Author Topic: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements  (Read 87218 times)

des999

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #250 on: September 28, 2018, 10:58:38 AM »
BUMP

Any updates from the folks who where doing this a couple of years ago when the thread started?

I was planning to wait till I hit a certain number, but I have this feeling that I should do a sabbatical (hoping for a year) sooner rather than later as I have a child with a pre-existing.  If ACA were to go away or if we lost the pre-existing exception I would regret not doing it.  Currently work at MegaCorp so ins is covered, but would most likely have to leave job for the year.

I am not at the number yet that I had in my mind, but I am close enough.  More to come, but I'm thinking next April 1st after I get my bonus.  MAGI at that point should still be low enough to get subsidies. 

I've enjoyed following this thread, hopefully I can add to it soon.  :)

Classical_Liberal

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #251 on: September 28, 2018, 01:55:22 PM »
Cool des999!!

Couldn't you pay COBRA through mega corp for up to 18 mos if need be?

letsdoit

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #252 on: October 01, 2018, 08:32:36 AM »
I pd COBRA for 12 months and I almost threw up every time I thought about it

CRAZy expensive like 450$ /mo for one person

des999

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #253 on: October 01, 2018, 10:57:46 AM »
Cool des999!!

Couldn't you pay COBRA through mega corp for up to 18 mos if need be?

yes, that is one option in my back pocket, but as letsdoit said, it's a rather expensive option.  But, I guess I need to weigh both.  Thanks for the reminder. 

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #254 on: October 01, 2018, 01:27:27 PM »
When I left my job in August Cobra was quoted at $1400 for 2 young people........crazy.

Sustainable Happiness

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #255 on: November 07, 2018, 08:21:27 AM »
Update on Semi-ER for this thread. Been about 8 months since my last post. Gotta keep the downshifting Semi-ER dream alive.

-       Quit my full-time job after being asked to teach more hours at a local college
-   About 12 hours per week + 3 to 10 at home depending on prep/marking time + if any consulting hours come in
-   Spend at least afternoons+evenings every day with DW and Baby, playing, going to the park, library, gym, crafts, yada yada yada
-   Currently drawing down on cash portfolio at about $1-1.5K per month, yup you heard that right, Iím actually eating into my savings in order to Semi-ER at 28 and be at home with the fam more while the babes are young.
-   Not worried much as we've got a whole bunch of outs, although the drawing down does make me a little sad when I calculate it at the end of each month (maybe I shouldnít watch it so closely??)
-   The unexpected drawndowns have occurred because we actually increased our expenses in the past year by moving to a new place, out of a basement apartment. Lifestyle change is worth it with a baby in particular.
-   This has actually dropped our years to 13x-ish and increased our SR to 7.5% if we stopped working entirely. But we aren't and expenses are almost covered.
-   DW has started a business as well which will bring in some income over the years, she also loves it. Probably takes about 5-10 hours a week and is more of a paid hobby than anything else. Considering adding in a bit of before-after childcare to the mix as a little simple income boost.
-   Spent 4 weeks at various cottages this summer after being able to say yes to any opportunity that came up, it was pretty sweet. Also led to a bit of increased spending.

My advice to anyone considering going part-time or serial mini-retirements, who has a gig on the side they enjoy significantly more than whatever they are doing (for me itís teaching, for DW itís babies). Run the numbers, create 2 or 3 back-up plans and then do it.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #256 on: November 07, 2018, 08:49:21 AM »
Thank you for you update @Sustainable Happiness, gives us the courage to pull the trigger in the coming 18 months =)

des999

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #257 on: November 07, 2018, 10:29:11 AM »
thanks for the update Sustainable Happiness, always good to hear others stories, especially when they are similar to mine :)

I know it's been repeated a million times, but it is so true.  Flexibility is the key, and is what makes this all possible.  With a nice size nest egg, it just frees you up to do things like this. 

The hardest part for me is finding that 'side gig' that I would enjoy more than my day job.  I like my day job, I just don't like 5 days a week, every day.  I'll get there soon, thanks again for the motivation!

coffeefueled

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #258 on: November 15, 2018, 08:56:48 AM »
PTF. Great to hear the many ways people are making this work. Super inspiring

WorkingToUnwind

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #259 on: November 16, 2018, 10:03:36 AM »
This is a great thread. It helped and inspired me to take the plunge with a year off to travel. I had an awful experience of burning out last fall and ended up convincing my husband to quit his job with me and move into a 2002 Sprinter van. We've been traveling North America for the past seven months and even got to attend the MMM Moab Meetup last month.

