April 2013

Hi, I’m Jed.  A 39 40 41 42 40-something year old married family man and father of twin boys.  We live in Madison, Wisconsin of the United States and are always looking for ways to buck the trend.  Thanks for visiting my site.

Buck and boys
Jed and boys

In the simplest of terms, my passion has been lit and my hair is on fire with our march to financial independence.  The flame has always been there, smoldering, but it definitely has kicked into another level of alarm recently.  It consumes my thoughts more than I care to admit and I’m hoping this blog provides some sort of outlet.

“No!  Not another personal finance blog!”

I know, I know.  The last thing this world needs is another person rambling on about the top 13 ways to cut starch expenses from your grocery bill.  I’m not interested in discussing those things either.

I believe there is a fundamental lack of financial smarts in the developed world.  This, coupled with extreme consumerism and an overriding sense of entitlement (the “I deserve it now” attitude) could really put our country and planet as a whole in a really tough spot.  And I’m not just speaking economically, but environmentally as well.

With that said, I’m encouraged by this seemingly large, albeit hidden, population of folks that “get it” and are bucking the trend in their own ways.  Folks that live below their means, generally aren’t wasteful, and appreciate life’s experiences over stuff.

While we are a work in progress, these are the principles that our family values and tends to abide by.  We have been able to amass a sizable nest egg using these guidelines and will be financially unchained to do whatever we want decades before traditional retirees.

Below are the reasons I’ve started documenting this journey:

  • Accountability – reason número uno is that I want to be able to track progress toward The Goal.
  • Technical Know-How – attempt to learn a bit about blogging, the technologies involved, and come to appreciate the connectivity of the wide world of the web and the opportunity it can provide.
  • Historical Log – provide a journal of sorts that our kids can revisit when they are older and better understand how mom and dad were able to spend inordinate amounts of time with them while growing up.

And in the rare event someone outside of my wife is perusing this blog, I hope this may enable:

  • Networking – meet like-minded friends that have similar goals.
  • Inspiration – give a little inspiration to you who, like us, are continuing on your journey to financial freedom.

I’m not big on giving advice so you won’t find a lot of that here.  I learn by seeing and following examples that I determine would be best for me and our family.  It is in this vein that I’ll share what has worked for us and what hasn’t and let you decide what you take away.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with comments or questions.  I’d love to hear from you.




27 thoughts on “About”

  1. Its always inspiring to read other stories of those looking to achieve financial independence on an accelerated schedule. I look forward to reading your continued progress toward your goal!

    1. Hi Integrator and thanks for browsing the site. I agree with you entirely – it is really encouraging to find others in similar situations in life and marching toward similar goals. I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

  2. Good to know there are others out there that get it and are trying to get out of the rat race by primarily reducing consumerism. Looking forward to keeping up with you in the blogosphere. Best wishes on reaching your retirement goal.

    1. Thanks for the well wishes, FMM. I appreciate your engagement on this site as it’s always fun to have a few more folks commenting. I look forward to browsing your site more as well. I can never get enough PF chit-chat!

  3. I saw your guest post on Pretired Nick’s blog and LOVE your story! I think the idea of taking the family abroad to expand your children’s horizons is a great idea and was the subject of conversation for my husband I while we took a walk today. I will definitely be coming back to catch up on your posts.

    By the way, its great to hear there’s another fellow Midwesterner on the early retirement band wagon.

    1. Thanks for the encouraging words and for stopping by, Mrs FWTWO. Us Midwesterners need to stick together! Feel free to stop by and comment anytime. Would love to hear any suggestions you may have.

  4. Hi Jed. Love your blog! We have been following it for the last few months as we start to make plans to travel long term with our families. We really appreciate reading your experiences abroad as well as the personal finance articles. So much so we are nominating it for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Likely, this isn’t the first time you have been nominated, but we wanted to share our appreciation for what you are putting out.

