How Do You Define Financial Independence? // + a Very Full Bucket

today’s is a post in two parts. enjoy!

part 1 — how do you define financial independence?

we were recently reading a post by the no nonsense landlord, who is a total pro at real estate investing (we’re dabblers, not pros), and he said that he now knows that he is financially secure, even though we’d actually describe him as super duper uber secure. like mega cashflow each month from rentals plus a pension plus investment savings. super duper uber ultra mega secure, maybe. but then we got to thinking about the difference between financially secure (which we clearly are, thanks to being at this for several years now) and financially independent (fi).

and it made us wonder: are we actually financially independent already?

How do you define financial independence? // Our Next Life -- early retirement, personal finance, financial freedom

our community likes to talk about “fire” (financial independence, retire early) a lot, which has the effect of conflating the two concepts. but they’re actually different, and not just in terms of whether you decide to work or not. early retirement theoretically means that you have saved up the resources to be able to live your chosen lifestyle ad infinitum. but financial independence just means that you no longer need to work for money.

and though we’re down on the year like everyone else, we still socked a considerable sum away at the end of last year that took our mortgage balance way down and boosted our taxable savings way up. here’s where we are now — do you think this qualifies as fi?

  • we currently have enough liquid assets saved up that we could cash them out, pay off the remaining mortgage on our home, and the remaining mortgage on our rental property, and still have some cash leftover (think in the range of a very large emergency fund). we have no other debt.
  • with no mortgage on the rental, the rental income would be cash flow, along with the principle and interest we get each month from the personal loan we made. we could survive on just this cash flow with frugal living, and would owe very little in taxes and would get very cheap aca health insurance with that income level.
  • our well-funded 401(k) (and maybe social security) would still be there for us when we reach our 60s, so we could step up our quality of life a bit, or we could do the roth conversion ladder with some of the funds in the intervening years to raise our income a little.
  • all of our contingencies would still be in place to free up money as needed: we could still downsize our home to free up capital, sell our rental, move into our rental and sell or rent the main home, move to a lower cost of living area, go full-time rv, etc.

um, you guys. i think we’ve hit financial independence.

do you agree? how do you define fi? of course, we posit that while fi is a necessary condition to reach early retirement, it is not sufficient. so being fi doesn’t mean we can retire today, or at least we can’t retire the way we want to. we want to retire in a way that lets us travel a lot, stay in our house, occasionally buy actual things (i know — gasp!), afford organic groceries, sometimes go out to eat, travel a lot, and travel a lot. oh, and travel a lot. plus more travel. that means we’ve still got a little ways to go. we plan to pay off our house before we quit, but we’ll keep the mortgage on the rental and let our tenant pay that off for us, retaining our capital for investment growth. and we want to have a lot more money invested when we pull the plug than could constitute a large emergency fund. so we beat on, boats against the current.*

related: our current retirement timeline // and then january happened

*wednesday it was hunter s. thompson, today it’s f. scott fitzgerald. love authors with those self-important initials.

part 2 — our fill-the-bucket list

we’re super late to the party on this one, but we love the sentiment, and we love maggie, so we didn’t want to miss out! today we’re finally joining the fill the bucket club. and boy, does our bucket runneth over. we’re huge believers that happy people are grateful, and we love moments like these, when we can take a step back and say, whoa! we have a ton to be grateful for!

we’ve experienced a lot of awesome things, together and separately, through work, in our personal lives, and sometimes just by keeping our eyes open and appreciating what’s right around us. and we’re not going to try to downplay this: we’ve been extraordinarily lucky. some of that luck we’ve created for ourselves, some of it is true chance, and some of it is the very definition of privilege (sorry, steve). ;-) we don’t want to retire early and travel the world because we’ve never seen any of it — we want to travel the world because we’ve gotten a taste, and we’re hungry for more. here goes…

ms. onl

i was featured on good morning america once. over something totally silly and ridiculous. thanks to the google, i can’t say more without revealing my identity, but i’ll share more about this someday.

