Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
JamesR
Posts: 914
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:08 pm

Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by JamesR » Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:03 pm

BRUTE wrote: 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.
Well due to the extreme-P of my xNTP nature, I struggle with staying active. It's a bit too easy for me to just stay in my room all day for days, doing nothing but consuming media. It's cheap but if I get stuck in that for too long, then that'll lead to feelings of unhappiness & depression - no fun at all. I try to fight against that, and try to keep active, but it doesn't always come very naturally to me. That's why I like to live with roommates or family which helps prevents getting the extreme swings of introversion/inaction. I feel like I lost the sense of play/mini-adventures somewhat, but I know it's there.. I enjoy soccer, beach volleyball, hackey sack, hiking, whatever, but I just don't tend to initiate that on my own. I guess I could make more active friends and that would help, not sure.

thrifty++
Posts: 869
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 3:46 pm

Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by thrifty++ » Sat Apr 02, 2016 1:23 am

JamesR you don't sound that inactive to me if you are going on all these travelathon excursions all the time.
8k is such peanuts for the amount of time you have spent travelling. Thats awesome. Instead of staying in hotels have you thought about a hostel bunk for a few nights more often to cut costs down? Until you find a place to rent? Great that you have a place to rent when you come back. Thats something that freaks me out about the idea of leaving my place and job and going to do my OE project. Is returning jobless and homeless

steveo73
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:52 pm

Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by steveo73 » Sat Apr 02, 2016 3:44 am

BRUTE wrote:
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.
It's a good point but there is more to it. I'm basically a happy person and I always have been but I like a lot of quiet time. I love exercise though. I'm happy exercising hard and then spending time on the computer or reading a book. If I eat healthy food as well my quality of life is as good as it gets.

My wife is in sync with me now but I wonder if she will be able to handle no work for long periods of time.

steveo73
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:52 pm

Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by steveo73 » Sat Apr 02, 2016 3:47 am

JamesR wrote:
BRUTE wrote: 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.
Well due to the extreme-P of my xNTP nature, I struggle with staying active. It's a bit too easy for me to just stay in my room all day for days, doing nothing but consuming media. It's cheap but if I get stuck in that for too long, then that'll lead to feelings of unhappiness & depression - no fun at all. I try to fight against that, and try to keep active, but it doesn't always come very naturally to me. That's why I like to live with roommates or family which helps prevents getting the extreme swings of introversion/inaction. I feel like I lost the sense of play/mini-adventures somewhat, but I know it's there.. I enjoy soccer, beach volleyball, hackey sack, hiking, whatever, but I just don't tend to initiate that on my own. I guess I could make more active friends and that would help, not sure.
I'm like this but I'm pretty happy basically all the time. I do jiu-jitsu and I don't have to organise anything. I just turn up and there are always people ready to go. Have you thought about doing something like that. Its sort of easy.

thrifty++
Posts: 869
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 3:46 pm

Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by thrifty++ » Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:18 am

steveo73 wrote: I do jiu-jitsu and I don't have to organise anything. I just turn up and there are always people ready to go. Have you thought about doing something like that. Its sort of easy.
Yes there are endless opportunities of things you can just turn up to especially when you have lots of time plus some degree of finance. I am jealous that you have so much free time. I have recently started doing acrobatic yoga and capoeira which I really like. But have such little free time that I often go without. I often go to things on my own and quite like that due to my free spirited nature. Turn up when I want leave when I want.

BRUTE
Posts: 3803
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by BRUTE » Sat Apr 02, 2016 5:43 pm

brute actually does a similar thing. besides a small number of very good friends, it's mostly single-serving friends, or context-dependent friends like at gyms or similar. brute is very happy being alone most of the time.

Scrubby
Posts: 153
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 4:46 pm

Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by Scrubby » Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:20 am

In my case I think it would have felt a bit like living on credit. It's unlikely that I would have kept my salary without the continuity, so I would have ended up having to work more in total.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 797
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:33 am

This thread was valuable to read. Since there are many folks who recently explored this path as a viable one, I wanted to bump it and continue the discussion ~3 years later.

Any of the original posters change their minds over the years since participating? Has anyone who was previously on the fence gone for it? Regrets? Confirmation?

Thanks for your feedback.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 1045
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by classical_Liberal » Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:00 pm

@2B1S
This appears to be a topic that repeats itself regularly. The older threads are fun because it's interesting to read some of the OG forum participant's comments. People whose personalities have become transparent through so much posting (at least their online persona).

