Financial Independence Interview-Debt Discipline
Who are you and tell me about your reason for setting a goal of FI?
My name is Brian and I blog over at Debt Discipline. I started my blog while my family and I were in the middle of paying off $109K worth of debt. The blog was a good way of keeping us accountable along our repayment journey. It helps keep us connected to the personal finance community. A great community which I have learn so much from over the last 5 years.
Who got you started and who motivates you on your Financial Independence journey?
We first started just planning on getting out of debt. We hit a rock bottom moment in our lives and need to make a change. After a few years of educating ourselves and improving our financial IQ, I began to learn about more concepts beyond just budgeting, spending less than you make, etc. I began to read a lot about passive income streams, side hustles and financial independence. I quickly realized that my way of thinking and following others was flawed. There are other ways to reach retirement, other than working for 30-40 years. If you saved, build multiple streams of income, and hustle early on you could reach FI much earlier in life.
What or Who is your Why?
My family is my why. I have a great wife and three children. I want to be the best provider I can for them. Beyond just money, I want to provide in terms of education. Financial education is really lacking in our school systems. So we are teaching our children as much as we can. We want them to learn from our mistakes, have a much better start than we ever had, and know it’s okay to talk about money. I feel so strongly about the lack of financial education in our school systems that I joined a committee on our local school board with the sole purpose to promote financial literacy. My dad is another motivation for me. He passed away at age 72. Luckily for him he retired at 55, and enjoyed retirement, by traveling with my mom, playing softball and golf. His health declined over the last 5 years of his life and he was unable to do many of the things he enjoyed. Like him I want to have the freedom to enjoy whatever I want to do as a decent age, not “have to” work until I’m 65 because I need the money. I don’t want to find myself in a situation where I’m not be able to enjoy time with family and friends.
Do you have any debt? If so do you have a plan to pay this off before FI?
We did, $109K to be exact. We paid it off in 50 months, in September of 2014. We still have our mortgage, but are saving for college and building retirement funds first before circling back and paying off our house.
What planned income streams are you working on towards FI and Early Retirement?
We have a pension, and 401K, but overall it’s still a work in progress. I was really just trying to build wealth using our incomes, but recently hit a snag with a job loss. So I’m in the process of trying to figure this all out.
What are your plans during early retirement? (Travel, special projects, part-time work)
Another area that’s a work in progress, but I’m sure I will work part time or volunteer, but on my own schedule. I want to stay involved spreading the financial literacy word. We do plan on traveling to visit family. In the next couple of years our children will be out of High School and off to college, so being able to be there for them for whatever they need or just to swing by would be great.
I want to thank Brian for taking the time to share with us some of what he has gone through on his journey paying off debt to realizing that their is a better way to handle your finances in his search of financial independence. Debt Discipline has been a great source of motivation for me during my path to paying off my student loans, it’s amazing that a few words of encouragement along the way can make such a difference, thank you.