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Non-permie retirement income to support permie lifestyle....

 
pollinator
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This issue may have come up before and if so, please just nestle it under an already-existing thread.  The discussion is in relation to employment within the USA.

After taking early retirement, I was glad to be able to come back and work as a part-time temp.  The annuity from the years of full-time work is being deferred to a later date in order to avoid early-access penalties.  In order to supplement the income stream until that time and until social security kicks in, I sought part-time work (in order to devote more time to the farmstead) and found it rather quickly within the organization that I had worked with on and off for many years.  For reasons of time flexibility and management, the income for the part-time work is a bit on the low side, but quite adequate for the lifestyle at this point.....with one exception.  The work is somewhat heavy on computer work and word-processing and the organization is not in the habit of providing laptops for employees of my current status.  I begin to wonder if it would not be better to actually become an 'independent contractor' for my services, assuming this would be acceptable to the employer. [Creating a 'home office' probably is not an option given our living situation.]  Although, as a "self-employed" individual (correct for independent contractor???) this would dump the responsibility of taxes into my lap (I'm already paying for my own health care), it would open up the possibility of purchasing a computer as a business expense along with possibly other expenses incurred with getting to and from the location of work (???).  Many of these questions clearly might be answered on any number of other websites, but I'm interested in a Permies perspective where one is juggling....mentally, physically, emotionally....a farmstead and outside flexible, part-time income stream.  Is there some reason that just staying employed would be better than becoming self-employed?  Given the scenario as outlined, any grave pitfalls of self-employment that I may be missing?  Thanks!
 
pollinator
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Well -honestly, as someone who is doing that (not retired, but I operate a business selling digital typographical art online) I really don't see any drawbacks unless you don't enjoy what it is you're doing.

I love that I can work part-time hours and still have time to do permie/family stuff. It makes for a great work-life balance.

However, if you don't enjoy what you're doing for the income, I think that's when people would start looking for other or more permie ways to make income. But I'll be honest, I make more money doing what I do now in less time (since it's semi-passive because I'm selling digital art) than I would if I, say, tried to make a living selling vegetables at the farmer's market or something.

Doing something non-homesteadish is something I think a lot of people overlook when trying to figure out how to make a living. I suspect most people have some interest or skill they could eventually put to work for them to earn a much better living than they could just doing the standard "let me try to sell eggs for $3/dozen" kind of income where you really do kinda scrape along barely.
 
John Weiland
pollinator
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Bethany Dutch wrote:....I really don't see any drawbacks unless you don't enjoy what it is you're doing.

I love that I can work part-time hours and still have time to do permie/family stuff. It makes for a great work-life balance.



Thanks for the response, Bethany.  Yes, I really like not only the work/life balance, but I really like the work as well.  I just started wondering if it's better to be flat out 'employed' or file as an independent contractor for the same job in some way.  If I end up being the latter, then the party hiring/contracting my services would be providing compensation, but now *I* would be the one paying the different taxes and whatever benefits I wish to have or need to have (and would need high enough compensation to account for that).  Yet that being the case, there are some tax deductions for business expenses that may make this type of arrangement more desirable.  So I was curious as to whether any other permies had weighed the pros and cons,....especially as a post-retirement option where perhaps other benefits have already been secured by other means.  Thanks again!
 
pollinator
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Myself, other then putting a bit more of a target on your back for being a contractor versus a part-time employee from the government that does not like sub-contractors per se, I see no downside. A person has to pay taxes either way, so a self-employment taxes are typically cheaper than being an employee. As long as your current employer does not mind the switch, I would encourage you to do so.

I am early retired (at 42 years old) and can say that having the ability to control any extra income (for me it is being a farmer) has been well worth it. I explain it to others as giving a 5 year old child two choices, they can either have 50 one dollar bills, or only 1, hundred dollar bill. Most kids will take the stack of $1 bills. And that is the way employment is. On the surface it seems employment has a lot more financial benefits because the number of $1 bills is so much more, but in reality a person is missing out on half of life.
 
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Travis Johnson wrote: in reality a person is missing out on half of life.



And so many people don't understand that. A big house doesn't give you any more weather protection than a small house. A new car doesn't give you any more benefit than a old well maintained car. Buying your crap from Wal-mart doesn't give you any more benefit than buying it from the antique dealer down the street.

I live in a 24 x 24 house and I often look around and say I would be happy with a 12x24 house or some other such. Things aren't life. And life shouldn't revolve around things. I get tired of the house getting junked up. What's junking it up you might ask? Having a paycheck that gives us the ability to buy crap we don't need nor do we have room to store it.
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