I think the key here is mostly personality. Several ingredients seem to always come up and it depends where one lies on a few spectrum's.

Security-----------------vs---------------------YOLO (risk tolerance)
Satisfied-----------------vs---------------------Dissatisfied (current situation)
Routine------------------vs---------------------Novelty (preferred)
Internal------------------vs---------------------External (motivations)
Low ----------------------vs---------------------High (employment skill mix)

If someone finds themselves mostly on the left hand side of these issues full FI, maybe even with high levels of safety margin, will generally be the preferred choice. If the opposite is true, some form of Semi-ERE generally seems more appealing.

The caveats being that one has to honestly determine where they actually lie in the spectrum(s), which isn't always easy. Also realize that one's place on these spectrum's are certainly not immutable. I think most people drawn to ERE do tend to wander towards the left hand side (maybe with the exception of satisfaction).

The real problem for a few (including me) is that we are more along the center-right of at least some of these. Hence we are constantly looking for some example(s) of success to make a move towards Semi-ERE. The fact that the OG's of current FIRE movement were pretty much FI before they even thought too much about being "retired", makes their subsequent Semi-ERE lifestyles a rather poor example of success. The examples we do have of semi-ERE success (looking at people like 7WB5, Jin+Guice, SustainableHappiness) tend to be further on the right on these spectrum's than we are.

Rather than constantly rethinking our plans, depending on which thing is motivating us on a particularly day, our time would probably be better spent trying to move the needle one way or another on these spectrum's. IOW, learn to be more satisfied with current situation and accept need for full FI; or perhaps learn to be more risk tolerant and improve employment skill mix for PT employment and Semi_ERE, etc.

I'm certainly open to any other apparent dichotomy's that enter into this equation which I may have missed.

Toska2
Posts: 273
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2015 8:51 pm

Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by Toska2 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 3:30 pm

This thread is still not old enough. The cycle of work-mini retirement-work might be longer than three years.

I left a career to become a hobo, then a ski bum and now I work at an odd job that I plan to leave within two years. I developed a desire that requires a few dollars more so I plan to rush it into existence with the help of another career.

Toska2
Posts: 273
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2015 8:51 pm

Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by Toska2 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 3:49 pm

I didn't expect my path to be MiniRs. I regret my initial job location because education or training into another career was impossible to do concurrently. I had an atypical upbringing, living and working on a farm. It was good to explore the country and myself.

Side note: I know too many people who either failed the transition or health prevents work. I guess it was my destiny.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 5228
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:45 pm

Well, I was happier with my lifestyle in 2015/16 than I am now, but I don't think that has very much to do with being semi-retired vs. fully retired.

@classical_Liberal: I agree with your dichotomy chart except for the Internal vs. External and the Satisfaction vs. Dissatisfaction. There are some aspects of ERE I am very internally motivated towards, as in "can't not do", like I would feel nauseous if I paid full price at a mall for anything, but there are other aspects such as "making/saving big pile of money" which I can only attempt given repeated lashings of external motivation. I naturally have high risk tolerance, so it's almost like I have to try to frighten myself by making myself visualize worst case scenarios, which doesn't seem like a mentally healthy thing to do. The odd thing is that my high degree of risk tolerance is combined with a high level of physical cowardice. Like my brain will go into a frenzy trying to calculate whether or not it is safe to camp so close to an alligator swamp, and then I will just fall over stone asleep. Satisfaction vs. Dissatisfaction can run either way, because you can either be satisfied enough with your current full-time job, or you can be satisfied enough with much more free time rather than total free time.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 1045
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by classical_Liberal » Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:18 pm

@7WB5
Agree with your comment on satisfaction vs dissatisfaction. I was looking at this through the lens of a FT accumulator who is deciding path to ERE. In that case, more dissatisfaction leads one toward some type of ERE, sooner. Perhaps if that distinction is included?

Regarding external vs internal, I was actually thinking more towards end outcome here. As in the INTJ's are perfectly happy entertaining themselves with any project they choose in RE. Whereas a person like myself sometimes needs a kick in the ass to get motivated. IOW, a PT warehouse job, one day a week, would provide the motivation I need to get out of the house and socialize, as well as do some heavy lifting I would otherwise put off because my weight-bench has dust on it, also makes me feel useful, and I'd earn some money (which I need in semi-ERE). I've been calling this requirement for me "skin in the game of life". There is probably a better way to phrase it, but some people just don't need any (or very little) external motivations, hence true FI wouldn't be a barrier.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 5228
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:00 pm

@classical_Liberal:

Gotcha. I don't need any external motivation to start projects :lol:

This is going to sound kind of terrible, but one of the reasons I like working part-time is it gives me an opportunity to associate with female peers without spending any money. Otherwise, my friend circle consists of nothing but grouchy old men, and that eventually depresses me. IOW, variation on same reason a lot of older women keep or take on part-time jobs when their husbands retire.

