Sweet, Sweet Cubicle: Should I Stay or Should I Go??
If you too are trying to decide whether early retirement is your goal, you’ve come to the right place.
I’ve learned a lot, often the hard way, about the importance of purpose and relationships over money. Money is vital, but we create many of our own problems when it comes to personal finance.
Once you get the money-part figured out, the key is to remember each and every day that money is simply an enabler. The focus has to be on people, so that you can avoid major regrets later in life.
My mission here is to figure out whether early retirement is all it’s cracked up to be. Some days I dream about new adventures. Even simple things like reading and taking naps have me longing from under the fluorescent cubicle lights…
We live in the U.S. Midwest, where the weather runs decent to cold-as-hell, the people are kind, and craft beers thrive. In order to keep up my cardio and my sanity, I ride my bike to work a few times a week from April to October.
No lavish lifestyle here. Not by a long shot. There’s two paid off cars in the garage and a modest, but well-maintained 1,400 square foot home to shelter us.
As an homage to the classic 1980s video game of the same name (though different spelling — “Q*bert”) I’ve chosen “Cubert” as my nom de plume. I never made it past level one…
We enjoy the outdoors and try hard to limit our screen time. With two kids our days can be exhausting, but incredibly rewarding. Mrs. Cubert and I were married for seven years before having kids, and we work hard to keep the fires burning with regular date nights.
I preach often on this blog about the importance of balance and trade-offs in our lives. Sometimes, you just need to get out of the house, and take a break from the kitchen!
My five year plan to retire early?
Back in the fall of 2014 I found myself completely burned-out. Newborns demanded a lot of our attention, and the most intense work project of my career was really heating up. Weekend conference calls and evenings online were the norm.
I stumbled across Mr. Money Mustache while searching Google for “early retirement” — and still, four years later, I’m not entirely convinced that quitting is the answer to a supremely fulfilling life…
I had the good fortune of getting into real estate rentals, thanks to a colleague who’d built a mini-empire of duplexes. We started out with a couple of single family homes in 2013 and now have five rentals.
It’s a lot of work up-front, and it helps to be handy. Real estate rentals are generally passive and the more skilled you become, the easier it gets.
We keep our investments basic, with 401K dollars fully allocated to low-cost index funds. If we early retire, we’ll rely on cash flow from our rental business, plus income from Mrs. Cubert’s part-time business. The 401K will be waiting for us when I reach 59.5 years of age.
I’m a firm believer in focusing on cash flow over net worth. You need money to pay the bills.
It’s stressful to see the market take the occasional tumble. That’s why I’m a huge fan of real estate. Diversified assets are crucial.
I’ve met a handful of like-minded bloggers since starting my spot of Internet. You’ll come across a few good yarns here, and a few where I’ve had the honor of guest posting for the stars.
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Disclaimer: I’m not a financial planner or certified money expert. Any recommendations or advice presented within the content of this blog are based on the experiences of the author.