Author Topic: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements  (Read 26064 times)

Classical_Liberal

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #100 on: February 26, 2017, 06:21:02 AM »
http://earlyretirementextreme.com/what-should-my-savings-rate-b.html

Quote
If you save 5% if your income, you can take 1 year off every time you work 19 years.
If you save 10% of your income, you can take 1 year off every time you work 9 years.
If you save 20% of your income, you can take 1 year off every time you work 4 years.
If you save 30% of your income, you can take 1 year off every time you work 2 years and 4 months.
If you save 40% of your income, you can take 1 year off every time you work 1 years and 6 months.
If you save 50% of your income, you can take 1 year off every time you work 1 year.
If you save 60% of your income, you can take 1 year and 6 months off every time you work 1 year.
If you save 70% of your income, you can take 2 years and 4 months off every time you work 1 year.
If you save 80% of your income, you can take 4 years off every time you work 1 year.
If you save 90% of your income, you can take 9 years off every time you work 1 year.

I like easy math.

monarda

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #101 on: February 26, 2017, 10:34:44 AM »
I just found this thread! I love the idea. I've been doing this not by choice. But it's worked out just fine.

Like some others, I work on soft money, and when a research grant runs out I sometimes have breaks of several months or more. The months off have allowed me to get a lot of projects on my "list" done.

For example, the most recent grant has been funded for 1.5 years- the future is uncertain. But I've been saving 90% of my income, living off of rental income- because during the 6 month gap (in 2015) before this position began we were (barely) able to live off of only that rental income.  I called it a "practice retirement" at the time.  It was great to know how well it worked.

I'm in a position now where folks at work are appreciating my skills (and age- 56) and I hope that some of the pool of them will be able to become short-term employers until full retirement.  I could go on like this for a while.  It feels good.




TheAnonOne

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #102 on: February 27, 2017, 06:40:32 AM »
To me, being 26 and 3 to 4 years from barebones FI it seems best to just "power through"

Heck, I write software and im looking for a client to fill my nights and weekends. I could shave that down to 2 years.

Realistically, it depends more on your income I think. We are decently high at a HHI of 200k (more if I work OT) and jumping away from that is daunting if you're not FI.

Long story short- at 24 and 26 making 200k and looking at realistically hitting FI at about 30 and RE a year or two after... makes more sense to just "finish the job"

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LAGuy

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #103 on: February 27, 2017, 07:29:31 AM »
To me, being 26 and 3 to 4 years from barebones FI it seems best to just "power through"

Heck, I write software and im looking for a client to fill my nights and weekends. I could shave that down to 2 years.

Realistically, it depends more on your income I think. We are decently high at a HHI of 200k (more if I work OT) and jumping away from that is daunting if you're not FI.

Long story short- at 24 and 26 making 200k and looking at realistically hitting FI at about 30 and RE a year or two after... makes more sense to just "finish the job"

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Well, one of the things about "powering through" is you start to realize that you're getting murdered on taxes. It starts to feel especially acute when your portfolio starts to take on a life of its own and goes up or down by far more than you could manage to contribute in a years worth of work anyways. A partial earlier retirement allows you to work less actual time even though it may take longer in actual linear years. Now that I only work half the year, I basically pay zero in federal taxes (thanks foreign tax credit!) and a few hundred in state. No escaping payroll taxes, however. But in all, I get to keep a lot more of the money I make and I can ease into full FIRE that way and still have my full time career available to me in the background should something not go according to plan.

TheAnonOne

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #104 on: February 27, 2017, 07:41:06 AM »
To me, being 26 and 3 to 4 years from barebones FI it seems best to just "power through"

Heck, I write software and im looking for a client to fill my nights and weekends. I could shave that down to 2 years.

Realistically, it depends more on your income I think. We are decently high at a HHI of 200k (more if I work OT) and jumping away from that is daunting if you're not FI.

Long story short- at 24 and 26 making 200k and looking at realistically hitting FI at about 30 and RE a year or two after... makes more sense to just "finish the job"

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Well, one of the things about "powering through" is you start to realize that you're getting murdered on taxes. It starts to feel especially acute when your portfolio starts to take on a life of its own and goes up or down by far more than you could manage to contribute in a years worth of work anyways. A partial earlier retirement allows you to work less actual time even though it may take longer in actual linear years. Now that I only work half the year, I basically pay zero in federal taxes (thanks foreign tax credit!) and a few hundred in state. No escaping payroll taxes, however. But in all, I get to keep a lot more of the money I make and I can ease into full FIRE that way and still have my full time career available to me in the background should something not go according to plan.
Very true!

At this point we 'only' have about 280k in the stash itself, so work is very strong.

Saving around 100k a year that number will be over half a million in about 2 years and around 750k before 4 years is up.

It seems to me that by the time the investment swings overpower MY work situation ill be a millionaire or more and decently into the FI zone. (Barebones at 750k)

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LAGuy

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #105 on: February 27, 2017, 06:19:10 PM »
To me, being 26 and 3 to 4 years from barebones FI it seems best to just "power through"

Heck, I write software and im looking for a client to fill my nights and weekends. I could shave that down to 2 years.

Realistically, it depends more on your income I think. We are decently high at a HHI of 200k (more if I work OT) and jumping away from that is daunting if you're not FI.

Long story short- at 24 and 26 making 200k and looking at realistically hitting FI at about 30 and RE a year or two after... makes more sense to just "finish the job"

Sent from my SM-G935T using Tapatalk

Well, one of the things about "powering through" is you start to realize that you're getting murdered on taxes. It starts to feel especially acute when your portfolio starts to take on a life of its own and goes up or down by far more than you could manage to contribute in a years worth of work anyways. A partial earlier retirement allows you to work less actual time even though it may take longer in actual linear years. Now that I only work half the year, I basically pay zero in federal taxes (thanks foreign tax credit!) and a few hundred in state. No escaping payroll taxes, however. But in all, I get to keep a lot more of the money I make and I can ease into full FIRE that way and still have my full time career available to me in the background should something not go according to plan.
Very true!

