Home > It's official...I'm semi-retired!

It's official...I'm semi-retired!

March 1st, 2018 at 12:54 am

Today, in short succession, my manager interviewed 3 candidates to share my job with me. Two males and a female.

At day's end, I peeked in his office and asked if he'd found someone. He shared some of the pros and cons of each: one had a nearly 2-hour commute, and another had a background as a marketing writer, not a proofreader (that was actually my situation, but perhaps he's afraid they might consider proofing a step down from copywriting and not stay long).

Bottom line, he wasn't thrilled with any of them but said he decided to take one of them on for an interim period, allowing me to begin my abbreviated work weeks, and tell the recruiter to keep looking.

He asked me what my preferences are in terms of my new work hours, and we agreed:
1. I will start the new hours next week.
2. I will work a full day Monday and Tuesday and a half day Wednesday. The full days would be 10:30 to 7 pm, OR, if things are busy, up to a 10-hour day, or 9 pm.

The schedule is actually a little different than what I anticipated, but in some ways it's better. I had been thinking I'd be working 3 full 8 hour days. But by working later for the 1st 2 days, I can work just a half day on the third day, giving me even greater flexibility with my time off.

The 2 longer days will be harder to do, but just knowing I'm only doing that for 2 days will probably help a lot.

The new person will have the same schedule, except he'd work a half day Wednesday and all day Thursday/Friday. There will be some overlap in our hours on Wednesdays and my manager is expecting me to train the new person in my company's style. We follow each pharma company's style, but absent that, we go by AMA style, but even then, the company's own style does at times veer from AMA, so it takes some time to get used to the idiosyncracies.

So if things were always maximally busy and I always worked 10:30 am to 9 pm (with a half hour for lunch), I'd get in a 25-hour work week, which is the most I'd want to work. At the least, I'll get in 20 hours, which is also acceptable to me.

Depending on whether I can take a week or two (unpaid) vacation, I'll be grossing somewhere between $32,000 and $40,800 (with the net ranging from $26,000 to $32,250), which should cover most of my annual living expenses, so my retirement nest egg can continue to grow.

I calculate that by working p/t, depending on the exact number of hours I work, I can cover between 70% and 86% of my average annual expenses this year. (My average annual expenses are based on my last 5 years.) Next year, the percentage of covered expenses should be 80% to 98% as I have just one remaining pricey home improvement I'm thinking of doing this spring (redoing my back patio).

Another thing to consider is needing to bring in enough food to keep me going for lunch AND dinner on Mondays/Tuesdays.

I'm sooooo excited, and I feel so much better about having a pretty well-paying p/t job I can keep for the next few years, if all goes well (and importantly, spend little to none of my retirement nest egg on my ongoing expenses), rather than trying to "retire cold turkey," in the face of a rather turbulent stock market.

This particular job is much easier and less stressful working as a proofreader than what I did all of my career, working as a copywriter. It's just the kind of job I was hoping to have toward the end of my career. I have no responsibility other than ensuring that everything we write/create is PERFECT. Meaning, No frequent, long or boring meetings, no phone calls and relatively little office politics. Yet the rate of pay is respectable and quite a bit more than I would have ever thought I could find if I were looking for part-time work on my own.

So I've succeeded in considerably shortening the amount of time I must spend at work, making more room for my dad, my friends and hopefully, letting me become more involved in different community groups, something I've wanted to do for a long time.

None of this would be possible if I hadn't so zealously prepaid my mortgage all these years, and then paid it off, because with a mortgage, my monthly expenses would be so much higher and probably make it impossible to even consider getting by on a part-time income.

I really wasn't sure I could make this happen, and I think I owe my success at least partially to my manager, who in the short time I've worked here, has always treated me fairly, and is a real straight-shooter, meaning, he says what he means and means what he says.

My dad will be thrilled.

16 Responses to “It's official...I'm semi-retired!”

  1. Dido Says:

    So excited for you! Congratulations! Mazel tov!

  2. PatientSaver Says:

    Thank you, Dido! Mazel tov!

  3. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    That is wonderful!

  4. Cassie66 Says:

    Wow! I am so thrilled for you. You are my total role model!!

  5. PatientSaver Says:

    Thank you, Cassie. That's a supreme compliment.

  6. Carol Says:

    Oh, I am glad for you! Sounds great!
    You owe it to your manager and to yourself( your saving over the years), but also because you figured out what you wanted and you asked.
    (I think it's both hard to figure out what we want and also to ask for it.)
    Great news!!

  7. PatientSaver Says:

    Thank you, Carol. Yes, you are right. It could be different for others, but freeing myself from the mind-numbing 9 to 5 routine was something I've wanted for years. I've spent a lot of time thinking about how I could make it happen, how much income I really needed, what are my true priorities, and so on.

    While this job did not seem so perfect at first (being a contract job with no benefits but with long and unpredictable hours), by getting up the nerve to ask, and being careful in how I asked, I've (amazingly) been able to obtain exactly what I wanted.

    I tend to not feel confident in getting what I ask for when it comes to work, so I often end up sticking it out in unhappy situations for way too long. Today's happy ending just taught me not to hesitate, or wait so long, in asking for what I want, because if people value you and your contribution, you may just get what you wish for.

  8. Petunia 100 Says:

    Thats wonderful, Patient Saver! Decades of careful planning now begin to pay off. Enjoy! Smile

  9. Petunia in a Flower Garden Says:

    Congratulations! You have worked long and hard for this day!

  10. scottish girl Says:


  11. Wink Says:

    Great News! Congratulations! I intend to do something similar in a few years, leave full time employment and cover my monthly living expenses with part time work. Your perseverance and planning have shown me this is actually possible. So happy for you!

  12. creditcardfree Says:

    Yay! Congratulations. I know I felt the same way when I had a full time job that I asked to work part time. Good employees that understand what the company needs can find a way to make it work, and yes it does help to have a good manager that can decide or go to bat for you.

  13. Turtle Lover Says:

    such great news :-)
    I will look forward to hearing how you are enjoying your time

  14. NJDebbie Says:

    Yay PatientSaver!!!

  15. Butterscotch Says:

    I’m so glad it worked out for you! Sounds perfect!

  16. rob62521 Says:

    I am so happy for you! I'm glad this is working out. And yes, the two longer days will be a pain, but the pay off is worth it!

    As for taking extra food, do you have a small cooler? I started carrying a small cooler to work -- it was one of those soft plastic sided ones and I often kept snacks in there in case I had to work over unexpectedly. It wasn't very heavy and had a long strap on it. I bought mine at a garage sale for $1. It wasn't in perfect condition, but it was clean and worked fine. I always kept an extra spoon and knife in there and some nonperishable stuff.

    I look forward to hearing your adventures in your semiretirement.

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