We are a couple in our mid-30’s who achieved financial independence by working hard, climbing the ladder, and saving as much as we could. We live in the S.F. Bay Area and would like to stay here for at least the next few years.
We decided to leave our full-time careers a year ago, despite starting to make a good amount of money by anyone’s standards. There was a certain sense of diminishing returns as the extra money wouldn’t necessarily give us more freedom, rather enable us to buy us more stuff (and incur the associated obligations), which we did not want.
At the time, we wanted to travel and experience freedom in the truest sense of the word. We checked that box and learned a lot about ourselves along the way.
So here we stand at the crossroads of life with an unprecedented opportunity to chart our futures. There are several factors we need to consider as we move forward.
Factors to Consider
We are currently focused on how to design a fulfilling lifestyle. We realized after leaving our jobs that we need to stay engaged in some manner. Simply doing nothing and laying by the beach is not a recipe for happiness, but rather boredom. I’m still driven by the traits that helped me succeed in the corporate world. Perhaps a part-time role doing something similar to what I did before would allow me to take the good and leave the bad aspects of my prior job.
Another factor is whether it is time to start a family. If we do, then perhaps our current standard of living needs to be upgraded to accommodate a baby. We may feel pushed to purchase a 2 BR townhouse in the Bay Area for $1.5M, which would inevitably change our FI status. On the other hand, we could relocate to another part of the U.S. to keep our standard of living constant.
We also want to give back more to society. Simply giving away money doesn’t seem like a good solution, so we would opt to give back our time and skills. We will need to explore which causes we find the most worthy of our attention.
As we figure out our path forward, I will use this blog as a vehicle to document our efforts to design our ideal lifestyles.