Author Topic: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements  (Read 55443 times)

limeandpepper

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #200 on: January 22, 2018, 09:19:36 AM »
Thanks Classical_Liberal! Not sure how I feel about working again, ha! I think if I find a job that I find reasonably interesting, then it would be alright! :)

Adding to recent discussion, I'm a low-income earner and do not have a set career trajectory, so mini-retirements don't disrupt much. Actually, they're a great excuse to take care of myself and go off to do whatever I want, when a job situation is starting to really bother me. It's like a reset button and then I go back to the working world again and get a different job that I can enjoy/tolerate for at least a while. ;)

My partner is a freelancer and taking time off isn't a big deal. He just informs potential clients that he won't be available until X date. He was already entertaining potential contracts with two different companies towards the end of our travels. Still in discussion now and hopefully something pans out!

So anyway I guess we're lucky that it's worked out well for us in terms of both of us being interested in this kind of lifestyle and both willing to make it happen!

Blissful Biker

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #201 on: January 22, 2018, 09:53:41 AM »
Serial Mini Retirements!

My work is project based and I work hard and always deliver.  Projects are usually 18-24 months long and mid way I always request a leave of absence upon completion of the project, generally 3-4 months but has been up to 6 months.  My boss, who's focus is the current project, has always agreed.  Time off between projects is far sweeter than any 2 week vacation during a project with emails and issues piling up while you are away.   I've had this lifestyle for 20 years and love it. 

We have had some incredible adventures and the satisfaction of living our lives to the fullest.  It has postponed FIRE but in my opinion it was worth it.  With the kids now in Jr high it is harder to take take them out of school for extended periods so I have shifted to part time - another means to balance enjoying today and enjoying the future.

Even with a dozen mini retirements and working part time I will still retire in my early 50's.  A compromise I am happy with.

FIREby35

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #202 on: February 03, 2018, 09:22:36 AM »
Mini-retirement #2 is on the way, 5 weeks in Mexico starting in 11 days. Last year it was 9 weeks.

Booyah!

limeandpepper

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #203 on: February 03, 2018, 09:47:33 AM »
My work is project based and I work hard and always deliver.  Projects are usually 18-24 months long and mid way I always request a leave of absence upon completion of the project, generally 3-4 months but has been up to 6 months.  My boss, who's focus is the current project, has always agreed.  Time off between projects is far sweeter than any 2 week vacation during a project with emails and issues piling up while you are away.   I've had this lifestyle for 20 years and love it.

That sounds awesome to have 3+ months off every 2 years! I'd like that a lot!

Mini-retirement #2 is on the way, 5 weeks in Mexico starting in 11 days. Last year it was 9 weeks.

Booyah!

Enjoy! 5 weeks is a bit short though, you should do 9 weeks again. ;)

MasterStache

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #204 on: February 04, 2018, 06:41:31 AM »
Mini-retirement #2 is on the way, 5 weeks in Mexico starting in 11 days. Last year it was 9 weeks.

Booyah!

What part of Mexico, if you don't mind me asking?

des999

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #205 on: February 04, 2018, 07:09:36 AM »
I think I'm going to ease into this.  My plan is to start by taking off 2 months, while keeping the job at Mega Corp.  Anyone have any experience asking for unpaid leave at a Mega Corp?  Any considerations?  I am pretty confident I can get 1 month no problem, but I figured might as well try for 2, worse case I can negotiate 6 weeks or something.


FIREby35

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #206 on: February 04, 2018, 08:32:40 AM »
Mini-retirement #2 is on the way, 5 weeks in Mexico starting in 11 days. Last year it was 9 weeks.

Booyah!

What part of Mexico, if you don't mind me asking?

Merida and the Yucatan. We'll be exploring caves, archeological sites, colonial haciendas, the jungle and other nature reserves, modern Mexican arts and music, parks and more :)

gerardc

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #207 on: February 04, 2018, 12:41:14 PM »
I think I'm going to ease into this.  My plan is to start by taking off 2 months, while keeping the job at Mega Corp.  Anyone have any experience asking for unpaid leave at a Mega Corp?  Any considerations?  I am pretty confident I can get 1 month no problem, but I figured might as well try for 2, worse case I can negotiate 6 weeks or something.

Also wondering about this. Could you accumulate vacation then take 3 weeks vacation + 3 weeks unpaid?

des999

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #208 on: February 05, 2018, 06:15:41 AM »
I think I'm going to ease into this.  My plan is to start by taking off 2 months, while keeping the job at Mega Corp.  Anyone have any experience asking for unpaid leave at a Mega Corp?  Any considerations?  I am pretty confident I can get 1 month no problem, but I figured might as well try for 2, worse case I can negotiate 6 weeks or something.

