Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
Fish
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by Fish » Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:17 am

Step 10 was realizing the crucial difference between steps 1 and 2 was a matter of having a few hours of daily leisure in the former, and 11) is implementing it in present life. If you consider it merely a difference in degree... ok, I will “semi-ERE” and work only 8 hours today (which feels like PT after working 60 in the last week) followed by a 2-day “mini-retirement” before going back to my old career on Monday. HR has approved it. This is going to be awesome!

If we use the metaphor of life as art, work is the object (positive space) and leisure is what surrounds it (negative space). As lifestyle designers we choose how to incorporate each into the composition and crucially, as a captive viewer (i.e. we have no choice but to live the life that results), we can also choose to appreciate one or both or none.

I actually watch you and @c_L and @wolf with great interest to see how well the semi-ERE works out. I find it interesting how common it is for retirees (early and normal) to say that they could and should have pulled the trigger earlier. It turns out money was substituting for confidence in making the retirement decision. I don’t mean to throw shade on the idea. If you know yourselves well, and all that stands between you and greater happiness is extra leisure, by all means pursue it. I also thought that was me but I misdiagnosed my own problem.

wolf
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by wolf » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:58 pm

Fish wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:17 am
I actually watch you and @c_L and @wolf with great interest to see how well the semi-ERE works out. I find it interesting how common it is for retirees (early and normal) to say that they could and should have pulled the trigger earlier. It turns out money was substituting for confidence in making the retirement decision.
I am trying to find the right path towards semi-ERE. Or do I have to create that path for myself? Well, there are many choices available to me already. But taking the next logical step is kind of difficult, because the status quo is so easy to follow. Changing a lifestyle is challenging for me, because I like it smooth and planned out perfectly (INTJ-thing, I guess). OTOH I do know that perfect could be a hindrance and leads to nothing. Another "problem" is, that there are so many different options available. I find it much more difficult when I have to decide between so many option, although more options should lead to a better decision. Right now I am trying to achieve next milestone. And maybe the above statement also relates to me. Maybe money is a substitute for confidence. I am risk-averse and I seek security. That could lead to oversaving eventually. In the last few months I read "Desiging your Life". It is based on Design Thinking and I like the book, because it adresses some problems I have (see above). Maybe my solution would be prototyping and designing my way forward.

Well, back to the original topic. I took a Mini-retirement (sabbatical) for 7 months back in 2012/2013. Back then I didn't know anything about ERE. I just wanted something else besides FT work. So I traveled the world. To be honest, I could not say if I had done it if I knew about ERE. I came back with more motivation and energy and started another career in another work field. That brings me into the present situation. Now I am about 50% till my personal FI goal (with high margin of safety). If I had to decide now between option 1: sabbatical and option 2: continue work till 100% FI goal, I would choose option 2. Why? I think because of my work situation. I want to get a raise within the next 2 years. I like my job. Life is good. I don't want to change my employer (but if I had to I would). So now I have a clear FI goal in mind (which I didn't have back in 2012). Now I am much more determined to achive it "in a straight line" (maybe also INTJ-thing).

That's it for now. I'll see what changes awaits me within the next few months, but I am trying more and more to implement Design Thinking, prototyping, building way forward in life.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by classical_Liberal » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:45 pm

Fish wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:17 am
I also thought that was me but I misdiagnosed my own problem.
When contemplating the dichotomy scale, I thought specifically of Fish and Suo as examples of people who chose to push satisfaction towards the left. I think this a very good option and occasionally consider it myself. Maybe it all depends how much or little it takes to move ourselves on that scale vs the others?
Fish wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:39 am
From my perspective, neither is an ideal solution because the recurring need for “freedom-from” is indicative of a more serious issue that is not being addressed.
I would have agreed with this a year ago, but my perspective has changed a bit since I have been working on happiness. I really think the key to happiness is to identify what is "sucking up" your life in the present and remove it, vs trying to predict what will make future you happy. So, in a large way that is "freedom from" mentality, and it's proven to be much more effective for me (research seems to back this up as well).
Jin+Guice wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:48 am
If you view college from the current mainstream paradigm...
This is part of it for me as well. Not only am I concerned I'm missing a better way of life simply because it's not mainstream, hence don't have exposure to it, but with my Gen X attitude I actually enjoy myself more when I'm actively trying to NOT be mainstream. Sometimes to get out of mainstream mentality, one actually has to remove oneself from mainstream.

