Let’s work toward retirement!

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That’s an oxymoron.  It’s called semi retirement, the gray space between work and retirement bliss.  Let’s get this right!

This website is about the ups and downs of retirement, semi retirement, and my personal experiences. May you find the information useful in getting you to a wonderful and happy retirement! 

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How to make money on the web

If you’ve read my blog you’ll know that I was unexpectedly laid off, and kind of forced into retirement.  I was making over 6 figures a year and unemployment was pennies in comparison.  $375.00 a week compared to $3500.00 a week.  Huge drop in income!   To be accurate, I could’ve found another decent paying job, but as time wore on, I began to realize that maybe I didn’t want the stress of the corporate world.  I was 58 years old (a year older now) and learned that by making some budget cuts, I could absolutely survive on less.  However, I needed income, and if it wasn’t as a high paid sales executive, where would it come from?  That’s when I discovered how to make money on the web.
Work Work Work

It Ain’t Easy!

Textbroker.com was the first place I looked for work.  There, they employ writers of all levels and pay a couple bucks for every article, blog, or review that you write.  The pay boiled down to about $5.00 per article which worked out to be about $5.00 per hour.  I write slow….

This is not big money but, they always have work and will pay you whenever you ask for it.  You could crank out $50.00 a day but, it ain’t easy!  Long hours, and many boring assignments.  But, sure beats going into the office.  Note that almost anyone can write for textbroker.  Catch is, you’ll take an assessment test and that’ll turn into a rating by which you are paid.  A penny a word?  Two cents?  In order to survive on a gig like this, you’ll need lots and lots of time.

Another writing site I signed up for was WriterAccess.com.  They pay a lot more (about $15.00 per article depending on your level – they too have an assessment test).  There have been days I’ve made $30.00 in just a couple of hours.  Big problem here is that there isn’t enough work.  You can’t make over $30.00 a day because there the work simply isn’t there.

Rev.com is a transcribing service that usually has lots of work.  And, the pay per transcription is about 15 dollars for a half hour of audio.  I went ahead and purchased a cheap pair of headphones from Amazon and started taking assignments.    Again, it ain’t easy!   It usually took me about 3 hours to transcribe a ½ hour of audio.  Why?   First off, many people are very difficult to understand so, I would slow down the tape to play at half speed.  I am also not the speediest typist on the block.  I found I could make roughly $20.00 per day with transcription.  You should be able to make more than that, but honestly, I could not bear to do the job more than 4 hours a day.  The hourly rate typically works out to be $5.00 per hour.  Not exactly easy money.

The easiest money I’ve ever made on the web was at usertesting.com.  Here, I’ve earned $20.00 for a half hour of website testing.  You are asked to click links in either new or existing websites and provide feedback on what you expected to find versus what you actually did find.  This is the most fun I’ve ever had working, but sadly, there is hardly ever any work.   There are other testing sites out there if you search for them but my virus protection did not like many of the “screen recorder” applications you have to download from the other sites, so I can’t recommend them.

The sites I mention here are all legit and tested by me.    Below is a snippet of the money I earned online the week of March 06, 2017.

 More Work on the Web!

 

There are multitudes of ways to make money on the internet.  I just signed up with FusionCash and SurveyJunkie and made $6.85 in about 45 minutes.  All I had to do was fill out some surveys.  But, the problem with these sites is that you are usually bombarded with emails from other companies.  I recommend getting a separate email account so your personal email remains intact.  Also, I found that in order to qualify for a survey, I usually had to take a prequalification survey which to me seemed like a big, fat time waster.  Somehow, I felt like I was getting scammed because I found myself taking more surveys than I was actually paid for.  It’s not for everyone but my understanding is that a lot of people do make extra side cash from these websites.

Here’s a very challenging way to make money on the web.  Onespace.com….  This site has a variety of tests to take before you can start working and, I’ve only managed to pass one test.  I can’t really confirm whether the money is great or not since I haven’t worked a single assignment there.  If you ever manage to pass more than the Quality Assurance, Level 1 test, please share your thoughts.   How much can you make?  How abundant is the work?

