Author Topic: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements  (Read 55478 times)

capoevename

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Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« on: June 30, 2016, 02:20:26 PM »
Has anyone tried serial mini retirements (2-6 months off work every year or 2 of regular work)?

Me and my GF are 26 years old and have a ~250K stash. Jointly, we spend 50K per year and make 140K post tax. We are investing/saving so that
  • She can stop working when we have kids, hopefully between 30 and 35.
  • Have the freedom to base work around my life, not the other way around.
  • Take mini retirements from work before we have kids to travel.
  • Take mini retirements from work after we have kids.

Would it be a bad move to take time off work several times before having enough money saved up to provide for us off 4%? I don't plan on actually using capital off the investments. I plan on accumulating the money in a savings account a couple of months before taking time off.

The way I see it, it would only delay total financial freedom, something I don't mind since I plan to keep working.

Please let me know if anyone has had any experience with this, or knows any "gotchas". Thank you.

steveo

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2016, 04:03:29 PM »
I definitely haven't done it and I won't be doing it but I think it's a good idea if you can pull it off. I'd be too concerned about getting another job after not working for a period of time.

capoevename

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2016, 04:51:20 PM »
I assume many employers would be OK with a 3-6 months unpaid leave of absence. Otherwise, I think it would not be too hard for us to find a job in the coming years; I'm a software engineer (and it's what I love to do, so I'm pretty good at it, and it's easy to find software jobs right now) and my GF is an electrical engineer.

I'm trying to workout the math as to when it is prudent to take the mini retirements, but at this point I think it would just delay the amount of time it would take us to be fully FI, and nothing else.

Mrs. Pomodoro

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2016, 05:10:43 PM »
I really like that idea and I've been looking into it. Am going to do something similar hopefully next year, though I've been working for 16 years now (eek!) and we're very close to the finish line depending on where we will live next so it might just turn into real FIRE for me. livingafi has a great post that explains the financial impact of a gap year very well:

https://livingafi.com/2015/08/04/taking-a-gap-year/

There's also a podcast I really enjoyed on this topic:

http://www.goodlifeproject.com/karan-bajaj/?t=radio

This guy takes a year off after working for 4 years, and he's done it 3 times so far in between corporate jobs. I kinda wish I did that when I was younger (like, in your age. ;) I think that'll help me to be less burnt out and more enthusiastic with my job. It's harder to pull off with mortgage and kid(s), but not impossible, at least that's what I'm telling myself. Some benefits I can think of taking a year off after 4 years instead of a few months after 2 years are: you will be more established in a career before you take off, whatever career means to you; and you will enjoy longer breaks.

Where I work I haven't heard many cases of unpaid leave for 3 to 6 months that are approved. They do need to hold the position for you, most of the time unable to get extra help while you are away. But since you're in software, it shouldn't be too hard to find another job.

Hope you find what works best. Good luck!

CanuckExpat

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2016, 09:21:39 PM »
Assuming income stays proportionally the same, one choice can save you a lot of taxes:
I.e. Work 6 months on, 6 off over two years for 50k/year
100k /year

If you are higher income, think it might be even better

deborah

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2016, 10:23:18 PM »
Where I used to work it was pretty easy to do this. Australia has 4 weeks paid annual leave each year. Some workplaces allow you to take off leave at half pay - effectively giving you 8 weeks leave a year. Many government workplaces also allowed you to have prepaid leave - you could nominate that you would take and extra 1 to 4 weeks holiday in a year, and your pay would be reduced to give you that extra leave.

One of the guys I worked with took 8 weeks off every year using prepaid leave.

But it gets better. In Australia if you have worked for a company for a certain period of time (usually 10 years, but there are some places where it is only 5), you get three months long service leave, and after that you get an extra two weeks every year. So anyone who has worked for a company for long enough gets at least 6 weeks annual leave a year. Everywhere I worked, people could take long service leave at half pay, so you often find people taking a year off when they are about 30.

So obviously you should move to Australia.

During my career I had several three month holidays.

arebelspy

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2016, 06:35:33 AM »
I never did this, but if I had to do it over again, I would do it that way.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

citizen24128

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2016, 08:00:13 AM »
I have done what you're considering, and it was awesome! In 2005 I took six months of unpaid leave to travel, and I did it again in 2008. In each case, I asked for a leave of absence from my job (software company). I was prepared to quit if my company did not approve my leave of absence, but they okayed it each time and my job was waiting for me when I returned from traveling.

