All posts by Kimberly

Recovering MBA. Writer. Photographer. Scanner. Blissful Learner. Airplane and Travel Geek/Aircraft Dispatcher. Instructor. Teenager Wrangler. Certification Collector. Semi-retiree in training.

Differentiating Semi-Retired and Part-Time

Have you considered decreasing your work hours, or the number of days you work each week as you get closer to retirement?  Or, do you think you will not ever be able to “retire,” but you still want enough time to do some traveling or pursue a hobby?

These two options are vastly different, however.  Be sure you take the time to decide which one would be best for you.

Part-TIME

Working part-time is generally considered to be any number of hours less than thirty per week.    Keep in mind though, that thirty hours can still take up a great deal of your time.   For example, someone working six hours a day/five days a week adds up to thirty hours.  That is just 8am – 3pm instead of 8am – 5pm.  Add in a commute, and it really is not that much time away from work.

If you can find longer hours for fewer days, it would probably be more appealing.

Part-time work becoming more and more common for several reasons though, and not all of them good ones.   While it can be a great option for students, or for people who just need a little extra income or something to do, it can be very frustrating for people who want to work full-time.

The biggest looming concern is health insurance, as the Affordable Care Act allows employers to opt-out of providing coverage to those who work part-time.   If you have coverage elsewhere, then this might be a good option for you to have more days per week available to pursue hobbies or outside interests.

Part-YEAR

Most often, this is referred to as “seasonal” employment.”  It definitely is the more appealing choice if you want longer blocks of time off.  A great number of the employment opportunities are the ones commonly associated with the summer or winter seasons, such as summer camp counselors, or winter ski instructors.

Of course, seasons vary depending on where the business is geographically too.  The traditional North American Summer season is June through August, while it is December – February in the southern hemisphere.  And many specialized workers such as ski instructors take advantage of this by working in different parts of the world depending on the time of year.

In general, the variety of positions available where working part of the year is built into the job description seem to fall into four main categories:  Teaching, Tourism and Travel, Taxation, and Treatment.  In another article, I will describe the myriad opportunities available in these different industries.

Copyright©2014

Recovering MBA. Writer. Photographer. Scanner. Blissful Learner. Airplane and Travel Geek/Aircraft Dispatcher. Instructor. Teenager Wrangler. Certification Collector. Semi-retiree in training.

Can You Semi-Retire Using a Leave of Absence?

So, you are learning about the concept of “semi-retiring” and you love the idea of continuing to work, but only doing it for eight or nine months a year.

If you have hesitations about leaving your current employment completely, one excellent option you may have available to you is a formal Leave of Absence (LOA).  Here are some questions to ask and information to gather from your Human Resources or People department about this option.

Does Your Company Offer LOAs?

Some companies even require employees to take a leave periodically.  Chances are if you are lucky enough to work for one of these, you already know about that.  But if you have never considered it, then start researching internally to see what is available.

If So, Are They Paid or Unpaid?

Unless you are very lucky, chances are the leave will be unpaid.  You might expect this, but it does trigger a new avalanche of questions about what else might be affected.

What is Your Return-to-Work Status?

For example, one really important question to thoroughly understand is what constraints or situations affect your return-to-work.   Is your job held for you?  Indefinitely, or for a specific period of time?   Does there have to be an opening that you can fill?

Are There Limitations  to What You Can Do During the Leave?

My company does not allow employees to work while on a personal leave without specific written permission from a supervisor.  This could impact you if the goal of the leave is to test out running your own business.  Be sure you know any limitations or restrictions.

What Happens to Your Benefits?

If you, like many, receive your health insurance through your employer, what happens to it during your leave?  Do you keep the coverage, but have to pick up the entire cost?  This can cause some sticker shock as the full cost is often four times what is being withheld from the paycheck while working full-time.

Are there any other benefits that sunset while on a leave, such as discounts with your wireless vendor, or to the gym you use?  In my case, my travel privileges are suspended during a personal LOA.  And, that is the very thing I want the time off to use.