At this point we 'only' have about 280k in the stash itself, so work is very strong.

Saving around 100k a year that number will be over half a million in about 2 years and around 750k before 4 years is up.

It seems to me that by the time the investment swings overpower MY work situation ill be a millionaire or more and decently into the FI zone. (Barebones at 750k)

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Yeah, pretty much no way around putting in your dues and grinding out some earned income for a few years (though selling an appreciated primary residence for a huge profit is one way to cut the line!). Whenever I talk to people about what I'm doing I kind of feel myself starting with some variation of, "Well, the first thing you do is start with half a million dollars." lol

gerardc

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #106 on: February 27, 2017, 07:27:17 PM »
Yes with high income you definitely want to sprint to barebones FI first.

Then, things get a little blurry. You don't necessarily want to lose out on the income stream and career momentum (with no way of coming back) so you might be tempted to blast through baseline FI until.... when?

If you're young, there's more uncertainty (in your goals, what you want in your future, and your final FI number) so I think it best to ease into FIRE via sabbaticals, PT work or, even better IMO, freelancing. So you keep a foot in the door and keep things flexible for the future. I think that's what I'll do.

Classical_Liberal

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #107 on: February 28, 2017, 07:02:51 PM »
To me, being 26 and 3 to 4 years from barebones FI it seems best to just "power through"

Heck, I write software and im looking for a client to fill my nights and weekends. I could shave that down to 2 years.

Realistically, it depends more on your income I think. We are decently high at a HHI of 200k (more if I work OT) and jumping away from that is daunting if you're not FI.

Long story short- at 24 and 26 making 200k and looking at realistically hitting FI at about 30 and RE a year or two after... makes more sense to just "finish the job"

Sent from my SM-G935T using Tapatalk

Well, one of the things about "powering through" is you start to realize that you're getting murdered on taxes. It starts to feel especially acute when your portfolio starts to take on a life of its own and goes up or down by far more than you could manage to contribute in a years worth of work anyways. A partial earlier retirement allows you to work less actual time even though it may take longer in actual linear years. Now that I only work half the year, I basically pay zero in federal taxes (thanks foreign tax credit!) and a few hundred in state. No escaping payroll taxes, however. But in all, I get to keep a lot more of the money I make and I can ease into full FIRE that way and still have my full time career available to me in the background should something not go according to plan.

Beyond taxes the other, oft forgotten, advantage of taking the slow path is inflation.  Recency bias has us forgetting that high inflation happens and is one of the two killers of early retirement. Earn all of your stash up front and there's a risk returns can't keep up with a period of rapid inflation, this is the primary reason we see failures of 4% rule in the 60's.   Theoretically, income will keep pace with inflation hedging this risk. People accept very low reutrns from investments like TIP's, annuties, and gold for hedges which are not nearly as powerful.

TheAnonOne

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #108 on: February 28, 2017, 07:27:11 PM »
Yes with high income you definitely want to sprint to barebones FI first.

Then, things get a little blurry. You don't necessarily want to lose out on the income stream and career momentum (with no way of coming back) so you might be tempted to blast through baseline FI until.... when?

If you're young, there's more uncertainty (in your goals, what you want in your future, and your final FI number) so I think it best to ease into FIRE via sabbaticals, PT work or, even better IMO, freelancing. So you keep a foot in the door and keep things flexible for the future. I think that's what I'll do.

Actually, being in software myself, I was contemplating finding a 100% work-remote position. Have my wife fully retire when we hit the big MM mark. We want to travel long-term after that, starting as soon as it makes financial sense.

Seeing as how we are 24/26, presumably we could hit bare-bones (750) in the next 3.5 years or so and maybe set out traveling while I work remotely. I am not sure how it will all fall into place, but that seems like a plan to accelerate that stage of life.

gerardc

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #109 on: February 28, 2017, 08:30:36 PM »
Yes with high income you definitely want to sprint to barebones FI first.

Then, things get a little blurry. You don't necessarily want to lose out on the income stream and career momentum (with no way of coming back) so you might be tempted to blast through baseline FI until.... when?

If you're young, there's more uncertainty (in your goals, what you want in your future, and your final FI number) so I think it best to ease into FIRE via sabbaticals, PT work or, even better IMO, freelancing. So you keep a foot in the door and keep things flexible for the future. I think that's what I'll do.

Actually, being in software myself, I was contemplating finding a 100% work-remote position. Have my wife fully retire when we hit the big MM mark. We want to travel long-term after that, starting as soon as it makes financial sense.

Seeing as how we are 24/26, presumably we could hit bare-bones (750) in the next 3.5 years or so and maybe set out traveling while I work remotely. I am not sure how it will all fall into place, but that seems like a plan to accelerate that stage of life.

Yeah, FIREing a little early if you're younger makes sense because "trying to make money" (this time without sacrificing your lifestyle) is still a worthwhile enjoyable occupation. Chances are that will work out somehow.

100% remote in software doesn't seem that easy to find. You take a pay cut. You want to avoid low-balling offers on upwork and the like. Apparently a good way is to spend some time non-remote with a regular employer, then ask when they trust you, but you don't know for sure in advance. I think I'll try to find 1 or 2 good clients that trust me with regular work. No foolproof way though, you have to go along with the adventure, with your barebones stash as a back up...

See this recent thread:
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/wtf-do-we-still-commute-to-work-to-sit-and-use-a-computer/
and
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13230508

I feel so good WFH and being in control of my time and my mind VS an open floor plan. Actually with a remote job I'm not even sure I want to FIRE in the first place, the difference is that big.

TheAnonOne

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #110 on: March 01, 2017, 06:45:43 AM »




100% remote in software doesn't seem that easy to find. You take a pay cut. You want to avoid low-balling offers on upwork and the like. Apparently a good way is to spend some time non-remote with a regular employer, then ask when they trust you, but you don't know for sure in advance. I think I'll try to find 1 or 2 good clients that trust me with regular work. No foolproof way though, you have to go along with the adventure, with your barebones stash as a back up...



