Slowly Sipping Coffee

The New Plan is “Relax and Be Present”

Welcome back everybody and I hope you had a great Christmas and New Year’s holiday! I took some time off and am back and ready to go, woohoo! There have been so many bloggers posting 2016 wrap-ups and 2017 goals I’ve just been enjoying reading them while I took a break from our blog over the holidays. In this post, we’ll discuss the state of the SSC household, what we plan to do the same and what our new plan is in 2017. Next week, we’ll be back to discussing numbers with our 2016 wrap-up and financial changes for 2017. With so much stuff to cover, we just couldn’t fit it all into one post! Well, not one post that wasn’t 4000 words long, lol.

2016: Lifestyle Change starting to come to Fruition

Mrs. SSC taking a teaching job was a big driver for starting to enact our Lifestyle Change. While not having an extra six figures to throw into savings was definitely felt, the tradeoff with her increased happiness, along with the improved schedule changes that rippled across our family more than made up for it in my opinion. I mean, we’re looking for a Fully Funded Lifestyle Change (FFLC), not necessarily to bail out of all work forever. Granted, we’re targeting a number to allow for us to “not work forever” but we’re both too mentally active for that to really happen.

Like the current O&G industry, the teaching market for geologists and geophysicists is pretty slim. There were no real job postings this year, and who knows what may come up next year? In all reality, Mrs. SSC finding a job outside of Houston is more of a longshot than something we’re banking on. However, if she were to find something starting as soon as Fall 2018, I’m on board with taking it and moving. Like most things, those options are so far out of our control, that we’ll just play a wait and see with it.

Another minor detail is the uncertainty surrounding healthcare. Yes, I’m sure that will be played out well before 2019 but we will most likely need to make adjustments to our numbers based on the new pricing and availability of plans. This is another reason that we’re hopeful that Mrs. SSC can continue teaching because that would come along with some sort of healthcare, as opposed to whatever will be on the market at that point. Aye yi, yi…

 

What is our “new” plan?

That leads to the question of “what are our plans?” Mrs. SSC really likes teaching and could see her doing this for quite a while longer. She did land a sweet/near perfect gig where she’s getting back to doing research, taking on new grad students and in one semester has already significantly broadened her sphere of influence academically. So, if 2019 rolls around and we’re still in Houston, the next question for us is, how long do we stay here? There’s no upward movement of Mrs. SSC’s salary at all unless she were to get a tenure track position. That would be enough to cover expenses and not dip into savings if I switched to Stay at Home Dad mode. However, that is another option that is out of our control. Given that, with her current salary, our expenses would pretty much be covered, except for the mortgage. So, we’d be needing about $24k/yr to buffer things, and honestly, it would be pretty tight.

Our FFLC options are 1) I keep working, because why not? I like my job, our schedule is nice, and it would help buffer our savings. 2) We both quit working and say “adios to all this concrete”. 3) Some hybrid of that where I negotiate a 3 day work week part time schedule and Mrs. SSC keeps teaching. Only time will tell.

 

How long would we be willing to stay in Houston?

I’m not sure really. We have a near perfect setup in regards to parks, schools, and overall neighborhood amenities. The main “negative” is weather. I think our tolerances of what is acceptable for weather differ between Mrs. SSC and myself. Yes, I’d love 4 seasons, and some snow occasionally, but I am now accustomed to the Gulf Coast weather. However, I think Mrs. SSC is over it. Like yesterday when I was taking down our Christmas lights in my shorts and flip flops, I was thinking, “Yeah, this is pretty nice.” Later that day, when a “cold front” blew thru and the temps dropped to the low 50’s I said, “Oh, it’s gotten a little chilly out.” Mrs. SSC remarked, “It should be COLD, not chilly. It’s January!” So, I think she may crack before me. (Mrs. SSC sidenote – I HAVE cracked!!)

 

Where to go?

That’s still the great unknown. We’ve got a 2 week trip planned to MT and ID this summer to finally check that area out, and I’m really looking forward to that. We still haven’t ruled out the East Coast (NC/VA/TN area), although Mrs. SSC still really wants to live out West for at least a little bit. Needless to say, we have some good vacation spots lined up over the next few years to see different parts of the country and try to find our next town to live in. That would be barring Mrs. SSC getting a teaching job somewhere which would mean we move to wherever that place is, lol. I’m good with that option too.

