And I will also say there’s an added factor for me which is my dad has a significant disability which limits his ability to do the kinds of stuff that we do outdoors. As every year passes, the chances that I’m going to get it get lower and lower.
So I think now at age 37, there’s a pretty good chance that I’m in the clear.
Because really, what could be better than waking up early after a big snowfall, grabbing a cup of coffee with your buddies, then strapping on your skis and heading up the mountain to throw bombs and trigger avalanches? And so then it turned into the “6-year plan.” And by the time we quit our jobs at the end of this year (or possibly a little sooner), it will actually have only been the 5-year plan, which, we realize, is super fast! And then, it really helped a lot actually when we moved to the mountains from the big city about 5 ½ years ago.
It was actually the Our Next Life Instagram feed that prompted me and Jill to start talking about making that mountain dream a reality within the next ~5 years. Mad Fientist: So, this one is going to be a little different because you still haven’t revealed your true identities yet. We know that that’s totally just a factor of higher than average income and a few other things we’ve been really lucky with. That let us start saving on restaurants and on the types of things that you just easily spend on the city. But I definitely recommend for those who are used to spending a lot, used to living a certain lifestyle, trim those things little by little. But the stuff that we did cut out, we actually are happier now that we don’t have that stuff in our lives because a lot of that stuff just adds stress and complexity.
It was sort of that combined with, I think, reading an article somewhere about Mr. We read a great book by Robert Charlton and Robin Charlton called that’s on Amazon. We applied our numbers to it and realized we can actually do this quickly. After we moved to the mountains, there’s so much here that we want to do.
My dad came down with that when I was late in elementary school. It was a big part of my thinking and deciding that I didn’t have kids because I don’t want to risk passing that on. And I think connecting the dots between that and FI was really such a gift and something that really helped to motivate us. Yeah, that does sound like that would be very motivating.
So, when your father came down with that, how old was he at the time? ONL: I think that it snuck up for a few years before I was really aware of it. And I think that that’s something that people really should think through.
Later this year, at the ages of 38 and 41, the couple behind Our Next will be quitting the stressful, time-consuming jobs that they’ve held for most of their adult lives and will be retiring to a life in the mountains. And that was all based primarily on just the fact that your jobs are quite sensitive I think and you’re just worried that that would maybe hinder your progress to financial independence if they found out? But it would pretty much destroy our whole plan if our employers found out. And so we initially had what we call the “10-year plan.” And then, over time, we realized—actually not over much time. We felt like even earning very good incomes, we were never going to be able to afford a home. We know that actually just having a compensation structure with a year-end bonus has been a huge factor in our success and not one that we can tell people, “Go out and replicate that.” But having a chunk of money that comes in at the end of the year that you can save straightaway has been such a gift to us. We started banking all of our pay increases, so that we essentially still live on, I would say, our 2007 salary.
This is particularly interesting to me because one of my dreams is to live on the side of the mountain and get a part-time ski patrol job. We are super excited to unveil ourselves because the whole anonymous thing and referring to ourselves with fake names is getting a little old. We sort of need those incomes to get to full early retirement. Over about a year, we realized that we could cut some other stuff and we could get there a whole heck of a lot faster. So, for 10 years, everything that we’ve gained in raises is just going straight into savings.
And he’s like a stoic guy of the baby boomer generation, so I wasn’t kept up-to-date as a kid on all the in’s and out’s of it. And then, for a couple of different reasons that we’ll share once we unveil ourselves, we were just able to start telecommuting. Mad Fientist: So, are you at all concerned about maybe like having a loss of identity when you finally walk away from your jobs because it seems like you’re quite tied to the company and the job itself? Think about what is it that defines you, what is it that you want to define you in the future.