Also wondering about this. Could you accumulate vacation then take 3 weeks vacation + 3 weeks unpaid?

I think that is what I would do if I couldn't get a 2 month leave.  I have about 6 weeks of vacation per year, I just don't think anyone ever tries/asks to take more than 2 weeks at a time. 

kmcanoeist

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #209 on: February 06, 2018, 06:37:48 PM »
I think the most important question is, what is it that you want to do? If you are taking a break just to take a break, I doubt you'll need a long vacation. If you've got that list in your head of things you've been aching to do, though, you may want to take some more time. The length of the break will really depend on you balancing those dreams you want to pursue right now, and those you want enjoy down the road. Making your plans is half the fun, too.

I've been back at the 9-5 for six months now following a 2-year+ walkabout. First, I was able to enjoy about 18 months of heady anticipation in advance of my quit date, then about 9 months of executing plans formed within the cubicle. The next year had been left unplanned beyond "go abroad", and developed into a 14-month world bicycle tour (absurdly cheap). I'd say my trip ended up about 3 months too long - I'd reached relative saturation on the pretty-vistas/new experiences scale and was looking forward to stability, again - but that's just how it goes, unless you know yourself well enough that you can predict what you'll want (or maintain flexibility in your plans!). I will say that it took me a few months to settle in to the dirtbag lifestyle, to really relax and hit my stride on the move - it would be a shame to give it anything less than a full trial, to see how you adjust and thrive with a change of pace.

We are the type of people who plan ahead and hedge our bets and focus on details - but don't forget that life can be short if your luck ain't in. I like to think that I can have my cake and eat it too (as long as I get the cake that's on sale). But it really depends on what you want out of your time off, regardless of whether you take it now or take it later.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #210 on: February 06, 2018, 07:08:16 PM »
I think the most important question is, what is it that you want to do? If you are taking a break just to take a break, I doubt you'll need a long vacation. If you've got that list in your head of things you've been aching to do, though, you may want to take some more time. The length of the break will really depend on you balancing those dreams you want to pursue right now, and those you want enjoy down the road. Making your plans is half the fun, too.

I've been back at the 9-5 for six months now following a 2-year+ walkabout. First, I was able to enjoy about 18 months of heady anticipation in advance of my quit date, then about 9 months of executing plans formed within the cubicle. The next year had been left unplanned beyond "go abroad", and developed into a 14-month world bicycle tour (absurdly cheap). I'd say my trip ended up about 3 months too long - I'd reached relative saturation on the pretty-vistas/new experiences scale and was looking forward to stability, again - but that's just how it goes, unless you know yourself well enough that you can predict what you'll want (or maintain flexibility in your plans!). I will say that it took me a few months to settle in to the dirtbag lifestyle, to really relax and hit my stride on the move - it would be a shame to give it anything less than a full trial, to see how you adjust and thrive with a change of pace.

We are the type of people who plan ahead and hedge our bets and focus on details - but don't forget that life can be short if your luck ain't in. I like to think that I can have my cake and eat it too (as long as I get the cake that's on sale). But it really depends on what you want out of your time off, regardless of whether you take it now or take it later.

Quite the first post! Welcome :)

Would love to hear more about your bike tour.

Classical_Liberal

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #211 on: February 07, 2018, 07:37:30 AM »
@kmcanoeist Great post and insights! I also took a two year work break and found that my experiences mirrored yours in a lot of ways except I didn't want to "go home" (or back to work) and really liked the life. I did go back to work and even got my old job back but my break really reaffirmed my desire to take longer breaks in the future.

Agreed about the insights.  I have read a shit-ton of the older journals here, but more so on ERE as its been around longer.  I've also read other blogs and peoples stories, ect.  This was mainly for vicarious entertainment initially, but after awhile I noted significant trends.  Most (to the point of almost everyone) who achieved FU for a long term sabbatical or FI in 20's-40's had some type of itch to scratch.  The three most popular seem to be travel, child rearing young kids, or some form of hobby self-employment for pleasure.

Once those goals were achieved, people tended to move on and got plugged back into the economy in some way (whether they planned to or not at the time of re/sabbatical).  Basically this means that if these folks were FI before the sabbatical, they just end up filthy rich. If they were FU, they end up FI later. This is important because some itches are best scratched at certain earlier points in life. 

I would argue based on what I have read of others experiences; its better to take the sabbatical and do what you need to do.  IOW don't let FU only finances (say 10X expenses) stop a person from following their path to meaning.  The financial seems to naturally work out just fine in the end for people with enough discipline to reach FU at a young age.

