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31 yr olds & sabbatical
Old 01-03-2014, 09:37 PM   #1
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31 yr olds & sabbatical

My wife and I are both 31. We have about 300k in 401k/IRA and about 60K in taxable account. I will have a pension worth about 60% of pre-retirement income. She has an opportunity to work overseas for 18 months to gain international experience. I'm considering taking a sabbatical from work to go with her. We have 2 children under the age of 4. If we take this adventure, we would give up 2 years of retirement contribution opportunities. Goal is to retire at 50. What do you think?
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:22 PM   #2
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Go.
You'll regret it, if you don't.
What country is it?
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:29 PM   #3
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Go, run don't walk and don't look back. The opportunities and experience you gain cannot be captured in USD.

I left for the pacific 7months ago and I was able to save MORE money. You are way ahead of me and my wife and we are the same age.
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Old 01-04-2014, 01:19 AM   #4
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Can you take a break from your employment for so long and still retain the pension?

Sounds like an opportunity of a lifetime and a priceless experience.
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Old 01-04-2014, 04:30 AM   #5
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Thank everyone. The location is New Zealand. I work in a school system where I am guaranteed a teaching position upon my return.
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Old 01-04-2014, 04:44 AM   #6
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Go! I am jealous.

- Try to find a personal goal to achieve within these 18 months.
- For you it looks like a sabbatical but for your wife it is a very important step in her carreer. So fully support her on the home front. She might not be able to take long weekends or take multiple vacations.
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Old 01-04-2014, 07:19 AM   #7
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Go go go. My wife and i took a sabattical to France around the same age. I still pulled the plug at 45.
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:07 AM   #8
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Awesome. Do it. You cannot recapture these opportunities, both for the experience of living there and your DW's career growth. One day you would wish you had done it. Even if you have to defer retirement by two years (likely not), you can consider this to be the first two years of your retirement that you just took out of sequence .
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Old 01-04-2014, 10:54 AM   #9
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Go.

Too bad it's an English speaking country. Those small child brains do amazing things when exposed to new languages.
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Old 01-04-2014, 11:13 AM   #10
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Of course you should go. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity to enrich your family's experience in a beautiful and relatively safe country whose language you speak.
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:08 PM   #11
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Thank everyone. The location is New Zealand. I work in a school system where I am guaranteed a teaching position upon my return.
I'll add my voice to the chorus of go, take the plunge, get yourself down there. And, take every opportunity to explore while you are there; it is a beautiful region of the world with some very friendly people.

Warning: You may decide not to come back; I have seen that happen more than once.
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:14 PM   #12
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Another yes, go. If you can resume your career on return (evidently yes), I'd jump at the chance!

I've always wanted to visit if NZ, reportedly the highest number of boats per capita, sounds like my kind of country...
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:14 PM   #13
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Do it! Especially since you have a safety net of a job upon your return.

The experiences you all share as a family will be priceless.
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Old 01-05-2014, 02:11 AM   #14
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Absolutely do it. NZ is the most beautiful place I have ever been. And from what I have read, it is difficult to get a visa to work there, so if your wife already has that lined up, it is a great opportunity, especially if your job is guaranteed to be waiting for you when you return.
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Old 01-05-2014, 11:50 AM   #15
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Go, run don't walk and don't look back.
+1. It sounds like an amazing opportunity.
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Old 01-05-2014, 12:38 PM   #16
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Enjoy, but it may "ruin" you for work. I took a sabbatical in my late 40's, (1 year), but my mind stayed on sabbatical. I was only able to work three more years before needing a permanent sabbatical.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:00 AM   #17
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Thanks for the replies. I'm only hesitant because we've made such great progress with retirement savings and this adventure would put us back 2 years. But, we are ahead of the plan, so it probably won't affect ER.
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:48 PM   #18
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Go Go Go!!
I had a friend do exactly the same thing, and loved it there. She even had her second child in NZ. I went to visit and they were so happy and it was such a positive for the whole family. Definitely do this.
You will never regret this. NZ is a great place for children, and so much fun to explore.
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Old 01-06-2014, 03:23 PM   #19
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Thanks for the replies. I'm only hesitant because we've made such great progress with retirement savings and this adventure would put us back 2 years. But, we are ahead of the plan, so it probably won't affect ER.
The journey is as important as the destination.
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