It's been a really incredible experience to travel, though not without it's challenges. We're living in 30sq ft space with a dog, which isn't easy! However, I've learned so much about how to rest and enjoy life. I've always been busy busy busy, and our life in a van is so much more relaxed. It's hard to leave behind a career that gives you a clear sense of purpose and switch to what seems like a very indulgent travel lifestyle. It's been pretty cool though and like I said, an awesome learning experience.  I would definitely recommend it!

We'll probably go back to work next spring, but this time off has helped us reprioritize what's important. We definitely will take a pay cut when we go back to ensure more free time. I think it's important to live life now, not sacrifice current well-being for some future date. It takes time to learn how to live well, so I want to practice that now.

We've got about 550k in retirement/vanguard savings, so we could FIRE now if we can get our spending down to 22k-ish a year. Realistically, not happening any time soon. It's nice to know this money, if left untouched, is an excellent fire nest egg. We've practiced living frugally quite a bit in the van, and it's been a wake up call to how tough it is for us. I think for the year of travel we'll end up spending about 45k. To support our lifestyle in a brick and mortar home, I used to think 80k was necessary (also to cover 1,700 mortgage) but I think we can bring that down to 65k. Anyhey, it's gotten me thinking about the option of working fewer hours when we get home to avoid future burn out while still adding a little to the stash.

Omy

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #260 on: November 16, 2018, 12:03:50 PM »
At age 35, I took a 7 year sabbatical. My then-husband and I had a net worth of $800k and decided to hop on our sailboat and cruise for awhile. We had a series of adventures, but the marriage broke at year 5. We divided our net worth by 2 and moved on.

I floundered for a bit, started a new career and met my now-husband. We've been working toward FI for the past 14 years (and reached it a few years ago). The mini-retirement/sabbatical was good since it gave me time to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Now I'm trying to get over "one more year" syndrome and retire for real. It was much easier to quit at age 35 - at that time I assumed I would be able to jump in and out of the work force as needed. It seems a lot more daunting at age 56 - even with a much larger net worth.

FIREby35

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #261 on: February 24, 2019, 07:31:37 PM »
I'm on my third mini-sabbitical in a row!

This year we are spending time in Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende and Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Plane tickets are less than $300 for the family of five due to my wife being a rewards genius. This year we are gone for 31 days.

Oh yeah, and they just received more than a foot of snow that is in drifts after days of blizzard winds back home...

I just thought I'd update/shout out to the original people on this thread :)

Sustainable Happiness

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #262 on: May 20, 2019, 10:56:00 AM »
Been a while since I updated here. I've fallen back into full time work 1.5 years after semi-ER-ing. I fluctuated from no work (9 months off with babe and DW) to freelancing and consulting for a former employer (still doing a little) and teaching and then got offered a job that finally fit what I like to do, teach at a college

Money is a solved issue in our minds and we keep socking some away. Baby 2 is now on the way as well which will throw everything through a loop again.

It was interesting while Semi-ER-ing experiencing our NW drop some months to see how resilient I was emotionally to that experience and actually hardened me to the idea of draining capital. I also learned I prefer some more structure if I am going to continue working, the tugging and random asks that accompanied consulting are not really up my alley.

The teaching gig is great because for the time being I am >75% working from home. I feel like I am helping some of the people I teach and I get 2 months contiguous off each year in the summer, so practically mini-retirement anyways.

DW and I have had conversations about what we'd like to do if we actually came to be fully financially independent and it's pretty much what we are doing now but with half the required money. The biggest challenge is sleep while the kids are young, but that has nothing to do with money...

Since no one cares where I am at any particular time, I usually have a super productive mornings (8-lunch) and that gets what I want to get done done for the day and then play or do personal life stuff for the rest.

Anyways thought I'd report I went back to work kinda-FT and am happy about it.

FIREby35

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #263 on: May 21, 2019, 06:18:08 PM »
Very cool :)

Classical_Liberal

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #264 on: May 22, 2019, 12:33:57 AM »
I'm semi-retiring on Sept 14th of this year. I have two options (actually many more but two leading contenders), one that would peg me at about 25% full time, the other at about 50%.  The first would give me a bit more control over my schedule when I'm actually working, but either way I will have about 6 months completely off work every year for mini retirements.  The first would cover about 80% of my current total spending, the second close to 200%.  Either way my stash should grow over time, I have about 20-25 years to normal retirement age.

des999

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #265 on: May 28, 2019, 08:09:25 AM »
I'm semi-retiring on Sept 14th of this year. I have two options (actually many more but two leading contenders), one that would peg me at about 25% full time, the other at about 50%.  The first would give me a bit more control over my schedule when I'm actually working, but either way I will have about 6 months completely off work every year for mini retirements.  The first would cover about 80% of my current total spending, the second close to 200%.  Either way my stash should grow over time, I have about 20-25 years to normal retirement age.

awesome, congrats.  I think either option is excellent.  I'd probably lean toward #1  :)

arebelspy

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #266 on: June 16, 2019, 06:05:39 PM »
Just binge caught up on the last 18 months of this thread. Super awesome!

