
For me, I would look for something that involves a minimal investment, much like the two mentioned examples which involved probably $200 in tools and a bit of room. Having an accounting background, I could probably do something with this, and have talked to my wife about bookkeeping or working during taxation season. Both would involve some busy time, with bookkeeping being less stressful (as my mistakes would hopefully be caught by an accountant).
My wife would like to work a part-time retail job. She enjoys working this kind of job, and also would like the store discounts. Although I’m not sure if she would actually come out ahead by working this job, I would hope that it would sort of “concentrate” her spending to one store at discount prices.
My main goal with a small job would be to allow my retirement fund to compound and live off of the (hopefully) $10,000 I would earn per year (with my wife earning about the same).
I would prefer to not work at all, and my ultimate goal would still be to retire at 45. Working a part-time job for 10 years would allow me to stop full-time work considerably early – I would be trading 5 years of full-time work for 10 years of casual work.
Would you make the trade-off, or would you like a clean break from work when you’re done?