In this case though, you're at or very close to the 4% rule, maybe your at a 5 or 6 % SWR

So the pay cut isn't a big deal, it's just some income to hold you over for a few years while the growth and lesser savings push you over OR bump you into the 3% SWR and beyond.

We might drop from a 200k HHI to 80K but with 750k to 1M in the bank and yearly spending around 40k (maybe 50 with travel) 80k still generates yearly savings!

Just a thought! Might not work out, but I have 3 to 4 years before I need to really care/think about it.

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Libertea

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #111 on: March 09, 2017, 11:56:14 AM »
Well, one of the things about "powering through" is you start to realize that you're getting murdered on taxes. It starts to feel especially acute when your portfolio starts to take on a life of its own and goes up or down by far more than you could manage to contribute in a years worth of work anyways. A partial earlier retirement allows you to work less actual time even though it may take longer in actual linear years. Now that I only work half the year, I basically pay zero in federal taxes (thanks foreign tax credit!) and a few hundred in state. No escaping payroll taxes, however. But in all, I get to keep a lot more of the money I make and I can ease into full FIRE that way and still have my full time career available to me in the background should something not go according to plan.
This.  I paid about as much in taxes last year (2016) as I'll earn in salary this year (2017).  That's hard to wrap my mind around sometimes, because we're still talking about a pretty substantial amount of income here.  And since I'm a single person with no deductions, suffice it to say that I feel like I single-handedly funded Obamacare, Afghanistan, resettling refugees, and whatever other pet program you can think of for the past few years.  At this point, I'm perfectly content to take my half million (now closer to $600k) and throttle back a bit.  Let someone else pay for the next government boondoggle du jour.  ;-)

Metric Mouse

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #112 on: March 10, 2017, 06:16:20 AM »
Well, one of the things about "powering through" is you start to realize that you're getting murdered on taxes. It starts to feel especially acute when your portfolio starts to take on a life of its own and goes up or down by far more than you could manage to contribute in a years worth of work anyways. A partial earlier retirement allows you to work less actual time even though it may take longer in actual linear years. Now that I only work half the year, I basically pay zero in federal taxes (thanks foreign tax credit!) and a few hundred in state. No escaping payroll taxes, however. But in all, I get to keep a lot more of the money I make and I can ease into full FIRE that way and still have my full time career available to me in the background should something not go according to plan.
This.  I paid about as much in taxes last year (2016) as I'll earn in salary this year (2017).  That's hard to wrap my mind around sometimes, because we're still talking about a pretty substantial amount of income here.  And since I'm a single person with no deductions, suffice it to say that I feel like I single-handedly funded Obamacare, Afghanistan, resettling refugees, and whatever other pet program you can think of for the past few years.  At this point, I'm perfectly content to take my half million (now closer to $600k) and throttle back a bit.  Let someone else pay for the next government boondoggle du jour.  ;-)
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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #113 on: March 11, 2017, 04:33:12 AM »
Thanks to this thread I am planning for my first sabbatical March 31st 2020 :)

From that point on, it very well could be a bunch of mini retirements till full blown FI is reached. This is sounding more and more appealing the older I get and the more I run the #'s.
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Metric Mouse

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #114 on: March 11, 2017, 04:54:39 AM »
Thanks to this thread I am planning for my first sabbatical March 31st 2020 :)

From that point on, it very well could be a bunch of mini retirements till full blown FI is reached. This is sounding more and more appealing the older I get and the more I run the #'s.

Awesome! Good luck, and keep us updated!
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limeandpepper

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #115 on: March 11, 2017, 09:02:58 AM »
Sounds great, 2Birds1Stone!

Also:

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. :)

Apparently this is happening, we're planning our 2017 sabbatical right now. I basically just decided today I'd like it to happen 6 months from now, haha. Hasn't even been that long since the one we did in 2014, this feels so luxurious!

Classical_Liberal

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #116 on: March 11, 2017, 09:42:58 AM »
Thanks to this thread I am planning for my first sabbatical March 31st 2020 :)

From that point on, it very well could be a bunch of mini retirements till full blown FI is reached. This is sounding more and more appealing the older I get and the more I run the #'s.

Congrats! 1114 days and counting!

I'm glad to see you are making these plans, you've been hanging around the SemiRE posts long enough to know it was coming sooner or later. 

I'm taking a month off mid-April to mid-May this year, that's the most I can bring myself to do at this point. I ain't got the guts of 2B1S, probably not as much $ either :( 

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #117 on: March 11, 2017, 10:59:57 AM »
Awesome! Good luck, and keep us updated!

Thank you, most certainly will!

Sounds great, 2Birds1Stone!

Also:

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. :)

Apparently this is happening, we're planning our 2017 sabbatical right now. I basically just decided today I'd like it to happen 6 months from now, haha. Hasn't even been that long since the one we did in 2014, this feels so luxurious!

That's fantastic!! The power of high savings rate is amazing eh?


Congrats! 1114 days and counting!

I'm glad to see you are making these plans, you've been hanging around the SemiRE posts long enough to know it was coming sooner or later. 

I'm taking a month off mid-April to mid-May this year, that's the most I can bring myself to do at this point. I ain't got the guts of 2B1S, probably not as much $ either :( 

Yes sir! As the 'stache grows and the tolerance for cubicle life dwindles these things just seem to follow a natural progression.

Eh, my NW is only ~$275k right now all in. I'm hoping to be in the $400-500k range when I take that 6 months off.

That would put me at barebones FI, where I could easily cover my needs, but not my wants. From there it's a matter of, is work worth whatever I "want"?

The biggest question I have is how it will effect my relationship with SO. She is 4 years my junior and has only been working full time for ~2 years now. I have a feeling she will want to take off with me, but will have a lot less accumulated by that point. Time will tell.
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limeandpepper

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #118 on: March 11, 2017, 11:17:11 AM »
The biggest question I have is how it will effect my relationship with SO. She is 4 years my junior and has only been working full time for ~2 years now. I have a feeling she will want to take off with me, but will have a lot less accumulated by that point. Time will tell.