 

A Lot of Uncertainty

Because of all of the uncertainty with our FFLC plans and the like we’ve decided our only 2017 goal is to be more present and start working on becoming the people we envision ourselves as when we do hit FI and enact our Lifestyle Change. Take more vacations, do more fun stuff with the kids on the weekends, and generally enjoy life and be present now, not necessarily just looking ahead to “future SSC family  a few years from now.”

We don’t plan to stop saving, or stop tracking our spending, I mean, that’s what got us to this point as it is. Since our FFLC timeline is still relatively unchanged, there aren’t many changes to our 2017 plans. I’d like to quote Dory, and say we’re going to “just keep swimming, just keep swimming”, but I think we need a change from “just keeping swimming”. We plan to stop swimming and relax a little. You might think that we’ll start sinking if we relax, but if you stop swimming, don’t panic, and just relax, you float.

Relax... Float a little.

Relax… Just float a little while.

This year, we float. We strive to be more present, have more adventures with the kids, and everything else, stays the same.

What about you? Any changes to your 2017 plans or is everything pretty much staying the same?

54 thoughts on “The New Plan is “Relax and Be Present”

  1. TheMoneyMine

    A little bit like you, even though we’re still quite far from it, we are contemplating what an FI life would look like. Since our daughter was born, I can see how my wife would enjoy a part time schedule and how we are already considering slowing down. Maybe the 2 full-time jobs isn’t going to be the way forward and I suspect that she’ll be testing the waters of part-time work this year.
    I understand that Mrs SSC is not a fan of Houston weather, I have been like that too for a while, but I have to admit that going for a run on New Year’s Eve with shorts and tshirt was pretty awesome. What would we do if it was snowy / rainy / freezing cold? (we could go skiing maybe, that would be awesome indeed) 😀
    So our plan this year is really ‘stay the course’. We do want to review the basics of our finances, like insurance coverage, make sure we have a will in place and basically spend more time on ourselves and the little one.
    Have a great 2017!

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      2 full time jobs with little ones is tough. I’m amazed at how busy that schedule gets.

      Like I said, I’ve come to appreciate the weather, especially now that this is our “summer” when we can get out in comfortable weather and enjoy it. It was nice being in flip flops taking down lights instead of snow, coats and gloves…

      The will is pretty easy to set up, but we didn’t get one until our oldest came along. Have a great 2017 too!

  2. The Green Swan

    I love how you folks are transitioning to the FFLC. That’s quite how I imagine it working for us as well. You’re five or so years ahead of us though so it is nice to see how folks put it into action and for us to follow suit! I envision floating for a little while. We will have a couple options to “float” with, travel the country, enjoy time with the kids, find a place that is best suitable for us to retire in, etc. I like how you are thinking through things and I look forward to following along!

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Early on we realized we jsut wanted to change our lifestyle and slow it down from the crazy fast paced one we’d created. Having been working hard on it and focused on saving and hitting FI, this year is about taking a step back and just staying the course. No major talk of “new” retirement places we may end up, especially since we’re realistically a solid 2 years out now. No possibility of a 2018 or late 2017 “let’s do this!” type of impulse, lol.

      Travel, spend time with the kids and come up with fun stuff to do on the weekend beyond just “getting thru the weekend” is going to be exciting.

  3. Matt @ Optimize Your Life

    I love the approach of facing uncertainty with simply going with the flow and being present. It is easy to get stressed out by uncertainty, but it doesn’t usually help at all. Thanks for a refreshing post!

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Thanks, glad you enjoyed it! Yep, stressing out about things in general doesn’t tend to help. it’s like being critical about a situation without having a helpful solution to also offer.

  4. Brian @ Debt Discipline

    I wrote that one of our main goal for 2017 is to maintain wealth. With two high school seniors heading to college in the fall we have an interesting year ahead. Seniors trips, prom, graduations, college, etc. We want to enjoy all of these things while not failing financially.

