Our financial independence date, new and improved

Published August 1, 2015   Posted in How to Retire

It probably won’t take readers long to realize that my wife and I keep switching things up in our lives. As circumstances change and our financial situation morphs and twists, we try to be flexible enough to adjust to life’s ever-changing nuggets of fun. This time, it’s our FI date, and things are getting even better.

Pinterest: Financial Independence coming Christmas, 2016Originally, our FI Date was roughly in the neighborhood of 2020.  Then, it got moved up to September 2018.  Now, another change!

What’s our new FI date? December 2016 (Mission accomplished!)

Remember, it’s about spending, not income.

Over the course of the last couple of months, we came to realize that a home that doesn’t move around just isn’t that much fun.  Our goal is to travel and see our country, visit every national and state park, make our temporary home out in the middle of nowhere and enjoy the natural land, then move somewhere else on the spur of the moment and continue on.

We plan to do this by selling the large majority of what we have, including both of our homes, and moving into an RV – perhaps an Airstream.

Among so many other lifestyle changes, this will also change how we spend money, and more importantly, how much we spend.  Specifically, our expenses decrease significantly.  We are living in a 200 sqft home on wheels instead of an 800 or 1000 sqft home.  When out in the middle of nowhere, rent is 100% free.  It takes next to nothing to heat and cool a space that small.  No yard to pay for, and we plan to solarize the thing.

My wife and I plan to work camp for a portion of our travels, which means we’ll get free “full hookup” camp sites (meaning, water, electric and sewer) absolutely free for putting in 20 to 25 hours a week helping out at the campground, like checking people in, answering questions, even giving guided tours depending on the location.

Free rent WITH electric?  Hell yeah baby, sign me up.

Getting back to the point of this article, this reduction in expenses has prompted a very positive change in our Financial Independence date, which is the date that we effectively quit our jobs because our net worth can support our anticipated lifestyle for the duration of our lives.

By the end of next this year, both my wife and I should be completely finished with this “work for a living” stuff and ready to hit the road and see the sights.

It’s going to be a wonderful 2016 holiday season.  🙂

We track our net worth using Personal Capital



Comments

54 responses to “Our financial independence date, new and improved”

  1. I’ve been waiting for this post after I heard to good news on Twitter! Congrats! At the campground I used to work at the worker-campers also got paid an hourly rate on top of the free site! It wasn’t much but hey – cash is cash. I’ve also always had this idea in the back of my mind, but you have definitely got me thinking about it again!

    • Steve says:

      Yup, we’ve heard that some of the campgrounds pay a very small hourly wage…but we’ve also heard that is primarily dedicated for those working 40 hours a week, but we’re not 100% positive on that point. Either way, free rent is a pretty darn nice perk. 🙂

      Thanks for reading! It’s gonna be a fun transition for sure.

  2. ambertree says:

    Congratz with the new fi date. It is coming really close now. I look forward to your travel stories and pictures on your other blog.

    • Steve says:

      Thanks AmberTree. We’re definitely looking forward to it as well. Sometimes it still seems so far off, but less than 2 years is nothing. 🙂

  3. Mr. SSC says:

    Whoa! Stories like that are what kept me away from FI in the first place, lol.
    Seriously though, that sounds really exciting and I’m looking forward to some pics and stories that keep me wistfully looking out my office window trying to hurry up my FI date.
    I don’t know if a boat is too limiting, but my mom loved the 10+ years she spent on one, especially if you want to live cheap and see South America, the Caribbean, etc… Fun times ahead and I’m excited for you!

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Mr. SSC! Yeah, come next year, we’re gonna be in for some interesting changes, that’s for sure. Hopefully they are all positive and we slip into this new lifestyle without a lot of trouble. Only one way to find out! 🙂

  4. Even Steven says:

    Congrats on declaring the updated FI date, that’ literally right around the corner. Have you had a chance to rent or airbnb an airstream to see if you guys like it?

    The only thing that throws up a small red flag is the decision to go with the RV living after spending some time in Montana/National Parks, although it could have just been the final push you needed. Either way I’m certainly here to watch the RV live reveal itself:)

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Even Steven. We haven’t stayed at an airbnb yet, no – availability has been spotty in our area. Our trip to Montana was purely coincidental. My wife and I have been traveling to all kinds of wilderness areas over the past couple of years. It’s all added up into something that we see ourselves doing for a long time. 🙂

  5. Congrats, you guys! How exciting to be staring down a date that’s so close in the future! If you haven’t already connected with them, I highly recommend checking out http://livelaughrv.net/. They are full-time RVers, and have learned a lot of good lessons along the way.