Keep the stories coming. :)

@2Birds1Stone  -- How about an update on your story for this thread?
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

capoevename

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #267 on: July 01, 2019, 08:03:30 PM »
3 years have passed. Still no mini-retirements. But stash grew from 250K to 830K. We have to thank the market and good raises for that. I'm glad we are making the best use of these years to build our foundation of "wealth" instead of taking mini-retirements because (a) it has been fun in all areas I care about, work, travel, family, friends, learning, etc; and (b) most likely, these are the most hassle-free years we are gonna have to reach FI.

I think we have pretty much paved the way for FI at this point. The more our stash grew the more we realized full early retirement is not of great interest to us (at the moment). Instead, we plan to make use of the stash to "buy" flexibility into our work. Perhaps a life of mini-retirements, perhaps something else.

We are turning 30 this year. We want to have kids a couple of years down the line. The current plan is to take a mini-retirement at the end of next year and then start trying.

FIREby35

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #268 on: July 02, 2019, 06:51:11 AM »
I'm with you in the sense that building your stash creates amazing flexibility with our work. My stash keeps on marching upward and onward and I have created many liberties in my work because of the stash I have. It makes it a lot easier to keep working, that's for sure!

I don't know if you have ever been exposed to this thought, but it sounds like you are past the point of retirement inevitability.

https://frugalvagabond.com/the-point-of-retirement-inevitability/

Plina

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #269 on: July 02, 2019, 07:58:14 AM »
I took a miniretirement from August last year to may this year. I spent August and part of march and april at my parents place and september to beginning of march traveling from Moscow to Singapore. 10 countries and a little more than 6 months on the road. I got a little tired of traveling so I came home a bit earlier than planned. After one month back at work working halftime I was ready to leave the company. One month later I have a new job offer that will start in november if I pass the securitytest which should not be a problem.

I learned that I donít want to be a digital nomad because it takes a lot of energy to be always on the move. I lived the fact that I had summerweather for 10 months so I could live in a warmer climate in the future. I also came to the conclusion that I like my field but donít want to work as a lawyer. So even though I will be the legal expert in the new company it is not a similar consultant position that I have today but rather a projectleader position. And it is in a new company so hopefully without all the adminstration crap that comes with a big company.

limeandpepper

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #270 on: July 18, 2019, 03:03:40 AM »
I learned that I donít want to be a digital nomad because it takes a lot of energy to be always on the move.

I can relate to this! I used to think being a digital nomad would be fun, but I've realised it would be a lot of work and I'd rather just concentrate on exploring the places I'm visiting. Maybe I'd consider it for very slow travel (e.g. staying in the same city for at least months), but not otherwise.

steevven1

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #271 on: July 24, 2019, 01:48:37 PM »
Just came here to say that my wife and I have been doing this whole "mini retirement" thing throughout our 20s and are LOVING it. Both 29 now. Our goal with each one is to have a net worth change of $0 or better (never dip into savings for mini retirements).

First one was 6 months in Hawaii; wrote about it here: https://www.tripofalifestyle.com/money/zero-dollar-hawaii-honeymoon/

Second one we're in the middle of right now - Seven months visiting every US National Park. Writing about that here: https://www.tripofalifestyle.com/nationalparks/

Best part is that actual FIRE isn't too far in the distant future, even after doing these big trips!

dblaace

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #272 on: July 24, 2019, 02:42:45 PM »
Just came here to say that my wife and I have been doing this whole "mini retirement" thing throughout our 20s and are LOVING it. Both 29 now. Our goal with each one is to have a net worth change of $0 or better (never dip into savings for mini retirements).

First one was 6 months in Hawaii; wrote about it here: https://www.tripofalifestyle.com/money/zero-dollar-hawaii-honeymoon/

Second one we're in the middle of right now - Seven months visiting every US National Park. Writing about that here: https://www.tripofalifestyle.com/nationalparks/

Best part is that actual FIRE isn't too far in the distant future, even after doing these big trips!

Did you convert the van yourself? Pics? I've got a Promaster City that I want to convert.

steevven1

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #273 on: July 24, 2019, 03:05:02 PM »
Just came here to say that my wife and I have been doing this whole "mini retirement" thing throughout our 20s and are LOVING it. Both 29 now. Our goal with each one is to have a net worth change of $0 or better (never dip into savings for mini retirements).

First one was 6 months in Hawaii; wrote about it here: https://www.tripofalifestyle.com/money/zero-dollar-hawaii-honeymoon/

Second one we're in the middle of right now - Seven months visiting every US National Park. Writing about that here: https://www.tripofalifestyle.com/nationalparks/

Best part is that actual FIRE isn't too far in the distant future, even after doing these big trips!

