The last two months have been strange, and far exceeded my expectations. As most readers know, I quit my day job in February. We were ready for the change, but the last 2 months have blown past my expectations. I was the bread winner for our family, so finances were a concern….of course. Could I get all the remodeling done on the house, in only 2 weeks? How would we feel without the structure of me having a day job? Additionally, how would everything work with our extended roadtrip? Well I can tell you that the last 2 months have been an unequivocal SUCCESS.
I am not really prone to writing posts where I brag, or get very excited. I try to never be too high, or too low really. I find it annoying when other writers do that, so I try to be considerate to the readers here! All that being said, I am going to rant a little today. I apologize in advance, but I have to share about how spectacular things have been. My hope is that a few readers will be motivated by reading this and thereby keep working toward building their dream life!
First, lets start with travel. I love to travel, and hopefully y’all aren’t tired of hearing about it by now. Right now we’re knocking around Kansas, visiting relatives. Next up is Missouri. I was thrilled to find out that I’ll be meeting up with one of my favorite blogger friends in Wisconsin. I’m also super excited to get together with several other investors at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting. So far we’ve hit beaches on both coasts of Florida. Checked out some of the hill country of Texas, and spent a week in Denver (always one of my favorite places). There have been a few struggles on the trip, and I have a post next week which will discuss how we worked to overcome those, but by in large this is fantastic!
So money. Yeah, money is often a question when anyone makes big life moves and decisions. Guess what, we are in the process of showing ourselves that we are ok (read: sustainable) when it comes to money. Barring a health crisis, we could actually do this for the next several years and be no worse off for it. (In such a scenario I DEFINITELY need a travel trailer or RV though). Or, we can live in our current home and take 2 or 3 long trips per year. Either way, I am THRILLED! Our concern was that because I had a solid engineering job, we may have miscalculated and have struggled financially when I quit. My wife works 8-10 hours per week at our church. She loves her job, but it doesn’t bring in much income.
What we’ve found is that if I can write 3 hours per day, 6 days per week, we can earn more than enough to cover our current costs. When this income is augmented with our dividend income and blog income, we have a healthy cushion which more than covers our costs. Better yet, I can do this work from anywhere. That’s right, location independent FI…..while we are still young enough to enjoy the travel. Hang on someone is saying…..but you’re still working 18 hours per week under this scenario. Yes, but I am talking about 1) doing so from anywhere (with an internet connection) and 2) working on my own projects…..which I am passionate about.
What’s the problem with that?! For us, financial independence and early retirement aren’t about doing nothing. For us, they are about being able to do anything. Anytime, anywhere, indefinitely! Fully flexible to be where we want to be for as long as we want to be there. I am also not talking about enjoying today at the expense of the future. Nope, so long as we stay out of the principle in our investment accounts, we are free to pursue life as we see fit. That my friends, feels pretty darn good.
To add additional financial cushion (or margin of safety if you will) to such a plan, I am also working to better monetize this site. Since announcing in January that I would quit my day job, and we would take some time off, the page views and unique visitors on our site have soared! Additionally, the rate of email subscriber growth is the fastest rate since starting this site…..and starting from a much higher base may I add! We have begun to add affiliate links, for products that are important to us, on the site. (Thanks to all the readers who use our Amazon affiliate link to make their Amazon purchases). We recently added a Blue Host affiliate banner (right side of this page), and wrote about why this blog exists. As the revenue from this site continues to grow, it will provide an even greater cushion to our monthly income. More income for living the life we’ve dreamed about….yeah, I’ll take that. Somewhere out in the peanut gallery, someone is saying…. “but you don’t have _____ millions of dollars, so you can’t be retired early or have reached financial independence!” The are correct that we have not hit the double coma milestone, and we’re ok with that. Cash flow is what matters, and I’d rather be living my dream life now……than slaving away at a job I hate in order to hit some “magical number”. We have enough, and that’s enough for us!
Not having a traditional job has also freed up time for me to do some of the things I really enjoy……. like reading, writing, and researching investments. I have read several outstanding books in the last 2 months, including Mohnish Pabrai’s Dhandho Investor (which I highly recommend). Our current trip has taken some of my time from these projects, but it’s worth the tradeoff for a few months.
An added benefit of this trip is we have been learning a ton about ourselves……and getting even more excited about the rest of our lives. I am just floored at the range of options and the flexibility, my family now has. Meeting so many of our fellow investors, and fellow bloggers, has also really helped inspire us. As an aside, has anyone ever notice how many engineers (and people with engineering degrees) achieve early retirement and financial independence? I’m sure there is an interesting university study sifting through that data. I have noticed that people often discover new things about themselves they step outside of their comfort zone. Who knows where we’ll end up? Let the journey continue…….
Now it’s your turn to tell us what you think. Was this post too braggy and obnoxious?