Financial Independence Interview – Steve @ ThinkSaveRetire.com
Welcome to Even Steven Money, today we bring you a special guest interview. I have not met Steve personally but I do enjoy following all of his posts and related pictures. For a while I saw him as my main FI competition as we are very close in age and our FI Date was so close, then out of left field(GO CUBS) he starts pulling ahead in the race to the finish. Plans change and people have different paths to get to their final destination.
Steve is also one of the few bloggers I have run across that have had a parent retire early, which utterly fascinates me. Well I don’t want to give his whole story away, but please welcome Steve from Think Save Retire.
Who are you and tell me about your reason for setting a goal of FI?
I am Steve and my wife and I blog over at ThinkSaveRetire.com, our little home on the Interwebs to talk about how we are achieving our goals of financial independence and super-duper early retirement.
My wife and I started ThinkSaveRetire.com as our first step at getting more involved in the early retirement community. We had no real plans for the blog at that time, though I am now toying with a couple ideas for the blog post-retirement, which has now been moved up to December, 2016 – as published on the Even Steven FI date tracker page.
Over the years of running blogs, I’ve grown to love it. I love the challenge of writing. I thoroughly enjoy coming up with articles that I believe will interest my readers and truly leave them knowing just a bit more than before they read my blog, even if it’s just about how we personally do things in our household.
The goal is to retire next year when I’m 35.
Who got you started and who motivates you on your Financial Independence journey?
Truthfully, my dad originally got me started. I can remember a long time ago right after I graduated college, my dad and I were talking about finances in general because I was just starting to make some money. My dad retired at 49 and is no stranger to the concept of early retirement.
He had mentioned to me that some people are on the “10 year plan”, referring to those who basically save everything that they can for 10 years, and then retire. At the time, I had absolutely no intention of retiring early, so I spent like your traditional American.
But shortly before I married my beautiful bride Courtney, I slowly began to realize that I don’t want to spend eight to 10 hours a day working until I’m 65. I had a renaissance moment, in effect. Jobs suck. I work in the IT industry, and this business has a way of literally sucking the life right out of you. My wife was okay working her job as a rocket scientist (yes, really!), but even she enjoyed the thought of pursuing financial independence and early retirement.
Ultimately, we both keep each other motivated. We both want financial independence and early retirement as early as possible, and it’s that motivation to retire that keeps us on the straight and narrow. It’s been an interesting ride, but we’ve found absolutely no shortage of dedication between us to achieve our goal. Every day that we work a full time job is a day that we could be doing something else that we enjoy much, much more.
What or Who is your Why?
Freedom is my why. I don’t believe that the freedom to wake up whenever the hell I damn well please and do whatever I damn well want, any damn day of the damn week is a freedom that’s restricted to 60+ year olds. I want that freedom now, and I know that it’s possible. It’s about freedom, baby! Pure, delicious freedom.
Do you have any debt? If so do you have a plan to pay this off before FI?
Both my wife and I have a mortgage on different homes, but that’s it. I am renting out my home until we sell it next year, so that debt is almost entirely paid for. We will pay both mortgages off as a part of achieving full and beautiful financial independence by selling these homes and purchasing an RV to travel in, full time. We will pay cash for the RV so we incur no additional debt. 100% debt-free in about a year, and we’re staying that way.
What planned income streams are you working on towards FI and Early Retirement?
Besides the income we generate off of our investments, absolutely, positively nothing. As my wife and I discuss our future retirement plans and crunch our financial numbers to figure out how it’s all going to work, we’ve never planned on additional income. We may end up accidentally generating income post retirement, and if we do, that money will simply be icing on the cake. We are working our finances so we won’t need any additional source of income after we call it quits. We are doing this by keeping our cost of living low.
Since we plan to live full time in an RV, we do plan to “work camp” from time to time, which is a way for campers to get free “full hookup” camp sites in exchange for around 20 hours of work every week. Full hookup camp sites provide sewer, water and power services to your RV, so many campers – us included – think it’s a pretty good deal. Some campgrounds will pay you to work, but these are few and far between. We are not looking to get paid. A free camp site is all we really need in exchange for some part time work at the campground.
What are your plans during early retirement? (Travel, special projects, part-time work)
Naturally, lots and lots of travel. We plan to move the RV every couple of weeks, even if it’s just 40 or 50 miles down the road, for a new scene to enjoy every morning. My hobby is photography and multimedia, so one of my projects is to build and maintain our companion web site, FullTimeExplorers.com, which will be the place where we post picture and video-based blog posts about the beautiful natural world all around us that most people don’t get to experience.
I will also explore some other ideas to expand ThinkSaveRetire.com, but those plans are still very much in their infancy. Aside from the occasional work camping gig, I don’t plan to do much in the way of part time work, but I am purposely keeping my options as open as possible. Both my wife and I are fully open to whatever happens to come our way after we give corporate America the middle finger.
That will be one great day.
Did you enjoy the Financial Independence Interview and want to be included in our new series? Please reach out to EvenStevenMoney@gmail.com to be part of some very special company of Financial Independence bloggers.