Our Next Life Turns 1 // Our First Blogiversary!

hiya! tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of our first ever post here (titled “hiya“), and as the tradition goes, we’re going to reflect a little about our first year of blogging here at our next life, as well as take a big look forward… and share some totally goofy facts about ourselves. but most of all, we want your feedback! we’d love to hear from you about how we can keep improving in year #2. so please chime in in the comments!

to celebrate the day, here’s more of us than we’ve ever shown before, from canyonlands national park, during last summer’s trip to moab, utah. (moab is crazy awesome, but maybe don’t go in the summer. soooooo hot.)

moab_couple

 

looking back at year one

as gretchen rubin likes to say, “the days are long, but the years are short.” that’s how this blog feels to us — both like we’ve been at it for so many days, and like we just snapped our fingers and got to the end of the first year. this is post number 121, so we’ve certainly written plenty — about 120,000 words total, divided into almost exactly 10 posts a month. according to google, the average mystery novel is about 60,000 words, so we’ve cranked out two of those. (that makes me feel good about the goal of being an author after we retire! at least we know i can stick to a writing habit and get words down!) it took us a little time to figure out that two, sometimes three, posts a week feels right for us, but we always knew this wasn’t going to be a blog with new content every day and short posts, since i have a much easier time writing 1500 words on a subject than 300 words. know thyself. ;-) and it definitely took a while to figure out exactly the right voice for the blog, but we purposely try to make our posts encouraging and filled with positivity — that’s what we’re about in actual life, especially now that we’ve stopped complaining about work — but still share the real us, not some sugar-coated, curated version.

related: our next life by the numbers // our 100th post

the two best things about blogging here have been 1. how doing so has made us take a closer look at our habits, and as a result motivated us to level up our savings and goal-setting, and 2. connecting with so many of you, and feeling all the love in this community! we never would have imagined that starting a blog in the personal finance/financial independence space would lead to so many more interactions than we’d ever seen in our previous blogs (we’ll talk about those, too, when we retire and can unmask ourselves!). this is just an incredibly generous space, and we’re so grateful to all of you who have commented here or connected with us on twitter — it makes it all so worth it.

lessons learned

it probably makes sense that if you blog consistently for a year, you’re going to learn a few things. here are some of our top lessons gleaned from the past 364 days:

  1. write inspired. all of our posts with the most interactions and shares are the ones we wrote when super inspired, not the ones we cranked out because of our self-imposed deadlines. the best ones of all happened when i was can’t-sit-still excited about what i was writing about.
  2. be open to inspiration from any source. the inspiration for our best posts hasn’t come from the pf community at all, but from random books, tv shows, conversations with strangers, and travel moments… lots and lots of travel moments. stay open to all of it.
  3. respond to everyone. i’ve said it before, and i’ll say it again: getting into awesome conversations in the comments is the best part of blogging. if you blog and you don’t respond thoughtfully to people’s comments, you’re missing out. plus, it’s only fair to respond after people have taken the time to comment. we feel like plenty of our ideas for posts have come from things people wrote in comments here.
  4. don’t worry about the conventional wisdom if it takes away the fun. there are lots of “blog rules,” and we follow very few of them. we don’t fill our posts with pictures. we don’t put a trademark on our photos (even though they are our photos, never stock). we don’t post super often, compared to some. we write way too many words. has not doing those things hurt our traffic? maybe. but the way we’re doing it feels right to us, and that keeps it feeling fun, not like a chore.
  5. keep it real. from the beginning, we’ve done our best to make this an honest chronicle of our path to early retirement, and best of all, we’ve found that some of our best posts have come from sharing our challenges. but they’ve also come from sharing our high five moments. we want to keep sharing the whole journey, good and bad.
  6. treat others like real people. they could become real friends! it sounds weird to say, because of course we’re all real people, but there are so many of us in pf blogland who never reveal our faces or the personal details of our lives, and it’s easy to think of others as faceless automatons. and yet, over the course of the year, we’ve come to see some of those faceless folks as real friends. just last weekend, as soon as i heard the news of the alaska earthquake, i thought, “i hope maggie and her family are okay!” someone i’ve never met, don’t know what she looks like, and yet i was genuinely concerned. this stuff is real, yo.

to make us a little more real, here are some ridiculous fun facts about us that we’ve never shared before, some of which belong fully on a fill-the-bucket list (more to come on that front next week!).

ms. onl: sometimes i snort when i laugh. i can recite every word to clueless. i’m constantly searching for the perfect gluten-free donut (or kale smoothie — you know, same thing). i have an amazing knack for making derp face in photos. and nothing makes me geek out harder than military aircraft (which is ironic because i don’t, you know, like war).

