After 30 years teaching I'm considering taking a self-funded break..what could the drawbacks be?

Dear lite,
I think if you can afford to do it and you still have health insurance, go for it. It would be a great opportunity for growth and self discovery. Do some things you wouldn't normally do, take some classes you always wanted to. Life is short and we sometimes get caught up in making the legal tender that stops us from exploring our options. kudos to you go for it.
After 30 years of teaching, it's time for you to get out indefinitely. RETIRE!! Students need youthful thinking and ideas. Yeah! I know you have wisdom BUT!
I can't make out whether you're from the UK or across the Ocean.

In the UK the pension arrangements have just changed. If you take more than 3 years out, you will retire under the new regulations, which means that you will have to work until 65 instead of 60 and that if you are in the Teacher's Private Pension Scheme you contributions and the allowances change.

Great opportunity, but check with your union what this would mean for you when you come back. Have fun! :)
If you're tenured and unioned and you do it as a sabbatacal I can't see any problems. My cousins did it every 10 years or so, of course they only took a semester off.
I think I got out just in time. I taught in the UK for 30 years and at age 55 took early retirement. I got a lump sum and am on an actuarily reduced pension until I hit 65. It means I can do supply teaching if I like, spend time on the beach, whatever. Look into it. It may not be too late. Hope this helps.

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