I am still a few years away from being financially independent, but I have zero regrets about taking big chunks of time away from work as a younger person. The experiences I had were very meaningful to me, and have shaped how I approach the rest of my life.

(Caveats: I spent very little money while I was on leave, and I was mentally/financially prepared for something to go wrong that would leave me unemployed for longer than I planned.)

Slee_stack

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2016, 08:10:37 AM »
If the situation allows, it sounds like a decent plan.

All else equal, if you have many leaves between work assignments, you will be a less desirable candidate to hire then someone else.  It would be akin to frequent job jumping.  Employers tend not to like people they can't trust to stick around for awhile.

If you market yourself more as a consultant, you probably won't have the issues though.

Otherwise, if you are looking at finding an employer that's good with a 2+ month leave every year, you are just severely limiting your pool of them from which to pick.  Those kinds of leaves are not too common in most industries.  It really comes down to demand and how desperate employers are for your particular talents.

« Last Edit: July 01, 2016, 08:15:07 AM by Slee_stack »

Northwestie

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2016, 09:19:10 AM »
I've taken several breaks of several months each to climb/trek in Europe and South America.  Each time it worked out just well and I came back to the same employer.  The last time I did this I knew I would be looking for a new position in the near future.  I was ready for them to say no - you can't take off three months - and I was ready to just resign.   But they really didn't hesitate.

In these cases I think you have to judge what your true value is to your employer, can you tie things up sufficiently so delegation is not a mess, and ultimately, if it doesn't work out, are you confident you can get a job in your field where you want to live.  My answer was yes to all.

Three months to a year off seems a good way to break up the routine and clear out the cobwebs.  Especially if you generally enjoy your work but would appreciate a longer break.  cheers.


capoevename

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2016, 02:45:37 PM »
Thanks a lot for your words guys. livingafi's post was very helpful too. I was mostly worried on how this was going to affect FI, but the trade off is worth it for me. I'm pretty sure I'm going to try it out in the next couple of years.

cacaoheart

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2016, 04:09:57 PM »
I'm a new nurse and see myself doing what you mention after building savings to about the amount you currently have, potentially switching to travel nursing in about 5 years so I can take on a ~13 week travel assignment then be off until I'm ready to take on another assignment. If/when I want something less intense/more rooted, I could switch to local float/part time positions.

My view is that rather than trying to save enough to then not have to work at all, it's doable to save a certain amount then work enough to cover expenses and let that amount compound for several years before drawing on it, and then you may never need to work full time again.

LAGuy

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2016, 07:15:40 PM »
I'm trying to transition to this as well. But first I need to sell my place, and it just fell out of escrow. Sigh, I've seen some fantastic gains in real estate, but man is it a pain in the ass to buy and sell it.

Anyways, I'll invest the proceeds of the sale and along with my other investments I plan to live and travel abroad half the year. Then I'm going to work as a traveling healthcare professional (like a nurse, but I'll be in the lab). There's always a lot of work available for what I do, but right now I'm hearing from recruiters for traveling positions several times a week. Combination of low employment, retiring baby boomers, aging workforce, and more people with health insurance through the ACA I guess. Add in that gig, freelance, and contract work seems to be the wave of the future and they're all meeting up in my profession. Instead of fighting it, I'll make it work for me.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2016, 02:50:02 AM »
Would really depend on the numbers. Would I have to do that for two decades to be free? Or could I just work the job I love for another year or two instead, burning up time off and enjoying local attractions.

capoevename

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2016, 01:44:18 PM »
Mouse, check out the post that Mrs. Pomodoro linked to. It goes over the numbers. Pretty much, it increases FI date roughly by the same time you take off.

Aussiegirl

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2016, 04:33:32 PM »
I took a year off a few years ago as a mini retirement. It was fantastic!  So many great things came out of that year off, I would recommend it to any-one.  I am just waiting for my DH to get his long service leave (which he can take along with his annual leave all at half pay which Deborah says - which will equate to half a year off, and if I'm not already FIRE at that point, I'll be FIRE'ing and we'll take another mini retirement.     If you think you can get another job after you are done your mini retirement - DO IT!!


thedayisbrave

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2016, 04:53:25 PM »
I like the idea of this.  I'm kind of having to do it by default based on my career, so I'm not complaining.  Working as a real estate agent means I hustle for 6 months (spring-summer) and have another 5 or 6 months of slower business (fall-winter).  This year I plan on using that down time to work on another of my businesses, but I enjoy it all, so it's not too bad.  But it's nice to have that option. 

