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Seeking Volunteer Interviewees For College Survey On Freelancing And Retirement Planning


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Hi!

I'm doing a short survey for my MBA class at Johns Hopkins University. Can I ask a few of you a few questions about how Fiverr workers plan for retirement? Please let me know if I can DM you, or, if you prefer to make first contact, I welcome DMs from freelancers on this topic. (Spam messages will be treated as such, and be reported.) Some of the questions we (my classmates and team in this project) prefer a more free flowing approach to gather insights. 

If you are already retired, we are still interested in your insights into the rapidly changing marketplace of today. (Age range: Under 18, 18-25, 26-35, 36-45, 46-62.5, 63+)

1. What do you do? Are you strictly a freelancer, or do you also have a day-job? 2. If you have a job outside freelancing, does your employer provide a retirement benefits plan? If so, do you participate or contribute? 3. How do you, personally, define retirement? 4. How or where do you get information on retirement today? 5. What options have you considered on retirement or planning for retirement? 6. How do you feel emotionally when you think about self-directing (generally) your own retirement? 7. How often do you worry about retirement? (Daily, weekly, monthly, 5 years or so) 8. What actions to plan for retirement in the past 3 months did you take? (examples: download an app, take a course, watch a video, read a book, invest in a stock) 9. If you didn’t take any actions in the past 3 months, what prevented you from doing so? 10. If you did take actions in the past three months, do you have any words of advice or encouragement for those that haven't?

We would prefer to conduct the interview through DMs, as the topic can be somewhat sensitive.

For US based Freelancers.

Thank you,

Ifani

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I will definitely at least fill out the questions. Expect a DM soon.

Tagging some people I think might be interested or willing. (Since this is purely voluntary, y'alls can say 'no, thanks', but we don't see interesting stuff like this pop up on the forums much.)

@graphtersawyer@enunciator@vickiespencer@damooch916@jonbaas@nikavoice@topaz_muse@krheate@genuineguidance@newsmike@fastcopywriter

(Yeah, I know I tagged a few that haven't been on the forums in a little bit.)

Edit: Forgot to ask, when do you need these by? I'm guessing as soon as possible, seeing this is research for a class project, but deadlines are helpful.

Edited by imagination7413
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Out of curiosity, why strictly the US? Just to keep the scope of the project from getting out of hand, or project limitation specifics such as Government programs like Social Security being a US thing? 

One thing that should be noted in your presentation/paper, even if you do stick to the US, is that the lack of saving for retirement isn't limited to the US. One of the interesting things about freelancing online (a gig economy) is the global market. 

2020 caused a LOT of people to migrate online, yes, but the internet is global. Operating online means dealing with cultural clashes and things can-and-do get lost in translation.

---

Oh, and thought of another question you might want to include. (This is an important question, because, exactly like investing, it's NEVER good to put all your eggs in one basket, and many Fiverrians are not strictly on Fiverr.)

- Roughly how many different platforms are you on, where you actively try to sell your service? 

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9 hours ago, imagination7413 said:

if you do stick to the US, is that the lack of saving for retirement isn't limited to the US. One of the interesting things about freelancing online (a gig economy) is the global market. 

Sure, but from what i understand the US is particularly bad in terms of retirement. In Portugal (and most of europe), for example, most people retire and live of their pension. They don't really need to have "saved for it", it's an automatic (and mandatory) process. It's taken out of your taxes, pretty much (not directly, it's a separate process, but for practical purposes it's the same idea). You don't see 70 year olds still working here because they have no retirement, and from what I've heard that's pretty common in the US.

Either way, I think most freelancers should not count on pensions, and invest for retirement. That's what I'm doing, and I plan to be retired well before 60. Like, 20 years before, if all goes well. As for the % of take home you invest, that's another metric that will vary wildly, based on cost of living and earning power. If I was making 100k a year, for example, I could save (and invest, of course) 90% of it. If I was living in NY or LA, that % would be very different.

Basically it boils down to this - as a freelancer in a global marketplace, you want to live in the cheapest col area/country possible (while retaining safety, stability, infrastructure, etc.), since that maximizes arbitrage potential, allowing you to save more and retire much sooner (or get much richer if you decide not to retire).

Edited by visualstudios
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11 hours ago, visualstudios said:

as a freelancer in a global marketplace, you want to live in the cheapest col area/country possible (while retaining safety, stability, infrastructure, etc.), since that maximizes arbitrage potential, allowing you to save more and retire much sooner

Ooo, that's (indirectly) a VERY good point to bring up! One major difference is if a person is a natural spender or a natural saver... Actually, I'm just going to save myself some time (I have to clock in to work soon) and link an article:

https://www.ramseysolutions.com/budgeting/what-are-money-tendencies

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Hi again! just catching up on the conversation. There has been some great feedback here. 

The reason we chose to limit our sample size to the US is because of culture practices and regulations. Someone mentioned pension practices in Europe that are quite different from that of the US. Things like that will change the needs and behaviors. 

I loved the question around "Roughly how many different platforms are you on, where you actively try to sell your service?". Can someone list some of the other platforms folks use to sell their services?

Finally, is anyone up for a Q&A, to discuss their retirement planning. It can be anonymous. Please let me know.

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There are a LOT of freelancing platforms out there, but they can usually be divided into 2 categories: General-all-purpose, and Specific-category/niche. Fiverr falls into the first category, as does Upwork, and even LinkedIn somewhat. A category specific example would be Voice123 that is specifically for Voice-acting.

Google "top freelancing platforms" and a year. The digital freelancing landscape has changed drastically over the last decade.

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Thank you so much! You've been just an incredible help :))

Just as a final heads up if there're fiverr members here who's primary source of income comes from freelancing and would like to participate in our short interview, please let me know ASAP. 

Thank you all so much for your contribution and encouragement.

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