i still kinda can’t believe this one is true, but it is. i saw one of the mars rovers at the jet propulsion laboratory (jpl) before it went to mars. yes, something i laid eyes on is now on mars. MARS. the planet that you’ve heard of. that matt damon may still be stranded on, for all we know, since we only saw the trailer, not the movie. it’s still toodling around and sending back pictures. maybe it’s sentient and remembers meeting me? maybe it’s like some kind of interplanetary american tail “somewhere out there” moment. no? okay.


a replica of the mars rover i saw

i touched the berlin wall when it was still fully intact, when it seemed like it would stay that way forever. and then i touched it again when it was just fragments, a reminder of the old iron curtain, and a divided europe.


as shared in our blogiversary post, i got to touch the f/a-18 at miramar (former top gun!) and fly the simulator, and get into the harrier at yuma.


mr. onl

shook hands with a u.s. president.

spent a season as a ski bum in jackson hole, the mecca of american skiing. his only regret: that he couldn’t grow a proper ski bum beard while there. :-)

learned to backcountry ski, and skied in some seriously rugged and beautiful mountains.


went heliskiing, twice. (something i never plan to do, btw, even if it was free — which it is so not.) but he loved it.


managed, coached and played on his university’s volleyball team, and took them to nationals for the first time ever in the history of the school.

the lesson from all of this: i am a huge nerd, mr. onl is a stud athlete.


we’ve both jumped out of a perfectly good airplane — mr. onl has done it twice. and when i did it, it was because he surprised me and gave me no other choice. but it was awesome!


we’ve each finished at least one marathon (ms. onl: 1, mr. onl: 4). we are not fast runners (okay, i’m not a fast runner), but we still got through the miles. we ran one half marathon together, and mr. onl was nice enough to slow down to my pace. :-)


running the las vegas half marathon together several  years back

we climbed the highest peak in the lower 48, mt. whitney. our favorite thing up there: the highest toilet in america:


we ate at some super fancy pants restaurants during our baller days, and loved every second of it. (though we don’t miss that stuff — we have wonderful memories and pictures, and now we can’t imagine dropping that kind of dough on a meal!)


the kind of expensive, pretentious (and delicious!) food we used to splurge on once in a while. this is at le bernardin in new york city.

we got ourselves into a survival epic… and lived to tell the tale. several years back, we had a high altitude trip gone wrong, but thankfully we didn’t have to get rescued or survive for multiple days with only a tauntaun for warmth. we just had to survive one very cold night at 12,000 feet with no tent and very wet sleeping bags. at a certain point, when we were shivering at 3 am, it all just became funny.


that’s our tent, full of our gear, in a glacial lake at the bottom of a tall cliff, at 12,000 feet. mr. onl will tell you that getting it out of there as the sun was setting was not fun.

swam with sea turtles in hawaii… at a respectful distance, of course.


moved to the mountains, where the pine cones are this big:


backpacked around europe — we did this separately, in our younger days. mr. onl even did it solo, which i totally admire.


in europe, a young, broke backpacking vegetarian can find something to eat at mcdonald’s. that’s german for “veggie mac.”

to blathe — er, true love. we won’t schmoop out here and make things get super awkward. but we think of finding each other as the best thing ever. that fills about 99 percent of our bucket.

reached financial independence! stay tuned for the next milestone: early retirement.

whew! it was a ton of fun reliving the memories that fill our overflowing bucket. even if you don’t blog, we can’t recommend highly enough taking some time this weekend to think about your favorite memories, the times you’ve felt most alive and the things you’re most proud of. such a great way to connect to gratitude, and bring more happiness into your life!

so tell us… do you think we’ve hit fi? or think that we’re thinking of it as too low a bar? anyone else out there realizing that maybe you’ve already hit fi after all? have a great weekend, everyone!

