I Got a Job, So Am I Still Retired?

Well depending on the actions of the Internet Retirement Police, I may have to hand in my early retiree membership card because I just got a job yesterday. *Gasp*   And according to some people you can’t be retired if you have a job which to me always sounded so silly as I could care less what people call what I’m doing.  Call it: changing career paths or semi-retirement or what ever term makes you feel better about it.

Yet in my case, I’ve always said I would be willing to do some work in my early retirement period because honestly why not get paid to do things that I enjoy.  I called these ‘fun jobs’ and when I left work I had identified a few that I wouldn’t mind doing.  The top options were working at a brewery or a library since working to make beer which I like to drink and handling books which I love to read don’t really sound like too much work to me.  As I previously mentioned I actually work extremely casually at a brewery in town (I have put in all of four days of work there so I have  a hard time even calling it a job), but I got to do one of my ‘fun jobs.’  Now I can say I’m about to cross another one off my list.

My new job is working at public library as a Page at my local branch starting next week.  It is only a temporary contract until August for 18 hours a week but that is fairly perfect amount of time for me as I don’t want anything close to full time.  I will be the guy who shelves books, pull holds, scan in returned books and  basically do also the same work I currently volunteer to do once a week at our local school library.

I’m actually fairly sure my volunteer work actually got me an interview that occurred on Monday and the fact I took a 20 hour online course on how library’s work out of interest back in 2018.  After all nothing says I want to do this work like having over a year of experience at it and some training towards it and of course my volunteer boss at the school library  also agreed to be a reference for me.  So that is a hint for retirees looking to break into a new field as a fun job; try to get some relevant experience and if possible training towards the job.

And finally I think the other thing that really helped me get an interview is I addressed the obvious question of why the hell an engineer with my experience would want a job like this in my cover letter of my application.  I specifically noted that I have recently changed career paths to self employed writing and I had a flexible schedule.  I didn’t even mention retirement as, after all, most people could not care less.

But of course I now have a fun issue…what to do with that extra money I will be making?  I decided since this is a longer term job I’m going to break up the money into two parts.  10% of my income will go towards me saving up to buy a 3D printer (I don’t need one of those but I do want one).  The other 90% of the income will go towards our slush fund to pay for house renovations or vacations.  While my wife and I haven’t specifically decided what that extra money will go towards we are leaning toward the idea of replacing our kitchen countertops.   As that has been on my wife’s want to do list for a while.

So how do you address work in retirement?  What term do you like to call it and what would you do with the extra money?

19 thoughts on “I Got a Job, So Am I Still Retired?”

  1. Congrats Tim, that is my retirement dream! Just curious, what was the online course you took? Thanks, Sara

  2. My partner has decided to become a professor. He is going back to school and starting a new life as a teacher.

    Me, still haven’t figured it out. Not sure what I would like to do when I retire but when I do, I toying with no longer being Anonymous. I’d like to start a few sessions with people .. non-profits sort of thing, maybe teach kids about money and budgeting… my passion 🙂

  3. I piddle around with four technical consulting side gigs in my slightly early retirement. I’m extremely lucky because I earn what most would consider a nice full time salary only working about eight hours a week. I’m not working for the money, but for the mental challenge, the social contact and to preserve my network which is worth millions if I ever decide to get another real job, which is unlikely. But I agree about the retirement police, my fully retired friends and my still working friends tell me “you aren’t really retired.” I mean I have six day weekends most weeks. I only set my alarm to go running or fishing, so it feels pretty retired to me.

  4. @Sara – Thanks! The course is located at https://libraries.idaho.gov/continuing-education/able/

    @Sherry – Prof…well that is an interesting choice. But good luck to him. As to yourself, you will find what works for you. Not sure if you have tried it out before but Junior Achievement might be a way for you to test the waters of your idea of working with kids and PF.

    @steveark – I know. Six days weekends but your not ‘retired’. Well I just say okay and then ignore people like that.

    @Rob @Neil – Thanks!

    @Rick – Actually not a bad working definition of being ‘retired’ with a job. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Thanks once again for sharing your journey. We FIRED 1-year ago and relocated to the Maritimes. We are having a blast and have never been happier. I immediately took a 10-hour/week work-from-home gig bookkeeping which I really enjoy. The business owner asked me to take on another company and we both thought it may be 15-hours/week. After one month, it turned out to be 40 hours and I resigned (reverting back to the previous arrangement). Despite your current working arrangements, you are absolutely retired as am I. The point to this is we now do what we want, not what other people demand. I feel truly free for the first time in my life. We FIRED ourselves 2-years after coming across this movement. My only regret is that we didn’t come across it sooner. Your blog Tim, was the second one I came across after MMM. I will always be grateful to the both of you for sharing so much detail to help get others to the same place.

  6. Tim, I’m sorry to ell you that you are no longer retired. :p

    But I do commend you on your choice of jobs. Twice in my high school and college years, I worked as a page in libraries. The first time was in a public library. The second time was in my college library. I mainly shelved books but at the public library I did some other tasks such as helping run the magazine storage room. Old habits stick around, as I often reshelve books (only nearby) if see them out of order while browsing the stacks.

  7. Hi Tim , I work 24 hours biweekly , but don’t need to , at a job I’m passionate about . The term we use for my work ” small insurance policy ” because it covers the what it’s and some very nice extras . Glad to hear you’re doing something interesting . Arlene Anne

  8. Congrats Tim! I would love to follow this path one day and find something that I enjoy to do while getting paid!

    Can’t wait to read your blog post about the 3D printer once you buy it. =) Just curious how much is it and how long will it take for you to save that amount?

  9. I have always liked the term, “financial independence” since it suggests you are free to choose how you use your time. Perhaps people associate “early retirement” with being lazy, since it sounds like you want to do nothing all day, but that’s not true at all about the people who are disciplined like you are, Tim. Congratulations and thanks for reminding us that work is great when you find something you enjoy doing!

  10. Job. Retired . just words , semantics . the following is an excerpt from a retirement lifestyle readiness book I am reading.
    ” For our purposes, to re-tire (with the dash) refers to preparing for a new life journey. When you re-tire you are gaining something (a new lease on life).When you retire (without the dash), you are giving up something (work, your turn at bat, life). In fact, the only positive uses of the word retire is in reference to going to sleep, and paying off a loan. Moreover, because re-tirement does not refer giving up work, it is possible to re-tire to a new line of work.”
    So there you have it . Tim is re-tired, whether he is working or not . One way or the other, it’s still a fresh new journey.

  11. Taking on a fun part time, low stress gig, is great! I will likely do the same. It also gives a chance for your portfolio to perculate further due to less drawdown…

  12. @misuchiru – I’m looking at one in the $350 to $400 range so it should take if I pull 10% off each cheque most of the summer to save up for it. Which honestly is fine as I’m going to be busy learning how to brew on my new all grain system soon (I’m going to start ordering parts in May for that project).

    @everyone – Thanks for all the feedback and support. It’s nice to see a group of people with a open mind to work in retirement.

  13. Is it fair to society to have a paying job if you are retired, can the youth get the job instead..like passing the torch to the next generation?

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