My husband started work last month. That means we are now receiving something we haven’t seen in nearly two whole years – a regular pay cheque! I’m so freaking excited, mainly because a regular pay cheque lifts the pressure on our savings and allows us to begin planning our next escape.
Yep – one month into the new job and we are thinking about his exit.
As I’ve written more (and read more and learned more) about money I’ve come to realise a few things about life. It can end tomorrow. Or in ten years. Cruelly, I’ve heard of people dying shortly after leaving the workforce to enjoy traditional retirement.
Related post: How to Semi-Retire in Your 30s
This one precious life must be lived to its fullest. So when I started working out all the ways we could take to retire in ten years there was one bloody big obstacle that I couldn’t get over. It would take ten years. Ten of my healthiest years, with young children who are ultra-portable. Ten years without travelling.
I can live without fancy clothes and furniture. I don’t even need my car to function properly (remember those electric windows that won’t budge). I will happily rotate the same 7-day plan for the rest of my days. I will dress my children in hand-me-downs and buy them only second-hand toys. I have given up smoking. My daily coffee purchase. And wine*. But not travel. I just cannot give up travel.
My name is Emma and I’m a travel addict
I haven’t been able to sit still for 3 years in a row since I became an adult. I have been on a repeat cycle of work my arse off-save hard-quit job-travel-get new job-work my arse off-save hard-quit job-travel since I turned 21 and moved from New Zealand to live in Australia. If having kids didn’t stop me travelling then nothing will.
For me to be motivated the next adventure must be looming. Ten years of no travel is too much for me to bear. I have also had many breaks from the workforce, and have sorely missed the lovely frequent pay cheques that come with regular jobs. So whilst I will continue to plan and scheme for the next adventure, indefinite travel is just not for me. A balance between slow travel and simple living at home is my ideal.
Saying Adios to Early Retirement…Instead I’m Retiring Regularly
We live in extraordinary times. Technology has enabled huge change in the way we work. People pay me to help them with their businesses, when they need changes to their websites or marketing help. I have worked on client projects from New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Mexico, Ireland and France. When we spent a week at the theme parks in Orlando, I’d have fun with my son at Disney during the day and at night I’d get online to work with my client in Australia. What a life! I’d was pinching myself every second minute. I was being paid to do work I loved, yet I could choose to change my surroundings whenever I wanted. The combination of fulfilling work and travel is every bit as wonderful as it sounds.
Unfortunately that contract ended but the seed was firmly planted. The flexibility to work on projects I enjoy with clients I like is the type of business I don’t ever want to retire from. Maybe it’s because I’ve already quit my job and travelled multiple times, but full on early retirement just isn’t for me. All I want is the freedom and finances to work and travel as and when I choose.
Now I’ve established that I don’t want to
give up travelling for ten years retire early, my focus is on creating an income that can travel with me. We still need to minimise expenses and optimise income but knowing that we are not abandoning a regular job means we have time to sort out systems that allow passive income to flow in.
How I’m creating a life I don’t need to retire from
1. Building my business and websites. 2016 will be a time of growth as I target new clients in the hope of replacing my husband’s income (so he can be a stay at home daddy). If you need help with managing your website, creating content or just a general virtual assistant please get in touch, I’d love to work with you.
2. Sell non-performing rental property. When I first started investing I believed I would never sell but I have now come to realise a non-performing property is a huge burden and a big risk to the travelling lifestyle.
3. Aggressive pay down of mortgage debt. The properties we keep will be income streams while we travel so having debt against those properties directly reduces our income. Eliminating debt means higher income and reduced risk if a property is vacant.
4. Diversifying investments away from property. I’m looking at index funds through Vanguard which are finally available in New Zealand. We’ll be incorporating a monthly contribution into our budget.
5. Getting our house into a condition where we could rent it out on Airbnb while we travel. This will take more than a year as we need to redo the kitchen and bathroom and convert the dining area into a third bedroom so we’ll need to spend at least ten grand. Probably more. But it’s part of the strategy that will enable us to travel for large parts of the year.
A change in direction for Money Can Buy Me Happiness
I’ve been writing here for nearly a year and whilst I love it I’ve become a little burnt out writing about saving money and budgeting. The hard truth is that wealth is not created solely by living frugally, you have to maximise earnings. Whilst it’s a great idea to optimise your systems to bootstrap your dream business, aiming for a lifetime of low earnings just doesn’t appeal to me.
I’ll be using this site as a place to document all aspects of my ‘Create A Portable Income’ project. I’ll be publishing monthly income reports – which I’m sure will suck for the first wee while – detailing the income I earn from both my freelance business and the websites I am working on. There will still be musings on money and the sharing of hard lessons, but 2016 is all about making more money. Bring it on.
What does your 2016 look like? Do you plan it out or just wing it and hope for the best?
*I haven’t really given up wine, I’ve just been a milk machine for 2 kids for the past three years so wine and me are on hiatus.