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98 replies »

  1. Awesome stuff on the fill your bucket list. When did y’all run the LV half? My wife did the full there back in 2012. I’ve done a few 1/2’s and want to do one full, that’ll be enough for me. I really want to do a Tough Mudder race in the future but it doesn’t look like it’s in the cards for 2016 because there’s too much going on this year and that’s just what we have planned/know what’s coming up thus far.

    I try not to quibble over the definition of FI. There’s always going to be some naysayers anyways. I’ve never understood the people that bring up “well, you’re not technically retired or FI because you make income from a blog or still work” even if financially you don’t have to get off the couch all day. It sounds like y’all would technically be FI but it also sounds like it would be far from your ideal lifestyle. Whether you want to consider that FI or not is up for debate. The best thing is that y’all are that close. That’s amazing!

    • Trying to remember when we ran Vegas… 2010 would be my guess. And yeah, one full was enough for me, too! Mr. ONL wants to do one or two more one day, maybe qualify for Boston, but I’m good focusing on other goals. :-) Tough Mudders look fun, but I can see that it would be tough to train for one with other things going on! And you’re totally right re: our FI status. It would be a tenuous existence with what we’d be living on at the moment, but it’s still awesome to know we don’t NEED our jobs. But we’ll keep saving up for another 22 months or so, to make sure we can live the lives we actually WANT to live. :-)

  2. I love both parts! Your Berlin Wall bucket item gave me goose bumps. It’s one of my favorite things to teach in World Cultures/Geography because 7th graders can’t really wrap their minds around an actual wall being put up. This year, one of my students freaked out and said, “It’s like they made FACTIONS! In real life!” In terms of FI, you’ve definitely got it going on. I do agree, though, that FI does not equal ready for early retirement for everyone, especially if people are planning on traveling and all that. Happy Friday!

    • Thanks, Penny! And OMG — YES, FACTIONS! Those Divergent books sure are dumb (though I totally read them), but it’s also true that there literally were factions in Berlin during the Wall era! But I love Berlin, and wish more Americans would visit there! And yeah, as for FI, it sure does NOT mean we’re ready to retire… but it’s a nice milestone to hit, all the same! Have a great weekend! :-)

  3. Wow love the completed bucket list items. Did you get you tent back? :)

    I guess technically you have reached FI, but if you walked away today you would not really be able to hit all of the FI goals like travel, buying stuff etc. So sounds like hanging in there for a bit more to make FIRE everything you want is the way to go.

    • Thanks, Brian! We did get that tent back, but it was pretty shredded by having been ripped off the cliff. :-) Maybe one day we’ll patch the holes! And yeah, we think we’ve hit the technical definition of FI, but are still a ways from being able to support the lifestyle we’re aiming for. So we’ll keep going!

  4. Well Galveston is on my bucket list and we can’t do it this year (again) because of the hit the Canadian dollar took, now worth 0.68 of 1 US dollar. I am not there yet but I don’t have a choice as we are retired already. I’m not sure if my comment is useful but that is what I am thinking. Galveston next fall first part of the trip.

    • Wow — that’s a bad exchange rate! As luck would have it, we’ve only ever visited Canada when the Canadian dollar was soaring — when we visited the already-expensive Whistler, it just happened to be the one time in recent history when the CAD was up on the USD! ;-) I hope you can make your trip to Galveston happen!

  5. I believe that financial independence is mutually exclusive of the lifestyle that you wish to lead. To me, FI is a state where, if you absolutely had to quit your job and live the rest of your life without full-time work, you could. This might mean that you don’t live quite the lifestyle that you had intended, but you could still get it done.

    And because there are no guarantees in life, being FI is a state that we can slip into and out of depending on the circumstances at the time. But a lot of it is guesswork, too – if our investments dip too low, does finding a part-time job to bring in a little extra cash mean that we’re no longer FI? After all, our investments COULD still hold strong, but we just don’t know. Some of this gets pretty wishy-washy.

