Mini-retirements vs ERE?

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lordmetroid
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Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by lordmetroid » Wed Nov 04, 2015 7:36 pm

Since I hate taking orders and working for the man, having my entire life scheduled around my boss' needs I want to quit that lifestyle as soon as possible. I bumped into the concept of Extreme Early retirement last year so I started to save about 50% and according to Tyler9000's FIRE-time calculator, I will be break even retired in 8 to 10 years at the age of around 40 if I am saving and saving and saving and deferring any traveling I would wish to do.

I read the article Mini-Retirements, Semi-Retirement, Early Retirement — What’s the Most Awesome Lifestyle?. Which got me thinking. Jacob went back to work and the Financial Samurai seems also be working even after ERE, so do Mr Money Mustache amongst many other retirement blogers. Perhaps Extremely early retirement isn't the right goal.

Life is uncertain, a distant relative that hasn't even turned 30 just got hit by a car and is in a coma at the hospital. A few years ago a schoolmate died in a car accident and I know of 2 other people who died unexpectedly in the last 10 years. So as I begun exploring the idea of Mini-retirements I bumped into an the article Why a Mini-Retirement May Rejuvenate Your Career from a psychologist who conveyed that she has many clients that had deferred their gratifications until retirement and when they arrived, they or their significant others were regrettably unable to enjoy themselves because of their ill-functioning bodies or death. Deferring gratification for too long may be a mistake, even 5 years may be too long. You never know when you will perish.

Perhaps Mini-retirements are better than Financial Independence. Of course I will hustle on the side of my day-job and start working for myself so I do not need to have my life controlled by some sociopathic psychopath who couldn't give a rats ass about me.

Dragline
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by Dragline » Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:11 pm

Its not better or worse, its just different.

But in the mini-retirement scenario you will be required to find another job or income after not working for some period. Will that be easy or difficult in your industry? If its difficult, there may be a period of "work looking for the next job or gig" that you will need to factor in to projected scenarios. If you enjoy that process (looking for work or building a profitable business from nothing), the mini-retirement idea may be better for you. And if you don't, then its probably not.

The best solution may be to simply look for a new job now if you can't stand the one you are in currently, or find a way to make more money at the current job or a side gig.

Also, I would not compare your situation to those of the people you reference. They were not required to go make more money, because they had reached FI. It just happened that they could make money at what they wanted to do next, so they did.

As for whether ERE is the "right goal", it depends on what you think that goal actually is. "Doing nothing" is probably not the right goal. And DN doesn't take much saving anyway. The wisdom of Lawrence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQ-bp_A61MI

Being able to do what you want, which might cost some amount of money, and not having to worry about whether you get paid for it (or not) is really the goal.

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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by Tyler9000 » Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:27 am

Office Space is full of funny but solid life wisdom. And Lawrence is one of my favorites.

The limitation of the mini-retirement article is that it paints a negative picture of full retirement by still assuming you do it at a traditional older age. I personally see ERE as a permanent mini-retirement path where you can hop in and out of interesting work whenever you please. There's nothing wrong with taking some time off before FI, either, but I think the focus should be on establishing the system to maximize financial freedom rather than approaching it as a bunch of pauses in an inevitable lifetime of work.

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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by thrifty++ » Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:21 pm

OP - Im into mini retirements. I have had a couple so far. Would you call two month and three month periods for travel mini retirements? Im planning to do 5 months next year. This time im doing it in a way to minimise costs. I have a side consulting gig for 8 or so hours a week I can do from anywhere. So that will provide my income stream. Where I am going is cheap. So I wont loose any capital. I just wont grow my wealth much during that time. Im also planning to see if my job can be held open which there is a reasonable chance of. I am wrapping this mini retirement into my longer term ERE goal.

SimpleLife
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by SimpleLife » Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:25 pm

I agree in that it will be difficult for most people to go back to work after several years of mini retirement. In the IT industry you can all but forget about it.

And the comments that it would suck to just look at life as one long work period with mini pauses is spot on. I mean, I can understand taking a break if you are really exhausted and still far away, but in many ways, it'd be better to power through and eventually not have to work at all. But it comes down to personal preference. I will say if you think working now sucks, just wait until you are in your 60's or 70's. Hard to find work and it will be menial in most cases. I'd rather work until 40 and never have to work again than have to deal with that crap down the road.