 

Is it worth it?

Making an extra $200.00 per week is nothing to sneeze at.  However, in conclusion, I have to admit that the work is hard, tedious, and not very financially rewarding.  With online work, in essence, you’re still working for someone else but getting to do the work at your leisure.  But, I have found that you pay a price for that leisure by netting teeny, tiny compensation.  For those who are looking to pick up a couple bucks, Penny Hoarder has some great (and not so great tips) so check out their article.  https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/make-money/45-ways-to-make-extra-money-online/

Next up – Get that budget under control!  Plus, more ways to make money – ideas for part time work.

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Working, savings – more on semiretirement

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Forgive me for neglecting my blog!

Hello all and, I hope this summer finds you well on your way to retirement.  As I continue on my quest to achieve semiretirement, I got caught up in a full time training stint required for my part time job.  Yes, I am working again but, only 18 hours a week which provides me with the leisure time I am seeking while also providing me with a steady stream of revenue as I wait to turn 62.  At 62, I will begin collecting social security and, I know what they say about holding out for as long as possible but, the way I see it, once 62 rolls around there’s only about 20 or so more years left of the good life.  I may live longer but I don’t think I’ll be one of those 80 year olds running a marathon.  Hip-hip hooray for those who can do this but I don’t think I’ll be one of them.  More likely, you’ll see me sitting on a porch somewhere with a nice glass of wine.

Semiretirement - Drink!

The 8 weeks of full time training I had was a necessary evil in order to snag that great part time job.   As mentioned, I work a mere 18 hours a week however, I also bring in a meager paycheck which, after taxes, comes to a whopping $200.00 a week.  This means, that my leisure time is not exactly as laid about as I would like things.  It means, that I need to continue to search for ways to make supplemental income so I can support my new lifestyle – the semi-retirement lifestyle.

What does it mean?  Semi-retirement?

By definition, semi-retirement refers to working part-time “especially because of age or ill health”.  Well, this is the definition Merriam Webster puts forth.  I’d rather think of semi-retirement as a way to escape the daily grind of commuting, working, stressing and, never having enough time.  While it is true that those of us with an eye to semi-retirement are probably older – it takes quite a few years to realize that working isn’t exactly a walk in the park – I would hate to classify myself as aged or in ill health as Merriam Webster suggests.   I would rather we think of ourselves as turning the page and starting afresh.  Most of us have worked for at least 40 years considering that we come from a time when it was acceptable for tweenagers to work.  Not sure about anyone else here but, by 13 years old, I was babysitting, selling lemonade, running errands for trustworthy neighbors, and delivering papers.  Didn’t stop working once until last September.  It was time to catch a breath!

But what does it mean financially?  Semi-retirement?

Unless you’re financially independent, the biggest hurdle to overcome is keeping a steady stream of income until you can get to the age where social security and/or pension kick in.   Savings is a necessity and if you haven’t started, there is no time like the present to start putting some dollars away.  I can tell you, even in that teeny 18 hour a week job I took, I am socking away 4% of my gross salary.  Why?  It’s not like I couldn’t use the money but, the company puts in a matching 4% and, I’m a firm believer in OPM (other people’s money).  I didn’t start seriously saving until I was 45 but, the key is in the word “serious”.  I lived lean and mean for many years and at the end of it all, I’ve amassed some decent dollars.  I bring this up not to brag, but to reassure everyone out there that it isn’t the end of the world if you didn’t start saving when you turned 18.  Most of us from my generation (boomers, I suppose, though I always thought of myself as a punker) did not hear a peep about 401ks until we were well into our 30s.  Savings usually meant a passport account that yielded a good 5 to 7%.  What I wouldn’t give for steady returns like that again but, I understand I’m not the only one who likes OPM.

 

Semiretirement SAVE!

