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.
My wife is at a crossroads right now. Her main job where she has worked full-time for the past six years has cut her hours back due to a lack of retail sales. While she would rather have chosen the reduced hours on her own, she is currently attempting to figure out what to do for the next decade or so in the workforce. Right now, she’s wondering whether she should get some sort of formal training in a different field, or seek employment in a similar field she has been working in (book-keeping). We’re not overly concerned with this new employment situation, we just have to slightly alter our mortgage-repayment plan and maybe hold off on any significant purchases that would drain our savings account (in case this temporary decline in hours becomes more permanent).
I’m actually a little jealous of my spouse right now, I would love to have a couple of extra days off per week, there’s lots of stuff I could do that (some days) would be more interesting than work. For her though, it’s not a relaxing break, as she would prefer to be working for now, rather than having the time off.
Ideally, we could be off together and spending the extra days doing stuff around the house – or really whatever we felt like doing. At this point, I don’t really feel the need to not work. I just started a new job about 8 months ago that I actually enjoy and challenges me, with pay that I feel is fair for what I do. My current position offers some flexibility with hours, so I work the odd long day, in return for being able to choose a short day when I want (due to travel across the province).
With our current monthly expenses, as long as my wife and I combined make about $30,000 per year gross, we could maintain our current lifestyle and probably have a reasonable amount of retirement savings at a “normal” retirement age. We would have more time together now, and more time to do the things we’re interested in at the moment.
My wife and I have talked about this before, and have both decided we would rather have a total exit from the workforce as opposed to a longer-term part-time or lower wage (possibly lower stress) job. This is the reason why rather than spending the day as she would like to tomorrow (knitting Christmas presents) my wife will be applying for several jobs she’s found interesting as well as calling about a couple of college programs she has found which are of interest.
At some point, we may change our mind and work part-time, but not for now. Do you have plans of curtailing your working hours at some point? Is there a set salary that you could make that would let you work for example 75% of your current hours?