Heck, I could stop working now, but I have elected to keep working even though I don't want to. Got a good thing going and will keep it going to add more and more buffer, although, recently I've begun questioning the wisdom of this due to the toll it has taken on my mental, physical and emotional health. I crunch the numbers whenever I feel down and remind my self that I can pull the plug now if I want to, with buffer eve. But I am trying to power through as best I can.

One thing you may not have considered is cutting your time to ERE by relocating to a lower cost of living area when you pull the plug.

I could have retired YEARS ago if I did that. I'd argue that many of us could. I will likely still do it when I actually pull the plug. Especially now that I found out one of my former colleagues is relocating to the same area as I'm considering for part of the same reasons...

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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by Did » Fri Nov 06, 2015 4:11 am

One of the statements in the Four Hour Work Week which resonated was that retirement is a worst case scenario - it means that you are physically incapable of doing anything. And if you take retirement off the table, then how much money do you really need? Cash flow is king.....

Pretty powerful idea. And if you take most characters who have 'retired' early they tend to earn at least as much as they need to live post retirement through activities other than ROI. Indeed, if that is the case, then why do you need the investment in the first place?

I think most who pull the pin just need a break, and the investment (and associated logic around safe returns etc) just give them the balls to do so.

But within a year or three most of them are back earning cash doing something. All they really needed as it turns out was enough in the kitty to survive that long, and enough intellectual framework to put the ego to one side and live without the frills that drained their salary before they retired (ie to go from bigwig in a big house to an RV or Thailand dwelling fellow on a break).

Obviously the people who gather here are fond of accumulation etc. But if you can live as many do post ERE then paradoxically you might well be able to skip the accumulation. Did Mr MM need his million bucks? Jacob his 200k? Or did they just need the balls to do what they did, and some cash to survive/have a holiday until something else came up?

Food for thought, especially if you are 24 and full of beans, and don't want to spend the next 10 years or more accumulating in some soul destroying job.

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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by BeyondtheWrap » Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:20 am

I hate going on job interviews, so that aspect of mini-retirement does not appeal to me. I plan to just stay as long as possible working at the same job. Maybe if I got fired, I could live off my savings while I interview both for income jobs and for interesting jobs; then I'll just see what I end up being able to get. But since I currently have a job, I'm not going to rush that process along.
Last edited by BeyondtheWrap on Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:24 am

I am somebody who has chosen the self and semi-employment option. I would note that all you have to do to declare yourself semi-employed for life is get your happy-lifestyle-for-me expenses down to less than 20 hrs/week X minimum wage. Semi-retirement can also be inclusive of mini-retirement option if you have self or temporary employment opportunities. For instance, my ideal lifestyle design which I am currently trying out includes complete vacation in July/August and January thru mid-February, full-time self and temp employment some months and part-time self and temp employment most months. I do have to hustle a little bit to maintain this lifestyle, but I kind of like the feeling of getting my hustle on (unlike the feeling of being oppressed by "the man" or long-term trapped and bored.) YMMV.

OTOH, I have to say that in my experience, being rather footloose and fancy free at 50 is not very different than at 20, and in many ways it is better. No giant looming decisions to make about grad school or marriage or having kids etc. I can't off the top of my head think of one thing I could do physically at 20 that I can't do now (and some things I can do much better.) Also, just the process of going through life brings a depth of perspective to any new experience, and the same holds true for my playmates, peers and partners. Unless you don't live much at all, 50 year old you will likely see 20 year old you as very blank-slate. So, that is something else you might take into consideration.

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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by IlliniDave » Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:24 am

I have a job I don't dislike and fall more on the optimistic side of the spectrum, so to me once-and-for-all financial independence (at least a reasonable probability of it) is the more attractive option. There are maybe three primary drivers. In no particular order, one is that I was near 50 years of age when I decided I would change course and shorten my career, and from where I was at the time, an appreciable degree of FI was only a short sprint away. Another is that I recognize I'll eventually reach an age, 70, 80, whatever, where I don't want to be facing the prospect of going out and hunting a job. The third is that once I leave my full-time professional career, I want to maintain options, one of which is to have the option to not work for wages. Doesn't mean I never will again, just that if I do it's a free choice.

That said, the intermittent work/"retire"/work/"retire" approach is probably a decent one for some people. It's along the lines of the approach Ernie Zelinsky espouses. I wouldn't call it better or worse in an absolute sense, but for a given person it might be superior. It might get tricky to manage in old age though. Usually the people who write about it are relatively young and kind of hand wave away that part of it by saying people live longer so of course you can just go back to work when you're 75 or whatever. Maybe learning to live below the means afforded by a partial/lower SS benefit is the solution there.

