How to Start Planning for Semi-Retirement

In a previous article, I outlined the three types of semi-retirement:  Something-to-Do, Supplemental Income, and Supporting Yourself.   Regardless of which model fits, you will need a plan to make part-year employment work for you.

Step One

Decide which model you are, or you want to be.  If you would rather Supplement, but right now you would be a Support Yourself, take a hard look at your lifestyle and finances and identify what would you need to change in order to make that happen?

Step Two

Make a list of everything you know how to do well.   Include hobbies and interests.   Play violin?  Write it down.  Gardening? Scrapbooking?  Type 90 wpm?  Write it down.  Write down skills you have developed at traditional jobs such as organizing, particular software knowledge, or drawing blood.

Also, write down skills that were not a job requirement but you have acquired nonetheless.   Have you worked in an environment where you were stuck between co-workers who disliked each other?  Write down mediation as a skill.   Have you ever hired a babysitter or nanny?  That’s a skill.  Clean driving record?  That’s a skill.

The trick here is not to write down things you truly hate doing, unless you are willing to do them to make this lifestyle change happen for you.

Also, when you start your list, aim for twenty items.  Then walk away, but leave the list open.  Over the next few hours and days you will inevitably think of things to add.

Step Three

Now, start doing a job search.  Use the skills or knowledge you have identified for keyword searches at online sites.   Don’t restrict yourself at all in terms of geography, or whether or not the position is presently full-time.

You aren’t looking for a position at this time, you are looking for information.

What kinds of jobs out there are seeking skills you possess?  Try to make a list of ten to twenty jobs that you would never have considered before.   Like to drive with a good record?  You might be a perfect long-haul truck driver.  Don’t laugh…it’s great income and can be done part-year.    Good at math or adept with computers?  Consider part-year work doing tax preparation for a private accountant or national company.      How about substitute teaching?

Step Four

Make another list.  This time start marrying positions that have any interest for you whatsoever, with skills that you possess.    Aim for ten specific jobs, or ten types of jobs, that you could or would do for eight to ten months a year.

Now you have a place to start planning using skills or knowledge you already have.


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Recovering MBA. Writer. Photographer. Scanner. Learning Addict. Airplane Geek. Teacher. Certification Collector. Serenity Seeker. Semi-retiree in training.

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