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Retiring
Thread poster: David Wright

David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 12:16
German to English
+ ...
Apr 30, 2015

I shall be retiring in a couple of months. Tax laws in Austria mean that it is not worthwhile working once I get my pension.

When do you think I ought to tell my clients? Soon and risk losing business as they find someone else, or late and put them in the situation of having to find a new translator fairly quickly?


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564354352  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 12:16
Danish to English
+ ...
One month's notice Apr 30, 2015

First of all: congratulations on reaching retirement age and having a secure pension, that must feel great.

Second, I think it is incredibly decent of you to consider your clients' needs like this, and I imagine this means that you have good working relationships with them, and that hopefully, they will treat you with the same decency. Sadly, there is no guarantee for this, as 'business is business', and any client can change tack in an instant, so you have to put yourself first.

In my view, giving your clients one month's notice would be very generous, as this would give them the chance to find your replacement, and if any of them dump you instantly, it will hopefully not affect your income too badly.

That's what I would do, at any rate, hoping that I will find myself in a position where I can afford to retire... ever...


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Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:16
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
On time Apr 30, 2015

So you don't loose too much, while you give your clients the possibility to find someone else.

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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 12:16
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@ Robert Apr 30, 2015

Exactly.But what is "on time"?

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Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:16
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
That indeed is the question Apr 30, 2015

@David

I think there is only one person who can answer that question: You!

Only you know the relationship you have with your clients, so how do you want to say goodbye to them? I would say in style, the way they know you.

'In style' is not at the last moment!


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Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 13:16
Member (2002)
English to Russian
Any notice period between two weeks and one month Apr 30, 2015

David,

1. Congratualtions! I hope to be in a position to retire in 2-3 years as I don't want to wait until I am 60 (which is the standard old-age pension requirement in Russia) to receive some chicken feed that our government considers a decent reward for all your lifetime efforts and mandatory contributions to the state-run pension fund.

2. I believe you should give prior notice at least two weeks before your retirement becomes effective.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:16
Member (2008)
Italian to English
? Apr 30, 2015

David Wright wrote:

Tax laws in Austria mean that it is not worthwhile working once I get my pension.


A few more details would be interesting. Are you penalised if you work?


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:16
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Never Apr 30, 2015

Gitte Hovedskov, MCIL wrote:

..... hoping that I will find myself in a position where I can afford to retire... ever...


I don't intend to retire, ever. Work is what gives life meaning, for me - especially since I love translating.


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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 12:16
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@ Tom Apr 30, 2015

No, but the higher rates of tax take effect pretty quickly in Austria so that I'd only receive about 50% of what my clients actually pay.

And yes, I love translating too, but it has to make financial sense (and there are other things to do as well)

[Edited at 2015-04-30 08:42 GMT]


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dianaft  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:16
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
What type of client? Apr 30, 2015

I just had a quick look at your website.
I would have thought that universities, research institutes and national libraries employ somewhat long-winded selection procedures and therefore require a more generous notice, possibly in the region of 2 or 3 months. Are these just examples of previous clients, or is this the focus of your work?
Other direct clients should be happy with about a month and most agencies move quickly and will be able to find a solution within a couple of weeks.
I don't know if recommending a colleague along with the notification would be an option? That might help clients at least in the short-term if you want to wait with the announcement a little longer?

They may have abolished retirement when I reach that age...


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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 12:16
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Oh God the website Apr 30, 2015

Years old, never updated cos no need to. Actually though, no, these organisations tend to recruit translators by word of mouth (they have lots of contacts amongst themselves and know who's any good).

I'd thought of recommending colleagues, but most of the good translators I know are already overloaded with work, and I wouldn't want to recommend someone I don't know.


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:16
French to English
Sell up? Apr 30, 2015

Have you considered selling the business (in widest sense, I don't mean you have to be incorporated to sell it)?

Otherwise, if I were a client, I would probably want to know by now, to be honest. You could be helping with the transition e.g. giving an opinion on your potential replacement's work (or even helping said replacement) for example. And you wouldn't want to upset anyone in that period between your last invoices being sent and (hopefully) settled....


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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 12:16
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Selling up isn't an option Apr 30, 2015

I can't "sell" my clients - whoever "bought" them wouldn't be certain that they'd get work from them.

Good point though, Charlie, about working with a replacement. Might be the right approach. Thanks


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Paulo Eduardo - Pro Knowledge  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:16
Member (2008)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
After you have thought about it, Apr 30, 2015

continue making a little money on the side, receiving a commission from whoever "bought" you clients, when these clients book assignments with the client "buyer".

I for one would "buy them...

[Edited at 2015-04-30 09:16 GMT]


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Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:16
German to English
Why isn't selling an option? Apr 30, 2015

Edited to say: I just noticed you do art things as a side line (Why does everyone pick art as a sideline?): I only posted here because of my interest in the other thread, I'm not looking for any new clients (I had no ulterior motives and wasn't hoping you'd read between the lines).

Obviously you can do whatever you want, but there was recently a thread by an agency looking to purchase clients from freelancers and, if someone posted about it, there are probably lots of people thinking about or doing it.

http://www.proz.com/forum/business_issues/285007-selling_your_agency.html

There is a lot of risk involved for the purchaser, but you could sell on a commission basis if you consider a lump sum more or less dishonest. If you have been working with Austrian direct clients for years and with consistently more than enough work, then you're probably already charging more than most agencies anyway.
Even if you don't outsource at all, you probably know some names of promising agency-focussed translators from here or elsewhere and you could provide an agency with a lot of valuable information about the market.
There are also a lot of good, young freelancers out there who probably earn much less providing high-quality translations in your field(s), maybe you could find an "heir" and split the difference in terms of their increased earnings through your clients.

If you don't like any of that, maybe you could invest 3-5 hours in finding a list of translators that you would like to recommend without any financial transaction being involved.

At any rate, you shouldn't underestimate the value of what you have, just because it's not a "company" in a traditional sense.



[Edited at 2015-04-30 09:29 GMT]


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