F18jpg
geeking out with the f/a-18 at miramar. yes, miramar! where top gun was filmed! you can’t see my massive grin from getting to touch the plane, and from having just gotten to fly the real simulator.

 

harrier
right before i got to *get in* the harrier in yuma. you can’t see the sweet helmet they made me wear.

mr. onl: gets just as excited about eating someplace fancy (like that time we went to per se — in the baller days) as someplace low-brow (like kfc, or some rib shack by the side of the road). has done the high brow kind of skiing (heliskiing) and the low brow kind (ski bumming), and loves them both.

looking ahead

we can’t believe how much our voice has evolved since starting the blog, and we’re excited to see how much more we grow as writers in the next year. we have a bunch of ideas for content we want to write, and questions we want to put out there. but we’d love you to weigh in! we’re floored on a regular basis by how many of you take the time to comment, and that has given us some great feedback. but we know there are lots of you who read the blog and never comment (and that’s cool, too! we’re glad you’re here!). for commenters and lurkers alike, we’d love to know what keeps you coming back here, and what you’d like to see more or less of. we’re going to keep writing in a way that is authentic to us, but we have a list of potential topics that has more than 100 ideas on it, and giving us some feedback would help us pick which of those ideas would be of greatest interest to all of you. so feel free to share anything and everything you think we can do to keep evolving and adding value to the personal finance blogosphere. tell us in the comments, or if you want to leave feedback anonymously, we set up a survey here. it’s 10 short questions, and we are super grateful to anyone who takes the time to click over there.

we’ve got some longer term ideas for evolving the blog, but some of those are probably a bit farther off, since work limits how much time we can devote… for now. once we quit in two year or less, all bets are off! i’m also attending #fincon16 in san diego this summer, so i’m sure i’ll come back from that with a bajillion ideas. hope to see lots of you there!

most of all, thank you!

while we can’t remember exactly what inspired us to start this blog, or what we thought we’d get out of it, we can without a doubt say that we never thought it would all be so much fun! that’s thanks to all of you who read the blog, leave super thoughtful comments or connect with us on twitter. this has quickly become our number one hobby, and the thing we’re most eager to spend time on when we’re not working (or :::cough, cough::: sometimes while working). we can’t imagine not writing for another year or two or ten if it stays fun like it is now. you guys rock! xoxo

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92 thoughts on “Our Next Life Turns 1 // Our First Blogiversary!

  1. Congrats on reaching the one year mark for the blog, guys! It’s a milestone that’s more meaningful than some people care to realize. It’s far too easy to give up or lose interest in keeping up a blog, but to many of us, it’s just a lot of fun. I definitely know you’re right there with us. I can tell the enjoyment that you get out of writing for ONL.

    Thanks for the pictures – I’m a bit of a military aircraft nerd as well though I’ve never gotten to control a simulator. Remember a show called Dogfights? One of my all-time favorites that sadly isn’t on any longer. Loved that show. Amazing animation.

    And ah yes, Vegas – my hand may very well have been on that same artificial breast at one point in my life. Of course, some big dude walking down the strip dressed as a woman asked me to do the same with him, which was strangely less satisfying.

    Here’s a virtual *high five*! Keep up the good work – it’s the thought-provoking aspect of your blog that always keeps me coming back. You guys definitely cover the softer side of early retirement (as I do in my ways), and I thoroughly enjoy reading your perspective.

