So there I was, sitting at the office in my 8-5 desk job, pondering how likely it was that I would be able to retire before 60 when it struck me – why should I wait? Why can’t I retire before 50? What are the barriers for such a move, and how can I develop a plan to overcome those and reach the, albeit ambitious, goal of not having to hold down a job?
While the plan is not yet fully formed, I already have a number of things in mind to help me quickly exit the rat race. But first, maybe a little background.
I’m a 33 year old husband and father of two, lucky to earn enough that my wife can be a stay at home mom. I have a decent, stable career that allows us to have a nice home in a good neighborhood, two cars, and enough discretionary income that we generally can afford to buy household and hobby items without worrying about money. We save a fair bit each month, and I contribute to a 401(k) plan, getting the maximum company match. We pay attention to our spending and typically self-regulate spending sprees without much of a problem.
All in all, life is good.
Good, sometimes, is not good enough however. When I see people on sites like Mr. Money Mustache achieving their goals of becoming financially independent, I get jealous. I get cringes of guilt thinking about the silly gadget I bought last week, or the fact that I don’t care to perform price comparisons any more – if it’s on Prime and not outrageously priced it’s good enough for me. I look at the salary I receive from the long days I put in at the office and see it slowly squandered away on frivolities.
Granted, some of those frivolous things are enjoyable, but I’m starting to wonder more and more – at what cost?
So, in addition to implementing sweeping changes in my life designed to achieve specific financial goals, I thought I would document my progress, in the hopes of helping others who, like me, would like to see more light at the end of the tunnel.
The first step in my journey is a simple one – with every swipe of the credit or debit card, with every review of an online shopping cart, and with every dollar I bring out of my wallet I will ask myself a simple question: how will spending this money get me closer to retirement?
Simple enough to ask, indeed.
Thanks for reading – stay tuned for more as I outline the steps I plan to take, measure their progress, and offer lessons learned as I go along.