    So, the answer to whether or not you guys are financially independent is solid and resounding “yes” – you most certainly are. You both could quit your jobs right now with a reasonable expectation of living the rest of your lives without working another full-time job again. You might need to downsize your home, but that’s okay – that’s the nice thing about having assets that you can play around with.

    We are also financially independent, but we don’t have near the same bucket list achievements that you guys do. The best that I could say for myself is that I flew a Cessna in pitch black skies one night and made a fairly controlled turn using only instruments (with a licensed pilot sitting next to me!). I also threw a nearly perfect game back in Little League and was carried off the field as the hero. I remember that day like it was yesterday. :)

    Thanks for the Friday post – always great to read some ONL on a Friday!

    • It’s funny how reaching FI was kind of a non-event — we didn’t even realize it until after we’d passed it and asked, “I wonder…” :-) But it feels great knowing we don’t NEED our jobs anymore!

      I think your bucket list items sound pretty awesome, though that Cessna story sounds terrifying to me. Though I fly a ton, I am not a fan of the teensy weensy planes. And even with the skydiving, the best part was getting out of that rust bucket of a plane we had to jump out of. I hated the ride up, but as soon as the instructor said, “We’re high enough to jump safely now,” I relaxed. :-) Funny that freefalling was less scary to me than riding in what I’m sure was a perfectly safe airplane!

  6. My definition of financially independent is that if something happened and you couldn’t work anymore, you would be just fine. You could live on what you have forever. So, well done! And I LOVE the fill-the-bucket list! You guys have done some pretty amazing things! (Also, I’m upset the food picture didn’t involve gold… just sayin’!)

    • Having this realization, that we’ve reached FI, is a pretty awesome feeling. Now we’ll see if that helps me shake off bad stuff that happens at work more easily. :-) And thank YOU for starting the fill the bucket list. It’s wonderful focusing on the things we’ve already done, not just our aspirations. And — you’ll love this — I actually looked for a food pic with gold on it, just for you. But I couldn’t find one that was clear enough. :-) Those fancy places are often so dark!

  7. I think you can define it however you like really! I’d say it’s more about never having to work again, AND supporting the lifestyle you want. So, I could essentially be FI if I moved to a place where rent was $250/month and I had to be really frugal and not do much traveling, but I would be miserable. BTW, you’ve done some awesome things!!

    • Haha — we’d be miserable, too, in a place with such cheap rent! High cost of living areas cost a lot for a reason! :-) And like you point out, we couldn’t yet afford the lifestyle we want, so we’re still working on the “RE” half of FIRE.

  8. I think you guys have hit FI, but like Steve, I think it’s totally fluid and something that can come and go depending on your mindset, environment, etc… I agree that FI and ER are weirdly connected and not the same at all, even though they’re bandied about together all the time. When we hit FI, we’ll still probably work in some manner. Especially if I can weasel my way into some tiny O&G company wherever we land. Mahahahaha…..
    I see FI success defined as “if we both lost our jobs, or work didn’t exist, would we be okay?” I see that as yes, for us and for you guys. However, I’d rather not live the lifestyle that our current FI situation would afford us, so were saving more to make it more comfortable for us. Again, weirdly agreeing and yet conflicting points of view. Sure we could be FI and quit now, but if I’m not forced into that situation, then I’ll keep working and save more. :) I think it’s all relative though.

    Nice bucket list, those are some pretty cool accomplishments. Like you, I’m no fast runner, but I think I’m going to shoot for a half marathon in another year or so. It feels like it would be a good goal to shoot for. :)

    • Totally agree with you and Steve on the fluidity of FI! Obviously if the market tanks some more, then we wouldn’t have the ability to pay everything off and still have cash leftover! But it sure feels awesome knowing that we don’t NEED our jobs anymore.

