The idea of financial freedom is not a new concept for our family. I have been a Dave Ramsey fan for years. In fact, for several years, I taught Financial Peace University and later developed my own debt freedom courses. At one point we had zero debt except for our student loans. However, over the last few years, life got a little crazy. We adopted 4 Littles; expanding our family of four to eight in eighteen months time. We thought why not add a little more CRAZY to our lives and decided to move to another state in the middle of that. During that year long process, I commuted between two states until we could finalize our adoptions. That was a HARD year. After our move to San Diego, we purchased a fixer upper home big enough to fill our newly expanded family. And now, here we are exhaling – catching our breath, and let’s be honest, spending WAY too much money than we should be.
We are on the brink…we put everything we had into the house, including financing much of the rehab costs. As it stands right now, this house IS OUR RETIREMENT, and that makes me uncomfortable.
I feel at any moment catastrophe could strike, and it terrifies me.
You might think it hard to dream in such a state, but it has only amplified it.
We have this CRAZY (there is that word again….) wild dream. A dream of a life on the beach. Of retiring early with no debt and enough money in the bank to fund that life comfortably forever. It is not impossible. In fact, there are communities of people who have done it and ascribe to the “FI-life” – they call themselves “FI-ers”. It really is a thing…don’t believe me? Google is your friend. Google “financial independence” or “early retirement”. You’ll find them. And if you can’t find your way to google, I have made it easy for you and have listed some of my favorite blogs below. I stumbled upon several of the same websites a couple of years ago and have been soaking it all in since. And now, its time. Its time to step away from the cliff, the brink of disaster, and boldly and fiercely go after the “FI-life”.
Our number is 3000. 3000 days is roughly 8 years. In eight years Curt and I will both be 55. Why 55? At 55, Curtis will be fully vested in a pension. So it makes sense to hold out for eight years (if I had my hearts desire – we would leave sooner than that – but I am not going to turn away a lifetime pension.) So we have eight years to pay off all of our debt (except our mortgage – but we will pay it down significantly) and save at a minimum, $500,000.00 maybe more.* That along with the equity of our home by that time should give us between $500,000.00 and $750,000.00. Using the 4% rule (if you don’t know what that is take a look at this article from Mr. Money Mustache), we should have enough income coming in from investments and Curt’s pension to live on for life. At age 67 we will also get a significant bump when we begin drawing from Social Security (assuming it still exists).
So that is the experiment. 3000 days to FI. I hope you will join us in this endeavor and maybe along the way – catch the FI bug. In my next post, I will list several of our actions steps so that we have some tangible measurement of our “wins”!
Love and prosperity – Your girl-FI-day.
*Keep in mind that the dollar amount we could be saving could be significantly increased if we did not have to use it for debt service. That’s why it is so important to pay off all of our debt as quickly as possible.