    1. You are totally going to make Mr. ONL’s day for being a fellow statue boob grabber. That one is next to a pool at Caesar’s, if that helps you place it. :-)

      It’s awesome to know that our sense of fun and excitement comes through — we definitely feel those in a big way! And even better to know that what we’re writing is sometimes thought-provoking. The best compliment you could give us. :-) Thanks for being a great supporter and friend in our first year! Looking forward to many more, along with you guys!

        1. Wow, Steve. That’s such a nice compliment. Really appreciate it. And we just had a date night and (finally) saw Star Wars, so great weekend indeed! :-) Hope you guys are having a blast.

    1. Absolutely the greatest — especially when WordPress lets your comments through! :-) We feel like we have three times as many friends now as we did a year ago — definitely something we never would have expected. Thanks for the congrats!

  2. Congrats on reaching the 1 year mark!

    For me it’s your excitement and passion. It really comes through in yalls writing. For some reason I picture yall reading the posts to me but you can’t stay still because there’s just too much energy. Getting your voice and passion to come through in words on a screen is difficult so I applaud you both on that.

    Looking forward to the next year from you guys!

    1. Thanks, JC! And that’s a pretty good image you have — I’m kind of a spazz when I get excited about something. ;-) (Though Mr. ONL is a more subdued person than I am.) But what a nice compliment — thank you!

  3. Congrats on the one year anniversary! I have to say, I try to follow most of your blog rules too, and short posts, ugh – know thyself indeed. I can’t contain any story to 500 words. Like this comment most likely… I also try to tell a story or be personable in my posts, and find it really, really, hard to write when I’m uninspired. It’s like cooking, if you do it mad and angry it shows in the food, but if you do it with a smile and put some love in it, it gets that “umami” you just can’t find in any ingredient. So, I try not to force my writing because it shows, it definitely shows. Hence the slower blog posts lately. I’m sure not everyone keeps wanting to hear about the state of the oil industry, and it’s been hard getting inspired on other topics, but fear not, some good posts are ready for the upcoming weeks :) and they only slightly mention the state of our industry, lol.
    I think it’s great you guys can keep up the posts, and I enjoy reading them. I also have to say that I too think about everyone on here as friends even though we’ve never met. Getting to know someone through their writing and stories is pretty intimate in a way, more so than catching up over drinks and dinner somewhere. It’s hard not to feel connected, and especially with responses on comments. It IS like a little conversation that keeps going past the original post itself. Okay, my Friday ramble is over, and maybe this stayed under 500 words, but if not – know thyself and also thy keen knack for creating ridiculously long and sometimes mostly well strung together run on sentences like this one. :)
    Oh I almost forgot, I’m a big aviation buff, and I love living so close to IAH. I get to see massive jets come in for landing, it’s easy to go plane spotting and get to be near the end of one of the runways, and I get excited every time I see a big jet lumbering along on its way to some exotic destination like shanghai, Dubai, or Cleveland…. I always get that sense of excitement that comes when you’re in a plane and you start the descent, but for me it peaks, when the wheels come out and you are on that final approach right before landing knowing you’re about to get off the plane. Even just watching them I feel the same excitement of “about to land” or “just took off”. Both equally exciting. And short comment fail…. :)

    1. Ooh, I love that umami analogy! So true! And that’s a great way to put it, too — we try to “cook” with love. There’ve been a few times when we’ve felt the need to respond to something we saw online somewhere that made us upset, and we’ve ended up scrapping most of those posts, because they ultimately just felt like angry cooking. And it’s so true about writing being intimate — we definitely share more about most of this stuff here than we ever would with even close friends! (In part because we don’t want to sound preachy or make them feel judged for making different choices with their money — finances are so touchy!)

      And that sounds SO AWESOME, getting to watch those planes come in. When we lived in the big city, my side hustle was in a spot up on a hill with a perfect view of the landing approach for a very large international airport, and I loved seeing those lumbering A380s come in. I knew the schedule and would sometimes run outside to make sure that I could see one particular flight come in each day. And now when I visit that city for work, I always rent from Hertz, not Budget, because the Hertz return lot is *right* under the landing path. We had a header photo a few months back of the underside of a plane, and that’s where it came from!

