The Plan for Getting Out

Recently I had a frank discussion with my boss about the fact I’m around two years out from leaving the company.  I didn’t provide an exact date, but we did discussion his question “How do I get you to stay around longer?”  I bluntly answered at the time “Working less. Like a lot less.”  So we started an investigation into options on how to get that done.

Unfortunately I came to realize just how hostile my workplace policies are towards part time work.  While I give my workplace full credit for being open to discussing the idea of part time work in actual practice the policies aren’t much good beyond getting perhaps 80% to 90% time rather than the full 100% of full time work.  I ran multiple potential scenarios on to see if 60% was doable, but most of the time the overall costs to the company made the option of doing this hard to justify as the polices are stuck in thinking of bodies not dollars.

In the end, I just went with the path of least resistance.  I’ll keep my current 90% time and then use our existing flexible benefit, which is equal to 3% of my pay, to fund a bit extra time to further reduce my working hours starting in 2016. The flexible account doesn’t require any additional approvals…I can just pick the option and be done with it.  Three percent sounds like a tiny bit, but when you start to add up all the time I already don’t work I started to realize something important…I don’t work that much.

The math goes something like this.  A standard 52 week year has about 260 potential working days (52 x 5 working days).  Yet I also get 12 days of stat holidays a year, so that real total is now 248 working days.  I currently get the following time off 4 weeks of vacation (20 days), 13 Banked Days off, and if I use the flexible benefit another 7.8 days or 40.8 days off when you add it up.  Yet because I work 90% time, those totals get scaled down by 10% to 36.7 days off, but in exchange I get another 26 days off.  Oh, I get another 3 family days a year that don’t scale on top of that.  So grand total that works out to 36.7+26+3 or 65.7 days off.  So out of the total working days of 248 in a year I’m not working about 26.5% of the time starting in 2016 or inverting the result I will only work 182.3 days next year.  So out of total year of 365 days that means I only work about half the time (yes I love my workplace for time off…it was one of the major reasons I came to the company).

So bluntly, I came to realize I really don’t need to reduce hours any further since I already don’t really work that much.  Instead I’ll keep up this nice coasting pace for the next year or two and just leave when I hit my savings target.  Isn’t it funny how when you go looking for something, you come to realize how valuable what you already have is.

7 thoughts on “The Plan for Getting Out”

  1. “IT IS BETTER TO LIKE WHAT YOU HAVE THAN TO HAVE WHAT YOU LIKE”

    I don’t know where that quote comes for but obviously very valid in your case. Sometimes it is better to take a step back and really look at what we have and maybe, just maybe, we will see that we are really not all that bad done by.

    RICARDO

  2. I wish I had the option to even mention with my “private sector” employer that I want out in two years. If they heard that from me, they would probably walk me out the door today for “lack of engagement”

    Currently I am age 42 – I am at your savings target I believe now. (300k paid for home and 710k in savings) no pension, no debt. I would be uncomfortable mentally retiring now for fear of some sort of stock market collapse in the future. What are your thoughts on this?

  3. That’s great Tim. My employer flatly refused any reduced hours or unpaid time off and so after nearly 20 years I gave my 2 weeks notice last year – best thing I ever did! At 43, I’m not totally financially independent, but we have enough buffer for me to do something I enjoy for much less pay. My health is better, and I have more time to work on the house and run errands which means more quality time as a family. As a matter of fact, I can see myself continue on doing what I’m doing in some capacity well into my 60’s provided my health holds out – maybe it’s fair to consider myself ‘semi-retired’ then?

  4. @Rick

    Hi Rick – do you mind giving a rough #’s breakdown of where you are at?
    What do you intend on doing for supplementary income?

    Thanks

  5. @Scott

    We have a 500k home that is several months from being paid off and no other debts. Other assets amount to about 500k with half in pension and half in other investments. My wife continues to work, as do I in a different capacity doing landscaping, lawn care and an assortment of odd jobs for income. I am also having some frugal fun reducing expenses, bargain hunting the essentials, etc. We haven’t been able to save much since I threw in the corporate towel, but expect to do so again once the mortgage is done.

  6. @Rick

    Thanks for the info. I got laid off 4 months ago – just landed another gig now but realized after only a short time that I don’t like the role (sales management)

    Not sure what to do next! Find another job, start a business, retire, semi retire…. My wife only works part time….

  7. @Scott

    It’s definitely not an easy decision, that’s for sure. I also made an attempt to try an office job (IT) again months after leaving my last employer and realized soon after that I had to get out despite my financial fears of doing so. Having said that, I know that I would go bonkers if I didn’t earn any income at all, so for me the job and lifestyle change has worked out perfectly.

    All the best in whatever you decide!

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