Author Topic: Time off  (Read 6672 times)

slugsworth

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Time off
« on: April 10, 2012, 06:30:16 PM »
I was just curious how many mustachians have take 6 months or a year off prior to being FI.  I plan on taking a month or two off (which I've done before) but am considering a longer break.  For those that have, I'm curious about your experience upon re-entry!

Thanks!

Bakari

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Re: Time off
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2012, 06:54:57 PM »
I'm not yet FI, and I haven't worked full time in... hmmmm....... (had to look it up) 8 years.
So, that's sort of a long break of a type, right?  I mean, right this moment I am sitting in front of a computer on a Tuesday, while most of America works.
Working anywhere from 5-30 hours a week, I just never feel any desire to take a "vacation".  Every week is a vacation.

sol

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Re: Time off
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2012, 07:48:59 PM »
I was just curious how many mustachians have take 6 months or a year off prior to being FI.

I had about eight months off between finishing graduate school and starting employment.  I was 30/31 years old.

It wasn't quite the same thing since I hadn't withdrawn from a job and then tried to pick it up again, so perhaps my perspective isn't what you're looking for. 

It was a fantastic time for me, though.  The last year of graduate school is very focused, no vacations, no phone calls home, pretty much nothing other than work.  So I took the time to visit the various parts of my family I had been neglecting.  I hung out at professional conferences networking for jobs.  I dated casually.  I took some personal time to get in shape and climb some mountains.  It was well worth the lost salary, mostly because I had never had a big salary so I didn't miss it.

I think it would be much harder to do now.  Knowingly giving up half of an annual salary is tough for someone who is trying to build a nest egg, but if you look at it as taking six months of your retirement up front instead of waiting to take it all at once after you retire, I think I could justify it.

pka222

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Re: Time off
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2012, 08:49:22 PM »
I took 6 months off between contracts in 2008 and I still cannot believe I have not done it again. It was excellent, traveling slowly, visiting family and friends I hadn't seen in a while for weeks at a time, long hikes and good surf. By the end of it I was rejuvenated and ready for work, now after 4 years of 11 months on per year I'm ready for another trip. This post reminds me to mention to my boss that on the next contract renewal I'm going to sign 3 months late ! Maybe that 3 months will give me the stamina to make it to FI in 2016.
Cheers

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Time off
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2012, 10:12:35 PM »
I was just curious how many mustachians have take 6 months or a year off prior to being FI.

 but if you look at it as taking six months of your retirement up front instead of waiting to take it all at once after you retire, I think I could justify it.

This.  I'm about to take a break from full time work myself for a couple months. 

carolinakaren

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Re: Time off
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2012, 06:16:59 AM »
I'm not FI yet either, but I've been working part-time for several years. My job is with a hospital, so every employee starts off with five weeks vacation.  This isn't exactly what you are proposing, but that's what I've done. 

Karen

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Re: Time off
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2012, 06:46:24 AM »
The wife and I are teachers.  Between summers, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Spring Break, and weekends, there are only 180 school days in a year.  (Plus then we have sick days).  So we work less than half the days per year.

Of course, being Mustachian, we max out our other possible income opportunities (teach Summer School, tutor after school, etc. etc.), so we actually work quite a bit more than that, but it's nice to tell myself I only work half time.  ;)
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 two kids.
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slugsworth

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Re: Time off
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2012, 06:28:36 PM »
pka222- I am sort of in your shoes, I think that it might take a break for me to make it to FI!

On the positive side my work will allow me to take a month off without too much hassel if I give plenty of notice. . .I'm hoping that is enough to refresh me. But if not, I might have to take a longer break - I think the notion of taking a few months off between jobs is a really great one assuming the stash doesn't suffer too badly.

zinnie

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Re: Time off
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2012, 10:01:53 PM »
pka222- I am sort of in your shoes, I think that it might take a break for me to make it to FI!

On the positive side my work will allow me to take a month off without too much hassel if I give plenty of notice. . .I'm hoping that is enough to refresh me. But if not, I might have to take a longer break - I think the notion of taking a few months off between jobs is a really great one assuming the stash doesn't suffer too badly.