But, back to the point – we all need to save money so when the inevitable nasty event comes along, we won’t have to spend our semiretirement days under a leaky roof or, be forced to drive some junk heap that will barely make it to the grocery store.  Savings can and should be used as supplemental income.  My formula is overly simple but, here it is.  If I’ve saved 100k, I simply divide that number by 30 years (assuming retirement at 62 and, death at 92- max) and, I have my annual supplemental income.   In the case of 100k, it would be $3333 per year or $277 per month.  I know things get way more complicated than that.  We need to account for market upturns and downturns, it’s not like the money is under a pillow (though sometimes I think it should be).  But, let’s save the complicated stuff for another blog.   And, things do get complicated with savings and part time work and budgeting …..

The quest for semiretirement – not so easy!

One thing I can say is that the 40 hour a week training, for 8 weeks, doubly convinced me that, at 58, I was no longer interested in the daily grind.  Not that I couldn’t have opted for full time work – I don’t want it!  So now, here I am with my $200.00 a week in pay.  What can I say?  IT’S NOT ENOUGH!  I am a very tight fisted person when it comes to money.  I cannot touch my savings until I’m 62.  I have 4 years before I can touch those dollars and now I need to bridge the gap.

One way I supplement my income is by doing transcription with a company called Rev.com.  It’s easy enough to sign up, and you can easily add another $100 a week to your income.  Unlike my part time job which requires me to be there at specific times, I can take on transcription whenever I’m free.  I will occasionally write articles for textbroker.com but, for me, I find it’s more relaxing to listen to people discuss what matters to them while I transcribe than it is for me to research and write about some publicity seeking no-name personality.  But, that’s just me.  I would love to hear others chime in on ways to supplement income, especially on the internet.  While I am now making about $300 a week, honestly, I need $200 more.

 

Next up: Other ways to supplement your semi retirement and, coming to terms with your budget.

 

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The Quest to SemiRetirement – First in a series

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 I Was Laid Off!

Most of us hope and expect to retire. In fact, many of us can’t wait for it to happen. Some of us can retire in their late 50s due to a generous pension plan, or a stroke of luck.  For others not as fortunate, we typically know we’ll be retiring sometime between 62 and 70 years old. It really all depends on our financial situation.

a frustrated worker - Retire!

While in my mid-fifties, I started thinking about retirement. How much should I save? Should I take early retirement at 62, especially in light of the fact that I had grown weary of the corporate world? I reviewed literature on what to do when you retire.  There was a ton of suggestions about how to spend your time.  Everyday can’t be like Sunday. We understand that weekends are all the more pleasurable because we work so hard to get there.

So there I am, at 58 years of age, toiling along in my corporate job (sales job) when one day I was told I was being “restructured out of the company”.  I was shown the door.   Even though I had achieved top sales in 2 of the 3 years I was in that position.

Not Ready to Retire Yet

At that time, the layoff was one of the happiest moments of my life. I received a nice severance package which would last for 3 months, and if the employment situation looked bleak, there was unemployment money for an additional 6 months. I really had grown tired of all the hard work and little reward my company offered. Sure, the money was nice but that was literally the only nice thing about the job. And, I’m not sure about you, but as I get older, my priorities shift. Money doesn’t seem as important as health, family, experiences and activities too long neglected.

a glorious new day - Retire!

I wasn’t terribly upset, and even had to console the HR Manager who had known me for over 13 years. “Don’t worry”, I said. “I have a degree, sales and management experience, and I actually am looking forward to this little hiatus.” Don’t get me wrong.  I was angry at the company for sure, and promptly “unlinked” everyone who worked there, but I wasn’t really troubled.

It was a beautiful late September day when this happened and, I immediately went home and made a list of outside projects I could tackle. The plan was to spend the month of October painting the decks, the stairs, and the retaining wall. I would get ready for winter. I’d cover the summer furniture, cut down the garden, and prepare the lawn. And, that’s what I did. I was happy to be outdoors instead of trapped in the office. Happy to be enjoying my own home instead of sipping wine in a Hilton Hotel lobby as I anguished over the next customer visit. Happy, happy, happy!

happy, happy, joy, joy- Retire!

