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You don’t have to go nuclear on working for a living

There are more ways out of the workplace than the Reggie Perrin route

Today I woke up late and 10 miles from home. What a dirty stop-out, eh?

Not really. I visited a friend, the talk ran on and on, and I couldn’t be bothered to schlep back across London on the last tube home.

Instead we carried on until 2am (aided and abetted by a very nice montepulciano) and then it was spare room sofa-surfing for me.

My friend headed off to work early. I’m not sure exactly when he left, but given I had no intention of getting up at the ungodly hour I heard him go into the bathroom, it could well have still been dark.

I showered and strolled off to the train station much later, going crazy on the way and buying an outrageously expensive coffee from Starbucks, which I sipped lazily as I sauntered along in the sun.

It’s Thursday. What will my boss make of my attitude?

I can tell you he’s absolutely fine about it.

Because my boss is me.

The benefits of working from home

I often read retirement bloggers saying they quit work because they couldn’t take kowtowing to The Man anymore.

I understand – The Man sucks – but it’s not a good reason to quit working. Especially if you’re impoverishing yourself for the rest of your life to do so.

Many of the benefits of retirement are also benefits of working from home:

  • Day-to-day you’re in control of your schedule – this is near-priceless!
  • On an hourly basis it’s up to you what you do.
  • You don’t (often) have to work for anyone you don’t like.
  • You don’t (usually) have to do work that you don’t want to do.
  • There’s much more time for chores in the week – popping on the washing during a screenbreak – without it eating into your evenings and weekends.
  • You can shop / visit the bank / go to the cinema / run around in the park without a shirt on when it’s quiet and most people are kowtowing to The Man.
  • You can still be in your pyjamas at midday if that’s you. Not my bag, but it seems to work for self-employed pharmaceutical vendors.

Most of these benefits are similar to those that people cite on retiring.

They don’t have to slog to the office every day. They don’t have to put up with petty politics. They can busy themselves in the garden when they want to, and they can take to the beach for that one sunny day in September.

All true of working from home.

Mercenary tactics

Another non-nuclear option to get some control of your life back is to make your money as a freelancer or a contractor.

I know two people who work for 3-6 months then take the next six months off. I couldn’t – I’d be scared of coming home and finding my niche had been taken over by squatters – but one of them has been at it for years.

Less radically, my girlfriend does 6-8 week contracts, then has a week or two off.

She’s not in as much control of her time as I am, because she can’t decide exactly when her next gig should start and stop. But she’s better paid than me for it, and if she wants to take a Friday off, she can. She doesn’t have to ask anyone’s permission, provided it doesn’t derail her project.

A definition of being a genuine freelancer when it comes to HMRC is that you’re in control of your own time, which is important for both your client’s and your own tax status.

Handy, if anyone complains!

Working 5 to 9 (what a way to make a living)

Now it’s true these options don’t give you the ultra-freedom of the fully retired.

To make my living working from home, I have to continue to excel for the clients I do work for. There’s no coasting.

I also put in the same 200 or so days of work that most people do (although I’m more productive than the majority, so I can work fewer hours if I like).

And do you want to know a secret?

In truth I do sometimes have to tip my hat to The Man or put up with silly decisions or hare-brained schemes, in order to take on an assignment that pays well or that keeps me on a great client’s books.

But working for myself, it’s never as annoying as in the Kafka-esque nightmare of a modern office – probably because you know you can reach for the ejector lever if you have to.

You also don’t need to have so many existential debates about what all that time spent at work is really worth, because you know what it’s worth.

Your hourly rate, minus tax.

Keeping up with the Micawbers

I used to dream of early retirement, but having lived off my savings a few years ago for a while, I now know it’s not for me.

In fact I hope to always continue to earn some income, although in time it’ll be increasingly from projects like property redevelopment or self-owned micro-businesses.

Maybe this blog will even make me some real money, some day!

I believe there are several benefits to doing some paying work, versus a full-time earn-nothing retirement:

  • You have more money, so you can spend more, save more, and be generally less vulnerable.
  • It keeps you engaged with the world, with business, and with the young.
  • It helps you ward-off that grumpy them-against-us attitude.
  • In my (limited) experience, some people who retire actually do less fun things and become less healthy than those of the same age who keep working.
  • A certain amount of stress is good for you. (It’s called eustress!)

Clearly one can over-generalise. A few people become much more engaged when they retire, perhaps because they can throw themselves into hobbies or communities that they never previously had time for.