What does she think about it now?

My boyfriend was probably interested in going for our first sabbatical about a year or two before we actually did, but he waited for me to feel more comfortable about the amount of money I had. Also just several months ago, he mentioned wanting to go on another one and I wasn't ready then, but I sure am now and probably more enthusiastic than he is. :D  Hope it works out for you!

Classical_Liberal

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #119 on: March 11, 2017, 11:42:55 AM »
I ran across this older post from ERE recently.  It's very pertinent to the whole SemiRE/Serial Retirement idea.  A very simple spreadsheet he did that reinforces the point; if we are willing to earn some money, we have already won the game. Maybe I'm just positing it to get some selective exposure to strengthen my resolve and set a date like the man 2B1S.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #120 on: March 11, 2017, 11:50:47 AM »
Awesome! Good luck, and keep us updated!

Thank you, most certainly will!

Sounds great, 2Birds1Stone!

Also:

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. :)

Apparently this is happening, we're planning our 2017 sabbatical right now. I basically just decided today I'd like it to happen 6 months from now, haha. Hasn't even been that long since the one we did in 2014, this feels so luxurious!

That's fantastic!! The power of high savings rate is amazing eh?


Congrats! 1114 days and counting!

I'm glad to see you are making these plans, you've been hanging around the SemiRE posts long enough to know it was coming sooner or later. 

I'm taking a month off mid-April to mid-May this year, that's the most I can bring myself to do at this point. I ain't got the guts of 2B1S, probably not as much $ either :( 

Yes sir! As the 'stache grows and the tolerance for cubicle life dwindles these things just seem to follow a natural progression.

Eh, my NW is only ~$275k right now all in. I'm hoping to be in the $400-500k range when I take that 6 months off.

That would put me at barebones FI, where I could easily cover my needs, but not my wants. From there it's a matter of, is work worth whatever I "want"?

The biggest question I have is how it will effect my relationship with SO. She is 4 years my junior and has only been working full time for ~2 years now. I have a feeling she will want to take off with me, but will have a lot less accumulated by that point. Time will tell.
Why would they not be able to take off? Surely in 6 months with some tight saving they could save enough money for a year long sabbatical.  Wouldn't be FI, but shouldn't be hard for them to do a mini retirement for awhile.
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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #121 on: March 11, 2017, 10:14:32 PM »
Sounds great, 2Birds1Stone!

Also:

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. :)

Apparently this is happening, we're planning our 2017 sabbatical right now. I basically just decided today I'd like it to happen 6 months from now, haha. Hasn't even been that long since the one we did in 2014, this feels so luxurious!
We did a first one - 3.5 months in 2015 and are going to do a second one in 2020. Husband is happy to work until 2020 until he gets his long service leave, I am ready to quit yesterday ( and he is well aware of that) :)
so hopefully I can get a new job, flexible work, entrepreneur idea, or a combination of all until then. Or will suck it up and continue the grind for another 3 years.
To be honest, while I would love to RE , if financially it's not possible in 2020 I'll be happy to work 6 months of each year and then slow travel another 6. 

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #122 on: March 12, 2017, 09:41:27 AM »
Why would they not be able to take off? Surely in 6 months with some tight saving they could save enough money for a year long sabbatical.  Wouldn't be FI, but shouldn't be hard for them to do a mini retirement for awhile.

True, I guess the biggest concern is leaving right at the height of a budding career before being barebone FI.

A lot of time between now and then though. Currently I believe she is at roughly 3X annual spending in NW.
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Classical_Liberal

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #123 on: March 12, 2017, 01:08:46 PM »
Pulling info from the health insurance threads, it seems the republican plan that now has Trumps support is not a great thing for the country...but... Could be a good thing for Semi-retirees who work part time or via contracts.  If this passes it will be yet another compelling reason for me to go this route.

http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2017/03/07/examining-the-house-republican-aca-repeal-and-replace-legislation/

Quote
The annual tax credit amount is established at $2,000 for an individual under 30, $2500 for those age 30 to 39, $3,000 for those age 40 to 49; $3,500 for those age 50 to 59, and $4,000 for those age 60 and over. The tax credit begins to phase out when a taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income reaches $75,000 ($150,000 for joint filers) adjusted annually by the consumer price index plus one percentage point for inflation after 2020. It phases out by 10 percent of the excess of the modified adjusted gross income above this amount, so the tax credit would disappear for a 29 year old when income reached $95,000 and for a 60 year old when income reached $115,000.

Those are some pretty substantial tax credits with pretty high incomes.  Under the ACA a semi-retiree would pretty quickly fall off the subsidy cliff with income over 250% poverty level and are required to hold a relatively "good" policy.  Under this new plan, a semi-retiree can self-insure with a more catastrophic policy and get some pretty decent tax credits that'd probably cover most of the premiums (if you are healthy), even up to a 75K income level. IOW if you plan to make 25-75K a year and would prefer to fund a HSA over having "better" insurance this is very good news.  If you end up getting very sick before medicare, this is probably bad news, but a fully funded HSA in the years you didn't need it could compensate for that eventuality. 

I'm curious what others in this thread think regarding their specific semi-re plans/situations.
Edit: I'm also curious, those of you who have Semi-Re'ed, are you using/getting ACA coverage and/or subsidies?

Note: Lets confine the comments to how this applies to semi-re as there are plenty of other threads debating the morality/workability of this plan in general. Thx
« Last Edit: March 12, 2017, 01:32:31 PM by Classical_Liberal »

sam

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #124 on: March 13, 2017, 06:48:17 AM »
Got my third mini retirement coming up this September! At least 3 months in South America - Can't wait :D
Based in the UK? www.moneynest.co.uk provides financial advice for 20-30yr olds.

