about us

Ms ONL and Mr ONL in the snow

Hi friend! That’s as much of ourselves as we can show for now. But once we quit our jobs in 2017 (so soon!), we’ll put our real names up here and take those silly badges off our faces. If you want to know what this blog is all about, and what we’re all about, you’ve come to the right place.

What’s Our Next Life?

This is a chronicle of our journey to retire at the end of 2017 (or maybe sooner!), when we’ll be 41 and 38. But it’s a whole lot more than that. Contrary to what reality TV stars might say, we are here to make friends. And that’s where you come in. We hope you’ll join our community of planners and dreamers, all of us working to save up for early retirement, get out of debt or just forge a path in life that’s different from the norm.

This is not a place where anyone will judge you for not being a perfect frugal master — heck, we used to be the worst spenders of them all. Instead, this is a place where we can all seek out balance together, finding the best way to plan for an awesomely kick-ass future while still enjoying the heck out of today. Where we can talk about the finance side of early retirement, but not only that — we also go deep into the feelings, too.

And we’re always happy to lend an ear and cheer you on, wherever you are in the early retirement journey.


Who Are Mr. and Ms. ONL?

We’re a married couple, currently 40 and 37, who have major ants in our pants to retire as soon as humanly possible. We believe you don’t have to be a financial pro to be smart about your money, or even to do something bold and audacious like quit working for life while still young. And we certainly don’t believe you have to give up everything fun or live like a monk to do it either!

With our nerd glasses on, the better to see our many spreadsheets

Some random facts about us:

  • We’ve been married for almost nine years, together for 12 totaltaxable-saved-by-year_q4-2016
  • We’ve been saving for early retirement for real for about five years so far, which will make for a total of six years when we pull the plug
  • No kids, just doggies
  • We’re obsessed with all things outdoors. A few years back, we moved from the great big city to a small mountain town in the Intermountain West that gives us unlimited access to the outdoors — for free! — making it a lot easier to save for early retirement faster! And making it easier to ski more days every year.
  • We love photography. All photos you see on the blog are taken by us, unless clearly noted.msonl-voice-blog
  • We both telecommute to high-stress east coast jobs that we’ve had a long time, and which we can’t risk losing without hurting our retirement plans (hence the temporary anonymity)
  • We could eat tacos or any other Mexican food every day, and never get sick of it
  • We dream of extended travel after we quit, and plan to buy a micro RV to fuel our adventures. We’ll be the ones parked at the base of the ski resort, raring for first chair!
  • Ms. ONL is the voice of the blog and on Twitterfor now

More things we love:

Music festivals (alt rock, synth pop, EDM), world travel, organic farmers markets, wooden jigsaw puzzles, library e-books, improvising in the kitchen, flea markets, pub quizzes, good coffee, bluebird powder days and spring corn, Redbox, writing, stand-up and improv, zero waste grocery shopping, rowdy rapids, loud action movies and cerebral documentaries, bowling, every kind of cycling, DIY, exposed ridge climbs, and Just Dance on Wii (okay, that last one’s really just Ms. ONL)

For a rundown on how we’re saving and how we’ll support ourselves after we quit our jobs, check out Our Early Retirement Plan. And for a sampling of our favorite posts and more on our backstory, check out our Start Here page.

Get in touch!

Thanks for reading! We can’t wait to get to know you. :-)

All photos are original unless clearly noted.

Linking encouraged, but posting photos and/or content allowed only by permission.

Copyright 2017 our next life. All rights reserved.

55 thoughts on “about us

  1. Hey there,

    Welcome in the blogging world!
    Very interesting incentive you got there: slow travel and enjoy every place you stay! I must stay this way of living is tempting me too!

    What amaze me the most is the <3y timeframe you set yourself. Is it because you plan to have very very low expenses later on? Or because you've got a huge stash already?

    Cheers from Switzerand!


  2. Hi there mysterious ER prospectors

    Welcome to the world of understanding that the American “work ethic” is ridiculous. Way too many people are defined by their work. While I never found a career that satisfied me in any way I figured out early enough that understanding the nuances of budgeting and working in the financial services industry was an excellent chance to end a life of mundane clerical work at an age when it’s still worth retiring early for. Granted, being married to someone who earns almost double what I did certainly didn’t hurt and having benefits better than most also helped but the plan can be accomplished by almost anyone with diligent planning

    It sounds like you already know the basics but all it takes is a few simple things that many Americans are not willing to sacrifice. Live below your means, max out and dollar cost average into your retirement plans, prepay your mortgage if you have one, use itemized deductions to lower your taxable income enough to get refunds large enough to max out a ROTH IRA in addition to maxing the company retirement tax sheltered plans (you should be able to bring your income low enough after deductions if you don’t make mire than 250k combined). Skip eating out and learn to cook healthy spending the extra cash on a gym membership which will make your life healthy enough to enjoy being retired

    I only discovered blogging last year and it was mostly to take up all my house husband time after being laid off but writing is actually the only thing that comes easy to me and that I enjoy so I’m glad I started it. Diane doesn’t hate her job as much as I did but the commute is another story

