Should You Try Mini-Retirements?

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” — Gandhi

A new concept that was introduced to the world by Tim Ferriss was the idea of a mini-retirement. With this theory you take many small retirements throughout your lifetime instead of waiting until you’re 65 to retire and travel the world. This is a unique view on retirement because the traditional plan for retirement is to work in the same company until you’re 65 and you get our pension so that you can live happily ever after.

With the recession of late-2008, changes to government policy, and economic turbulence, it’s time for us to be more open-minded when it comes to retirement and other axioms that we’ve accepted over the years.

How does a mini-retirement work?

You take off for a few months every few years or a variation of this.

According to Ferriss, a mini-retirement is when you relocate to one place for a month up until half a year and then you move to another place or go back home. This is not an escape from life. It’s an opportunity to change the way you see life.

Instead of running away from your current life, you try to create a new life for yourself. A life where you work hard, but take some time for yourself.

What’s the benefit of a mini retirement?

There are actually many benefits to trying out mini-retirements instead of waiting until you’re 65 years old to stop working. What are the benefits of taking many retirements?

  1. You’re forced to eliminate clutter. When you’re taking off for extended periods of time you might have to get rid of some of your stuff. You’re going to need less clutter.
  2. None of the daily grind exists. Sometimes we need to get away from meetings, appointments, and the daily grind. When we ask we can finally sit back and reflect on life.
  3. You see what really matters to you. When you pause you can see what really matters to you. Maybe those problems at work aren’t so major after all
Those are the main benefits to a mini-retirement. Will you take one?

How many of these retirements should you take?

Ferriss says that he takes anywhere from three to four of these per year. I guess this depends on your situation. I took one three month long trip last year where I explored Europe all by myself. Then I took many one week trips and weekend getaways. For me this depends on what’s going on in life.

Isn’t this retirement strategy expensive?

Not at all. When we think of travelling we often envision staying at a 5-star resort is some deadly tourist trap. When you take a small retirement trip, you’re not going to be a tourist. Your goal is to be one of the local. You’re going to want to embrace the culture. You’re going to want to see how the locals live.

This retirement option isn’t expensive because you’re going to live like a local and eat like a local. You’re going to cook for yourself and find cheap options for entertainment. This is where a mini-retirement is different from a vacation.

Is a mini retirement for everyone?

Not everyone will benefit from this retirement option. It’s easier for young single person to do this. This also depends on your financial obligations. If you have to worry about paying down your credit card debt or dealing with high expenses, you won’t be able to afford this at first. You’re going to have to slowly cut back and earn your freedom. That’s another topic for another day.

I firmly do believe that everyone reading this can benefit from trying one mini-retirement in 2012.

What’s your take on mini-retirements?

“To be free, to be happy and fruitful, can only be attained through sacrifice of many common but overestimated things.” — Robert Henri

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