An important note; the closer someone is to traditional retirement age, the more this model seems to break down.  I'm not sure if it's because someone in his/her 50's has already reached career goals, or has more peers away from work, or has simply had enough of the BS.  It just seems to be a trend.  So if one is planning a two year sabbatical at, say 52, its much more likely this person will not want to reenter the economy afterwards and should make financial plans reflecting this likely reality.

Plina

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #212 on: February 07, 2018, 11:29:30 AM »
I told my boss 2 weeks ago that I wanít a 10-12 months long sabbatical to travel and study. He was not that happy about it but he canít stop it because you are allowed to take unpaid leave to study according the law. He had a chat a couple days later were he told me that he was disappointed due to all the investments the company had put in my development. He asked me to postpone it to january 2019 and/or shorten it but I refused. So in the beginning of August I am starting with a month long vacation and in the end of the month I will start my travel with the transmongolian Railway from Moscow to Beijing.

Out of the Blue

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #213 on: February 07, 2018, 12:24:38 PM »
@kmcanoeist Great post and insights! I also took a two year work break and found that my experiences mirrored yours in a lot of ways except I didn't want to "go home" (or back to work) and really liked the life. I did go back to work and even got my old job back but my break really reaffirmed my desire to take longer breaks in the future.

Agreed about the insights.  I have read a shit-ton of the older journals here, but more so on ERE as its been around longer.  I've also read other blogs and peoples stories, ect.  This was mainly for vicarious entertainment initially, but after awhile I noted significant trends.  Most (to the point of almost everyone) who achieved FU for a long term sabbatical or FI in 20's-40's had some type of itch to scratch.  The three most popular seem to be travel, child rearing young kids, or some form of hobby self-employment for pleasure.

Once those goals were achieved, people tended to move on and got plugged back into the economy in some way (whether they planned to or not at the time of re/sabbatical).  Basically this means that if these folks were FI before the sabbatical, they just end up filthy rich. If they were FU, they end up FI later. This is important because some itches are best scratched at certain earlier points in life. 

I would argue based on what I have read of others experiences; its better to take the sabbatical and do what you need to do.  IOW don't let FU only finances (say 10X expenses) stop a person from following their path to meaning.  The financial seems to naturally work out just fine in the end for people with enough discipline to reach FU at a young age.

An important note; the closer someone is to traditional retirement age, the more this model seems to break down.  I'm not sure if it's because someone in his/her 50's has already reached career goals, or has more peers away from work, or has simply had enough of the BS.  It just seems to be a trend.  So if one is planning a two year sabbatical at, say 52, its much more likely this person will not want to reenter the economy afterwards and should make financial plans reflecting this likely reality.

Excellent and very encouraging post, classical_liberal. 

I am 30 and am one of those with FU but not FI money (about 17x expenses currently) and a few itches I am desperate to scratch, as well as a lot of frustration at my current job.  I have been planning to quit my job by about July this year, whether or not I have another one lined up.  I've expected that I would "end up fine" eventually since I do not hate work generally - just my current job - but your post has definitely given me some comfort that I will not be making a big mistake.  So thank you for posting that

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #214 on: February 07, 2018, 02:43:27 PM »

 This is important because some itches are best scratched at certain earlier points in life. 

I would argue based on what I have read of others experiences; its better to take the sabbatical and do what you need to do.  IOW don't let FU only finances (say 10X expenses) stop a person from following their path to meaning.  The financial seems to naturally work out just fine in the end for people with enough discipline to reach FU at a young age.

You are the little voice in my ear every time I have a negative thought at work, lol.

blinx7

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #215 on: February 07, 2018, 02:49:40 PM »

I think serial mini retirements (aka. sabbaticals, really) are a GREAT idea.  I have never done one, partly due to life / career circumstances and party because I am chicken, but I wish I did / could.  In fact, I wish I was on one right now! 

Like a prior poster I have FU money but not FI money and so for right now the march continues. 

Plina

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #216 on: February 08, 2018, 12:25:17 PM »

I think serial mini retirements (aka. sabbaticals, really) are a GREAT idea.  I have never done one, partly due to life / career circumstances and party because I am chicken, but I wish I did / could.  In fact, I wish I was on one right now! 

Like a prior poster I have FU money but not FI money and so for right now the march continues.

Interesting enough, when I have told about my sabbatical most of the people have told me that it sound interesting or fun. Something they wished they could do. I am surprised by all the encouragement that I have gotten.

 My parents are not that happy about it but more because they donít like when I am traveling alone. My boss was not happy about it either because it causes him trouble.

limeandpepper

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #217 on: February 08, 2018, 10:56:54 PM »
Like a prior poster I have FU money but not FI money and so for right now the march continues.

