You are really retiring to ride your bike more?
You mean bike(s).* Yes for the most part…and no. Let me explain.
My wife and I are 37. A few years ago (2014) I stumbled upon the FIRE (Financially Independent Retire Early) community online. Mr. Money Mustache to be specific. I was struggling with the status quo of finance and looking online for some outside of the box thinking. As I quickly found we shared many beliefs with other FIRE advocates. Without getting into future posts, I will say we took our already frugal ways and refocused them.
In the years since, we have reached a couple of our financial goals. One was to pay off our mortgage and go 100% debt free.* We achieved this goal in 2016. Our next step was to plow as much money into our savings and investments as possible. As of our current standing we have a total stash that could provide about 50% of our yearly income for the rest of our lives.* I realize that we are only halfway to the ultimate goal, but it is still a significant milestone.
The problem I have now is defining what I am doing and why I am sort of retiring now. To start, I looked at the definition of retire. Usually the first definition for retire is to cease work, as in forever. However, I found the second definition more interesting. It simply means to withdraw. So no I am not ceasing to work, rather withdrawing from teaching. After teaching for 14 years I am ready to withdraw from the regular world of work (school technically).
For now, I am calling myself a freelancer. In what? Whatever comes along and looks interesting (or pays so well I can’t refuse it, although that has gotten me in trouble in the past). I also have the luxury of having a wife that is still working…and her commute takes about 30 seconds from our bedroom to our kitchen table. So yes, I have a backstop in case my freelancing doesn’t work out. But here’s the thing, after a lot of conversations with her, we realized that we will probably always work enough to cover our modest living expenses (about $28,000 a year).* So instead of pushing hard for a couple more years, I figure why not Retire 2 Ride more now.
My future posts will focus on:
How I view personal finance
What we teach our kids about money
How we got to where we are now financially
A bit of cycling, travel, and anything else I find interesting
Hope to see you back for the ride,
*I have future posts planned to explain these numbers in detail. It drives me crazy when people are vague with numbers etc… If more of us spoke freely about personal finance I think a lot less people would struggle with their own personal finances.