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People that take a time out for the winter and go ski.

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

OK I am starting to see a few people on here that literally take the winter and "go ski" Folks that change geographical location for the season , find places to stay, someone to feed the budgie while your away.

 

First of all I don't mean the ones that go work at a ski hill all winter because they have no other job or commitment to stop them.

I am talking about the people that take a break from what they do for 2 to 4 months of the year and head out.

What sort of jobs allow you to do this? what do you have to orginize to accomplish this and how meny years have you been doing it? whats the drive and for how long do you plan on doing it?

What are the pitfalls the seasoned snow birds have run into?

Let us know so we can go!!!

post #2 of 13

Well I'm semi retired after working 25 years on Wall St on the floor of the NYSE. I say semi retired because I'm also a licensed captain & run a party fishing boat part time in the spring, summer & fall. I'm also part owner of a small boat mariner which keeps me busy building & repairing docks & all kinds of other associated stuff. This works out great with skiing because there isn't much work during the winter on the boat & it's to dam cold out to work outside in the mariner. I live in NYC but I'm up in VT. or other places in NE. for 3-4 days almost every week starting a week ago & into April. Usually ski 40-50 days a winter which isn't bad. Even when I worked full time I got 20-30 days in skiing mostly weekends & using most of my vacation time during the winter which my bosses loved because most everyone else wanted summer vacations. Sometimes I take a week out west but mostly in the spring & only if the NE gets washed out early. I belong to a ski club that owns a lodge in VT. so that's my hangout during the winter & provides affordable, comfortable lodging. How long have I been doing this? Well I'm semi retired 4 years now & this will be my 51st year on skis. Where there's a will there's a way.


Edited by steamboat1 - 12/9/10 at 3:47pm
post #3 of 13

Seasonal workers can manage this. Construction workers, drywallers, roofers, etc. I wish I were stronger and could work at such a demanding job in the summer. Unfortunately I'm too weak and need a chair to pull me up hills ;)

post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Boot View Post

I am talking about the people that take a break from what they do for 2 to 4 months of the year and head out.

What sort of jobs allow it? whats the drive and for how long do you plan on doing it?

What are the pitfalls the seasoned snow birds have run into?

 


Well OB you already know my story.  Metaphor hit my occupation below.  

What's the drive......can't find anything as fun / rewarding / exciting / and surrounded by beautiful areas of the country that I'm any good at.

 

I'll stay at it till my body quits (which I hope is after my brain so I won't miss it so much)

 

Pitfalls.......

An average 60 hour work week that sometimes maxes at 90 hours a week to make enough money to cover the bills put a few bucks away and hit ski country for 8-10 weeks, and like you sometimes I need to travel to where the work is.

 

Not being able to live near the areas I ski at due to expense, w/o actually working for the area I'm skiing at (btw.....I tried it for almost 20 years.  

 

Not being able to hang with some of the fun people I've met through this site on the off season.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

Seasonal workers can manage this. Construction workers, drywallers, roofers, etc. 


 

post #5 of 13

I work 5- 6 months at +70 hrs /week hauling heavy equipment into remote areas.  That enables me to ski 5-6 months.

post #6 of 13

2-4 months? I ski pretty much when I want for our 8 month season.

post #7 of 13

That is a good question - and it is not rare - and it seems like lots of money is involved in a fair number of cases, so its not necessarily job-related:

 

I've seen 2-3 month daily post/picture reports on this site from people that go all over the place. It's as if it's dumping somewhere so they'll come from halfway around the world and ski the United States every day, all day, for the season.  I've met skiers who came from elsewhere, because they were "tired" of where they lived previously - and "wanted to ski somewhere else".  They ski "pretty much every day".   And this from 35 yo or younger crowd - beats the crap out of me how they do that....

 

None of them are working when they are doing this, they all seem to have a load of money, even if they are young, or unemployed (met one construction engineer who moved to Tahoe from Vegas cuz he "lost his job due to the economy, I'm gonna ski till I get some work").  Early retirees of various sorts are not uncommon.  Family money is not uncommon - "I have a place here [Vail], I'm 'just' here for the ski season".

post #8 of 13

First off, I live in ski country so it's easy to get to the snow in a hurry.  Next, I worked for 31 years as a teacher, retired at 54 and I'm pulling my pension.  My house is paid off.  I now run my family's Christmas tree farm which is about a half time job for the year, but the main work is from June to Christmas, so I have from late December through the rest of the season almost entirely off.  This means that I'm bringing in about the same amount of money as I did while teaching, but only working half time.

 

While I don't have tons of dough to go on fancy vacations I figure I don't have to go far.   I ski at Baker for day trips and have a cabin at Stevens Pass.  Whistler is a long day trip away and interior BC is good for a long weekend.

 

I'm a musician. I direct a swing band as well as play in the local symphony and do a few odd gigs here and there, so long trips away from home are out mostly, but musicians work at night so it's fine with skiing locally.

 

I get in around 50 days on snow per year and I'm fairly happy with that, though it might be more this year.

post #9 of 13

Many different reasons, but I think I can identify some of them:

 

Business Owners/Employers:

 - Owners of a business that can take time off as they like.

- People that work in a family business and have family members cover for them as they take time off.  

- Seasonal business owners who make their yearly income during the warmer months and then have free time for a few months during the winter.  This could be businesses like roofing companies, window washing companies, construction/landscaping, and other type of labor/contracting businesses.