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IFiRun

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #125 on: March 13, 2017, 10:08:55 AM »
Serial Mini Retirements are a great way to explore other talents/interests while not fully letting go of the career that 'pays the big bucks'.  I have left my field of Finance many times to do a myriad of things: develop a software program, buy and revamp a small business, have 3 kids (longer term maternity leaves: with or without employment), earn a Masters degree in Exercise Science so I can better understand my athletic performances; worked as a strength coach, flipped houses, and just be a bum (not really).  During each of these career transgressions, I voluntarily left my employment and felt totally financially secure knowing I had sufficient cash holdings and the ability to get back into the workforce at a decent salary.  At the age of 46, I resigned my full-time and incredibly boring position to retire.  However, my employer offered me flexible half time work so I am able to volunteer at my kid's school, train for races, and open more opportunities to make a positive impact.  My boss, who clearly doesn't understand FIRE, cringed during my resignation discussion and stated "I don't want you to be in the position of not having a job".  ha ha

Many people don't understand the concept of leaving the workforce for self-imposed sabbaticals and thus it is sometimes difficult to get the rationale across to employment recruiters.  Getting back into the workforce at a similar level position and/or wage may be a challenge.  Having employment gaps on the resume and job application is sketchy to the more traditional hiring managers.  I have always had business ownership, whether it be the LLC that covers my rental property, or the S-Corp that holds my part-time business, that I put on my resume to fill in some of the time gaps. 

Another issue I had during a longer sabbatical from the technological side of the Finance industry is that skills do erode over time.  Technology moves fast and new releases of software can be challenging.  Thus, it is important to stay current with the industry and understand current events. 

If you are unsure of early retirement, pursue your desires, give yourself sufficient time and then decide whether or not to get back into the workforce. Jobs are always out there waiting.

bacchi

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #126 on: March 13, 2017, 10:45:00 AM »
Actually, being in software myself, I was contemplating finding a 100% work-remote position. Have my wife fully retire when we hit the big MM mark. We want to travel long-term after that, starting as soon as it makes financial sense.

Remote work+travel is a good waypoint but it's no fun to see the SO take off for a bike ride on a beautiful day and you're stuck in front of the laptop trying to fix a critical bug. Or, you're about to hike up a mountain and a server goes down and the client is losing money and, please, it needs fixing right now, STAT!

It definitely beats cubicle life, of course.

TheAnonOne

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #127 on: March 13, 2017, 10:50:34 AM »
Actually, being in software myself, I was contemplating finding a 100% work-remote position. Have my wife fully retire when we hit the big MM mark. We want to travel long-term after that, starting as soon as it makes financial sense.

Remote work+travel is a good waypoint but it's no fun to see the SO take off for a bike ride on a beautiful day and you're stuck in front of the laptop trying to fix a critical bug. Or, you're about to hike up a mountain and a server goes down and the client is losing money and, please, it needs fixing right now, STAT!

It definitely beats cubicle life, of course.
Right, but it's only temporary. If you had 5 years to FIRE like myself, would you rather stick it out in one go? . . . OR

Extend the time to TRUE FIRE by 1 year, and go 3 years at home and 3 years in a mobile career?

Neither is a bad option but in the travel case you still got to go see the world, venturing out on nights and weekends. Maybe taking some time off for bigger items (aka, hiking up a mountain or whatever floats your boat)

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Classical_Liberal

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #128 on: March 13, 2017, 07:02:39 PM »
I have left my field of Finance many times to do a myriad of things...

This is good Stuff IfiRun!  Long term experience with this is great for my learn'en organ.

A big concern with the idea of serial retirements is I may never wanna get back into the game.  In which case, I would have kind'a boned myself by not just sucking it up a few more years in the current cash maximizing position.  OTOH, I could see it going the complete opposite way.  Sticking it out to the bitter end, then after a year doing something else having the craving to get back into one of my old fields. 

Curious about what made you come back after pursuing other interests in those cases?  Was money an issue, or did you want to get back in the old game?  Or maybe for different reasons each time?  Were there any hints you noticed in yourself, pointing to a future in which you'd eventually want to go back?  Thx!

FIREby35

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #129 on: March 14, 2017, 06:40:53 PM »
I ran across this older post from ERE recently.  It's very pertinent to the whole SemiRE/Serial Retirement idea.  A very simple spreadsheet he did that reinforces the point; if we are willing to earn some money, we have already won the game. Maybe I'm just positing it to get some selective exposure to strengthen my resolve and set a date like the man 2B1S.

I'll respond! I read the link and this is exactly what motivated me to "pull of the gas" despite not being fulle FI. I/We can take a month or two off of work because I/we have already "won the race." The staches of 500k generally discussed on this thread are enough to snowball themselves into being huge. If we add anything to our current staches, even less than normal because we are off traveling, it doesn't really matter. Adding just a little starts getting crazy. Maths don't lie.

It has taken me a while to adjust to this new reality - mostly because it is even more awesome than I anticipated :)

yyc-phil

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #130 on: March 14, 2017, 08:31:42 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. :)

DW and I and our cat took off to Mexico last fall in our SUV with a rooftop tent, and just came back to Canada a few weeks ago. It took us two months of slow travel to explore the national parks, forests, and other natural wonders of the US Southwest where we mostly camped on public lands, before crossing to Mexico where we spent almost four months. It was awesome. Technically I was still working and getting paid part time so financially there was no impact whatsoever on our stash so I will continue this arrangement for as long as I can. We are leaving again for Mexico at the end of the summer, this time for a bit longer, coming back in May 2018. Our original plan was to drive the Americas from northern Canada to Patagonia but after crisscrossing the western and central part of Mexico, we want to spend at least another year or longer to check out the rest of Mexico on the western side including Yucatan.

Hopefully we'll meet on the road! Cheers, Phil
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gerardc

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #131 on: March 20, 2017, 01:18:32 AM »
A lot of people on this forum are not really FIRing anyway. They are so risk averse. They hide behind a 500k-1m barebones stash that covers their expenses at 4%, but then they just take a few months off and keep earning. Lol.

That's actually a good strategy. Don't touch your baseline stash and let it grow until you're 65, at which point it is more like 2-4m inflation adjusted, and serves as your real retirement nest egg. Until then, sit back, act "irresponsible" like everyone else and earn the bare minimum to survive, with plenty of time off and vacations.


