Could You Take A Sabbatical?

StampsFor most of us, our summer holidays are just too short. So it’s hardly surprising that more and more employees are thinking about taking an extended break to travel the world, fulfil a lifetime ambition, recharge their batteries or become a volunteer, for example.

A sabbatical is a period of time away from work, granted by your employer. In some companies it’s referred to as ‘a career break’ or even ‘an adult gap year’. They are usually unpaid.

A recent survey1 shows that almost a third of UK professionals anticipate taking a sabbatical of at least six months from work before they retire. Travel often features in what people plan to do during their extended break (51%), followed by spending more time with their family (30%) and studying or learning a new skill (18%).

Making The Break

Some employers regard sabbaticals as an important part of an employee’s career as they offer a chance to study, research, travel, or do voluntary work. Employers who grant them usually attach various conditions, both in respect of eligibility for a period of extended leave, and what happens during and at the end of the sabbatical. Before taking advantage of the extra time away from their job, employees should ensure they understand what the terms on offer mean for their salary, benefits and pension entitlement.

Financial Planning

Enjoying an extended break requires forethought and financial planning. Paying for travel as well as the ongoing bills such as the mortgage and other household expenses can add up to a considerable sum, and could quickly eat into savings.

The majority of those surveyed (55%) had already started to make financial provision and a further 29% intended to do so. 60% of those surveyed intended to continue to pay into their pension and long-term savings plans.

If you need help ensuring that you have enough saved to take a major break from work, then talk to us about the range of savings and investment options available to help you make your dream a reality.

1 Investec Wealth & Investment, Professionals target pretirement sabbaticals, May 2016

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