Jin+Guice
Posts: 465
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by Jin+Guice » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:06 pm

If the goal is to do whatever you want, isn't everyday spent not doing whatever you want a loss? Is it worse to have a 100% chance of spending 5+ days a week in misery for 5 years, or to decrease the chance that you might ever have to work another day in your life from 5% to 3%?

I get that some people will enjoy working their job for exactly 5-17 years, saving 50-90% annually from the safety of their office. That's fine. My little sister loves working 40 hours a week at her job. They just keep paying her more and more. She'll have a full pension after something like 25 years. It's her first job out of college. I think she might do that job until she dies. That's fine too.

However, there are tons of people on this forum and in the FIRE world who are OBSESSED with hitting their number, as if it's not just some big shiny consumable you toil your whole life away for. I know a lot of you read LIVINGAFI's blog, did anyone else find it incredibly depressing and dark?

I'm dismayed by Jacob's aversion to semi-ERE/ mini retirements. If you're addressing Joe Mediocre, than ya, don't quit your high-paying barely skilled job after you pat yourself on the back because you saved $0.17. This is a forum largely composed of highly-skilled, intelligent and motivated, but risk-averse people. Nothing Jacob said is factually wrong. The point isn't that if you're a sad rockstar you should quit now because you can easily be a rockstar again after a few years off. The point is, it's o.k. to enjoy some of the fruits of your labor and thrift now if you're currently fucking miserable with your job. It's fine to take a year off and then take a 50% paycut for the rest of your working life, if that makes your working life more bearable. Who cares that you didn't "retire" until 5 years later. We all know you're just going to end up doing some kind of paid work again anyway *cough* loser *cough.* The things that you could lose if you quit your job/ career to take a year off are obvious. The mainstream job worshiping McMansionites remind us of them everyday. It's easy to forget what you will lose if you don't quit your job asap when your stuck in rush hour 5 days a week with all the other SUV driving suckers.

thrifty++
Posts: 869
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 3:46 pm

Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by thrifty++ » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:49 pm

I had another semi retirement not long ago if you call it that. It was travelling overseas. A very enriching experience.

I did find that stresses came with it though. Those were mainly the return. Having a net worth reduction as well as heavily sub-=optimal spending on return ( as radical expense reduction talks a long time to build - you take many steps back on a return to life I find). I actually think it would have been better if I was richer, rich enough that there would have been no net worth dent.

I am now finally back on track with things and feeling happier again than when I got back. But one thing with it that I find is good is that it makes me feel motivated to carry on again building wealth and business and career and income. I really enjoy the routine. I also enjoy nesting I realise and staying in one place and getting comfortable. I don't feel like going anywhere again for a couple of years.

I want further semi retirements but I am not sure whether I want one overseas again or one to stay at home and relax and work on projects and hobbies at home. Currently the latter seems very appealing, at least within the next couple of years and so much cheaper and low stress. Relaxing and rejuvenating.

Fish
Posts: 521
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:09 am

Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by Fish » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:39 am

Jin+Guice wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:06 pm
I get that some people will enjoy working their job for exactly 5-17 years, saving 50-90% annually from the safety of their office.
Highly underrated, I recommend that FIRE-seekers try to consider it more seriously. My experience with FIRE is summarized like this:

1. Life is good
2. Babies; no longer enjoying life
3. Read 4HWW, get inspired
4. Attempt 4HWW and fail
5. Depressed
6. Discover FIRE, get inspired
7. Increase SR from 40 to 66%
8. Wait 10 years? But I’m dissatisfied now!
9. Ask myself what I really want from life
10. Realize I just need a little free time
11. Get it and life is good again

I also recognize that situations are unique and others may require a different template.
Jin+Guice wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:06 pm
I'm dismayed by Jacob's aversion to semi-ERE/ mini retirements.
From my perspective, neither is an ideal solution because the recurring need for “freedom-from” is indicative of a more serious issue that is not being addressed. Either permanently solve the job problem with full FIRE or learn to love it. To make a bad analogy, it’s like a college student griping about a full course load, and insisting on either taking just 1 class/term, or taking a gap year after every year of study completed. It’s not the worst idea, but will appear sub-optimal or laughable to the full-time students depending on the observer’s frame of reference (ERE vs. WSP).