Side note, I went back to college (undergrad) at 32 and enjoyed it much more as a bit of an outsider and with more maturity.
wolf wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:58 pm
I came back with more motivation and energy and started another career in another work field.
This has been my experience as well. New things of interest = very satisfied c_L, for awhile anyway.
That is why I think the best of all worlds is the serial mini retirements as an ERE option. The problem being fear in drawing down assets.
thrifty++ wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:49 pm
I actually think it would have been better if I was richer, rich enough that there would have been no net worth dent.
SustainableHappiness wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:56 am
Can't say whether you are right or wrong in your context, but I found getting a couple NW kick in da nuts in the past couple years PT working (barring some real estate wins) pushed me into the acceptance that they aren't a big deal. I had to overcome living with a negative savings rate daily. This was harder in a daily life minute-to-minute experience sense than seeing a number decline at the end of the month. But after 9 months of it, it changed my mental positioning on money loss aversion and is (so far) making decision making less stressful.
Even @SH is now back to positive cash flow though, so I wonder how to desensitize myself to this phenomenon
------

The positives to work are well known. Most FI'ers end up plugged back into the economy in some way because of them. The second, third, fourth time around they end up creating a much better situation for themselves. I call this working to live, vs living to work. Not just to live physically (ie provide food, shelter), but live a fulfilling, balanced life intellectually and emotionally as well. From a personal perspective (vs a larger planet-wide, sustainability perspective), this is really what I hope ERE provides. That being my perspective, and given my leanings on the scales, I don't need FI to actualize that result. But clearly I still have some work to do or I would have already jumped off the accumulation train.

Jin+Guice
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by Jin+Guice » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:47 pm

When arguing against the mainstream there is a 3-piece framework I use.

1) The non-mainstream value has a right to exist. I mean this in the strongest sense. It's not that I can create a hypothetical outlier situation where this might be ok, it's that my alternate way of doing things would be preferable to a large number of people, if only they would consider it.

2) The non-mainstream value is superior. I mean this in a weak sense. It means I believe that, on average, my approach is superior to the current mainstream one. It does not mean that the current mainstream approach will not work for some large number of people. It means that, in my opinion, the alternatives are not adequately considered by most people and many, but not all, would benefit by switching.

3) My non-mainstream value is dominant. This is the same as 2 but in a strong sense. The new way of doing things is so much better than the old way that the old way should be essentially erased. Of course a hypothetical outlier can be produced, but this is the exception that proves the rule. This may seem extreme, but if you replace non-mainstream value with mainstream value in these steps this is where the argument usually begins for the mainstream value supporter.


It's common for both parties to switch between 1) and 2) without much thought. This is confusing because arguing that something is a viable versus superior method are vastly different arguments I'm not sure that this is really happening here, I'm just proud of this framework and I wanted to put keyboard to pixel to lay it out.

I would say most, but not all, are comfortable with a weak 1) for semi-ERE. My feelings lie firmly at 2) for semi-ERE. This is the reason I go to bat so hard for semi-ERE. Every time I see an old or new discussion on it, it's addressed as if it's some wildly risky prospect. The FIREsphere is a very conservative place when it comes to money issues. For a group of people pursing a path that's already outside the mainstream, it's very devoted to a narrow definition of it's own ideal. My suggestion is that maybe adding some flexibility and nuance to this 1) isn't going to bankrupt you and 2) would actually be beneficial to a lot of people who were attracted to this movement because they are unhappy in their work.

Of course if you've found a calling or even a pleasant distraction, for Christ's sake DO NOT QUIT. I sincerely hope I find a profession I can tolerate or even enjoy working 40 hours a week for the 3-7 more years it will take me to fully retire. Shit, I'll be satisfied if I find it after I FI. I just don't see it happening.

