Early retirees who freelance for income
Ritch Blasi, retired at 56
Ritch Blasi had worked for AT&T for 37 years before he left in 2006 to work as a part-time consultant. Now Blasi works between 10 and 20 hours per week consulting startups. "I help them improve their business models and strategies. It's fascinating work, and I can work from home or wherever I want," he says.
Blasi, who now lives in Cape Coral, Fla., says technology has made it possible for him to be mobile while he works, meaning he can travel and still keep active in the business world. "My experience at AT&T and my relationships with people inside the industry made it possible for me to work even in retirement," Blasi says. "The best part about this is I can still get a bit of extra money, and I can set my own schedule. If I don't feel like working one day, I just tell my clients that I won't be available."
Though Blasi likes the flexibility of his schedule, he admits it's not completely ideal. "When you work in retirement, you only have three-quarters of the week to do whatever you want, instead of all the time. Fortunately, my work doesn't mean I have to break my back."