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?