I’m Taking a Mini-Retirement… in Upper Hutt!

At the start of this week I announced, I‘m taking the rest of the year off. Tim Ferriss introduces the concept of a mini-retirement in his book ‘Four Hour Work Week’ (aka 4HWW). Here’s the basic idea.

“Tim argues that instead of deferring retirement to the end of our careers, we would be happier, more fulfilled, and more productive if we instead took “mini-retirements” throughout our lives.”

Using Mini-Retirements to Get More Out of Life: An Interview with Timothy Ferriss

Some people might also liken it to the idea of a sabbaticial

Sabbatical /səˈbatɪk(ə)l/ noun
a period of paid leave granted to a university teacher or other worker for study or travel, traditionally one year for every seven years worked.

One key difference that Tim note’s is that a Sabbatical is usually viewed as a “once in a lifetime event” where as mini retirements are a “way of life”.

4HWW and Running a Restaurant

In a previous post I wrote:

“… There was a common misconception, including my own, that this book was only for knowledge-based workers in Silicon Valley. Here I was with a traditional service-based, small business in Upper Hutt, New Zealand. Not a tech company, not a start-up, or one that you can typically turn virtual. A traditional bricks and mortar business with staff.

An important note to clarify before you get too far in. The ‘Four Hour Work Week’ is not about sitting around doing as little as possible. It’s not about running away to live on the beach, at least that’s not my take on it. It’s about reducing the things you “have to do” to the smallest amount of time possible, so you can focus on the things you want to do. It can mean keeping the same job, living in the same city, but being flexible to work on terms that suit you better.

The book is broken down into 4 main sections with the acronym DEAL. I will briefly explain each section and how it made a difference to our journey at the Silverspoon.




And, L for Liberate

While I have talked about how I applied the Delegate, Eliminate and Automate chapters of the book I haven’t really talked about, or applied, the liberate section of his book.

Do not expect work to fill a void that non-work relationships and activities should. Work is not all of life. Your co-workers shouldn’t be your only friends. Schedule life and defend it just as you would an important business meeting.

Tim Ferriss

A Big Massive Life Change

For a lot of people a mini retirement can mean leaving to some exotic country, finding a deserted island to retreat to, or sailing a boat around the world.

For example here is a cool little interview about a NZ couple who went to Vietnam.

On a Side note: The Happy Saver blog is an awesome, down to earth discussions about money, with a NZ focus. I signed up to her weekly emails about 6 months ago, I enjoy reading them and would encourage you to check it out.

So Who Wouldn’t Want to Do That?

Well actually Katie and I.

While we feel blessed to be in a position where we can not worry about working for a while we also feel torn. Each time we have talked about taking a mini-retirement we have got stuck. We loved the idea of taking some time out, but somehow we got it stuck in our head that we had to pack up and leave Upper Hutt. (Katie says “actually just Josh was the one stuck on that idea”)

Somehow I thought that taking a mini-retirement meant we had to pull the kids out of school/kindergarten and leave. Then I realised, I can use this as a base, it’s about the living out the spirit of adventure and making the most of life no matter where you are.

When we were 22 and freshly married we sold everything and travelled to the States and Canada, moving around on one-way tickets for a year and a half.

Since then we have taken a few 1 month holidays back to North America. I have also had some amazing adventures in NZ, whether it be Heli boarding, hunting in the bush or running across mountains. All things within a couple of hours drive or flight from our home.

We Love Upper Hutt

The Upper Hutt I know, and have grown up in, is a beautiful city.

This city seems to have an average reputation with those outside the area. However what I see is a city that is green with lots of parks, hills and bushes. It’s a place that is family friendly with great schools, awesome community and friendly people.

There is lots to do outdoors and the river is great to walk, bike or run along. We have 4 craft beer breweries and at least 5 good cafes (in my opinion). Everything we need and want is right here. It suits our family with 2 young boys perfectly.

We can walk to the centre of town within 10 minutes, but also be at an international airport within 30 minute drive. Then you can access the many benefits of Wellington Region including Central Wellington Waterfront, Martinborough Vineyards, Greytown, Petone and Kapiti.

Most of all, this is where are friends, family and support network is.  We have established a good base here and find ourselves feeling content.

While the thought of a new environment was exciting, the thought of leaving all that behind meant we were procrastinating our mini-retirement dream.

It took a while for me to finally realise we don’t need to run away to some exoctic location to live out our version of a mini retirement. Katie is pretty happy about that!

Use Upper Hutt as a base

After going around in circles for months, I made it official at the start of this week. I launched a vlog with my very first episode announcing we are taking a mini retirement in good old Upper Hutt.

It’s really easy to have all these life changing epiphanies when you’re in a new environment and then come home and get stuck in the same groove. The “Upper Hutt mini retirement is about enjoying what we have as well as trying new, uncomfortable things (like vlogging).

To be clear, I plan to get back into business again, at some stage. For now though I will take some time out to enjoy the fruits of our labour

I Also Need to Tie up Loose Ends.

Currently my days are filled with tying up loose ends from moving on with Kiwi Homes. I also have a short term contract with Prime Designs to help with their business process and, I’m still writing once a week – obviously if you’re reading this 🙂

For the next couple of posts I will talk about

The budget, how we can and will make this happen

Tying up loose ends, the process of eliminating the things revolving around me

Balance and routine, how I plan to actually take a break and what I will do

In the meantime, I have started a vlog to document the journey. Check that out here.