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In Your 50s and just got laid off? 8 Things You Must Do.

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This is an independent entry of my blog, the unexpected retirement.   May you find the information useful in getting you to a wonderful and happy retirement. We all want to retire well! 

When I found myself out of a job at 58 years old, I wasn’t overly concerned at the time. I had an okay severance package, employer covered health care for 4 months, and a decent savings account. What I didn’t realize is that finding work as an older executive (I was in Sales), would be so very challenging.

The Department of Labor, reports that from January 2013 to December 2015, there were 3.2 million workers displaced from jobs they held for at least 3 years (7.4 million in total if we eliminate the 3 year factor). In January 2016, the re-employment rate for workers ages 25 to 54 was 73%. Reemployment for those 55 to 64 was only 60%, and forget about it if you were 65 or older.  Of those older workers, a measly 27% were reemployed.

I was one of those displaced workers in October of 2016, and it was startling to learn that I only stood a 60% chance of finding new employment. Yikes! I was certainly not ready to retire. I realized that I needed to get a grip on the things I could control, and try to take stock of the things I couldn’t. With that in mind, I created a checklist for those who may find themselves in a similar position hoping to make things a little easier for you.

1) Return the company cell phone.

Many of us are provided with company phones. While the company may allow you to keep your device, my advice is don’t. Who needs an old Android device, when for $10.00 a month, I could have the latest and greatest? A company may let you stay on their data plan, and this may be tempting (it’s certainly easier than going out and finding a new provider), but don’t do it. You will find a data plan that will fit your new budget. It’ll be a better one, a cheaper one. Trust me.

2) File for unemployment immediately.

States have different laws regarding the collection of severance in parallel with unemployment. You may live in a state where you can collect both (California), or you may live in a state where you’re told that severance needs to run out before you collect (NY). Regardless, you need to file so that the Department of Labor can make their determination as to when benefits will start, and how much those benefits will be.  I couldn’t collect NY State unemployment until after my severance pay was finished, but even so, the bureaucrats insisted I file the week after I lost my job.

3) Cobra benefits need to be clearly understood.

My company would pick up the entire cost of Cobra for 4 months after my lay-off. After that, the cost would be $1,200.00 per month. Of course I took the free Cobra, and of course I dropped the expensive option when the 4 months was up. They key is for you to know your options. If your ex-employer is not picking up a sizable amount of Cobra, chances are Cobra is way too expensive for you. There are alternatives, and you can find them online. Note that for those making less than $22,411.00 a year, you can qualify for Medicaid.

Cobra

4) Once you understand your medical coverage options, get to the doctor.

The beauty of not being employed while still retaining health coverage is that you finally have the time to take care of yourself and go to the doctor. Anyone over 50 needs to have the following tests done:
• Blood tests (for high cholesterol, sugar levels, and possible deficiencies)
• Bone density test
• Colonoscopy
• Prostate cancer screening
• Mammogram (and pap smear if under 65)
• Skin cancer screening by a dermatologist
Don’t forget about the more routine exams such as getting a physical and vision test. You should get your flu shot, and refill any prescriptions you have. Ask your doctor for a 90 day prescription. They are generally less expensive than the 30 day ones.

5) Clean up your social network pages

If you’re like me you have lots of connections and friends. Too many! Make sure the people that you’re friends with, or linked into are okay for prospective employers. I point this out because I had a few nieces and nephews who held nothing back when it came to talking about their indulgences at various parties, which were quite frequent. While, I myself am known to let loose on occasion, I certainly don’t publish these facts.

Employers look at your social networks, in particular LinkedIn. I also removed anyone who I felt did not have my best interests at heart. There are always some people who will take great pleasure in your new unemployed state. Whether that pleasure stems from jealously, self-righteousness, or what, I don’t know. I do know I did not want them seeing my every activity. When you’re unemployed and looking for work, there’s enough negativity to go around (some of it comes from inside us). I don’t think it’s wise to keep in touch with those who may bring you down.