But many people find their circles drawing in, and their horizons narrow. I’ve seen it, and I’m sure you have to.

Equally, there are some great examples of people on the Web for whom early retirement is just the start of the adventure of making their fortune.

Mr Money Mustache is clearly having a ball – and making a packet – ever since he retired.

However his form of retirement is to me more financial freedom. I know he hates this sort of semantic quibbling, but for me he’s doing what I’m doing, only I do far more short bits of freelance, and he does far more bike rides between renovation projects and super-successful website creating.

Life beyond Branson

The point is there are far more ways to make a living than Reginald Perrin ever imagined.

If you truly know that the indignity of having to earn money is what you hate about the modern world, then making enough to quit is perfectly rational.

However if you hanker for the freedom to eat ice-cream in the park or to watch Wimbledon in work hours, or to put time into side-projects that the rat race shoves to the sidelines, then it’s worth figuring out if working from home or similar is a better way for you.

Beware! Like not going to university, working for yourself is an option that’s easy to get into but not so easy to make stick.

But for me the rewards have proved well worth it.

In fact, the only real downside is that the scope of your career is curtailed.

If you’re an expert in your field then you can still be part of exciting and/or lucrative projects, as a consultant or in some other part-time role.

This is true even at the highest level – the non-exec directors who make a packet attending a dozen company board meetings a year are in some ways the ultimate example of the lifestyle I’m describing.

But working as a contractor or a freelance, you’ll never feel the excitement of being at the heart of an Apple or a Virgin Atlantic or a Kath Kidston as they roll out across the world. Nor can you enjoy a vocation like heart surgery that inevitably ties you to your workplace.

Still, how many of us really enjoy any of that in our lives?

Exactly.

Clocking in at your nearest Wernham Hogg is hardly the stuff of dreams.

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{ 28 comments… add one }
  • 1 maria@moneyprinciple June 27, 2013, 2:10 pm

    Very good piece; made me think. I think retirement is overstated and/or overrated – except if taken more like a life-style design option. And when not busy enabling ‘the future of the nation’ (and quite a few other nations but this is another story) to learn as university prof, I work from home. What bothers me is that work and life fuse with each other and many a time I work when should be living and live when should be resting.

  • 2 Neverland June 27, 2013, 4:12 pm

    I wish I shared your rosy view of owning a small business

    However my experience is that it is bloody hard work

    I think working for yourself would not be possible for the majority of the UK population without significant lifestyle changes

    If you work for yourself or own a business you need a much larger buffer of savings to protect against variability of income/profits

    This is not possible for most of the UK population to accumilate because of their financial commitments, in rough order of size:

    – their rent/mortgage/utility bills
    – their tax bills
    – their student/credit card/unsecured debt repayments
    – their other consumption habits

    Only the last item is totally within their control (unless they all decamp to teepees on the Isle of Man)

    Unfortunately the employment market is pushing more and more younger and older workers towards self-employment or “zero-hour contracts” which is nearly the same thing

    The results will be ugly for most, not uplifting 🙁

  • 3 Jon June 27, 2013, 4:20 pm

    I’ve been working at home and in the field as a tech support engineer for over 20 years. I don’t know if theirs a medical term for it, but i’m unable to work in an office. The office represents a prison to me, you go in at 9 and come out at 5. You can be completely unproductive, but you still have to be present.

    Working from home is a big chunk of the freedom pie and if you can bolt on the financial bit as well, even better.

  • 4 The Investor June 27, 2013, 4:22 pm

    @Maria — That’s definitely the challenge, but also part of the lifestyle. If I decide to get swimming at 2pm, I can’t really complain that sometimes I also need to work until 11pm to get a job done.

    @Neverland — Wow, @CuriousSarah really was right about you the other day. Have some chocolate on me! 😉 As for the substance of your comments, I’m not really addressing my article to people who are up to their hock in vast quantities of debt. As Mr Money Mustache would say THAT IS AN EMERGENCY.

    Once they’re out of it then getting off the work-cheque-spend treadmill could help them stay that way.

    Also I’m not really talking about a “small business” as such, which I agree with you about to some extent. But there are far more flexible versions of making money now, that sit somewhere between a job and what most people would think of as a small business, even if technically they’re all the same.

    I do agree that most people probably can’t work for themselves though, for the same reasons that most people can’t do anything different to the herd. Hopefully we have more of the different ones reading Monevator!

