Imagine having the freedom you have in your retirement, early. What would you do with your time? What would you try? A mini retirement is fast becoming the new lifestyle choice for many people around the world. And it's no surprise!
In a traditional retirement, you’ve worked your entire life in your healthiest years, only to get to spend the last few trying to catch up.
So why wait until the end of your life to do what you love?
A MINI RETIREMENT PLAN
If you haven't already heard of a mini retirement, here's the quick version:
This is what normal retirement looks like:
And this is a mini retirement:
You’ve got short spurts of time off in between working periods. And I'm not talking holidays. I'm talking genuine time off work, maybe even changing careers. Lasting from 2-12 months or more, it’s time you set aside to do what you want to do.
If you want more information, have a read of the articles below:
What Is a Mini Retirement? Will it Lead to More Adventure in Life?
Why I Took a Mini Retirement. And Why You Should Too!
So you know what a mini retirement is, but how exactly do you take one?
MAKING A MINI RETIREMENT WORK
Taking a mini retirement is all about balance. We all work. And work is good. Doing things costs money after all. But the key is to appreciate your time as well. Time is finite and we all have roughly the same amount of it.
We all have hesitations. Taking such a long break from working, saving enough to make it happen, you’re going to have questions.
So here are some answers.
Will a gap in your resume look bad? Will everyone get promotions and get ahead in their careers without me? Won’t employers think twice about hiring me if I leave every two years?
These fears are normal. Let’s have a look at them.
► Will a gap in your resume look bad?
Not at all. But if you do nothing in that time off it will. It’s important to be developing yourself personally and showing this on your resume. Doing an adventure trip, learning languages and new skills, volunteering, all these things mean something. Sitting at home watching Netflix doesn’t.
► Career progression
Will everyone get promotions and get ahead in their careers without me? If you put effort in to be the best you can be in your career, you’ll get where you want to be. That’s all that matters. And old bosses love having their star performers back. I’ve experienced this with my work and with many people I know. Be the best you can be and it always works out!
► Do gaps look unreliable?
The world has changed. Job security isn’t what it used to be, unfortunately (or fortunately for the new mini retirement trend). The average person now changes job 10-15 times in their lives. That's every 3 years at 15 changes! So what you are doing is no different. And unlike other people, you reap the benefits of a clear mind and refreshed body coming back from each mini retirement!
Bottom line, you will be OK! Life doesn't end and the show goes on!
There are two important parts to making a mini retirement happen.
Saving and spending.
I’m pretty crap at both to be honest. But I also love to have time off. So eventually, I make it all come together for my next mini retirement. Here's how!
Saving is something we should all be doing anyway. It’s good to have something ready for emergencies. Just like saving for house deposits, new cars or holidays, saving for a mini retirement starts with actively putting aside money.
So how much?
Most people work on anywhere from $5000-$25,000. It all depends on where you want to go and what you want to do.
A trip to Asia or South America for example, might cost you $10,000 for the whole year. Living in Europe on the other hand, closer to $30,000.
Remember, you can do it any way you want.
Your year off in Asia backpacking will cost you $10,000 on a conservative side, so saving $96 each week for 2 years is your goal.
Too much to save each week?
Save for longer, or take a shorter break!
There’s no right or wrong answers! Work 5 years to take one long break, or work every 2 for a shorter one. It’s up to you!
Learning to live with less has been a growing trend in the western world. In our time of full blown mass consumerism and consumption, there’s a way to live without consuming so much, and it’s called minimalism.
While there’s a whole crowd out there who take minimalism to new levels by only owning 2 shirts and leaving entire rooms bare of furniture for example, for you it’s all about cutting out the stuff you don’t need, reducing your bills, and being happy with what you have.
Cook your own meals and don’t eat out so much. Move to places with cheaper rent, you don’t need such a big place anyway. Cut your shopping bills by checking prices before you buy. And don’t buy so much stuff! Seriously, how much of it do we actually use and how much sits hidden away?
Get rid of it and don’t buy more!
I’m a sucker for buying new outdoor gear. I went from owning 10 backpacks to just having 3 for the main outdoor activities I do. Same went for shoes. And climbing gear. And outdoor clothes. You get the point.
Buy used when possible and don’t impulse buy!
The dreaded word. Debt. Unfortunately, you are going to have to get control of any you do have. Taking a mini retirement with a mountain of debt is not going to work well, so right now, make a vow to get rid of it all and live debt free.
Make a plan and take action.
Have a mortgage on a house? Can you rent it out for your mini retirement? Brand new $60,000 car loan? Can you trade it in to pay off the loan payout amount? These are all choices only you can make. Research your options, and there are always options for these things!
The final aim is still the same: be debt free!
FIND YOUR PASSIONS!
The whole point of a mini retirement is to find or do what you love! So what if you don’t know what your passions are? It’s time to find them, and here’s how to do it!
Going somewhere new is always exciting, and also opens you up to new activities. You get to talk to people who have incredible experiences and this can lead to ideas on things you want to try. I was motivated to move country and change my entire life because of the collective conversations of people I met travelling.
Spend some time helping others. Research some projects you can help with and get involved in. You’ll feel amazing and most importantly, you’ll help other people!
►Learn a new skill
If you haven’t got a bucket list that includes learning skills, you should! Try anything you fancy. Yoga, music, photography, the options are all there! And of course my favourites, get outside and try some climbing or canyoning! My outdoor starter guide is exactly there for this purpose!
Before my mini retirement I never bothered trying to take good photos. To kick it off, I did a short 3 hour photography course and got the basics so I could keep going on my own. I also wanted to learn how to write better as I always had trouble with it, and so I started this blog!
Sometimes a mini retirement can be great if you want to study something new. Try those unconventional things you always wanted to. Acting, dance, singing. Or maybe programming, web design, or just some short course you’ve always wanted to do. Your mini retirement is the best time to do all of them!
ARE YOU READY?
The first step is always the hardest. Working towards a mini retirement takes some dedication to making it happen. The reward is worth it however!
It’s all about keeping some balance in life. Work hard, but keep some time for adventures and passions in your life.
So take a mini retirement, you’ll love it I promise!