What’s A Mini Retirement And How You Can Take Your First Mini Retirement.

Nobody has to work and wait till they’re 60 to retire. Just take a mini retirement.

Throughout many first world cultures, the socially accepted but soul crushing norm for most people is that they work 35+ hour weeks, 50 weeks a year and retire in their late 60’s or early 70’s. In certain countries you might not even get that luxury. Fortunately for some they’re working jobs they love. Unfortunately for others they’re not. This article may appeal more to the latter. Mini retirements will help you change your perspective on retirement all together. First, take a look at the photo below and just let it sink in;

mini retirement


We can see from the picture above that the objective is to find the perfect balance of time, money and energy. When we find the perfect balance then we can start planning our mini retirement. Forget the traditional thinking of “waiting until retirement” to start doing shit or kick the feet up and relax. Traditional retirement benefited everyone but the retiree. Traditional retirement systems allow governments to juice as much tax revenue out of you as they can. Hence why they constantly prolong the retirement age. Corporations steal the most youthful and healthiest hours of your life. And you’re forced to wait until the very end until you get to do what you actually want to do.

I know it’s a pretty pessimistic view and doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone but it can help change your perspective on things so hear me out.

What is a mini retirement?

Mini Retirement

(photo credit – Chris Reining )

A mini retirement goes against the traditional retirement timeline 20-30 years worth of freedom in your late 60/70s. Instead you redistribute this timeline throughout your life instead of saving it all until the end. This will let you balance the scales of time and energy. Will come back later to where you get the money but first I want to share a story with you from “The 4 Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferriss, that will really resonate or shake some of you;

Fables and Fortune Hunters

An American businessman took a vacation to a small coastal Mexican village on doctor’s orders. Unable to sleep after an urgent phone call from the office the first morning, he walked out to the pier to clear his head. A small boat with just one fisherman had docked, and inside the boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish.“How long did it take you to catch them?” the American asked.

“Only a little while,” the Mexican replied in surprisingly good English.

“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” the American then asked.

“I have enough to support my family and give a few to friends,” the Mexican said as he unloaded them into a basket.

“But… What do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican looked up and smiled. “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Julia, and stroll into the village each evening, where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, senor.”

The American laughed and stood tall. “Sir, I’m a Harvard M.B.A. and can help you. You should spend more time fishing, and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. In no time, you could buy several boats with the increased haul. Eventually, you would have a fleet of fishing boats.”

He continued, “Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the consumers, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village, of course, and move to Mexico City, then to Los Angeles, and eventually to New York City, where you could run your expanded enterprise with proper management.

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, senor, how long will all this take?”

To which the American replied, “15-20 years, 25 tops.”

“But what then, senor?”

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right, you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions.”

“Millions senor? Then what?”

“Then you would retire and move to a small coastal fishing village, where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, and stroll in to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

Sometimes we don’t realise, but what we’ve been chasing all along is just within our grasp. All we have to do is let go of the things we think are important. 

Hence why I often advocate the minimalism movement. It can be a great starting point to help you see the tree from the woods.  Ok so how do you get started with your mini retirement after you’ve found the energy and time? Well, the next stop is money. When you work you get paid and more often then not you’ll go out and buy dumb shit you don’t need. So firstly, stop doing that. Start investing & saving your money for your mini retirement. Never give up what you want most for what you want now.

If you want to take a year out to relax, live comfortably and spend time reconnecting with friends and family. First, you’re going to have to find out how much you spend a year. Right now, I’ll use myself as an example, it would cost anywhere between €15’000 – €20’000 bare minimum. That includes living expenses & discretionary expenses. It can be different for all of us. So predict all your future expenses for one year and add them up. This will be your target you need to save up to take a year out. Got it? Then you have the time, money and energy to take a mini retirement.

A different perspective of mini retirement

Maybe you don’t want to stay in the country. Maybe you’re a traveller and want to go on an adventure. Well, do the same thing. Pick a destination, find the cheapest way to get there and live there. Once you do that you have a target to save to. Want a shortcut to reaching your target quicker? Read our articles on improving your financial literacy and how to obtain your financial freedom.

I know what you’re thinking, sounds great but how the fuck can I actually do it? What about all my commitments. I can’t just leave my job? What happens when I return and they don’t rehire me. Don’t worry all these thoughts have gone through my head also. Jobs come and go like the seasons and time so don’t worry. Get the experience under your belt and always work hard. That way you’ll always be in demand.

And never depend on a single source of income. Always work to find more than one way of making a buck. “But Sam I got a family”, I get that, you have commitments. I won’t have the answers to all your questions. Some of these questions will be uncharted waters to me. It’s up to you to figure out how it will work for you. I can only help you so far unfortunately. But if you give me your situation I can try help you anyway I can.

Don’t wait till your old and bony. Take a mini retirement now

A day will come where there will be things that you physically won’t be able to do. There will be times where you won’t have the energy to do what you love. All I can conclude with is; don’t live to work, work to live.


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