It’s amazing how our priorities can change in such a short amount of time. In 2016 we were blessed with our first child, Renaissance Boy (RB) and, almost immediately, we knew our career goals were shifting.
First, Renaissance Wife, left her job by RB’s 1st birthday, thanks to our growing side job.
I came around later. I’d been hanging around early retirement blogs for years, but I thought it was something for me once I retired from the fire department at 38 with 50% pension. Most of the time, I truly enjoyed being a firefighter. That held true until mid-2016 when several things began happening at once;
…which leads me to our goals.
1. Build a real estate portfolio that allows me to walk away from the fire department on July 1, 2022.
At this point in time I will be vested with the firefighter’s pension and have the ability to withdraw my contributions (9%) and my employer’s contributions (14%), which will be in the neighborhood of $85,000 (pre-tax).
We currently own 3 single family rentals and are working towards a small multifamily property (4-8 units) for 2018. Real estate likely won’t cover all of our expenses; we plan to continue working to some extent. I plan to find a full-time job for 2022 and 2023 until we can purchase an additional multifamily property with my pension withdrawal
2. Be amazing parents to our children and spend as much time with them as possible.
Truly being present with them while they’re young is our highest priority. At this time our son will be 7, our daughter will be 5, and they’ll just be entering school. Riding bikes with them to and from school, playing, teaching, helping and being there for them.
3. Focus on our marriage
Our goals aren’t just about our kids. I loved her first.
4. Mortgage Free by September 2025
We purchased our home in 2015, and we’re on track to be mortgage free in 10 years, which will decrease the monthly income we’ll need.
By 2022 I’ll be financially free and focusing on my family and whatever I’m passionate about at the time. Stick around to watch it unfold.
What would you do if money wasn’t a worry?
What are your goals?
Let’s talk about it in the comments.
One of the biggest reasons behind starting this blog was personal accountability, and what better way to do that than laying all the cards on the table?
2016 was a huge year in many ways. The first was Renaissance Wife left her job to stay at home. In 2015 we set a goal that by our son's first birthday, he would no longer be in daycare. We also started our selling crafts through Facebook and later Etsy, which opened up the opportunity. We crunched the numbers, and... $700. That was our break even, "if an emergency pops up (they did) we're screwed" number. I did have a backup plan, and I was prepared to work as much as needed to make this work. To us, having our son at home far outweighed our financial goals.
Our savings rate struggled, we had to dip into our emergency fund a few times, I made some real estate investing decisions that were borderline gambling, and we added a second child to the clan. We weathered the storm, the lessons were worth it, and things are back on track now, in huge part from our Etsy shop starting to pull in $1,300-$3700/month from June on.
Now that the cards are on the table, let's talk about them.
What are your financial goals? Wait, let me back up... do you have financial goals?
I'm not sure about you, but mine don't include retiring at 65 (or 70 suggested by this article), watching The Price is Right every day, and wearing out a recliner. There's far too much life to live, passions to pursue, places to see, and time to spend with family to be working for a paycheck for the next 30-40 years.
The solution: Financial Independence & Retire Early (FIRE)
Financial Independence (FI): Creating enough passive income that you no longer have to rely on your normal W-2 job. Many times this leads to the pursuit of other passions.
Early Retirement: Creating enough passive income to have the ablilty to stop working and enter retirement in a more traditional sense, just at a much younger age.
So what do these options offer you? Freedom.
Student loans suck. Debt sucks. Here’s the real question though;
What are you doing about it?
Action is the most important step in your entire debt free process.
Here’s what Renaissance Wife and I did to give our student loans and consumer debt the middle finger while still in college.
My Student Loans: $9,355.85
Renaissance Wife's Student Loans: $22,591.11
Consumer Loan: $3,500
$40,469.17. All gone in less than 15 months!