Is Semi-Retirement for You?

Would you love to only work eight to nine months a year, and have three to four months a year to travel, take up a hobby, create art, or write that novel?

This  quasi-retirement option holds appeal for many older workers who want to spend more time enjoying life and less time toiling at the office. But, between being heavily hit with job loss since the 2008 recession, or being sandwiched between young children and elderly parents, many people over fifty cannot afford to stop working. And some do not want to stop – they just want to work less.

Either way, the same two questions arise. The first is, “How to afford it?”  Second, “How  to get the time off?”

There are many ways to approach the affordability of this work lifestyle, and many specialists and resources available for gathering knowledge and ideas for money management, debt-reduction, and development of residual income. The bottom line is finding a way to live for a year from income generated in eight or nine months.

But it is harder to find good advice and ideas on the second part of the equation. That is, how to get more time off than weekends and two weeks vacation a year?

For starters, if you are not interested in changing professions or your current position, explore the availability of taking an unpaid Leave of Absence for two to three months a year.  (And a future article detailing the things you need to consider with this choice.)

An additional option if you want to stay in your current line of work is to independent contract your services back to your former employer. Ideally they pay you more, but often will not include any benefits. Nonetheless, you contract for a specific task for a specific period of time that works for you. The money might be a wash, but you will have gained control of your time.

If you are open to doing different work, there are four industries that routinely utilize employees for part-year positions:  Teaching, Tourism, Treatment, and Taxes.

Starting a small business is another choice, particularly if you can tie it to one of the four industries mentioned above. For example if you live in a tourist area and are an avid photographer, you could start a business leading photography tours that only operates during those months. Offer tutoring services during the school year, or personal fitness and weight management right after the holidays. The list really does go on.

Does taking a few months off every year appeal to you? If so, the next question is how do you get there from where you are now?


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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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