happy friday, friends. this weekend is our anniversary, so we have some frugal fun planned that we’ll report back on next week. today we’re thinking about sunny skies, thanks to the sunshine blogger award we’ve been tagged with by fellow early retirement bloggers steve at think save retire and ditching the daily grind. thanks, pals!
y’all know how this goes, right? it’s like the best kind of chain letter. we answer some questions posed by those who tapped us, to share more personal info on ourselves, and then we pass it on and pose some new questions. fun! (if you want to see our answers from the last one of these we did, check out our liebster post.)
we’re passing it along to some blog friends, and to some newer bloggers on the scene:
and our questions for you:
- in what ways are you most like and most unlike your childhood self?
- what’s your all-time favorite book, and your favorite you’ve read in the last year or so? (bonus points if you do fiction and non-fiction. this is a shameless attempt by us to get more recommendations!)
- what has life taught you about finances, and what have your finances taught you about life?
- what is something you’ve always wanted to do, but have never done for no good reason? (bonus points if you care to share what action you’ll take to do that thing!)
- what scares you most about early retirement / financial independence / minimalism / self-sufficiency or whatever you’re striving for?
- what tv show is atop your must-see list right now? (or if you’re not into tv, what’s some under-the-radar thing that we should all be paying attention to?)
now to our answers…
first up, steve’s questions:
1. do you consider yourself “free”? if not, what would make you free? shall we refer to our college marx and nietzsche and question whether we have free will at all? haha. we don’t currently think of ourselves as free, but we feel like we’re close. on the other hand, we’ve saved up enough of a cushion at this point that we could in fact quit our jobs and live just fine for quite a few years. or take jobs that pay a lot less than we currently earn. but we’re so attached to the idea of early retirement in a few years that we feel a bit stuck, because we know our jobs are our only way to reach fi on our timeline. we work remotely from a small mountain town, so there aren’t any other jobs around here that could replace our income!
2. when was the last time you took a day off just for yourself (no family vacations, soccer games, etc)? it’s been a while. we both get major work guilt, and have trouble taking time off, something we’ll be glad to leave behind when we retire! our best bet for taking random days off is powder days, and we didn’t get a whole lot of those this past ski season. boo!
3. if you had to, could you retire today? if not, what is standing in your way? we sure could, though it would require some serious adjustments. for one, we’d have to sell our house, and either move somewhere where we could get a home for under $150,000, or we’d go full-time rv. we’re not quite there on being able to retire in our current home, or even in any home in our area. we’re pretty attached to this place, and hope to stick around!
4. do you plan on working after retirement? if so, what would you like to do? our vision is this: we never want to have to work again, but we’re definitely willing to work, if it’s work we enjoy, and it doesn’t cramp our style too much. the mr. would really like to be a ski patroller at some point, and the ms. will probably provide some consulting support to local nonprofits. we also have some art hobbies we enjoy, and it would be super awesome if that could provide some income at some point! but we’re open to possibilities on the work front. we have every intention of keeping our minds active!
5. do you consider yourself to be successful? how do you personally define success? we define success a lot of different ways, and are doing better on some measures than others. we feel successful on the financial front, which we define as having paid off our consumer and student debt a while back, maintaining a high savings rate for several years, having a clear and achievable early retirement plan, and meeting savings targets that we’ve set for ourselves every year. on the work front, we both feel successful, but we don’t care too much about that, except to the degree that it supports our fire plan. where we’re doing less well is stress and exercise. to us, success is feeling grounded and not too stressed out, and our current work situation makes those much harder to achieve than we’d like! and, man, that big couch just has a stronger pull some day than our bikes do! can’t wait til early retirement when we can treat exercise as the thing we do during “work” hours, and still have lots of time leftover to hang out.
and dtdg’s questions:
1. when you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? he wanted to be a doctor, and she wanted to be an astronaut, at least until the challenger explosion. after that, it was nuclear physicist. our actual careers ended up coming nowhere close to our childhood aspirations! by the time we got to college, we were burnt out on math, so science fields were off the table.
2. what is the coolest/most memorable place you’ve visited? he: the tetons for nature’s majesty, or italy for culture. or the swiss alps (especially lauterbrunnen) for both. she: probably the redwoods in far northern california. those unfathomably large, ancient trees are just magical. it’s like little elves might pop out at any time. or the big island of hawaii, where pele is making new land every day.
3. if money was not an issue and you could indulge in one thing, what would it be? travel! we’d go everywhere, do everything, and fly first class while we’re at it. :-)
4. what is the best compliment you’ve ever gotten? hard question! probably that we’re both good at staying calm when things get chaotic.
5. what legacy would you like to leave? legacy is touchy for people who don’t plan to have kids and who plan to leave our careers before we reach the pinnacle! we’ve always said we hope to leave the planet in better shape than we found it, but we also just believe in spreading kindness. smiling at strangers and saying hello, striking up conversations, being nice to those whose job is to serve. there’s so much self-absorption in the world, and we try hard not to feed that, and to be responsible stewards of the planet’s dwindling resources.
6. what do you prefer: beach or mountains (this should an easy one)? for people who moved to the mountains, this should be an easy question! obviously we love the mountains, since we chose to make our home here. but we love us some beach, too! warm or cold, sunny or cloudy, rocky or sandy — we love any beach, any day. mountains probably win the tie-breaker, though, just based on the view out the window. ;-)
passing one question out to all of you! what’s the coolest place you’ve ever been? we want to add it to our list of places to visit once we pull the ripcord! have a fab weekend!