Did you convert the van yourself? Pics? I've got a Promaster City that I want to convert.

"Convert" is probably an overly generous word for what we did, haha. Basically just rigged up the back with a wooden platform that supports a full-size bed on top and provides four storage quadrants beneath. Nothing more. Total cost was probably like $400 including the brand new (Allswell) bed itself. It's simple but has worked out great. Personally, I think a lot of the other van conversions out there are really cool, but totally overboard for what you actually need.

We should have an article all about the van within the next month. If you sign up for email updates at the bottom of the page, or just follow the blog on social media, you'll see it when it comes out!

dblaace

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #274 on: July 24, 2019, 05:07:21 PM »
Just came here to say that my wife and I have been doing this whole "mini retirement" thing throughout our 20s and are LOVING it. Both 29 now. Our goal with each one is to have a net worth change of $0 or better (never dip into savings for mini retirements).

First one was 6 months in Hawaii; wrote about it here: https://www.tripofalifestyle.com/money/zero-dollar-hawaii-honeymoon/

Second one we're in the middle of right now - Seven months visiting every US National Park. Writing about that here: https://www.tripofalifestyle.com/nationalparks/

Best part is that actual FIRE isn't too far in the distant future, even after doing these big trips!

Did you convert the van yourself? Pics? I've got a Promaster City that I want to convert.

"Convert" is probably an overly generous word for what we did, haha. Basically just rigged up the back with a wooden platform that supports a full-size bed on top and provides four storage quadrants beneath. Nothing more. Total cost was probably like $400 including the brand new (Allswell) bed itself. It's simple but has worked out great. Personally, I think a lot of the other van conversions out there are really cool, but totally overboard for what you actually need.

We should have an article all about the van within the next month. If you sign up for email updates at the bottom of the page, or just follow the blog on social media, you'll see it when it comes out!

Yea, some of the builds are over the top. Currently I just have a carpet, pad and sleeping bag. I have plastic bins for storage but I need something fixed and better organized, the bins move around when I'm driving. I also need some kind of ventilation and  probably insulation. And solar down the road.

Allthecolors

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #275 on: August 30, 2019, 10:48:02 AM »
We are totally doing this!  Taking a year off, WITH three kids and RVing the US and traveling to South America and Europe.  It won't delay retirement too much (if the markets cooperate, we should have roughly what we went into it coming out of it).  And those kids grow so darn fast!

WalkaboutStache

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #276 on: September 02, 2019, 10:38:23 PM »
Going on mine after CoB this Friday until March!  I plan to come back, but am considering the possibility that I might not or may at least dedicate myself fully to the little side gig that makes me happy and earns me a little bit of money.


2Birds1Stone

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Re: Early Retirement vs Serial Mini Retirements
« Reply #277 on: September 03, 2019, 07:56:07 AM »
Just binge caught up on the last 18 months of this thread. Super awesome!

Keep the stories coming. :)

@2Birds1Stone  -- How about an update on your story for this thread?

I just saw this bat signal! And I'm glad I looked back to read the entire thread..........things have progressed quite nicely.

This thread is awesome, thank you for sharing everyone.

I originally planned to work till 40 and hit my $1M full FIRE #.
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.

Investable assets cracked the $500k mark for the first time in July, and then back and over a few times since! So success here.

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.

Right on target for this! Less than 7 months away. Taking 12 months off to travel Europe and SE Asia.

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.

SO (soon to be wife) is totally on board, and ready to leave right now if the opportunity presented itself. We are actually forgoing a traditional wedding in favor of a 12 month honeymoon, during which we will elope.

We have a rough idea of what the next few years will look like. It's more like early retirement w/ serial mini work stints

~April 2020 - Leave for 6 months of backpacking in the EU
~September 2020 - Come back to US for a wedding/month of family time
~October 2020 - Leave for 6 months of backpacking in SE Asia
~Spring 2021 - Come back to USA for 9-12 months of work
~Spring 2022 - 6 month thru-hike of Appalachian Trail
~Fall 2022- Get PT jobs while building a camper Van
~Spring 2023 - Leave for 1+ year of exploring the USA/S. America by camper van

Planning anything more than 3-4 years is silly imho. And even the order of things above may change, or we like/dislike a particular style of travel which changes things up completely.

I guess the biggest realization is, now that we are at ~15-18x combined annual expenses, we don't want to slog at FT jobs for another 5 years to reach full blown FIRE, the semi-FIRE approach of coasting for a decade or two sounds way more appealing, especially since we can't know what/how we want to live more than a few years in advance. The option to go back to career work will always be there (at least for the next 10-20 years) at which point we won't even be *that* old :)

Keep on posting people! This thread is a huge inspiration.