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By: Sam Instone

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December 4th, 2018

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

Financial Planning | Pensions

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 possibly taking up a simpler job that affords you more time…

And a salary that’s comfortable.

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…

(For at least a few months)…

Before heading back to the daily grind.

The daily grind-1

While it mostly involves travel…

Some include relocation…

Taking up small jobs to supplement income…

Or just a complete break from the humdrum of everyday life.

In other words, a total paradigm shift.

The real challenge of a mini retirement…

(As expected)…

Is saving enough money to get you there.

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

How they saved money…

And how they’re spending their time.

#1 The frugal family living in Nicaragua

Over the course of six years…

Mark and Amanda Tew lived frugally

Working small jobs…

Making detailed financial plans…

And regularly reviewing their budgets.

They managed to pay off graduate school debt…

Build an emergency fund…

And save $30,000 for their first mini retirement…

Which they spent in Latin America.

Latin America-1

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

While they were still able and healthy to do so.

After a year living abroad…

They returned home to America…

Where Mark is considering building a virtual full-time business…

So that the family can have the flexibility…

To live wherever they want.

They certainly give new meaning to the term ‘wealth’.

It’s not about being rich

But living a fulfilling life

Which means enough money and countless happy moments.

#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…

Get to know herself…

And find what she loves while she’s still young.

She bought a small van…

That doubles as a home…

To discover hidden beaches…

Browse local farmer’s markets…

Make jewellery and photograph sunsets.

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 years away from work.

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…

Investigating a second career…

Or scaling up a side business that requires time and attention.

They’ve used their mini retirements to travel or buy and renovate homes.

The latter generated a passive income…

Enabling them to take breaks more often.

After their latest mini retirement…

They aim to design a life they never want to retire from.

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#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 maintained a simple budget…

Rented a modest apartment…

Cooked most meals at home…

And spent little on shopping and entertainment.

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

Achieving all this while living in Sydney, Australia…

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…

And were able to take enough time off from work.

Despite having enough savings to fund a 3-year break…

Durheim decided against the extended leave…

To ensure the family still had savings to cushion them…

When they went back to work full time.

I’ve often mentioned this…

It’s important to keep money aside…

For life’s twists and turns.

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.

It’s certainly no easy feat…

But we can help.

We’ll set you up on your journey…

Guide you along the way…

And make sure your dream retirement still remains within reach.

Book a 15-minute discovery call

About Sam Instone

Sam Instone, Director at AES International, is passionate about positive change and ensuring international investors get better results.

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