    We’ve talked about being campground hosts, but don’t love the idea of cleaning the toilets or outhouses, which seems to be a big part of the job at most campgrounds! So you guys are hardcore! 😀 Also curious where you plan to camp when you’re not hosting, to avoid paying campground fees? We’ve looked at a number of BLM land sites that offer huge discounts if you stay for a month or more, but it seems like true boondocking is tougher in the national parks. Near us, the national and state parks all seem to charge $20-$30 a night, which is certainly way cheaper than having a home, but it’s definitely not free.

    Can’t wait to see how your plans unfold!

    • Steve says:

      Hey ONL!

      We plan on making whatever RV we buy completely self-sufficient, including solar panels and a composting toilet. Our goal is to boon dock most of the time and only fill up with things like propane and gas when we need to. We aren’t against paying campground fees, but we’d like to keep that expense to a minimum, and when we do stay at parks, we will try our best to do so under a work camping situation.

      Of course, much of this is still up in the air a bit, but we have a plan that we both think will work with our expected net worth at the time of retirement and our anticipated expenses. We will see how it works out. We’ve adjusted our future plans a lot over the last couple of years, so if we get on the road and need to adjust some more, that shouldn’t be a big deal.

      Thanks for the link – not sure if my wife follows that blog or not, but we certainly will be now. I may have already browsed through their ‘Favorite Photos’ page before even finishing this comment (yeah, I ADD a lot!). We’ve been doing a LOT of reading on this subject and are getting some excellent ideas out of it. One of our favorite blogs is http://www.watsonswander.com.

      We’re nothing if not flexible. 🙂

  6. […] but the content might drift a little more towards travel.  The plan is for my wife and I to retire by the end of 2016 and set out on a course of travel and adventure, living on the cheap and maximizing fun to the […]

  7. divorcedff says:

    Congrats on the new FI date, I think it will be even closer than you think

  8. […] their desire to do some traveling on the open road after they call it quits.  As many of you know, we plan to do something similar, but our plan has us completely selling off both of our homes, while Our Next Life will keep a home […]

  9. […] Welcome to Friday.  This week felt a bit longer than usual due to some insanely stupid decisions made by the client whom I am working for.  This particular client should stand as a shining example of what happens when you put the bottom line ahead of responsible solutions.  Retirement, I welcome thee. […]

  10. […] shit doesn’t impress me because, well, I’d like to retire before I hit 60.  Actually, before I hit 36 would be even nicer.  I don’t want stuff.  I want […]

  11. […] decided to be ultra conservative and live off of a 3.5% safe withdrawal rate after retirement next year.  We decided to keep things conservative for the first few years until we get comfortable with our […]

  12. […] Here is a fun little problem that I never thought that we’d face just a couple years ago – our planned retirement date is so close, and my wife and I are so young, that it appears that my wife will be ineligible for Social Security, which she has judiciously funded for her entire working career, if she retires along with me in December of 2016. […]

  13. This sounds like a blast! I don’t know how long I could do it, but it certainly would be awesome for at least a while. Keep us posted on your adventures!

    -DP

    • Steve says:

      Hey DP – thanks, yup, we think it’ll be a blast too. I haven’t met too many people who full time RV and not like it…my folks included. It should be quite the experience! 🙂

      • Igor B. says:

        Hi Steve. Your plans sound exciting. Do you have a spreadsheets to show your plans?
        I’d like to see something numeric (income statement, balance sheet, etc ).

        I just wanted to make sure what you are describing is actually making sense.

        Thank you.

  14. […] This is me right now too.  I’m still working full time, though the plan is to end that by the end of next year. […]

  15. […] financial standpoint happened in October, and we’re continuing the march down the road to our epic escape date next […]

  16. […] by throwing every last dollar that I can into savings in preparation for the ever-sweet departure date at the end of 2016. In October, I maxed out my 401k and Roth IRA contributions for the year. Now, […]

  17. Hope says:

    Have you checked out tosimplify.net yet?

  18. Jack says:

    On your home page, your retirement goal says 2015, I think you meant 2016 if I read the post correctly 🙂

  19. […] kids is helping bring our early retirement date closer than we ever imagined possible just a year ago.  Dual incomes help big time, and the […]

  20. […] late summer, my goal has been to retire by the end of 2016, but we never actually had a specific date in mind. Finally, we decided on an exact […]

  21. […] lately been toying with the idea of pulling the plug even earlier (we wouldn’t be the only ones), or setting ourselves up for new adventures in exciting places. We’ll keep you […]

  22. […] living frugally and some have savings rates as high as 65%. Some have already done it. Some are very close. Most have a date in which they can hand in their notice and become official early retirees. Every […]

  23. […] One of the things that my wife and I love to do is travel – me for the photo opportunities and my wife for the truly breathtaking scenery that this wonderful country has to offer.  But, we also committed to living a frugal lifestyle and retiring before I hit 36. […]

  24. Hey Steve! This is it! this is the year!! I was wondering how do you feel? any anxiety? December is almost here!!

    • Steve says:

