Mini retirement update: Slowly moving forward

Hey there, if you’re new I am going to be publishing a monthly series where I document our journey to this years One Goal.  The goal: to take a Mini Retirement. Take 4 months off of work to travel internationally to Ecuador and El Salvador and permanently move to a new state, MichiganThe launch date of this adventure is October 1, 2017. This is our first time going through the process of planning a mini retirement. By the end of this series I hope to have a tried and true checklist to go by for all our future mini retirements. Wish  us luck and follow along on the journey.

As of today the count down clock say 14 weeks and 4 days.

May to do list:

There are some rolled over tasks and items I need to keep an eye on to wrap them up.

  • Book airline tickets with points ( Complete)

I cut it close. Tickets are booked. The process was a hot mess but it’s done. (Post up coming for the wonders of travel hacking)

  • Research and apply TSA precheck  Global Entry (in Process)

It isn’t TSA precheck that we want. We want global Entry. Here is the site if you are on your way and want to consider it.  We still need to apply and it’s going to cost us $400. Oh, and there is no guarantee of approval so that could be $400 down the drain. But we have never traveled internationally and I really want the process to go smoothly.

New Task

  • Research education replacement for Jr’s 4 months of school (In Process)

Jr will be missing at least 4 months of formal schooling. I am researching different methods to go about filling in this time. This is an on going process. But I’ll be honest he is one of the top students and loves to read so I am not super concerned about it. Is that bad?

  • Get rid of all unused items in kitchen (In Process)

We cleared out one drawer and got rid of duplicates. Things like knives we never reach for. But we have just started scratching the surface. There is surprisingly a lot in our kitchen.

  • Cut down on board games (Not Complete)
  • Donate extra stuffed animals (Complete)
Our big pile of stuffed animals for just 2 kids. So happy to see most of them gone because keeping them all would have easily filled up the entire back seat of a car. 

A small miracle in it’s self. We have drastically cut the amount of fuzzy plushy friends in the house. The life saver came when I found out one of my neighbors does flea markets and said. ” I’ll take them”. Yes, please.

  • Get rid of all Minnie Roamers 3 yr old clothes. (Complete)

As soon as Minnie’s birthday week was in view I started letting her know we were going to pull out all her 3 yr old clothes and I would give her all her 4 yr old clothes. The transition went pretty well. She has been eagerly waiting to get her 4 year old clothes. Honestly, she still fit into some of her 3 yr old clothes. Some of her 4 year old clothes were a bit big, but this age separation is an easy way for me to make sure she doesn’t have piles of  clothes out at once. So we just made the switch. I gave these to my neighbor too.

  • Send 5 year old clothes to Michigan. (Complete)

I have another empty bin at home thanks to my In-laws. They visited and brought 2 free check bags to take stuff back with them. Super happy to have the stuff out of the house.

  • Schedule all the things we want to do and see before we leave California (Complete)
Kids enjoying the garden at the Getty

We put stuff on the calendar and are planning to head out to one of those sites this weekend. Places we want to go include San Francisco and Joshua Tree and some closer day trips. Thanks to scheduling it in we finally did The Getty museum. It was a fun and exhausting day.

  • Check how many bins would fit in cars (Complete)

Seeing how much is actually going to fit in our car pretty much almost gave me a heart attack. I have 2 bins with my clothes which I rotate during my capsules. With only enough space for 3-5 in each car that is not good news. I wanted to build one of these to attach to the car and now it feels like a must. Specially if we want to take with us our kitchen stuff, bed stuff and oh yeah everyone else’s clothes too.

We removed a good amount of stuff from the house in May. That’s Great! But with time ticking I am starting to get the sinking feeling that we are not moving fast. But now on too June.

June to do list:

There are some rolled over tasks and items I need to keep an eye on to wrap them up.

  • Research and apply TSA precheck( not complete)
  • Get rid of all unused items in kitchen (In Process)
  • Research education replacement for Jr’s 4 months of school (In Process)

New Task

  • Finish getting a better idea of dream trip costs
  • Do a book give away for financial books. Or just donate them.
  • Clear out patio
  • Email travel blogger (specially people who have been to Ecuador or El Salvador)
  • Open bank account with no international fees
  • Kid’s Dentist appointments

So that’s what I am working on in June.  Have any tips, comments or questions let me know down below. If you want to check out the entire series just check out the mini retirement series.


The Roamer traveling wallet

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4 thoughts on “Mini retirement update: Slowly moving forward”

  1. This is a great idea! I’ve gone on several “min-retirements” abroad (although I’m actually working — just online). Taking a full break would be awesome though. Best of luck and looking forward to seeing your success!

  2. Thanks Rob,
    while neither of us will be working, we will have to keep up with Jr education so there will be some “work” going on. But it’s a new frontier for us and we are excited.

  3. I’ve never gone on a mini-retirement but I am definitely intrigued about the possibility down the road. I look forward to reading your journey and think it sounds like you have picked two amazing countries. Thanks for sharing!!!

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