The appeal of mini-retirements is that you can do it with FU money that hasn't yet reached FI money stage!

blinx7

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #218 on: February 09, 2018, 05:59:06 AM »

I think serial mini retirements (aka. sabbaticals, really) are a GREAT idea.  I have never done one, partly due to life / career circumstances and party because I am chicken, but I wish I did / could.  In fact, I wish I was on one right now! 

Like a prior poster I have FU money but not FI money and so for right now the march continues.

Interesting enough, when I have told about my sabbatical most of the people have told me that it sound interesting or fun. Something they wished they could do. I am surprised by all the encouragement that I have gotten.

 My parents are not that happy about it but more because they donít like when I am traveling alone. My boss was not happy about it either because it causes him trouble.

Honestly, right now I have two little kids and in many ways life is easier with a routine -- I'd love to go slow traveling or something but it's hard with little kids, and more expensive. 

I am also an associate at a law firm, so my job is basically to be a well-paid cog in the  machine.  But I am getting pretty senior so that's going to change one way or another.

I could definitely see taking six months off in a year or so if I am not made partner or confirmed  I imminently will do so. 

Our expenses are also on the high side, which we are working on but won't totally change unless we sell our house in VHCOL land. 

We have seven figures squirreled away now so this is all just excuses I suppose.  I think it's a mental block as well. 

ozbeach

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #219 on: February 09, 2018, 03:09:06 PM »
An important note; the closer someone is to traditional retirement age, the more this model seems to break down.  I'm not sure if it's because someone in his/her 50's has already reached career goals, or has more peers away from work, or has simply had enough of the BS.  It just seems to be a trend.  So if one is planning a two year sabbatical at, say 52, its much more likely this person will not want to reenter the economy afterwards and should make financial plans reflecting this likely reality.

I'll back this up with my own experience. I took a gap year at 52 and really did not want to return to work; however, the organisation had been downsizing and offering packages for people that wanted to leave so I figured it was worth trying for. On my first day back I indicated I would be interested, and have just been told that it has been approved. Financially it has been worth going back for these few weeks, but perhaps more importantly it has reinforced that I don't want to spend any more of my time in a cubicle.

steveo

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #220 on: February 09, 2018, 03:53:34 PM »
An important note; the closer someone is to traditional retirement age, the more this model seems to break down.  I'm not sure if it's because someone in his/her 50's has already reached career goals, or has more peers away from work, or has simply had enough of the BS.  It just seems to be a trend.  So if one is planning a two year sabbatical at, say 52, its much more likely this person will not want to reenter the economy afterwards and should make financial plans reflecting this likely reality.

I'll back this up with my own experience. I took a gap year at 52 and really did not want to return to work; however, the organisation had been downsizing and offering packages for people that wanted to leave so I figured it was worth trying for. On my first day back I indicated I would be interested, and have just been told that it has been approved. Financially it has been worth going back for these few weeks, but perhaps more importantly it has reinforced that I don't want to spend any more of my time in a cubicle.

This is pretty cool. I dream about retrenchment packages.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #221 on: February 15, 2018, 04:22:33 PM »
Hey all! My recent obsession with living on a sailboat sparked me to re-listen to this episode of Radical Personal Finance, where Josh interviews Pat Schultz from Bumfuzzle. THE KING of serial mini retirements....if you haven't done so give it a listen.

https://radicalpersonalfinance.com/50/

Pat's blog of mini retirements going on 15 years now!

http://www.bumfuzzle.com/

"This is us. Iím Pat and I do all the writing around here. And that other adult is Ali, she started dating me when she was sixteen and knew she had herself a winner, so eventually she married me. And yeah, she sailed around the world with me too.

Not ones to settle down, we then went for a drive from Alaska to Argentina to Europe in a í58 VW Bus. As tends to happen in hippie buses, a child was conceivedóso we drove to Mexico in a í65 Porsche 356C to give birth to our Mexican baby girl Ouest (pronounced West) in December of í09. We soon moved onto another sailboat, and had ourselves a Mexican baby boy named Lowe (pronounced Low) in August í11. We sailed all over Mexico together before eventually selling that boat. Ready for some more action on land, we spent a couple years driving all over the place in a í66 Dodge Travco motorhome. Ready for another new adventure and mode of transport, we moved on to a í66 22-foot Airsteam towed with our í68 International Travelall."

Plina

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #222 on: February 17, 2018, 01:09:37 AM »

I think serial mini retirements (aka. sabbaticals, really) are a GREAT idea.  I have never done one, partly due to life / career circumstances and party because I am chicken, but I wish I did / could.  In fact, I wish I was on one right now! 