Metric Mouse

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2016, 05:19:55 PM »
Mouse, check out the post that Mrs. Pomodoro linked to. It goes over the numbers. Pretty much, it increases FI date roughly by the same time you take off.

Thank you. I will check them out!

steveo

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2016, 05:39:10 PM »
Where I used to work it was pretty easy to do this. Australia has 4 weeks paid annual leave each year. Some workplaces allow you to take off leave at half pay - effectively giving you 8 weeks leave a year. Many government workplaces also allowed you to have prepaid leave - you could nominate that you would take and extra 1 to 4 weeks holiday in a year, and your pay would be reduced to give you that extra leave.

One of the guys I worked with took 8 weeks off every year using prepaid leave.

But it gets better. In Australia if you have worked for a company for a certain period of time (usually 10 years, but there are some places where it is only 5), you get three months long service leave, and after that you get an extra two weeks every year. So anyone who has worked for a company for long enough gets at least 6 weeks annual leave a year. Everywhere I worked, people could take long service leave at half pay, so you often find people taking a year off when they are about 30.

So obviously you should move to Australia.

During my career I had several three month holidays.

I'm Australian and this is all true but there is more to it. Our house prices are crazy. We've just paid off our house and it will be 5 years until retirement now but geez paying off that massive mortgage was hard. House prices have also gone up a lot since we bought. We paid $770k about 6 years ago. I think it's now worth close to $1.5 million.

I have close to 6 months long service leave available to me now. I intend though to take a year off half pay and then not go back to work. So it's a buffer for when I retire.

Geez I'm getting sick of work though. I work one day a week from home and sometimes two days per week although that is just me not turning up and typically no one says anything. The other 3 days I tend to work one full day and the other 2 about 6 hours. I just struggle turning up regularly. I think I'm just over it.

FIREby35

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2016, 04:30:07 PM »
I am going to try this in the next few months. From January to March next year I am planning a 3 month break. It is a little different than what everyone here is describing because I own my of business. But, I'm taking steps now to set things up so I can be gone.

To the poster who said you pray it's possible with a family, I'm going to find out. We are a family of five! Three kids under 5 years  old.

So, it seems to me that taking breaks throughout your career is entirely possible. You are already at $250k while 26 years old. If I were you, I'd do what you want and enjoy the ride.

dess1313

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2016, 08:17:26 AM »
Australia sounds like it has some awesome vacation policies compared to here!
What some here do is work part time.  it gives them easier stretches to take off, and more time off when they do have it.  We can trade shifts so we shuffle things around to get 2 weeks or a month off if we plan ahead.  it gets easier as you move to lower part time positions because you have more time off to use
I would give it a try if you can without creating a lot of hard ship at work, the time off is amazing to try new things.  even 2 weeks feels like paradise sometimes

Mola

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2016, 01:22:32 PM »
I have started doing this. I work contracts and when one is over I take some time off to do stuff. So far I have only had one such intermission though so I can't say what it does long term. I am also further along in my "career" so time off doesn't hurt as much as when you're resume is new.

As a software engineer you should definitely be able to pull it off. I work in IT, though not a developer, and a healthy portion of developers I interview have breaks in employment. It doesn't even register as a thing to worry about. It is even easier if you are a developer in a niche. For example, a developer for EPIC, Salesforce, Pegasystems, etc. Applications that have their own development niche with never enough people to fill all the positions out there. Just keep up your skills and don't let yourself be the guy still looking for Fortran jobs.

deborah

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2016, 01:56:26 AM »
Just keep up your skills and don't let yourself be the guy still looking for Fortran jobs.
I once worked with a guy who specialised on being trailing edge rather than leading edge. Quite often it is very difficult for IT employers to get people who have skills that are past their use by date. Both trailing edge and leading edge tend to get paid a premium. However, if you specialise in trailing edge technology you probably couldn't afford to take mini retirements in case you become a dinosaur!

MasterStache

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2016, 04:01:25 PM »
I am actually in the middle of a 3 month hiatus from work. I figure it is probably setting my FI date back by about 6 months (Still less than 5 years away). I was hesitant to ask my employer, for fear of saying no, but they seemed perfectly ok with it. My co-workers were in shock, probably because most live paycheck to paycheck and couldn't afford it.

