Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
thrifty++
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by thrifty++ » Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:17 pm

Lordmetroid - how long does a semi retirement have to be? What about taking a nice break for a while like a couple of months to go relax somewhere cheap. I have found my little sabbaticals to be so enriching and have no regrets either. Since you dont like your current boss too much maybe you could use and abuse your workplace- how about asking for the to hold your job open a few months to travel and then return and start to look for a new job. You might find your net worth does not even reduce in that scenario especially if you go somewhere cheap

7Wannabe5
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:29 am

@jacob- Well, the argument to save-big-first makes complete sense even if you imagine a human being totally impervious to aging. Living off of interest or dividend income is better than living off your principal (duh-lol. )One thing that has really freed me up relative to many of my peers is that I stopped having kids relatively early. Since I was still in college when my DS27 was born, I never had the experience of only having to take care of myself financially until my DD24 became independent of me financially 2 years ago. Since, I divorced just a year before my youngest went away to college, I went on a minimalist kick and got rid of the big house and all the stuff I had acquired over my child-rearing years, and ended up with basically the same lifestyle as my 2 away-at-college kids, except I was the one from whom the cash was flowing. It's funny to me when I date these men who are my age or somewhat older, retired or contemplating retirement, and they are still expending so much life energy on maintaining giant nests full of stuff. So, I highly recommend checking "have kids" off the life list earlier rather than later for anybody who knows that they are eventually going to want to have kids. It's at least a 22 year long commitment of at least $500 month plus at least one-at-home parent, so pretty darn expensive. However, I would note that I love having adult children as much as I loved having babies. They came over yesterday and helped me build my geodesic dome, and we all played 90s version Trivial Pursuit. So, IMO, worth it to grow some of your own fellow-nerds with whom to eventually associate.

SimpleLife
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by SimpleLife » Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:33 pm

Did and Jacob make some good points. Most of the people involved in ERE style lifestyle seem to be working again not longer after pulling the plug, and doing something other than what they did before that pays less but they enjoy more.

I've held that people change careers on average, every seven years. I've changed careers every 7 or so years like clock work. I'm even considering it now, but as Did pointed out, I don't think I would be as likely to consider it without a significant stash of money and income producing assets.

Jacob makes an interesting observation in that blue collar work or bare bones ebay/CL/etsy type self employment opportunities are easier to pick back up than a Six figure salaried Vice President job at a mega corporation.

OP, I neglected to mention earlier that I've had two near death experiences in the past 4 years alone due to medical issues. I've survived an illness that kills more people than AIDS, cancer and car accidents in the US COMBINED. I don't plan on working forever, but I do want to make sure I am set for life and can cover legal, health, and family issues that may arise. Not just bare minimum FI numbers.

In my line of work that is easier to do in one fell swoop. I've increased my income by 500% in the last 7-8 years or so. Powering through enables me to build a career and get more money, which I save most of. I think last time I calculated my cash income from my job and rentals I have a 92-95% savings rate or something like that. Of course that's just income from my job and rentals. I still live in a McMansion, drive a car, but I live like I make a Receptionists wage, not an IT Engineer salary. I don't think I would have been able to do that if I didn't keep building and powering through. I'm looking at 6 more years. Almost three more years ago when I started posting I was looking at 9 years. I'm FI now, more than the minimum, but want huge buffer for legal, medical and other life events. As someone who has been sued, been in the hospital fighting for his life, etc. I am not as quite certain retiring with just a 25x expenses stash is all that safe as it doesn't account for a lot of things that could seriously wrong.

lordmetroid
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by lordmetroid » Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:57 am

Three more people I know just died this weekend. One was hit by a stoned driver that veered into the opposite lane. The other two died due to illness at the hospital. One of the guys, in his 30s, about the same age as me. Suffered meningitis.

I am still far away from financial independence, still only having saved about 10% of my number for ERE or 33% if I want to semi-retire.

I have been unemployed since late September and have been very actively searching for a new job but no one have yet wanted to hire me. I am living on the unemployment insurance I signed as soon as I got my first job. Living unemployed for half a year has been an overall great experience!
  • Waking up and going to bed whenever I please.
  • Cleaned out a room
  • Selling excess stuff
  • Visiting distant relatives.
  • Received more political undertakings
  • But by far, pretty much all of my time have been dedicated to learn a lot about the financial markets, about risk management, about the common math solutions applied in the analysis of the financial markets. how to trade and doing back-tests. Of course I got my hands dirty and did some speculative trading, learned about my investment personality and what kind of investing strategies is fitting for my psychology. It has been a very very fulfilling.
That being said, I have two more things I want to do. I want to start a business centered around writing about Japan and Japanese. And I want to start a business writing android games. I got these two projects started but I can't get myself doing any actual work beyond that.
Last edited by lordmetroid on Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:54 am, edited 4 times in total.

Scott 2
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by Scott 2 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:25 am

IMO stopping work at a regular interval is not worth the income hit.

I'd suggest using your asset base to make your work compatible with the lifestyle you want to lead. I work from home 80% of the time, do little overtime, work with good people, get market pay, etc. I started building these relationships twelve years ago. I do my job well and make a point to be easy to employ. There's no reason work has to be suffering, you just having to learn how to say no without upsetting people.

