So…I carried around a man with no arms and legs for a couple years.
I also majored in Philosophy.
I believe it is these 2 things combined that have given me the perspective of life I have currently. I won’t say much about them in this post, other than the fact that they started me on the path to this blog and my way of life.
You see, this post is about one particular goal that is the gateway to many other goals.
That singular goal is…
I want to be financially independent.
I have been reading a lot of the Financial Independence/Retire Early blogs lately and have come to the conclusion that one can do this and that it is net-beneficial in life. Why? Well, that is what this blog is about. I am searching for the forest…not getting lost in the trees. This concept applies to finance as well. Here is why financial independence is important to me.
- I can spend more time with my family. I mean this. Some people need work, they need the break from the kids, they need the space. I, however, love hanging with my kids and wife. They are both wonderful. I am not just saying this, but truly love my 18-month old son and want to be around for him as much as I can. We also have a child on the way due in July. My wife is such a wonderful woman and I want to spend time and laugh together and change the world together…I know, meager dreams.
- I want to give my life to something bigger and longer than myself, my own existence. A recent Macklemore song connected with me when he says, “I heard you die twice, once when they bury you in the grave and the second time is the last time that somebody mentions your name”. I know, meager dreams again! This requires that I research and tap into one of the existential things that really invigorates and consumes me, which is ethical thinking and application. I teach ethics at a the local community college and I have always been fascinated with ethical decision making. Ever since the Trolley Problem in my introduction to ethics class at Moorpark Junior College I have looked at and assessed ethical problems. One of the stated goals of this blog is to isolate the problems worth paying attention to vs. not paying attention to. Financial Independence gives me more time for this. See this link to read about some of my concerns in this area.
- I want to homeschool my kids (at least for a couple years) and drive around the country in an RV. I have NEVER before this last year wanted an RV or to do something like this. However, for those of you who might not know, we have a child with significant food allergies and so an RV to travel in (where we can cook allergen free) would be a great thing to have. An allergen free zone!
- I want to travel internationally. I want to go to every country on earth. I probably won’t make it, but I want to try. Both to visit ethical-problem countries and to see Italy again:) I want to visit other countries that no one has ever head of…Moldova anyone?
- I want to visit every national park. Alaska will be tough as there are 9. I live in CA where there are also 9…so I can most likely accomplish that pretty easily. This dream could go quickly, especially with the stated RV trip and the ability to camp at each one if possible:)
Philosophy- The Art of Critical Thinking
I think that philosophy plays into this somewhat. I have read that there is a disproportionate amount of engineers and software guys in the FIRE community and I firmly believe it is the fact that these majors produce critical thinkers. Critical thinking is what gets people to want this…Why?
Simple. You analyze your options and basically assume that you don’t want to be a workaholic and sell your soul to a small probability of getting very wealthy as an Entrepreneur. Secondly, you also think working for 40 years and just contributing up to a company match sounds terrible. It is really just the fact that those two positions (critically thought about) seem unlikely (in the case of becoming a multimillionaire in 2-5 years) and stupid (in the case of employee match and a mediocre retirement in length and what you do during that time).
Carrying a Limbless Man
This had a profound effect on how I think about perspective. When you travel to a number of countries that have people significantly less fortunate than you (hear countries like Cambodia, Egypt, Tanzania, Russia, Moldova, Vietnam, etc.), then you begin to realize that life is extremely wonderful for us here in the USA.
It changes you. It make you realize that the amount of money we have is crazy when compared to elsewhere. Equally to the point, is that we would be crazy to waste it all on vanilla latte’s, cars, steaks, and housing.
These are some of the reasons that I want to achieve financial independence and I am sure there are more that will become more important on this journey.
The question should actually be…
Why does anyone not want to become financially independent?
So, why do YOU not want be financially independent?