today we’re continuing the about series started by think save retire. we love this idea, and hope you’ll do it too! the idea is to share details not covered by your “about” page.
why did we start this blog? no one knows, when starting a blog, if anyone else will ever see what you write. we knew that going in, and started writing this blog for us. we know that life has a way of making you forget the details once you’re past some stage of your life, and then compressing that time period in your memory. we’re on the road to early retirement, and when we started this blog back in january, we were just about three years from our planned fi day. we wanted to chronicle our journey of getting to early retirement, so that we’d one day be able to look back and remember what this time in our lives was like. we’ve written about the importance of living for today even when you’re running like hell toward some future goal, and we didn’t want to gloss over this period in our lives. we were also inspired by a lot of travelers who write beautiful blogs accompanied by gorgeous photography, and we always assumed we’d start one of those once we retired. but we decided there was no reason to wait — that we could chronicle our journey leading up to early retirement, and then continue chronicling our very different journey after pulling the ripcord.
what’s the point of our next life? we think of our next life as a “life blog” that exists in the personal finance space. we write about money principles sometimes, but we think lots of other bloggers have that stuff covered. we started with the goal of chronicling what we were going through in planning for early retirement — the feelings. the actual feeling that induced us to start writing was when we actually felt more tied to our jobs by our fire plan than we would have if we had no long-term financial goals, which was something we hadn’t heard anyone talk about. pretty quickly, we were surprised by how many of you awesome humans started connecting with us and having great conversations, and we revised what we see as our blog’s value. what we try to spur, now, are conversations about the non-money side of early retirement: what does it feel like to prepare for early retirement? how will we define ourselves without careers? what will our early retirement look like? what might we actually miss about work? and when we do write about money, it’s just to share what works for us, never to espouse one-size-fits-all advice, like how we pay ourselves first, or even the best bad money decision we ever made. because we’re not frugal by nature, and we’re not certified financial planners. we’ve just found a system that’s working for us.
what do we get out of it? our next life is not our first blog, but it’s definitely the one that has excited us the most. our other blogs have been on equally specific topics, but in communities that are far less supportive than the pf space. the connections we have with all of you are what keep us motivated to write, even when we don’t feel like we have anything to say. so if you’re a lurker by nature, and aren’t into commenting, consider commenting somewhere, even if not on our blog. the connections you make might just change your life. they’ve definitely made a big impact on ours! you guys help keep us accountable, and have helped us ramp up our savings even more. you’ve also kept us eager to engage in the pf blogland community, where we learn new things all the time. plus, it’s just fun. that counts for a lot.
what’s the name all about? we wanted the blog name to be a reflection of our current aspirations, with a vaguely mystical sound to it. and just like with reincarnation, we hope that our next life will be one in which we are more evolved, more conscious, and serve a higher purpose than our widget-making, stressful careers now. (we don’t actually make widgets, but we might as well.) we feel super crazy lucky and fortunate to have the privilege of planning for early retirement, and we plan to make the most of every single day in our next life.
what’s in our blog header? we’re hiding out in all the pics in the header. the ms. is in the pics on either end, and the mr. is in the two in the center. the pics gives the deceptive impression that the ms. is the jockish one, when it’s actually the other way around. we just love those shots, and they represent what our next life is all about: getting off the beaten path and spending more time exploring the most beautiful places on the planet.
who writes our blog? we’ve never intended to obfuscate the voices here. mostly we just have no practice at taking on alter egos, and so the whole idea of code names for ourselves has felt, if not odd, at least like something neither of us were keen to pounce on. so we’ve never labeled ourselves as mr. onl and mrs. onl. or any of the other clever monikers that readers have suggested. (though thanks for those!) and, one day, we will reveal who we are. the industry in which we both work is a small and insular world, where total loyalty is required, and we’d be quickly found out. we can’t risk that, because we now live in a small town where we couldn’t reproduce our current income level, and that would mess up our whole plan. but we’ll come out from behind the curtain as soon as we can! in the meantime, we’ll share that it’s our female half who does 90 percent of the writing here, and is our voice on twitter. but we don’t anticipate that to be the case forever. the mr. just has a more demanding job, despite the fact that the ms. travels far more for work, and hasn’t had the time he’s wanted to write. despite the division of labor so far on the writing, we’re equal partners in all things finance and planning, and we talk about most of our blog topics before we actually write them out.
where do we think the blog is headed? in our past blogs, we’ve done ads and even a few sponsored posts. we’re not eager to do those things again. and while we won’t promise that we’ll never monetize the blog in some way, that’s more than we want to think about right now. we also just like that our little part of the internet has no flash ads on it, and nothing that we don’t want here. as far as where we’re headed on content, we don’t know! we don’t have any big goals here, except to keep connecting with more people, and continuing to get closer to early retirement. we would love input on content you’d like to see, so please leave a comment or email us at ournextlifeblog [at] gmail dot com if you have thoughts!
what are some random fun facts about us that we’ve never shared here before? we mostly eat healthily, but we have a completely juvenile weakness for tater tots. we love rollercoasters, but not spinny rides. we’re super goofy with each other, and we’re actually kind of glad that not having kids will never force us to grow up. but we can completely nerd out on serious stuff — we watch frontline and read the economist, and manage our money like grown-ups. we each think the other is the funniest (and cutest) person we know, which makes us feel all kinds of lucky. and on the less schmoopy front, we’re diehard fans of the football teams from our home towns, but we don’t care too much about any other sports. we’ll happily attend any sporting event in person, though.
why no caps? haha — we’ve gotten this question a few times. we just think that all lowercase looks a lot calmer and more relaxed, and that’s the vibe we’re going for.
okay, in the spirit of sharing, what’s one fun fact about you that you feel like telling all of us? and who’s up for continuing the about series challenge??