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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by jacob » Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:52 am

If the idea of mini-retirements (which used to be called sabbaticals, though I suppose that doesn't sound as prestigious) is something one does to rejuvenate from life-long career, then ...

Maybe we should rename the somewhat boring sounding "extreme early retirement" to something more prestigious and call it:

Mini-work!

With mini-work the idea is that you can do whatever you want whenever you want since you're FI. Then from time to time when you get tired of whatever traveling or surfing or adventuring and want to do something productive then you can do one of these "mini-works" to spice things up.

Arguing if either one is better is like arguing whether the holes (mini-retirements) in Swiss cheese is best part of Swiss cheese or whether it's the cheese itself. In either case, if you remove either the holes or the cheese, you no longer have Swiss cheese.

Otherwise, I think the preference simply comes to individual career possibilities, risk-tolerance, and talents for hustle.

* Consider someone in an academic career in the sciences. There are practically nobody with mini-retirement holes in their resume. Taking a year off pretty much destroys such a career. So if you're an academic, a mini-retirement is a likely career fatality.

* Consider software engineering. You see extremely few if any junior software engineers in their 50s or 60s. Finance is the same way. While you can jump in and out in your 20s and 30s ... that door is closing rapidly once your begin to sport a few grey hairs. I've heard that "aging" (e.g. 40 year old) software engineers in the Valley actually color their hair to stay hireable.

* A workman-type who runs their own business can jump in and out a lot easier than someone who has a high powered salary. However, the freedom to move is typically paid for by a high or a diverse skill level. The problem is that for highly compensated jobs, the required skill level is actually somewhat higher still. In other words, while one can jump in and out of plumbing jobs, the same can't be done for corporate management jobs.

* Contrary to what one reads on blogs, most lifestyle businesses are failures. A more realistic one goes something like this: Bob makes $2500/year on his lifestyle business (selling golf balls on ebay) which together with his $24000 in savings and him spending every evening hacking out a couple of travel farticles a day, he can just about keep above water in his beach apartment in Phuket, Thailand. However, if he doesn't bring in more income he will run out of money in the next 4-5 years.

* Browsing listings it becomes readily apparent that certain jobs, typically specific software skills, but also writing, etc. can command rates at $100/hr. Doing the math, Ann realizes that by working 10 hour days for 3 months, she can make an astounding $90000 from which she plans to live in luxury for the rest of the year. Repeat and rinse. What could possible go wrong? Doing "the reality", Ann quickly realizes that those assumed 900 hours of work between January and March simply don't exist in such quantity. In particular, she can only find about 90 hours of work in that three month time span making for a somewhat less useful $9000. Not bad ... but it also took some time finding those jobs and managing billing, etc. ... and 9k won't pay for a life in luxury for the rest of the year.

I'm not saying that either method is superior or inferior. More that the choice depends a lot on individual circumstances, potentials, and temperaments. You mention me, MMM, and FS as examples. I'm semi-sure that I speak for all of us when I say that our primary goal from the outset was NOT to sacrifice our 20s for a pot of gold. Rather we were all driven individuals and top performers in our respective vocations AND personal finance which incidentally also resulted in FI. At some point we made a decision to change direction and FI made that easy. But most likely (don't recall MMM's specifics), FI happened BEFORE the desire the quit; whereas with our blogging and followers, in most cases, the desire to quit happens before FI.

This is also why you see us still doing some stuff. You can't just remove the performance temperament.

If we talk about "sacrifice" I also think there's a material difference between spending 5 years or 20 years on achieving the goal. Let us recall that sacrifice doesn't mean doing without. It means exchanging something for a superior position. If I had actually suffered through my 5 years, then today, I would be quite okay with that because my current position in terms of financial stability is vastly superior to those who didn't. It's one of those mental games ... if you had $0 ... would you accept a prison sentence that required you to show up in prison every day from 9-5 but allow you to go home after that if that meant that you'd have a quarter million after that? I would. And ten years later, I'd probably be glad I did. Would I have sacrificed 20 years? No!

Since the group of people who "YOLO in one's twenties and thirties" is vastly more popular than the tiny "saving lots of money"-group we have a much larger sample to judge. For the most part, their travel memories from 10 years ago don't seem to compensate for the fact that they're constantly reminded that they're now 10 years behind their peers in most aspects of their lives. At work they're outmaneuvered by younger people with more experience and more energy. At PTA meetings, the other parents are young enough to almost be their children. Ditto if they have to go back to college. Meanwhile friends at their own age are settling solidly. I hear more regret or complaints about struggling from this group.