It's weird for me because I am still working my butt off on renovations around the house. So it's like I took time off from work, to work, but at least it is something I love doing.  I am getting a ton done though. I would estimate working a full time job would take me about 2 years to do what I will have accomplished in 3 months on the house. 

I don't consider it a mini-retirement because I wouldn't be spending this much money and time on home renovations. I would certainly be relaxing and travelling more. We also managed to find my wife a Prius (she was driving one of those giant gas guzzling recliners). And when I go back to work the kids will both be in school full time, so no daycare expenses. I figure with the car situation squared away, major home renovations out of the way, and no daycare to worry about anymore, once I start back to work our savings rate will increase to around 60-70%.

As far as the hiatus is concerned, absolutely no regrets (admittedly I do cringe from time to time at the amount of money we are spending on home renovations). Oh and my wife and I leave for Cancun in about 3 weeks. Paid fully through credit card rewards.

waltworks

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #24 on: July 10, 2016, 07:59:46 PM »
I think in some ways, many people "retire" in their 20s before going "back" to work. There are less charitable ways to talk about that lifestyle, of course... :)

In my case, I rode my bike a lot and went to grad school part time. Annual earnings: about $18k. Tons of free time and a flexible schedule: priceless.

You're in great shape to do whatever you want. Do it.

-Walt

fatcow240

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #25 on: July 11, 2016, 12:02:58 PM »
This is something I want to try.  I have asked around at work, but so far the answer is no to sabbaticals.  I will probably hang out a little longer to get closer to the 4% SWR/FU money.  This will give me the leverage to give an ultimatum.  I am also in a similar field, Computer Science.  I have been mostly working as a Software Engineer.  Have you looked into contracted work.  My thinking is that I could be picky about the work and just pull in $20k-$30k and let the stache grow on its own.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #26 on: July 11, 2016, 12:25:38 PM »
I think in some ways, many people "retire" in their 20s before going "back" to work. There are less charitable ways to talk about that lifestyle, of course... :)

In my case, I rode my bike a lot and went to grad school part time. Annual earnings: about $18k. Tons of free time and a flexible schedule: priceless.

You're in great shape to do whatever you want. Do it.

-Walt

Nice. Sounds enjoyable. How much did that set your FIRE date back?

waltworks

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #27 on: July 11, 2016, 01:06:57 PM »
I think in some ways, many people "retire" in their 20s before going "back" to work. There are less charitable ways to talk about that lifestyle, of course... :)

In my case, I rode my bike a lot and went to grad school part time. Annual earnings: about $18k. Tons of free time and a flexible schedule: priceless.

You're in great shape to do whatever you want. Do it.

-Walt

Nice. Sounds enjoyable. How much did that set your FIRE date back?

I guess it depends. I was "retired" for a decade in the prime of my life. No way in hell would I change that. I pursued goals I could never do again (attempting to be a professional athlete) and I knew full well that I'd not make much/any money.

The thing is, money is easy to make (at least given all the genetic/geographical advantages most of us were born with), and if you don't care about possessions too much, it's hard to spend. So to me, there was no rush to make a ton of money in my 20s. So I don't care if I'm FIRE 10 years later than I could have been. The total enjoyment of my life is the goal, and I thought at the time (and still do) that taking my 20s off from "real" work was a good move. Eudaemonia!

It's been about 10 years since I started making halfway decent (ie, mid/high 5 figures) money. I'd be FIRE right now if I didn't have such expensive taste in locations to live (ie, ski resorts). But that's another choice that increases my happiness. So things worked out fine, IMO.

-Walt

FrugalFred

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #28 on: July 14, 2016, 06:57:27 AM »
I did it last year, I took 8 months off because I was basically exhausted.
And I have to be honest, it was the best decision I've ever made. Granted, it was a bit different then normal people because I could keep on paying myself a wage (I have my own company in which I built quite a large cash buffer specifically to provide me with the freedom to sometimes just say f* it) so I didn't have to worry about my mortgage or anything.
It was awesome, even though I didn't do anything exotic like backpack across the himalaya or whatever you should be doing these days but I finally got to unwind, exercise again, and read a LOT of books.
I'll be doing it again in a year or two, I'm sure. :-)

Looking at your age and the stache you have already I'd say go for it :-)

pdxmonkey

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #29 on: July 14, 2016, 10:28:20 PM »
Has anyone tried serial mini retirements (2-6 months off work every year or 2 of regular work)?