Like a prior poster I have FU money but not FI money and so for right now the march continues.

Interesting enough, when I have told about my sabbatical most of the people have told me that it sound interesting or fun. Something they wished they could do. I am surprised by all the encouragement that I have gotten.

 My parents are not that happy about it but more because they donít like when I am traveling alone. My boss was not happy about it either because it causes him trouble.

Honestly, right now I have two little kids and in many ways life is easier with a routine -- I'd love to go slow traveling or something but it's hard with little kids, and more expensive. 

I am also an associate at a law firm, so my job is basically to be a well-paid cog in the  machine.  But I am getting pretty senior so that's going to change one way or another.

I could definitely see taking six months off in a year or so if I am not made partner or confirmed  I imminently will do so. 

Our expenses are also on the high side, which we are working on but won't totally change unless we sell our house in VHCOL land. 

We have seven figures squirreled away now so this is all just excuses I suppose.  I think it's a mental block as well.

I can understand that kids make it more difficult. I also work as a lawyer but in a big technical consulting company. I thought about the sabbatical about 1,5 year before I got tired enough with my boss and decided to see if I could save enough money to make it doable. I think my main conclusion was that there will never be a good time at work to take the sabbatical. There will always come up one or two interesting cases that you really would like to see through. So it is better to do it now when I have the possibility. I have pretty low expenses except for my apartment that takes up about 30% of my income but I have saved about a third of my income. I am one of those persons that will think about something I want to do for some time and when I have decided then it is a go.

FIREby35

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #223 on: February 17, 2018, 05:39:39 PM »

[/quote]

Honestly, right now I have two little kids and in many ways life is easier with a routine -- I'd love to go slow traveling or something but it's hard with little kids, and more expensive. 

I am also an associate at a law firm, so my job is basically to be a well-paid cog in the  machine.  But I am getting pretty senior so that's going to change one way or another.

I could definitely see taking six months off in a year or so if I am not made partner or confirmed  I imminently will do so. 

Our expenses are also on the high side, which we are working on but won't totally change unless we sell our house in VHCOL land. 

We have seven figures squirreled away now so this is all just excuses I suppose.  I think it's a mental block as well.
[/quote]

Just to say, I'm a lawyer as well. Three kids. On my second mini-sabbitacal right now writing to you from Mexico.

I hope all your obstacles vanish when you make partner, but I doubt it.

And, it may all be excuses and a mental block OR that you don't really want to have freedom to travel with your family more than your career goals. There is nothing wrong with spending family time at home with routines - I like those as well. You do get the family time in your normal routine, right?

Good luck achieving all that you desire.

blinx7

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #224 on: February 17, 2018, 07:47:42 PM »

And, it may all be excuses and a mental block OR that you don't really want to have freedom to travel with your family more than your career goals. There is nothing wrong with spending family time at home with routines - I like those as well. You do get the family time in your normal routine, right?

Good luck achieving all that you desire.

@FIREby35

Yes.  My story is not exactly what it may appear.  I quit biglaw a few years ago and work for a smaller law firm, less intense (though still more intense than I would like), paid less.  We represent nonprofits who are doing mission-driven work.  I'd like to advance primarily so I can do more intellectually challenging work with more autonomy.  My pay would rise but not dramatically -- still less than a senior associate at biglaw.  So no giant payout at the end of the rainbow here. 

The primary drawback really is that the stress is not entirely worth the money / commute / cost-of-living.  It's not some 9-5 office job, it's doing deadline driven corporate transactions, just for a mission.  If I leave this, it will likely to be more mercenary -- whatever maximizes income while minimizing working hours and commute. 

I see my family a lot.  I do have little time / energy for hobbies, friends, exercise, fixing up our house, etc.  So the costs are real but not to the point that I am not an involved parent, it hits in other ways.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 07:54:01 AM by blinx7 »

Sustainable Happiness

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #225 on: February 19, 2018, 07:41:46 AM »
I would argue based on what I have read of others experiences; its better to take the sabbatical and do what you need to do.  IOW don't let FU only finances (say 10X expenses) stop a person from following their path to meaning.  The financial seems to naturally work out just fine in the end for people with enough discipline to reach FU at a young age.

Great post in general, and I really like this part C_L. DW and I are at 17x expenses, we'd have to really screw up, or something go really wrong to NOT be financial well for the rest of our lives, and that's a long time! (currently 28)

Update on Semi-ER for this thread.