      You should do the half marathon! A half is not hard to train for (just need like six months or less), and doesn’t involve “the wall.” I wish I had time to do another one — maybe in retirement. :-)

      • Exactly! That feeling alone is pretty awesome.
        I’ll have to scout some half marathon opportunities for this year maybe, and if nothing else – if we’re still around H-town next year, there’s always the Houston Marathon…

      • Do it! A half marathon is a great distance, but a full marathon feels like a real accomplishment. :-) Sort of like the difference between FI and early retirement!

  9. I don’t think there is any question that you are FI. I agree with the other comments that are saying they’d rather not live the lifestyle that their current FI situation would afford, but my worry is I might have that outlook indefinitely and never retire as the lifestyle inflates as income grows.

    I mean, I could probably retire tomorrow if I decided to live out the rest of my life in a monastery. I don’t particularly want to live in a monastery though. ;)

    I jest…but there will always be some form of lifestyle that we can retire to, as life goes on, assuming that we aren’t spending everything that comes in.

    I think that’s what makes it tough for me sometimes, it’s hard to have some sort of static number to shoot for. I am doing my best to hit the goal that I have given myself based on current expenses, but who knows what life looks like 10 or 20 years from now. I don’t want to focus so much on saving money that I miss out on actually living life. Which is to say, I don’t want to analyze every purchase decision about things that may add value to my life, but are not in the current budget, and be like “Nope, that will delay FIRE! So it is not happening.”

    • Yeah, our current FI lifestyle would involve a lot of ramen noodles and not much fun — no thanks! Like your monastery life. But still feels awesome to hit that milestone. And we totally feel you on the lifestyle inflation/life experiences stuff. You absolutely shouldn’t put your whole life on hold until FIRE, but you also don’t want to spend all your money now and not make progress toward your goals. We found the right balance for us, in terms of spending vs. saving and having experiences now vs. putting them off until we’re retired, but it took some time and experimentation to figure out the right mix.

      • I think the fact that you’ve concluded (or decided?) that a relatively specific date – “22 months or so” – is going to make the difference between a ramen noodle retirement and the lifestyle that you want – that is an incredible milestone also. You both should be proud of your progress. :)

      • That’s just based on what’s been our plan for a while — quitting at the end of 2017. That’s what happens when you track your spending and saving, and know how much you can save in a given year. :-)

  10. 100% FI by my definition. Now you only need to focus on RE to be totally on FIRE. They are quite different things. FI means you can take care of yourself without any outside assistance. RE means you have built up the means to provide for the life of leisure that YOU really want – including the travel and organic groceries. Fun FILL THE BUCKET list memories. Really cool.

  11. Hm, I’m not sure I can comment intelligently on the FI vs RE question, but I am curious to know how you are factoring in the possible future dismantling of Obamacare, like if someone who doesn’t like it gets elected president. (Like I’m curious in a kind of please-please-please-please-please-don’t-let-Obamacare-get-dismantled kind of way).

    Nice fill-the-bucket list! My goodness, that’s impressive that you touched the intact Berlin Wall. How did that happen? You must have been under 10 years old — was it on a family vacation? I’m also interested to know how exactly you got surprised into jumping out of a plane (partly so I can make sure this never happens to me, haha).

    • We’re in the same camp of “Please don’t dismantle Obamacare!” But we also assume that if that happened, we could buy an inexpensive catastrophic policy like used to be available pre-ACA. But either way, our existence would not be fun if we quit now — we’d be living on such a low budget. But it’s still nice to note the milestone!

      And yeah, I think I was nine when I touched the Wall for the first time, less than a year before it came down, on a family trip over there. And the skydiving — Mr. ONL planned it, and just told me we were going to do something fun that day. What’s crazy is that I somehow knew, with literally zero clues, and kept saying, “Okay, great. I’m going to wear a dress and heels. That’s cool, right?” :-) But in the end, it was all great, at least once I got out of that horrifically rickety plane I had to ride up in — that was my least favorite part! But the freefalling was so incredible. You’re so high, it doesn’t trigger fear of heights (not that that’s a problem for me, probably obviously). The world below just looks like a map. And the stomach drop feeling only lasts a moment, and then it’s just this feeling of going Really Super Fast. I would consider doing it again if it wasn’t expensive (ha!) and could happen with a more solid plane. :-)

  12. There are always people think that retirement means that you sit on the beach doing absolutely nothing all day. To me that’s not what early retirement means, hence for me using financial independence instead. That’s a long bucket list, you and Maggie have inspired me to post something later.