Serial Mini Retirements are a great way to explore other talents/interests while not fully letting go of the career that 'pays the big bucks'.  I have left my field of Finance many times to do a myriad of things: develop a software program, buy and revamp a small business, have 3 kids (longer term maternity leaves: with or without employment), earn a Masters degree in Exercise Science so I can better understand my athletic performances; worked as a strength coach, flipped houses, and just be a bum (not really).  During each of these career transgressions, I voluntarily left my employment and felt totally financially secure knowing I had sufficient cash holdings and the ability to get back into the workforce at a decent salary.  At the age of 46, I resigned my full-time and incredibly boring position to retire.  However, my employer offered me flexible half time work so I am able to volunteer at my kid's school, train for races, and open more opportunities to make a positive impact.  My boss, who clearly doesn't understand FIRE, cringed during my resignation discussion and stated "I don't want you to be in the position of not having a job".  ha ha

Many people don't understand the concept of leaving the workforce for self-imposed sabbaticals and thus it is sometimes difficult to get the rationale across to employment recruiters.  Getting back into the workforce at a similar level position and/or wage may be a challenge.  Having employment gaps on the resume and job application is sketchy to the more traditional hiring managers.  I have always had business ownership, whether it be the LLC that covers my rental property, or the S-Corp that holds my part-time business, that I put on my resume to fill in some of the time gaps. 

Another issue I had during a longer sabbatical from the technological side of the Finance industry is that skills do erode over time.  Technology moves fast and new releases of software can be challenging.  Thus, it is important to stay current with the industry and understand current events. 

If you are unsure of early retirement, pursue your desires, give yourself sufficient time and then decide whether or not to get back into the workforce. Jobs are always out there waiting.

Interesting, but those statements sound somewhat contradicting to me. Are you saying coming back to a job is a slightly bigger challenge than otherwise, but definitely doable and not a deal breaker at all?

limeandpepper

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #132 on: March 20, 2017, 09:12:48 AM »
Got my third mini retirement coming up this September! At least 3 months in South America - Can't wait :D

Sounds exciting! Mine is 4 months in Asia and also starts in September. I'd love to go to South America someday. Which countries are you planning to visit?

Sustainable Happiness

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #133 on: March 20, 2017, 11:18:48 AM »
I already posted my story in a similar thread, however it is even more applicable to this one in the immediate future.

I have the unique (Canadian) opportunity coming up in the Fall to take an unpaid 8-month paternity leave when our first baby is born. I fully plan on taking it and attempting in that 8-months to develop a lifestyle that is self-supporting through either various income streams or 1 that I enjoy or text the mini-retirement concept.

Currently about 30% of our expense will be covered by my part-time teaching job at ~6 hours per week, toss in some other activities and a few bucks through entrepreneurship and I may be able to cover them entirely without help from DW. That being said, she will be going back to some kind of work after her maternity leave so if I can cover it, the rest is gravy.

Luckily I'll have a fall-back to go back to my 9-5 if necessary, but I hope to not use it. Anyways, if you are Canadian and reading this, read into Maternity and Paternity leave laws yourself or call the labour department or get an official labour department pamphlet and read thoroughly. Do not rely on 'common knowledge' of the law, there is much more flexibility for both partners than most people think if 1 partner is willing to forgo an primary income entirely (which is rare, but I assume more common for mustachians). It allows for an essentially risk free sabbatical (not including employer confusion/anger at you leaving).

Classical_Liberal

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #134 on: March 20, 2017, 06:29:05 PM »
A lot of people on this forum are not really FIRing anyway. They are so risk averse. They hide behind a 500k-1m barebones stash that covers their expenses at 4%, but then they just take a few months off and keep earning. Lol.

I do think many on the forum are rather conservative in thinking they will never want to work again once they pull the plug, particularly the younger ones. However, many (including myself) legitimately don't want or need more of an income that 500K-1m can provide for the long haul though.

Although I think there is some truth to what you've written.  My guess is, once people FIRE, take a year or two do do stuff they have been putting off, then they get a bit antsy and decide to start working again.  This time though, they just do whatever they want, on their own terms, without money as a motivator.  This leads to a much more fulfilling experience the second go-round.  This thread is more about having these realizations up front rather than a few years into FIRE.  Understanding and accepting one will likely work and earn again... eventually... means the need to be overly conservative up front is not required.

I already posted my story in a similar thread, however it is even more applicable to this one in the immediate future.

So good to see you over here too!

capoevename

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #135 on: June 16, 2017, 02:13:40 PM »
It's been a year since my original post. I thought I would share what has happened since:
  • Joint stash went from ~250K to ~480K. Crazy... and I'm not sure how that happened. We don't really budget but have generally frugal habits, we both have engineering salaries, and invest 100% in VTSAX (not anymore).
  • We became a 1 car couple. Sold my car for 8K and I'm biking to work everyday (6 miles each way). SO drives to work and we share her car for other things.
  • We have not jumped into sabbaticals but kept our previous traveling habits (4-5 weeks of travel through out the year, which we really enjoy).
My mentality around FI/RE has also evolved in this last year.

The thing is, software is my craft. I don't see myself stopping software development any time soon; it brings a lot of enjoyment to my life. So FI/RE is more about having the freedom to build more flexibility into my work. And that's not only achieved by FI/REing but also by being way better at it, which I try to every day. Being above average at software (ouh sorry if I'm sounding cocky :( ) has already given me a certain amount of flexibility (working from home when I want, no issues taking vacation, leaving earlier when I want, etc). The craft/reward mentality is a cycle that builds upon itself; the better I get at this craft I like, the more rewards I enjoy, the more I like the craft, the more I sustain my efforts, the better I get at this craft... I think I'm more inclined towards the SWAMI way.

