A few months back I made the decision of breaking away from the golden handcuffs. Between moving states, carrying the weight of others at work, and working out of a home office – I had enough. Don’t get me wrong, the company was great and parts of me feel like an entitled Millennial, but the truth is that the stress wasn’t worth it. I value my well-being much more than any job and no amount of money will change that.
I’ve taken breaks in the past calling them mini-retirements. Being an independent consultant for several years allowed me to have the freedom of never achieving burnout as I could always see the light if any project was getting too strenuous. At some point I made the switch back to a full-time employee with benefits. My other half has a much more important job and the flexibility of mine meant that remote work was my best option – or at least that’s what I told myself.
The Bull Has Horns
Fast forward – blah, blah, blah – quit my job – blah, blah, blah – now we’re here. Saving for financial freedom has been a constant goal over the years and this blog keeps myself accountable. It’s been over 3 months since leaving my job and there have been zero thoughts of even interviewing. Why? Because I’m over half way to hitting financial freedom and the markets keep moving up. At this point, I consider this an experiment while I keep an eye on the numbers as we proceed through very uncertain times.
The net number since leaving the workplace has been varying, but at the moment I’m slightly over $9k positive in net worth since December. That number might be peanuts to some (and a lot to others), but my half of expenses are less than $30k per year and that allows me everything I need. Plus, it’s not net even – it’s net positive. I’ve still been paying for the mortgage, food, bills and even took a mini-vacation. Obviously, I’m not going to kid myself into thinking that the market will continue to perform at this level, but I’m also not going to predict the market.
How Long Can It Last?
According to Personal Capital, I have about an 11% chance of retiring given my current path. Plus, I’m not going to sit on my ass until the end of my days. It’s time to pursue other interests, hobbies, and maybe careers while having the cushion to do that and not worry about a deadline. An 11% chance isn’t as bad as it sounds either. At 50% that would mean I have a 50 percent chance of being over and a 50 percent chance of being under. Really we don’t need 100, we need 50 and then adjust if necessary.
I can only say that so far it feels great. The stress has slowly melted away and I’ve been filling time with my own personal interests. Maybe this is financial freedom – and then again, maybe it isn’t. Either way, there is a glimpse of light appearing in this dark tunnel and there is a welcoming group of people on the other end.