    My wife and I were talking about how Christmas is associated with cold weather and snow. (Santa, North Pole, etc) It’s funny to us to see photos of decorations from warm weather spots. This all from a woman who grew up in CA.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Yeah, with 2 kids starting college that has to add some extra financial strain and uniqueness to your financial situation regardless of how well prepared you are. There are a lot of unknwowns there, but you seem to have a pretty good handle on it.

      Warm weather and hanging/taking down lights definitely doesn’t add to the feel of the season, but it is way more comfortable than dealing with snow, ice, and gloves. :)

  5. Ellie @ The Chedda

    I like that floating plan! I think that great opportunities arise when you’re not really seeking them out but you remain open to jumping on them. Good luck in the coming year!

    We are planning a bit of a lifestyle change of our own this year. My husband just started a semester of unpaid student teaching after quitting his office job last month. Hopefully come Fall he’ll find a full time teaching gig he’s happy with. I also have a few interviews coming up for MUCH higher paying jobs than what I currently have, so I’m curious to see where we are at the end of 2017!

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      That’s a great way to put it – not really seeking but open for jumping on opportunities! I like it!

      Good luck with improving your guys job situations and hopefully lifestyle along with that. Happiness at work counts for a LOT. Happy 2017!

  6. Tawcan

    Sounds like a good plan given the uncertainties. I think having an open mind like what you are doing is great. We are planning to continue what we’ve been doing for the past number of years and continue reducing our living expenses. We have talked about moving oversea for an extended period of time but would need to do more research.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Thanks! Working on reducing the living expenses is still ongoing for us. We know obvious places we can cut back and have that factored into our FFLC budget further down the road, but currently are at about the limit of cuts we want to make now. Although, direct tv will be going away this year, so we’ll see how that plays out when we make that change.

      An overseas move sounds like fun, but like you, we’d definitely want to do more research on that. :) Good luck with your 2017 plans!

  7. Mrs. Picky Pincher

    Ugh, that stupid Texas weather!! It was freaking 75 degrees yesterday and today it’s in the 40s. In January. Nothing makes sense here. Boo.

    But bravo for just taking things as they come. You can make as many plans as you want, but life always comes along and changes those plans, doesn’t it? :)

    For 2017 we’re trying to hunker down and pay off most of our student loans. We had a fun period where we renovated the home and got new, shiny toys, but that time is now over. We’re doing the Frugalwoods’ Uber Frugal Challenge, so hopefully that will be a great way to get on track for 2017. :)

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Yeah the weather can definitely seem pretty fickle at times. :)

      Good luck with your student loans and the Uber Frugal Challenge. Hopefully, life doesn’t change those plans for you and you can get a lot of those loans knocked out this year.

      Good luck!

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Thanks! Enjoy your vacation and I’m loking forward to seeing your blog once you start it!

  8. Kate

    I think that this is a great goal for 2017! I keep going back and forth on how much to put into each type of account (e.g. brokerage 401k, Roth) so my main goal for this year is to make a decision and stick to it for the entire year. Hoping this will free up some mental space so I can enjoy life and stop thinking about the financials so much.

    Are you sure you don’t want to move to Minnesota? If you’re looking for 4 seasons, we can definitely give you that. Right now it’s -4 with a wind chill of -22 :) Regardless, the quality of life here is actually quite good!

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      We just automated our savings so money gets directed to certain accounts each month, and then savings gets pulled from those accounts and goes into investments each month. It got wonky last year with Mrs. SSC’s job change, no paycheck for a quarter, and things like that, but we just built up our cash cushion in the meantime. Having it automated definitely frees up mental space, so good luck with getting that set up early on this year so you can get some of your own mental space back.

      Oh, -22 wind chill, sounds lovely! :) from what I’ve read the quality of life is pretty good up there, and nothing is off the table, mostly. CA is essentially off the table due to high COL, but with the right circumstances, we’d even put it back into play.

      1. Kate

        The weather may not be great but MN cares a lot about education and parks, which makes it a good place to live.

        We also have lots of great Fortune 500 companies to work for (e.g. Target, Medtronic, Best Buy, 3M, General Mills, etc.), as well as lots of colleges/universities :)

        Ok, I’ll end my pitch there!