And so I'm not in as much as a rush as I was last year, I don't mind if it takes a couple of more years to reach FI/RE. The stash is already at a point that my mind is at ease with the "need" to work; worse comes to worse I could coast along making 20K per year. And we're both "only" 27. This does not mean I'm going to become a "spendy pants", but I'll probably spend a little more than I did last year, mostly in things I enjoy and have cut back a bit since discovering MMM. Going to cafes, theater/music/art shows, some restaurant dinners with friends and family, happy hours, enjoying the city I live in, etc. Though keeping in mind that those are just decorations on top of joyful hard work.

The original mini-retirement idea may happen in the future, but not right now. It currently feels escapist, and I don't have the desire to voluntarily quit a situation I feel very engaged in.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 09:14:03 AM by capoevename »

Strick

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #136 on: June 18, 2017, 04:23:22 PM »
I did this a decade ago because of very good money available from contract gigs I had to leave town for.  I could make expenses for us in 4-5 months, so in 6 months expenses plus a good bit of savings, then spend the rest of the time at home with SAHM and kids....its not like we had the incentive to work more and inflate lifestyle because that meant more time away...so it actually pushed us to be more frugal

It was too hard being away from family so much...but if I could have made this work from my own town it would have been great...the half year I was at home I felt like the luckiest person on earth...

mcampbell

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #137 on: June 23, 2017, 10:28:24 AM »
I'm 2 months into my first serial mini retirement. This has been some of the best time of my life. I've been insanely busy to the point, I don't know how I ever worked. I'm taking Japanese, Thai, Badminton and Tango classes. Spending more time with my son and wife, living normal hours. Its great I almost never want to leave. My burn rate is closer to $90k but I could FIRE today if I got it down to $60k. Mostly because of private school, public schools are well beyond garbage in Thailand. I'm flipping back and forth between working 3 months out of the year, or going back for another 3-5 years and get enough to FIRE at $90k. I truly recommend this to anyone considering taking time off. Its a great compromise

gerardc

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #138 on: June 23, 2017, 06:45:45 PM »
I'm 2 months into my first serial mini retirement. This has been some of the best time of my life. I've been insanely busy to the point, I don't know how I ever worked. I'm taking Japanese, Thai, Badminton and Tango classes. Spending more time with my son and wife, living normal hours. Its great I almost never want to leave. My burn rate is closer to $90k but I could FIRE today if I got it down to $60k. Mostly because of private school, public schools are well beyond garbage in Thailand. I'm flipping back and forth between working 3 months out of the year, or going back for another 3-5 years and get enough to FIRE at $90k. I truly recommend this to anyone considering taking time off. Its a great compromise

Wait, you spend US$90k/year in Thailand? I thought Thailand was cheap, like $2k/month more than enough for a family.

arebelspy

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #139 on: June 23, 2017, 06:50:37 PM »
I'm 2 months into my first serial mini retirement. This has been some of the best time of my life. I've been insanely busy to the point, I don't know how I ever worked. I'm taking Japanese, Thai, Badminton and Tango classes. Spending more time with my son and wife, living normal hours. Its great I almost never want to leave. My burn rate is closer to $90k but I could FIRE today if I got it down to $60k. Mostly because of private school, public schools are well beyond garbage in Thailand. I'm flipping back and forth between working 3 months out of the year, or going back for another 3-5 years and get enough to FIRE at $90k. I truly recommend this to anyone considering taking time off. Its a great compromise

Wait, you spend US$90k/year in Thailand? I thought Thailand was cheap, like $2k/month more than enough for a family.

Totally is.  But understand people can spend whatever they want/can. Some people easily spend hundreds of thousands per year in the U.S.
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eddie

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #140 on: June 24, 2017, 07:32:16 PM »
I would love to take a long break.  I've been talking about it with my wife for a couple years but we just can't fully wrap our heads around it.

My wife is a Trauma PA so she thinks about every possible thing that can go wrong because she bad things at work every day.  I have a very niche career (selling track & cross country uniforms, shoes, equipment, timing xc meets) and it has taken me 8 years to build my business up.

What do we do for health care for 3-12 months?

My wife will easily be able to find a job, but what will I do? I know my boss would want me back after the break, but if I take off for a year I would lose a lot of business.  We could take off April-June relatively easily, but not a whole year.  That might be the best option.

But we also have a 10 month old baby and probably want another one in the next 2 years.  Priorities.  We can't do everything. 

mcampbell

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #141 on: June 27, 2017, 10:22:48 AM »
I'm 2 months into my first serial mini retirement. This has been some of the best time of my life. I've been insanely busy to the point, I don't know how I ever worked. I'm taking Japanese, Thai, Badminton and Tango classes. Spending more time with my son and wife, living normal hours. Its great I almost never want to leave. My burn rate is closer to $90k but I could FIRE today if I got it down to $60k. Mostly because of private school, public schools are well beyond garbage in Thailand. I'm flipping back and forth between working 3 months out of the year, or going back for another 3-5 years and get enough to FIRE at $90k. I truly recommend this to anyone considering taking time off. Its a great compromise

Wait, you spend US$90k/year in Thailand? I thought Thailand was cheap, like $2k/month more than enough for a family.

Thailand is cheap, you can easily live on $2k a month. I live in Bangkok which is more expensive then a midtier American city, but you get quality of living closer to NYC. I live in downtown in a posh neighborhood and want for nothing. Also Private school is $20k a year so thats a good portion. I'm not sure many American cities you can live a full all out lifestyle in a huge condo, for $60k salary. I think most mustachians live in homes in suburbs, which is a huge cost difference. If I lived outside the city I would probably spend 30-40k USD a year.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #142 on: June 27, 2017, 12:07:51 PM »
3 months since my last post.

Net worth has grown, and I should finish June ~$308k in investable assets. The idea of a mini retirement is sounding more and more appealing, and the thought of having to wait till April 1 2020 is a bummer.

The good news, we have a plan for how we want to spend our 9 months off. I will be traveling to Europe to spend time with family in Poland from mid April till end of June. In June I will come back to NY and depart on a 8-10 week motorcycle trip to Alaska and through the entire USA with my Dad, who plans on retiring shortly before then.

