Let me tell you a common tale… Not too long ago, you could walk down corridors at Microsoft and count “1 little, 2 little, 3 little developers,
4 little, 5 little, 6 little options holders, 7 – another millionaire”. Yes, 14+% were millionaires. With Microsoft Stock often doubling every year, it was not uncommon for a good developer to have $2,000,000 of stock options by year 5 or 6. Life expectancy as an employee was often 6-7 years.
Let us consider, a MSFTee retiring with 3 million in stock. In those days, a 10% return was not unusual… that’s $300,000 a year. They locate anywhere in the world they want – some folks that I worked with ended up with a big ranch in Montana, another moved to Colorado, etc. They are down to $2.4 million sitting is sweet stock after dropping bucks on a nice home and some time-off travel.
A bubble burst and they loose 33% of their stock value (remember they are code genius, and likely financially naïve). So they are down to capital of $1.6 million. They do a little trimming of spending habits and move to conservative treasuries (been burnt by stock). So they are getting 5% on 1.6 million or $80k/yr. A little trimming of spending and using of capital and they continue to be retired (perhaps their wife work [one friend did well, married an MD when he retired and became a home daddy for the kids] or they do some local putting in part time work).
Zip forward to 2011, interest rates are down to 1%. So the $1.6 million is now bring home $16,000/yr – not exactly the retirement they expected.
So what do you have – the crème of the old Microsoft developers that are located away from the software ghettos they slaved away in. Many of these folks would be very happy to land a job paying $100+K that allows teleworking (perhaps with 25% on site). Why are they willing to work for well less than their market worth? They have their family where they want them to be and do not want to move them back into the Redmond ghetto. Even if they are willing to move, selling their existing place would take years (I know, I am still trying to sell my old place: 25 acres in Kingston [with passenger ferry to downtown Seattle walking distance down the road] that is zoned R9 for 5 acres…).
If the salary and working conditions is sufficient to allow them to keep their preferred living location – they will take it (life priorities).
What do you have? A highly skilled experience developer, architect etc with a solid track record that is likely to exhibit strong employer-loyalty at a fraction of market rate. You also have someone that is likely to tell you their hard-nose assessment of projects and issues; instead of someone that is trying to climb the career ladder by being yes-men.
Where do you find them? The above groups is one possibility. Another is to contact Murphy and Associates, because many of the people that I cite above have worked through them (myself included) – because of their transparency to their consultants. If you are alumni (with 4.0’s or 4.5 on reviews) looking for telework supplemental, drop them your resume (be patient, a job may not appear for a few months).
As a FYI, two of the sharpest, nicest folks that I worked with were75 – an old Unix expert working for Blackboard.com; and a 72 yo IBM retiree working as a consultant for an Indian company.. It is not whether they know the latest tool praised to the 5th heaven by marketing, it is whether or not they can think and sort issues out.