Background

DAY 1 - March 15, 2014

Join our family in our journey towards Financial Independence (FI).

 

 

Background

I'm 41 years old...by day, I am a local government employee; by night, I am an aspiring blogger. My wife is 31 years old and is currently a stay at home mom. We have two kids: our daughter is 4 and our son  is almost 2. Although it is definitely nice to have my wife home with the kids during this stage in their lives, it does come with sacrifices. Our plan is for her to eventually ease back into the workforce (possibly later this year). But until then, progress towards FI will be limited by my income. 

Although we only recently decided to blog our journey (March 15, 2014), we should clarify that my wife and I have lived frugally since we first married 7 1/2 prior to this blog. In fact, 7 months after we got married, we decided to move back in with my in-laws just to save money. So to be fair, our journey truly began 7 1/2 years ago. Through our frugality, some luck, and the blessings of great family support, I must admit that we already have a great start towards FI.

For more detail on these first 7 1/2 years, please click on the following links below:

Part 1 - Home Equity (story behind the current equity in our home); Part 2 - Investments (highlights of investment tools I've tried to date); Part 3 - Retirement (various retirement accounts we have and hope to tap into during retirement); Part 4 - Saving & Emergency Fund (how we have planned for life's unexpected events).
 

Primary Goal

Although we do have yearly goals to help keep us on track, our primary goal is to become Financially Independent in 14 years or less. To clarify, we hope to accumulate enough wealth to simply live off my pension, retirement accounts, savings, dividend income, and P2P accounts. Our motive for FI, as probably true for everyone chasing the same dream, is to have ultimate freedom and flexibility to live the life you desire. For us, that is to travel extensively and also have more time to spend with family and friends.

Whether we ultimately succeed or not, this blog will be our outlet to document our goals, strategies and progress along the way. If nothing more, this blog will help provide us with that extra incentive to succeed. Meanwhile, it should make us more accountable throughout our journey. For our readers, we hope our blog posts will provide you with some insight into what has or hasn't worked and maybe even motivate you throughout your own journey towards FI.
 
Subscribe to our blog and follow us on our journey...We would be honored if you joined us for the ride!!


14 comments:

  1. FFJ,

    Glad to see we are both pursuing our FI dream in California. I think it is a bit harder to achieve this goal in our Golden State given the high cost of living and outrageous taxes, but I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. Stop by my blog sometime and see if any of the strategies I am using would work for you as well.

    Good luck and best wishes on your continued pursuit,

    Deets (freedom595.com)

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    1. Freedom595 - Amen, retiring in California can definitely be harder. It is tempting to consider retirement out-of-state but I don't think we'll be able to give up the California weather. We are on track to retire in 13 years, maybe sooner. Hope you stop by periodically to see our progress.

      Visited your site...your passive income stream is very nice. More amazing is the rate in which it has grown. Keep it up!

      Wishing you success in your personal journey! AFFJ

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    2. AFFJ:
      I have some friends who are originally from my home state of Michigan. They established careers in LA and have spent the last 30+ years there. About 2 years ago, they retired and moved back to Michigan to be closer to family.

      A couple months ago, they decided that they couldn't take another winter here so they moved to AZ (lower taxes than CA). Based on their experience, you are probably making a good decision on your desire to live in California's climate. For weather, it can't be beat.

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    3. Actually, my in-laws just retired in July and moved to AZ at the end of August. The thought has crossed my mind because I could probably retire in 8-10 years if it meant retiring in AZ. Aside from the fact that my kids will still be in high school, I just don't think we would be happy there long term. The next few years should give us a little insight on retirement in AZ living vicariously through my in-laws. :)

      Thanks for visiting and for your comment. Best Wishes! AFFJ

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  2. You are about the same age as I was when my kids were your children's age. The one thing I really never counted in my early calculations was the private schooling and the activities. It was good that I had the kids later in life because I saved early, but now when the snowball could be truly rolling along with added savings, I am limited in the amount I can contribute. You got a really nice plan in place. Keep rolling along.

    Keep cranking,

    Robert the DividendDreamer

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    1. Thanks...my wife and I have had many discussions on schooling and activities. We definitely want to keep them active so we do feel that is important but hopefully they find enjoyment from the lesser expensive activity. haha As for schooling, we are blessed to be living in an exceptionally great school district. In fact, it is one of the primary reason we choose to live where we do. Private school is something we do not anticipate, but then again we can't always predict everything ..but fingers crossed! :)

      Thanks. AFFJ

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  3. Just found your blog through Div Hawk Paper and am truly looking forward to seeing you reach your goals

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    1. Glad you found us Tyler. Certainly glad to have another person to witness our journey towards FI. AFFJ

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  4. Best, clearly-written, detailed blog I've ever read.
    Also a Gov't employee, was wondering what your yearly salary is as well as percenatge of annual increase.
    I may have missed this information in the blog somewhere...

    Your family is fortunate to have such a strong and focused financial leader.

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  5. Great blog. I'm in a similiar spot with my age & our children but I'm living in Florida!

    When I first saw your house price, I was shocked! And then I realized you live in CA. ..

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. Appreciate the feedback. Hope you continue to follow us on our journey.

      And yes, California home prices are outrageous. Price we pay for the weather I guess. :)

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  6. So glad to find your blog. Very nice and helpful content. I totally agree that it is important to have yearly goal and primary goal.

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  7. since you are a government employee you may be able to transfer to a more reasonable part of the state or country if your a federal worker and save tremendously on your housing expenses. wishing you the best of luck.

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I wish it was that easy. I am a city employee that is ties to a CA state pension system. It's not transferable to another state and most of Cali is expensive. :(

      appreciate the idea. Who knows, maybe I will move and consult in another state in retirement. :)

      best wishes! AFFJ

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