I Might Accidentally Be In Mini Retirement

Surely I’ve been a bit lazy lately about my postings – life happens.  As an independent consultant, the highs are high and the lows are low.  The last time I was on a break is when I decided to start this site.  I also wrote about the time off here.  I called it a glimpse of financial freedom, but the fact is – until you’re financially free, you’ll never feel truly free.  Now, I find myself in what some would call a mini retirement.  

What Is Mini-Retirement?

Not sure who coined the term “mini-retirement”, but this is the loose definition:

mini retirement definition

At some point you’ll need to worry about your finances again and how you’re going to make it to the next month, week, or even day.  Once again, I find myself in this break.  I’ve realized that it takes time to settle into these breaks.  It’s not the comfortable new routine you should get used to either.  You don’t want your skills to continue to rust.

It sort of feels like a Summer break, except all of your friends aren’t able to come out and play because they live in the real world.  

The first few days are a welcomed relief, getting to sleep in as much as you want.  After that is when you need to start deciding on a routine though.  Without some sort of routine, things start to get a little hazy.  The days start to blend together and you find yourself waking up later and later and the nights get later and later.  I’m already a month or so into this “mini-retirement” and I still haven’t found a consistent routine.  I am trying to maintain some normal hours and I don’t stay up all too late.

The excitement of my mini-retirement thus far:

  • Getting to play video games again – A welcomed change because I never play when I’m back at work.
  • Went on a week vacation – Nice to get away from here for a bit and see some new places.
  • Bought Netflix stock pre-earnings release – Made $1,000 and got out – Too bad I can’t do this every week.
  • Studying for certifications – Just started this back up – I feel it’s a necessary evil to keep myself relevant in the job market.
  • V-ball, indoor rock climbing, and trying to spend time with friends.

Stay The Course

The biggest thing that I can note is that it’s easy to lose focus.  Personally, not a fan of the feeling and usually I find myself back on some sort of routine.  Sometimes it becomes a bit of a roller coaster if I don’t find a longer term goal.  This is the reason why I’m starting up my certifications path.  It gets me focused back on work related items.  Once I get one certification, I can go for another.  I have my eye on three specific certifications.  I may get through all three of them or I may not even get through one, but at least they’re clear, concise goals.

I may also try my hand in interviewing again.  I found myself stumbling recently in an interview and realized that I had gotten too comfortable with consistent work in the last few years.  I may not be the hot commodity I once thought I was and that’s alright.  I’m not in any rush as I have plenty of nuts saved to get me through Winter if I need it.

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

This, I’m starting to notice is probably the best benefit of striving for FIRE.  The further along your path, the more reserves you have.  You find yourself not sweating the bumps in the road nearly as much.  Granted, I don’t have any kids yet, so that does add a level of ease.  There are plenty of other FIRE-goers that have kids though and the same principles still apply.

While I love this break, it also shows me that I’m not quite ready to truly call it quits.  I don’t have a definitive plan yet, but I’m still a few years away – so I don’t need one.

I wrote a related article on this about planning first before retiring.  I’ll definitely be following my own advice before taking any plunges in the future.

Final Thoughts

As I was out the other day with a friend, he reminded me that life is still really precious.  Anything can happen, so while we need to plan for the future we should also live for today.  Mini-retirement can mean a lot of things, but it’s definitely a break from the regular routine or daily grind that you’re used to.  It’s something to enjoy, but it’s not permanent.  For that reason, I don’t think it’s something any one person should do for too long since you can end up squandering savings – especially if your goal is financial freedom.

4 thoughts on “I Might Accidentally Be In Mini Retirement

  • October 23, 2018 at 10:39 am

    Yes! I’ve had a mini-retirement or two in my life and I absolutely love the feeling! I don’t like crowds so nothing makes me happier than grocery stores on a Tuesday morning or movie theatres on a Wednesday afternoon. Remembering that feeling is the prize I keep my eye on every time I’m tempted to spend a little money on things I don’t need.

    • October 23, 2018 at 12:01 pm

      Definitely a great time to run errands! I do everything in my power to dodge rush hour traffic as long as it’s avoidable.

      The lack of stress is my favorite part, but it takes time for me to ease up. It’s probably because in the past I could never make it past a week or two on my savings!

  • October 23, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    I am kind of in this boat too.. though I think I’m calling mine more of a sabbatical.

    It’s not entirely by choice and didn’t work out quite like planned. I was near ready to quit a bad job (who fired me when I gave them ultimatums), and my back up per diem job cut hours shortly after this.. so now I’m pretty much unemployed!

    The amount I’m getting from unemployment for a while is about what I expected to get from my per diem job.

    So it’s kind of like I was maybe planning had I been the one to quit vs. get fired!

    Anyway… it’s been nice to have time to enjoy home. Go hiking, go mushroom picking. We took a trip (already planned before losing job) and were about to take 3 weeks in Hawaii! I had only expected to have time to take 1-2 weeks in the spring, but since I’ve got the time, we’re going longer!

    But I’m not financially independent yet, so there is that background worry of if I don’t find a job when I need to. I’m looking, but not panicking. I’m also (not very well) trying to develop some alternative income steams.

    But it’s a nice experiment and a break. Gives me an idea of what it might look like if I do early retire! I’m certainley not bored.

    Honestly, having the time to get involved in things that interest me I could easily foresee myself being much busier not “working” than when I have a job!

    • October 23, 2018 at 12:51 pm

      I definitely think the breaks are good to catch a glimpse of what things are like. That way you can fine tune it before you REALLY cut the cord. Maybe not the way you planned it, but sounds like a nice break either way!

      Enjoy Hawaii! I’ve only been once, but it wasn’t long enough, that’s for sure!


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