Talking Money with Friends
Over the weekend we had friends come visit us here in Chicago, I have known this friend since I was 5 years old, he’s a very good friend who I don’t see enough. We are very similar in our knowledge and excitement for money, stocks, and investing. No two paths are the same as I know my friend graduated with either zero student loan debt or very little. He was worked his adult life in banking and while he enjoys sports and being outdoors, he did not buy a Mercedes Benz out of college and to my knowledge all of his housing costs have been pretty low even sharing a roommate along the way. As we all grow up and get in the real world marriage and buying a house always seem to jump into the discussion of money and finances. My friend informed me his plans to buy a house and explained his future plans of living in the house with a backyard and the multiple Home Depot trips that are now in his near distance future. He has a “getting serious” girlfriend that will be moving in with him and at that moment I could see all of the stars aligning and the future developing over the next 5-10 years. I could see the house, then the marriage in a couple years, and kids shortly after that. He might not know it but I think the next 10 years of his life are planned out for him. I realized at this point that our goals are so different and that talking about the future we are heading down such different paths.
I mentioned early retirement in a joking matter, in which Mrs. Even Steven confirmed that I was not really joking. Depending on our friendship with those we talk about money with we usually only bring up the topic in jest, usually the expectation is for the conversation to move to vacation talk and very little about money. Instead in this conversation we talked about a future home in the Miami area, and a possible vacation home in Nicaragua, which would be the homestead version of the Frugalwoods plans to live in Vermont. We mentioned staying 3-6 months out of the year and renting out the property the remaining months, similar to a place we stayed near San Juan Del Sur. We talked about our next steps in moving and possibly building a home with a guest house for my parents or buying a multi-unit to supplement our income and the cost of living. During our talk about early retirement I realized we are heading in completely different directions.
In 2 years we could be living in Miami with a paid off rental home, maybe working from home or starting a new company or side business. My friend will most likely be working on saving up for his wedding and trying to move up in the company and pay down his mortgage. 3 years later I will be closing in on paying off our other rental property and looking to put the icing on the cake of our early retirement blueprint. In that same time frame my friend will probably have a little baby running around, trying to find time to enjoy the special moments and still enjoy all that life has to offer. After we reach FI we will be looking to do some travel and projects we dream about from time to time. My friend will be working on going to all of the little league games and creating more flexibility at work so he can see the games while still supporting the mortgage and the cost of having a kid (s). I realized we were on such different paths, our plan of FI and Early Retirement and my friend’s plan of living the American dream of a house, wife, and 2.3 kids. I am in a phase of my financial life that I’m not sure I can relate, it was kind of odd to talk about our plans.
I learned over the weekend that we all should have the same financial principal foundation and common sense should prevail in each of our financial futures. Our financial paths are heading a different direction, my path is “I am going to be financially independent and retire early” and my friend’s path is “I would like to retire early, haha”. Seriously though I think everyone has their own path, in fact my friend has beat me financially in a couple different areas along the way, but I hope to come on strong in the next couple years, either way we plan to share financial success which makes our paths the same in the end.