      Keep those long comments coming! We love it. ;-)

  4. Aw, I love this!!!!! Happy blogiversary, and thanks for sharing a little more about yourselves and your entertaining photos/hobbies. :)

    I love everything on your list of lessons — “write inspired” is one that I’ve been thinking a lot about myself lately. A couple of times I’ve had a whole post, or most of a post, written, but decided I was more excited about something else and ended up scribbling something new and posting that instead, and was much happier with it. Funny how that works.

    What a difference a year can make, eh? Congratulations on finishing the equivalent of two mystery novels! I feel very fortunate to have discovered your blog and hope you keep on writing even after you get to FIRE. And if all your traveling ever lands you in Boston with extra free time on your hands, you know how to reach me! :)

    1. Thanks, Sarah! Thanks for indulging our geekiness. :-) Write inspired has absolutely become the biggest lesson I blog by now, though of course I can’t *always* achieve it. But I think it’s palpable when I write from that place instead of from a “It’s Tuesday at 10 pm and I have nothing for tomorrow” kind of place. The comments *definitely* reflect that. And as for starting with one thing but going in another direction, I have over 30 posts sitting in my drafts that I started but have never finished (and probably never will finish!) — so you’re not alone. :-) I feel the same way about your blog, and am SO glad you’re lending your voice to our community! I’m so happy to see that you’ve had such great success in a short time. And I’ll for sure look you up when we’re in your neck of the woods next! :-)

  5. Happy anniversary! It boggles my mind that you’ve only been blogging a year. It seems like we’ve been tweeting much longer than that!
    More than any other blog, yours makes me think. There are so many challenges that come with what you want to do, I like how you explore them.
    You’re both skinnier than I expected. Is this what California does to people? Maybe I DO need to get out of the Midwest!

    1. I know — I feel like I’ve been following your debt payoff and savings journey much longer, too! And wow — that’s pretty much the nicest compliment you could give us. Spurring thought is what we hope to do, but of course it’s not as easy as just hoping for that! But thanks for that feedback — we’ll keep exploring the tough stuff!

      And — haha — I think I’m working the angles in that photo. Mr. ONL is still infuriatingly skinny, but I am definitely carrying the weight of a high stress career and busy travel schedule — it is HIGH on our post-retirement list to get back in the shape we used to be in!

    1. We have yet to get to Bryce, but it is HIGH on our list. Looks so amazing. And YES — everything about all of this has been so positive. We keep kicking ourselves for missing FinCon15 (we barely knew about it until about two weeks beforehand!), but can’t wait to go this year — we’re sure that will amp up our stoke even more! :-)

  6. I love Moab! Also went there in the summer, and its hot, but still beautiful. DH and I took a (pre-frugality, pre-kids) trip through the southwest and it is one of those things I can’t wait to do again once we FIRE. Maybe even before.

    Congrats on the blog! I am so impressed by your ability to keep turning out great posts, knowing that you also have a pretty intense work life. I can’t imagine having that much energy to write! I enjoy all your posts, but I think the ones I like the most are when you are working through the personal issues and overcoming the challenges that go along with choosing to retire early. I definitely do not have it all figured out, so its great to see how you deal with the hard emotional stuff.

    1. It’s almost hard to believe that any place could be as beautiful as southern Utah is — glad you’ve seen it, too! Thanks for the congrats, and the sweet note. :-) The secret is writing on those early morning flights! (And, in truth, sometimes late at night too.) We’ve somehow managed to keep the fun in it, which is very much the opposite of the writing we do for work, so it rarely feels like *work.* And thank you for the feedback on liking our emo/challenges posts the most — that’s great to know!

      And THANK YOU for chiming in to comment more, and joining our blog community! Are you on Twitter, or have a blog? We’d love to read it if you do!