  9. Full Time Finance

    We’re still settling down from my wife’s employment Change (now a stay at home mom with freelancing) and my job change. I have a nagging feeling more change is coming but it’s not a firm picture yet. Thankfully on the surface it appears all paths lead to improvement from us. As such I have goals set on my current baseline. Well see what 2017 holds.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Hey, if it is looking like things are improving, change may be a great thing for you all. :) It was a year of change last year, and it’s been nothing but positive, even if the financials weren’t the most stellar year we’ve had.

      Good luck with 2017!

  10. ExploreMountainsOnSkiFoot&Bike

    Here are two positions Assistant Professor in Sedimentology/Stratigraphy and Assistant Professor in Igneous or Metamorphic Processes job posting at Montana State Univeristy Bozeman. An O&G background could translate quite well for the Sed/Strat position. Great location, fun town, expensive for Montana but close to average for country. The department is in process of rebuilding so mix of new and old professors. Bozeman defiantly has four seasons, and most folks wear flip flops for 4 months a year, ski boots for 5 months, biking shoes for 4 months, hiking boots for 8 months, and waders for 6 months.

    https://jobs.montana.edu/postings/7045

    https://jobs.montana.edu/postings/6972

    They have been posted for a couple of months, but still posted. Feel free to email me as I am a alma mater of MSU and big oil.

    After focusing on increasing saving rate and getting investments dialed in, I am more interested in focusing on enjoying the moment. With my investments on autopilot, it is time to ski, bike and hike. This entails more time playing in the mountains. More overnight trips. Besides one international trip, I think our play time will be in the mountains within 3 hours of home – only 13 mountain ranges to choose from.

    1. Mrs SSC

      Hi! I did see those positions – and Bozeman would be a great place to live. Unfortunately, I am more of a geophysicist than a geologist, so I didn’t think I would be competitive for those jobs. But, maybe in the next year or two they will be looking for a geophysicist!

      1. ExploreMountainsOnSkiFoot&Bike

        “But, maybe in the next year or two they will be looking for a geophysicist!” Maybe, but I doubt it based on the historical focus of the department – field based geology in clastic sed/strat, structural/tectonics, and vert paleo. As far as I know they have never had a geophysics as part of department.

        I live in Montana currently and have lived here for 10+ years and visited most of the 53 counties. Let me know if you have questions about your MT vacation.

        We have had a pretty good winter so far – decent amount of snow and cold temperatures. Hope it continues for 3-4 more months.

        Keep up the interesting posts.

    2. Mr SSC Post author

      The Sed/Strat would be more up my alley, if only I’d gotten a Phd, lol. We are definitely hoping for something in Bozeman or Kalispell would open up. It would be like winning the lottery! :)

      I can’t wait to get to that phase of having time to ski, hike, and bike. Ahhh to be so close to mtns. I thinnk 3 hrs any direction, and we’re still in TX, although straight west we’re getting close to Hill Country. lol

  11. Miss Mazuma

    You guys are definitely on the right track. I love your FFLC ideas – nobody says you have to stop working…especially if you love your job! I have to agree with Mrs SSC on this one – I don’t think I could take much of the humid Houston weather. 4 seasons is nice (except when one awfully cold season gets stuck n repeat for 5 months…Chicago!!), it adds to the cycle of life in so many ways. Of course, no one would have to twist my arm if they wanted to fund my lifestyle in San Diego.

    Either way, you have a few years to figure things out. I’ve been amazed at how things just fall into place when you aren’t pushing so hard to make things happen. So, yes, sit back and enjoy the float…just don’t forget the sunscreen!

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Yep, we’d realized early on that we weren’t looking to “not work forever” (even if that’s our target number) more to slow down our fast apced life we’d created. We definitely did that last year, so WIN! Yep, Mrs. SSC spent about 10 yrs in Chicago and those winters make DEnver winters look gloriously warm. Oh wait, Denver’s winters DO feel more warm than Chicago, lol. The spring, summer, and fall there are all amazing, I loved the few months i got to spend there going to visit her. And yeah, under the right circumstances, we’d be in San Diego in a minute!