Fish wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:17 am
If you know yourselves well, and all that stands between you and greater happiness is extra leisure, by all means pursue it.
The goal for me is not leisure, it's agency over my time. Thus the argument that holds the most weight for me is that having full agency over your own time (full FI) is materially different than having agency over most, but not all of your time (semi-ERE).

I still disagree with this though, working a little bit helps me focus more on self-directing and also forces me to socialize with people I would never otherwise choose to talk to. This is not always pleasant in the moment, but I believe it's beneficial overall.

Fish
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by Fish » Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:06 am

Nice 3-piece framework. Thanks for taking the time to explain and clarify where we stand on this. I’ll just add that to be convincing as a #2 you must practice what you preach and for #3 must have already realized the benefits of the alternative behavior. That is to say armchair advocacy and thought experiments carry no weight if you’re trying to convince others to convert. This is why no one would take me seriously as a #3 FIRE blogger (not that the world needs another) if I were not already FI/RE or extremely close to it.

Good point about agency over time being the real prize. I’ve been reading econ papers recently and that has apparently made me unable to conceive of any motivation for (semi-)retirement beyond leisure. I think you’re partly referring to the concept of serendipity in the last paragraph, but also the benefit of having some structure and motivation in life. I also think that having at least some work adds a sense of purpose and a more meaningful interdependence. It reminds me of the part in the hamsterhjulet documentary where the psychologist doubted that FIRE humans would find lasting enjoyment in a full-agency life free of obligations, and wondered whether they would ultimately replace work with other voluntary attachments. If one is destined to have some sort of obligation post-FIRE then may as well claim the time-agency sooner with semi-ERE?

classical_Liberal
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by classical_Liberal » Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:06 am

I also like the framework. However, agency with time is really what stands out to me. I want it, like REALLY want it. The problem is mainstream life just isn't designed for me to have it, if I want to participate.

Explanation: I rag on nursing quite a bit. Yet I kind of crave it at times, in a weird way. Probably because it forces me to become social, I'm really good at it, I get a thrill from it in emergency situations, and I really like the idea of helping people out in when they are dealing with really shitty circumstances. So on days where I'm feeling particularly social, thrill seeking, or maybe a bit useless and need a self esteem boost; I'd really enjoy going in for a few hours and gett'en me a good nursing fix. Add pay on top of that, bonus! Problem though, I can't do it that way. If I want to be a nurse I have to work a 12 hour shift AND I generally I have to sign up for that shift days in advance. When the day rolls around, I probably won't feel like nursing, for sure not 12 fucking hours of it! This is a best case/lowest pay scenario wrt to control in that field.

With maybe the exception of a very few types of work, you actually have to commit time on someone else's schedule, to at least some degree. That's the bitch of it. Start a business? Even worse, I'll be my own worst enemy.

I'm really not completely sure of a solution here. Because even in FI one can't choose to change the rules. Sure I wont have to work anymore, but I'll probably still want to. So I think the real key to a successful semi-ERE isn't finding meaningful work, or a pleasant distraction that pays; there are actually quite a few of those. It's finding one that fits into life in way that absolutely minimizes disturbances to agency over time. I think the idea of Mini retirements, on-again/off again, may be the best anyone can get in this realm. Otherwise, 7WB5 is the closest person I know of who is succeeding in varying day-to-day activities with near total agency. She may even disagree with that assessment.

oldbeyond
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by oldbeyond » Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:54 am

I guess workplace culture differs quite a bit between countries. Because of stronger social safety nets and long parental leaves (for both genders), here in Northern Europe it's likely not as big of a deal to take some time off. I have five colleagues (company size ~100) who are or have been on 3 month+ leaves (not parental, but for travel etc) over the last 6 months, and this in a relatively high pressure field in the private sector. This makes work quite a bit less off-putting and will likely have me go part time over the next few years (also very doable at our company). I see less reason to rush for FI when work is quite flexible.

I think the main obstacle is your company being okay with you leaving for 3 or 6 months. Likely you can be more productive and motivated (and perhaps more accepting of working overtime) if you recently been away/have a mini-retirement to look forward to, and shorter stints away from the office won't rot you skills (well perhaps in software engineering, I can't speak to that, but not in most other fields). If your work is project based it's reasonable to plan around this - just don't hop on the next project.

