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But it's hard to reconcile that with a full time job. I don't know about you, but I "only" get 3 weeks of vacation a year (my understanding is that for the US, this is quite generous), which makes it difficult to do the kind of fun stuff I'd like. E.g. I enjoy traveling, but it's so expensive, time-consuming, and exhausting, that it's hard to justify going on a lengthy voyage just for one week of vacation.

Many employers will allow for time off without pay.

I guess I'm lucky... currently at 4.5 weeks/year, and in 2.5 years I'll reach 6 weeks/year. But I wouldn't hesitate to take time off without pay. I took off 3.5 months in 2008, most without pay and traveled all around with my family. I wouldn't hesitate to take another "sabbatical" without pay in the future to spend time with my kids, even if it pushes out retirement. Or just use more vacation time than allotted via unpaid days off.

And remember those last few months of work are taxed at the highest levels, so reducing your work year from 12 months to 9 months doesn't equate to a 25% reduction in pay since the government penalizes higher productivity.

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