A friend recently spent 8 hours (and a $19.95 fee) taking an online ‘Safe Driving’ program through his insurance company. It was offered to people over 55 for an $80 reduction in their annual insurance premium for a number of future years.
He told me when they were in the middle of taking the class and I thought, ‘no thanks’. Not enough juice for the squeeze to get me to commit that kind of time. I hated those ‘corporate compliance’ videos at MegaCorp and wouldn’t sit down to do them now.
He knew the time/benefit payoff was a bit meager, but did it out of curiosity. Regardless, it prompted a discussion of how much – on an hourly basis – our time is worth in early retirement?
I’ve been using a minimum ‘fixed rate’ in my head of $100/hour. That’s not near what I charge for corporate consulting, but the minimum that I would be willing to be inconvenienced for on an everyday basis.
If we have something to get rid of, for instance, I wouldn’t put it up for sale on eBay or Craig’s List unless I could net $100 with an hour’s work setting up the ad, answering questions, packaging & shipping. Less than $100/hour, I would rather just donate it to the Goodwill Store or give it to a neighbor.
My $100 minimum keeps me out of the garage sale business, too. Our city has a big annual sale on Mother’s Day weekend (cancelled this year) and we haven’t participated in 15+ years. Too much work for too little return with no possibility of clearing $100/hour on things that sell for cents on the dollar.
Related: Yard Sales – Love’em & Hate’em
I had a pressure washer I had bought a replacement for recently and gave the old one to a friend. It was probably $150 a few years ago when I got it new, but not worth more than my $100 threshold now. Better to just find someone that can use it and they can pay it forward when they are done with it.
I’m not saying that $100 is the right amount for everyone, but it’s where I am today. I’ll still look to save money when I buy things in stores, but that is usually a pretty quick process – not taking an hour. Like most rules-of-thumb, it’s not perfect, but it’s nice to have some index in your head to make decisions.
How do you value your time/hour? Have a minimum?
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2 thoughts on “What’s Your Time Worth In Early Retirement?”
I think someones personal hourly wage comes down two things, are doing something you like and what else would you be doing.
If your doing what you really like and you can make a couple dollars doing it than great, it is a win win, you are busy and happy and you make a dollar or two. (hopefully more)
The second thing, what else would you be doing?, is a good gauge on whether you are spending your time in retirement wisely. If you find you are spending your time doing things for little reward just because you have nothing better to do, you probably need to evaluate how you are spending your time and get more meaning in your life.
During the shut down my hourly wage has dropped significantly, hopefully once we are free to roam my wage will go back up, but I don’t think I will ever get to the $100 per hour rate you are at.
Thanks for the article
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