6) Organize that budget.

Just in case you may be long term unemployed, (I’m going on 5 months right now), it’s time to take a hard look at your assets and your liabilities. You will be amazed at how resilient and savvy you can get when it comes to money. Currently, I’m making $430.00 a week from unemployment. That’s a huge drop from my old salary, which was more than four times that amount. However, once you have all that time on your hands, it’s almost fun to start slicing away at your expenses.

Sadly, the first thing I dropped was my 401k contributions. Not only was I ineligible for the plan through my employer, but I could hardly afford to sock money away at this point in my life. From there, the budgeting got a little more fun.

I switched to an IP phone, something I long held back on due to frequent power outages in my area. I loved my landline, which always worked even on the darkest of days.

I quit smoking. That was an $80.00 weekly savings. I started using my wood stove instead of cranking up the electric heat. That was a $200.00 monthly savings. I just cancelled Netflix, not only to save money, but I found that recently, whenever I wanted to watch a movie, I had to rent it from Amazon rather than stream from Netflix. Netflix simply didn’t have the movies I wanted to see. I cut Sirius from my car which saved me over $100.00 per month. I had been disappointed with Sirius. They were slowly chipping away at the reasons I listened. They cut out OutQ, Martha, The Book Channel and, Rad Classics. Why would I pay for music when I have so many other options these days?

Anyway, the list of budget saving ideas goes on and on. You just need to take into account what you’re spending, and whether that spend is really worth it now that you’re unemployed.

The other thing you need to figure out is, what dollar amount do you need to bring in at this point in your life? Once you budget properly, and are living on the pittance that unemployment give you, you may find out that you can live on way less than what you’re used to. Or, you may need to continue to work in order to save enough money for retirement. You may need medical coverage. You just need to determine whether you need a full time job, part time job, another stressful executive job, or a low pressure job that simply satisfies your monetary needs.

7) Get the  job resume in order.

No matter what you decide on, you should have a resume on hand for when the perfect job comes up. Sometimes, even volunteer work requires a resume. For us older folks, my unemployment counselor gave the following advice. “No more than 10 years of work experience on your resume.”

For me, that sounded counter-intuitive. I have all this experience, and I’m supposed to forego all that because I have to seem younger than I really am? Yep. The key is getting your foot in the door where you can wow prospective employers with your charm and expertise. If you list 30 years of experience on your resume, employers will quietly shuffle your resume to the trash. Employers are scared of older worker’s salaries (we did make a lot), and their outdated skills. While those fears are far from the reality, having a resume that acts as if you joined the workforce 10 or 15 years ago rather than 40 years ago will help you score that interview.

8) Have fun!

Without a job? Enjoy!

Being laid off from your job doesn’t have to be a morose event. If you’re like me, you’ve toiled for over 40 years and need to look at this unemployed state as an opportunity, a glorious and wonderful opportunity. We have a rare chance to reinvent ourselves. There are unlimited possibilities when we think about where we want to put our efforts and energies into. We can actually relax for a bit. Lets take up that home improvement project we never had time for. We can visit with family and friends since our free time is no longer squeezed into two tiny weekend days. We can learn something new. Try something new. Being over 50, and being laid off is a rare gift of time that, as employees, we never really had. Enjoy it!

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The Unexpected Retirement – Looking for work when you’re over 55

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Looking for Work (when you’re over 55)

This is the second installment of the Unexpected Retirement Blog. It picks up where I left off; my beginning efforts to search for work. If you have experiences to share, please post a comment. You can find related blogs below this post.

With my severance package about to run out in about 2 months, I sadly decided it was time to look for work. Retirement would come in due time, but that wasn’t for another 4 years. Starting a job search at 58 years old is a lot like starting a job search when you’re 20. You need to set up the basics. Once you have the basics down, then the job search for older workers greatly differs from a twenty year old.

