80%

Quick update!

Hi RIP,

I’m your manager and as you know we have this funny end-of-year routine where I raise your salary for no reason and give you a ridiculously high yearly bonus, planned as 15% of your gross yearly salary but usually more than that.

Well, today is your day! Base salary raised by ~2% and 2016 yearly bonus of slightly less than 20%, which prorated (because you worked 90% this year… yes, 10.78 months out of 12… yes, you took unpaid sabbatical for slightly more than 5 weeks) becomes 17.5% which means more than planned anyway, and way more than you accounted for on your NW spreadsheet, I guess!

Wow… thanks. I’m so positively surprised. But wait, dear friendly manager, how do you know about my NW spreadsheet??

Hey RIP, how is it going?

Hey, hi, ciao, sorry not now. It’s not the right moment my dear imaginary friend. I’m having an imaginary conversation that makes fun of my actual conversation with my manager.

…what if I and he/she were the same imaginary person?

😐

Ok, jokes apart, what an amazing news! 2% increase and a super bonus way higher than expected! Anything else dear manager?

Of course! Here’s an extra stock grant for you. A small one. It’s roughly 22K (gross) worth of stocks, vesting in 4 years. It’s an extra 5.5K CHF per year (assuming our stock price stays constant over time)

Btw, the yearly bonus, in “naked numbers”, is 26K (gross) CHF. Enjoy!

Holy (spread)sheet! It’s dramatically awesome. It’s terrific. Btw, what about the other news, the one I’m waiting for…

Check your inbox 🙂

Ok, cool, thanks.

Inbox:

Dear RIP,

Good news, your request to change your work week has been approved. You’re all set to go.

We’re happy to confirm that, effective 01-01-2017, your total working hours will change from a 100% full time basis to a part-time basis at 80% of the full time hours set out in your employment contract.

Thank you so much Hooli, you’re really the best place where to work.

Thank you!

So, guys, it’s official now. I’m left with 3 more Fridays to work and then, probably, I’ll never work again on Friday.

Never.

Well, it’s not actually true, since thanks to Hooli’s awesomeness I can trade my Friday with another day of the week, each week if I want (assuming it doesn’t negatively impact my team). Plus I’m not aiming to “not work” when I’ll be FI. It’s just that I’m left with 3 more Fridays of mandatory work.

That feels just great.

In theory.

Because right now I’m scared. I saw the pay cut. Ouch. It’s around 30K gross on base salary (+6K on expected bonus). I’m scared I’m paying so much to… to do what? To just fuck around?? Oh my god I’m going to become poor and lazy, watching television all day!

Relax.

Breathe.

Let’s take a look at the actual situation:

  • I’ve worked 90% in 2016 and my NW increased a lot even with the 27 business days of unpaid leave.
  • I’m going to work 80% in 2017 and salary doesn’t scale that way: 80% of the gross is not 80% of the net. Thanks to progressive taxation I’m going to earn more than 80% of my current net salary. Say 85%.
  • Some benefits don’t get reduced. I’ll keep getting health supplement for me and Miss RIP in full. It’s ~700 CHF gross per month, not prorated.
  • Stocks will keep vesting as before. They make ~30% of my salary and this is not prorated too!
  • I got a 2% base salary increase for 2017.
  • My performance for 2016 were just “ok”. I may focus on exceeding in 2017. I have colleagues that have been promoted after switching to 80%. Expectations scale accordingly. Tons of studies show how working 30-35 hours improves your productivity density.

Given all the above I’m pretty sure I’m not going to perceive it. I’ll earn roughly 95% of what I earned in 2016 (which is a 90% year).

image from: nolingo.se

There’s nothing to fear.

Time to enjoy these 52 extra vacation days 🙂

Next: how to use this extra time I purchased back?

 

… A story for another post 😉

25 comments

  1. Well done. Good decision. Given the amount you already save, you might notice a marginal difference in the amount you can put away, but apart from that, you will notice no difference at all. In fact your day to day living expenses may go down. You will have more time to prepare food (think cheaper meat, cooked longer, sort of thing). You will really enjoy your extra free time.
    When I worked 60%, I think I was just about as productive as a full time worker. I knew what I had to get done, I was incredibly focussed. No water cooler conversations, less idle chat. I did a school run before, so I could only start at 8:30, no earlier, and I had a fixed end at 2pm for school pick-up. No flexibility. I also got great feedback, but as I was only temporary staff, no performance related pay… (Very few permanent professional part-time jobs in the 80’s…)
    Enjoy and have fun

    1. Hi Erith, welcome and thanks for stopping by 🙂
      I’m not sure my expenses will go down due to part-time working. The “more meal at home” thing is actually a cost, since at Hooli we have free food 😛
      I’ll do my best to be as productive as I am now at 100%, but I know there’s the “risk” of getting involved with other passions during my 3-days weekends and detaching even more from work related challenges.
      Let’s see, I’m committed to get a promotion in roughly 15 months… I need my 100% salary back 🙂

  2. congratulations, glad that it worked with the 80%!
    Enjoy!
    I have a 90% job, every second friday off, it’s soo good to have these fridays off!

