Reflections on Our Financial Freedom Journey

I took a couple days off this week just to catch my breadth and spend a little time with the family. Today I took my 3yr old daughter to the local science museum and had a lovely day enjoying the warm weather and learning a few things alongside my child.

While I was sitting at an outside park bench at the museum I started to bask in how wonderful it was to let things slow down and enjoy things like the outdoors with my family. Why can't I do this all the time? Working hard sucks. It reminded me of everything I miss out on when I'm working most of the time. I can remember in college when lifeguarding at the community pool for the summer seemed to last forever, now a year goes by in the blink of an eye.

Today reminded me of why I'm working so hard in the first place - it is not for some net worth aspiration, but more freedom to chose how I and my wife spend our time in the future. I sorta wish that time was now, but its still too early to check out of the rat race. We are still 8-11 years away from our financial freedom goal and that seems too far away on days like these.


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Comments (4)


In nearly the same boat as you: 31 with an almost 3 year old and one more on the way. About to eclipse the 1M mark too though I think it will be a non-event as you described the feeling.

It's funny... we could bust our ass for 10 more years and after that theoretically never work another day in our lives. But doesn't that defeat the point? By then our kids will be approaching the independent teenage years and won't want to spend the same kind of quality time with us.

Ever think about getting a low-stress 40 hour a week or less day job? Could you go part time at work?

The first comment is my thoughts exactly...What are we giving up now to make sure in 10 years we have the ability to do anything we want?

On a similar topic, have you given much thought about your retirement funding, the 401k in particular? You are going to be ~40 when you retire I believe, which would mean you have 20 years before you can pull money out of those retirement accounts (easily). You might currently be locking up too much wealth in restricted accounts. It looks like, debt free, you can pull in 29K from your rental properties pre-tax, meaning you'll need about $2.5k a month from your outside-retirement accounts (Nov expenses= $5600 - 300 (mortgage interest reduction) - 800 (Roth "expense")). Using a not-so-conservative taxable account withdrawal rate of 6% (rather than 4% since you don't need it to last forever) that would require just under 500k by my math.

Matt,
Ah yes the allusive, almost mythical part time work. I've kicked it around, but it seems a bit like wishful thinking for now. I have yet to find something that might be attractive with relative pay- doesn't seem to be a real option for me at my current work. Of course that is me talking while stuck in the box and not really thinking outside it.

The only thing that seems like it could work someday would be working for myself, but still don't have a clear path to that yet.

Eric,
Excellent point -- I haven't plotted in detail our cash flow from financial freedom until retirement, but at a high level there are 4 main levers that I think I have to utilize 1) Roth IRA contributions which can be withdrawn at any time, 2) taxable assets (cash/stocks) which today total $230k+, 3) Section 72(t) withdraws (substantially equal periodic payments) on our retirement plans, and 4) part time income. I do think this is a good future post idea.

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A personal finance weblog of my journey to reach my goal of $2 million + the value of my primary residence.
Current Net Worth: $1,574,185

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