Monday, 18 July 2016
The other day I took a friend out to dinner and put it on the credit card I am paying off. The next day was pay-day, so in addition to the planned $500.00 payment, I threw on what I paid for dinner, and then some. That card’s balance, as of this morning, is $999.82. Two more payments, and then we are done with it! That feels more than good!
I read a number of financial independence (FI) blogs, many of which are truly inspiring. Some are less so. Some are hysterically funny. The common theme, though, of FI is what makes all of them readable. Each one of us on our path to getting out of debt is a different story. Some people figured this out early in life; others have had to be hit over the head with a ton of bricks to get on track. Some are young, some are middle-aged, and maybe a few are ancient, like me, who want to retire with some comfort. What it comes down to is that the realization that there is freedom in financial independence. Each unique story is something I can relate to, and each story required – and continues to require – a certain mindset, a focus on the goal. And those who have reached their goals sometimes find themselves floundering for a new goal. That is to be expected.
I honestly prefer a good novel over self-help and financial books. Textbooks put me to sleep. Writing style in FI books is really important to me – clarity, ease of reading (not meaning dumbed-down, but meaning clean, clear writing), and sensical. For me, it started with looking at my financial mess, and wanting to retire. The book I chose was the one which has inspired many, Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. Now, I am reading JH Collins The Simple Path to Wealth. One lesson I am learning is I prefer simplicity in finances, and don’t want to play the stock market game any more. I don’t want to spend my remaining years in life doing things I don’t really want to do.
Retirement is in about 3 years. I need to start understanding my retirement plan, understand what monies and options I will have available. It will be combined with social security. Based on what I know at the moment, I will be fairly comfortable, and with a spouse still working (provided nothing happens to his job), we will maintain our current life style comfortably, and closer than ever to being debt-free but for the house. Because I am focusing on our FI, I will also begin focusing on how to best manage and understand my retirement funds, a lot of which will be invested for my husband’s future.