      That’s right, Erik! December looms. We are feeling great and ready to make it all happen. We’re looking into the RV purchase this weekend to get that ball rolling, and the rest will be a whirlwind of downhill fun from here (not really, but hey, keeping a good attitude about what’s to come as we prepare for this new lifestyle!). 🙂

  25. […] point is important: While our high salaries are definitely enabling us to reach FI quickly, the underlying foundation of our ability to FIRE is a combination of income and saving. Had we […]

  26. […] May already – for me that’s great because I am literally counting down the days until I officially retire from full-time work in December and get to finally control my life. My wife will be two months away from her […]

  27. That’s quite a holiday present! Good for you guys! I have the National Parks Annual Pass and recently just took a road trip through Utah – Nevada – California and stopped at a few national parks and forests along the way. Super jealous that you guys get to experience that lifestyle so closely but if my fiance and I get aggressive about our savings this year – we can get there too!

    • Steve says:

      Thanks, it really was a terrific gift! We don’t have the annual pass yet but we’ll definitely get one. And that road trip sounds absolutely amazing, too – some of the best scenery in the country exists out west in my humble opinion. There is just so much to see, so much open space. We are itching to start traveling!

  28. Santanu says:

    Retiring early is a kind of dream every single person is dreaming these days. But only few people like you can achieve that by putting too much hard work and dedication. Great motivational blog you have.
    Keep up the good work.

  29. […] about this decision. In fact, it’s precisely the opposite – the closer I get to December, the more and more I want to just quit now. This whole thing about “maybe we haven’t […]

  30. […] I was “in the closet”, as it were, regarding my intention to quit full-time work in December and spend my remaining years traveling the country for a living…or at least doing something […]

  31. Jorgemagnifico says:

    The RV travel has always sounded great to me but I always amagined a motor home rather than a trailer. Do you already have the airstream and a truck large enough to pull it? Working at campsites sounds good too. How do you find sites ahead of time willing to do that? The campsites I’ve stayed at usually don’t have that many employees to begin with. Do you just arrive and ask if there’s work to be done in exchange for a campsite and if they say no just move on down the road?

    • Steve says:

      My folks lived in a motorhome for 13 years – there are both advantages and disadvantages, but certainly nothing wrong with motorhomes. We already have the 30′ Airstream trailer and we pull it with a 2008 Dodge RAM 2500 HD. Does an excellent job. Strong pulling machine.

      Regarding how we find work, we generally refer to online job postings. My wife subscribes to a Workcamping email list that’ll email her when a gig becomes available. Word-of-mouth works at times as well. 🙂

  32. Good assisted living for retirees can be found by asking help from some professionals that will do the research for you.

  33. […] over half way there. December can’t come soon […]

  34. […] But I’ve found Personal Finance to be something I care deeply about. After all, my wife and I practically live this stuff. It’s what we do, and it’s what is enabling us to retire so ridiculously early. […]

  35. Roger says:

    Congratulations on your soon to be FI date. Really, really cool, being there in your 30’s!

    It’s interesting how people have different perspectives on things. I took a slightly different tack. I waited until I was 48, and various friends commented that I was crazy, seeing how little I spent from how I lived (compared to my income), and receiving various financial advice from me over the decades — and realizing the financial shape I must be in (relative to my spending habits).

    They asked, “Why in the ^&$*!! don’t you retire?” My response was, “I’d rather work a few/several more years as long as it’s not TOO bad, because once I retire, I NEVER want to have to worry AT ALL about needing to work at Arby’s for minimum wage to pay the bills, if things don’t go well. At least in my current job, I sit at a desk and earn many times minimum wage, and work with my mind.”

    But different strokes and all that. Despite the details, you are so far on the smart/frugal side of the spectrum, you are practically a different species than the average first-world wage and spend cycle slaves!

    So again, congrats and best of luck! And I hope you keep this website going. I really like the reviews of the books, films, etc, and letting people comment to get more perspectives is an excellent choice.

    Cheers!

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Roger! You bring up a point that really gets to the heart of the matter. It’s true that we could work longer, just to make sure that we have enough. But on the other hand, I don’t enjoy my job all that much, and we are very flexible people. If it looks like things aren’t going as plan, we adjust *before* we’d need to get a minimum wage job, whether that means cutting spending or picking up some odd jobs around the country. We’re more than okay with either one.

      Also, I don’t necessarily believe that there is a “full proof” retirement plan. Things happen in this world…you just never know. I just don’t want to be on my death bed in five year’s time – for whatever reason – and regret not prioritizing my freedom sooner.

      Thanks for the comment!

  36. […] retiring in December. My wife quits her job the following February. She wants to be retired and boondocking by her […]

  37. […] By saving a ton of cash between two incomes, I thought, I could afford to explore other avenues of work that would make me happier. But, we began to realize that with enough passive income generated through our investments, we might not need to work again. Instead of looking for another line of work, maybe we save for the next couple of years and then call it quits. […]

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