June 16, 2009

How much money would you need to take the next two years off? If you have or had it, would you do it? Why or why not? And what would you do?


Anonymous said...

At least a quarter of a million dollars.

See the world.

Anonymous said...

It's not a matter of cash on hand. I'd be more concerned about being unemployable after 2 years off the job.

Randy said...

Go on take off 2 years or as many years as you please.

Just remember that all that time there will be focused and ambitious goal oriented individuals who will continue making progress in all the areas they choose, including financial.

They WILL be successful.

We do not want to hear you guys whine, complain, blame them or calling them names such as ‘international bankers’ when you come crying with fake papers for a loan to buy a property.

Life will not wait for you..

If your priority is gloating in pleasure of say nature, day in and day out,
that’s OK..

There are consequences for all choices.

keith said...


You could die tomorrow

Did you enjoy your life?

Christine said...

Assuming I could get 6 mo of unemployment benefits, I would need $35,000. Yes, I have it.

No, I would not do it.

I need those years to help fund retirement (by way of foreign stocks) which is 30-35 years away. Also, I like my job, and my position gives me summers off, so I can still accomplish life goals.

There's no reason for me to voluntarily take 2 years off.

Anonymous said...


You could die tomorrow

Did you enjoy your life?

Who is to say that Randy doesn't enjoy his daily routine of listening to 12 hours of fake conservative radio, swilling Bud light, chomping on beef jerky and shooting raccoons for fun?

Afterthought said...


I would not want to stop doing what I am doing though.

Randy said...

I love what I do
I love life

I personally am happier when I feel I’m moving forward

For me time is the most precious thing exactly because everyday may be my final day

I enjoy long periods of doing nothing as well, but too much is like living on a diet of cotton candy.

If I die on the path to achieving some of my goals I would be more then content.

I truly am a very lucky person

keith said...

Randy - healthy answer. I just wanted to make sure you weren't working 80 hours a week in a job you hated so that you could buy more crap that you don't need.

You know, like most people.

And oh, by the way, you may die tomorrow.

Seriously, don't want to freak you out or anything.

But tomorrow may be it for you.

Anonymous said...

NEED or WANT? I would need very little money, but I'm assuming the question is about how much would it take for me to actually do it voluntarily. In that case, a cool 200K cash in addition to my present savings. If you're tapping into your own current savings, it feels too painful to take 2 years off because you know you'll be eating dog food in retirement. The key is to have a cover story to make up for the lost time. Nothing short of a fake job will work here. For some reason, employers in the U.S. look very negatively upon you if you use YOUR OWN MONEY to FUND YOUR OWN TIME OFF. Its as if there is something deeply wrong with you if you want to enjoy life on your own dime.

Out at the peak said...

I estimate $28,000 (post 6mos of unemployment). I have it. I would only do it if I lost my job (to qualify for unemployment).

I would create (polished) Indy games for the XBOX 360 to finally feel like I put my mark on the world. Might sound silly, but that's what I want. Then, hopefully, I can do that for a living.

les said...

I wouldn't mind scaling back to an organic micro-farm. In the right place maybe $300k.

All Play and No Work said...

I feel you, Keith. I think you should change 'could die tomorrow' to 'could die today'. The next minute is not promised to us. So yes, I would take the rest of my life off if I could. Or just the next two years if that's the limit. I do believe time is precious, and we won't regret not spending more time at work when we die. But we will regret the fun things we shoulda coulda woulda been doing HAD WE JUST HAD MORE TIME. As it is, I have cut back to part time work - after working full time most of my adult life - and I look forward to the day when I am truly free of the timeclock and the shackle on my leg tieing me to the desk. I would probably like to have around $50-60K a year on my two year hiatus and I would go and live at the beach, eat crabs while watching the sun set over the sound, read all the books I have been meaning to, rent all the movies I have missed, work on my SELF, yadda yadda yadda. Trust me, I wouldn't be bored.

Randy said...

Keefer said:
‘You know, like most people.’

I’m an HPer

And HPers aren’t ‘like most people.’

Like yourself you probably never was or will be ‘like most people.’

I sure could die tomorrow, but my gut tells me I have a lot more to do and am planning on being around for a long long time.

Anonymous said...

I just have... 2 Best Years of My Life. Batteries charged, ready for the second half of fun and profits and tax avoidance.

It's been Great. Motorcycle tours in Germany, Holland, Belgium, et. al. Cruises and land excursions.

Amtrak across USA. Great experience. Greyhoundes some too. How the other half lives is not bad after all...

