The Sabattical as a Dress Rehearsal for Retirement

Adrian Mastracci, KCM Wealth

By Adrian Mastracci, KCM Wealth Management

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

“Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can.”
— Danny Kaye, (1913 – 1987), actor, singer, dancer.

“We are often reminded of not pursuing enough personal enjoyment. Well, here is to rectifying that — your coveted sabbatical.”  — Adrian Mastracci.

How many dream of arranging a sabbatical — not just a vacation? Leaving the office behind for a long time — say, three months to one year, maybe more.

blue, green and white oil paint on canvas

I can attest from experience, having had a 17-month one, that a sabbatical is magnificent.

I threw some paint on my canvas of life — it’s one of the best personal investments I’ve made.

Sabbaticals are well known among educational institutions. Teaching faculty often arrange one to pursue research and personal interests.

Sabbaticals have plenty of appeal.
Imagine an extra long time to pursue whatever you fancy, without your ties to the office.

My 17 months away from the office were a series of very refreshing experiences.
I had no pressing daily agenda, long lunches, pursuing avenues of interest, travel and no need to rush anywhere.

A sabbatical offers immense personal satisfaction. It can be a time to reflect, explore, slow the pace, relax and change.

Perhaps, all of these at once. Think of it as your dress rehearsal to a healthy retirement.

Adrian’s sabbatical tips

Shaping your plan that turns the sabbatical dream into reality may require time and creativity. Say your desire is a one-year sabbatical, starting in four years.

Consider these funding options:

• Arrange with your business or employer a reduced remuneration to 80% for the next four years. Then be paid 80% remuneration in the fifth year during your sabbatical.

• Another approach is for you to set aside 20% of net remuneration for each of the next four years. Then use this cash to fund your sabbatical.

• If you can only obtain non-paid sabbaticals, arrange your savings accordingly. Then dip into them to finance your time out of the office.

Something splendid happens when we don’t have ties to the office for long stints.
We can experience and enjoy the fabulous escapade to rejuvenate the mind.The sabbatical likely involves family, say spouse and children.

Considerations before arranging your sabbatical

• What is it that you and the family want to accomplish?
• What are your estimated costs for all who join you and stay behind?
• What employment arrangements must you and the family make?
• What changes does your portfolio need to make it happen?
• What happens after your sabbatical?

In the end, we feel revitalized and invigorated. Often, with a fresh and clear outlook. A successful sabbatical brings about both immediate and longer term dividends.
A little attention to the money stuff turns your sabbatical dream into reality.

One which is truly satisfying and memorable.
Let’s splash some paint on your canvas of life.

Adrian Mastracci, MBA,  is president and portfolio manager for Vancouver-based KCM Wealth Management Inc., specializing in designing and stewarding retirement portfolios. 

Leave a Reply