The Goal

April 2013

Our family strives for financial independence with no debt at the earliest possible date while we continue using the ‘min/max’ approach to funding life’s experiences – minimizing expenses for those things that don’t matter to us and maximizing those that do.

To achieve this goal, we will continue to save over 50% of our income and look to obtain a 7% return on our investments year over year.

The RewardSpain National Crest

We’ll pack up our boys and move to Spain for at least 2 years where they will go to school to crystallize their fluency in Spanish and I will be able to cross off one of the largest items from our bucket list.

The Risk

An extended recession or change in our dual income employment status – but these are ongoing risks and are no greater than they’ve been since we entered the workforce.  The good news is that if any of these derail our plans, we’re young enough where we could simply extend our working careers a bit longer until our magic number is realized.

18 thoughts on “The Goal”

  1. Congratulations on your financial progress thus far. A move to spain sounds like a great reward for some serious hard work with savings and investing. It looks like we have similar goals. Our focus is on a passive dividend income stream of $50k/yr by 40. To do that, we have mainly chosen individual stocks as our path, with some limited investments in some managed funds. Good luck with achieving your goals!

    1. Thanks for the well wishes, Integrator. I also stumbled upon your blog a couple of days ago and noticed many similarities in our goals, so I’ll also be checking in quite frequently. It sounds like you are a more knowledgeable (and a more active) investor than me, so I look forward to learning more from you.

    1. Thanks Lisa E. It’s amazing the power a single, published well thought-out goal can have on just about anything. Keeps your focus on what is important to you.

  2. Great blog you have! I’d like to hear some more about your plan to live in Spain for a year. I understand the appeal, and have spent a great deal of time traveling all over the world (I’m in the Navy), especially in Latin America. Are there blogs or websites of people already doing it the way you intend to do so, with the kids for a year or so on a ‘retirement-based’ income/economy?

    1. Thanks for your comment, flapjack5. I plan on writing more about our plan as we go so feel free to stay tuned. While there are a ton of resources and blogs online (for just about every major city in Spain), it has been difficult to find those more related to our situation – mid-life family with elementary kids. Most of the info I’ve found is written from students, young English teachers and other vagabonds (usually single), or older retirees. One family that I’ve found particularly helpful is that of Wagoners Abroad. We’d like to duplicate what they have done to a certain extent.

  3. Love the time goal and mission to go to Spain for a year! Living abroad is so worth it for kids and adults alike.

    I’m very afraid of touching any principal after accumulating for so long so I’m focused on building a passive income stream.

    It’ll be interesting to see whether you’ll be OK withdrawing when the time comes as I couldn’t.



    1. Hi Sam. We’re so excited about the opportunity to live abroad, we figured we shouldn’t wait for FI and just go for it. In fact, we’re targeting next summer (2014) to head out. That will be a good trial run where I hope to learn more about the withdrawal stage of retirement. Thanks for stopping by and the well wishes.

  4. Clear goals = refreshing. There is no doubt you will succeed and then some. I’m brushing up my travel to do list. I’m on the fence about Spain. Can’t wait to follow that adventure – hope to see trip highlights on your blog.

    1. Yeah, after I quit my job at the end of May and we move to Spain in July, I suspect we’ll use this blog as the primary way to highlight our adventure.

      By the way, Spain is an excellent place to visit if you like good food, a laid back culture, cool sites, and great people 🙂

  5. This is truly inspirational. I would love for our family to do something similar. We’re thinking about a move to Valencia in a couple of years. How long have you been saving 50 percent of your income? And how long had you been saving before you made the move to live abroad?

    1. Hi Edna. I’d say we’ve been saving about 50% of our income for the great majority of our working years. It’s given us a lot of freedom that we’re enjoying now. Valencia is a really great city, especially around the Fallas festival. Depending on where you are coming from, you may be surprised at how inexpensive a lot of Spain really is. Shouldn’t take much to save enough for a short stint. Thanks for stopping by.

      1. Hi Jed. I didn’t realize you had replied. Thanks so much. That’s great that you have lived by that philosophy. It really is impressive and can only imagine the freedom that comes with that. I have been chiseling away at a student loan and I’m happy to report I have $1,050 left before I can begin to turn our finances around. We live in New York City so Valencia sounds very appealing. Did you guys look into Valencia? What would you say are the main differences between Granada and Valencia? Also, we were thinking a move that could hopefully be more long-term. Any thoughts on this? Is this even possible? I’m really appreciating being in contact with you. Thank you, Edna

  6. I am so in love with your story. One of my dreams was always to figure out a way to work in a low COL area and then be able to ‘work from home’ all summer so that I can take my fam and kids to a new country every summer and experience the joys that would bring. Alas, that has not happened.

    I am around the same age as you (as per your blog) and have done some not so conventional stuff like taking a year off to study (and travel) before having kids, take a couple years off when kids were little so we could BOTH be stay at home parents and enjoy that, and try to travel as much as possible while working while still trying to save.

    Now we are really focused on early retirement (a decade maybe?) and that is how my blog started (I offer complete transparency on the numbers and goals, but also focus on college costs and especially my passion for traveling and living in the ‘now’ with kids).

    That said, every now and then when I have a less than stellar day at work I wonder if we could just move abroad and teach English or find another job, etc. Then I found your blog and started to get even more ideas!

    I cannot wait to follow how you are doing, especially interested to hear about how your kids are adapting to living abroad and having left some friends and the life they knew behind. And what is next? …

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