Today is the 40th edition of our periodic guest post series called 10 Questions. We have a list of 17 questions we pose to fellow financial bloggers, and they are free to pick and choose 10 or answer all of them. Let us know if you would like to be featured in a future edition of 10 Questions.
One thing that is awesome about the personal finance blogger community is how open many of us are about our finances. Growing up, my parents wouldn’t even tell me what their income was. The one time I asked, they yelled at me. Here in the blogger community, we have folks tracking their net worth for the world to see. I love it that Freedom 40 and others are doing this!
Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.
Freedom40Plan.com is a blog focused on my own quest for financial independence by the age of 40. I’ve always been interested in money and personal finance topics, and setting a big hairy audacious goal (BHAG) like retirement at 40 seemed like a great way to keep me on track. I’m not sure if I’ll stop working at 40 or not, but I love the idea of being able to have the freedom to make the choices I want, and to do something like quit my safe, 9 to 5 job if that’s what I decide to do.
What goals do you have for your blog, short and long term?
The purpose of my blog in many ways is to hold me accountable to the goal I’ve set for myself. By remaining focused on the topic through my blog postings, I feel I’ll have a much better chance of success. I’d love to help out others in the community as well and hope that people are able to take something away from my perspectives and experiences. So far, I’ve really enjoyed posting and receiving feedback and comments from those who read the blog.
Do you enjoy writing?
I’ve always enjoyed writing since I was very young. However, in my everyday life, mostly all I do is write emails to work colleagues. Writing on a regular basis about topics I’m interested in for the blog has been a good activity and hobby for me. It’s helped me to remember the value I personally derive from writing and is getting me closer to another goal of writing a book someday.
1500 Days is about early retirement. Do you have early retirement dreams? At what age do you think you will retire?
Freedom40plan.com is also about early retirement, or perhaps more accurately, financial independence (FI). I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer and the blog is a tool to move me from dream mode into action mode. It’s also to help me draw a line in the sand and say, “once I am 40, I will be financial independent and can safely quit my job and do whatever I want after that”. Right now the goal is age based, but obviously there is a dollar value that should be associated with the plan. I’m still working on determining what that should be…
If blogging isn’t your full time gig, what is?
I’m definitely not a full time blogger, although that does sound appealing. Perhaps someday….right now for my 9 to 5 (err 8 to 6 plus) I’m a management consultant working in the DC metro area. I try to make government agencies run just a little bit better. It’s an uphill battle…
When you are 90 and look back on your life, what do you hope you have accomplished?
I think about this question somewhat often, but I think it is less a question of accomplishments for me and rather a question related to regrets. If I should be so lucky to live to 90, I don’t want to have any regrets. I want to be able to look back on my life and say that I did things the way I wanted to, rather than the way others do them or think they should be done.
What is the best money management or investment tool you have come across?
I think the basic concept of tracking your net worth on a monthly basis is the single most important and powerful tool I’ve come across. I think that clearly seeing how your assets and liabilities are moving and changing on a monthly basis can be incredibly powerful in driving behavioral changes.
Did you grow up with money? How did your money situation growing up influence you?
It’s all relative I guess. I never thought we were that poor when I was growing up. Certainly we had more than many others in my school. But looking back on it, I guess we were solidly middle class. It was always clear to me growing up that we were on a tight budget. We never really went out to eat, vacations typically involved tent camping at a nearby state park, and for the longest time my Mom drove a crappy old ford with over 100k miles on it.
Did your parents teach you about money as a kid? How so?
Mom always made a point of explaining money to me from an early age. She helped me open a bank account when I was 10 and when I wanted a new bike the deal was that she’d pay for half of it only. I had to save for months before I had enough to buy it. You better believe I valued that bike and took great care of it though! That’s just one of many examples I could give that are all basically the same. I guess that’s what turned me into such a saver and in being overall mindful of my money.
What is your favorite style of beer – and what is your favorite beer in that style?
I’ve rarely met a beer I don’t like, but one of my favorites around this time of year is Sea Dog Hazelnut Porter.
What do you do for exercise?
I play basketball twice a week with a bunch of guys. Even though I’m not the best player, I love the game and it is great exercise. Beyond that I run from time to time but really need to do better about the consistency of my fitness regimen.
Thanks Freedom 40 for your answers today! Be sure to stop in and say ‘Hi!’ to Mr. Freedom (I just made that up) over at his blog. Best of luck on your journey!
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