[AWOKE]

Anytime I’ve needed to make a life change, it was in reaction to a major life event.  Something that wakes me up from my current state of denial or ignorance…  Our journey toward Financial Independence isn’t any different…  Our happy go lucky journey through corporate America was about to come to a screeching halt.

Brace For Impact

“Clear your calendars, we have a mandatory meeting in [MAJOR CITY] in two weeks”.  It was January 2018 and my boss just dropped that pearl on my team.  This was certainly odd, and I had a ton of work to do at home.  I asked if it was possible to Skype in?  “No, I’m sorry.  You have to be here”, was her response.  My team is spread out over the Northeast United States and we rarely meet in person.  Having a mandatory meeting dropped on us with less than two weeks’ notice was incredibly troubling.

(Fast forward two weeks)

I’m sitting in a tiny conference room with my peers, the sound of pens nervously clicking fills the room like a shitty symphony.  With a pained expression my boss quickly got to the point… “This is going to be a hard meeting; the company has asked that each of you lay off 25% of your teams”.  There it was… the hammer dropped, and the room fell silent.  The rest of the day was filled with my boss and her boss telling us how wonderful our teams were, how much we had accomplished in the past five years BUT, the company wants to use the money from our team’s salaries to pay for something else.  Something that wasn’t even vetted or functional yet.  It was in that very moment that I realized this corporation could give a shit less about the people working for it.  It’s all about the Benjamins, baby.

I was awoken

My wife and I work for the same company and in the same department.  We each had to fire 25% of our staff, on the same day…  It was a gut-wrenching time.  The company wouldn’t formally acknowledge this was happening, they wouldn’t even call it a “lay-off”.  They had some other political name for it that I’ll leave out for now.  What became apparent was the fact it was a disaster.  People’s lives were about to be destroyed and the poor leadership within my organization became wildly clear.  They didn’t know what to do.  The ship was sinking…

F-You Money

Holy shit… We need to have an exit strategy.  We need F-You Money.  If you aren’t familiar with “F-You Money” it’s when you have enough money that YOU are in control of your life.  You have the carrot and the stick!  If you choose to eat the carrot and hid the stick up [Greedy Corps] ass, well… that’s your prerogative!  When you have F-You money, you work because you WANT to work, not because you HAVE to work.

The End Game

Financial Independence by December 2023, that’s the goal.  Seems easy enough, right?  It sounds cool until you sit down and really try to figure this shit out… What is FI?  How do we get there?  Will we know we are even there when we arrive?  (head spinning) There appears to be so many ways to achieve FI. Stocks, real estate, private loans, syndication, and more.  We aren’t sure what’s right for us and that’s ok.

Here’s what we do know.  We currently budget for roughly $3400/month in expenses (including a $2029 mortgage (T/I)) and we want $6000/month in passive income and a cash-reserve of $40,800 (1 year of expenses).  It seems linear, it’s not.  I really don’t believe 2+2 = FI.  God willing, my wife and I will continue to produce income.  I’m sure the fact we will continue to produce income could shave a lot of time off the FI journey… I just don’t know how much because, I don’t know what that work looks like?  For now, we will continue to march down this path, shoulder to shoulder with our fellow FI dreamers.

Let’s do this!