Hiya! We’re Tanja Hester, the author of this blog and the book Work Optional, and Mark Bunge, the accomplice, and we retired at the end of 2017 at the ages of 38 and 41. Welcome to our home on the internet.
What Is Our Next Life?
I’ve been blogging here since early 2015, so more than six years now, chronicling our journey to early retirement and our evolution beyond that. 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.
Tanja Hester, the Author
Tanja (pronounced like “Tonya”) is the author of this blog and the award-winning book Work Optional: Retire Early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way, and was dubbed the “matriarch of the women’s FIRE movement” by the New York Times. In addition, she’s a longtime political communications strategist (the pre-retirement career), a community and environmental activist, an insatiable reader and audiophile, an obsessive searcher for the best gluten-free beers and baked goods, a one-time mathlete, and a former yoga and spinning teacher. To learn more about Tanja, including her public speaking, visit TanjaHester.com.
Mark Bunge, the Accomplice
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.
What We’re All About
We believe in using our financial independence as a force for good, and that the entire community of people working toward financial independence can change the world for the better. We believe generosity and service are essential components of a good life, and that it’s far better to use your money to create the world you want to be a part of instead of optimizing every dollar.
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.
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!
Connect on social
- Twitter: @our_nextlife (The very best way to get a response quickly!)
- Instagram: @our_nextlife
- Facebook: ournextlife
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. Nothing contained here implies a consulting or coaching relationship. 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 is never allowed without express written permission.
Copyright 2015 – 2021 Tanja Hester / Our Next Life. All rights reserved.
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