  7. Wow!! Has it seriously only been one year?? CONGRATS you two!!! I feel like I’ve been reading from you both for a lot longer – but this statement is in the most positive way and here’s why:

    1) Forgetting the “rules” of blogging: By doing so, this element really provides a genuine space that I love coming back to! Every time I read your posts (with 1500 word character counts) makes me feel as if I get a true connection to your thoughts & perspectives. Also, I know one of the goals (from reading!) is to develop a written work as an author. It will be SO fun once that piece of work is published and I can look back on all the growth since the start. :)

    2) Your interaction: You both never hesitate to make those connections with each & every person and it’s definitely evident (I think you have the longest comments on average I have seen, and that’s incredible). Tied in with interaction, your photos (that are your own!) via posts & social media are absolutely stunning and stand out to me.

    3) A dual perspective: This is very relatable to me! I enjoy reading from a couple’s perspective because it allows me to open up conversations with my fiance (which we all know is challenging from the start, but then becomes a normalcy when suddenly you are high-fiving on your financial achievements)!

    4) Your airplane/travel adventures: This is another unique piece to your blog! I have never read (only heard) about such incredible travel journeys. I think I’ve mentioned before, but my biggest inspirations in life have usually come from airports/flights and this is another part of your writing that keeps me coming back. The connection to people aspect (and that you make the effort to do so even with complete strangers) is very important!

    I believe I could have so much more to say, but I will leave you with those 4. :) Congratulations again, I am so excited for you two!! Also – DEFINITELY can recite all the lines to Clueless as well. ;)

    1. Thanks so my, Alyssa! For everything — for reading and commenting so consistently, for being a great source of support and positivity in our blog community, for the well wishes, and for this wonderfully thoughtful and detailed comment! It’s pretty much the best thing ever to know that what we’re doing is resonating with you. :-) And thank you for the thoughtful feedback on what we’re doing right — we’ll do our best to keep it up! Have a fantastic weekend!

  8. Congrats on your first year! I’ve really enjoyed following you guys. A lot of what you post resonates with me and my goals for the future. I can’t wait to get to the point where I’m less focused on getting out of the trap and more focused on the next adventure. Good luck with year two. Can’t wait to read more.

    1. Thanks, Chuck! That’s awesome to hear! Our two cents would be — put some focus now, if you can, into the vision for the next adventure. That daydreaming can really help ease the stress of the rat race, and we’ve heard from a bunch of retired folks that having a clear vision for what you want to do in the next phase makes the transition a lot easier!

  9. You guys are the absolute greatest! CLUELESS?! Um, when the movie came out to rent, my cousins and I dressed up like Cher and went to rent it “in character” – the picture that resulted is still awesome. Congrats on the one-year mark guys! I’m so glad we’ve “met” you and I’m glad we’re friends.:) Keep doing what you’re doing. No need to change a thing! You a constant source of inspiration, encouragement, and change! So thanks for everything!

    1. I hope you’ll share that picture some day! :-) I definitely remember going, on opening night, and then buying the tape as soon as it was out in VHS. And sometimes I have to try really hard not to write Clueless references into the blog. :-) Huge thanks for your friendship, and for your super sweet comment! If that’s really true that we’re inspiring others, that’s basically the best thing we could ever hope to achieve. :-) (And I think that’s a new record for smileys in one comment!) :-) (Whoops! Make that four!)

  10. Happy anniversary, ONL! Whatever blog “rules” you’re breaking, keep it up! You’re writing some of the most insightful and inspirational content on the web. Do we really have to wait two more years for your unmasking and to learn which expensive ski town you call home? ;)

    Love the Canyonlands photo. I think that may be my favorite national park, partly because it’s been nearly empty when I’ve visited. I think the crowds skip it for the more car-accessible Utah parks. I’m hoping we’ll make it back there in the next couple months!

    1. Thanks, Matt! You’re my personal hero, btw — LOVED your post on FI (had no idea you did it SO fast!), and just haven’t commented yet. But that’s coming! Really appreciate your sweet note on our content — that means a ton. :-) And yeah, the Utah parks are beyond beautiful. Even Arches, as crowded as it is, it so inspiring. We still need to get to Capitol Reef and Bryce, though! I hear those are much less crowded. If you get out there, please share pictures!