Me and my GF are 26 years old and have a ~250K stash. Jointly, we spend 50K per year and make 140K post tax. We are investing/saving so that
  • She can stop working when we have kids, hopefully between 30 and 35.
  • Have the freedom to base work around my life, not the other way around.
  • Take mini retirements from work before we have kids to travel.
  • Take mini retirements from work after we have kids.

Would it be a bad move to take time off work several times before having enough money saved up to provide for us off 4%? I don't plan on actually using capital off the investments. I plan on accumulating the money in a savings account a couple of months before taking time off.

The way I see it, it would only delay total financial freedom, something I don't mind since I plan to keep working.

Please let me know if anyone has had any experience with this, or knows any "gotchas". Thank you.

I would like to do it, it sounds like an awesome plan, but The Robots are coming. I think the economy will look very different in 10 years. We are likely nearing the end of the current bull market as well. People are going to be nervous just because it's the second longest ever. They will be asking questions like "Can it last?" Until I'm much closer to FIRE I wouldn't want to purposely take a "mini retirement" with the risk that it might be during the time shit hits the fan and having a tough time getting a job again after my "mini retirement" was supposed to be over.

What do your debts look like. No debts? I assume the 50k spend is including housing. Renting or mortgage?

limeandpepper

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #30 on: July 15, 2016, 12:36:34 AM »
Has anyone tried serial mini retirements (2-6 months off work every year or 2 of regular work)?

2 months off work every year or two sounds quite easily doable, as long as your workplace is cool with that. 6 months off work every year or two on a recurring basis, on the other hand, might be pretty difficult, unless you work in a field that is tolerant/accepting of this e.g. has a high staff turnover rate anyway.

My partner and I took several months off to travel a couple of years ago. It was awesome. Hoping to do that again, maybe in another couple of years from now. :)

FIREby35

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #31 on: July 15, 2016, 06:49:11 AM »
I did it last year, I took 8 months off because I was basically exhausted.
And I have to be honest, it was the best decision I've ever made. Granted, it was a bit different then normal people because I could keep on paying myself a wage (I have my own company in which I built quite a large cash buffer specifically to provide me with the freedom to sometimes just say f* it) so I didn't have to worry about my mortgage or anything.
It was awesome, even though I didn't do anything exotic like backpack across the himalaya or whatever you should be doing these days but I finally got to unwind, exercise again, and read a LOT of books.
I'll be doing it again in a year or two, I'm sure. :-)

Looking at your age and the stache you have already I'd say go for it :-)

FrugalFred - What kind of business do you own? I am hoping to take three months away from my business this winter. I think it will be fine, but I'm pondering how it will affect my referral streams, my office systems, who will do payroll for my employees stuff like that. Did any of that apply to you leaving your business?

waltworks

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #32 on: July 15, 2016, 12:54:31 PM »
I would like to do it, it sounds like an awesome plan, but The Robots are coming. I think the economy will look very different in 10 years. We are likely nearing the end of the current bull market as well. People are going to be nervous just because it's the second longest ever. They will be asking questions like "Can it last?" Until I'm much closer to FIRE I wouldn't want to purposely take a "mini retirement" with the risk that it might be during the time shit hits the fan and having a tough time getting a job again after my "mini retirement" was supposed to be over.

I feel really sorry for you, because with this sort of outlook, you will *never* quit working.

Seriously, what's the point of living in fear? OP is not proposing to drop out and head to Vegas with his life savings. He's proposing to *enjoy his life* while still making/saving loads of money.

-W

capoevename

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #33 on: July 15, 2016, 03:09:09 PM »
Has anyone tried serial mini retirements (2-6 months off work every year or 2 of regular work)?

Me and my GF are 26 years old and have a ~250K stash. Jointly, we spend 50K per year and make 140K post tax. We are investing/saving so that
  • She can stop working when we have kids, hopefully between 30 and 35.
  • Have the freedom to base work around my life, not the other way around.
  • Take mini retirements from work before we have kids to travel.
  • Take mini retirements from work after we have kids.