      We’ll try not to forget the sunscreen, as we float along on the river of life, or is it in the pool of life? Hopefully, not the toilet bowl of life… bwahahaha

  12. TJ

    It’s incredibly exciting to watch your lifestyle change unfold. I’m definitely spoiled with the California weather, but I see the dollar signs (or really, the lack thereof needed) just by moving across state lines. Even the electricity and gas rates are cheaper outside of the state. Do I want actual seasons? Probably not if I have to drive a car in the snow.

    I seem to go back and forth between going directly into a lower budget lifestyle change where I can get by on odd jobs and part time work commitment OR, after my little fun break, do I continue to work full time and save heavily for a more conservatively defined early retirement where I don’t rely on the odd jobs but can still do them anyway for fun?

    And of course, none of that maters if I get hitched to someone who isn’t self sufficient. Why can’t there be an Easy Button for life planning?

    Best of luck in ’17!

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      My BIL moved away from CA due to high COL, and then 3 or so yrs later moved back, and now after jsut 2 yrs remembered why he moved away… (palm on forehead shaking head) It’s definitely a high COL, but the weather… It would spoil me too!

      That’s a tough call you’re looking at with your life. I’m sure things will become more clear after your break though. And like you said, it could all be out the window if you fall in love with someone that’s not self sufficient or has a lot of debt. I was that person to Mrs. SSC, lol, but as you can see it’s worked out well for us.

      Good luck in 2017!

  13. Mrs. COD

    This is an awesome attitude to have. Being present. I have to constantly remind myself to be in the moment. How important it is to enjoy life and not always be looking forward to the next thing! It’s terrific that Mrs. SSC loves her job and you seem to like yours all right too.

    I enjoyed reading some new blogs over the holidays while you and only and others were taking a break (though you were missed)! I like four seasons, but we had a high of around 17 today, so I’m really jealous of your weather! If we move someplace warmer, that’d be a great improvement for us!

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      You and me both! I constantly seem to drift out of the present. Here’s to both of us getting better at it this year! :)

      Thanks for the compliment, and I’m glad you got to check out some new blogs, there are so many out there, it’s just amazing! I can understand weather envy, ours will come when it’s 95 and 90% humidity, and someone is talking about enjoying a nice day that’s a “hot dry 75”, lol.

      Good luck in 2017!

  14. Go Finance Yourself!

    I struggle with being present sometimes. I have a very futuristic mindset. I’m always thinking about achieving something off into the future. With that, I sometimes have a hard time enjoying the ride.

    My 2017 is set up to achieve numerous goals in my personal and professional life. I’ve found that I’m the happiest when I’m achieving, building or creating something. I am going to try to be better about hanging out with friends and taking a little more time to enjoy the ride.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      I find it very easy to slip into the future and not appreciate where I am on this ride. Sort of like being on a roller coaster at an amusement park, only to be thinking about how fun the next roller coaster is going to be… I definitely need to work on that.

      Good luck achieving, building, and/or creating something in 2017! Don’t skimp on friend time, having moved a lot, I’m currently in a friend desert. It happens pretty quickly so enjoy hanging out with those guys/girls while you are all still around each other.

  15. Elephant Eater

    Really glad to read what you guys are doing so we can play armchair QB while you do almost exactly what we have planned when starting our transition in about 6 months. I can sense in your writing your increased happiness and decreased stress, despite losing all of that income. Have you looked at SLC, UT which could be a combo O&G and mountain town. Curious b/c it is starting to look more like our eventual landing spot.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Oh, excellent! I’m looking forward to checking out your changes as well. :) I heard someone ont he radio yesterday talking about jobs and happiness and the guy makes loads of money in a job that provides well for his family, but LOATHES it. You could hear it in his voice and he actually said it a couple of times, but he resigned himself to it, because it pays for his family’s lifestyle so for him that was worth it.

      We don’t think the same and are more than happy to be where we are, still loving our lifestyle and not needing a great paying job to float it. Money can’t replace happiness in that sense. I ahven’t found a figure yet that would be worth hating a job for.

