I came across this post the other day on Instagram and it sums up how I’ve been feeling recently. -Maybe I shouldn’t be focusing on a retirement goal number, but rather my goal lifestyle and what I can do right now to achieve it ASAP.
What if you could achieve your ideal life style within a few years, rather than a couple decades? How can you make that possible? What pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for? What can you do to get there? What can you cut out of your life or prioritize? What is MOST important to you? (Maybe top 5 things) What would you sacrifice if it meant being able to retire early, move, work part time, start your own business, etc.? How long will it take you to get to your ideal life now?
These are all great questions to ask yourself. I am going to share some of my answers/examples to get the ball rolling.
Here are some ways to help you get to your ideal life faster:
- GRATITUDE, is huge. Wakeup & write down 3 things you’re grateful of everyday, or at least think of them. Make it a habit. This will help rewire your brain to look for positive things, rather than focus on the negative. Also, remember when you wanted what you currently have?
- Stop comparing yourself to others! You are not them & will never be them, just like no one else is you or will ever be you. Recognize that you are enough & you have enough. (unless you’re literally starving or something like that..)
- Understand that pain & problems are unavoidable. They will always be there, you just get to choose which pains & problems you want. (Other than some health issues, people dying, or if your government gets thrown over, or something like that..) They are just a part of life.
- Base your decisions off of core principles. This is much better than basing your choices off of things like what your spouse wants or what would benefit you the most. Example Core Principles: My personal health is most important, I choose to put it first. Time with Friends & Family is one of the most important things in my life, I will treat it as such. I will make purchases consciously, keeping in mind the environmental impact of every choice I make. Then say f**k it to everything else that does not support your core principles & kick those things (or people) out of your life.
- Quit lying to yourself. Quit trying to be or accomplish things you don’t actually care about, I am guilty of this too. Small example: stop buying vegetables every week at the grocery store, then not eating them & throwing them away. Quit lying to yourself that you’ll eat them, just stop buying them to save the planet & your money.
- Manifesting– I am making a whole separate post about this.
Basically, my husband & I have realized we can easily survive off of just one of our incomes, especially once we pay off his car (End of August 2021), sell my car, & cut out a few smaller things like not eating out as much. This is huge. We basically have been surviving off of my income for the last 3 years by just investing, saving, or paying down debt with his income. Now, he actually got a raise & makes 25 cents more an hour than I do. So we can survive just off of his income too.
We have also realized, as I have stated before, that we want to have a child, so this is perfect timing. We now know we can either both work part time or have one of us work full time or we may even be the kind of people that both want to go back to work full time after parental leave, who knows! We won’t know for sure until we are parents. I just want to prepare for at least one of us not wanting to work at all.
With that being said, we know ourselves pretty well. We think I will not want to be employed by someone anymore, & that Brandon will want to go back to work, most likely 25-30 hours a week (if not full time) after we have a baby. I will happily work on this Blog and the Podcast & try to monetize them. In the mean time, while I am making little to no money from them, I will gladly do part time odd jobs, like babysit, help my older neighbor ladies, help my mom, etc. the options are limitless. No matter what happens, our expenses will be covered. You never know, the podcast or blog could take off and end up covering our expenses or make even more money than we need to survive, which we will then invest or pay down debt with.
For context, here is my Dream Life post that explains what my ideal lifestyle is. 🙂 As you can see, it’s a pretty simple life. To be honest, if me taking a couple years off of work to spend time with my future child means I can’t renovate my kitchen or can’t go on any expensive vacations like I used to, I am 100% okay with that. I would much rather choose not having to work and spending time with friends & family, over remodeling my house & traveling, personally. That stuff can wait. We’re planning to not travel or do remodeling with a baby or toddler anyway.. that sounds very stressful to us & we’d rather not.
Answering the question: What pain do I want in my life?
People’s gut reaction is “None! Of course!” But we all know that is absolutely impossible. Pain & suffering are a fact of life, and are very important & necessary. We should calmly assume it will happen.
I want the pain of going through pregnancy, birth, & postpartum. I want the pain of waking up through the night, cleaning poop & puke. I want the pain of taking care of a house & yard. I want the pain of setting boundaries with loved ones to help our relationship(s). I want the pain of writing blog posts more frequently. I want the pain of needing to record, edit, & upload podcast episodes. I want the pain of sacrificing house projects & traveling for more time with family. I want the pain of being mindful with every purchase I make. I welcome the pain of grief after a loved one dies, because it confirms how much I loved them. I want the pain of being conscientious about what we do with our money.