        1. WOW! That is so cool. We are *definitely* going to have to plan around that schedule! Something we can’t wait to do in retirement is go mushroom hunting. You have to follow the rains, and be super flexible in your schedule, so it’s not something we can do while working. But I feel like this fits right into that idea of foraging (okay, maybe not really foraging since these are actual orchards). :-)

  11. Can’t believe you guys have been only at it for a year. I admire your consistency to keep cranking out such great content, knowing full well how hard it can be to stay on a schedule with life getting in the way.

    Keep up what you’re doing. Here’s to hoping to some day in the not too distant future turning our online friendship into a real world one with our exchanges taking place on a lift or at a crag instead of on our blogs!

    Cheers!
    EE

    1. Thanks! To be honest, I’m impressed too. :-) Just because work really is as busy as we say, and it would be easy to let the writing slide. But it’s so fun that we make it a priority. And yes, here’s to chatting FI on the slopes one day! :-)

  12. Congrats on the anniversary! Way to keep it real. It has been a pleasure reading your posts. Hard to believe that you guys are only at 1 year.

    1. Thanks, Tawcan! Really appreciate your note — and sometimes it DOES feel like it’s been longer than a year, but then I also can’t believe that the meetings I had on Monday were only four days ago. So I think that’s just how it goes! :-D

  13. Congratulations- yours is one of the most consistently interesting blogs to follow in the FIRE space. I started a couple weeks before you and am AMAZED at how successful you have been in building a following. Great content + a real passion for what others are up to = success. Keep it up!

    1. Wow, thank you! I don’t think we’d be nearly as successful if it wasn’t so much fun for us — but then that’s largely the community, not us. So we feel like we’re benefiting big time from a virtual cycle.

  14. Hi guys I’m a long time reader, first time commenter! I look forward to your blog and ‘save’ it for when I can read it properly. You are really inspiring and I love it how you keep it real.
    I really love your photos, they are so different from my environment (I live on the coast of Australia).
    I love this community of FI-ers. It keeps me going when it gets tough. Look forward to year 2!

    1. Thanks for commenting for the first time! And thanks for reading. :-) So many nice compliments here — thanks for all of them! I don’t think we ever would have imagined, when we started, that people on the other side of the planet would ever read us, so you definitely made our day. :-)

  15. Happy Anniversary guys! It’s true reaching the one year mark is a milestone, many fade away far to soon before reaching this point. It is such a great community! Such great friends. We share so many personal things, so even if we have never met we do feel like we know each other well. Here’s to a great 2nd year of blogging!

  16. Did you say 10 posts a month? I have trouble doing TWO a month lol!

    Congratulations. I’ve just recently started following you guys and I like what I see!

    Blogging is tough, especially when you start and you see that some of your friends and family don’t read it. But it’s fellow bloggers like you guys that inspire me to keep going on! It’s nice to find people online that are into personal finance as I am!

    Here’s to many more years!

    1. Thanks, Vic! What’s funny is I actually think that 2 posts a week is easier to achieve than 2 posts a month, because then I stay more disciplined about the writing. Sort of like fitness — it’s easier to work out often than once in a while, because then you’re in better shape, and any given workout is less “work.” Or anyway that’s true for me. :-) And we are totally in the same boat in terms of friends and family not reading (which is a little weird!), but can’t believe how awesome this community has turned out to be. We feel so lucky. Thanks for reading!

  17. Many congratulations to you both ONL! I am inspired by your honesty and consistency in posting–something that I’ve struggled with personally in my blog. You both are fascinating people and I love following your journey! Here’s to the next year and beyond ONL!

    1. Wow, thanks so much, Mrs MoneysWorth! The consistency has been tough at times, but I’ll definitely say it’s gotten easier with practice. And it’s just become something we do on Sundays and Tuesdays — write for the blog. Like any other scheduled activity. Just offering that in case it helps you! But thanks for the sweet comment! Here’s to a great year for you too. :-)

  18. Happy Bloganiversary!

    It’s fun reading about your journey, and the honesty is felt through the text!
    I personnaly really enjoy your process, and thoughts around your project. I like the spirit of it, looking at the differents and positive aspects of it, and sharing the fun of being in the last mile of it.

    Since we are mountains enthusiasts, of about the same age, and we are also on a FIRE track, I find really easy to relate to your writing!