I think there's quite a bit of a psychological divide between jacob/MMM and some of us acolytes. Not only between stumbling on already being FI vs planning for it for 5-10-15 years, but also in how self-directed (and frankly in my case, productive) we are. I thrive on some external structure (not very much, but some) and I think I'm far more likely to burn out pushing to hard, or at least lose balance in life and go full drone.

Jin+Guice
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by Jin+Guice » Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:07 am

@Fish: Thanks! Thanks for your feedback as well. I hadn't considered personal success as part of the process, which makes me feel dumb now that you mention it. I hesitate to say this, at this risk of derailment, but I came up with this framework while arguing monogamist chicks on dating apps about polyamory. In this case it's harder to define personal success.

For the case of semi-ERE, I consider myself semi-retired in so much as I don't have a fulltime job and have a large amount of money saved, but not enough to be full FI. Unless something drastically changes, I'll never need to have a fulltime job again. Due to the frugality component of ERE, I never really needed to have a fulltime job in the first place. However, I don't draw down on capital or withdraw any income from my savings and am in fact actively increasing my savings with the goal of full FI at some distant time in the future.



@c_L: As we discussed IRL, I'm struggling with this too. In fact my number 1 problem with my job is that, while I don't actually work that much, the amount of agency I have over my time is drastically less than I would like it to be. A major secondary problem is that it's extremely boring, no longer challenging, and although I am theoretically helping people, it's hard for me to feel like I actually am.

The way our culture views work makes semi-ERE difficult. This is doubly true for the medical industry. I don't think that complete agency over time is really possible though. Organizing schedules amongst skilled people who need to work together will always require advanced planning and some forfeiting of personal liberty. For nursing, are there no 8 hour shifts? What if you were PRN? Is 1 12 hour shift enough $$ for you to semi-ERE? Will any hospital let you be PRN with 1 12 hour shift a week? What if you did 1 12 hour shift and then had another lower stress/ poor pay job 1 day a week?

@oldbeyond: This sounds like a much more civilized way to live and work. Of course strong social safety nets have their own problems, but given our current culture, I am generally for them. It's insane to me that you can't take a year off of work. It's insane that you can't take a month off. Why do we all have to work 40+ hours a week? I can feel the tirade coming on...

I agree that waking up one day and realizing that you sort of accidently have enough money saved to retire and actively trying to do the same starting from 0 are much different positions.

Augustus
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by Augustus » Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:55 pm

classical_Liberal wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:06 am
If I want to be a nurse I have to work a 12 hour shift AND I generally I have to sign up for that shift days in advance. When the day rolls around, I probably won't feel like nursing, for sure not 12 fucking hours of it! This is a best case/lowest pay scenario wrt to control in that field.
I don't think anyone has complete agency over time. If I need to pee, I delay that at my own peril.

Are you talking about per diem? You have to schedule those weeks in advance? I still think you should try it out! I was imagining that they just call you every morning to poll if you're interested, and you say yes or no to a gig that day? Because that sounds amazing.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:02 pm

Augustus wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:55 pm
I was imagining that they just call you every morning to poll if you're interested, and you say yes or no to a gig that day? Because that sounds amazing.
This is why I would love to substitute teach in the future, as long as you agree to do X number of days per year, they keep you on the call list. When I looked into it, a degree was required, which unfortunately prevented me from putting my name in the hat.

Augustus
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by Augustus » Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:10 pm

Any old degree? Seriously that's it? I might have to look into substitute teaching. I could be the cool dude who plays movies. Online accredited degrees are pretty easy to rack up these days if you aren't picky as to the subject.

