Dave is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any. Dave is from Ontario and is working towards his CGA certification.
I really enjoy writing once a week for this blog. It provides an outlet to talk about my own financial strategies (such as they are) and hear back from people who are interested in the same thing. For the most part, I just carry on with my plan and don’t really think twice about it. Once in a while though, something comes up that puts my life into perspective, like happened this past weekend when I was hanging out with friends and found out about a past high-school buddy who I hadn’t spoken to in a few years.
This is guy is the exact same age as me, was in some of the same classes as me in high school and grew up about 10 km from me in the country. When people are having a rough time, I think it’s natural to put yourself in their shoes. I look at this guy and realize how easy it would have been at some point in my life to have something happen to me that would alter my life significantly. Beyond wanting to achieve financial independence, part of the reasoning behind my financial plan is to hopefully reduce my risk of bad things happening.
I read enough “business guy” books which say the best thing to do financially is to constantly be on the offensive – to keep pushing financially to achieve greater and greater goals. I think the difference between myself and people who actually follow the methods professed by these “gurus” is that I’m not really looking for a lot out of life. I don’t need a huge house (bought the smallest size possible in the city I live in), a fancy car (my car is a 6-year-old Nissan Versa), or a vacation property. When I’m not taking part in my hobbies, I just want to hang out with my wife, friends and family.
It’s for these modest “wants” that I tend to play a more defensive personal finance game. I don’t try to overstretch, taking huge risks. I don’t participate in leveraged purchases, and prefer to pay down relatively low-expense debt than attempt to increase my annual income through stock or other asset purchases. I understand the opportunity cost in carrying out the financial strategy I have, but I am more concerned with keeping what I have, rather than collecting more.
I realize that I’m fortunate to be able to contemplate any of this, and to talk to the subscribers to this blog about my financial goals, and the thinking behind some of the inane financial decisions I make along the way. Sometimes though, it’s good to be jerked out of the constant mindset and realize how fortunate I am to be able to even attempt what I’m doing.