this is definitely not a post about monetizing a blog — you’ll see no ads here. we do this purely to connect with *you* — not to make money.
we’ve been going this early retirement road alone for the past few years, and realized — because planning for early retirement is still so very rare in society at large — that we needed to be able to talk to other people about it who would understand. understand the frugality when society tells us that we can “afford” a lot more. understand the relentless obsession with increasing our net worth. understand the endless work travel and long hours that we’re willing to endure because we know there’s a light at the end of the no-longer-very-long tunnel. understand what we dream about in our “next life.” and, most importantly, understand that we’re making that dream a reality, not just talking about it for thirty years, like the one that got away.
and that’s a big part of why we’re here, writing this post that you’re reading. because we crave that connection with other folks who are doing what we’re doing. or even if you’re not doing it yet, you’re at least thinking about it, which is a lot farther than most people get. we also know that the mind has a way of forgetting about the process, once you get to your destination, and just remembering the end. and we don’t want that. we want to remember these working years, and the process of getting to early retirement. we want to remember how hard we worked, what we learned, what we did wrong, and what we did right. so that’s part of why we’re here, too.
something we did not anticipate is the financial part. how much writing this blog and — just as importantly — reading all of the great blogs by so many of you, would motivate us to shave even more off of our spending, and tighten our focus on getting to retirement day prepared. how much blogging would increase our motivation to save more and faster.
you may recall from our post on our financial independence day that we’re planning to quit our long-held jobs at the end of 2017, pretty much no matter what. we’ll have the house paid off, and will have sufficient cash cushion to be at least mostly retired. but oh how we would love to be able to call it a day at that point, and not have to hustle for consulting gigs we’d rather not take on. fun work is fine, but work we have to do is not part of our retirement vision. we’d decided our timeline before starting this blog, but something about putting that out there publicly turned up the heat for us. 2017 as an end date to all work is a stretch goal, for sure, but it’s starting to feel actually possible. (the markets have to cooperate, of course.)
the part we really really didn’t anticipate about jumping into the blogosphere was how much it would touch our hearts. we wanted to connect with you all, but in a pretty miraculously short period of time we’ve actually come to feel supported by you. though we know we don’t actually have it all figured out, your positive comments have helped us feel good about how far we’ve come in a way we hadn’t thought about before, beyond the dollars. it makes us feel that perhaps we can do more than chronicle our journey. maybe we can actually inspire others to do what we’re doing, or at least prove to anyone wondering that it’s possible. that the famous early retiree bloggers aren’t just flukes. we know a lot of you are going to prove it, too, and that our numbers will eventually force society to take notice, and see that there’s a different way to plan your life.
we were most humbled by the response to our post “why the urgency?” in which we talked about the disability that’s looming over one of us as a possibility, and which helps motivate us to save faster. we’re anonymous bloggers, we don’t make it clear which one of us is writing our posts, and yet we still felt this huge wave of sympathy and compassion that was palpable. that still is palpable. from people we’ve never met, and likely never will meet. there’s so much kindness in the world, in our blogosphere. there’s so much support, too, and we feel it in a big way.
we’re so grateful.
so the moral of the story, if there is one, is — don’t be afraid to put yourself out there in blog form. it pays off. if you’re already blogging, maybe it means sharing more of yourself, and not just your balance sheet. if you’re not blogging, maybe it’s time to start. and for all of us, let’s keep paying it forward by reading and supporting other blogs, especially the brand new bloggers, the ones just dipping in their toes, unsure of the response they’ll get. cheering them on could literally change their lives. we know it changed ours.
you all are awesome. thank you.
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Categories: the process