On the note of thinking in long terms, I feel that it might be a good time to remind all my readers that most sites that pay have "inactivity clauses" in their user agreements.
An inactivity clause is designed to ensure that the users (participants) of a site remain active. Inactivity does not do the owners of a site any good, so they do their best to make sure that it does not happen. Towards this end, they really only have one tool, the inactivity clause.
Let's look at the inactivity clause from Helium.
As long as members remain active on the Site, their earnings continue to accrue. Members' Accounts become "dormant" in the event that they fail to "participate" in the Site for any continuous period of one hundred eighty (180) days. "Participation" is defined as writing an article, conducting rating or inviting additional members to the Site. If a member fails to do any of these activities for period of one hundred eighty (180) days, their Account will become Dormant and the member will cease to earn additional earnings until such time as their Account is re-activated through participation. If an account is classified as Dormant, prior earnings are not lost (other than as outlined herein), and the Account can be reactivated by the member at any time by participating as outlined herein.
Members can view their current balance by logging into their account. You hereby agree that you have no legal right, and have not earned any amount, unless and until your earnings balance reaches the minimum payout threshold ("Minimum Payout Threshold") (which is currently set at $25, and is subject to change by Helium in its discretion). Once a member reaches the Minimum Payout Threshold, he/she has earned and is entitled to receive the amount set forth in the earnings balance and may withdraw his/her earnings from his/her Account. In that you have achieved the Minimum Payout Threshold but your Account remains Dormant for at least 365 days, you understand and agree that you forfeit any and all right you have to any accrued but unclaimed earnings. In the event that your account has not reached the Minimum Payout Threshold, you agree that you have not earned any amount from Helium.
So, in plain English. If you stop participating at Helium for six (6) months, your account will stop receiving any distribution from the revenue sharing pool. If you return to Helium after six months but before 18 months, your account balance will still be in place, and you will start earning again. If you leave Helium for a full 18 months, you will lose any accrued earnings in your account.
Ignore all the legalese and gooble-gook. What you are concerned with is how to remain active with the least amount of effort. In this case, writing a single article, inviting another writer, or doing a handful of ratings once every 180 days (six months). As one as you do at least one of these, your earnings will continue to accrue.
It is just like the bank clause that says that you can not deposit a penny in a bank account and show up in a hundred years to collect the interest without doing any further business with the bank in the meantime.
Inactivity will cost you. Maybe you are rich enough to be able to afford inactivity. I am not.