We Are Going On A Mini-Retirement – And Here’s Why

My fiancé and I have been working full-time for roughly four years now.

This is not a lot considering we will be working until we are 70 and are not even 30 years old yet.

Many people would probably think that it’s stupid to go on a mini-retirement already now.

However, we are on a journey towards financial independence and expect to be retired in six years, so we figured that we wanted to try a taste of the FIRE lifestyle out before we spend too much time pursuing it.

Later this year, we expect to go on a short mini-retirement of 5 months. We know it’s not a lot of time, but it will do.

Why are we doing it? I’ll tell you.

We have the opportunity to go on a mini-retirement now

Right now is the perfect timing.

We both have jobs that allow us to take five months off.

We don’t have any kids.

We can afford to go without salary for five months (if we live in a low-cost country).

Basically, right now, we have the perfect opportunity to go and just spend time on exactly what we want to do.

It is very likely that we will have different jobs and maybe kids within the next few years, so the timing is perfect now.

We want some time off to figure out what really matters

We know it might seem a bit spoiled to go on a mini-retirement before we turn 30.

However, we will rather take some time off now and spend it trying to figure out what it really is we want to do with our lives in terms of career, family, friends, hobbies etc., instead of realizing what really matters too late in our lives.

We want to try to live in a low-cost country (and do a bit of traveling) while spending time with each other and on our hobbies. For example, I’ll spend a bit more time on this blog to see if I can boost it even more.

We hope that we’ll learn something and be able to act on it when we get back home.

We want a timeout from a stressful life

We both have very demanding jobs and we are working far more hours per week than we want to.

My longest working weeks get close to 100 hours (luckily, this only happens once or twice per year), but we probably work +50-60 hours per week on average.

We are not burned out (yet), but we feel that it’s definitely time to do something totally different.

It’s time to get offline, enjoy each other’s company even more, not worry about work and focus on what we really want to do in the moment.

Hopefully, we’ll come back with new ideas and new energy!

We want to escape the Danish winter

This is not the primary reason, but it is definitely an added benefit of going on a mini-retirement in the winter months.

The winters in Denmark are long and cold. The sun gets up at 10am and is gone before 5pm.

Basically, the sun is never up when you go to work and when you go home from work.

Going on a mini-retirement allows us to skip the Danish winter and have three summers in a row – yay!

What are the downsides of going on a mini-retirement?

Ok, ok! It’s not all going to be a bed of roses.

Our mini-retirement will cost money. We won’t get a salary for five months. It will be expensive and probably also more expensive than we think, but we will do our best to live on a budget.

And yes, it might postpone our financial independence journey. I say might, because we might also learn some things on the way that will enable us to take a shortcut on the journey.

Furthermore, it will set us back five months in our careers, but who needs careers anyway when you are going to retire early?

Also, five months are not a lot of time and the feeling of knowing that we have to go back again will probably limit the excitement a bit.

Regardless, I expect it to be a great way to test our future FIRE lifestyle and also a great help in designing our future life.

Your turn: Have you been on a mini-retirement? What did you learn?

14 comments

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14 comments

That guy, Nick from the TotalBalance.blog October 1, 2018 - 14:37

Escaping the danish winter has been a dream of mine for many years now. I have yet to achieve that dream 😉
So, you’re absolutely right – it’s now or never.
I hope you guys get to enjoy your mini-retirement! 🙂

One of the paradoxes of FIRE (I think), is that you constantly have to ask yourself, if you really need *insert whatever item here*. It poses true dilemmas quite often. You should not regret your decision to go enjoy life NOW. – And as other people have said, try not to worry about your blog so much when you’re gone – it’ll be there when you get back. Maybe try to have at least 1 month in a row, where you don’t use your laptop. I would love to have that opportunity! 😉
Just a thought!

Reply
Carl October 2, 2018 - 22:17

I think that is an excellent suggestion 🙂 I think I’ll try to start with one week off my laptop and see how it works out! Thanks a lot, Nick. We will for sure enjoy it!

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Omavaraisuushaaste June 28, 2018 - 23:14

I just found your blog and it’s so interesting, because I’m the same age, from the same taxation system (I’m from Finland) and even my net worth is almost exactly the same as yours! My salary is much lower (only 3000 USD after taxes), but at the same time I only work max 40h/week. Thankfully, for me it’s easy to be frugal so my savings rate is usually over 50%. I also blog about financial independence but only in Finnish.