    We admire your intentions and assure you it’s satisfying once you achieve what many others think is not possible net me know if I can offer any advice on anything

    Rob and Diane

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are totally on the same page, and we’re doing everything you mentioned except the Roth IRA (or any IRA), because of the income cap. (We know — nice problem to have.) We’ll have our house paid off before we quit in 2017, and only bought it in 2011, so we think we’re doing pretty well there! And we are socking away funds into Vanguard twice a month — we are the poster children of dollar cost averaging. :-) All the other lifestyle stuff we’re in total agreement with you on — minimal eating out, very few purchases, keeping travel cheap, living way below our means. So far so good, but we definitely will take all the moral support we can get. Thanks for your offer of advice — I’m sure we’ll take you up on it! Cheers.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations on your journey! And thank you for following The Old Money Book. You guys seem like you’ve really got it together with a plan and goals. I’m really impressed with the fact that you admitted to making mistakes early on. Everybody does, but it’s only made you smarter and made your success sweeter, I’m sure. All the best, looking forward to your continued success! – Byron


  4. It’s wonderful to hear of your plans and quest. My wife and I are in a similar situation, with similar goals. As you mentioned, it’s not typical to have a partner who shares life and financial goals – definitely makes the journey easier! I look forward to reading more.


  5. Sounds like an exciting journey, great site and looking forward to reading more about your thoughts on all things early retirement


  6. hi there.. thanks for checking out our blog.. you guys got a much earlier start on the early retirement idea than we did.. we just took the plunge, and we are 55 and 50.. my older brother thinks it is an irresponsible decision. but I have spent my whole life being responsible and following the typical path to success.. time to find a new path :)

    this is a gamble for sure.. but so far, much of our experience has been confirming.. no looking back now! best of luck with your plan and especially with the years after you get to say ” thanks, but i think i will get off of the merry go round now ” :) jt


  7. Awesome blog! My husband and I have very similar goals. I love your blog because you’re definitely farther along than we are (closer to achieving ER) but close enough that it helps me see where we could be if we stay on the right path. Thanks!


  8. Just Dance WII? I knew we were friends for a reason! And no mention of Clueless? I’m gravely disappointed! Keep on keepin’ on you guys – you are the very definition of Rockstars!


    1. Haha — YESSSSS! I love the Wii dancing… well, all dancing really. Just hope I don’t look like Elaine from Seinfeld, but don’t really care one way or the other. :-) And I’ll consider a movie rundown in our next update. ;-) Thanks as always for being such a great and supportive friend!


  9. Really glad to have discovered your blog. Sounds like our interests are very similar 😊 Wow kudos to you guys for almost reaching FI in your late 30s. We have a very long road ahead of us, but we are working towards it on a regular basis.

    I should tell me wife about those gluten free beers. I wonder if they are available outside those cities
    Stay in touch


  10. Having dogs but not kids is one way to reach financial independence early, that’s for sure!

    In the new “gig” economy, early retirement seems like a great plan for people prudent enough to be able to achieve it. If you think strategically about how and where to live, and find ways to live frugally, it might be possible to live longer and happier lives if you’re freed from the constraints of full-time employment.

    I now wish we had retired early earlier. In one of the most remote towns in the lower 48, far away from high-pressure jobs in the highest-pressure city, I think we’re happier than ever.

    I’ll enjoy following not only your blog, but also those of your followers!


    1. Haha, yeah, no question it’s easier to get to FI with no kids! How great that you guys found a life that makes you happy, away from the big city. We made the big move too, so can relate — just not to the early retirement part yet. :-)


  11. We’ve enjoyed following your blog for a while now, in fact yours is one that has inspired us to make our own FIRE plan, and even to start our own blog! Thanks so much for sharing your journey.


    1. You completely made our day! :-D That’s pretty much the best thing you could tell us, that we helped inspire you to create your own plan — and to start blogging about it! Congrats for putting your plan out there in the world!


  12. This blog is amazing! I am finding such inspiration from people like you and making our own plans for freedom (have started my own blog to document our journey now that we know we are on one ;)). We have a long way to go but reading blogs like these is keeping me focused!


    1. Hi Elliot. We are not planning to have kids. Certainly it would change a great deal about our plan, but we haven’t thought that through in-depth since kids have never been on our radar. :-)


  13. Hi there!

    Just stumbled upon your guys’ blog. Best of luck in your FIRE goals. When you do hit the finish line I’d be interested to learn more about your ‘previous’ careers. Telecommuting, you lucky ducks.

    Looking forward to reading more!


  14. Well done on your next life! Great news that you’ve paid off the mortgage. We took early retirement, bought a yacht, renovated it, and sailed from England to Greece! Wouldn’t have it any other way! Just do it!


  15. Hi Our Next Life Team,

    My name is Anuj Agarwal. I’m Founder of Feedspot.

    I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog Our Next Life has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 100 Retirement Blogs on the web.


    I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 100 Retirement Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!

    Also, you have the honor of displaying the badge on your blog.



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