  • 5 Dom June 27, 2013, 4:25 pm

    Another nice article, but don’t you think your rubbing it in a little too much?! Especially to us tied to are desk 9-5ers!

    I have to stick up for us! It’s not so bad this daily grind, especially if your commute isn’t too long and your boss not too pushy. If you don’t like your job, don’t go straight to retirement maybe try something different? It’ll give you a lot more security than giving up.

    I do agree that retirement isn’t for everyone especially as retirement has evolved away from the stopping work because you’re now too tired to work, through to the stopping work because you think you deserve it.

  • 6 The Investor June 27, 2013, 4:32 pm

    @Dom — Absolutely, if someone likes their job more power to them. I am more targeting people who hate it but think the only option is to retire. 🙂

    Fully agree with commuting. I found a long-ish (though pretty standard for London) commute the killer last time I had an office job.

  • 7 BeatTheSeasons June 27, 2013, 5:21 pm

    This article has stuck lots of chords with me. I’d been waking up in the morning and describing work as a ‘tyranny’ for years before Mr MM wrote an article with the same title.

    Some of my colleagues have been watching Wimbledon in the office! It never ceases to amaze me that most people won’t dare to leave work even 5 minutes before home time but they’ll think nothing of wasting the entire day not doing anything productive.

    Right, off I go to cycle home in the 30 minute rain shower that happens to coincide with the end of my working day….

  • 8 Neverland June 27, 2013, 5:23 pm

    @Investor

    Reggie Perrin would have an index linked final salary pension, which he would probably have been able to access at 60

    As your co-blogger has pointed out recently, this benefit would currently appear highly valuable

    There are two sides to every coin

  • 9 George June 27, 2013, 7:26 pm

    “I didn’t get where I am today by…”

    Final salary pensions are only as good as the company behind them. At least that’s true in the USA. Do you really think Sunshine Desserts would manage to keep their pension afloat?

    Now Grot, on the other hand, paid off handsomely for the founder by taking a buy-out offer.

  • 10 Mike June 28, 2013, 9:54 am

    Very good post! Myself and my wife are both fortunate enough to have kept our London jobs after moving to the West Country with occasional trips back to our respective offices.

    I’m freelance for a global organisation where most if not all of my meetings are virtual and most project teams geographically dispersed anyway, so being at home is no great handicap. My wife works part time for local government and her role is ideally suited for home working.

    It’s fun and with a young child the biggest benefit is that I am much more part of his life. As a freelancer I also took six months off after he was born and this flexibility balances the lack of automatic career progression and camaraderie of working in an office. Mind you, despite six monthly renewals or job changes I’ve felt more stable than a lot of my permanent colleagues!

    I see it as a first step towards semi-retirement where I take occasional contracts or move to a more fun but less lucrative role (e.g. maybe TEFL or IT Training). The FU money helps here too – if I have some time between roles I can enjoy some fresh air (all-important for IT workers!) and not worry too much.

    My father spent nearly forty years commuting an hour each way to the office, but he did retire on a very healthy final salary public sector pension. I think both of those ideas are looking a little old-fashioned.

    Neverland –
    it obviously depends on what you do and we both work in IT. I do indeed have a large buffer although I have been continuously employed (except for the six months above) for nearly ten years. The ‘uncontrollable’ items can be managed over time, although I’m in danger of sounding all Mr Money Mustache here 🙂

  • 11 The Shoestring Investor June 28, 2013, 12:49 pm

    Enjoyed this article very much. As someone who is attempting to set up a ‘work from home’ life in a similar sort of way – if with an admittedly altogether different approach – it is nice to see the perspective from where I hope to be able to reach in 5 years or so.

    I must say, that my experience so far is that I work just as hard as any other generic office worker (perhaps harder than some, as I know each check of facebook is wasting my money, rather than the man’s). However, the difference is I’m working how and when I want. If I want to watch Andy Murray’s match in the middle of the day I can, I just need to put those hours in another time. I also know that all the work I do directly impacts me and my future, rather than (as you so well chose) my closest Wernham Hogg. That in itself is worth some degree of value.

  • 12 Curious-Sarah June 28, 2013, 8:34 pm

    70% of Americans are not very happy at work!!

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57590832/study-most-americans-unhappy-at-work/

    Americans always seem so happy! Imagine what you would divine if you could survey miserable London-people on the tube before the first coffee of the day!

    p.s. I feel guilty on account of Mr Neverland but also feel I told you so. 🙂 Please have a happy weekend Mr Neverland.

