Mini retirement, anyone tried?

Uber qHdr75
Oct 25 16 Comments

Living in the bay area for a while now, and last few years- it has been a bit hectic to say the least. I don’t think this is a sustainable lifestyle overall, and think that there is a lot to discover/experience outside of life/career path that is imposed. This is not about the company I work for, but a problem that I think is with the ‘modern’ lifestyle. I am planning to take 6-7 months off, travel few countries, spend time with loved ones and try to grow my company (generating $10k+/month)/make progress on side projects.

Did anyone try taking a mini-retirement? Did it work, for you? If yes, how so, if not, why do you think it wasn’t worth it?

I have a greencard and I am also trying to figure out whether being outside of US for 5-7 months would affect my status negatively. Let me know if you have any experience about that as well.

“Unfamiliar with this concept? Author Tim Ferriss created and defined it in his book "The 4-Hour Workweek." Essentially, mini retirements are a series of intentional breaks throughout your career, rather than one final retirement after a life of labor. This is different from a sabbatical or unpaid leave. We're talking about a clean break from your employer, followed at a later date by reentering the labor market or maybe starting the business you've always dreamed of having.”

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TOP 16 Comments
  • The Trust for Public Land / Data GhostBeef
    I had a friend who was a staff engineer at fang and retired for a couple years to sail around the Caribbean and work on political campaigns as a technical consultant. Now he's back working at fang and doing better than ever career wise.
    Oct 25 3
    • Did he get a higher position and was he able to use his experience from political campaigns in his current role?
      Oct 25
    • The Trust for Public Land / Data GhostBeef
      He's always been into the hardware end of it so I don't think the campaigns and his regular work overlapped much.
      Oct 25
    • Got it. Nevertheless, it sounds like he made the right choice.
      Oct 25
  • Booking.com IfxT16
    So far it is working great for me. Quit my job a few months back.

    Traveling around does great things to your mind. You will have time to figure out what you think is important.

    Not sure what I will do when I come back, but that was also the idea when I left.

    I can recommend it to everyone!
    Oct 25 0
  • Prudential -asdf-
    Sounds like a great idea. My $0.02:
    1. Do it before you have kids.
    2. Have a plan for what you want to do after you come back.

    Re-entering the labor market isn't always very straightforward. I know several moms who took a break after the baby and are finding it hard to get back in.
    Oct 25 2
    • Uber qHdr75
      OP
      agreed with your first point, it is how my wife and I feel. I think I won’t struggle a lot to find a job in the bay area when I am back unless strong economic downturn. of course, millennial I never experienced such thing so not sure if I am being naive here.
      Oct 25
    • Prudential -asdf-
      One more suggestion: You're going to be in lower tax bracket during your break. Use that to your advantage!
      Oct 25
  • Wayfair bnKI45
    If you are outside the US for more than 6 months at a time then you have technically let you GC lapse. You need to request a re-entry visa which allows you to travel for up to 2 years without stepping foot in the US and still have your GC. I've done it and lived in Europe for a while, mini retirements are fantastic. If you have 10k a month in stable income you could easily do a full retirement and live somewhere amazing too
    Oct 25 2
    • Uber qHdr75
      OP
      yeah, I saw that rule. my plan is to spend 2-3 months outside of US, then 1-2 months in US, and another 2-3 months outside of US. not sure if thats okay for my greencard though, still exploring.
      Oct 25
    • Wayfair bnKI45
      I think that would be fine, it's only if you are continuously out of the US for 6 months or more. That's a lot of travel back and forth though. I would just take the 2 year re entry visa and go live somewhere like Bali for a while
      Oct 25
  • GE F499
    Just curious , do you have kids? It’s easier when you are single. I have been thinking of solo trip long while ago. It gets harder when you have a family.
    Oct 25 1
    • Uber qHdr75
      OP
      thats a good point. im married, no kids, wife wants it more than I do :)
      Oct 25
  • Juniper 5'1"Indian
    If you're in a highly employable field then why not?

    If you're in a field that's stagnant/niched and the a long time to find something then you need to be mentally/financially prepared fit that.

    You DO know you'll be giving up alot of invested RSU. Take that also into account.

    But from where I'm standing of you're already earning 10k/month, that's enough to retire in a cheap/more desirable area as is. NOTHING beats being your own boss! Once you get a full taste of it, going back to industry will be almost unthinkable--only out of desperation. My friends who have gone this route are all wealthy but they also had necessary skills and ambition for it. Once you ramp up, there's no going back!

    Good luck!👍
    Oct 25 1
    • Uber qHdr75
      OP
      yeah, I thought about the opportunity cost. financially, it doesn’t make much sense. to be honest I sort of hope that I can get to the next step in life quicker by stepping back for a short period of time, see first comment in the thread. there is no guarantee though.
      Oct 25
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