Saturday, March 30, 2024

Widening the Lens

 Life and new learning sometimes collide in interesting and mysterious ways.  Sometimes the monotony of the still moments in life sends us on a quest for new learning, and sometimes new learning sends us into a spiral of activity that puts new spice back into life.

Sometime in the early 2020 timeframe, I found myself at home, sick, laying on the couch, and watching the PBS pledge drive.  You know things are bad when you are watching a pledge drive.  During this particular pledge drive, Suze Orman was the featured presenter and she was talking about retirement.  If I remember right, she was talking about one of her new books - the Ultimate Retirement Guide.  

I was listening to every other sentence as I dozed in and out on the couch when I heard her say, “don’t stuff all your money into the walls of your house.”  Hmmm, don’t stuff all your money into the walls of your house!?  Is that what we are doing?  What is our plan?  WHAT ARE WE DOING?  Should we have a plan?  How the heck are we going to retire?  What does retirement even mean to us?  YIKES!

Wow - that moment triggered an entire avalanche of new thinking, reading, researching and activity that has pretty much transformed our entire way of thinking.  Now, I like Suze Orman, but this was only the tipping point and the catalyst for seeking answers for a whole lot of questions.

The next few years were quite challenging as we entered the pandemic, and life as we knew  it changed.  It was during that time that I developed the mantra, “creating options.”  My partner and I had no idea what the future would hold, but we knew we wanted to have options coming out the other side of it.  We were lucky enough to refinance our house before the interest rates increased drastically, and we took Suze’s advice and didn’t stuff the money into the walls.  Instead, we set out to invest this money to create new options.

On this journey of new learning, I stumbled upon a video by JL Collins that further changed my thinking and triggered the next avalanche of transformation.  The impact that JL has had on my life and my thinking is difficult to put into words.  Financial independence (FI), retire early (RE), reducing one's footprint, simplifying, changing life phases, new learning and adventure.  It is as if JL was able to take numerous themes that have been present at various points in my life and make them relatable, approachable and achievable.  I went on to read the Simple Path to Wealth, and through this I learned about the 4% rule and various other guidelines that have enabled me to plan for the future.  And, if you are going to plan for the future then you have to contemplate the future, and that’s where things get really interesting.

My goal for this blog is to widen the lens and share more about this journey we are on and our quest for wealth.  A wealth of new experiences, options and opportunities.  I will share some of our techniques and how we are working towards financial independence.  Plus, you can count on continuing to see content around our home projects, woodworking efforts, gardening and travels.  Thank you for reading.

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