In my experience, there are a lot of useless software engineers out there. I suspect when we hear about age discrimination, it is from those folks. If that twenty years of experience is the same year repeated twenty times, no, I don't want to work with them. Some guys take weeks to complete a task other guys will finish in hours. The job done in hours usually works better too. If you can perform like that, there will always be work for you.

polaran
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by polaran » Thu Mar 31, 2016 2:06 pm

I am in a profession where mini-breaks are a viable option. I'm a veterinarian, and if you're willing to do small animal practice in large cities, you can subsist quite well as a relief/emergency vet who works as an independent contractor. Don't want to work for x amount of time? Don't line up shifts during that period. It's a better option for those who want to take several months per year off vs taking 1-2 years off at a time since you do need some level of contacts to continue getting work. It would be possible for me to live on 6 months of income per year (even accounting for the fact that you won't be employed a steady 40 hrs/week) while traveling or pursuing hobbies the other half of the year and still build investments towards true FI. Granted, most in the profession have far too much student debt to consider taking time off. I've met several nurses and physical therapists who pursued a similar lifestyle due to the availability of travel/contract work in those professions. I'm currently using such work to subsidize my time doing low paid advanced training for a niche area of the profession that I particularly enjoy.
Last edited by polaran on Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

BRUTE
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by BRUTE » Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:35 pm

brute enjoys mini-retirements. sometimes not so mini.

even in jobs that are interesting, stimulating, working with nice people, and paying six figures+, brute eventually gets itchy feet. brute has not yet figured out if this is the job itself or more related to the geographical location, as these were historically tied closely for brute.

steveo73
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by steveo73 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:04 am

This is an interesting topic. I'm not sure what is the right option here however for me personally I don't want to quit my job until I'm FI however if my job goes through a sucky period I would definitely consider working part time.

I feel though I need to break the back of getting to FI rather than take mini-breaks along the way. I also have 3 kids who I need to support so it's not so easy just to quit work. I think the question is what do I mean by breaking the back of getting to FI. I think this is really about getting enough assets that 5 years or so of not saving money should allow compounding to get me to my FI figure anyway. So if I worked part-time and just earned enough to live off I should be FI within 5 years anyway.

thrifty++
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by thrifty++ » Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:41 am

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Last edited by thrifty++ on Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BRUTE
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by BRUTE » Fri Apr 01, 2016 2:15 am

steveo73 wrote:I think this is really about getting enough assets that 5 years or so of not saving money should allow compounding to get me to my FI figure anyway. So if I worked part-time and just earned enough to live off I should be FI within 5 years anyway.
this could be called the vanishing point or event horizon of ERE :D

lordmetroid
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by lordmetroid » Fri Apr 01, 2016 2:30 am

thrifty++ wrote:Lordmetroid you have been off for a while. Sounds like you are really enjoying it. I dont quite understand the original purpose of your mini retirement though. I am curious as to what it was?
I am not having a mini-retirement on purpose, I got laid off as the whole development department was to be relocated.

I am indeed a good programmer, been programming since 10 years old. However, as I have been on interviews, all of the work in my local town seems to revolve around the C# language which I have had no prior experience as I have been programming normal C for embedded firmware in my previous employment. Perhaps the employers don't like my personality because a language could easily been learned on the job. I do not know.

steveo73
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by steveo73 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 3:42 am

lordmetroid wrote:Perhaps the employers don't like my personality because a language could easily been learned on the job. I do not know.
I agree that a language could easily be learned on the job however I think that people who aren't experienced don't understand this concept. There will be a learning phase but if you can programme you should be able to utilise other languages fairly easily.

Once within my job we had a new manager. He wanted a skills matrix down to a detailed level. So for instance the specific version of Oracle or dot net that you were experienced with. I had to build some ETL jobs off an Oracle database despite never using Oracle previously in my life. It was extremely easy to adapt and I doubt anyone even knew that I'd never used Oracle at all. This guy was sacked a while after that - he did last at least 2 years though. I think that some people go through their careers doing stuff that has no benefit and it's rare for people to realize that they have no idea.

steveo73
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by steveo73 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 3:44 am

BRUTE wrote:
steveo73 wrote:I think this is really about getting enough assets that 5 years or so of not saving money should allow compounding to get me to my FI figure anyway. So if I worked part-time and just earned enough to live off I should be FI within 5 years anyway.
this could be called the vanishing point or event horizon of ERE :D
This is where I want to get too. At the moment my job has been great and I could keep going full-time (which is really part-time) until I reached FI. The problem is I'm not convinced in a week or a month it will not turn into a stressful toxic crappy environment yet again. This is one reason I want to become FI. Another reason is that I want to do other stuff.

