By: jimmue

I wish I could tell you that Half-Retirement was as simple as flipping a switch…poof, you are Half-Retired.  However, Half-Retirement is more of a journey than a decision.  We observe many business owners begin down the path towards Half-Retirement and have seen that there are definitely some “phases” along this path.

Here are the phases towards Half-Retirement we have seen.

Phase 1:  Half-Retired in name only
Business owner says something like, “Wow, that sounds great.  I’m going to do that.”  They come into work the next day and tell their staff they are Half-Retired, but nothing really changes.  The owner still comes to work, still has stress, and the business is still dependent upon them.  This isn’t Half-Retired; it’s Half-Delusional.
If the business owner does not get out of this phase, they run the risk that precious years will go by and they may lose the opportunity to enjoy Half-Retirement because they did not get to work on the process.

Phase 2:  One-Tenth Retired
Read the detailed article here, but the gist is that the owner takes off half a day each week to move towards Half-Retirement.  There are a couple of ways to achieve one-tenth retirement.  First, you can just brute force it.  Start taking time off immediately and fix issues (if there are any) as they come up.  Many owners are surprised how few problems pop up when they commit to taking consistent time away from the business.
The other method is to work the Half-Retire Blueprint, remove four hours of work from your recurring calendar and then commit to taking the time off.  Either method can work, and one-tenth retirement is a great start.
However, one-tenth retirement is fairly easy to accomplish, This isn’t the difficult portion of the Half-Retirement Roadmap.  Some owners take this easy victory and stop working towards full Half-Retirement.
Phase 3:  Half-Retiring
You can also call this phase “in process.”  Business owners who are actively working toward Half-Retirement are Half-Retiring.  They aren’t Half-Retired yet, but they are moving towards it.  We see two types of Half-Retiring owners.
The first type is following the roadmap and is on the path towards achieving Half-Retirement.  They have a sense of urgency, and even though progress may ebb and flow, they stick with it.
The second type is more of a do-it-yourselfer.  This type reads the Half-Retire site or picks up a copy of the book and makes progress as they can.  This progress is certainly commendable, but it lacks urgency.  No one trying to Half-Retire is thirty years old.  There is a limited window to enjoy the spoils of Half-Retirement.  Every month spent fiddling around and “trying” vs. succeeding is one month less of enjoying Half-Retirement.  String together two or three years of “trying” to Half-Retire and the business owner may as well have sold the business.  The benefits of Half-Retirement are lost to slow execution.Phase 4:  Half Half-Retired
Yes, you are reading that right.  This crowd is over the hump.  They are halfway to Half-Retirement.  These business owners already see many of the benefits of Half-Retirement.  Their business is running better than ever, and they are taking big blocks of time away from the business.  Their stress levels are down too.
There is still some hard work to complete, but they have momentum and success upon which to build.  They see the finish line and continue working the Half-Retire Roadmap until fully Half-Retired.Phase 5:  Fully Half-Retired
These business owners have worked hard to complete all the steps in the Half-Retire Roadmap.  They now enjoy a stable income, stress-free business environment, and robust work-life balance.  Make it to this phase, and you have our sincere admiration.

Phase 6:  Hall of Fame
Some business owners not only make it to being fully Half-Retired, they crush it!  We have seen business owners open “second offices” in South Beach to work their half-days.  Some have even set up offices in foreign countries to give them an excuse to travel to Italy.
One Half-Retiree is toying with fulfilling his dream of playing on the Senior PGA Tour.  Another is taking a year-long mission trip to Africa.  One Half-Retiree is changing his business model to a not-for-profit and working to change the lives of children of the working poor.  He owns thousands of apartment units and is shifting the corporations to non-profit status as well as donating all profits to his charity.