The Basics – The Resume

I hadn’t looked for work in over 13 years so my resume definitely needed tweaking. However, being that I was 58 years old, I needed to take some precautions so I could avoid age discrimination. After reviewing many job and resume tip sites, I updated my resume accordingly. Most experts agree that when you’re older, there’s no need to list every job you’ve ever had. In fact, the pros recommend that your resume reflect the past 10 years of work experience, and only that. The only older jobs you should list are jobs that are relevant to the position you’re seeking, and you should exercise care even in that case. For me, that meant that my resume would only reflect one job, the job I was just laid off from.

I also read many articles on what makes for a standout resume. My resume was reflective of all the advice I had gathered. Depending on what job you’re looking for, you’ll need to craft several different flavors of the same resume. For example, when going for a sales job, you want to highlight relevant sales experience and accolades. But, if you’re going for a Postal Carrier position (I did actually interview for that job), you’ll need to downplay some aspects of your previous work experience and highlight others. *For more resume writing tips and services, see our resume writing page.

Social Media

Another basic of the beginning of a job search is to check out your own social media. If you’re on LinkedIn, does your page reflect all your skills and recent work history? If you have a Facebook page, make sure that your “friends” are not leaving unsavory comments on your wall. I had to unfriend several relatives at the onset of my job search. I didn’t think prospective employers would be too thrilled to read about the all-night parties some of my “friends” reveled in.

A great resource for the online job hunt is social media. If you let people know you’re looking, your contacts just might refer you to your next position.

Sign Up On the Job Search Sites

There are literally thousands of these sites. My personal favorites are Indeed, Zip Recruiter, and Career Builder. I found Monster listed jobs all the way on the other side of the country. Once you sign up on 5 to 10 sites, the last thing you need is to be sifting through emails (and, you’ll get tons of them) with jobs that are not in the location you desire.

These are the basics for starting the job search. Now I can let you know how it all worked for me when I set out to find my next job.

The Quest for Work

It all started out promising enough. I had a solid professional background. I was top Inside Sales Rep for 2 of the 3 years I held that job. And, I had worked my way up from a Call Center Representative to a Director. In 2008, as the recession took its toll, I began to work on the completion of my MBA. On paper, I thought I looked great. In addition, I had over 250 LinkedIn contacts, many of whom I believed would champion my work ethic. I also had commitments from former customers that they would provide a referral for me whenever I needed it. Things looked rosy indeed.
Things are rosier without work

I tapped my LinkedIn contacts first. There were some promising leads but nearly not as many as I had anticipated. With 250 firsthand contacts (meaning these were not colleagues of colleagues, but people I actually knew and worked with), I thought I’d be interviewing in no time.

Well, I got one interview. And, the interviewer and I did not hit it off very well, so there went that job. That one interview was the only fruit of my years of networking. And, I know, I should accept ownership of my networking failures. Maybe I’m not that gregarious of a person. I am an introvert after all (which is why I like writing), and I really hate having to prove myself afresh. Why not ask any of my 249 LinkedIn contacts what they think of me? Why ask me how well I did in Sales when it’s right there on my resume? Nine million in sales in 2015 with a six million dollar quota. That’s what my resume says, why do I have to repeat it?

I also tried to get into a firm where many former employees at my old company went to work. I figured I knew so many people there, I would be a shoe-in. But, I was wrong on that count as well.

So, now began the regular old job search. I was an unemployed executive looking for a similar executive position. And here’s where things became way different from the job search we undertake when in our twenties. A seed of an idea formed in my head at this point. Could I become semi-retired?

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The Unexpected Retirement – The Reality of Looking for Work When You’re Over 55

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The Reality of Looking for Work

This is the third installment of the Unexpected Retirement Blog.  It picks up where I left off; my continued job search as an older job seeker.  If you have experiences to share, please post a comment. 

