“OMG, the stock market is going to collapse and the world come to an end! And then what are you going to do, wise guy? Go back to work? Ha! Get real. You haven’t worked in forever. Nobody wants your out of date skills. And in a big downturn EVERYONE is looking for a job, and you will be last on every employer’s list. Loser.”
I love 2018. Internet people are so friendly these days. But as much as I am unlikely to invite this guy over for dinner, he does have a point.
“Going back to work” is a fall back plan for a lot of aspiring retirees. If you are dealt a poor sequence of returns in the early years, just call your old boss. But woe is me, this is no longer an option.
But not because my skillz have been back shelved. And not because I am far too busy. The truth is, as far as employment is concerned, retirement has completely ruined me.
What Are Employers Looking For?
I had no idea, so I had to Google it.
Work Ethic… be at work on time… you mean you want me to commute during peak traffic hours? And you want me to go to the grocery store at the same time as 90% of the population? And I need to enjoy recreational activities on weekends with the hoards of humanity?
Honesty… this meeting is a complete waste of time, just email me.
Oh, you meant a different kind of honesty.
Loyalty… will you be loyal to The Company? “Yeah, sure, of course, whatever it takes.”
As loyal as you are to me (or for a year until I build my savings back up.) What is the 401k vesting schedule again?
Flexibility… Exciting news! We are reorganizing again. And the project was cancelled, but we have a great new project.
You are still paying me, right? No worries then. I don’t even need to come into the office, I can do this job from home.
I am positive that I am cynical. That counts, right?
I’ll get you that Deliverable and complete the Action Item just as soon as I get back from a bike ride and take a nap. M’kay?
We are fast approaching our 6 year (me) and 9 year (Winnie) anniversaries of non-traditional living.
In that time we’ve become accustomed to certain things.
The bike trail I ride regularly is a very different experience at 10 am on a Tuesday than at noon on a Saturday.
The gym, the library, the grocery store, the coffee shop…. are my own personal oasis 5 days a week.
Flying at 2 PM on a Wednesday costs much less than flying at 7 PM on a Friday.
Midday naps are amazing.
The museum is free the first Monday of every month.
I sometimes do some “work.” But if it feels like work, it gets moved to the bottom of my To Do list. If I had a To Do list… Case in point: I still haven’t filed out 2017 taxes, even though they are technically done.
And yesterday I meant to finish this blog post, but instead we had pretty much the whole lake to ourselves.
Sorry, these things aren’t perks. They are life.
Back to Work?
Instead, we did a few simple things:
- Spend next to nothing in the early years, so we were still adding to our nest egg
- Minimize future taxes – cap gain harvesting and Roth IRA conversions mean no taxes today and tomorrow. That is the same as earning thousands of extra dollars
- Travel hacking – why spend $7,000 on flights around the world when you could spend $200?
- Geographic arbitrage – if the market crapped the bed, we wouldn’t go to Europe next year. Thailand and Vietnam are equally awesome and a fraction of the price
- invest some minimal effort into a side hustle – Even income of $100 a month increases the Median terminal value for a 75/25 portfolio by $150k, per Trinity Study. One option is a blog.
- We’ll still get Social Security in 20 years or so. Bonus!
I suppose this is why it is odd for Internet trolls to project their fear of getting their old job back onto us. This was always the nuclear option, the solution of last resort.
Besides… nobody would hire me anyway.
Retirement has completely ruined me.
ps: It’s called F U money for a reason