Today’s post is technically a 10 Questions. I usually publish these on Saturdays, but today I make an exception.
Normal life is a compromise. We work for 40 or 50 years. When our time finally frees up, our bodies aren’t what they used to be. What fun is having all of the time in the world and not being able to completely enjoy it?
One of the aspects of a normal job that I despise most is lack of time for travel. If your vacations are anything like mine, you get a week a couple times per year. In that precious week, you try to cram a bunch of stuff in. Often, I’ve just started to decompress at the very end of the vacation.
Perhaps the part of Financial Independence that I look forward to most is slow travel. Instead of renting a hotel room somewhere for a week, I’ll rent a home in an interesting place for a month or two months. There will be plenty of time to walk to town every day, read books in the afternoon and hear stories from the locals. We’ll immerse ourselves in the place and take it easy.
Because we have children in school, these trips will be restricted to the summer, but that is still 3 whole months that we’ll be able to do whatever we feel like. I can’t wait.
Of course, we all know it doesn’t have to be this way. Save like crazy and Financial Independence can be yours decades before most of us hang up our keyboard or tool belt. Jeremy and Winnie from Go Curry Cracker! have done just this.
Today is the 7th edition of our new periodic guest post series called 10 Questions. We have a list of 17 NEW 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. (If you have already answered the first set of 10 questions, please feel free to answer these new ones.)
Tell me about your blog and why it’s great
I’m still trying to figure this one out myself, but we get emails nearly every day saying our story has changed lives for the better, which gives me a warm fuzzy feeling every single time. We mostly write about our nomadic lifestyle, and how it costs less than you might think, but occasionally we break out Excel and geek out on optimizing taxes and investments.
My personal favorite part of the blog is the professional photos of each unique place we visit.
What post are you most proud of and why?
One of the most common questions we are asked is, “But isn’t every single place on the planet dangerous, except where I live right now?”
Of course, the answer is yes. Just ask Fox News.
My favorite post has one goal, to help at least one person avoid a gruesome footwear related death.
Do you enjoy writing?
Writing an essay on “What I did during summer vacation” or a book report on The Old Man and the Sea was pure torture, worse than pulling out my own hair (probably why I have none).
But when I started writing about stuff that I was actually interested in, surprise! It was fun.
Do you have Early Retirement dreams
Winnie and I retired in our 30s to travel and make babies.
We are now 2.5 years in, have traveled very slowly through Mexico and parts of Central America, and by the time you read this will be parents.
Do you ever miss your job?
“I wouldn’t say I’ve been missing it, Bob”
Any difficulty adapting to your new life?
Even 6 months after leaving the workplace, I would find myself sometimes thinking about work. There I was on a beach with an ice-cold coconut, and my mind was thousands of miles away trying to solve a problem that no longer existed.
I’m happy to report that this bit of neurosis has been solved by an intensive regime of more beach and more coconut.
Each day typically has good food, art, and music at the core.
When you are 90 and look back on your life, what do you hope you have accomplished?
That the people who know me think I’m a good person, who never let fear hold him back.
And that I still look as good as I did when I was 40.
What is the best money management or investment tool you have come across?
Low cost index funds from Vanguard
How do you handle people with different views on money, i.e. spendy people?
The same way I treat everyone, as an equal. But an equal I want to be my Secret Santa.
Did you grow up with money? How did your money situation growing up influence you?
If there was a TV show made of my youth, it might be called White Trash Couture. What kid doesn’t look good in hand me downs, standing in front of a mobile home with a car up on blocks?
Money was always scarce, and there was a general distrust and anger towards anybody that might have money. Obviously they got ahead by taking advantage of people via illegal or unethical behavior.
In a sort of crab mentality, getting ahead was frowned upon, as explained by philosopher Notorious B.I.G., “Mo money, mo problems.” This kind of attitude is horribly self-defeating, and was something I had to unlearn.
But I also learned how toxic debt could be, and the fear of having rent due but no ability to pay. Although I made financial mistakes early on, this background limited those mistakes to a recoverable size. Over time I was able to turn a fear of having no money into healthy respect and then abundance.
Did your parents teach you about money as a kid? How so?
Good money habits weren’t their specialty. For example, I learned that if you came across an unexpected windfall, perhaps from a tax return, you should spend that sh*t ASAP. But only on something practical, such as a chainsaw or a sofa with faux mahogany trim and an embroidered avocado and gold colored rose.
But I learned other, much more valuable life skills, such as a love of reading, the importance of education, a strong work ethic, to respect everyone, that complaining never solves anything, and the only person to blame for your situation is yourself.
In high school, some friends started brewing beer under the Big Shooter label. We even had T-shirts, “Big Shooter Beer for the Big Shooter in You.”
Nowadays, I prefer something distilled and aged in oak barrels for a decade or two. Perhaps a Lagavulin or Talisker.
Best thing you read lately
“It’s a boy!”
We’ve also been doing daily reads of Eric Carle’s Very Hungry Caterpillar
What do you do for exercise?
I swing a kettlebell around from time to time, and do push-ups and sit-ups. Walking and biking are my preferred form of transport.
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