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5 true 'mini retirement' stories (and how they did it)

By Sam Instone - December 04, 2018

I’m intrigued by people who lead seemingly simple lives…

Yet travel the world and take long holidays.

That I envy from behind my work desk.

How do they do it?

I’ve spoken about early retirement before.

The notion that you can retire sooner than you think, by simplifying your life and taking up a simpler job that affords you more time.

But then there’s also the term ‘mini retirement’.

It’s something that’s quickly catching on with young adults, families and empty nesters.

It’s the idea that you can take an extended break from work before heading back to the daily grind.

While it mostly involves travel, some include relocation, taking up small jobs to supplement income, or just a complete break from everyday life.

In other words, a total paradigm shift.

The real challenge of a mini retirement is saving enough money to get you there.

Here are a few inspiring stories to see how others have done it.

#1 The frugal family living in Nicaragua

Over the course of six years, Mark and Amanda Tew lived frugally.

They worked small jobs, made detailed financial plans and regularly reviewed their budget.

They managed to save $30,000 for their first mini retirement, which they spent in Latin America.

For them, it was about doing the things they’ve always wanted…

While they were still able and healthy to do so.

Latin America-1

#2 The 24-year-old who took a mini retirement to travel

After spending seven months working hard and saving $14,000, Dina Chutz travelled across New Zealand and Asia.

Despite taking a break from her full-time corporate job, she feels more productive than ever.

She has slowed down to experience the world, got to know herself, and find what she loves while she’s still young.

She inspires me to look at my time a little differently.

After all, it’s one of the most limited resources we have.

#3 The family enjoying their fifth mini retirement 

Jillian Johnsrud and her family have taken numerous mini retirements, ranging from a month to two-and-a-half.

Not wanting to miss out on things until their sixties, she and her husband opted for extended breaks.

They believe these breaks are perfect for capturing experiences, travelling or scaling up a side business.

After their latest mini retirement, they aim to design a life they never want to retire from.

#4 The blogger who plans to travel the world

Kyle Stimpson and his partner embarked on their first mini retirement.

They planned to travel the world for at least six months.

To fund this, Stimpson saved 30% to 40% of his net income for 3 years.

He saved $100,000 and invested $20,000 towards his retirement

Achieving all this while living in Sydney, one of the most expensive cities in the world.

This is proof that by spending less than you earn, cutting down on unnecessary costs and applying the 50/30/20 rule to your life…

You can save beyond your wildest dreams.

#5 The man who downsized and afforded a year off

Chris Durheim afforded a mini retirement by accident.

When he and his family downsized their home, they had enough equity to take a year off and return to work with savings leftover.

The extended break meant more family time and travel.

By simply downsizing to a smaller apartment and selling their house, they freed up a significant amount of equity.

Despite having enough savings to fund a 3-year break, Durheim decided against the extended leave.

He wanted to ensure the family still had savings to cushion them when they went back to work full time.


A mini retirement shouldn’t forfeit your dream retirement

It’s easy to see that a mini retirement is not a luxury afforded to a few.

The right financial plan, budget and spending habits can get you there if you have the discipline.

Get in touch to see how we can help get you there.

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