The year is 2017. The situation: I’m a lawyer in my mid-thirties with a young family. My husband: also a lawyer. Our lifestyle is financially comfortable, but we work a lot of hours at jobs we don’t envision staying in for the long run. We’re tired of working for the man, and bursting with fantastical ideas of leaving the law and starting businesses of our own.
But what about the money? We both currently have hefty salaries coming in and, though I’ve always saved (even at my first, entry-level job, where I was making $32,000 living in New York), at our family’s current spending levels, we do not have enough savings to quit working altogether. But, I’ve been reading up on early retirement blogs about cutting spending dramatically and making money work for you, all the while feeling fulfilled and purposeful, rather than stingy and deprived. By adopting these principles, People On The Internet claim to have stopped working for others, or cut their paid work dramatically at astoundingly young ages — in their 20s, 30s, or 40s, rather than their 60s or 70s. The allure is powerful: live happier now; don’t delay the gratification of a self-driven life until middle- or old age.
Don’t get me wrong. Plenty of people derive joy and purpose from their jobs. And, as a working parent, I have found having a career to be invaluable in maintaining sanity while raising children. I don’t want to be a full-time parent, or a full-time vacationer. But I do want to work for myself, and to alter the amount, type, and purpose of work I’m doing.
So… can I get there? Time will tell. This blog will document the journey from stability to uncertainty, stasis to transition, and hopefully, drudgery to inspiration. Welcome.