Per diem sounds very appealing to me if the you get a call each morning thing is actually how it works. To semi RE in a couple years I need to cover 500/mo or so on top of passive income. That's 1 day of work a month. Or 12 days in 1 month for a year. That sounds AWESOME. I could see myself also wanting to buy a toy or trip, and trading 1 extra day of work for it.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by classical_Liberal » Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:15 pm

Absolutely agree that some agency over time has to be forfeited to get anything accomplished in any type of group setting. The problem is that it could be significantly reduced, but isn't, because that's not how the real world works. Hence the biggest inherent problem with semi-ERE is, even if you get the right mix for success, which isn't easy, you still have to compromise on varying degrees with the when. There is always going to be a rather large balancing act of right stuff, in the right amounts, at the right time. Suddenly this all seems like a lot of work! :roll:

Again though, I don't think this problem is only semi-ERE specific. For me at least, this would be a problem in FI too. Eventually I would want to participate and have to give up some time freedom to do so. The question really becomes, is it better to lose some freedom always, or do it in big chucks? IOW, Full time engaging work intermittently, or small amounts of work (probably less engaging when PT) all of the time, which constantly nags at agency over time?

Wrt PRN nursing, the example above was assuming a PRN position. Which is the most flexible position, in one of the more flexible jobs out there. Hence, I was using it as an example of how "not free over time" one still is, even then. I would agree with 2B1S substitute teaching is probably another.

@Augustus, I think it depends on the state for substitute teaching & educational requirements. I have met people with random degrees who did it as part time jobs before though.

Augustus
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by Augustus » Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:34 pm

You have to agree to prn dates weeks in advance? Prn = per diem right?

classical_Liberal
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by classical_Liberal » Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:54 pm

It's a healthcare abbreviation, pro re nata ,but yes it's the same thing.

Everywhere is different, most hospitals will have a requirement for minimum hours to work for a PRN position. Yes, mostly it will entail picking up well in advance. Other times they will call you begging, due to ill calls or whatever, to pick up that day or the next. It's pretty flexible though.

This thread has been extremely helpful for me in pin-pointing my specific problem with semi-ERE. Mainly it's agency with time and location. I don't hate the core activities of my current, or many past employment arrangements. Obviously, I liked any I stuck with for a period. The problem was doing it too much, being very location dependent, and having to do it when my psyche is calling for other activities. That, added to the fact I already knew; I tend to get bored with things once mastered. This problem is different than my previous assumptions and will require different solutions. Thank you to all.

Augustus
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by Augustus » Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:00 pm

Have you tried prn? For a long period of time? Say 1 day a week for 6 months? Then 6 mos of nothing? I feel like that might be a nice sweet spot, and it should cover your expenses no?

I really like the idea of 6 mos on 6 mos off. Will be trying that in the next couple years. I use the self employment disguise and family care excuse to cover holes in resume and quitting respectively.

Why do you have gaps in work? I don't, I was working for myself on my business idea. Oh that's cool good for you!

I need to quit to care for a family member. Oh we're sorry to see you go let us know if you want to come back. Okay thanks! Come daughter, let us go to the beach, I am providing care for you.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by classical_Liberal » Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:11 pm

I'm turing this thread to my specific case and I apoligize if it's not helpful wrt to the topic.

@Augustus
No, I haven't. Mainly because I thought it was the job itself that was getting to me. Also because of my above comments about it still being a somewhat PITA wrt to time freedom. PRN would be location specific, but given my new home base ERE plan, it's fits better into web-of-goals. Particularly if I can get a very minimal hour requirement. At this point I'm less concerned about pay and more concerned about long term viability of a flexible and sometimes interesting profession. Also I need something to stem the cashflow burn that will be associated with transitioning to semi-ERE.

After a month off now I have a clearer mind, also considering some of these other realizations, I think that may be a good thing to try. I will update in my journal as this situation evolves.
Augustus wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:00 pm
I need to quit to care for a family member. Oh we're sorry to see you go let us know if you want to come back. Okay thanks! Come daughter, let us go to the beach, I am providing care for you.
:lol:

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RFS
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by RFS » Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:22 pm

Augustus wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:10 pm
Any old degree? Seriously that's it? I might have to look into substitute teaching. I could be the cool dude who plays movies. Online accredited degrees are pretty easy to rack up these days if you aren't picky as to the subject.

Per diem sounds very appealing to me if the you get a call each morning thing is actually how it works. To semi RE in a couple years I need to cover 500/mo or so on top of passive income. That's 1 day of work a month. Or 12 days in 1 month for a year. That sounds AWESOME. I could see myself also wanting to buy a toy or trip, and trading 1 extra day of work for it.
I'm a high school teacher. Substituting is 100% like that. In fact, you usually don't even need a full college degree. Just 60 hours of coursework will do for many districts. You submit an application, go to the orientation, and boom, you can go online and sign up for slots.