The difference is that compared to the median person, with ERE, you're ahead and seeing most people trying to catch up. With mini-retirements, you're behind the median trying to catch up.

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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by cmonkey » Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:30 pm

I think a more appropriate label for our group would be Financial Independence Extreme - FIE. FI is really the goal, not 'retirement' as its defined today (this has been discussed before). Having said that, more people identify with 'retirement' and attaching a label like 'extreme' to it makes it intriguing which might help capture more converts.

As others stated, one's goal should be to maximize flexibility and freedom. Money can be a large hindrance these days if you don't take control of it and removing it as an obstacle creates wonderful opportunities. A mini-retirement doesn't really give you the same thing that FI does. In fact, depending on how far you look/plan into the future, many traditional 9-5ers would classify the weekend as a mini-retirement!

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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Nov 06, 2015 5:29 pm

jacob said: It's one of those mental games ... if you had $0 ... would you accept a prison sentence that required you to show up in prison every day from 9-5 but allow you to go home after that if that meant that you'd have a quarter million after that?
My honest answer would be "No." , but I would definitely do 3 month sentence in order to put together a $10,000 stake or roll if needed for my next project. Might be reflective of the essential biochemical difference between the ENTP and INTJ. I have never had any interest in doing anything like running a marathon either. OTOH, working endlessly to afford a lifestyle that includes big house in the suburbs, snowmobile, mall shopping and tickets to tourist destinations seems like an absolutely hellishly boring choice. So, I guess maybe the NT combo makes people want to be creative/frugal, but the IJ combo makes people more long-term disciplined workers. Us EP's just like to slack about and chit-chat too much.

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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by bryan » Fri Nov 06, 2015 5:46 pm

jacob wrote: Maybe we should rename the somewhat boring sounding "extreme early retirement" to something more prestigious
I think ERE is a good brand but not perfect. One example is the way it makes me feel when someone maybe reads over my shoulder and sees the name. I would prefer them to immediately go "oh, cool, that sounds amazing?!"
cmonkey wrote:I think a more appropriate label for our group would be Financial Independence Extreme - FIE. FI is really the goal, not 'retirement' as its defined today (this has been discussed before). Having said that, more people identify with 'retirement' and attaching a label like 'extreme' to it makes it intriguing which might help capture more converts.
the label FIE I think _is_ more appropriate but still not sure if that's the brand you want.

Sorry.. no good ideas coming from me. just my £0.02.
jacob wrote: * Consider software engineering. You see extremely few if any junior software engineers in their 50s or 60s. Finance is the same way. While you can jump in and out in your 20s and 30s ... that door is closing rapidly once your begin to sport a few grey hairs. I've heard that "aging" (e.g. 40 year old) software engineers in the Valley actually color their hair to stay hireable.
I'm not sold on this story (that I've heard since getting into the software field in the late 2000s). Though I do think there is some age discrimination for start-ups for "culture fit" but outside of that..

I think the 50+ year old (or honestly.. 35+yo) engineers looking for jobs just don't provide the value for the compensation they are asking for. Particularly for the newer computer science fields (web, machine learning..) that are hiring the most. There are plenty of old fogies in the older computer fields (embedded..). As a profit-maximizing employer I would _almost_ entirely be concerned for the positive value I can get out of any hire. This concern may have criteria that is correlated to the age/wisdom of the hire (e.g. are they willing to do more than just the 9-5, will they quit/retire on me, do they have friends/colleagues that could be recruited, will they sue me, will they make their own business to compete against me, will they increase their productivity faster than their income).

Plus, it seems apparent that the fields in software doing a lot of hiring now don't particularly _require_ lots of experience (or at least the experience of the more senior in the field)?

The people conducting the interview also have their own criteria (which I don't think are too age/sex/color motivated; unless perhaps they are afraid of affirmative action or more experienced people getting promotions faster than themselves.. e.g. "B" employees hiring "C" employees); as an employer you need to eliminate this factor from your hiring jury.

So actually all of that doesn't disagree with the idea of preferring younger folks and having some bias.. except.. what if that elderly engineer was offering his services at a lower tangible compensation than is expected!?! AGEISM GONE (hypothetically..)!