How is it Denmark, is FIRE a big thing and are there a lot of Danish blogs? Considering your friends’ reaction I guess not. I can relate to most things in this post since running after FIRE makes you really think about stuff and sometimes it really makes you reflect on what’s important. I’m sure after the holiday, you will have an even clearer idea of what and how you wanna achieve things.

Thanks for the blog, I will surely keep on following you since U.S. blogs are harder to relate thanks to low income tax, haha.

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Carl July 5, 2018 - 18:05

That is so interesting! And congrats on having a savings rate above 50% – well done!

Denmark is not a big thing in Denmark yet. I see more and more blogs coming up, but most of them don’t last long. I believe FIRE is slowly spreading, but it will take a while. I’ll do my best to spread it in Denmark! 🙂

I wish I could read Finish, so I could follow your blog, but let’s continue the conversation here in the future!

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Mike June 27, 2018 - 18:51

Hi Carl,
That makes great sense!

Many experiences are valued better when you are young. Also it gives you more insight in what drives you and your values.

Hope you keep posting when away;)

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Carl July 5, 2018 - 17:46

You are very right, Mike! I’m looking forward to seeing what I’ll learn on the trip. I’ll definitely keep posting while I am away.

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Asbjorn June 22, 2018 - 18:13

Hi Carl,

What is the budget for such a mini-retirement? Additionally, as Mohammed has alluded, you may want to reduce time in front of the computer, which in turn would mean less time spent on writing the blog.

As always keep up the good work!

Cheers

Reply
Carl June 22, 2018 - 21:26

Hi Asbjorn,

Good question! I am in a lucky position because my bonus comes in a few months and with a bonus of +100,000 DKK (+15,600 USD) I expect that to be able to cover it. However, I’ll of course not be getting salary in those months (we will rent out our apartment though), so my journey will be at a standstill.

You are very right! Mo’s advice os spending less time on the computer is a really good tip. I think I’ll have to try to find a good balance with writing a bit on the blog and having some computer-free days!

Thanks for following – and have a great weekend!

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Pjosk June 22, 2018 - 10:46

Great choice – postponing the FIRE doing something valuable and driving happiness and intimacy in your life sounds like a natural choice to me.

I went in a six weeks maternity escape with my girlfriend and son which was amazing, relaxing and yet a time of a lot of thinking about which ways to direct our lives. Keep up your focus on happiness and you’ll build a great life.

Remember how great it is to have support from your future wife and that you have discovered FIRE early in your life.

Great to follow your journey

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Carl June 22, 2018 - 21:22

Thanks, Pjosk! I’m looking so much forward to our time off.

I can really relate to what you are describing with “escaping” from everyday life and being able to think again. In a normal work week, it’s like you don’t have time to do that. When we are abroad for longer periods, we somehow end up having much deeper conversations and bigger thoughts about what we really want in life. That is one of the things I’m looking most forward to in our mini-retirement.

Thanks for following!

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Mohammed June 22, 2018 - 07:13

I took a mini-retirement as I was craving a break. From what I gather from your blog, you want some time offline. Ensure you enjoy this and let this happen.

I let the process guide me and still do today. When I didn’t have a job, I had to do something else to fill my time. I ended up finding out what my passions were and decided to write a book (not published yet), learn FOREX, build a website, set up a podcast and hopefully on my return to the UK open a business within a few years of my return.

After two years, the one real notion in mind is, to enjoy this time off, that is my number one priority! It sounds far too simple, but I spent some of my mini-retirement in front of a laptop for too long, when I should’ve been out and about! Now I head out to the beach for a swim, go on road trips and food trips, while writing the odd blog and recording the odd podcast.

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Carl June 22, 2018 - 21:20

That is such a good tip, Mo! I could definitely be guilty of spending way too much time on my computer in mini-retirement, so I’ll do my best to keep that in mind. I really like your way of living your mini-retirement! 🙂

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Mohammed June 20, 2018 - 00:55

Hello

This is wonderful to hear and even better that you are taking your partner too. I think the attitude around you guys being young need to change, as your reason to spend more quality time with your partner will change.

Actually I’ve been on a mini retirement for nearly two years now and found a lot out about myself. I don’t have one regret and look forward to life again. I now really do know that there are many lifestyles available to me.

Reply
Carl June 20, 2018 - 21:40

I’m so happy to hear that I have something to look forward to 🙂

Do you have any tips and tricks for how to get the most out of our mini-retirement?

Reply

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