Finance and Economics > Investing and Saving

The Big Project

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David in MN:
Yup, I mean retirement. And I mean to do it before we're 50.

This isn't a joke to me. We've lived like paupers our whole lives. Sure we took a few trips to Europe but the day to day living has been the life of simple pleasures. And it has worked. I'm very proud to say we have passed into the realm of millionaires.

It helps that my passion is investing. While friends and family took 'target date funds' I was able to move quicker and adopt a "Talebian" barbell strategy hitting high dividends and high risk tech. The goal of the next 13 years is to transition from the Mrs. stable engineering job to be sufficient with my side hustles. By then we will (according to plan) pay off the house, have about $100k for educating our daughter (not counting grandparents), and be knocking on the door of $3m in liquid assets.

Then I'm done. I'm going to go wherever the spirit moves me. I don't have a hard time imagining spending winters doing finish work in Puerto Rico. I know a woodworker who already does this. I can trade stocks from a phone. Once the kid makes it to college we will have nothing holding us down and the freedom to go everywhere. I am dead serious when I say we will spend months in a beach bungalow only to bore of it and rent a chalet in the Alps.

When I was youngger I had the foolish dreams of "changing the world". Now I just want to exit. I went from being well-informed to singularly focused on putting this plan together. I've forgotten the names of my senators, congress(wo)man?, and governor. But I know the stock market inside out. And the second we can live off the dividends without touching principal what's the point of work?

I'm kind of curious if anyone else tracks this way. After years of striving for meaning I've come to realize the only thing that matters is my wife and daughter. And while I respect my stodgy Lutheran parents retirement to me looks like basketball shorts and flip flops. I don't go out to fancy steak houses, I roll my own pasta. I bake my own bread. Maybe I'd be happier on a skateboard than in an Audi. I used to think that being a millionaire meant stuffy suits and a giant leather bound checkbook. Now I realize it's collecting sea glass on a deserted beach.

This is just becoming word vomit at this point. Maybe I'm making my point but I doubt it. But maybe there's somebody else out there who gets it. Once you realize you'd rather be brewing beer in a French farmhouse than rotting on another cruise the story changes. And rather than saving for the traditional retirement I now feel I can give us the life we actually want. Sooner than we thought possible.

I'd love to hear others' thoughts about this. This is after all the one Big Project we all must face. The transition from doing what is demanded to what is wanted is the endgame.

  I'm gettin' by.

Everyone has a different view of retirement. I envision mine similar to my dads. He retired 10 years ago at 55. He lives to work and enjoys every second of it. Since his retirement, he has built a 3 car garage. He then helped my brother and I each move our stuff out of our homes and into his house and garage spaced. Then helped us each build our own homes. He is even still working on some closet shelves for mine. On several of the many times I would thank him for the time and work he did, he said he enjoyed doing it and to pay him back by doing the same thing for his grandkids when he is not able to. That right there, that hits me. I love my kids and will do anything for them. In my retirement, I want to focus on the things I can do for them and hopefully my grandkids. I want to continue to teach them skills, help them build things, work on restoring cars, etc. I don't want to travel the world and spend my time and money on me. I am building a homestead and a life that I can retire early and spend my time in the mountains with my family and enjoy working everyday of it.

Zef,  :clap: :clap:

Congratulations! Your plan sounds really great... I'm very happy for you. I wish I had the investing abilities you have...

And, on your attitude about things... I'm with you... we didn't start as young as you (it took me awhile to bring hubby around to my frugal sensibilities), but we also have a pretty simple lifestyle and low cost of living. Our two boys are both in college now... the youngest starting out in the fall). Within the next 4 years they should both be pretty much self-sufficient or close to it.

Our plan for retirement is a little different than yours was, as the hubs took lower pay with greater retirement benes by working for Uncle Sam and retired at age 51. I'm still working at a job I really enjoy and paying for the boys' college primarily with my pay (and we are strongly encouraging them to study hard and keep their scholarships). So... as long as things don't implode, once I quit work also, we will be triple-dipping with his retirements, double dipping with mine and we also have no debt and fairly decent savings and we have good healthcare coverage from his work.

I'd love to be able to travel more and indulge in hobbies, etc. We are looking forward to it. Once the boys are set... we also want to help them as they get started in their lives. We've tried to instill good habits and the idea of no debt... we shall see how things go for them.


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