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Another 5 Years

October 31st, 2021 at 01:25 pm

Blogaversary post from 5 years ago (well, some bits and pieces from that post):

We just happen to be on track to hit $1 Mil when our kids should be finishing up college. I am not comfortable dropping down from full-time work until I have a really clear picture of college plans. So I think it works out that those two goals will be hit around the same time. ($1 Mil will be plenty for us to retire on).

I expect that by 50 we will be financially independent. At that point we will just have to regroup. I am not planning to shift to part-time work the day I turn 50 or on the day my kid graduates college. But I think that is just the point in time where we will be running the retirement numbers and fine tuning the final plan. Retirement has been our only substantial financial goal since our kids were born, but in our 20s it was just so far away and nebulous. I think we are allowing that at age 50 it should be a lot more clear and turning into a much shorter term goal.

We also have to decide where on earth we want to live. We know we want to downsize and move. That's all we know. I suppose it depends where our kids and parents are at that time. It's important for us to be near family. I expect the "where" to impact our working/retirement plans in our 50s. 

Other than trying to save up as much as possible, the next 10 years seem pretty nebulous. I don't know that I know much of anything. I expect a lot of change. We've been really boring and stable since having kids, but when I look beyond their high school years we are pretty much open to anything. We don't know where we are going to live. Our kids aren't on any set college path yet. My job is very finite. MH still has no idea what he wants to do when he grows up. I have *no idea* where we will be in 10 years. I'd just like to be on very solid financial ground, and if we achieve that then the rest doesn't matter. The rest is whatever we want it to be.

Things have progressed pretty steadily.  I posted recently that we hit our "financial independence" number (or would likely hit the number this year), but it is kind of useless at this point with the real estate market.  We will need to revise our number upwards as real estate just gets more expensive.  The overall goal is $1 Mil + a paid-for home.   We can achieve this in the next 5 years.

The biggest thing that happened these past 5 years is that my job ended.  I hadn't searched for a job in 17 years and felt a lot of stress about it (I knew I would never stay once my employer retired).  But I knew my job was too good to leave early.  Hindsight 20/20, glad I held on to the bitter end.   I mean, until a reasonable bitter end.  It was difficult to find work/life balance I had become accustomed to and also was difficult to find anything near what I had been paid before.  But it ended up all falling into place.

With the job change, I was just very open to anything.  Mostly wanted to dip my toes to see if the grass was greener.  The grass is *way* greener.  I no longer work in tax, so I no longer work OT hours whatsoever.  I really wouldn't have been surprised if I went for a higher power higher paying job for a few years to get my kids through college (though otherwise so NOT me).  But I was able to find a much easier job with less hours, and I am happy with that shift at this point in my life.  The grass is *way* greener.  Overall compensation ended up the same, but hours/responsibilities decreased.  

We also figured out one half of the college equation.  MM(18) ended up going an extremely practical route, choosing a very low-cost public in-state college that will open up a lot of doors for him.  

DL(16), I have absolutely no clarity on that and will have to let that sort out over the next few years.  

I think the one surprise and big question mark at this point is the health of my family.  Not only is my parents' health declining rapidly (which is a possibility I hadn't thought much about, that they'd need so much help at this point in my life, as I expected in the short run that one could take care of the other).  Not only is that quickly changing, but my BIL has some mystery illness now.  I never expected my sister to still be alive, but with everyone else not doing well, it is for the first time crossing my mind that I might need to eventually be a caregiver for my sister.  I don't know the odds of that, but was nothing that had ever crossed my mind before.  I expect this "last 6 years of getting our kids through college and reaching financial independence" to become more challenging on this family/health front.  I don't know if I might have to take some time off work before crossing that finish line or how things will play out.

1 Responses to “Another 5 Years”

  1. LifeBalance Says:

    It's wise to think of your family's health and how you could be impacted. Just to have a plan, or some options, in mind in case it happens.

    You probably know this but just in case: if your company employs more than 50 people, Family Medical Leave is an option that allows 12 weeks off. It made all the difference for me to be able to care for my Dad after the transplant this year. Other advice: paying for home healthcare help was well worth it so that my brother and I could balance work and caring for Dad before the transplant. I wish we'd done it earlier - by the time we acknowledged the need, we were nearing the breaking point. We used to find people.

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