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Let me start by saying that we love our jobs. Mr. Us in Orlando even went so far as to say "FIRE? I don't want to be one of those people. I want to keep working!" (Or something to that effect, he might have also made some snarky comments about frugality and having no desire to practice misery...)
So, FI, but not FIRE. And even that is a recent occurrence.
Just a few short months ago - with nary a budget in sight - we were living paycheck to (frankly) exorbitant paycheck in the New York City area and decided to do a quick look into what it would take to buy a condo. Gulp. We realized that even with our above-average incomes and an aggressive savings plan, we wouldn't be buying a shoebox, much less the home of our dreams, any time before our son hit middle school.
Friends, we did not have an aggressive savings plan. Or really, a savings plan. Oomph. We figured we would always be working, and money was for spending. Aside from ensuring we were getting the company match on our 401ks, we weren't doing much in the way of future planning.
It was time for some real talk.
We spent a number of weeks debating what we wanted: Did we actually want a to own a home? How important was living near family? Were we comfortable relying on a side hustle to pay for childcare? Were we cool giving 10 hours a week to our commutes? Did we want to have hobbies? Could we actually tolerate winter? The list goes on. At the end of that, we came to the conclusion that life in the NYC area was not for us.
So a mere three months after making the decision to move to the Hudson waterfront, we made the decision to leave. We had lived in Orlando - in a beautiful new construction high rise with a pool and a gym we never used - and knowing we had family and friends in the area, we decided to move back.
We'll be permanently back at the end of May. In total, we lasted nine months in the north.
Now, to make a move with a near-one-year old in tow is no easy feat. Nor is managing your fifth (sixth?) move in four years. This move had to have a greater purpose. It needed to serve a values-aligned means to an end. We decided that this move would be in pursuit of satisfaction and "enough"- reign in the lifestyle inflation, stem the tide of "stuff" accumulation, give ourselves the options to pick up hobbies, reduce our commutes, and stop the side hustle.
We want FI so that we have options and the ability to change our mind about work in the future. So that we can take on the passion projects, we can volunteer full time, so that we can travel and educate and give. So that we don't spend an hour each morning taking two trains packed to the gills with other miserable commuters. So that we see family in the flesh, rather than on FaceTime.
It is important to acknowledge that we're operating from a place of privilege. We make great salaries, we have jobs that let us work remotely, we have family that can help us make a big transition. We work hard, but we're also incredibly lucky to have the flexibility and opportunities available to us. We are focused on being more intentional and deliberate about crafting our life to maximize and share our (financial, intellectual, health) wealth.
So, knowing that we wanted to make a change - where did we start?
looking forward to share more!
Blog posts are all by Mrs. Us in Orlando unless otherwise noted. A former military kid, she's glad to have landed in the sunshine state and enjoys year-round summer sports, making every book a "beach read", waterside walks with the fam, and iced lattes.