Would it be a bad move to take time off work several times before having enough money saved up to provide for us off 4%? I don't plan on actually using capital off the investments. I plan on accumulating the money in a savings account a couple of months before taking time off.

The way I see it, it would only delay total financial freedom, something I don't mind since I plan to keep working.

Please let me know if anyone has had any experience with this, or knows any "gotchas". Thank you.

I would like to do it, it sounds like an awesome plan, but The Robots are coming. I think the economy will look very different in 10 years. We are likely nearing the end of the current bull market as well. People are going to be nervous just because it's the second longest ever. They will be asking questions like "Can it last?" Until I'm much closer to FIRE I wouldn't want to purposely take a "mini retirement" with the risk that it might be during the time shit hits the fan and having a tough time getting a job again after my "mini retirement" was supposed to be over.

What do your debts look like. No debts? I assume the 50k spend is including housing. Renting or mortgage?
No debt and I suppose that's possible. I'm leading more towards an unpaid leave for a couple of months. That would keep our jobs waiting for us when we get back.

Thanks for all the replies. I got what I wanted: a few more opinions on the matter and to bounce off ideas. I'm gonna keep stashing for the now and jump to this before having babies (hopefully).

pdxmonkey

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #34 on: July 15, 2016, 03:26:45 PM »
I would like to do it, it sounds like an awesome plan, but The Robots are coming. I think the economy will look very different in 10 years. We are likely nearing the end of the current bull market as well. People are going to be nervous just because it's the second longest ever. They will be asking questions like "Can it last?" Until I'm much closer to FIRE I wouldn't want to purposely take a "mini retirement" with the risk that it might be during the time shit hits the fan and having a tough time getting a job again after my "mini retirement" was supposed to be over.

I feel really sorry for you, because with this sort of outlook, you will *never* quit working.

Seriously, what's the point of living in fear? OP is not proposing to drop out and head to Vegas with his life savings. He's proposing to *enjoy his life* while still making/saving loads of money.

-W
eh? I don't see why I won't ever be able to retire. SWR accounts for downturns after retirement so I don't really care about what the economy does after that. I care about keeping my stash compounding and not having to spend it down prior to retirement. If my goal were 4% swr and I was already at 3% and could cut to live on that while unexpectedly out for longer than planned trying to get back into a down job market...great I can take mini retirements. If I'm at only 1or 2%? Not gonna do it. The first one or 2% are the hardest to get and the easiest to lose.

waltworks

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #35 on: July 15, 2016, 03:34:46 PM »
I would like to do it, it sounds like an awesome plan, but The Robots are coming. I think the economy will look very different in 10 years. We are likely nearing the end of the current bull market as well. People are going to be nervous just because it's the second longest ever. They will be asking questions like "Can it last?" Until I'm much closer to FIRE I wouldn't want to purposely take a "mini retirement" with the risk that it might be during the time shit hits the fan and having a tough time getting a job again after my "mini retirement" was supposed to be over.

I feel really sorry for you, because with this sort of outlook, you will *never* quit working.

Seriously, what's the point of living in fear? OP is not proposing to drop out and head to Vegas with his life savings. He's proposing to *enjoy his life* while still making/saving loads of money.

-W
eh? I don't see why I won't ever be able to retire. SWR accounts for downturns after retirement so I don't really care about what the economy does after that. I care about keeping my stash compounding and not having to spend it down prior to retirement. If my goal were 4% swr and I was already at 3% and could cut to live on that while unexpectedly out for longer than planned trying to get back into a down job market...great I can take mini retirements. If I'm at only 1or 2%? Not gonna do it. The first one or 2% are the hardest to get and the easiest to lose.

Let me rephrase. Looking at it holistically, you want to maximize the enjoyment of your life. Not working too much (especially when you're young) is a big component of that for many people. Racing to some arbitrary finish line is fine if that's what makes you happy, but if you don't spend much money, you don't need to freak out about taking time off.

-Walt

FrugalFred

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #36 on: July 18, 2016, 01:49:09 AM »


FrugalFred - What kind of business do you own? I am hoping to take three months away from my business this winter. I think it will be fine, but I'm pondering how it will affect my referral streams, my office systems, who will do payroll for my employees stuff like that. Did any of that apply to you leaving your business?
[/quote]

I have a small consulting business which is focused on a very specific niche. This is also the reason why it was possible, it's quite easy to find clients and they don't really care whether or not I'm there all the time.
Although I was worried the place would fall apart without me, which of course it didn't.

