One of the questions we sometimes get from the very few people we talk to in person about financial independence is what we plan to do when we retire early. I think this is a very important and valid question that needs to be thought about carefully. It is not just about hitting a number and then pulling the plug on mandatory work. There has to be a larger set of goals driven by what you truly value as important in your life, and not simply “I am going to hit my number then quit my job”. I have read too many stories of people who retire early, or even those who retire later in life that have no idea what to do with their sudden freedom from working a consistent job. Some end up going back to work while others might feel lost with what to do during the huge increase in free time. Our drive toward financial independence is not driven by a dislike or hatred of our jobs. In fact we both have more flexibility in our careers than most people, and we both feel like we are doing work that is important and provides a significant amount of fulfillment. I have stated in a couple of posts that I plan to leave academia shortly after reaching financial independence, but there are circumstances that would keep in the job longer if I was given more latitude to cut out the parts that are draining and detract from the real work I want to accomplish through. I just want to be upfront that given the right circumstances, both of us may work a few additional years completely on our terms after reaching financial independence (a work optional life). So with that important note here are our primary plans for what freedom and retirement look like…[Read more…] about Project End-goals
Since rebooting our blog two months ago, I have had a few people send me messages asking about the gap between when we first started thinking and blogging about financial independence and now. First, I am excited to know that there are a few people who are currently reading the blog, and second this is a topic that has been on my list to discuss for the last several weeks. I have been trying to capture the details of why we essentially had our project go off-track (but not off the rails). Part of the reason I wanted to post something on this topic was to provide a little context to our path, and always be willing to show and admit that sometimes not everything goes as planned. I think too often there are some in finance, especially blogging, where everything posted seems to paint this perfect picture and path if you follow a set of well established guidelines and principles. While this may work for some from a purely mathematical or logical perspective, real life tends to be far different and varied especially when we add emotion, changing circumstances, privilege, luck, and other variables typically beyond our control. We all also have changes in plans that that we purposely make that has an impact on our goals as well as our life perspective. For us we simply want to be open that sometimes things just don’t go as planned, and even if you are extremely committed to something, there are still events that can seriously change the approach, focus, and outcome while pursuing financial independence.
July is over and and I have this odd excitement when it is time to review the month from a financial perspective. Recently I have tried to make this the only time that I really take a look at net worth, investments, and other large picture items. Part of the reason is that I know myself and I want to avoid my tendency to obsess over changes on short time periods. So I essentially allow myself one day a month to sit and review everything, make sure we are on track, make any adjustments that are needed, and then just simply try to put everything on auto-pilot. This keeps it from consuming all of my time, and adding to my cognitive load on a daily basis. Well the good news is that on a monthly basis July turned out to be a good month for growth and staying on track, and here is our monthly update…[Read more…] about July 2019 Project Update, Net Worth: $949,906
When we set out on our journey to financial independence we did a thoughtful and detailed analysis of the areas we wanted to spend on without cutting back (mostly kids and travel), and what we want to cut back on significantly to increase our savings rate. One of the areas that was and continues to be a problem area for us is our spending on food. In our budget we have set what we feel is a reasonable target for spending for a family of four on both groceries, and occasionally eating out, but we routinely go over our budget in this area. Some months we do OK, and other months we completely blow past our budgeted amount. This in turn either lowers our savings rate, or makes us have to cut in other places. This is definitely a weak area in our spending and one we should be able to better control.[Read more…] about Some thoughts on Food Costs
Well we technically made it two weeks with just one car, but as of today our one car experiment has come to an end. We spent a lot of time juggling schedules and moving appointments but after a thorough analysis of our schedules and responsibilities we just are not set up to be a one car household at this time. We could have made it work with one car for another month, but after that we realistically could not have just one car without impacting our income. If we lived somewhere with strong public transportation or one of us had the ability to bike or walk to work it could have worked, but unfortunately we are not in that situation right now. We even looked at the cost of Lyft and Uber to supplement only having one car but the cost of those services did not even come close to making financial sense, even if used very infrequently. So in the end after looking at logistics and the spreadsheets we created (I mean who doesn’t use spreadsheets for this type of decision :p) we decided to find and purchase a second car…