Life Version 2.0

So despite this being a blog about early retirement you might be interested to know I’ve recently realized ‘retirement’ is a lousy damn word for what I’m trying to do.  Even financial independence doesn’t cover the entire concept all that well.  Freedom as a word is close, but almost too vague.  Yet yesterday I had an idea on what it could be called: Life Version 2.0.

I’m interested in creating a new life; reboot the old version into something else.  In the beginning I wasn’t even sure exactly what I wanted, but it wasn’t what I had.  Now after some years of trying things out I’m well on my to shifting over what I do with my time and how I earn my money.  Yet what is interesting about Life 2.0 is you can’t just upgrade instantly from version 1.0.  You have to do it in small steps so it is rather like being the ‘beta tester’ for your new life and you upgrading in steps like version 1.1, then 1.2, 1.3 and so on until you hit 2.0.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to do this in little steps that add up over time.  We often have vague ideas of what life 2.0 should look like, but when testing things in real life we find what doesn’t work for us or perhaps something that does work.  For example, I would have never guessed how much I like being a school board trustee.  Had a tried to jump from version 1.0 right to 1.5 I would have missed out in finding this out about myself.  Or you might discover something you thought you would like is actually a quite a bit different to do full time.  Getting there is all about trying things out in baby steps and altering your plan as you go based on what you learn.

I’ve never really realized until recently how utter great it is to work on something you love to do.  You can literally do it almost all the time and not really get sick of it.  You only really stop because you know you need to balance off the rest of your life (for example the wife gives you that look and you know your latest project will have to wait another day or week).  For years I didn’t know that was really possible to do.  I at most ‘liked’ my jobs but I’ve never loved them.  Now that I’ve had a taste of that I really do get these people that go on and on about it isn’t work if you love it.

So where am I in my journey to life version 2.0?  I would guess I’m around version 1.5.  The versions so far go something like this:

  • 1.0: Realize your life isn’t what you want.
  • 1.1: Start cutting excess stuff and spending to free up savings cash flow.
  • 1.2: Brainstorm dreams to try out and work on the free list of dreams like writing more.
  • 1.3: Commit some cash to working on a dream or trying something new. Like running in an election or starting a small business.
  • 1.4: Drop off some of your previous life that you didn’t like.  Either activities or work related.
  • 1.5: Start to envision life version 2.0 in more detail and lay the ground work for larger scale changes by paying off your mortgage.

I’m not really sure exactly what the rest of the life versions are going to look like since I have yet to pass through them but it should still be an interesting ride.  You might notice those versions don’t have a lot to do with amounts of money.  That is because the amount of money will change entirely on what you are trying to do.  For some folks life 2.0 will have a million dollar price tag.  For others they might be able to do it with just $200,000.  It all depends on the life you are trying to build and where you are now.

So how about you?  Are you after retirement or life version 2.0?  What steps have you taken to get where you are?

6 thoughts on “Life Version 2.0”

  1. Great analogy and yes I have been searching for the right words to describe it as well. For the moment, I describe it as “freedom to do what I really want” rather than do what I have to do. Retirement to me means one foot in the grave.

    Most of us go through a life of mediocrity and yet we yearn for more. It’s not that we actively dislike what we do, it’s ok to do it and it’s familiar but we want more.

    The difficult part is to determine what it is you really want to do (and hopefully you do make a living of it).

    Having raised three children, the last one currently at age 15, I am actively pursuing financial freedom at age 55 (in seven years time). I believe that I am on track (fingers crossed) for a few more good years of returns, yet the question remains “what to do” afterwards. I’m sure I will find something (and hopefully very different) and Life Version 2.0 is a good goal to aspire to.

  2. Tim, great, great post – one of my all time favorites in fact. What you describe is exactly what I’m looking to do. Whether or not I can “retire” cold turkey when I hit 45 is up in the air. At the very least, I am bound and determined to make IMMENSE changes to my life. Life Version 2.0 is PERFECT. Great title for a future book you might write, perhaps?

  3. I’ve always thought of it more as “Life Choices” – I can choose where I want to live, what I want to do – for money or not, etc.

    For a good read on a different way of looking at careers and figuring out what you want to do or what works, I’d suggest Herminia Ibarra’s book “Working Identity”. The book is full of stories about people who have tried things on, and moved forward in their careers or life based on what they found out about themselves in their last move. It’s sort of a zig zag approach to life, but when I look back in hindsight, it’s what I’ve done when things work out just right. It’s like the Goldilocks approach of trying things out for size and feel.

    That’s where I think one’s perceptions of what would be ideal often don’t really work – because you have no idea of what that job (or hobby) actually entails that you have to do. This happens all the time with people who go to university. eg. I’d always dreamed of being a writer from the time I was little. It’s taken me 35 years to realize that I don’t actually enjoy writing enough to do it full-time or even for more than 1/2 hour a day. But I’m glad I had the time when I was off work for long periods earlier this year to find that out.

  4. @Robert,

    Good video which does summarize things well. Thanks.

    @Jon,

    Another book?!?! Let’s get the first one published and then consider that in the future. But thanks for the idea.

    @Jacq,

    Mmm, good points and thanks for the recommended reading. I would agree we often thing we want to do things and only realize after the fact how much work they are.

    Tim

  5. Not to throw a wrench in things, but “2.0” is an outdated term, according to Business Insider. But so are “frugalista” and “fashionista,” according to their editors.

    I see these words sticking around for a while, though. 🙂

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