  13. Agree with your definition, but like the idea of a list of back up plans so you can be flexible.
    Thanks for sharing the list, love the toilet. I bet it was a nice view from that ‘bathroom’!
    I’m entering my first half marathon in a few months, bit scared but hey I will never know if I don’t try!

    • Haha — yeah, that toilet was pretty surprising to see up above 14,000 feet! :-) Good luck on your half marathon! A half is a great distance — it feels like a real achievement, but you don’t hit “the wall” and you can pretty much gut it out even if you didn’t train a ton. So don’t be afraid — worst case, you’ll just have a slow time, but you can for sure do it. :-)

    • Thanks, Neil! It’s pretty exciting to think that we’ve achieved the FI milestone, but still have a little ways to go to reach ER. :-) And yeah, we’ve been so lucky that we’ve gotten to do so many cool things in our lives already!

  14. FI means you can live of your passive income. You decide to work or not. If you tell that you can live of rental income and personal loan repayments alone, then that sounds like FI to me. Especially as you have more investments elsewhere.

    The open point for me than is: can you live the life you want ti live with this income? That seems to be the condition to RE… If in FIRE you still want to do some work here and there to fund travel ans ki, then you are ready to go!

  15. No question you’re FI, and you could probably be RE as well and be able to do whatever you like for the rest of your life, comfortably. It’s great to have a cushion (and it certainly couldn’t hurt), but with the multiple options available to you right now, you’re already golden! I originally wanted several more years of earnings, then two more, then a few more months, but as my job became more and more soul sucking I kept adjusting the numbers. There are definitely things we’ve postponed (or may never get to) as a result of my decision to leave the workforce as early as I did, but all in all it was still worth it to get up every day and owe my time to no one. I would say you’ve got this FIRE down. Every day you work you’re just increasing the quality of your retirement, but if you both left work today you would still be able to position yourself to do everything you want to do and be financially secure doing it. Great job!

    • We definitely couldn’t afford to live the life we want to live if we quit now, so we’ll stick around for 22 more months or so. :-) But it’s such a great point — it’s easy to say “I’ll just work one more year,” and we’re pretty determined not to fall into that trap!

  16. You’re FI. It does seem like the internet world equates FI to RE, but they are different concepts. I view FI as when you have enough to support you. There’s extra confidence and peace knowing you could peace out and be okay. I view RE as more of a discomfort. When the job is harsh enough against the peace of FI that you pull the plug. It’s the shift from I could get buy on what I have to I will get by on what I have. I’m excited to get to FI, but RE scares me because that is when you break free from the matrix.

    Your bucket is quite full! I love that you quoted American Tail! I was right there with you on that one. :D Those are some awesome adventures!

    • Breaking free from the matrix — YES. I love that way of thinking about it. And haha — you’re the only one to comment on the American Tail reference. :-)

  17. I think owning a home, mortgage free, is critical for FI. I figure we’ll always have some level of independence when we’ve paid off our mortgage. :) Also, I am a terribly slow runner, Garrett is FAST. Totally tortoise and hare over here.

    • Haha — tortoise and the hare here, too! :-) And yeah, the mortgage is the key in my mind, too! Once that’s paid off (or now knowing that we *could* pay it off) is a pretty great feeling!

  18. All of these lists have been absolutely incredible to read, and yours & Mr. ONL’s is no exception!! Mountains, sky diving, running, backpacking, planes – oh my!! I was on Good Morning America once, for a brief 1.5 seconds because it was my 18th Birthday and I had a silly sign ;) I can’t wait to hear in the future about what the REAL deal was on your feature for the show! Also – I don’t think you guys have hit financial independence…I KNOW you have. :) Inspiration to so many!!