  • 13 Ric June 29, 2013, 2:57 pm

    Thanks for another great article TI
    There is another middle ground; working as a conventional employee, but home based. This comes with all the benefits from home working, and the company pension, but unfortunately also comes with corporate guff such as management initiatives and 360 feedback reviews:-(

  • 14 Grump June 30, 2013, 11:49 am

    Grrh! You’re all stirring up less than pleasant memories of my salaried days. So contrary to the last, I’ll try to remember some of the best bits.

    I did end up with what a friend of mine referred to as an FO fund; I was never sure whether he meant that I could do the proverbial whenever I liked, or tell an manager or executive at any level in the company to do the proverbial. I ended up doing the former rather than the latter.

    Good memories:

    * Some colleagues who had a wonderful sense of humour
    * The sense of relief when I reached home and had a cup of loose leaf Darjeeling after attempting all day to concentrate in a noisy open plan office
    * The first sip of the first beer on a Friday evening
    * Laughing at the some of the sillier management initiatives
    * Getting wined and dined at country house off-site events as part of management initiatives and watching some of my colleagues who were not usually allowed out on their own getting legless!
    * Being told that I was wrong – one particular management initiative was abandoned after 3 months and not the 9 which I had predicted!
    * Reading an emailed tribute to a recently deceased CEO and seeing how many coded references to his fondness for the bottle it contained
    * Enjoying the tough time one my colleagues gave to any guest speaker at our team meetings, especially if from HR
    * Doing something every 6 months or so to remind people why they still retained my services!
    * The story of a director who repeatedly rang the telephone of someone who could not conceivably be of any help who said ‘Do you know who am?. He was told ‘Yes’ but ‘Do you know who I am?’. ‘No’ came the reply and said director was told ‘Good. Well you can go forth and multiply’.
    * The regular monthly salary payment whether I’d done anything worthwhile or not
    * The occasional solid achievement, usually acknowledged more by colleagues than the management hierarchy.

    BTW I should have loved to have had employment that I found truly fulfilling and believed to have been of benefit to humankind. Unfortunately, I was not one of that lucky, tiny minority of the work force.

  • 15 Jim June 30, 2013, 12:52 pm

    I just don’t recognise the evil tyranny of the office as often described and I never have. I’ve always enjoyed going into the office. At the moment, I work from home as well as at the office and, being honest, I prefer the latter. Also, as a director of a company, I suppose I am “The Man” for quite a few people at work. However, as the blog points out, it ain’t The Man you have to worry about, it’s the paying customer!
    Unless you’re a multi-millionaire you probably have to work (and a lot of multi-millionaires still “work”.) The “work-life” balance to me is a misnomer that’s done a lot of damage. The two things are so intertwined we should be focusing on meshing them much more completely together – work should be more social and family-centric and life should be enhanced and enabled by the money work brings in. To trade one against the other is futile. They’re both essentially the same thing. I will be able to retire at fifty five on more or less the same income as I am now (God Willing) and I read Mr Money Moustache with a dollop of envy too. But, when Mr Early Retirement Extreme went back to work, I didn’t shout “Aha!” through schadenfreude nor feel deflation at the end of his dream. I felt that I might be in that same boat when I reach my early retirement goal. Maybe I’ll be able to choose to stay in work, and I recognise that it’s having the choice that’s important. If you feel your choices are being taken from you in the working life, then try to choose another direction. But don’t blame the office. It’s not them. It’s you.

  • 16 Jim June 30, 2013, 1:04 pm

    And I meant to say, thanks for your ever thoughtful and useful links…we can all do with some more poetry in our lives! Great blog, keep it going.

  • 17 Grumpy Old Paul June 30, 2013, 3:09 pm

    Jim,
    For most people, work is a necessary evil to provide the necessities of life together with a few “goodies”. Most people therefore “work to live”.

    You are in a lucky minority who enjoy their work. Most people whom I’ve met who enjoy their work either do something creative or are their own boss or both.

    I’d guess that you have a good measure of control over your working environment, key decisions and company policy. I’d also guess that you
    work with one or more members of your own family.

    And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with any of that. It’s just vastly different from the experience of most employees, especially in large organisations, private and public, where there is little local autonomy.

    Enjoy it while you can!