    1. Oops I don’t know why this comment was blocked by spam filter… I just resurrected it now.
      Thanks Julia! P.s. how is your 90% going? Why you asked for it? How are you investing your Fridays?

  3. Congratulations on reducing your working days. I think it is overall a positive thing. Nevertheless I reverted my decision. I was working 80% for a few years already (in summer this year only 60%). I wanted to use my free days for working on a side hustle – but ultimatively didn’t do it.
    So I decided to go back to 100% – and be able to retire earlier. It is a “sprint to the finish line” as I like to call it.

    1. Hi EurFI, welcome to retireinprogress!
      Thanks for your contribution, this is a very interesting (and a completely plausible) scenario. I don’t want to exclude the possibility to follow your path.
      did you consider the experiment a failure? Did you reconsider your FI goals? what did you learn?

      Anyway, I will read your story on your blog, I want to know more. Be ready to be a guest on my coming-soon podcast 🙂

      1. I was working 4 days (80 %) for quite a while. Let’s call the “experiment” the 3 days (60 %). Yes, I consider that as failure. I wanted to work on my side project (a software project) – but didn’t do it (or too little). Then I was looking at the money difference between 60 % and 100 %. It was a low 4 digit amount. I want to be free as soon as possible. “Earning more, saving more, retiring earlier” was my thinking.

        My FI goals did not change much. I hope to achieve them earlier. Working 100 % is the “conservative” route (it is more predictable). My side project was a chance to achieve FI earlier.

        My learning: a steady paycheck makes you lazy. I work in 2017 to overcome this.

        Not so sure about the podcast (I blog anonymously). The best way to reach me, is to comment on my blog (I do not check my emails).

        1. Thanks for sharing your story, I’ve spent time yesterday on your blog and I’ve read the longer version.
          Do you consider your part-time experience a failure for your entrepreneur endeavor or for your overall life quality?
          What I read is that you ended up being lazy in the 20-40% time you got back compared to a 100% position. What makes you think that when fully FI you won’t be lazy? What makes you feel that when fully FI you won’t fill your life with small chores, errands and meaningless activities?

          Thank you so much again for your contribution!

          1. These are very good questions. I will answer them with an upcoming blog post. I guess it will become a little bit longer…

            I will post the URL here, when the post is online (might take a few days).

          2. Edited and added a link to your blog post.
            (strange though, I never blocked comments with links…)

            Thanks for your contribution! Going to read your post now!

  4. Mr. RIP, I genuinely believe you will find more value in your 80% than you lose in money, BUT learn from the lesson of EurFI and have a plan for it! I was doing 80% which was amazing, however the job wasn’t fulfilling so I took another one which is full-time. I can’t express how much I long for 80% again, but I wasted it my last time around. When I get there next time, I know what I want and will make sure to set up good habits.

    1. Thanks Mrs. ETT 🙂 but I read here another “failed” attempt at getting much out of a 80%. Maybe we have too high expectations?

      1. It is only in hindsight, and only after I discovered FIRE that I feel I wasted my time. When I was doing it, it definitely didn’t feel like it! Like everything in life, I will learn from it. Next time I plan to be like Mr. Groovy and treat it like a day of work – work that I want to do. I’m definitely still encouraging you to do it, but don’t make our mistakes. Be clear about what you want to do with the extra time, and do it.

  5. Congrats on taking the leap. That’s actually 520 days that you buy on the next ten years! About 1.5 years! That’s crazy awesome when you look at it this way!!!

    Enjoy the Holiday Season!
    MP

  6. Great! enjoy the last Mandatory Fridays!

    At work, I discussed a month of in the summer to be able to travel with the kids and have enough holiday to be there when school is closed. Will cost money… so what, it is intentional.

  7. Hi Mr. RIP,

    Everyone wants to retire early as possible and start working hard and harder so that they can achieve their goal, but in that process, many ends up reduce the number of working hours. I’m happy that you have reduced your working hours. I have applied the method of smart work, and I have reduced my working hours and started to focus on what I love, it helps me a lot because I’m happy and making something out of it.

    Thank you for sharing this Mr. Rip.

  8. I was like ‘What?’ when I first read the title of this article, Actually it’s a conversation between you and your manager :p. By the way, your last line ‘to do what? To just fuck around?? Oh, my god’ game me some laugh. I feel you should be very happy as you’ve got an increase in your income/salary. Now you will less working days than you used to have earlier. Good going, all the best for your future mate!

  9. Hey Mr.RIP,
    Your experiment is really inspiring. After all, with all the work, we do not have time for ourselves and to pursue hobbies we love. By using your 80% strategy we can rediscover ourselves. I think in the fast paced life of today those 52 vacation days are very much required and you have given us all an example to follow our heart. If 80% means more happiness, then it is better than a tiring 90%. And the best part is you have it all sorted out and have proved that it does not make much of a difference. Thank you ao much for this post and may you have an amazing year ahead.

    1. Thank you so much Sanjib for your very warm comment 🙂
      Must admit that I don’t have much figured out apart from the financial aspect of it. I don’t have a concrete plan about how to use my Fridays and frankly I want to accept whatever will come out (low expectations, always!)

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