5 months into parental leave:
- multiple part-time and mobile opps have come up simply by me being off of work
- still planning on not returning to full-time traditional employment...taking the reins of my working life into my own hands you could say
- aiming to return to work about 15 hours a week
- didn't do anything for Jan Feb except go to Florida and going to a 10 day Vipassana retreat. What not doing any structured work has revealed, is I like a little structured work in my life outside of raising kids, I think 10-15 hours is the sweet spot. I would also be ok with going to Florida every Winter (+20 degrees celsius is much better than -20 degrees)
- the time at home with DW and our new baby has been without a doubt worth it and helped reveal the path I want to take
- we've also sold one of our rentals for way more than expected and our second is on the market
- financially we will be at about 17x or ~6% SWR after the rental sales close.

If we can work enough to meet our annual expenses (~$30K, which will be going up as we want to rent a place with a backyard now that we've got babies), meaning each of us only has to make ~$15k, our finances are on runaway mode, this to me is a reason to never work a job I don't like again and make decisions that will mold the life we would like from here on out with money being the 3rd or 4th factor on the list of concerns.

Keep on rockin'.

eddie

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #226 on: February 20, 2018, 04:38:50 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.

I'm using this as a bit of an accountability thingy.  I think I still have my wife talked into a long (1-3 month) trip in a couple years.  Our daughter is now 18 months old and we have another one on the way.  We paid off our last of our non-mortgage debt last week.  We should be able to get our emergency fund built up and a college fund started this year.  Pay off the house next year. 

The goal is spring 2021.  By then we will have a 2yo and a 4yo, no debt of any kind, and plenty of $ saved up.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #227 on: February 21, 2018, 07:44:33 AM »
I would argue based on what I have read of others experiences; its better to take the sabbatical and do what you need to do.  IOW don't let FU only finances (say 10X expenses) stop a person from following their path to meaning.  The financial seems to naturally work out just fine in the end for people with enough discipline to reach FU at a young age.

Great post in general, and I really like this part C_L. DW and I are at 17x expenses, we'd have to really screw up, or something go really wrong to NOT be financial well for the rest of our lives, and that's a long time! (currently 28)

Update on Semi-ER for this thread.

5 months into parental leave:
- multiple part-time and mobile opps have come up simply by me being off of work
- still planning on not returning to full-time traditional employment...taking the reins of my working life into my own hands you could say
- aiming to return to work about 15 hours a week
- didn't do anything for Jan Feb except go to Florida and going to a 10 day Vipassana retreat. What not doing any structured work has revealed, is I like a little structured work in my life outside of raising kids, I think 10-15 hours is the sweet spot. I would also be ok with going to Florida every Winter (+20 degrees celsius is much better than -20 degrees)
- the time at home with DW and our new baby has been without a doubt worth it and helped reveal the path I want to take
- we've also sold one of our rentals for way more than expected and our second is on the market
- financially we will be at about 17x or ~6% SWR after the rental sales close.

If we can work enough to meet our annual expenses (~$30K, which will be going up as we want to rent a place with a backyard now that we've got babies), meaning each of us only has to make ~$15k, our finances are on runaway mode, this to me is a reason to never work a job I don't like again and make decisions that will mold the life we would like from here on out with money being the 3rd or 4th factor on the list of concerns.

Keep on rockin'.

Being at a 6% WR is a really good place to be. Almost any PT work can get you down to 4% or less, and you can easily afford a year or two off here and there. At this point, market returns and spending levels will be able to guide some of your choices.

gerardc

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #228 on: March 19, 2018, 08:57:27 PM »
Great posts lately in this thread.

I'm 34 years old, expenses at ~4.6% now, I'll probably take a long break in a year from now, at which point I'll be <4%. Sometimes I wonder if this "rush to FIRE" goal is obsessive, as the projects I have in mind most likely will last a couple years. What am I going to do at 40, 45, 50, 55? Chances are, I'll be craving some productive paid work and/or want a routine with a family. So maybe my present time would be better spent taking care of this sabbatical sooner than later. I'll see if I can get a short leave until next year's date.

Another thing I realized, like some posters above, is that 10-15 hours/week of work can be more fun than 0. And, in certain circumstances, if I have full control of my time and work environment (remote, independent work) I actually enjoy 40+ hours. So, no doubt I'll find a way to incorporate those in the future as well.

Even though I'm way past FU already, I have this fear similar to "inner-bag lady" (I'm a guy), maybe "inner-bum dude" who'd get lazy, on drugs, dirty, stuck in a poor country partying, ruining my life...

FIREby35

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #229 on: March 25, 2018, 08:51:30 AM »
Hey everyone,

I thought I would throw it out there, now that this thread has been open for more than 18 months, that I just returned from my second "mini-sabbatical." Last year I spent 2 months in a beach town in Mexico. This year, I spent 5 weeks in the Yucatan in Mexico. Both trips were with my entire family of five, three kids ages 6, 4, and 3. We are bi-lingual, in case you were wondering.