IlliniDave
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by IlliniDave » Fri Apr 01, 2016 8:25 am

The approach you describe is certainly a viable one, although it would not work for me (just personal preference). My goal isn't just eventual FI, but FI ASAP. But I do take mini retirements most weekends, 10 days or so over Christmas and New Year's holidays, and 5 other weeks during the year. :)

7Wannabe5
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:37 am

Well, I am just too damn lazy to go back to full-time employment even though I am far away from FI, so grain of salt with my opinion. The point I would like to add is that it is actually, over the long run, not that easy being or staying retired. For a variety of reasons, I would predict that most people, given reasonably good health, will find themselves, almost by osmosis, eventually becoming mini-employed after they retire, whether or not they achieved FI first. This can be the result of internal or external motivation or some combination of both. For instance, might go something like:

1) Just want to relax and do nothing - 6 months
2) Bored. Want to do something. Choose to travel or seek some kind of novelty/entertainment- 1 year
3) Lack of feeling of fulfillment. Want to do something useful or productive or with tangible results.-2 years
4) Natural consequences. Whatever I chose to undertake in (3) has resulted in some income.

or

1)Just want to relax and do nothing- 3months
2) Learn of serious problem in my community and feel compelled to help with it. -6 months
3) Become leader in this realm- 2 years.
4) Natural consequences (3.) Some income results.

or

1) Just want to relax and do nothing- 3 months
2) Somebodies in my previous field(s) hears that I am not currently employed.
3) Increasingly attractive offers are lobbed my way until threshold of my self-interest is surpassed.
4) Some income results.

Etc. etc. etc. with infinite variations.

Therefore, if you start integrating mini-retirement earlier and with increasing frequency/duration, you will likely achieve what will ultimately be your equilibrium sooner.

I am sort of an odd, weak example, but offers I currently have on the table would include:

1) Assist an old friend with an interesting business start-up.
2) Almost stalking level pursuit of my competencies as a substitute teacher.
3) Live with my mother at no cost in very upscale neighborhood with all amenities in exchange for very minor driving and housework assistance.
4) Accompany recent retiree on sailing trip down the coast.

I'm sure many of you will encounter even better opportunities.

JamesR
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by JamesR » Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:40 am

I quit my job somewhat less than halfway through my ERE goal, and I've been slow travelling abroad, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines for the past 6 months. I'll head back to Canada soon, and hopefully land another job in the next 2 months. It will be close to 9 months off work.

I don't know if it was worth it yet. Time will tell. I think I should be able to hit ERE in about 2 to 3 more years of full time work @ 80% savings rate.

I had plans to be somewhat productive during this break, maybe do some freelancing, or work on my personal web development projects. I did dick all. Whoops.

I can only hope that my tolerance for the 9-5 jail will be higher than before.

One thing I will be pondering though is the tradeoffs between living on a tight budget and having a good quality of life. It's a very personal thing, since I'm sort of a low-energy/depressive type, so even though living cheaply is easy for me, I don't naturally compensate with energy and vigor to make things very interesting. Not sure how to raise my quality of life..

thrifty++
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by thrifty++ » Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:52 pm

JamesR your break sounds great. The places you have been in are very cheap. Has your net worth gone down much or have you managed to spend very little?
Curious when you get back to Canada do you have a place to live or do you need to work that out?

BRUTE
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by BRUTE » Fri Apr 01, 2016 8:59 pm

JamesR wrote:One thing I will be pondering though is the tradeoffs between living on a tight budget and having a good quality of life. It's a very personal thing, since I'm sort of a low-energy/depressive type, so even though living cheaply is easy for me, I don't naturally compensate with energy and vigor to make things very interesting. Not sure how to raise my quality of life..
one thing brute has learned when getting older is that his quality of life does not correlate to spending outside of certain intervals. in fact this might just be the core message of ERE.

it sounds like JamesR is somehow convinced that having high energy makes things interesting. brute thinks this is the wrong way of thinking about it. if JamesR is a low-energy/depressive type, it will be low-energy/depressive things that make him happy. these are often free or cheap. there's nothing wrong with having a low-energy/depressive life if that makes JamesR happy.

black_son_of_gray
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by black_son_of_gray » Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:21 pm

@OP you might want to check out this thread for a more gradual approach: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=6452

JamesR
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Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by JamesR » Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:43 pm

thrifty++ wrote:JamesR your break sounds great. The places you have been in are very cheap. Has your net worth gone down much or have you managed to spend very little?
Curious when you get back to Canada do you have a place to live or do you need to work that out?
The final cost of the travel is probably going to be close to $8K. I tried to keep costs down by renting for 4-6 weeks in various places: $300 in Saigon for 1 month, $230 in Chiang Mai for 6 weeks, $550 in Manila for 1 month, $310 in Chon Buri for 1 month. However I probably also ended up spending 60-80 days in hotels, average price of $20/night, plus trains, flights, etc. Costs add up quick when relocating between destinations and needing to stay at hotels to scope out the lay of the land and find a place to rent unfortunately. My original plan WAS to actually travel around and see various places - so costs were higher than if I just sent to one spot and settled down for a long time. For instance on my previous travelathon, I mostly spent 17 months in Bangkok, total cost was around $12K because I barely traveled at all.

I guess if I add on the opportunity cost of missed wages, it approaches $40K :P

As for when I get back to Canada, I have a friend/ex-coworker that I'll probably rent a room from. So yeah kinda need to work that out.

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