For the admin stuff/payroll I prepared this with an employee I can trust 100% plus I created a seperate bankaccount which she can access, at the end of the month I'd get an overview in Excel (how much money she'd need for payroll/suppliers/whatever) and I'd briefly glance over it and transfer the money.
Worked so great we still do it like that actually. I only have to do one payment each month and all the rest goes automatically (but of course I still check and my accountant also double-checks to make sure there's nothing fishy going on ;-))

bacchi

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #37 on: July 18, 2016, 11:03:15 AM »
I recently had a recruiter ask, "How often do you take extended leave?" It was for a 6 month contract so any leave wouldn't interfere but it concerned the hiring manager. It's not all peaches and gravy.

That's at the end of a long and undistinguished career of avoiding responsibility and full-time work.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #38 on: July 18, 2016, 11:06:36 AM »
That's at the end of a long and undistinguished career of avoiding responsibility and full-time work.

I like this. :) I think it would look great engraved on a watch when one retires.  I worked very hard for a few years because I felt that I should be 'doing more' or 'getting further ahead' in my career. Turns out responsibility and work don't fit my personality so well.

Longwaytogo

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #39 on: July 25, 2016, 07:13:21 AM »
I never did this, but if I had to do it over again, I would do it that way.

I think I remember  you saying you/wife worked most summers via. Summer School,tutoring, furthering your education, etc. Plus of course you had real  estate stuff going on.

My question is - Had you done nothing (work related) in the Summers would you have considered those "mini-retirements" or would that be too short?

Just curious, for those on thread who don't know me my wife is a teacher and I'm sort of self employed and hope to join her in Summers off in 3-5 years after clearing up some debt.

arebelspy

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #40 on: July 25, 2016, 06:32:14 PM »
I never did this, but if I had to do it over again, I would do it that way.

I think I remember  you saying you/wife worked most summers via. Summer School,tutoring, furthering your education, etc. Plus of course you had real  estate stuff going on.

My question is - Had you done nothing (work related) in the Summers would you have considered those "mini-retirements" or would that be too short?

Just curious, for those on thread who don't know me my wife is a teacher and I'm sort of self employed and hope to join her in Summers off in 3-5 years after clearing up some debt.

Two months is nothing.  That's barely enough time to decompress.  We did a backpacking through Europe trip one summer, and that was great, but not like a retirement (even a mini-one).

I think I'd take 1-2 year sabbaticals, personally.

The wife and I just hit a year, approximately, and we discussed how we weren't quite ready to go back, though we could if we had to (e.g. if we had only saved up enough to take a year off, instead of being FI), but that in another year, we'd totally be energized and ready to work again, if we were planning on it.

I mean, sure, two months is better than the lousy two weeks most people get.  But we can spend a month or two just in a single town.  Having two months off to relax and vacation and decompress is quite a bit different than a retirement where you aren't just temporarily doing it, but you're living it.

IDK, it's hard to explain.  You'll see what I mean though, when you do fully FIRE and spend all your time with the wife/kids/stuff you want to do.  :)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

Longwaytogo

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #41 on: July 25, 2016, 09:13:27 PM »
I never did this, but if I had to do it over again, I would do it that way.

I think I remember  you saying you/wife worked most summers via. Summer School,tutoring, furthering your education, etc. Plus of course you had real  estate stuff going on.

My question is - Had you done nothing (work related) in the Summers would you have considered those "mini-retirements" or would that be too short?

Just curious, for those on thread who don't know me my wife is a teacher and I'm sort of self employed and hope to join her in Summers off in 3-5 years after clearing up some debt.

Two months is nothing.  That's barely enough time to decompress.  We did a backpacking through Europe trip one summer, and that was great, but not like a retirement (even a mini-one).

I think I'd take 1-2 year sabbaticals, personally.

The wife and I just hit a year, approximately, and we discussed how we weren't quite ready to go back, though we could if we had to (e.g. if we had only saved up enough to take a year off, instead of being FI), but that in another year, we'd totally be energized and ready to work again, if we were planning on it.

I mean, sure, two months is better than the lousy two weeks most people get.  But we can spend a month or two just in a single town.  Having two months off to relax and vacation and decompress is quite a bit different than a retirement where you aren't just temporarily doing it, but you're living it.