    Our own blog is just getting started, and we are discovering the fun of it. Even if our readership is anecdotal, and that is it our first blog, it inspire us to see other making a great job out of it. (I envy a bit the english PF community, since there is no such things that I’m aware of in french, so networking is much more challenging, but that’s another story).

    So Happy anniversary, we will keep on reading!

    1. Thank you for that nice compliment! I’m so glad that you’re enjoying what we’re writing. :-) And how cool that we have so much in common! It does seem like the U.S./Canada FI community has sprung up pretty quickly, so it seems like Europe is due for its own growth in the space very soon. There are more and more European FI bloggers, it seems. Have you “met” Amber Tree Leaves? I know he’s in Belgium, but believe he’s francophone. Merci beaucoup pour les comments tres gentils! (Was that even close to correct? My French is rusty!) ;-)

      1. We are in Canada !

        Just the french part of it. We could write in english, but we decided to write in french at first, because, well, we do this for fun. And we find important to contribute to the local culture as well as the global one. So while we may decide to write in both languages at some point, french it is, for the moment!

        Having a toddler, kind of limit the time we have for the blog!

        My english is peppered with syntax errors. As you can probably see !
        Your french is very good ! (the only error is that the french word for comments is commentaires =)

        Bon anniversaire encore !

    1. Thanks, Claudia! I just had this realization that I need to write like 110 more posts this year. Deep breaths, deep breaths. Maybe I’ll just take ’em one at a time. :-) Can’t wait to meet you guys at FinCon!!

  19. Yay one year! I love reading your posts. So happy, so insightful, covers a lot of topics. I guess I really respond to the ones that aren’t super in depth with numbers, but are more about lifestyle management. Also, Clueless rocks and I will fight anyone who makes fun of it!

    1. Thanks, Kara! That’s all so sweet of you to say! I feel like number posts aren’t our strong suit (especially since we don’t share actual numbers!), and plenty of other bloggers have the financial “rules” covered plenty well. So I’m glad you enjoy the more lifestyle-focused posts more, since that’s what we think we can contribute to the space. I keep trying to think of the perfect Clueless quote to end this comment. How about: I’ll be seeing you! Yeah, I hope not sporadically! :-)

  20. Congratulations on your blogging anniversary. We all start blogs for different reasons and perhaps different expectations. What I never expected were the friendships forged and the sense of community. While your blog centers around finances, mine centers around RVing, and connecting with others with a common thread has been amazing. Here’s to another thought provoking blogging year with an ever bulging bank account!

    1. Thanks, Ingrid! Agree with you 100% — the friendships and the community are the most unexpected and the very best part. Look forward to following along with your adventures this year, as well — maybe we’ll see you out on the road one day! :-)

  21. Congrats on the milestone! I’ve been following your journey since August and I look forward to every post. I connect with you guys on your former “baller” days and then making the decision to take your lives in a different direction. I’m in that boat too! In fact, thanks to you and a few other finance blogs, I even started my own blog in December. And now I’ve started my own Accounting business (I’m a CPA)! I’m excited to keep following along with your journey. You are very inspiring. :)

    1. Wow, that’s such a nice compliment. Thank you! Glad to know we’re not alone in being reformed spenders. :-) And it’s so great that you started your own blog! Doing that for sure changed our trajectory, and I hope it does the same for you! Good luck with your business. I hope it gives you the opportunity to work on your own terms. :-)

  22. What I love about this blog is obviously the continually strong content that is very easy to relate to, but also that you guys don’t seem to be interested in monetizing it, so there’s never any question about your authenticity, despite your anonymity. :D

    Best wishes to another year and hopefully “removing the masks” will be an exciting experience for you.

    1. Wow, thanks TJ! Making money off the blog has never been our goal (honestly, we mostly just hoped a few people would read it!), and that’s definitely not something we’re thinking about anytime soon. Thanks for your kind wishes! The day when we can quit our jobs and unmask ourselves can’t get here soon enough. :-)

      1. You’re totally welcome! I maybe forgot to mention that I’m incredibly envious that you both were able to find someone who is on board with the “next life” concept!

