Alright World, don’t squish this bug.
I am a recent convert to the cult of early Financial Independence. Bombarded by gurus like Mr. Money Mustache, and my husband (Ha!), I am a little overwhelmed by the journey ahead of me.
A little background: We are white-collar, high earners with just under a decade of our careers behind us. We have earned well, and we have lived accordingly. Until recently, I dutifully contributed to my 401k (and when it was possible, a Roth IRA), but did so in a directionless manner. I assumed I would work till a ripe old age (because I love what I do) and retire shortly before I keel over.
My husband – always the obsessive researcher – caught scent of the Holy Grail of Financial Independent and Early Retirement about six months ago. Because he has a tendency to get extraordinarily passionate for short periods of time about a variety of topics (being a Uber driver for two hours, learning MMA wrestling, road biking 150 miles in two days – you get the picture) I brushed this interest off as the most recent annoying fad and kept on keeping on.
My life remained unchanged in all respects while he did a 180 degree turn in his newfound quest for Financial Independence (Yes … I will continue to capitalize “Financial Independence” and “Early Retirement” throughout this Blog. I do it much in the same way as Vikings may capitalize Valhalla if they blogged about it? It’s just that important to me).
Then, we were on vacation in Charleston, SC about two months ago and looking out at exactly this view after spending an amazing day as a family when my husband looked at me and said “You know, we could do this everyday if we retired early.” And something clicked for me. Financial Independence and Early Retirement, which were at best for other people, or at worst a pipe dream, now were something I wanted very badly. It’s not just the siren song of this pretty locale that convinced me, but the ability to spend time with my family – and almost more importantly gain time for myself.
What would I be if I didn’t work in my chosen field?
My life – although wonderful – has in some ways always been chosen for me. I spent my childhood in school, and even though I traveled extensively, my education took up my childhood. Then came college, and a career. But what would I do if I had paid all my debts, and had only myself to answer to?
Maybe I’ll choose to keep working (I really dig what I do). Maybe I’ll spends months (years?) driving my kid crazy by being the parent who is always there. Perhaps I’ll travel…But, I shan’t know until I am on that threshold and I give myself that freedom.
So, that’s the Journey we are setting out on, and the experience I am going to share with you in this Blog. I promise to be transparent and honest about my daily successes and my failures. Shrouded – at least initially – with the safety blanket of anonymity, I will give you insight into the decisions we make and their outcomes. Maybe you too will walk this path with me.
“First learn stand, then learn fly. Nature rule, Daniel-san, not mine.” – Mr. Miyagi, The Karate Kid (1984).