  • 18 Pauline @ Make Money Your Way July 1, 2013, 2:10 am

    I have been free from the Man for the past 4 years and would not go back for the world. Like you, I can’t just sit idly at home doing nothing so I still have a few projects going on but the freedom changes everything. You may be as productive or more as the general employee but you can choose when and if you want to work, that is priceless.

  • 19 ermine July 1, 2013, 1:38 pm

    I missed this post because I was shooting pictures in France in exchange for wine and cheese which probably counts as ‘work’ in some circles.

    I want to counter this

    But don’t blame the office. It’s not them. It’s you.

    Not always. After working for 24 years for a company I got to the point that I couldn’t hack how firms are managed nowadays – the transactional performance management and micromanagement of irrelevant details made me sick. It wasn’t me. It was them.

    My last project was great, and I liked what I did. But I couldn’t stand how I was doing it

    At the risk of joining Neverland in being charged with suffering from a chocolate shortage I also don’t recognise the universal benefits of self-employment and consulting. I know some people for whom this works very well, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. In one case being self-employed it allows her to pursue an interest and form opinion she couldn’t get elsewhere, and she was always unhappy working for a company before. In another IT contracting case the guy is happy and also didn’t like working for a company, much happier contracting. These are the exceptions.

    In all the other cases I know self employment and contracting seems to be a life of quiet desperation and mounting debt. It seems a truly desperate life with no work-life balance – try spending time in a pub with someone self-employed and they’ll spend more time on the damn mobile talking to other people in the hope of getting work they they’ll spend talking to you, and that’s if they’re lucky enough to get the calls, otherwise they’ll be checking their emails every five minutes in the hope of something turning up 😉 When I see “Consultant” on a business card which doesn’t have a consulting firm behind it I always ask myself if that is shorthand for “unemployed”, and I fear that two times in five it does.

    People for whom contracting and self-employment works seem to have little idea of how rare the necessary skills are in the community; I’d give it no more than one in 50 at best. That sort of working pattern would have been a ghastly existence for me, and I think it’s a ghastly experience for a lot of people who would rather be working as employees if they could now. You need both a particular ability with people to get out there and hawk your wares, and a confidence in putting things across, as well as the skills to actually do it that you need as an employee.

    I’ve also noticed that people who thrive on self-employment do tend to derive a lot of life satisfaction from work, which is of course great. But not all of us are like that. Some of us are happy to do a decent job but not happy at the cut and thrust areas of making a business work. Some of us are downright lazy 😉

    Work is massively overrated as a source of life satisfaction, particularly by those for whom it gives great life satisfaction. I vote nuclear. It feels good 😉

  • 20 BeatTheSeasons July 1, 2013, 3:28 pm

    In a perverse kind of a way I think I agree with Jim’s comment.

    Having to cut my sleep short with an alarm clock, get up whether it’s dark or light outside, force my breakfast down me before I’m properly hungry, work the same hours in all seasons, travel in peak hours in traffic or bad weather, wear specified clothes whatever the weather, have to ask for permission to go to a funeral or social event, spend the best part of the day away from my family, have no control over my daily social circle ……

    And that’s before you even count the sadistic boss, or even the nice boss who has to get HR to make people ‘redundant’ or ‘performance manage them out’ or come up with trumped up disciplinary offences because they’re too nice to manage them properly in the first place (and no I’m not talking from personal bitter experience).

    All these things and others go against human nature.

    Or do they just go against my human nature?

    There are people like Jim who are just as happy as he is even without being the boss like he is. They actually seem to enjoy coming into the office to spend the best part of their days and years in that artificial and sterile environment behind tinted glass, and they genuinely appear to derive satisfaction and self-esteem from things like what car they drive, in which expensive country they had their identical beach holiday this year, or even just doing a good job for their employer.

    Thank goodness they exist – they’re working for the companies whose shares I own, and they’re also consuming the goods and services that keep the economy moving.

    I just wish I didn’t have to spend my life with them!

    I guess that really does prove it’s me that’s the problem, hence why I said I agree with Jim’s comment. But judging from what I see written on social networks every Monday morning versus every Friday afternoon, people who enjoy being in the office as much as Jim does are very much in the minority!

  • 21 The Investor July 2, 2013, 11:54 am

    Thanks for all the insights into your lives as well as your views, everyone.

    There is no one-size-fits-all, certainly. But I want to stress again I am talking specifically here about the retire-or-work-in-an-office mindset.

    I am saying there’s a third option, which is to keep working, but not in an office.

