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Who has taken a 6-12 month "trial run"?
Old 08-20-2008, 12:02 PM   #1
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Who has taken a 6-12 month "trial run"?

I would love to hear from anyone who took a 6-12 month leave of absence as a trial run for ER. Did it convince you that ER was the right thing to do? Were you happy to go back to w*rk? Please share your experiences. Thanks.

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Old 08-20-2008, 12:40 PM   #2
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Sorry, only 3 months here.
But yes, we came back wanting to save even more and work even harder to get to our FIRE goals. And yes, it sucked going back to work. Our quit work-go sailing-summer was in 2003, and I can still recall the wonderful times like it was yesterday.

“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
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Old 08-20-2008, 01:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
Sorry, only 3 months here.
But yes, we came back wanting to save even more and work even harder to get to our FIRE goals. And yes, it sucked going back to work. Our quit work-go sailing-summer was in 2003, and I can still recall the wonderful times like it was yesterday.
Sounds idyllic!!! I wish I could do that right now, and I suppose that technically I could. But, as the saying goes, "It wouldn't be prudent at this juncture."

Really, I think that listening to the sounds of the wind and water for a few months would do a lot for my peace of mind.
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harborless immensities.
- - - H. Melville, 1851
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Old 08-20-2008, 02:08 PM   #4
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I took a year LOA when I retired. At the time I told my bosses and myself that there was 50/50 chance I'd go back to work after the end of the year. I figured it was a heads I win, tails I make more money situation. As late as one month before the LOA expired I seriously considered returning (I still had future options that were in the black.)

I didn't return and my options were underwater by the time they vested so it was a good decision. My company had 8 week+ vacation sabbatical every 7 years, so I did have a taste of the leisure life.
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Old 08-20-2008, 04:11 PM   #5
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I took a one year paid vacation (separation package with option to rehire after a year). It was a definite win/win. My stock options were priced in the 50's-70's and the share price was about $12. I figured worst case I get my old job back, probably a higher salary and way better option prices.

After a few months of looking at the finances (and girls in bikinis at the beach) I realized I didnt have to work. After six months I had no further interest in that four letter word 'work'....

Shortly before this I took a 3 month paid sabbatical. Thoroughly enjoyed myself. When I went back, it was very hard to get back into the routine. When you've been in the pot for a while with the hot water and the rest of the frogs, you dont notice how much crap is internally created and benefits nobody. Get out of the pot for a while...
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
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Old 08-20-2008, 04:30 PM   #6
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Not as much time as you're asking about, but:

- after I retired from the Navy I planned to take 90 days off before starting a "second career". It turned out to be 120 days because it took me a little longer to find a job than I had thought it would. It was a good taste of retirement, although it had always been my intention not to retire for good at that point.
- my "second career" turned out to be a few different jobs over a 6 year period, all but one of them with "beltway bandits" (defense contractors). Each time I left a job, I did not yet have another lined up but didn't worry about it. As a result, I had a few job hiatuses (hiatii?) of 2 - 3 months.

So, when I retired for good, I had a pretty good idea of what lay in store.
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Old 08-20-2008, 04:46 PM   #7
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I quit, fed up and planning to go back to work sometime after a budget travel around the world. Back in town 14 months later, I was offered my same job back at six months on, six off. I couldn't pass it up. I didn't have quite enough month set aside to ER permanently, but it was close. So I needed some sort of way to set more money aside. So I guess you'd say I was happy to go back to work because I had a job share that gave me time off, yet was making decent money, and I needed the money.
But even though the worst of the problem people had left while I was gone (I'm assuming I wasn't the problem!) after three six-month stints, the money wasn't worth my time and stress, so I quit again. My health was so much better when not working, I figured being a little poorer and ERed was better than richer and dead.
Going back wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, probably because my six months on was in the winter, when I don't play outside as much, and I knew that six months off was coming.
Quitting my job to travel worked out extremely well for me, but I was also fortunate that the market was going up the entire time I was gone (and I traveled cheaply) so I had more money when I came back from my trip than when I left!
Did it convince me that ER was the way to go? Oh yes yes yesssss.
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Old 08-20-2008, 05:27 PM   #8
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Yep, about 25 years ago, quit work, sold house, took off in a motorhome for 2 year bumming around the US. It was good practice for ER. Did all contiguous US states. ER was a no brainer.
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Old 08-20-2008, 07:44 PM   #9
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Recently had seven months off after being downsized...

I could get used to that!
Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:16 PM   #10
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apparently i'm on a 24-month trial now. i'll let ya know how it goes once i figure out just what it is that i think i'm doing.
"off with their heads"~~dr. joseph-ignace guillotin

"life should begin with age and its privileges and accumulations, and end with youth and its capacity to splendidly enjoy such advantages."~~mark twain - letter to edward kimmitt 1901
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Old 08-20-2008, 09:11 PM   #11
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I took from October, 2005 to October 2006 off. Decided I wanted a break and figure out what I wanted to do in life. Wife got pregnant with number 2 (a lot of free time you know )and so decided it might be prudent to work for a few more years to ensure proper school funds were acquired.

Thoroughly enjoyed the year off and it was difficult to put the suit back on. However, now, almost 2 years hence, I am nearing my financial target and if all goes well, July next year will be the start of permanent ER. I'll be 46.

I learned a great deal being away from work for a full year. Probably the most important thing was behaviour modification relative to my marriage. After many years of my working and my wife staying at home, the daytime and travel separation (which engendered longing) was no longer present. We both had some adjusting to do, but it was a great rehearsal for the longer term and I'm happy I got a chance to do it. That is now one factor of ER I'm not worried about.
Ty Webb to Carl Spackler: "Got a a pool and a pond. Pond would be good for you."
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:05 AM   #12
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I took a year's sabbatical in 1990 and realized how much I enjoyed the ER lifestyle. Did not have enough mullah back then to make it permanent so I reoriented my goals and lifestyle (earn as much as I could, save and invest as much as I could) so that I could ER, which I did in 2002, at 52. Been R'd for 6 years now - love it.

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