What in the Wide World of Sports do I do???
I am late to this party. Early Retirement being the party in question here. You can check out some of my progress/story here. But what an amazing party it is! If you make some changes to how you live, you can live a very full life, but actually save money. This money then starts to work for you. Not all that long after that, it starts to snowball for you! It can even get to the point where it outearns you! Now you have freedom, and you decide what you do with your time.
I showed up a little late, which puts me in a little different situation than those showing up in their 20s. I am 46, and I have 5 kids. In about 6 years one of my kids will be thinking about leaving the house and being on their own. If I buckle down, and save every penny I can, I can retire at 60. This is right about the time the last one could be leaving the house. While this will be great for my wife and myself, it would leave me with some regrets concerning my children. The biggest regret by far would be the time spent with them. I love to spend time with my kids, I will not sacrifice most of the time I spend with them.
So, that leaves me in a pretty gray area when it comes to:
Money: I don’t want to spend big on them, but I do want them to see parts of our beautiful country. We have access to: deserts, rain forests, mountains, plains, tropics, oceans, lakes, rivers and more. In a couple of days I could be at any of these in my car. Everyone would speak the same language, and the same currency would be used. It is an absolutely amazing opportunity. You are distracting me, back to the topic at hand! 🙂 We are starting to do this in our van, with a tent, but this still has a cost associated with it. If I am fully committed to Early Retirement / Financial Independence, I would not spend this money, but invest it.
2nd gray area:
Time: Last night my wife and I played a game (Samauri Spirit, it was the first time we played it, and it was quite a bit of fun!). I am just starting up this blog, working on the layout, etc. In order to work toward my freedom, I should have worked on this blog. But I knew my wife was home all day with sick kids, and could use a little bright spot in her day. (She did appreciate it very much.)
I am constantly faced with these types of decisions. Do I sacrifice today for the future? Do I sacrifice the future for today? Before kids, and if I was younger, sacrificing today would have been a pretty logical decision. But, I have kids and I work a full time job, so the time with my kids is already limited. Sacrificing my already scarce time with my kids is not really an option. So, I guess somewhere down the middle is the best choice. But this is gray, and there is not a clear decision for each circumstance. Should I have played that game? Or, should I have worked on the blog? (Will this blog even work? That’s a better question!)
I am walking the middle road. I will regret it if I do nothing for the future, and only live for today. I will be stuck in my cubicle forever! However I will also regret it if I don’t do anything for today, and only live for the future. Soon, my kids will be gone, out of the house, and my relationship with my wife would probably suffer.
If you were looking for a blog post with all the answers, you are probably pretty disappointed. Actually, it’s me that’s disappointed! By now you should have figured out that this blog is more questions than answers! Things are a little different around here on the Tamale Ranch, we are writing from down in the trenches. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s good to be working in the trenches.
How I wish I had a crystal ball, but I guess that would take all the fun out of the journey. So, I am heading off, uncertain, into the future.