People with 60 hours of college coursework make $100/day in my district (located in the south). The only requirement is that you have to do 1 day/month. There is always work, especially if you live in a big district. Most school systems across the country have substitute teacher shortages.

Augustus
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by Augustus » Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:31 pm

Wow, thanks RFS! This may align well with my goals. I like kids, just not too much of them.

@cl: IMO a prerequisite to semiRE is getting 60-70% of the way to your number. Once that is reached you're just waiting for it to compound, working just enough to cover expenses. The beauty of 6 mo on 6 mo off is that you have a half year of unstructured time every year, and very little agony while actually working.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:38 pm

classical_Liberal wrote:I'm really not completely sure of a solution here. Because even in FI one can't choose to change the rules. Sure I wont have to work anymore, but I'll probably still want to. So I think the real key to a successful semi-ERE isn't finding meaningful work, or a pleasant distraction that pays; there are actually quite a few of those. It's finding one that fits into life in way that absolutely minimizes disturbances to agency over time. I think the idea of Mini retirements, on-again/off again, may be the best anyone can get in this realm. Otherwise, 7WB5 is the closest person I know of who is succeeding in varying day-to-day activities with near total agency. She may even disagree with that assessment.
I agree that agency is key. There are at least 3 barriers to agency; physiological/physical (for instance, "need to pee" that Augustus mentioned and/or locked door of gas station bathroom), contractual (9-5 presence at workplace and/or cell phone bill), social obligation (drive mother to colonoscopy and/or leave Friday night free just in case that dreamy guy from OkayCupid calls.)

One thing that is utterly clear to any female who has ever spent any time as a stay-at-home-maker-mom is that it is entirely possible to have very few contractual obligations, but still have your entire day sucked into a deep pit of social obligation combined with helping others with their basic physiological needs (you have to pee yourself AND you also have to change diapers, you make sandwiches for everyone, etc.etc.) I still err on the side of taking on too many social obligations, even though I have reduced my contractual obligations. For instance, I now try to avoid giving my phone number to school secretaries, because I feel worse turning down a teaching assignment in person, and prefer to just pick them up on the app.

OTOH, it has been my observation among my peers that in households that consist only of one retired man of more than adequate means, what often happens is that simple daily tasks become very drawn out, perfected and ritualized (the daily walk down the driveway to fetch the mail, the precise testing of the contents of the avocado bowl for ripeness, etc. etc.) Kind of like the opposite of the problem of the young men Peterson implores to clean their rooms. A meaningful life needs some mix of order and chaos.

Jin+Guice
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by Jin+Guice » Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:03 pm

classical_Liberal wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:15 pm
Hence the biggest inherent problem with semi-ERE is, even if you get the right mix for success, which isn't easy, you still have to compromise on varying degrees with the when. There is always going to be a rather large balancing act of right stuff, in the right amounts, at the right time. Suddenly this all seems like a lot of work! :roll:

Again though, I don't think this problem is only semi-ERE specific. For me at least, this would be a problem in FI too. Eventually I would want to participate and have to give up some time freedom to do so. The question really becomes, is it better to lose some freedom always, or do it in big chucks? IOW, Full time engaging work intermittently, or small amounts of work (probably less engaging when PT) all of the time, which constantly nags at agency over time?
That's why you need to start grappling with the problem ASAP! The problem doesn't go away with semi-ERE, but it's a categorically life when you're working 1-2 days a week. The line starts to blur around 3 days and I doubt it's much different at 4 days. If you're working only 12 hour shifts that changes things too.

I could see sticking it out full-time if you really like to focus on one thing at a time. However, this lends itself more to serial job-monogamy and also mini-retirements.

It is unfortunate that there is such a societal imperative against a more improvisational work schedule. As we've agreed, there will be some loss of freedom when we come together to do complex tasks, but the current paradigm is quite willing to maximize that loss and dismiss and punish any freedom seeking commentary or action. I'd estimate this is at least 50% of the problem.

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