When I think about the life circumstances that pushed me in the direction to seek an accelerated path to financial freedom, a few experiences and moments of inspiration come to mind. I am in my early 40s, and up until just a few years ago, I had the idea, generally accepted by most Americans, that I would continue working my way up the corporate ladder into my late 50s or even into my 60s, before enjoying my well-earned retirement.
I work for an “old tech” company in the Bay Area, and a few years back, I was working on a project, and spending my entire days swamped in Excel files and PPT presentations, and it was just an incredibly soul-sucking experience. On a whim, I happened upon a story about a blog called www.nomoreharvarddebt.com , and my life began to change. From there, I discovered Mr. Money Mustache, Retire by 40, Financial Samurai, as well as a few other personal finance/financial blogs, and I knew what I wanted. I wanted financial freedom.
I no longer wanted my well-being, and the well-being of my family to be dependent upon a continuing paycheck from big business. I wanted (and still want) my independence, the freedom to enjoy life on my terms, and not on somebody else’s.
The plan is to reach financial freedom by June, 2021, just over 5 years from now. I’ve read that when working towards a goal, it is most productive and motivational to have a very clear vision of what you want to accomplish in order to sustain your desire to get there. Since my world is slightly in flux at the moment (more to come on this in upcoming posts), it is difficult to be able to describe in detail exactly what I want. But I can describe pretty well what I do not want and will not miss when I leave corporate life:
- Having to swallow my pride on a regular basis being nice to people who are not showing any sort of common courtesy or respect to me
- Working late hours because a senior leader couldn’t make a decision in a timely manner
- Arguing over tiny inconsequential details in presentations, scripts and other documents
- Watching other more senior people in the organization receive raises and promotions largely on the backs of people like me, while I got a fraction of what I felt I earned based on our relative contributions to the goals of the organization
- Having to constantly stay on guard to avoid having other people take credit for my work
- Sitting in traffic while commuting to and from the office during the worst traffic of the day
I don’t have the clearest vision for what I want my life to look like after I reach financial freedom, but some activities I plan to enjoy:
- Spend more time with my family, including family vacations, coaching kids’ sports, etc.
- Travel more often both domestically and internationally
- Attend sporting events like NFL, NBA, college football games, etc.
In terms of why I started the blog, there are really just a few very simple reasons. First, I like to write, so it’s a fun activity for me. Second, when I first decided to set a goal to retire early, I found so many great blogs, and read through them pretty quickly, and I found myself wanting more, so I’m hoping to return the favor to someone who is starting out and looking for kindred spirits on the same path to freedom. Third, I have some experience in financial services, having worked as a trader in NYC from the mid to late 2000s, and believe I have a good perspective to share with curious readers. Finally, I think I have a different perspective on the journey to financial freedom than some of the other bloggers out there today. I am working toward financial freedom for a growing family, and similar to me, my wife works for a large corporation, so I have a perspective not only as a guy working in big business, but also as a parent, and as a husband to a woman who is also climbing the corporate ladder.
So, there you have it. The reasons I started the blog, as well as a general vision of how I want my life to look, but a clearer description of what I don’t want in my life. The plan,on a very high level, is to increase my family’s saving rate and invest the surplus over the next 5 years to build out a robust passive cash flow stream to replace the active income I will no longer receive once I stop working.
I know it won’t be an easy journey, but I am now more excited about my future than I’ve been for a long time.
How about you? Any readers beginning or continuing their own journey toward financial freedom?