    We look forward to reading more!
    All the best, Sarah and Laurel of SproutedRoots.com

    1. Well you two just made my day! It’s nice to know that we’ve maybe provided a wee bit of inspiration for you. I’m going to have to go over to your blog to see where your families are headed…

  5. So glad to have found just found your blog. We are looking into moving abroad for the same reasons you have mentioned. (Good to know we’re not crazy!) For me I want to be able to spend more time with our kids especially outdoors. For my husband I know being financially independent is HUGE! Which would indeed allow us both to relax and really “be there” with our kids as opposed to always worrying about money. It just seems like the culture here in the states is to work work work while the kids go to school 7 hours a day then come home to do more hours of homework (training them for work work work…) and every ounce of their/our time is scheduled. However we know in moving abroad we will need a community especially for our children so they can make friends. So it is good to know there are like-minded expatriates there in Granada! We like what we see in Granada so far and we’ll continue to use your blog for research. Thank you!! I’m referring your site to my husband as well.

  6. I just came across your blog while trying to get help with planning a retirement trip to Spain – so glad I did. I passed it on to a couple of my kids and hope they realize the dreams I didn’t!!
    I especially liked all the info to begin with on the Visas and am going to start on those – hoping for a Retiree Visa.
    Hopefully I can find the TV episode again to watch.

  7. I came across your blog while doing some initial research and planning for a trip to Granada next spring. So excited to read all about your adventures! I am planning on living in the Albaicin neighborhood for three months, enrolling my twin boys in a public primary school (looking at Gomez Moreno School) while I take Spanish courses.

    I would appreciate any guidance you can provide about finding rentals in the area, schools, and other tips you think might be helpful!

    Thanks in advance for your time!

  8. Hi, I followed you from Go Curry Cracker. I am so intrigued about your story! I was wondering if you could add some info and links in your “About” section about the motivation and transition to Spain (like Mr Money Mustache’s ‘Start Here’ section). Right now the “Spain” tag has 40 posts, and I have to go page by page… And I wonder if others stopped reading rather than commented on why they stopped. 🙂

    1. Good suggestion. I’ll definitely consider it when I have some time to revamp things. Keep your eye out for some upcoming guest posts on the subject as well, which I’ll make known on this site. In the mean time, you can always start here and progress from there. I’ve also updated the blog’s “theme” to a version that now more easily allows you to go back to previous posts.

  9. Totally inspiring blog! Thank you for sharing. You have inspired me to do a similar blog for my journey – I find much in common with how you approach financial independence with the context of actually ‘living’.

    1. Awesome TTR! Can’t wait to peruse your blog more. I agree that it is all about balance. Thanks for stopping by and letting us know about your journey. Cheers.

  10. And I thought I was crazy…My husband and I moved to California in 1995 trying to get ahead in life, searching for a better economic future than the one we felt we could get in Argentina. We have worked hard, we have made a lot of progress but now that we are 41 and 42 years of age we look back and we realise that there are way to many factors in the current American economic system that make it an upside battle to stay ahead. Despite having what is considered a great income, we have never been able to buy a home. The cost of renting, transportation, medical insurance keep going up and up and up.
    We recently visited Seville to help my son get settled for a year of studying abroad. We took a long look at the cost of living there and we realized we could get by with half of what we need here in the US. So, we are too, going to give it a try. We are planning to move as soon as all the paperwork is done. So I am glad to know we are not the only crazy ones to take such drastic measure. Thanks!

    1. Nope, you’re definitely not the only crazies! In fact, once you arrive to Sevilla, I think you’ll be surprised how many other folks are doing something similar. From my perspective, Spain isn’t a great place to find a high-paying job but it is tops in terms of cost of living and quality of life. If you can somehow swing earning a US salary while living in Andalusia, you’ll have the best of both worlds!

  11. Hi Jed,
    Thanks so much for your posting. I’ve been scouring the web looking for something this well written and detailed. I used to live in Spring Green (worked at American Players Theatre) and love Madison, but we are set on moving to Andalucia in the next 2 years. Thanks again for all the great advice.

  12. I just found you blog. We are also working towards FI and also thinking about moving 1 year to Spain so the children can improve their Spanish and we can experience the European life and travel. My children are also half Indian. Are you still living in Spain and are you having any income there?.

Your Thoughts?