The 4-Hour Workweek: How To Take Mini Retirements

the 4 hour workweek

Timothy Ferriss, a twenty-nine-year-old, self-proclaimed member of the New Rich, recently published his first book, The 4-Hour Workweek. In his book, Ferriss proposes that retirement should be worst-case scenario insurance and that we’d all be better off taking mini-retirements throughout our lives instead of postponing true freedom until age 65 or later, calling retirement the “deferred life plan.” He sets forth a detailed four-step plan designed to get us to live more and work less now, not later. Each chapter contains several action steps to take and questions to answer for yourself, preferably in a journal. This format, if you actually follow it, will put you closer to


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5 Responses to The 4-Hour Workweek: How To Take Mini Retirements

  1. The statement that we should take “mini-retirements” throughout our lives is something I TOTALLY agree with.

    In fact, that is exactly what I do. Last summer I bought an RV and worked roughly 10 hours over the course of 8 weeks. Then fall rolled around and I worked a bit more but as this summer approaches I plan to be on yet another mini-retirement.

    I do this by running my own internet business.

    My office is my laptop computer.

    Work can be done anywhere there is an internet connection.

    In fact I am into launching a training program to teach others exactly how to achieve this lifestyle, here is the location to get more information

    Basically, I only work when I need more money and that’s usually when I want to buy something such as a new car or mega home theater system.

    It’s easier than most people think to become the “New Rich”

  2. Teri says:


    The book sounds very interesting, thanks for sharing. I, to a degree, tend to live my life in this fashion. Picking the right career which I both love and gives me great flexibility is key for me. BEing extremely productive and making myself invaluable as well. Picking a career where time off is okay and pay is better than many FT jobs, has all been key but I have had great flexibility in all my jobs to date.

    I personally don’t have the personality for self-employment or to work at home. I do NOT like working from home. But the ability to do so in general translates to a flexibile job and I can agree. When the kids are sick I don’t have to use sick time, I just work from home. Working 9-5 is less important than simply getting the job done on my own time, which I Really appreciate.

    My goal has been to work part-time by the time I hit my 40s, and into retirement. At 30 I have had significant time off work the last decade. Done with college and having babies I see little excuse in the near-term future to take a chunk of time, but if I up and decided to take 6 months off today I would still have a job waiting for me, and that is the great part of being in this position. We have considered moving so I could keep my job, work from home (thought I would hate that part in a sense) but work far less hours as we enjoyed a lower cost of living. For now we value too much being near family, but it is so freeing that is an option. I think if I lost my job it might be the first thing I would do. While others would fret, we would simply move and enjoy a simpler lifestyle.

    Thanks for sharing, I am interested to read the book now!

    I am not sure all of this would have been so possible before the internet age though. IT is amazing how freeing it is.

  3. Amy F. says:

    Thanks for your always thoughtful comments. I am curious what you do for a living, if you don’t mind sharing. I’m always interested to hear how other people attain flexibility in their work.

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  5. Teri says:

    I am a CPA actually. The field is just crazy right now – not a lot of qualified people. But I chose the career as one I would enjoy, but more importantly, pays very well, is flexibile, can find a job anywhere, there will always be a demand for us, etc.

    In the beginning of my career I saw great pay raises and could take on little responsobility (phew – more responsibility means less felxibility in a sense). But the shortage of accountants has gotten so extreme the opposite is really true. There are woman here who have worked here for decades happy to take on less responsibility and not move ahead to “partner” but me being both young and experienced I have been really pushed to more responsibility out of necessity. We are short like 3 employees at the least. So it has been a little tough to maintain the balance. Then again I work far less and get paid better than most people I know my age. So it goes.

    Interestingly, CPA firms are hiring good, experienced bookeepers at CPA wages these days. They are so desparate for help. Experience weighs heavier than the CPA designation in a sense – which to me is good – I can see taking on some freelance bookkeeping in later years to cut back hours. They pay is REALLY good.

    The only downside I find now to my job is to cut to part-time I would have to give up ALL my benefits. But I Am eyeing a state job when my boss retires so I can get the benefits and work far less. In the meantime I have earned enough vacation time that I work less hours in the summer, which works out because it is slower in the summer. BEing as the field is so thin right now, I would feel awful if I took the summer off, but cine it was slower everyone would probably be fine and I would no dount have a job. I think also this is key – is down the road I could work only during tax season if I like. I was offered a job a few years back which was full-time during tax season and part time the rest of the year – at quite good pay. I don’t think I thought of that so much when I picked career, but the seasonal nature I think lends to much flexibility as well.

    The only thing I don’t get is I enjoy much flexibility and good benefits and pay. I have too many friends in this field who prefer to be out on their own but they carry much more stress, lower pay, and less benefits. I find that whole thing a little odd. It’s like a state of mind. It may be rare, but you can find better in traditional employment if you look hard enough. I’ll take my job any day over the crazy hours they work in the name of “flexibility.”

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