IDK, it's hard to explain.  You'll see what I mean though, when you do fully FIRE and spend all your time with the wife/kids/stuff you want to do.  :)

Your answer was exactly what I'd guessed. That you would consider 2 months too short.

Still, as you say better than the BS most people get (especially Americans). If you combine say an 8 week Summer with a week at Xmas and another at Easter your ending up with close to a full 50 week year off every 5 years. And if you have kids not only do you get to spend Summers with them but save untold money on Summer camps/daycare.

Anyway, cool thanks for the answer.

LAL

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #42 on: July 25, 2016, 11:31:17 PM »
DH took a year off August 2015 till today.  He started his new job/new career and is heaven.  He took off a year for multiple reasons.  He wanted to switch careers.  He felt he was missing out on everything I got to experience with the kids being SAHM.  We wanted to move.  We weren't like you and your GF we spent our 20s being poor academics.  When we started making money we saved for about a decade and had two kids and went to 1 income. 

For all the reasons I mentioned DH felt his career path wasn't the right fit anymore.  So he switched, turns out he's make more money than he used to and he was making quite a bit before.  Are we FI?  Not quite, but that's because we're spendypants.  But with this year off DH is more MOTIVATED than ever to get back to the grind (he can't imagine staying at home with the kids).  He's not interested in retiring early and now with a career he loves he's less inclined.

Instead he just likes having flexibility to quit and work when he feels.  Our FIRE date?  No plans.  But I always modeled we'd have enough by 42 and it's still likely if not sooner since he's making a ridiculous salary now.  We just never scaled our lifestyle up much from grad school

Metric Mouse

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #43 on: July 26, 2016, 04:27:29 AM »
I'll agree with the above. It took me several months of retirement to really feel 'free.'  There's a 'how long to decompress' thread that covers this topic pretty well.  A month or two is just a taste of the freedom you'll have when you're retired, and the knowledge that each day brings you closer to going back to work probably has a profound effect on the enjoyment of that time.

FIREby35

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #44 on: July 27, 2016, 06:37:39 AM »
I just booked my living arrangements for a 12 week sabbatical in Mexico December to March 2016-2017. I'll tell you all if it was too short in March. :)

arebelspy

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #45 on: July 27, 2016, 06:38:56 AM »
I just booked my living arrangements for a 12 week sabbatical in Mexico December to March 2016-2017. I'll tell you all if it was too short in March. :)

Nice, congrats.  :)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

Metric Mouse

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #46 on: July 27, 2016, 12:28:29 PM »
I just booked my living arrangements for a 12 week sabbatical in Mexico December to March 2016-2017. I'll tell you all if it was too short in March. :)

Super awesome! Very excited to know how it goes.

capoevename

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #47 on: July 27, 2016, 05:05:39 PM »
I just booked my living arrangements for a 12 week sabbatical in Mexico December to March 2016-2017. I'll tell you all if it was too short in March. :)
That's great to know! Thank you for thinking of sharing here :)

Metric Mouse

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #48 on: July 28, 2016, 10:27:58 AM »
All of this. I've taken short sabbaticals (month or 2) and long sabbaticals (couple of years with last one planned for 5 years) and FIRE is a whole different animal.

Knowing you never have to work again, unless you want to,  and that every single moment of the rest of your life you are free to do exactly want you want (more or less) is a very different feeling from knowing that you'll "have to" go back to work after your sabbatical ends. That doesn't mean long sabbaticals aren't great - they are and what I was doing myself but found FI along the way - but just a different mind set.

This is one of the reasons I love visiting this forum. It reminds me to never take the feeling of FIRE for granted, which can be easy to do when you wake up every day free to do whatever you wish.

Libertea

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #49 on: August 13, 2016, 04:59:38 PM »
OP, I am going to be trying out this strategy as well.  Quitting my job in March, will be spending two months abroad in April/May, then starting training for new job (semi-retirement job that I anticipate working at PT) in June.

Regarding mindset, I've thought a lot about this, because one of the issues I'm concerned about is what to do with myself during retirement.  I find that I get restless and bored after a couple of weeks with "nothing" to do.  I like setting goals for myself and pushing myself to achieve them (which no doubt is why I'm going to be able to achieve FI in the first place).  I've realized that what I really want is not to stop working altogether, but rather to work on my own terms, doing what I want, when I want.  And for sure not having to ask "permission" from some boss to take a measly two week vacation.  Heh.