Forget About Early Retirement. Instead, Embrace Mini Retirements

The whole FIRE movement is endlessly fascinating, at least to me.

I agree with the first half of the acronym, which stands for Financial Independence Retire Early. Financial independence is my ultimate money goal. I’m quite looking forward to the day when I can tell my bosses to shove it. I have no intention to do so–in fact, I quite like my bosses–but I do want the option of knowing I can be fired and not have to worry about where my next meal is going to come from.

In fact, I’d argue that employees who are financially independent are some of the best at their jobs. When you don’t have to worry about being fired, it’s easier to take an unpopular opinion or stand up to your boss.

Many people have zero interest in being an employee once they hit their financial independence date. For them, the whole point of financial independence is retiring early. They want to leave their crummy job yesterday, and this is the easiest way.

I have a different version of accomplishing the same thing. Here’s why I would much rather take several “mini retirements” than one long early retirement.

We all need to refresh

From 2003 to 2009, I took exactly one week off work. Not only did I work my 40 hours per week, but I put in ample amounts of overtime and spent hours on various side hustles.

I don’t regret this for a minute. That money is still invested to this day. As I type this, it’s making me more money, which I’ll then invest in new assets which will then generate more passive income.

But at by the end of 2009, I was burnt out. I was tired of my job and all the stress it entailed. I was very close to quitting.

Instead of doing what I wanted and giving the proverbial middle finger to my boss, I negotiated some time off. It was originally slated to be a month, but the option existed to take more time. We called it “using up my unused vacation time.”

The first week off was wonderful. I was truly happy for the first time in a long while. The second week was great too, until the end. I realized I was getting bored. I missed my co-workers and customers and my old life.

I went back to work the next day. It was great. I was rejuvenated and ready to go. The break did me a world of good.

I ended up only lasting another year at that job before leaving for a better paying opportunity in the same industry, but that’s not such a bad outcome. Without that break I probably would have quit my job in disgust.

My mini retirement only lasted two weeks. You might need four weeks or eight weeks or even six months. The important part is trying out the concept with an open mind. You might figure out you don’t hate your job as much as you thought. Or it might be incentive to try something new. A mini retirement can open your eyes to all sorts of possibilities.

The cost issue

The best part of mini retirements is you can do one with a relatively small amount of money.  

It takes close to a million dollars to retire early, and many experts think that’s not enough. It really doesn’t offer much wiggle room. Someone can take a few months off and only spend $10,000, or even less.

Look at it this way. If you use Airbnb or a similar service and are selective about where you go, it costs less to rent a fully furnished apartment in many major cities for a whole month than it does to stay in a mediocre hotel for a week. Traveling to and from a location is the big cost. Accommodation doesn’t have to be.

The biggest issue of a mini retirement isn’t really the cost. It’s finding a boss that will allow you to take the time off.

Conclusion

It’s hard to tell the difference between being permanently burnt out and just needing a break. Before you hang up the proverbial skates for good, be sure to try at least one mini retirement. It just might be what the doctor ordered.

A Brief Guide to the Child Disability Tax Credit

 

For parents of a child with a disability in Canada there is a welcome form of financial support in the Child Disability Tax Credit. Parents of a child with a disability can receive up to $224.58 per month as assistance from the government. The benefit is meant for parents who have a child with a permanent disability (under the age of eighteen), and is given to parents as a tax-fee benefit. Parents will receive the credit each month to assist them with whatever needs they deem to be important.

There are many benefits to this credit namely that it can co-exist with other forms of support such as grants for services, caregivers, or adaptive technology. Many parents of a child with a disability incur a high degree of costs associated with the nature of their child’s disability. Some of these costs are:

  • Multiple forms of physical, play or other forms of therapeutic therapy
  • A need for various medications (sometimes multiple medications together)
  • Special programs and services
  • Caregivers to assist in the home
  • Specific equipment and adaptive technology
  • Occupational therapy
  • Dental work
  • Psychotherapy for parents and/or family members

In some children who experience a complicated condition such as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, there will likely be a need for multiple forms of treatments, different medications, long hospital stays, and other complicated needs.

The amount of money parents receive is dependent up on a few factors:

  • The nature and complexity of the child’s disability
  • The parent’s income
  • The nature of the treatments recommended by physicians and other treatment professionals

At Disability Credit Canada, we help your children have the best childhood possible by assisting you in applying for a Child Disability Tax Credit.  The amount you save from paying higher income taxes can now help pay for necessary aid in raising your children with disability. The Child Disability Benefit can help children of all ages, starting from infancy, to attending preschool all the way to high school.

The Child Disability Benefit is home to various programs that help disabled children achieve their full potential. This is funded by the government through our taxes and other resources, as well as partnerships with non-profit charitable organizations and generous donations from private industries. The Child Disability Benefit is administered and given out by the government in various child and family support programs through Service Canada or its Services for Families and Children program. These include:

  • Canada Child Tax Benefit: This is a monthly payment which is tax free to parents with children under the age of 18. For parents with a child who has a disability there is the previously discussed Child Disability Benefit.
  • Child Care Subsidy: This is geared to low-income families who require additional financial services to assist them with the care of their children also under the age of 18.
  • Child Rearing Drop-Out Provision: This is another supplement geared towards parents or caregivers who have a low or zero income. The purpose of this is to remove the burden of making contributions to the CPP or Canada Pension Plan. For these families, the amount of amount they would have to put into the CPP program would have a deleterious effect on them given that they care for a child seven years or younger.
  • Child Support Services: This program is meant to help caregivers to obtain legal agreements or court orders required to secure child support payments. If their spouse is delinquent in his/her payments, this program can help.
  • Universal Child Care Benefits: All Canadian families with young children are eligible for this benefit which pays $100 per child under the age of six.
  • Early Childhood Services and Special Needs: This supplement is geared specifically towards children under the age of six with a disability, who may be eligible for three years of early learning support

All of these benefits combined can be incredibly helpful to parents with a child who has a disability and support them in being more proactive parents.