Money can be a complex and daunting topic. But our goals here are simple. Difficult, but simple.
Our first is the most basic. Achieve financial independence by the time our daughter turns 3. She was born in 2015, which means our target date is a little under 2 years from now. That’s goal number 1: Achieve financial independence and be able to live off our savings by March 22, 2018.
Becoming parents changed us, changed me. This is a cliche statement to make, but in this case, I think it’s true. Mrs. Grizzly and I have always been what we call ‘prestige monkeys’, chasing just one more banana of impressive schools, high-powered jobs, or fancy awards. We cared deeply about what other people thought and acted accordingly in most aspects of our lives. Our daughter changed all that. I’d march naked through Times Square if it was good for her. I’d rip up every diploma, award, or accolade I’ve ever received to make her happy. That’s goal number 2: Be the best goddamn parents we can from this point forward, fuck everything else.
So many people in our shoes just continue along the path we’re on. Look at almost anyone in a relatively senior spot in your company and you’ll find an example: forty or fifty years old, couple kids heading off to college in a few years, a little bit of a gut, balding and graying, sad sallow look on their face as they trudge down the hallways. The counterexamples are rare as diamonds: the folks who pursued dreams lived their best lives and died smiling with zero regrets. It would be easy to continue to live the way we do now. It’s what our families, our friends, society, expect us to do. Complacency would be the path of least resistance. Going another direction involves rocking the boat. I want to rock the boat! That’s goal number 3: Turn our lives upside down for the better.
But I also want to rock the boat of this crazy society. We’re consuming every resource we have at unsustainable levels. We’re barreling toward a future of global warming and mass extinctions. We’ve constructed something that destroy us, destroys the world, and makes us all miserable in the process. Congratulations humanity! You win the stupid prize. I want to show as many people as I can that there is another way. A way that makes us all better and happier and healthier and deals a death blow to the edifice we’ve built. That’s goal number 4: Save the world.
Should be easy.
What we have working for us
- High Incomes for now
- A decent amount of savings
- Drive and a desire to make this work
- A growing movement of people following the same path
What we have working against us
- A ticking clock
- Family and friends who won’t ‘get it’
- A society almost engineered to convince us it can’t be done