 

Workers/Employees:

- People that work in a seasonal business and have free time in the winter months

- People in the trades business.  Plumbers, electricians, carpenters, carpet layers.  All these types of professions have time between projects that would allow for extended time off.

- I know some firemen who get lots of vacation and time off throughout the year.  They aren't rich by any means but have enough to spend in the months when they have time off.

- Company contractors.  There are a lot of people that are contractors/consultants doing various work for companies.  IT contractors, for example, might work on a 9 month project at an hourly rate and then have a few months in between while they are finding new work.  That 9 month project can give them a nice cushion to live on and spend during their "off" time.

 

Most of the people in the Worker/Employee category aren't rich by any means.  They spend a great deal of the year working long, hard hours and make enough money that spending a few months skiing and renting out a cabin isn't going to break the bank.

 

Passive income:

- Living off money that they saved/invested/accrued during their lifetime.  This would include people in retirement. 

- Absentee owners of a business who have other people running the day to day operations. 

- People with inherited wealth

- People that have wealthy parents and don't work

 

Associated with wealth:

- People that aren't wealthy, but have access to a wealthy person's winter home.  Maybe their wife is the niece of someone with a lot of money

 

Lots of different ways to get there.  I'm sure there are many more I left off.  

 

I, personally, am a contractor in the IT industry and work about 9-10 months out of the year.  I make a pretty good hourly wage, but am by no means wealthy.  I make enough in those 9-10 months to support myself for the year and have enough that I can travel or do what I want for the time I don't work.  But it's all budgeted in.  And it is fairly random.  Some projects might go 3 months, some 6, some a year, some a couple of years.  Sometimes I get winter months off, sometimes I get summer months off.  It all depends on when a project ends which can vary.  I've been on a 3 year project and took only 1 day off for those 3 years.  If I don't go to work, I don't get paid.  


Outsiders probably think that I have a lot of free time off at anytime I choose and endless amounts of money to blow.  That's far from the truth.  The reality is that I work long, hard hours with no days off for most of the year and am extremely frugal and budgeted so that when I do have some free time I can afford to do what I want and not be so tight with my money.

 

Sorry for the long post.  I hope this gives some insight.

post #10 of 13

The only way I've figured out to make it work, is to accumulate lots of debt as I go along.   The older I get the more aware of it I am, and the less of it I'm doing.  Still I can't figure out how people my age (29) and less, can just run free wherever the snow is, and never acquire the same debt I do.

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by FujativeOCR View Post

The only way I've figured out to make it work, is to accumulate lots of debt as I go along.   The older I get the more aware of it I am, and the less of it I'm doing.  Still I can't figure out how people my age (29) and less, can just run free wherever the snow is, and never acquire the same debt I do.



You know the easiest and most overlooked way to avoid debt?

 

I do.

 

post #12 of 13

For those of you wanting a ski life style, and a good day job, consider law or consulting:

 

I'm a partner in a law firm in FL--I help people and companies franchise their businesses and set up direct marketing and business opportunities.  I often work 60 to 80 hour weeks.  My time is my product.  The more I miss billing time for clients, the harder the hit to my revenues. Other than that, travel and time off is at my discretion. 

 

When business permits, I structure my practice and business activities to allow me to travel from FL to places out west 1 week a month, from Dec. to April, and for several other long weekends in between.  (We sold our place in the Aspen area and are hunting for another).

 

I'm not rich, and you don't have to be rich--you just have to live rich. If you live on the East coast, getting up at 4 to 5 am Mountain time allows you to get a half day of work in before you hit the slopes at 8 or 9.   If you mix in a couple conference calls at lunch or on a lift if needed, some follow up calls after work,  you can get by just fine. (Try to avoid those if you can). If you ski 2 to 3 days, rest and work a half day while your wife is sleeping late or at the spa, even better.  It is also best to learn to work on the plane each way: Who needs to see another movie on an ipad? Essentially you treat your ski time during the day out west like your after work time back home.  Learn to love rewards points programs and search for great deals. Book flights without housing.  Leave housing to the last second: Relentlessly negotiate housing rates, as there are just so many home/condo owners that will, if pushed, rent cheap and last minute.  Keep your food and other budgets the same when skiing as they are at home.

 

Yes, this is not optimal for unplugging from the pressures of work, but it can allow someone in a profession to get 30 to 40+ ski days a year if they work at it.  Add a summer trip to Argentina, and well, you can live like a retired rock star/hedge fund manager and keep your day job. . . .

 

It just takes discipline. Buf you do this, add a bit of courtesy to ride the chair alone if you are managing conference calls via bluetuth.  (My secretary has learned my skiing patterns, she is a wizard at timing urgent client calls/deals to ring or be on hold for just after I get on a lift). 

 

Most people would kill for the corner office view a chair lift provides!   A chair lift as corner office--Ski lift as commute home. . .  Life could be worse.   So, if you see a guy on a chair alone negotiating business deals using his helmet speakers and phone, smiling like he won the lotto, waive to me.  I'll be happy to ski a run with you when the lift stops and I end my 15minute   "work" break.   But even so, I'm still envious of those who can ski, and don't need a day job.

post #13 of 13

I know it's not fair for some but living and working in Ogden allows for alot of skiing.  My daughter races and that makes so I am on the hill even more.  I have a lot of respect for those that kill it at work all summer long and then get after the skiing in the winter.  It really show just how this sport can get under one's skin. Keep it up everybody!!!!

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