I put this on a thread I had started, but decided to start another one in the business section. I have some business questions.
I can retire in one year, with a crappy pension. My husband has a good pension, but if he dies before me, it goes with him and I eat cat food. I have to be practical, but I also have to take a good look at my lifestyle, the time I now have to make things and my health.
I took a year sabbatical two years ago: I was happy and healthy, lost 20 pounds and was busy every day making stuff. Since going back to work, I only create on the weekends and breaks. I leave my house in the dark, around 6:30, and get home around 5PM in the dark this time of year. Ugh. I have no energy to go to either my art or jewelry studio. I try, but I just can't get myself motivated to make things after an 11 hour day. (I'm not 45 anymore!)
I do understand what hitchmss said in the other thread: to make up the money between my salary and what my pension will be I will have to make a lot of stuff I don't care about. Even production work, which is why I asked about how to keep it interesting last week. But when I think of getting up every morning, into my car, to live my life by the school bell (and I'm on my lunch now, taxpayers, so don't worry!) and then compare that to making some things each day that I'm not crazy about, it seems to be an easy choice.
I will have health insurance for life at the price I pay for it now if I retire next year, so that is a plus. I love to teach, so I can see myself teaching eventually, except for three things: I live in a very unpopulated area, there is already an excellent pottery teacher in our area (my teacher!) and I would need several more years of doing this every day to be good enough to teach. (I do plan to move to a more civilized area when I sell my home.) I do know I can teach, as I have taught for 25 years and have taught my daughter and her friends both jewelry making and how to throw on a wheel and was surprised by how similar it is to teaching anything else. They seemed to really pick it up, and do well, although that may because they are all artists in college for art.
How would you go about making a plan?? How much to make, what to make, where to sell it, shows, etc? I do realize much of this is has been out there already, and is also individual and trial and error, but any knowledge you may have gleaned about essentials to make this work would be much appreciated!