I am not a financial adviser. I am not someone who retired at 30 years old. Nor am I someone with a seven figure net worth. I am about as close to middle class in America as a person can come. But I have very different priorities than many of those in my same economic position. I want freedom!!!
My goal with this site is to show, at times in minutia, how I plan on reaching financial independence. I don’t have any great undiscovered secret of how to get rich quick. My plan is to grind my way as best I can. There will be ups and downs along the way. Everything will not go as planned and like anyone else I will have my doubts or lapses in motivation. The main thing is to keep moving forward.
Unlike many financial blogs. I do not claim to be an expert, nor am I already rich. I’m middle class. By my definition, middle class in the United States is having a wife, two kids, two dogs, a cat and a mortgage. I also have middle class income. Not enough for either of us to stop working, but we definitely have no excuse not to be saving a lot of money.
While there is no excuse for us not to be saving a sizable portion of our paychecks, many in our same economic class do not. Unlike others with our income we do not have the latest greatest product of Ford, Dodge or Chevy. While I do find $50,000 trucks to be very pretty, deep down I know it’s just a shiny box that is dropping in value like a rock. Nor do we have our daily Starbucks latte’s or spend more than a thousand a month eating out. Not that we do not like to do either. I just cannot justify doing those things to my future self. Especially considering income is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, let alone twenty years from now. My philosophy is to make hay while the sun shines, then kick back and relax.
A goal without a set destination, a route to victory and a timeline to doing so; is just a dream. My goal is to replace my income reliance from my 9-5 with three income streams. The first is dividend payouts from my ETF holdings from our 401Ks. The second is income from rental properties. We currently own one rental property and hope to continue to add others throughout the next 15 years. The third income stream I hope to have is through bonds. Though right now bond yields are so low I do not own any. What goes down must come up though, so when yields eventually rebound I will start to pick up bonds.
The amount of income from those three sources we currently would need for financial freedom is $46,000/year. That is with our mortgage and paying out of pocket for insurance for the four of us. A paid off mortgage, which has 24 years left on amortization, or any government subsidy on insurance would greatly decrease that number. My theory is to shoot high though, so $50K/year is the goal. This number is fluid though, as it will take 15 years to reach it. By then I’ll be 45, and our mortgage will be either gone or almost gone. Also, like everyone else I have no idea what the health insurance industry will look like or what the costs will be in 2031.
I cannot control what the stock market or housing market do, nor how high health care will go. Between now and 15 years from now I’ll simply control what I can. Which is my work ethic. Whether that be through focusing on doing my job and advancing my career or maximizing my savings rate. My main priorities are to enjoy the process, raise a wonderful family and in the end be proud of what I accomplish along the way.