For years I envied dentists and other professionals who seemed to have enough job flexibility to take Friday afternoons off. My entire work life included the expectation that, except for vacation or illness, you worked full days Monday through Friday.
Interestingly, in 2004 my company was struggling financially and I was placed on half salary and only expected to work half time. Of course, I worked more than half time, as there was much to do and I still had pride in my work, so the company got a great bargain out of it. But I was thrilled with the arrangement. I suddenly had so much time and freedom! We had saved and invested well so were not financially hardshipped.
When the company closed shop in December 2004, Intel came in and hired the entire technical team. When I received my job offer I was bold enough to ask for 80% pay and Fridays off. And Intel agreed! This has been the greatest thing and I cherish the arrangement. Once again, Intel is getting a bargain because I work more than 80%, and often work at least part Fridays, if only from home.
I look forward to my Fridays. I usually play tennis for a couple of hours, and use Friday as my general chores day, running errands or doing yard work. Suzanne and I might go for a drive or bike ride or hike. I confess I haven't been as diligent with major home projects as I might have been. It has helped relieve the stress of being bishop and having so many of my evenings and Saturdays consumed. It removes some of the urgency of looking forward to retirement, as I am already easing into it in a small way.
I might look at my peak earning years right now and see how much salary I'm squandering at 20% off. But those dollars would be taxed at my highest marginal rate, so it isn't as dramatic as it might seem. Right now, 20% time is more valuable to me than 20% money.
This is certainly one aspect of my life right now that I'm so pleased with and thankful for.