I've always taken a couple month hiatus between jobs. It sure does refresh you to keep chugging along! I can't wait another 11years without a real break or more than a week-long vacation. That's my only solution to not going crazy when working. Luckily I'm in a very specialized field where I've been able to find work again when I want it. I'm sure this is not viable for everyone.

chrissyo

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Re: Time off
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2012, 08:44:37 AM »
We are! We'll be embarking on a trans-Atlantic move this summer and plan to have a bit of a career break. DH loves what he does, so will probably take a shorter break - a few months to travel and get settled in - whereas I plan to break from office work indefinitely, and explore some other things. At least one foreclosure project is definitely on the cards.

We aren't completely FI, but could survive at our current (luxurious) standard of living for at least 16 years (once we are moved, we can start re-allocating our assets away from mostly cash into income producing things, and theoretically could survive indefinitely), so we feel an enormous amount of flexibility. I figure I am naturally quite hard working and somewhat clever, too, so whatever I do, I will likely be able to make money from eventually. With lots of free time and the personal interest being the only motivator, it's easier to become really good at things (like MMM with carpentry).

I also think there's a huge quality of life aspect, which is enhanced with time off - especially if you don't love what you do already. What is the benefit of working so hard to become financially independent down the road if you are totally miserable doing it in the interim? I also think those sorts of breaks can be life changing, in that you can explore new interests, meet new people, etc.

slugsworth

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Re: Time off
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2012, 11:01:17 AM »
theoretically could survive indefinitely
. . .that is what I would call FI! I think most of the folks on this board, and pretty much everyone who doesn't subscribe to the 'golfing in Florida' notion of retirement will probably still make some income from hobbies or whatever, but in any case that sounds great. About 5 years ago I took a European vacation for a month and came back really refreshed. I've realized that I'm overdue for a similar thing again!  I hope you have a great time with your trans-atlantic move, I'm sure it will be an amazing experience!



Dee

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Re: Time off
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2012, 07:30:45 AM »
This is something I think about. My employer offers what is called a self-funded leave, which is usually based on a five-year cycle where the employee gets 80% pay throughout and takes one of those years off from work. If I was quite sure that I was in for long haul with my current job (rather than aiming for early retirement), I think I would be more actively leaning toward this option (and seeing if my employer would accept to have me take it -- it is subject to operational requirements). Even as is, though, I do think about it. Sure, it would delay financial independence but it might give me a good taste of something akin to early retirement...

As it is, I've never taken any extended time off. Last year, I took 2-weeks vacation consecutively, which was the longest vacation I've had in my adult life. I usually prefer to take shorter periods of time off more frequently. I've also managed to start building up my vacation bank so that it's looking pretty healthy. I love time off!

Sparky

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Re: Time off
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2012, 10:02:25 PM »
Long periods of time off are a blessing. My employers not only don't care about me taking long periods of time, but in fact cause it! Joys of construction work.

It's really not that hard to get yourself back into the working world once you actually start to do it. You don't forget how to do your job nor work ethic.

But what's really interesting and I believed mentioned by MMM in a post is once you are able to step back from the workforce you'll begin to see all sorts of money making ideas. When I head back to the working world after my 15 month 'holiday', not only did I get a better paying job, but was offered an even higher position within 2 weeks of coming back.

chrissyo

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Re: Time off
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2012, 08:54:54 AM »
. . .that is what I would call FI! I think most of the folks on this board, and pretty much everyone who doesn't subscribe to the 'golfing in Florida' notion of retirement will probably still make some income from hobbies or whatever, but in any case that sounds great. About 5 years ago I took a European vacation for a month and came back really refreshed. I've realized that I'm overdue for a similar thing again!  I hope you have a great time with your trans-atlantic move, I'm sure it will be an amazing experience!

Thanks! I guess I don't deem it FI b/c I don't yet have it structured in an income producing way, so don't have the income/numbers to back up the theory. Hopefully in 12 months, it will be a different story :) We're really looking forward to a bit more exploration in Europe and the US, and I am particularly looking forward to getting back home to the sunshine and low COL in Colorado!

chschen

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Re: Time off
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2012, 01:01:40 PM »
Great and helpful posts, everyone! We're in the same boat--about to take a year or two off to go traveling around the world, even though we're not FI yet (but pretty well on our way). I was a little worried that I would just simply not want to work after I come back, but I think it's just as likely that the opposite will happen: I'll be ready to tackle a few more years of solid work until we do achieve FI. Also, I'm sort of at a crossroads with what I want to do with my life right now, so seeing and experiencing new things will probably be immensely beneficial.