Freedom Not Retirement

I do not want to sleep till noon every day.  I do not want to be a stay at home dad.  I do not want to travel continuously around the world.  I do not want to retire until I absolutely can’t work anymore.  I do want my freedom!!!

I prefer to work, even enjoy it.  I’m proud to be good at my job and take pride in being able to help people who need it.  The best part of my day is when I get the chance to go out of my way to assist someone and am successful in doing so.

When I go on a vacation, within five days of leaving I’m ready to go home.  Don’t get me wrong, I want to travel and see things such as the redwood forest or stay at a bed and breakfast in Maine.  I just do not want to continually travel, the thought of a month long vacation abroad just stresses me out.  I guess everyone is wired different.  I don’t know why the thought of three months backpacking through Europe makes me chew my finger nails, but it does.

I’m a person who needs a goal to strive for.  But I want it to be goals I set, on a path I set.  An income to rely on from my investments would free me up to do whatever form of work I desire.  I’m not sure what that job will be.  It is something I think about frequently, but still haven’t been able to firmly decide on.  One thing I am certain of is my desire for freedom to have that option.

I want the ability to decide what I do with my time based on what interests me, not by the need for a paycheck.  I want a job where I smile walking in the door on Monday morning.  Whether it’s a task that pays minimum wage or six figures, it doesn’t matter.  What would you do if all jobs paid the same?

I asked my wife that question and she honestly answered, she would do what she does now.  She is one of the few people in this world who has found her calling.  Anyone who has had her as their nurse in the hospital can attest to that.  She is compassionate, intelligent and naturally a friendly caring person. I’m simultaneously extremely happy for and jealous of her.

Finding out what my calling is over the next decade will be an evolving experience.  The first point I have to reach on that path is reaching the point where either my wife or I could lose our job and we still will have enough cash coming in to support our family.  That number is not far off, as we live a frugal life and have a mortgage as our only form of significant debt.  Once we reach that point I will be very happy.

The second major milestone we will reach is being able to live off the combination of investment income and my wife working part time.  At this point, we would have a variety of decisions to make.  This would be where we would have enough security that I could change my career and start trying to find what I was meant to do.  Whether she would want to start working just part time then would be completely up to her.

Even if she decides to cut her hours and I take a pay cut to do something else, the momentum of dividend increases will then eventually take us to the ultimate goal.  The final milestone would be full financial independence.  Imagine freedom from worry about a job loss or pay cut.  Freedom from anxiousness when a major expense arises.  Freedom to take a vacation if we want to.  Freedom to stay at home if we want to. Freedom to go into work if we want to.

Freedom to do whatever we deem worthy of our most valuable asset, our time.

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