Hiya! We’re Tanja Hester and Mark Bunge — formerly known by our blogging pseudonyms “Ms. ONL” and “Mr. ONL” — and we retired at the end of 2017 at the ages of 38 and 41.
What Is Our Next Life?
Our Next Life is a chronicle of our journey to early retirement and beyond. 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 a place where no one will judge you for not being a perfect frugal master — in fact, 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 the awesomely kick-ass future of our dreams while wringing every drop out of today.
Where we can talk about the financial side of early retirement, but not only that. Our Next Life goes deep into the feelings and philosophy, too, encouraging our community together to think differently and go beyond even the early retirement community’s unconventional conventional wisdom.
Who Are Tanja and Mark?
Tanja (pronounced like “Tonya”) is the author of the blog, a longtime communications strategist, an insatiable reader and audiophile, an obsessive searcher for the best gluten-free beers and baked goods, a one-time mathlete, a former yoga and spinning teacher, and a still-certified health coach. Tanja is also half of the podcast The Fairer Cents.
Mark is a longtime pollster, a practical jokester (those even kinda rhyme!), an anti-elitist in all things but coffee, a world-class volleyball player in his mind (if only he had grown to be 6’6″!), president of the local avalanche center, and a perpetually late sleeper unless it’s a powder day.
We’re massive fans of the outdoors, and get out there as much as we can — alpine and backcountry skiing in the winter, and hiking, backpacking, cycling, mountain biking, climbing, paddling, and a million other activities when the weather’s warmer. That love of the outdoors is why we moved from Los Angeles to North Lake Tahoe, California, in 2011. Mountains, water, California sunshine… what more could we need?
We believe you don’t have to be a financial pro to be smart about your money, or even to do something 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!
Some random facts about us:
- We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in 2018, our first retired year
- No kids, just ridiculously tiny dogs
- We love photography. All photos you see on the blog are taken by us, unless clearly noted. (No reposting without written permission.)
- We keep our house freakishly cold in the winter, but are not especially frugal in most other ways. (Treehugger even wrote about it!)
- We could eat tacos or any other Mexican food every day, and never get sick of it
- We dream of extended travel one day, and plan to get a micro RV to fuel our adventures. We’ll be the ones parked at the base of the ski resort, raring for first chair! (Or maybe just pretending to fight with undersized monster statues in foreign capitals.)
For a rundown on how we saved for early retirement and how we’re supporting ourselves now, check out Our Early Retirement Plan. And for a sampling of my favorite posts and more on our backstory, check out The Best Of ONL.
Get In Touch!
- Email us at MsONL [at] ournextlife dot com.
- Follow us on Twitter at @our_nextlife.
- Follow us on Instagram at @our_nextlife.
- Follow us on Facebook at ournextlife.
- Follow us on Pinterest at our_nextlife.
Thanks for reading. We can’t wait to get to know you!
Everything on this blog is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for obtaining professional financial advice. Please consult a licensed financial or legal professional for advice on your own situation.
All photos are original and copyrighted by Our Next Life unless clearly noted. All rights reserved.
Linking encouraged with brief excerpts only, but posting photos and/or full content allowed only by express written permission.
Copyright 2018 Our Next Life. All rights reserved.
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