It's no secret software engineers are more likely to retire early, anyway. In the US at least.. I've seen a ton of relatively older Indian/Ukrainian SWEs. I'm not great at google, but see at least this "Statistics Canada" article: http://ivt.crepuq.qc.ca/popactive/docum ... 4s4a01.pdf

It's a bit of a "no duh" finding: "early retirement increases with income" and "as income rises, so does the likelihood for savings"

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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by jacob » Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:38 pm

bryan wrote: I think the 50+ year old (or honestly.. 35+yo) engineers looking for jobs just don't provide the value for the compensation they are asking for.
That's the thing. In SE, experience doesn't count as much as in most other vocations because how rapidly things change. I'm not saying that it's impossible. Just that it's difficult. In particular because there's a subfaction of recent graduates who are willing to work 60+ hour weeks because they still think that they personally are going to be the one-superstar.

Science [research] and [high] finance are similar in the sense that the 5-year attrition rate is 70--90%. I don't know specifically what the SE rate is ... except, the oldest SE person I know (who's not a manager) is 47. The next oldest is 42. And I know dozens. Most are around 25-30.

Physics is even worse. There's a straight line graph between age and tenure track. If you're not on it, you're most definitely doing something else. Like HS teaching, industry, or blogging about ERE ;-P

My main point wrt mini-retirement is that the consequence of that is that one mostly will work juniorish positions henceforth. And when it comes to those ... would you rather hire a 25 yo who thinks they're god's gift to mankind or a 55 yo who's been there and done that and mainly works for the bennies? I'd take the former any day.

It all depends on the vocation though. I didn't mean to derail this with some commentary on SE, specifically. I'm just giving examples wrt what I know a bit about. I'm also told that if you're a carpenter and you haven't made Master before you're 40 (at which point you can get apprentices to carry 2x4s up 5 stairs), you'll have a hard time. When I RE'd the first time and was seriously looking into carpenter apprentice programs, I was specifically told that I was probably too out of shape (at age 33) to meet the physical demands of hauling weights around. The guy making those well-intended statements hadn't met me in person---I'm in better shape that most 20yos even at age 40---but that just goes to show that the age-variable carries quite a bit of weight.

The simple-living in suffolk blog has several posts picking apart the "I'm going to behave as if I'm 20 for the next 70 years" posts :) ... I'm not judging. I don't care. But I think he has a point :)

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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by jennypenny » Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:36 pm

jacob wrote:Maybe we should rename the somewhat boring sounding "extreme early retirement" to something more prestigious
I like the early retirement extreme moniker, especially now that the "extreme" part refers to how many times a person gets to retire early. ;)

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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by Ego » Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:48 pm

jacob wrote:If the idea of mini-retirements (which used to be called sabbaticals, though I suppose that doesn't sound as prestigious) is something one does to rejuvenate from life-long career, then ...

Since the group of people who "YOLO in one's twenties and thirties" is vastly more popular than the tiny "saving lots of money"-group we have a much larger sample to judge. For the most part, their travel memories from 10 years ago don't seem to compensate for the fact that they're constantly reminded that they're now 10 years behind their peers in most aspects of their lives. At work they're outmaneuvered by younger people with more experience and more energy. At PTA meetings, the other parents are young enough to almost be their children. Ditto if they have to go back to college. Meanwhile friends at their own age are settling solidly. I hear more regret or complaints about struggling from this group.

The difference is that compared to the median person, with ERE, you're ahead and seeing most people trying to catch up. With mini-retirements, you're behind the median trying to catch up.
We've done the mini-retire thing six times now where we quit our jobs/businesses for more than a year on each occasion. While we may be at a competitive disadvantage when judged against our peers from those first few 'real' jobs, we are so drastically different as human beings that we'd never, ever, ever want to be competitive with them.

For us it's not so much the 'travel memories' that are valuable, it's the fact that we were changed by the wide variety of experiences we had over those years of travel (Travel is not quite the right word for it, but like retirement, it's the word we've got.)

Another important consideration for mini-retirement is the fact that it opens doors that would have never been opened otherwise. The property management company we work for would have never offered us the incredible building we got upon returning had we never left the other property to travel. They wouldn't have wanted to upset the apple cart and would have kept us in the place where things were running smoothly. It sounds like Tyler9000 outlined a similar situation in his journal.

While I agree that some YOLOs may regret being ten years behind peers who, as you said above are "settling solidly", that phrase brought to mind a vision of someone six feet under. But I have a cockeyed view of the world and will never be settled solidly thanks in large part to the fact that I am a compulsive mini-worker.

And for the record, we are back to near zero expenses, will be once again adding to the stash and could still, if insanity were to strike, buy a house in SoCal with cash. But that would put us at near zero cash so it ain't going to happen.

