Friday, October 28, 2011

Retirement versus Un-Retirement

I've tried retirement and I've tried un-retirement and I like retirement better.

Since my retirement in October 2007, our savings and retirement accounts have been hobbled by the Great Recession. Therefore,  I've been trying to reduced our withdrawal rate by working various part time jobs.   In 2008, I earned 6% of our annual expenses.  In 2009, the percentage earned was 15%.   In 2010, I increased the percentage earned to 43% due to multiple part time jobs.   In 2011, I will earn about 86% of our annual expenses due to a temporary full time job.

I could have continued working the temporary full time job, earning 116% of our annual expenses.  The organization offered me the option to accept a permanent full time job.   However, I decided to gracefully decline and go back into retirement. My earnings will drop to about 10% of annual expenses.

My simple reason for going back to retirement?    A little work for a company, like up to 10 hours a week, can be fun.   A lot of work for a company, like a full time job, is real work and generally isn't much fun.  Not only was I spending over 40 hours a week working.  I was spending many non working hours thinking about work.  It was just like being back at my old job before retirement.  Definitely, I didn't want to sign up for that situation again :-)

In addition, I missed the time flexibility I had in retirement. I missed having lunch with my daughter at school whenever I wanted.   I missed  trying new jobs.   I missed working on things and ideas that I like.  I missed not checking a work schedule to decide whether to do something fun. 

Last, I finally figured out the work I'm doing isn't making much difference in whether our retirement and savings accounts would be sufficient or not.  Yes, it did make some difference, as my spouse will remind me :-)    However, a conservative estimate is that we have enough funds for 35 years of retirement and the work I've been doing doesn't have much impact on that estimate.
For more on Reaping the Rewards, check back every Friday for a new segment.

This is not financial or retirement advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

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