Answering potential questions/concerns about going for your ideal lifestyle:
Now some of you may be thinking, what if a larger emergency expense comes up? Well, first of all we have insurance & a home warranty we pay for. Second, that’s why we have an emergency fund. By the time we leave full time employment, we will have over 20k saved that we can just let sit there. Another option is we temporarily work a bit more to make more money to cover the unexpected expense. Finally, all Roth contributions can be withdrawn whenever without penalty (this would be our last resort other than going into debt). So we have back up plans to our back up plans. “Worst case scenario” is we actually start working full time again. Everything is temporary.
Another question people may be wondering is what about investing in your retirement? If you’re only making enough to cover your expenses, how are you ever going to fully retire? We already have $40,000 invested & are planning on hitting $50,000 invested before we cut back on work hours. So let’s say we go down to part time work when I’m 23 (sometime next year) and we just let the $50,000 sit & grow at a moderate average rate of 7% annually, (Our investments have been going up by 10%) we will have $1,000,000 when I’m 66 (2064) years old if we never invest another cent & don’t touch it. If we keep our money in 90% stocks like we currently do, & it continues to grow at 10% annually, we will have $1,000,000 when I’m 54 (2052). Again, this is if we don’t make anymore money than the bare minimum we need to survive & no longer invest anymore. I hope eventually my website, podcast, or something will take off before then, haha. Once our kid(s) go to school, we can choose to work a lot more again too.
*Side Note: Our mortgage will be paid off in approximately 2034, if we don’t put any extra money on principle after we go down in work hours. That will free up $1,200/month from our expenses that we can then invest! Or use for travel or house projects by then.
Finally, what about things like health insurance? Well, my husband and I are both on our parent’s insurance, Brandon will be until October 2022, & I have until August 2024. We may decide to just get a family plan in October 2022, depending upon pricing. At that point in time, our income will be low since we are planning on just working enough to cover our expenses, therefore we will qualify for MNsure. MNsure is a Minnesota state sponsored insurance for lower income people, so we can get our insurance at a major discount, if not totally covered, especially if you have a child or children. My husband can also get health insurance through his job if he stays on at 30 hours.
I suggest looking over your expenses vs. your household income & see if you’re already partially financially independent as is! Try to find creative solutions to problems like the ones I listed above!
I also loved this post (above). We just need to slow down and appreciate & have gratitude for what we already have. (It may also mean literal appreciation of assets over time.) You can do this by stopping the comparison game (stop comparing yourself to millionaires on Instagram! I see you!). If you have a roof over your head, clean water, clean clothes, food to eat, etc. You’re already far better off than A LOT of the world.. so let’s stop the hyper consumerism & be content with what we already have been blessed with. This makes sense financially, ethically, & environmentally.
So here is what my modified dream life looks like if we sacrifice traveling & house/yard updates, & do not worry about paying off the house immediately:
- I’m healthy in every way, including spiritually.
- Prioritize my relationships; non-toxic folks only.
- Debt free, except for mortgage.
- We are working part time, or only as much as we want/need to.
- Have a child.
- Do what we can to support a more sustainable environment.
- No more social media, except Pinterest, I want to vanish from it.
- Help others financially through the Money For Everyone podcast, this blog, & my time.
- We have one car & 2 bikes.
This all sounds MUCH more doable. In fact, this all can be accomplished by the end of next year. We have already accomplished a lot of these things, but there is always room for improvement! Some aspects of these goals are out of our control & that is okay. For example: like certain health issues or if we have fertility issues.
I would love to hear your response to this post! Feel free to comment below! If you want to answer these questions just for yourself, that’s fine too. 😉
Again, here are the questions I asked above:
- What if you could achieve your ideal life style within a few years, rather than a couple decades?
- How can you make that possible?
- What pain do you want in your life?
- What are you willing to struggle for?
- What can you do to get there?
- What can you cut out of your life or prioritize?
- What is MOST important to you? (Maybe top 5 things)
- What would you sacrifice if it meant being able to retire early, move, work part time, start your own business, etc.?
- How long will it take you to get to your ideal life now?
Then start, today!
Thanks for reading! 🙂
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