      I haven’t looked at SLC, but we will put it on the radar. Even a part time O&G gig or a 1-2 yr type of thing when we first moved would probably calm the jitters and maybe make the transition easier. Especially with Snowbird/Alta just up the canyon and those mtns right next door. It could be a good all around spot. :)

  16. Mrs. BITA

    This post was a breath of relaxing fresh air amongst all the other frantic calls to action and pages of goals. Happy New Year to all of you! With your plan for 2017, you have pretty much set yourself up for success. With the attitude of relaxing and being present, you can’t fail at 2017, nor can it really disappoint you. Nicely done.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Oh, it wasn’t frantic enough, dang! I’m not the best at being present lately, so there are more than a few ways to fail, lol. I decided that we can stay the course, and keep on keeping on, but just not focus on it SO darn much.

      Always running different FI scenarios, trying to up our game (although we are upping our savings per month), and perpetually walking that tightrope of “too frugal” and “Spendy McSpend-pants”. It gets exhausting trying to maximize everything….

      We’ll see how it goes, but I’ve got high hopes for this year, at least as far as our family is concerned. Good luck to your 2017 goals!

  17. Mr. PIE

    Great outlook and attitude to what is really important. I salute you!

    Our plans have not changed. We are getting closer and closer and can now say things like “next year we are done”. Yeah, work continues to take so much out of us but with the exit in sight, we are in head down mode and sucking it up. We are also in a great place with our spending / saving habits and with travel hacking going to new levels for us, our vacation time continues to be a big part of our life. We see it as practice for 2018 summer and beyond.

    Work travel for me this year looks like it is going to increase with trips to U.K., California ( possibly 2x) and Oregon on deck for the first 4months of the year. At least I get to add travel hacking mileage to airline accounts.

    I could easily see us living out west ( Montana or Wyoming) but with our mountain home on the East coast and proximity to the U.K.with shorter fligthts, we are very happy to relocate to NH as we start our FIRE life.

    Hope 2017 rocks for you guys. I think it will!

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      That has to be awesome to be able to say, Next year we are done, congrats on hitting that milestone. :)

      Good luck with the increased work travel, that can get hectic. Mrs. SSC’s India trip didn’t come to fruition, but she is traveling more for this job than her last one, so we’ll see how that pans out.

      I like the idea of living out West, but I still think going from Gulf Coast weather to mountain weather is going to be a shock for all. I like the cold and 4 seasons, but I think our youngest might die. She complains about it being cold when it gets below 60, lol.

      Hope 2017 is great for you guys too!

  18. Laurie @thefrugalfarmer

    Glad you’re taking that trip to MT/ID!!! I’ll bet you’ll love it as much as we did, although driving up and down mountains was NOT on our list of favorite parts of the trip. :-) Our plan for this year is to kick it into overdrive and finish the debt payoff and other financial goals. We are PUMPED. Once we started seeing real progress and could see the finish line in sight, we got extra excited.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      I’m really excited about that trip! I don’t mind mountain driving as I did loads of it in CO and have gotten used to it.

      Good luck with your debt payoff goals in 2017! Getting close to the finish is always extra motivation to finish strong.

  19. Jacq

    I think my main goal will be to find balance. Recent events may have my attention with family. Then there is my full time job, taking yoga classes and teaching yoga. I might have the chance to sub 4 classes in Feb. I know that pace could lead to burn out, yet I am a step up when needed type person. I seem to have yoga opportunities falling into place / falling in my lap. That is where the balance comes in…not letting opportunity pass by while avoiding burn out, and maintaining my own practice and then perhaps having a social life. :)
    It should be an interesting year.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Finding balance is key to everything. Even if your ablanced is busier than what most would consider “balanced” if it works for you that’s great.

