The perils of being an indie with a fulltime job

Discussion in 'Indie Related Chat' started by Valen, Aug 4, 2004.

  1. HairyTroll

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    Timing is everything. That 45% less certainly helps a lot - I feel a little relieved knowing that our expenses (apart from the mortgage) seem to be comparable.

    OK, back to the topic.

    When quiting a full-time job (and you are in the US) one must also consider losing the company matching 401k. That works out to around $5,000 free money that the company gives me for retirement. Contributions to a 401k come from pre-taxed earnings, which lowers my tax bracket. So if I started out on my own and managed to earn the same amount, I would actually be paying more tax, and I would still need to contribute to a Roth or some other investment vehicle out of my post-tax dollars.

    What this means is that working for yourself in the US is really, really expensive. Health insurance is expensive and in addition is paid for from post-tax dollars - and the coverage is not as comprehensive (I pay $80 a month for a PPO + vision + dental at the moment). No 401k with the free cash for retirement. And then there's that self employment tax which bit me in the ass last year. Hooray for owing the IRS an extra $3,100 this past April.

    I think the developers who do not live in the states but are still able to charge in USD for their wares have a great advantage.

    Perhaps the answer is to continue to work full time in the US, and use the spare change each month to pay a developer and a graphics artist in another country to write the game for you.
     
  2. Jim Buck

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    .. or move to another country. :)

    HairyTroll, you listed basically all the reasons that I, too, fear leaving my full-time job. Chris did it right by leaving before he was "locked in" - it's tough to walk away knowing what you are giving up.
     
  3. Valen

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    If you create a company that has revenues of $1,000,000 a year and makes you $300,000 yearly in profits (just some random numbers to make a point) why the hell would you care about 401K plans and tax brackets? Think big, mon ami. :) Lose the employee mindset. You don't have to work for yourself, you don't have to work alone forever. I'm not busting my ass so that I can scrape by after years of hard work. Look at how much Steve Pavlina managed to achieve in 10 years. I bet he's a millionaire, and now he's moving on to even bigger things. Who knows, he might be the next Tony Robbins or Jack Canfield. The world is full of possibilities. You just have to dare to dream.
     
  4. Jonas

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    You can't learn to swim if you don't let go of the side of the pool.

    You can bet your ass that you'll think of something if you are just out there in the deep water without support. The more you have to lose, the more you'll fight to make it happen.

    It's just too easy to give up if you have a lifeline and there is a whole world of people waiting with comforting messages like " well you gave it a good try".

    Yoda- "No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try. "

    At this point, I dont' know how I could ever hold a job working for someone else. It would just seem like an incredible waste of time. If I'm gonna waste it, I'd rather do it on my terms :)
     
    #24 Jonas, Aug 6, 2004
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2004
  5. Coyote

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    I think Cas might have some things to say about that... :rolleyes:
     
  6. EpicBoy

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    I think quoting Yoda is the universal signal for "end of thread".
     
  7. Mithril Studios

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    Actually, as a business owner (even sole prop.) I believe you can contribute pre-tax dollars to a retirement vehicle.

    This too can be mitigated quite a bit as a business owner. Sole prop/LLC/S Corp owners can get 70% of the expenses deducted. C Corps can cover 100% of medical expenses (expenses mind you, not *just* insurance!)

    Yeah, this one really bites. But there are ways around it too.

    You have valid points Luke, so I don't want to sound like I'm brusquely disregarding them. I am trying to point out, however, that there are quite a few ways around the system, to ease our tax burdens. The more digging I do, the more stuff I come up with.

    This is a *very* interesting idea.... hmmm....

    Anthony
     
  8. robleong

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    I couldn't agree more. And California is an expensive state to live in. San Diego is generally no cheaper than LA. Would you consider moving to another country or another US state?
     
  9. HairyTroll

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    After taking the time to think about this, my answer is No.

    If a part-time business isn't making enough to support me financially simply because of my geographic location then I would never consider making the switch to full-time. I would also never consider moving to a different location where the businesses current revenue could support me.
     
  10. Jack Norton

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    It depends... for example for europeans developers was a bad thing when the dollars to euro exchange rate was so POOR.
    I could sell a 24.95$ game and get less than 20 euros... :(
    now the dollar seems to be slowly getting back...
     

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