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Early retirement vs mini retirement advice: How to save enough money

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Kyle Stimpson of Not Your Parents’ Financial Guy and his partner Lauren embarked on their first mini-retirement this month, in which they plan to travel the world for at least six months.

“It has never made sense to me to work your whole life and save all of the fun and enjoyment for the end, when you might not have the health or energy to do the things you want,” he told Business Insider. “Not to be morbid, but we’re not even guaranteed a long life so we need to enjoy today and not postpone truly living.”

To fund his mini-retirement, Stimpson saved 30% to 40% of his post-tax income for three years. He used any leftover money wisely, adhering to a simple budget he created by renting a modest apartment, cooking most meals at home, and spending little on shopping and entertainment. And he did all of this while living in Sydney, Australia, one of the most expensive cities in the world.

It paid off — Stimpson saved $100,000 and he’s allocating $20,000 toward his mini-retirement with Lauren.

After a short trip in Australia, they’ll head to Southeast Asia for three months, where they’re budgeting to spend around $2,000 a month, and then to Europe for three months with a monthly budget of $4,000. There, they’ll be staying with a few friends and volunteering on an eco-farm in Italy.

“Travel is not just for the rich, since once you leave behind your expensive lifestyle, life on the road can actually be fairly cheap,” Stimpson said.

Part of his budget is earmarked for the one to two months he’ll spend looking for work once his mini-retirement is over.

But, it won’t be his last mini-retirement.

“I enjoy my work when it’s something that has meaning and allows me to contribute something positive to society, so I don’t see the point in ever completely retiring from work,” Stimpson said. “However, at certain stages in life, why not take a break to travel, spend time with family or recharge your batteries before starting a new project? I would definitely see myself taking a mini-retirement at least every 10 years.”

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