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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:17 pm

Jacob said: My main point wrt mini-retirement is that the consequence of that is that one mostly will work juniorish positions henceforth. And when it comes to those ... would you rather hire a 25 yo who thinks they're god's gift to mankind or a 55 yo who's been there and done that and mainly works for the bennies? I'd take the former any day.
What if Iggy Pop applies for the job? I'm not familiar with the field, but there must be various factors that make an applicant for a SE position "sexy." Youth is obviously highly correlated with "sexy" in many fields or markets, but not always. When you think of the stereotypical worst-case scenario of a middle-aged, middle-manager being forced back out into the job market to compete, what does he look/vibe like? What has he done lately? What I have surprisingly found to be true is that sometimes the market will pull you back in against your will as well as push you out, and a lot of it has to do with context "where are you?", but also "what have you done lately?" You are always only going to be as good as your last play. but it is almost never too late to push the re-set button. This whole topic of age-ism is making me chuckle, because my cuckoo-bananas, non-technologically savvy, 49 year old sister, figured out how to use a dating app and hit it with a much, much too young man on our living room sofa while I was at work today. So, for better or worse, my lifestyle at 50 actually is almost EXACTLY like my lifestyle at 20, but I never would have imagined that would be the case when I was 30. I would assume that there must be some software engineering equivalent of still having a flat abdomen and just barely being able to use a phone app (reverse?) that could similarly get you "hired" for that position at 49?

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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by jacob » Sat Nov 07, 2015 5:32 pm

Okay, my apologies, I think I was phrasing this more in terms of age than I intended to. It's just that age tends to correlate somewhat with behaviors and that while it's possible to act like a 20yo in one area of life and a 60yo in another area, it's harder to correlate strongly with all dimensions than someone who follows the standard/median trajectory.

Obviously there are some outliers ... and not surprisingly my favorite outliers objected right away :-D ... but you guys are exceptions to my rule ;-)

I fully appreciate that not acting on age is healthy and youthful. However, I've also seen just how hard it is [for most] to live up to that ideal.

For example, "going back to college" at chrono-age 40, one might appreciate the inquisitiveness and energy of the typical 20yo college environment. OTOH, maybe one might not like the GF/BF drama that tends to come along with it insofar one wishes to socialize. Nor the required frat-partying to gain the social bonds. I have seen both success and failures here in terms of blending in. Mostly failures though.

And it's similar for other things.

Point being, the fact that the majority of people are on some kind of life-trajectory can't be ignored. There are obviously exceptions to the trajectory. I think it's easier to deal with any incompatibility financially (because you're FI) than W2-wise (because you need need to convince someone to hire you).

Because there's a huge difference in terms of how much experience vis-a-vis energy is evaluated, it's hard to make a blanet statement which is better. E.g. if you're an athlete, you should probably aim for ER. Whereas if you're a writer or a martial artist or something else that improves with experience rather than energy ... sure ...

I merely wanted to protest to A vs B thinking of one-size-fits all.

heyhey
Posts: 113
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2014 7:17 pm
Location: Herts UK

Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by heyhey » Sat Nov 07, 2015 11:41 pm

I know this is hard (maybe impossible) to see if you're young... but just because somebody over 40 doesn't act like somebody in their 20s doesn't mean they're a failure. People in their 20s are children to us, and the games they play are like watching 5-year-olds play with Barbies.

sea
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:28 pm

Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by sea » Sun Nov 08, 2015 8:11 pm

@lordmetroid I've been on a few mini-retirements, and they are wonderful. Of course, I'd be much closer to FI or already have it if I hadn't, but I don't regret the experience and can still retire early if I want to. I've had too many friends die in their 20s (3) to know I need to seize the day every now and then. I'm about the same distance out from FI as you are, maybe less if I change my housing.

I think trying out mini-retirement can be good for people that are interested in them. It gave me a taste for FI anyway. It was harder cracking back into my industry/career the last time though. It took me four months to find a job and before that I would just get the ones I interviewed for. A lot of employers don't understand or look too highly on having non-working year on a resume, but that mostly filtered out the places that wouldn't be sustainable for me. One my hiring managers told me she was jealous and asked how I did it and I still got the job. But you won't have to worry about that if you are working for yourself.

I can't handle working for sociopaths either. Luckily, I have a smart and kind manager right now and for the last two years that knows her stuff and actually does work besides going to meetings, but I don't do very well over the long-term reporting to someone I don't respect. It sucks how much of one's working experience is determined by the character of who you report to. I hope you like working for yourself.

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