In mid September we will return to NY and SO and I will take a few months to travel around the USA visiting some cities on our bucket list, do some camping in the New England fall season. After the Thanksgiving/Xmas/NY holidays we plan to go back to work. Likely full time for another 2 years before taking another 6-12 months. Rinse and repeat till the stache covers all joint expenses @ 4% withdrawal.

Right now my $308k @ 4% will cover my half of the rent/utilities/car-motorcycle-renters insurance/groceries/cellphone/gym membership, so I am super barebones FI if I can get health/dental insurance through my SO's employer. By April 1 2020, I hope to be in the $450-500k range.
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limeandpepper

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #143 on: June 27, 2017, 12:18:14 PM »
Net worth has grown, and I should finish June ~$308k in investable assets. The idea of a mini retirement is sounding more and more appealing, and the thought of having to wait till April 1 2020 is a bummer.

So I understand you want to wait for your partner to do the mini retirement together, hence 2020... but maybe you can do a mini-mini-retirement before then by yourself?

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #144 on: June 27, 2017, 12:28:03 PM »
Net worth has grown, and I should finish June ~$308k in investable assets. The idea of a mini retirement is sounding more and more appealing, and the thought of having to wait till April 1 2020 is a bummer.

So I understand you want to wait for your partner to do the mini retirement together, hence 2020... but maybe you can do a mini-mini-retirement before then by yourself?

Unfortunately due to my line of work at Megacorp that is unlikely to happen. Unless I take super short mini retirements without telling my employer ;)

I might just start abusing our "unlimited" PTO policy, not yet......but when we get a bit closer.
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Sustainable Happiness

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #145 on: June 27, 2017, 02:28:50 PM »
3 months since last post. DW just started her first mini-retirement leave. She was working straight nights (while preggers) so the change in sleep levels has been significant with a corresponding improvement in mood stability. She also is able to walk to my work to "pick me up" each day which is really fun and we have 2 back packs to grab some groceries on the walk home! Add in the coffee and tea together in the morning and I am really thinking heavily about the idea of never going back to work full time again with 10-12x years of expenses saved. That's a lot of time to have to fuck around (or work on further reducing expenses) without accidently making money.

My count down to mini-R day is 3 months.

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #146 on: June 27, 2017, 03:21:07 PM »
Full disclosure: I have not read the entire thread.

What's everyone's number to where they are comfortable taking a mini retirement? I was hoping to get to 500k NW (for a couple) because that's my around estimate for supporting our age 60+ retirement. But I'm running out of patience. And most days I dream about just doing it. But I'm also terrified to spend any of our stash because it was such a struggle to get to this point. We're at 437k now, but taking a year off would have us spending that down to 350k.

My main concerns are finding a job after returning (or never wanting to return!). It took me over two years and a big paycut to get my current position when I was unemployed in 2010. DH and I are also interested in a career change but have no ideas on what that entails. I'm worried if we took a mini retirement we'd be shooting ourselves in the foot big time ):
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2Birds1Stone

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #147 on: June 27, 2017, 06:00:32 PM »
Full disclosure: I have not read the entire thread.

What's everyone's number to where they are comfortable taking a mini retirement? I was hoping to get to 500k NW (for a couple) because that's my around estimate for supporting our age 60+ retirement. But I'm running out of patience. And most days I dream about just doing it. But I'm also terrified to spend any of our stash because it was such a struggle to get to this point. We're at 437k now, but taking a year off would have us spending that down to 350k.

My main concerns are finding a job after returning (or never wanting to return!). It took me over two years and a big paycut to get my current position when I was unemployed in 2010. DH and I are also interested in a career change but have no ideas on what that entails. I'm worried if we took a mini retirement we'd be shooting ourselves in the foot big time ):

Wtf, a year off would cost you $87k?!?

I'm thinking the $500k threshold as a couple as well, but our spending is only $40-45k/yr in a VERY HCOL area.
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LAGuy

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #148 on: June 27, 2017, 10:10:25 PM »
Full disclosure: I have not read the entire thread.

What's everyone's number to where they are comfortable taking a mini retirement? I was hoping to get to 500k NW (for a couple) because that's my around estimate for supporting our age 60+ retirement. But I'm running out of patience. And most days I dream about just doing it. But I'm also terrified to spend any of our stash because it was such a struggle to get to this point. We're at 437k now, but taking a year off would have us spending that down to 350k.

My main concerns are finding a job after returning (or never wanting to return!). It took me over two years and a big paycut to get my current position when I was unemployed in 2010. DH and I are also interested in a career change but have no ideas on what that entails. I'm worried if we took a mini retirement we'd be shooting ourselves in the foot big time ):

Wtf, a year off would cost you $87k?!?

I'm thinking the $500k threshold as a couple as well, but our spending is only $40-45k/yr in a VERY HCOL area.

Perhaps they're hoping to maintain their old life/mortgage/rent/etc on top of funding a year of travel.

mcampbell

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #149 on: June 27, 2017, 10:27:40 PM »
Full disclosure: I have not read the entire thread.

What's everyone's number to where they are comfortable taking a mini retirement? I was hoping to get to 500k NW (for a couple) because that's my around estimate for supporting our age 60+ retirement. But I'm running out of patience. And most days I dream about just doing it. But I'm also terrified to spend any of our stash because it was such a struggle to get to this point. We're at 437k now, but taking a year off would have us spending that down to 350k.

My main concerns are finding a job after returning (or never wanting to return!). It took me over two years and a big paycut to get my current position when I was unemployed in 2010. DH and I are also interested in a career change but have no ideas on what that entails. I'm worried if we took a mini retirement we'd be shooting ourselves in the foot big time ):

Wtf, a year off would cost you $87k?!?

I'm thinking the $500k threshold as a couple as well, but our spending is only $40-45k/yr in a VERY HCOL area.

Perhaps they're hoping to maintain their old life/mortgage/rent/etc on top of funding a year of travel.

Yeah I think with the one year serial retirement, it's a lot harder to drop your expenses since you don't have any long term horizon. So you likely won't move from your current house, car payments etc. Since it's your first year of freedom you probably want to make trips abroad and what not also