    • Wohoo, GMA sistas! :-) And yeah, we’ve been pretty darn lucky, and had a lot of cool life experiences. Thanks for weighing in on our FI status… it’s starting to sink in that we’ve really hit it! We have a little ways to go yet with savings, but we get closer every day!

  19. I definitely think you’re there. I don’t think FI has to include all your hobbies and travel and etc. I wouldn’t quit with no intentions to ever earn income again at that point, but I may quit to pursue some passions/interests for a while and then probably think of ways to earn some income and bridge that gap. Congrats!

  20. Terrific post guys , I like where you are headed and enjoy the perspective.

    On the rental property my plan is to keep refinancing my mortgage to the max and pull the equity out to pay off my own mortgage and let my tenant pay keep paying my off my investment capital.

    On Mt Whitney, I hit up the Sierras in December this year and unfortunately missed the window. I plan to head back down and hit Shasta and Whitney in a double whammy. On the spending a night on a mountain unplanned, been there done that – thank god for always having the 10 Essentials.

    Keep at it and thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks, Chris! Seems like a sound plan on the rental, assuming you’re able to refi affordable. Have an awesome time on your CA 14er double-header. As for our unplanned night under the stars, we were pleased to learn that we could survive even with eight of the 10 essentials at the bottom of the lake. :-) Takeaway: attitude is just as important. ;-)

  21. First off, your list of experiences is freaking amazing! Occasionally I think I may want to do a full marathon one day and then I remember the last couple miles of the three halves I’ve done and can’t imagine doubling it up.

    Second, I would consider you financially independent. As for us, we’re really close, but not quite there. I am fairly confident though that we could quit our full time jobs today and live comfortably off investments and a little part time income. Knowing that makes working a lot less stressful!

    • Thanks, DTG! I’m not pushing anybody to run the full marathon — it’s a painful pursuit, for sure. I’m glad I did mine, and Mr. ONL is glad he did his four, but my orthopedist put it best: “Congrats. Now never do that stupid thing again.”

      It sure seems like you guys are masters of the passive income, and could do quite well without working! I’ll be curious to see how all of that evolves with your big move!

      • I’m curious to see how it all evolves as well. I really don’t know how it’ll all work out. I may have some big news in another month or so about part time work that could put me in another European country 4-6 weeks a year. Don’t want to get ahead of myself though.

        I used to enjoy running but ever since I tore my meniscus a couple years ago, it has never been the same. Maybe I’m just getting old!

  22. Reading over all of this, I’m starting to think 2 things…..#1 I’m Jealous, you guys are doing amaze-balls(just wanted to use that in a sentence), which really makes me motivated not jealous but I’m sure you understand and #2 Your fill the bucket list is pretty fun as well, the pictures alone are well amaze-balls:)

  23. You guys are doing great! If you’re not FI, you’re definitely on your way! I would love to trade places with you guys anytime :)

    Your fill the bucket list is awesome! Congrats! You guys are living the dream. It’s inspiring!

    • Thanks, Vic! Feels pretty cool to realize that we crossed the FI line… even if that means we’re not quite able to quit our jobs yet. :-) And yeah, we’ve been pretty lucky in terms of things we’ve gotten to do! Can’t wait until we can quit the stressful jobs and do that stuff full-time!

  24. I stumbled across a fill-the-bucket list post today on tawcan.com that led me to your site. What a great idea. I’ll be writing my post soon. As for your post, fantastic photos, even the one with your sunken tent :-(

    Which president did Mr. Onl meet? I met Bill Clinton in 1993, just by chance. It was pretty cool.

    • Hi I.H. Thanks for stopping by, and for your nice note about the photos! Haha — yeah, the sunken tent experience is one we hope not to repeat! :-) Mr. ONL met Pres Clinton, too. Pretty fun!