Once you have the answers to these questions, you are in a much better position to see if you can test-drive a short retirement period to see if it might work for you.

Copyright©2014

Recovering MBA. Writer. Photographer. Scanner. Blissful Learner. Airplane and Travel Geek/Aircraft Dispatcher. Instructor. Teenager Wrangler. Certification Collector. Semi-retiree in training.

Ideas to Keep Your Dream Going

Do you remember a few years ago when a video of a forty-seven year old British spinster at a talent show went viral? That she still pursued her dream of success as a singer at her age serves as excellent inspiration. Do you have a dream you have given up pursuing? Try these three things to tend your passion, even if you cannot work at something as much as you would like.

One – Keep doing it as a hobby

Whatever you love that you wish you could do full time but cannot, be sure to at least do it as a hobby. Anything can be a hobby; building sailboats, tutoring kids, coaching baseball. If you cannot find a way to make a living doing it YET, keep active with it as a hobby.

Two – Keep learning about it

Whatever your passion, study it until you are the most expert person in the world. That expertise alone may be the catalyst to turning it into a profession. Take classes, attend seminars, read, practice.  To everything there is a season, and yours may just not have turned yet.

Three – Keep asking people you meet if they know anyone in that field

If you want to break into an unusual or difficult field, never stop asking the people you meet and work with if they know someone who works in that area, or any area related to it. Do informational interviews and maintain contact with everyone you meet who does anything remotely related. You never know when one of these contacts will yield an opportunity. More people have felt frustration and wanted to give up than you can imagine. Especially if you are juggling full-time work, a family, or other demands.

The point is to keep doing what you love in some way, even if it is a small effort, until you have more time and energy to go at it again. Just don’t give up!

Copyright©2014

Recovering MBA. Writer. Photographer. Scanner. Blissful Learner. Airplane and Travel Geek/Aircraft Dispatcher. Instructor. Teenager Wrangler. Certification Collector. Semi-retiree in training.

About Kimberly…

Contact me at 850-939-5858 or kimberly@awriterabout.com

Hi…my name is Kimberly and I’m in my, ahem, EARLY fifties.   At least for a few more months.    I call myself a recovering MBA and Dream Wrangler.

If you are looking for the credentials, here they are:

  • MBA Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA 1990
  • BA in Journalism with Minor in French University of Georgia 1983
  • FL Licensed Real Estate Agent (not active)
  • FAA Licensed Aircraft Dispatcher
  • Licensed Profiting from Your Passions® Advisor

Work experience in Sales, Sales Training, Direct Sales, Marketing, Complex Project Management, Internal Communications, and Classroom Instructing in the Pharmaceutical, Medical Capital Equipment, Telecommunication, Advertising, and Commercial Aviation industries.

(Good grief.  Enough of that.  See why I am recovering…?)

My DREAM is to be able to work just nine months a year,  and teaching is an option, but not my first choice.  I’d love to have my free months be in the Fall or Winter, when it’s easier to travel.

Next July, I become eligible to retire from my aviation job.   I don’t expect to retire then, but I AM beginning a two-three year project to change my work/life structure once I get the youngest child launched.

I started this blog to share what I’m learning about part-year work options for those of us who need to, or want to, keep working.  We just don’t want to work AS MUCH.  Two or three weeks vacation isn’t cutting it. We want two or three MONTHS a year work free.

If this sounds like something you would love to do too, please join my tribe of fifty plus somethings, and I’ll share what I learn as I go.

Please also go have some fun with the quiz!  It’s completely without obligation and a fun way to see if this might work for you.

I look forward to meeting you as we figure this out.

Best,

Kimberly

Recovering MBA. Writer. Photographer. Scanner. Blissful Learner. Airplane and Travel Geek/Aircraft Dispatcher. Instructor. Teenager Wrangler. Certification Collector. Semi-retiree in training.