So what is financial independence and why are we changing our lives to join the movement?
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As I sit here writing our first post, I am listening to the song “Wagon Wheel” by Darius Rucker. There is just something about the words, the rhythm, and the beat of this song that takes me to this perfectly happy place. There, I daydream of the day we make it to FI. I look up to see the very beautiful Miss TTF and it makes me want to work tirelessly to achieve our goals.
What is Financial Independence?
You may be hearing this term more and more in the media and hopefully in your social circles. But what the heck does it mean?
Technically speaking Financial Independence (FI) is the act of having enough assets to cover your expenses for (hopefully) ever.
Basically, it is the ability to retire from wage paying work because you have enough money or passive income (rental properties, dividends, etc.) to cover all your potential costs for life.
Wow. You are probably thinking that is probably some astronomical amount of money that you, of all people, will never be able to accumulate. And that’s where you are wrong. You don’t need to win the lottery or sell an app to Snapchat for you to be able to do this. This is something that thousands of people are doing every year from very humble beginnings. And we want you to be one of them.
And financial independence does not have to come at 65 or later as we are somewhat trained to believe. It can happen now! A pioneer in the FI community is Mr. Money Mustache who retired at 30 with his wife. And there is Grant Sabatier at Millenial Money who went from $2.26 to $1.25 million in 5 years. Now, these may be the most publicized versions of financial freedom, but it can and does happen.
So why would anyone want to retire earlier than expected? What are you going to do with your days?
Well, let us start with why we want to walk off into the sunset so early in life…
Is it to be rich? To buy material things? To keep up with the Jones’?
More like D: None of the above.
In Steven Covey’s well-known book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” he writes that we should “begin with the end in mind.” Well, we have taken that to heart, and here is our “end in mind.”
Freedom is first and only reason if you really go “big-picture” with it, as Miss TTF says I like to do so often.
We want the freedom to live our lives as they should be lived. We are both currently working desk jobs and are spending an average of 9-10 hours a day there. We both live no less than 17 miles to work and are spending 1-2 hours in the car driving to work. That’s just about half our day, not including getting ready or coming home and de-stressing from the day.
Essentially, we want that time back and want to point it towards more productive, healthy, beautiful living. You know that feeling when you finally get a paid holiday off? How free you feel? That’s what we want. We want to be financially secure and not worried about what bills need to be paid. We want that freedom to take our day to whatever lengths we want.
Freedom for: Our (future) Kids
We want to raise our kids. Like, truly raise them. We want to wake up, have breakfast with our children, see them off to school. Maybe we will walk them to school, maybe we will bike them.
What we don’t want to do is our best impression of the Daytona 500 through the school drop off zone in the hopes of being 15 seconds early to our morning meeting. After we drop off the little TTF’s, the time is ours… at least until that final bell rings.
Hopefully, we will be writing this blog, and maybe reading on our patio (Miss TTF is adamant we have a good outdoor space), or maybe we will be flipping a house.
Who knows exactly what we will be doing, but the idea is that we will be doing what we want to do. And not what our job directs us to do.
After school, we will welcome the kiddos home, eat snacks with them, and help them with their homework. Miss TTF will surely have something amazing on the dinner table… unless it is my night to cook at which point there will definitely be “something” on the table.
We will reflect on the day together and create a tradition we hope to pass on to their children one day. After dinner, we will wind down and read some of our favorite books together. Or have a game night!
How could we not look forward to doing this again the next day?
We don’t want to miss a thing in their lives. We want to attend everything they are involved in from field trips to sporting events and everything in between.
Freedom for: Our Family
Speaking of parents who didn’t miss a thing, we would be remised if we didn’t speak to those who influenced us most, our parents. Life is finite, it just is. There simply isn’t enough time in this life to spend as much of it with the people we love and care about most.
This is exactly why we do not want to work until traditional retirement age.
We don’t just want to see our parents periodically and take care of them when they are older. In FI, we will be able to say yes to every opportunity to vacation with them while we are both youngish and can explore the destinations we wish to explore.
We want them to see their future grandchildren often and not just for the holidays.
Much of that time to be with our parents and children, whether we are staying with them or they are staying with us.
Life is a complete miracle, let’s make it miraculous together.
Freedom for: Exploration
We are both adamant on the fact that we cannot let this world go unseen. Miss TTF is quite ridiculously obsessed with The Bucket List Family. But this is the lifestyle we want. One of complete exploration and adventure.
We want to travel the world and then travel it again. And with a traditional W-2 job, travelling is so much more difficult. You save all year for only 2 weeks vacation and then have to request which two weeks off you want. Don’t forget that you need to save some for the day after Thanksgiving and some time for the 2 Christmas’. And that’s only seeing your family once a year.
Your Ticket to FI
Now that we have discussed the end of the line for the TTF Express, let’s embark on the journey to FI together.
It is never too late to punch your ticket. So don’t be scared off because you are 40 and are already close enough to retirement age. Don’t be scared off because have net negative money to your account right now. We are here to turn that around for you and get you to stop living paycheck to paycheck.
So, first steps first. You need a vision. What is financial independence to you?
Tell us why you are punching in your ticket to FI! Whether you are just starting or are already sitting on the beach with a drink in hand. We would love to hear your motivation behind this journey.