Unlimited Eurail pass, stay at some Hostels, some 4 stars.

Ate Great and Healthy Food. Drank wonderful liquids.

Met, nice, smart, fit people, especially BEAUTIFUL women (NO Suzannes). Back to Shitville America, Land of the Coward, Home of the Obese and irrelevant.

Lost 41 lbs of fat in the process.

Wonderful Wonderful. All but returning to stupidville America and Crooks anonymous MaoBama land with the Perverts of Congress and Wall Stret outright theives.

The money spent is irrelevant.

Health IS Wealth.

Keep working, slaves. Feed the McMansion and Suzanne. Get that Hummer and Wal-Mart extra large cheese doodles. HELOC the house. Gas soon to be $ 4.00 per gallon to feed the prohets of doom and unseen hands steering the course...

Do it Now.

Just Kidding said...

Couldn't do it for anything less than $6k/month, I gotta pay my mortgage!
-Just kidding (JDF)

Anonymous said...

When I paid off my mortgage last year (8 years on a 20 year fixed) I set a goal to have 2 years of living expenses banked. If I count unemployment, I am already there. Without unemployment I should be there by the end of the year. This is not so I can quit my job and party for two years. It is my feeling that the next time I get laid off it will take me a year or more to find another job. There are no green shoots, we have not turned the corner, and we have not bottomed out.

Alien Autopsy

will shill for coin said...

>What would you do.

Just having enough money to not work without wondering how you'll pay the rent after unemp runs out puts you in, maybe the top 5 percentile.

The idea of 'doing what you'd love to do' for two years. That's a a whole other matter, with maybe .25 percentile.

One in 400, if you count all the total schlubs that's probably about right. There are lots of schlubs.

Also, I hope Randy is no older than 31 or 32. Thinking like from older people would be demented. But especially for energetic mid-20's youngsters that's fairly normal. I was like that. Had an Alex P. Keaton mentality. It wears off.

Anonymous said...

If I wanted to live like my not-so-fully-employable brother, at home with Dad, I could probably quit my job today and live for 500 months if I was careful, 300 without much concern. Divide that by half to deal with inflation in the out-months. This is assuming I sold my GLD shares, and didn't touch my modest/moderate-sized tax deferred accounts.

But I don't want to shovel snow 6 months of the year, involve a car for everything I want to do, etc, etc.

I like where I am now. I like the cultural activities here; I like the Sun and the lack of snow. I like the smart professional educated women here. I like all my errands to be by bike. But it's expensive here--I'd probably need to spend $2000 a month to live even the smallest possible life here. That's 150 months on a cash basis. 75 for inflation.

But then what? I'd be older, with a much less current resume, and less time to save for retirement, when I'm sure I'll be too old and tired to want to work as much.

No, although I do daydream about taking a 6 month "sabbatical", I'd rather "stay out of trouble" by keeping a job if at all possible and be able to spend money on dates and hobbies, and save for an even better life than I already appreciate having achieved.

(If I DID want to take a sabbatical, I'd have to be able to promise myself I would spend some of that time ramping up on career related knowledge I currently don't have time to keep up on; and that would be a bit hard for me.)

As for traveling the world, or living it up somewhere chasing hotties, that's not much of an attraction for me, but I imagine it would cost between $1000 and $10000 a month, so that's 30 months or more. I'd probably get board after 3 months though.

And I get away to a nice vacation every couple of years already, in addition to a couple of weeks total a year of simple downtime somewhere in my part of the country.

Lastly, I'd rather keep that money and buy a house again someday--hopefully better AND cheaper and maybe bigger than the one I sold in 2007.

Lost Cause said...

You can always work small jobs along the way. Remember, Alexander the Great started out with $10,000, and he managed to conquer the world.

mimi said...

I would need $10 million dollars because that's the only way I would feel secure enough to not work. But even if I didn't work for income - I'd still want to do something useful.

Anonymous said...

would need $80k and I have it. And I've been thinking of doing just that, taking two years off to travel to India and Argentina while maintaining my base in Phnom Penh.
Not really concerned with having a hole on the CV.. those things are ephemeral anyway, good jobs are luck as much as having a pristine work history.. or at least having it look that way.
Would also spend some time playing golf in the Philippines for good measure as a good game is a life long skill and asset.

Mike Hunt said...

I have more than enough money to take the next 2 years off. But I wouldn't enjoy it. I enjoy brief periods of high intensity work followed by some time to rest.