    Whether overall jobs are good/bad/evil is another matter! 😉

  • 22 Evan July 2, 2013, 3:07 pm

    What do you do? Not sure if you ever covered it in posts?

  • 23 Mark July 31, 2013, 5:10 pm

    I really loved this article. Good call giving Mr Money Moustache a shout-out. He’s a great example to aspire to! Living his life, knowing what he needs. Living in financial freedom.

  • 24 Ashley Shepherd August 19, 2013, 9:42 am

    For several reasons I left corporate life after 30 years of mainly enjoyable, but stressful long days and often the weekends whilst not working would be mulling over the week and the week ahead – the point is you never really switch off!

    I had a brush with prostate cancer in 2010 and from that point I knew my corporate days were numbered and so in June 2012 when the opportunity to take the money and run came along I was first in the queue.

    My wife followed suite soon afterwards and we have now set up our own online business working from home and probably working 70 hours a week each, but we are absolutely loving it, and the icing on the cake is that we have moved to Cornwall!

    We intend to reduce our hours once we have established the business, but I feel like I am already living the dream!

  • 25 The Investor August 19, 2013, 1:31 pm

    @Ashley Shepherd — Thanks for sharing your experiences. My late father had a similar brush, too, back in the late 1990s, but he didn’t feel able to leave work early unfortunately. (I was eventually able to help persuade him to leave a couple of years early, thankfully, as he had a heart attack only a few short years after.) That helped inspire this site.

    Interesting niche you’re exploring on your site. On the face of it it’s all very dark and gloomy, but from experience I know that having a well-planned funeral in advance can be a thoughtful bequest to loved ones.

  • 26 Sparkle Bee January 15, 2015, 11:15 pm

    I am considering what I will do when I have my FU fund. At the moment, I am close but would have to work at some point in the future. which given my age (mid-40s) I may struggle with. Ageism is rife regardless of the UK laws!

    I hate work at the moment, I enjoyed it until a few yrs ago, new management came in and made a whole raft of redundancies (of which I was one) and since then I have worked for 4 employers in 2 years. I am treated badly and just a number on a payroll page.

    I hate being trapped in the office and the ‘new management style’ which involved bullying, pressure and fear (with comments on how there is an expectation for employees to burn out and leave – employee churn is expected and encouraged!).
    I enjoyed one of my old job as it involved travelling around and some autonomy. All that is lost with this new management style sweeping through offices – micro-manage, bully, pressure, hassle, demean, etc…

    Having no job at all – I dont think that will suit me – I do need some social interaction- but the ability to pick and choose to work would be. I am in IT – so could freelance/contract for a few months a year – if I could just relax and get over the mis-management and bullying work style. I may have to look at doing something completely different as a job – downsize: working outside? seasonal work? (low pay but if its enjoyable) that’s the flexibility that FI gives you…choices…high pay becomes irrelevant, it’s just a bonus/top-up.

  • 27 The Investor January 16, 2015, 11:26 am

    @Sparkle Bee — Sorry to hear about your recent travails. I think these things are much harder to bounce back from later in life. In our 20s most of us do a crummy job at some point or have an awful boss, but there’s so much still to play for. Once you’re into your mid-40s and beyond, it’s harder to shake it off. (That said you’re still relatively young, so still time to find another great job I think, if that’s what you want?)

    I heartily endorse freelance/consulting for someone in your position, with the proviso that it’s not easy and has it’s own challenges! (I’ve seen research saying that many self-employed consultants are paid a lot less than when they had full-time jobs. Obviously that’s fine if it’s a work/life trade-off, but less so if it’s the employing company getting the benefits!)

  • 28 Roland March 16, 2015, 6:32 pm

    I understand and practice part of what our author proposes. I retired at 48 and after 4 months went crazy so I went back to work driving a motor coach. I am no longer the boss and if I want to take a couple of days off I just tell them. I also get pretty good benefits including health insurance since I am still eight years away from US Social Security.

    Yes I do have to stick to a schedule but not all the time. I just got back from the Florida Keys where I dropped the group off and went off to a hotel they paid for and sat on the beach collecting my normal out of town pay while I read my book and drink a margarita.

    The biggest thing is once you have reached financial freedom a lot of the awful things entailed in a job disappear, because my boss knows they can’t push me too far because I can walk any second and not be worried about it.

    When your employees are not bound to you because they must have a paycheck, management alters its treatment sometimes very drastically. You are now on a more equal footing.

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