      Good luck balancing yoga opportunities and everything else, it sounds like it could be tricky. :)

  20. Erik @ Hippies de Land Rover

    Hey guys, It’s good to hear you’re doing well and planning on LIVING! at the end of the day you should enjoy the journey.
    Taking time off to expend with the kids is something you have to do now, time will never go back and they will be grown soon so enjoy it!
    From our side, we’re still in Switzerland, nice country, good balance nature/work/family/friends. “technically” we achieved FAI on November 2016 so for the next 2 years we’ll create our fund to build the HdLR Ranch in Mexico :)
    In the mean time our 2nd child is coming this February so.. looking forward to get into sleep deprivation mode… haha !

    cheers!
    Erik

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      I agree, the kids just keep getting older and older, and we’re down to only 13 yrs before they could start moving away and starting their own lives. Yipe!!

      That sounds like a great setup in Switzerland, and a cool plan for the ranch in Mexico. Mrs. SSC is on board with expat living, but not full time until after her parents are gone. She doesn’t want to miss out on hanging out with them as much as we do.

      Congrats on the upcoming family addition! Enjoy the second child, and good luck avoiding sleep deprivation mode! I found after our second was born I am way more emotional now. Like able to cry or stifle cryng at the most inane odd things. I read Tawcan experienced that too after his second, so I’m curious if that holds true for more people than not.

  21. Freedom 40 Guy

    Taking your foot off the gas for a little while seems completely fine to me. I’m actually looking (hoping) to do the same with a project or even employer change sometime early this year. Or – and this one sounds great but scares me a little – take 6 months off to try out a FFLC! We’ll see how things go.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Ooohhh…. Envious of a possible 6 mo FFLC adventure. Even changing employers is a big deal. When I left mine to start looking, it felt like I was leaving a nice cozy safe cabin in the woods in the middle of a pitch black night, to venture out into the scary unknown. After finding my current company and being so happy with it, I realized it was more lke I’d escaped the house from Texas Chainsaw massacre, but since it was my normal it didn’t seem like it when I was there. It’s done loads for improving my mood, lowered stress and added health benefits like lower blood pressure too.

      Good luck with your job change if you decide to go that route, and even more with your FFLC adventure, if it comes to fruition!

  22. Mrs. Simply Financially Free

    Ah, yes! Enjoying your life now is so important! I have been trying to do that same as we can’t wait until our FI date to be happy, we need to find happiness and enjoyment in life now too. Also, it’s about the journey, not the destination, right?

    1. Mr. SSC

      It’s definitely about the journey and not just the end goal. If you’re miserable to get to the end, was it worth it? I’d say no. Good luck finding your happiness along the way too!

  23. Mrs. Groovy

    North Carolina has 4 seasons. You can always come here! But our mountains can’t even begin to compare with those in MT or ID. If we didn’t feel the need to be near family, that’s where I’d want to head.

    It’s great having the flexibility to keep your options open. I’m sure you’ll make great decisions as the right situations appear. Meanwhile I love the go with the flow attitude!

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      You know, my heart and soul feels more at home and drawn to the Appalachians, NC, VA, eastern TN. Of course hiking in E. KY a lot growing up probably has something to do with that, but I love that whole area. The smell of grass in the evenings, fresh corn in the summer, lightning bugs… Ahhh…

      It is nice having options and being able to be flexible and go with whatever life presents us. :)

  24. Jason

    What about thinking about a Fulbright for a year or teaching in Europe (e.g. Iceland). That might lead to a bigger expansion with opportunities. Also, depending on where you go you can both get adjunct gigs that can bring in some coin. You would have to pay for health insurance but moving to a low-cost area could defray some of those costs (and we might have a job opening at our university next year….if you don’t mind Massachusetts)

    1. Mr. SSC

      Except for the Fulbright or overseas teaching, the rest of the options are all currently in play. I wouldn’t mind Mass. for a while, so we’ll keep our eyes out on any positions that may open up there. I think Mrs. SSC doesn’t want to do overseas until her parents are gone, just to not miss out on hanging out with them and only getting to see them once or twice a year if we did that. Maybe if it was just for a year or two, that wouldn’t be too bad though.

  25. Amber tree

    Kinda the same here… we are not FIRE yet. we are far off. Yet, Thinking about all the FIRE plans and what it could mean to us, the conclusion is clear: why wait till 2029 (our projected FIRE year)? What if we start now to change to the life we are after…

    So, that is the new system we have: try to live a FIRE life now, remove all stuff we don’t like, be present. It works fine!