The Road to Unemployment
What road are we headed down? A road to unemployment and underemployment, but maybe not in a way that you might think. We have embarked on a road of frugality and financial independence that will afford us a sustainable lifestyle of traveling, and general lack of the responsibilities and anxiety that the average life seems to be full of. We are speed-walking the road to financial independence and unemployment and are hopeful that in us broadcasting our adventure to the world some of you may choose to walk along with us.
The Road So Far
Since Kristen and I got together in 2014 we have discussed and daydreamed about our future. Initially it did not necessarily include much in the way of financial discussions of the future, but instead focused on the subjective nature of what makes us happy and the feelings we had towards spending money on much of anything. Travel is one area that we both identify as an area that we are happy to spend money. We both identify strongly with the concept that experiences bring happiness and things really do not.
So what was our concept of the future? Well, it was pretty vague because we are both very flexible and without a doubt “dreamers”. If you were to ask either one of our families you would find that they would agree. We started our path in a similar way that most people probably do on their path to financial freedom. We would spend time camping, relaxing, and travelling, and dream about how amazing it would be for that to be the bulk of our lives instead of just vacation time like the mainstream population. At this point we really had no idea how to make that happen, so like many things we pontificated on HOW we would possibly make that happen.
A bit About Us
Kristen is a nurse and I’m a social worker (more on that in future blogs). So suffice to say, short of winning the lottery, or really thinking outside the box, it’s not going to be easy or quick to “retire”. Or is it?
Our first idea of having a lifestyle that we would enjoy, although not necessarily being “retired” or “financially independent” was to have Kristen join a travel nurse company, where she would be compensated quite well for the flexibility to travel to different states and cities in short notice to fill in on nursing needs. The problem with this plan is that Rory owns his own business, which is more than half of the income for the family, and is not a business that can be left to function on its own. So we had to scratch our plans for immediate travel and lifestyle change that we were both seeking.
In February 2016, we were married. As far as we can tell, this was when our plan became solidified in how we would achieve our financial independence goals and attain our “early retirement” dream. We were married in Jamaica, and spent most of our days laying in beach chairs and drinking smoothies while reading books and talking about the future. We read two different books on that week-long trip. One was a financial freedom book that talked the nuts and bolts about how to retire early, and the other was a book about sailing around the world. We will explore more of this concept in the future, but the duality of these two different books fits neatly into our philosophy in how to strive towards an early retirement goal. We believe that there needs to be a “dream” of what you want your life to look like so you have constant motivation to do the more dull and difficult stuff (truth be told though we LIKE doing this and don’t find it difficult) and there needs to be a sustainable and functional method to adhere to so that you have a realistic understanding of when you will achieve your goal of that future.
A Model Of Transparency
We have $92,000 saved for our retirement… I’m sure most people are thinking “What the hell… How are you going to help anyone when you are so far away from your goals for the future?” The truth is, we don’t know that we will help anyone, but wanted to start tracking our thoughts and progress in some format that we could look back on once we were early retired, and instead thought to ourselves “why not just start blogging our progress now?”. This led into a discussion about how most people in our lives hear about our ambitious goals and say the following. “It’s not possible”, “you must have some inheritance you’re not disclosing”, “you’re going to have to deprive yourselves to do this”, “you aren’t going to have any fun”, “you’re going to have to live like you’re homeless” etc.
So here we are. We are going to share our process and a little about our lives in real-time with the hope that we can inspire others as we inspire ourselves in the existence of our daily lives, adventures, thoughts of the future, and hopefully our evolution into what we envision the future to be, or what it becomes which may be different than our views right now.
In the meantime, readers will have complete transparency into our thoughts, actions, and finances with one exception. We aren’t going to announce WHO we are beyond our first names, just so we can have some semblance of privacy and separation from the rest of our lives.
What To Expect
We are quirky and fun, and don’t have very good filters, so we will probably not talk about boring financial stuff more than we need to or to explain what we are doing, why we are doing it, and how we “did” with certain decisions.
We plan to make a minimum of a monthly blog update which will include what we did for the month in terms of expenditures, investments, fun, travel etc. We are hoping to include more blog posts than just monthly, but as we will explain in the future, we have busy lives and often lack any motivation beyond what our lives require we do. (We don’t make very good adults)
We will be brutally honest about what we do, what our thoughts are around it, and how we plan to move forward in every area of our lives that pertain to this path we have chosen.
In the next blog we will go into detail about our income, expenses, and investments so far as well as our goals moving forward as this month is the first month we are committing to our plan. We will also talk about what that plan is and how it works (or we think it will anyway).