That’s right, we are looking forward to achieving FFLC! “What is this FFLC?” you ask. Well – I’ll tell you! It stands for Fully Funded Lifestyle Change! “Uh, huh….” you’re probably saying to yourself. “So how is that different than ER or even FIRE?” you ask. The differences are subtle I suppose, but they’ve come from some realizations we’ve had over the last couple months, as Mrs. SSC and I have been seriously investigating places to live, things to do, and the underlying reasons why we want to quit our current lifestyle.
Here’s what we realized:
- We don’t want to drop out of the workforce totally, but rather find something we can do that we are passionate about — regardless of the pay
- We want more time to spend with family. We don’t want to fit in family around our jobs, but have our jobs fit in with our family life.
- Full retirement wouldn’t be fulfilling to either of us, but volunteer work, teaching, mentoring… that is what we dream of
All of this led us to realize that we don’t want to retire– we want a Fully Funded Lifestyle Change!
In short, our current lifestyle sucks in regards to family time and free time. It’s great in that it allows us to save for the upcoming FFLC, however, there is SO much more we would both rather be doing with our lives than grinding away, day in – day out, for a corporation that will not notice one bit when we leave. Having 11-12 hour days from leaving the house until getting home 5 days a week just isn’t what I bargained for, or envisioned as “success!”.
The Talking Head’s song Once in a Lifetime really sums it up for us:
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife,
And you may ask yourself
Well… How did I get here?
If you’re not familiar with the song (I don’t know how you couldn’t be) check it out on youtube here – you’re welcome!
To us, the song represents what your dreams and vision of success were when you were younger, compared to the reality of the sacrifices you make to have them be what they actually are today. As music critic Steve Huey better describes it, the main theme is “the drudgery of living life according to social expectations, and pursuing commonly accepted trophies (a large automobile, beautiful house, beautiful wife).” a Although the singer has these trophies, he begins to question whether they are real and how he got them. This leads him to question further the reality of life itself.b
This is exactly how Mrs. SSC and I came to investigate early retirement, pre-tirement, FIRE, and all the trappings associated with pulling the ripcord on what is a fairly “successful” life. Sure, it’s nice and comfortable and we’re the “model of success” but to whom? It sure as hell doesn’t feel like that to us. To us, it feels like we’re just grinding it out for the man until we can hit that retirement point. We end up so tired from the long days, that it makes it hard to have energy to put towards the kids. The weekends arrive, and we are catching up on all the errands that need to get done, find something fun to do with the kids, and restock the pantry for the next week. Next thing you know, it’s time to crawl in bed Sunday night, set the alarm, and repeat… endlessly… We don’t want this lifestyle, because this is no way to live. How did we get tricked into this situation? Better question, how the hell do we get out of it?!
Well, we’re figuring that out as we go. Instead of living according to social expectations, we choose to live how we see fit to get the most out of life and make the happiest most satisfying life we can. For ourselves and our family. For us, this is bailing out on our work and careers and making a major lifestyle change to fit this new dreams and expectations. Until then, we’ll keep planning, saving, and discovering what it is we truly want to do once we walk away from this lifestyle.
I don’t know about you, but viewing it as a “Fully funded lifestyle change” instead of “early retirement” has me excited more than ever to see what the future holds.
Do you feel like you’re stuck in the hamster wheel of life and want out?
What have you done to change your life to focus on what you deem important?
Do you think we are just bat-shit crazy and dealing with a mid-life crisis?
a: Huey, S. “Once in a Lifetime”. Allmusic.
b: Gittens, I. (2004). Talking Heads: Once in a Lifetime: The Stories Behind Every Song. Hal Leonard. Pp.68-71. ISBN 9780634080333.