Up until this point, I had assumed I would find a similar job, either in Sales or Management, most likely working for a competitor of my old company.  I applied to some big corporations located in my geographical area.  Mars (yep, the candy company) was one of them.  They listed an open position that matched my skills to a T.  Whenever I checked their job website to see where my application was at, I saw the status was always  “under consideration”. I also put in applications to similar corporations.  All total, by the end of 2 months, I had probably applied to 25 or more jobs.

job search stress

Age Discrimination and the Job Search

I didn’t get a single response to any of my applications.  I began to think that age discrimination was coming into play.  Employers can’t ask your age directly due to the Age Discrimination Employment Act (ADEA) which prohibits companies (with 20+ employees) from discriminating based on age.  However, in my job search I found that employers had all kinds of ways to find out how old you were.   The most popular is the seemingly innocent question: when did you graduate high school?  Well, that covers it all right there doesn’t it?   If I answer, the employer knows I’m over 55. If I don’t answer, the employer may think I never graduated.  I’ve also had more subtle questions such as, “when did you get your driver’s license?”   Or, “how long have you been working in your field?”

Continue reading “The Unexpected Retirement – The Reality of Looking for Work When You’re Over 55”

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The Unexpected Retirement – Going Out On Interviews

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After filling out numerous applications, and taking civil service tests, I finally started getting requests for interviews.  I was nervous because I hadn’t gone out on an interview for quite some time.  It had been over a decade.  The first 3 interviews I lined up were as follows:

  • Postal Carrier – This was the result of my testing with the USPS. Salary was decent as were the benefits.
  • Sales Administrator – This was a salary + commission job for a Real Estate Firm.
  • Department of Transportation Dispatcher – This was with D.O.T. in Pennsylvania. Another result from filling out a government application.

The Interview – What Happened?

The interviews turned out to be far easier than I anticipated.  They all lasted about an hour.  I dressed for the part, meaning that for the Real Estate Company, I wore a suit.  For the Postal Carrier and PennDOT position, I wore a nice sweater (it was the middle of winter).  I received 2 offers out of 3 jobs.  The job I didn’t get the offer for was the Postal Carrier.  I believe they had concerns about my ability to haul a heavy mailbag considering my age, which they determined by asking when I first got my license (1976 btw).

Went on an interview but did not get the job

The PennDOT interview went well.  I hit it off with the Supervisors who were eager to offer me the job.  But… and there’s always a but. The job paid $13.00 per hour, it was a temporary position, and the worst thing, the hours were based on a swing shift schedule.  One day I’d work midnight to 8am.  One day I’d work 4pm to midnight, and so on.   I wasn’t quite desperate enough to take a position that would probably kill me, or at the very least, deprive me of oodles of sleep.

Onto the Real Estate Office

At the onset of the interview, these folks seemed nice enough.  They had advertised that the position paid 30 to 40k per year plus commissions.  I went in figuring I would get the 40k salary considering my experience.  I did say the owners were nice; however they certainly put forth a fraudulent ad.  The pay was $11.00 per hour, and weekends were required.

With the low pay being offered, I started feeling that I was looking for work in a bona fide depression.  I knew the economy had been a bit of a see-saw, good for some, terrible for others.  But, I really wanted to know, where do these people get off expecting someone to take a job paying less than unemployment?  Truly, both positions were made for 17 year olds just out of high school with absolutely no living expenses.  You won’t be surprised when I say I refused the offers and once again, began to reassess my situation.

Could I semi-retire?

Between the struggle of looking for work and getting few responses, and the wrestling with low paying job offers, I became fed up.  Going out on an interview seemed like a huge waste of time. It was time to change tactics, time to figure out a new life/work strategy.

Was it possible for me to semi-retire?  Did I have the resources necessary to supplement my income?  Was there enough savings?  If I shifted my job search to part time work, could I make ends meet?  Was there an opportunity to work on my terms, meaning no nights, and no weekends?  I was surprised to find out that the internet was a viable source of alternate and legitimate income, and I’ll talk about those in the next blog.

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