I really think taking a break and then returning to work with flexible hours is the way to go if you can arrange it for yourself. I've totally let go of the "FIRE to never work again" idea. I know everyone's situation is different, but I have set up my business so I am basically redundant in my business and most of the work I do is "networking" or, as I like to call it, taking lunches with my friends.

My work hours when I am in town are from 9 am to 3:45 pm. During that time I usually do have a meeting with a friend for 60-90 minutes and I often get some Yoga in "over lunch" or some other time when I can take an hour for myself. So, it's not like I'm burning it on both ends.

That is a very sustainable schedule. I find the breaks and space help me see the path forward much more clearly than when I'm just grinding it every day. At one time, I was working more like 70 hours a week to found my business. I think it helps me avoid a step in the "wrong" direction that is easy to get caught in without some break time. How much time to we use on tasks that we later see were deviations from our true path? In my life, I've seen it was a lot of time and now it is much, much less. So now, it's a targeted and directed effort that actually accomplishes more with less time required. It's an amazing virtuous cycle that is a little like compound interest.

Working smart allowed me to add over 200k to my net worth in 2017, even with a 2 month break. I know owning my own business allows me to earn a high income, but taking a break has not negatively affected me at all. I did have some fears that clients would be upset or business partners would shun me. None of that has happened.

This year's 5 week trip was a better break. Two months was a bit to long. I get bored and miss our network of family and friends.

We also travel hack for all plane tickets. We travel in low cost of living locations where we actually save money. For example, a family of five visits the dentist in Mexico for a 90% discount. Same for family pictures and other various money saving opportunities.

So, there you go. What two years of mini sabbaticals has taught me.

Padonak

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #230 on: March 25, 2018, 10:44:24 AM »
FireBy35, what line of business are you in?

Exhale

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #231 on: March 25, 2018, 12:37:28 PM »
...Last year I spent 2 months in a beach town in Mexico. This year, I spent 5 weeks in the Yucatan in Mexico...

Would you be willing to share the two places where you stayed? I'm bilingual and looking for quiet friendly places to stay in Mexico. Ideally, I'll develop a way to do community service and, over time, become a part-time member of a community. We'll see. I'm flexible.

FIREby35

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #232 on: March 27, 2018, 07:13:28 AM »
...Last year I spent 2 months in a beach town in Mexico. This year, I spent 5 weeks in the Yucatan in Mexico...

Would you be willing to share the two places where you stayed? I'm bilingual and looking for quiet friendly places to stay in Mexico. Ideally, I'll develop a way to do community service and, over time, become a part-time member of a community. We'll see. I'm flexible.

Last year, we went to Zihuatanejo, Guerrerro. If you are going to Zihua and staying in Zihua, then I think it is fine. Zihua is a beach town of approximately 60,000 people and generally awesome. However, the rest of the state of Guerrero is not recommended for sightseeing for reasons related to the drug trafficking.

This year we went to Merida in the state of Yucatan. It is different in that it is not a beach. But, the area is full of interesting things to see and do. You can visit Mayan ruins, Spanish colonial ruins of Haciendas, Cenotes (freshwater caves that are everywhere), small towns known as "Pueblas Magicos," go see nature reserves, dancing in the streets and various other great things. It was a lot of fun.

FIREby35

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #233 on: March 27, 2018, 07:14:20 AM »
FireBy35, what line of business are you in?

I am an attorney and I own my own law firm. I have 5 employees with one additional attorney.

letsdoit

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #234 on: June 20, 2018, 08:05:45 AM »


Even though I'm way past FU already, I have this fear similar to "inner-bag lady" (I'm a guy), maybe "inner-bum dude" who'd get lazy, on drugs, dirty, stuck in a poor country partying, ruining my life...
[/quote]

or just the realization that being lazy in the tropics and having no job is fun for 8 days, but after that it might be harmful

letsdoit

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #235 on: June 20, 2018, 08:52:03 AM »
i am in love with idea of a MR.
it would be a big hit to my career and that of my wife, and it would be painful to restart our lives afterward.
however, we want to do it before kids are too old.  we are at 9 or 10 x spending now, but our spending levels are artificially high bc of child care and 2 cars . 

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #236 on: June 20, 2018, 10:22:41 AM »
This thread is awesome, thank you for sharing everyone.

I originally planned to work till 40 and hit my $1M full FIRE #. Then realized I could cut expenses and get to $600k by age 35.

I have a feeling once I crack the $400-500k mark I will be looking to do this type of arrangement.....$18-20k/yr is enough to live comfortably in most LCOL/MCOL areas, and many countries.

