Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Goal...

My goal is to reach financial independence by the time I am forty. I am thirty two years old today, leaving me eight years to accomplish what most people fail to do over a lifetime.  Or, I suppose, almost nine if I allow myself to get out of the rat race while I'm still forty.


Why am I doing this?

Because while money is really crumby at buying love or happiness, it's really good at buying time. When working for money is strictly optional, fifty to sixty hours of your week clear up immediately. With a home, basic utilities that turn on when I flip the switch, two cars and a moped, and enough cash to feed the family, I feel like I have enough money. I definitely don't have enough time. My life is a marathon sprint from one pressing need to another: to work, to the family, to church, to personal development, to recreation and back to go again. I want enough time that this series of sprints turns into a lazy, meandering walk.


 How am I doing this?

By putting 60-70% of our take home pay into investments (well, kind of...more on that later), by aggressively paying off all debt, by looking for ways to boost my income, and by reducing expenses. Sounds like a plan, right?


What do you mean by financial independence? 

I use a pretty standard definition: when one's passive income covers all expenses. There are some good debates to be had on what constitutes passive income (e.g. - with rental property, is it passive if you manage the rental, or are you working a part time job as a property manager?) but I figure, if you don't call it "work", then it's passive. I don't think calling a plumber to fix a leak at my rental "work", but if I'm on my knees sodering copper pipes, yeah, that's work.


Seriously, why are you doing this?

I want more time with my family, my friends, and myself. I want all my time for those things. It's a pretty selfish desire, I think. But that doesn't matter: I've got this one life and it might be more than half over, for all I know. What's left of it should be spent as freely as possible.



 *This photo came courtesy of edenpictures at Flickr's Creative Commons.

12 comments:

  1. Welcome to the blogosphere, I look forward to reading your journey to FI!

    - KS

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  2. Thanks, KS! You're my very first comment, and I'm grinning ear to ear at that thought.

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  3. Cool of you to share your journey to realize "FI". Once you get to this future state, what couple of things are you going to do for your family?

    Art

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  4. Hi Art. Thanks for reading.

    The first thing on the list is a year-long camping trip around the US. There are a lot of great parks we want to spend some time in. We're even considering purchasing a small RV and renting out our house for the year.

    We've thought about homeschooling our future children, but are on the fence about it. I have a teaching credential so it would sound like a logical fit and a good way to spend more time together. But my wife and I are both public school products and proponents, too.

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    1. Experts state that the K-12 student experience is to embrace lifelong learning and become competent with basic real world problem solving. This is both a classroom and community proposition.

      What a great family adventure that would be and you will probably enhance your children's embrace for lifelong learning. And what better way to solve real world problems than to actually "experience" them with trusted advisors, like family?

      As to seeing this outcome as an essential project on your pathway to being "FI" what type of mental or visual exercises did you undertake? Would you share or even show us how to do these visioning exercises?

      Art

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  5. I think your goal is awesome and what everybody desires. To be able to "Choose to Own" our daily lifestyle decisions.

    Art

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  6. That's a really good way of putting it, Art. I may ask to borrow your idea: choose to own our daily lifestyle decisions.

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  7. Kosmo here trying to give a basic distinction between "emotional" and "neurological" economics and why it is healthy and essential to think about how to utilize resources like money to realize our dreams.

    You use a powerful visual metaphor, via the amusement park "This Way Out" to 1st give me a safe and comfortable place to read/understand "PI" and money management. But more importantly you motivate me to learn as in seek your guidance for action.

    Being emotional about money makes it hard to enjoy the journey. Now thinking about a daily activity driven project that defines how money will be used as an essential resource to create my own fun park pathway out is a healthy and fun way to purpose my emotion.

    Kosmo

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  8. Gamification is an awesome way to motivate people to choose to understand something complex and daunting like “PI”! I also think it is a great way to weave your numerous posts into a visually coherent series of instructional exercises for your audience to actively participate in your personal journey.

    Maybe take the same approach to how our youth “Play to Live to Learn” also called socially constructed experience flows to give our emotions a context for action? I do not know your objective for blogging or audience outcomes you seek with say establishing an understanding of “PI”.

    But a key initial ingredient to gaming like play is to “escape reality” as in learning about “PI” as being a fun adventure. In game theory visual first person operation is a key to capture and focus attention, active thinking, personal involvement, & motivation to interact.

    Just tossing out some actionable constructs?

    Kosmo

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  9. Finally made it all the way back to your first post - I love the journey you're on and the goal especially. After our month-long camping trip, a year-long version sounds like absolute bliss. God speed!

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    1. Thank you so much, Emily! It's so nice of you to have read through the archives. Looking back on this post, and how infrequently I wrote last year, it gives me some perspective. It's great to look back.

      A year camping, either in an RV or just tent camping, is a little dream of mine. I don't know whether it'd be better to try for it before we have kids or to find a way to make it work with the family.

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