When a job becomes repetitive and busy without any learning or growth I get really bored and have to jump ship. Just finised a 2 week vacation in the US so I'll be recharged for at least a month or two.

Taking 2 years off should be the goal. A balanced life should be the goal. I do enjoy my time but my current role does drain the crap out of me. I will look for something else while managing things right now.

I do realize it could end anytime and am ok with that. I also feel very lucky and grateful for the life I have.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Considering I have a family to support, I'll need to keep working for the man till they're at least thru college.

Plus I'm in IT, so taking off for two years would be pretty much suicide unless I was planning on get out of the industry.

With that said, if I did want to get out of the industry (maybe open up a shop or something down the line). I'd need about ...ummm 350K. Roughly...

That would be enough for me to close up some of my loose debt (outstanding school loans, car payments, etc) and put everything into long term storage.

I'd then go back to the old country where both my father and my wife's father still live and live like a king. Returning in two years to buy a foreclosed house with cash and then open up a little business.

Of course I wouldn't keep the money in dollars through the process.

-Silly Monkey

xxxyyyzzz said...

500k for my retirement fund.

Anonymous said...

Would need $130k for two years off.

Can I do it. Yup.

Would I? Nope.

derivs said...

I did what you did Keith. I went to a happy place (left the fat infested, prozaced, self-entitled U.S.)

Traveled the world for 6 years... decided to settle in Rio. If you ever come here you are invited to dinner.

$$ undisclosed.

Anonymous said...

I'd probably either severely downgrade my lifestyle and/or move to another country where a US buck goes further. You can get a basic place with AC by the coast in places like Costa Rica and Thailand and live pretty nicely on not much. Surf and snorkeling and lazy days at the beach. Been to both and it rocks.

I'd say $1800 a month would be enough for both me and my wife except for our student loans, so closer to $2500. So say $30k a year.

We have it and with an 8% return on our money, we could do that forever. But we've spent the last few years building a business together and really enjoy what we do. I wish we could do less of it, but opportunity abounds and now that we are having kids, we want to work hard until they are old enough to travel and hopefully by then we'll have some real coin saved to travel or live wherever.

Anonymous said...

I would like to take two years off, I figure about 15k/year (small apartment, no car payment, no kids, no student loans etc...) or 30k.

Maybe take one international trip per year (and actually have the time to enjoy it), maybe 5k?

40k total.

Agree about the unemployable part when returning back to the workforce. I think you just have to do something semi-useful with your time and say you tried to make it as a "consultant".

Anonymous said...


Love ya man..

Some of these posters are full of BS. 200, 300k??? If you really need that much to get by for two years, there's something really messed up in your life. For the last 12 years I've learned to live a simple life. I invest in nothing that I couldn't afford to lose tomorrow. My total monthly bills are less than $1,200. I don't believe in debt of ANY sort. And I also believe that the average middle class person can live like a king if he chooses, it's just a state of mind (ie, is a $180 bottle of wine REALLY that much better than a $20 bottle???)

I have accumulated a very tidy savings since I started my simple life, but it took me a LONG time to understand how much better the quality of life can be by simply living simple.

I could live way way more than two years on my savings and not give up a thing. But I choose to work, and I choose what I want to do, EVERYDAY. And I have plenty left over to help those who truly need help (family, friends, and an occasional stranger). Nothing beats that.

I made good choices starting 12 years ago. But those choices came only after living a life of excess and unhappiness (lots of debt and a really bad marriage). I changed, and ANYONE can, starting today.

We are the richest nation in the world, yet have more debt than most of the world combined. We have more options for a quality life than any other country, yet it seems that so many are unhappy and depressed. Why??? It shouldn't be this way, not in the US, the land of plenty.

Well, I'm at the end of my $6, 91 rating, bottle of pinot grigio. Living like a king..........

keith said...

There's a $6 91 pinot?

Do tell.

Nice to see some of you get it.

I think more will, over time.

traveler said...

I am 60 and have taken approximately 19 years of "vacation" where I traveled the world overland and spent as much time getting an armpit tan on beautiful beaches and having a blast. I've been to 45 countries and learned to speak 6 languages on the streets. Vagator, Haad Rin, Kerobokan and Amsterdam are some my favorite places on earth. I spend about 5 thousand a year to live the vagabond life. I wheel and deal handicrafts under the nearest coconut tree to pay for my bungalow. In the USA I have a very nice fifty foot boat that I bought for one dollar and fixed up thats is anchored offshore, my monthly bills total $45 + food. I eat what I like to call the "world diet" so my costs once again are low. My aim is to "work" as little as possible and enjoy as much as possible.