My past self knew my current self all too well.

Cracked the $400k mark in May and I have settled on 4 months off next June, were I should be ~$450k and smack in the middle of my prediction. I'll come back to FT work for a year before taking a longer 6-9 month sabbatical with my SO to travel SE Asia and Easter/Southern Europe.

teltic

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #237 on: July 09, 2018, 12:45:43 PM »
This has been a cool thread to read!

I currently have $200k, and I'm thinking of taking a 3 month mini retirement / really long vacation.

The plan is to backpack SE Asia.  I've read you can do it easily for ~$1k a month.  So while it seems super scary to stop making an income... With expenses so low, who cares?  I don't think a backpacking trip at 60 would be as fun as doing it now (27).

A 3 month mini retirement will delay my FI date by... About 3 months... Thoughts?

Question: How far ahead did you ask your boss for this leave of absence? 

I've read HR documents enough to know I can take up to 12 months unpaid time off.  For the first 90 days, my benefits will still be intact (health insurance, PTO accrual, etc).
« Last Edit: July 09, 2018, 12:48:36 PM by teltic »

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #238 on: July 09, 2018, 12:59:20 PM »
@teltic , I would say it really depends on your job function, your boss, and how much prep your organization would need to deal with any disruption associated with your absence. That is all if you want to continue working at your current employer, otherwise do what feels best to you.

I plan on giving my employer 30-60 days notice about my 4 months off next June, likely the same when I request a sabbatical the year after. I don't particularly care if they hold a job for me though. Part of me craves a change and some new challenges.




FIREby35

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #239 on: July 09, 2018, 01:50:42 PM »
Go for it Teltic :)

Being 27 with 200k is far enough along the path to open up and enjoy the ride.

teltic

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #240 on: July 09, 2018, 05:38:19 PM »
Thanks Fireby35 & 2Birds1Stone!

30-60 day notice eh?  Hmm.  I definitely don't want to bring this up too early. I plan to go end of Feb, and was thinking of hinting/asking my boss next month. 

My boss is really nice and totally gets work life balance (I'm suspicious he knows about FIRE lifestyle... I can smell it on him.  For all I know he is reading this right now!).

Maybe August is asking too early.  I would like to get the "Okay" sooner than later though.  I could score cheaper flight tickets with more time, and it would be such a bummer to get told No in January.  My tuition reimbursement & vesting period doesn't end until June 2019, so I'm not quite in a position of giving an ultimatum of "Give me a leave of absence or else I quit".

pdxmonkey

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #241 on: July 10, 2018, 12:43:50 AM »
30 days seems awfully short notice for hey...I plan to be home four months. It's not like you're asking for one week off and you are also not giving notice that you're quitting. Quitting 30 days would seem like too much notice.  60 days seems like it would give people adequate time to plan depending on your role, but seems like it would have likelihood of possible denial for
.. Well shoot we didn't plan for that.. If say at least as much notice as time you plan to be gone.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 12:45:38 AM by pdxmonkey »

limeandpepper

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #242 on: July 10, 2018, 02:47:08 AM »
@teltic what do the HR documents say? If they don't specify, then I would probably test the waters by being like "Hey, if I'd like to take a temporary leave of absence to travel for three months someday, how much notice would be required?"

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #243 on: July 10, 2018, 03:47:09 AM »
That's tough with the vesting and tuition reimbursement. I would er on the side of caution.

Could asking for a LOA before that date end poorly if they decide to hold a grudge against you? Could they let you go before you vest?

teltic

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #244 on: July 11, 2018, 03:18:01 PM »
@limeandpepper My HR docs say I need to submit the request at least 30 calendar days before effective date of the leave.  I do need approval from my manager & director.  I am scheduled to switch departments in Feb, which is why I'm thinking it will be easiest to take the leave between departments (at least highest chances of approval).

@2Birds1Stone I am concerned with the vesting & tuition reimbursement portion, although I don't think it will end poorly.  Worst case scenario, I could see them telling me no, and potentially losing 1-2% of a raise (standard is 3% annual raises... I could see them sticking it to me and giving me a 1%).

If I wait until June 2019 (when I'm free from 401k vesting & tuition), it would be harder to train me for 4 months in the new department, to then leave for this extended leave.

Decisions, decisions. :|


DanLee

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #245 on: July 20, 2018, 01:55:12 AM »
If you take two months off do it in december and januari,  you may fall in a lower tax bracket for both years.

gerardc

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #246 on: July 20, 2018, 07:47:16 PM »
If you take two months off do it in december and januari,  you may fall in a lower tax bracket for both years.

... but you won't get paid for paid holidays... (at least in my company that's how it works)
so less worth it for a high salary