The wife and I had a long drive over the weekend to visit her family up in NY. During the ride back home yesterday, we got talking and some of my freedom 40 plan came up. Well – not exactly, as we were not explicitly talking about this particular crazy plan, but rather we were talking about the idea of moving or me taking another job.
I was explaining that I had no interest in continuing to climb the ladder of a corporate existence for the long term. Instead, I told her I wanted to consider taking a year or two off, maybe working during that time, maybe not. While I’ve been thinking about this sort of thing for some time, I guess I’ve never really shared it much with the wife because she was pretty surprised / shocked / looking at me like I was crazy.
I have to remember that I think about this type of thing all the time and I reinforce the belief by reading blogs such as Mr. Money Mustache, and Chris Guillebeau, and by reading books like “Four Hour Work Week“, “Vagabonding“, “Wide-Eyed Wanderers“, and “Saved: How I quit worrying about money and became the richest guy in the world.”
From all of these voices, fused with my own ideas, I have built a worldview that says working for 40 years straight is not something I want to do. Rather, I’d like to live simply so I can get by with less money, and consider mini retirements throughout my life, rather than waiting until 65.
I think this may have been the first time I’ve actually articulated some of these ideas to my wife. So – I suppose it was pretty natural for her to be a bit shocked. Of course, I want to consider her goals too along with mine – and I recognize that these may not align. I might be ok with living in a van and travelling around the U.S. or South America for a year, but for her, that may sound terrible.
One thing she asked me was, “Are you just dreaming, or are you serious?”
She’s right to ask because I do have a habit of talking about things like this and then never doing anything about it to make it happen. I’m a dreamer, I know this. But I’m trying to take those dreams and make them a reality. That’s part of the reason for writing this blog.
I’m still not sure exactly what my real goal looks like. I think it could be a lot of things. I suspect it will continuously change as well. I might try one thing, and realize I don’t like it at all. In fact, maybe I’ll even want to go back to a “real job” after being out for a while. I don’t know. That much is sure. I just don’t know. However, I know I want to try it and see what happens.
What I do know is that I want to have the freedom to choose whatever it is I want to do (within reason). I want financial freedom so I will not be a slave to a corporate master and rather I can determine my own path.
All of this will need to be coordinated with the wife though. I certainly don’t have much interest in doing any of this without her. We’ll need to work to get on the same page and set goals that are in both of our interests. That could take some time…