P.S.I may die today

Charles said...

Read "Your Money or your Life" and you will start living right now, today, and do it on very little money.

Charles said...

Keith, if you had to pick a location for best bolt-hole when TSHTF where would it be?

Anonymous said...

I'm the Anon 12:08 with the long boring answer about sabbaticals and such.

I'm changing my answer a bit, after looking again at the picture at the top of the thread.

If I decided to say "screw it" for a few months, and had an eager (almost certainly female) partner in the endeavor, I would be highly tempted to attempt the a full or partial hike of the Appalachian Trail; perhaps just the Mid-Atlantic (Virginia, W Va, Maryland) and Northeastern (Vermont, NH, Maine) sections, depending on the seasonal timing, how much time I had, how fit I felt, and how much camping the other person had previously done and wanted to do.

Devestment said...



i fill obligations to family while enjoying much freedom and my work.

cheap rent in mountians
fish and hunt daily
paint and do crafts
hike and look for treasure
horse rides

Banana Republicrat said...

Whatever I have, I'll make it enough--I've been preparing to survive w/o a job anyway!

I wouldn't quit my job to do it (with a kid, it's not about me anymore), but given the opportunity I'd love to hike the Appalachian Trail.

I'm with Randy, use your gifts and spend your time succeeding--whatever that means to you.

However, I would like to point out that motivated people's plans are destroyed everyday. Accidents happen; people are injured. People become sick. People are betrayed. People lose everything they've ever worked for--just like that. There are some inspiring stories of grit and gumption out there, but reality is usually much less life-affirming.

I think that's the draw of "dropping out" for a few years (but only a few years, of course!)In the US we are taught that you can always recover as long as you are willing to work hard and play smart. Either you into buy into that, or you think it's a hopeless hamster-wheel. Either way tromping around the globe looks pretty good.

Paul E. Math said...

I think I could last a couple years without an income right now.

But I wouldn't have enough left over afterwards. And my skills would be out of date.

And I'm not that young anymore.

If I died tomorrow I would feel that my life had very much been squandered.

But I'm not even sure what else I would do if I could right now.

Anonymous said...

college buddy lived in a beach community (Panama Fl) for about nine mos in '82

Slept in his car, ate leftover foods at restaurants, pizza joints, bummed the occasional smokes and beer

Occasional odd jobs

I'll bet he never spent over $1000 dollars in the nine months

He said it was the most fun he had ever had

Ah the endless summer!

Anonymous said...

I just took a year off from April 2007 to April 2008, it was one of the best things I have ever done. I don't regret it at all. Lived in Europe during that time watching my mother-in-law die of cancer. Besides that sad note, it was a great year. Did some traveling, sleeping, relaxing and most of all I could literally feel the stress leave my 45-year old body.

If you can't find the value in that, you probably don't deserve a break!

science teacher retired! said...

Keith, I kid you not.

Because of you, I sold my house at the peak and have been renting.

Bought And sold SRS, DXO and a few others at the right time.

Now - I'm just starting a two year trip to argentina with my wife and 5 year old. Going to play daddy, ride horses and eat grass fed beef for two years.

Perhaps the school will be there when I get back - perhps not!

Thank you Keith!

Anonymous said...

>> We have more options for a
>> quality life than any other country

Suuuuure. You know nothing about the world...

>> yet it seems that so many are unhappy and depressed. Why???

Why ??? Because they are trated like cattle which is made possible by feeding them BS from cradle to grave.

>> It shouldn't be this way, not in the US, the land of plenty.

Uhhhm... plenty what- BS ? Agreed.
Phood ? Agreed. Suzzanes ? Agreed.

Anonymous said...

Because of you, I sold my house at the peak and have been renting.

Bought And sold SRS, DXO and a few others at the right time.

Now - I'm just starting a two year trip to argentina with my wife and 5 year old. Going to play daddy, ride horses and eat grass fed beef for two years.

Sh!t man ! Is my dick too small ? Why can't I have life like yours. I am not poor- educated, good job, 2 sweet kids, wife- slowly morphing into Suzanne, no debt, low 6 digit savings. BUT I AM NOT HAPPY !

Anonymous said...

Now I realize that in addition to morphing into Suzanne, she's been a moron all along. But until she followed, I didnt notice. Now that the Sizanne is taking over, it is becoming a hell. But there is no exit- I dont want to harm the kids.

Oh, does that suck...

Sorry for the off-topic rant- I had to tell someone. Ah, America...