Where do we fall in the spectrum in terms of financial independence?
Financial independence (FI) means different things to different people. Wealth is also a a relative term. Personally, early FI and having enough wealth means we no longer HAVE to work for a living, and that, while accumulating enough money until ‘freedom,’ we don’t ever feel we are sacrificing ‘living’ in the now.
I really love my job, but I don’t love that I don’t have the freedom to just not do it if I no longer want to. And as much as I love my job, I like exploring new cities, hiking and eating random street food in foreign places a lot more.
As per what I consider ‘enough’, I would classify the financial independence bloggers I often read in the following ranges based on 2016 US dollar value:
1. Frugal: Those that can make it with a final nest egg under $1 million and/or live with a maximum of roughly $20- $40k a year. Most of the emphasis here is in spending as little as possible and living (what I would consider) a frugal yet fulfilling life, in the context of a first world country. Here are a few examples I enjoy: earlyretirementextreme, frugalwoods, thinksaveretire, 1500 days to freedom, mrmoneymoustache (a must, must read to get you started), rootofgood (one of my favorites!).
2. Middle Range: Those that aim to retire with a $1-3 million dollar nest egg and /or live with about $40-100k a year. These blogs emphasize a high savings rate but also impress the importance of increasing income until you have ‘enough’. Examples of blogs I read regularly: budgetsaresexy (if you need motivation, start here) retireby40 (retired) and gocurrycracker (the one I relate to the most!)
3. Money Bags: Those who aim to accumulate $3+ million for financial independence, and/or be ok by spending above $100k a year, in today’s dollars. Example, financially alert and financialsamurai. The focus of the latter starts tilting more toward maximizing income even from extra jobs on top of a full time job, while also maintaining a high savings rate.
Where is Travel Travel & Retire?
Still, I have and continue to learn tremendously from each of the blogs above at all ranges. I highly recommend you check them out too. All are incredibly inspiring!
How about the now?
Part of financial planning in this blog will include college savings and strategies for making that process more affordable. That said, I will be equally focused on the the current “living” part of the plan, with a special emphasis on one of my biggest passions; traveling.
For example, in 2017 we will have a travel budget of $12k per year (plus whatever I can add from miles and points) and I hope to share details (financial and otherwise) of these adventures with you, kind of like Bucking the Trend or Our Next Life, do. Both of these blogs I find offer a great balance between financial information and enhancing personal experiences.
I will show you specifics of the progress with those three things in mind, see how we manage that balancing and re-balancing act.
I will likely need your support and encouragement along the way, especially during rough patches ahead!