Posted by Tim Stobbs on June 23, 2010
If you have been reading my Twitter feed you already know this, but for everyone else: my boss said yes to my proposal to drop down to 80% time starting in July. The paperwork is signed and now making its way through the maze called HR. The plan is for me to have every Friday off, so I’ll have a permanent long weekend (if the six month trial works out fine). If things go well my first Friday off will be on July 2, just in time to make a four day weekend.
I’m full of mixed emotions at the moment about the decision. On one hand I’m happy and the other I’m a bit shocked. I asked to reduce my hours, but in some respects I didn’t really think they would let me do it. After all it’s very unusual to have a guy in their early thirties ask to work part time. I’m not being sexist here, but it is true. There are a couple of woman I know who have done this at my company or perhaps a person close to retirement, but not a young guy with kids.
The other feeling I’m wresting with is being prepared to let go of my dream of retirement at 45. I haven’t done the math yet, but I’m sure this decision will cost me a fair bit of time on the other end. I’m happy to have more time now, but I’m a little unsure about how I’ll adjust to working longer. I’ve been working towards this dream for a long time and to have to potentially let go of it will be hard.
So how much will this cost me? On the surface you would just take my salary and times it by 20% to get a figure of around $15,000 to $16,000, but the really isn’t correct. Since I pay no longer pay income tax, CPP or EI on the that income, my reduction in after tax pay should be closer to $8500 a year. Which if you work it out means I’m buying my time back for almost half of what my salary pays me an hour. Overall I think I’m getting a steal of a deal on that front.
I’m waiting to get my actual numbers from HR to start modeling the fall out of this decision, but being the numbers geek that I am I did some preliminary modeling. The most obviously short term effect is it is likely impossible to meet my mortgage reduction goal for this year. I just can’t make that short fall up, but I will still try to get my mortgage as close to $78,000 as I can. In the longer term I’ve estimated it will take about an extra 6 months to pay off my mortgage. So rather than it being done by mid-2012 I’ve been pushed back that to late 2012 or very early 2013. Overall a modest impact.
Overall I think the choice will be worth it. I’m so looking forward to my summer now with my board work done until late August. So perhaps all of this goes to show, you never know what you can do until you ask. So how about you? Would you give up 20% of your pay for more time at some point in your career?