7Wannabe5
Posts: 5228
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:37 am

Fish wrote:From my perspective, neither is an ideal solution because the recurring need for “freedom-from” is indicative of a more serious issue that is not being addressed.
I don't see how "freedom to..." vs. "freedom from..." is more or less applicable to full retirement vs. semi-retirement. For instance, one thing I want is the freedom to work on my perma-culture project without having to subvert it into something else which might be somewhat more short-term lucrative such as "highly efficient urban market gardening." But, it's not a project I could throw all my time at every day at even if I was fully retired due to other limiting factors such as winter, physical vigor, and the growth rate of trees. Since I am a near-ginger morning person, the free time I most need to work on this project is morning hours, so that precludes most full-time, on-site, career type occupations, but intermittent/flexible/part-time employment gives me enough freedom to do what I want to do and also provides some variety.

My stated goal is to get my permaculture project to the point of "popping" and achieve something resembling FI by Harvest 2022, but the first goal is of more core importance to me. Also, I think reducing my expenses to even less than 1 Jacob= very happy lifestyle for me would feel more like a "win" than achieving FI vs. semi- retirement, because it would entail more creativity.

SustainableHappiness
Posts: 249
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:39 pm

Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by SustainableHappiness » Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:56 am

thrifty++ wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:49 pm
I actually think it would have been better if I was richer, rich enough that there would have been no net worth dent.
Can't say whether you are right or wrong in your context, but I found getting a couple NW kick in da nuts in the past couple years PT working (barring some real estate wins) pushed me into the acceptance that they aren't a big deal. I had to overcome living with a negative savings rate daily. This was harder in a daily life minute-to-minute experience sense than seeing a number decline at the end of the month. But after 9 months of it, it changed my mental positioning on money loss aversion and is (so far) making decision making less stressful.

@c_L, for your spectrums, the right side of me pushed me to quit which enabled me to find a job where the left side of me can be satisfied. Now I am back working kinda FT without a feeling of mental slavery. Or I guess it shifted from "freedom from" to "freedom to".

@2B1S, no regrets, making moves with F_ You Money as a backer for confidence has been net positive (so far, almost 2 years out). Important to note, I am back with at a FT job of a very different nature/industry that I like...so it may not be a success... LOL

Jin+Guice
Posts: 465
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Mini-retirements vs ERE?

Post by Jin+Guice » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:48 am

Fish wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:39 am
1. Life is good
2. Babies; no longer enjoying life
3. Read 4HWW, get inspired
4. Attempt 4HWW and fail
5. Depressed
6. Discover FIRE, get inspired
7. Increase SR from 40 to 66%
8. Wait 10 years? But I’m dissatisfied now!
9. Ask myself what I really want from life
10. Realize I just need a little free time
11. Get it and life is good again
Step 10 sounds like a mini/ semi retirement to me.
Fish wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:39 am
To make a bad analogy, it’s like a college student griping about a full course load, and insisting on either taking just 1 class/term, or taking a gap year after every year of study completed. It’s not the worst idea, but will appear sub-optimal or laughable to the full-time students depending on the observer’s frame of reference (ERE vs. WSP).
If you view college from the current mainstream paradigm, that it's a way to gain access to the mid to upper echelons of the job market while partying a bit, then I agree with you. What if you goal is to learn about interesting topics in a deep way? Is 3 classes/ term a better solution if it allows you to focus more? What if your goal is speed? Maybe 7 classes per term is better? If you're taking 1 class/ term or taking a gap year every other year, you're moving so slowly that you're not really doing the same thing as the full-time students anymore. What are you doing with all that extra freedom? Are you getting high and watching movies or are you starting a business and learning about the world outside the classroom? The assumption seems to be that you're going to party and sit around, but if you're the type of person who's so into frugality/ saving that they are on a forum about it, I'd say you are probably going to do something interesting. If whatever you're trying to do doesn't pan out, you can go back and finish college when you're older (or just complete it more slowly with tons of time off). In some respects, it would've been easier if you just stuck it out and finished in 4 years like everyone else, but is taking the easiest path really the goal? Who's to say that you personally wouldn't enjoy college more when you're a bit older and know yourself better, or if you take the opportunity to really focus on interesting topics or if you just finish slowly while pursuing other interests?

Post Reply