        Why is it that sometimes seeking companionship in life seems like an infinitely larger hurdle to jump than reaching FIRE itself? ;)

        1. That’s a tough question — we for sure just lucked into each wanting early retirement. It definitely wasn’t a criterion that either of us used in dating. BUT, I’m sure we sensed in each other a sympatico view on the importance of career (which is: not super important in the scheme of things), and thank goodness for that, because if we’d judged each other on finances, Mr. ONL would not have looked twice at me. I had yet to get my act together and was a bit of a financial trainwreck in those early days. :-)

  23. Hey ONL,

    congrats with your 1 year blog anniversary. It is a nice tough to add some picture of the two of you in regular life… I do not mind the anonymity (I stay anonymous myself), but in the end I think we are all curious and a little voyeur, are we not?

    The last weeks, I came to realise your advice nr 2: be open to inspiration for a blog post. My last inspiration came during a techno concert… I guess having fun an being relaxed creates a state of unconscious creativity. It can surprise you with connecting the dots on some thoughts.

    Keep on blogging

    1. We’re planning to share more pictures this year, so this is just the start of that trend. :-) And what a great source of inspiration! We love music and concerts, so I can definitely see how that would happen!

  24. Happy 1 year blog birthday, and nice to see your bodies (sorry if that sounds creepy!). :)
    I like that you’re getting more personal and am excited to see the big reveal when you retire later this year!!

    1. Haha — That’s hilarious. :-) Given the market performance, our big reveal is probably still close to two years off, but we’re excited about it nonetheless. And we’re going to try to share more personal stuff in the meantime. :-)

  25. Even though I am 1 year into my early retirement, your blog is one I continue to read as so much of what you talk about is inspiring even after the big-day. Congrats on one year of blogging. I LOVE your tone of voice, the variation on topics. I don;t care if the blogs are a bit longer than they say (I tend to be a bit verbous on topics myself). I cannot believe you can keep up 2-3 posts a week, and have for a year. My goal is one a week and sometimes I struggle to be inspired to write that! (Can I steal some of your 100 ideas?!?) Looking forward to your next 120 posts….

    1. That is such a nice compliment, Pat. Thank you! And based on your note and a few others, I think we’re doing to do a post on how we manage to blog as much as we do, as well as offer some tips for getting ideas for topics. (And maybe we’ll even include a list of things to consider writing about.) But I really do think it’s actually easier to write more often than less often, because you keep that writing muscle in shape, and for me at least, the inspiration flows more easily the more I do it.

  26. Wow, congrats on one year of awesome! I really enjoyed the recent post about purpose and seeing what y’all want to do in retirement. I know that’s kinda personal, but I would love to hear more talk about that! :)

  27. Very fun post! We similarly ignore many of the blogging rules–too long, infrequent posts and we only have time for so much social media interaction, though we enjoy all the interaction of reading and writing blogs. We’d love to read a book by you!

  28. Well, hellllloooooo there! I just stumbled upon this blog today! And wow! Already, I feel like I’m meeting up with some new friends! I think your writing style is cute as hell, and I would love to share a virtual toddy with you both! And while I don’t grab statue anatomy, I have been known to climb up on a Bob’s Big Boy and plant a big wet one on his cheek! My hubs and I started our Encore Voyage when I told my school district employer, “Thanks, but no thanks,” and then soon after, Jeremy was given “the opportunity to reinvent himself!” We, too, started our blog to tell the story. I am currently in the process of moving An Encore Voyage over to WordPress, but let’s compare notes! Glad I found you!

    Lynn

    1. Hi Lynn — Nice to “meet” you! Glad you found us. I am positive I’ve posed with a few Big Boys over the years, too. :-) Congrats on finding your freedom! What a wonderful thing.

  29. I’m a little late on the 1 year anniversary, but I blame the flu or global warming or the economy, yeah one of those. Either way congrats and as someone wise once said “keep, keeping on”.

  30. I think I’m beating everyone on the lateness for my congrats to you guys. But making it to one year is a big deal and I sincerely wanted to congratulate you for reaching this milestone. To many more!

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