Wow, I am so glad that I found this site. For about my entire life of 30 years I have kinda felt that I was swimming in a ocean alone, and almost felt like a alien on a planet I should not be on.
I am getting ready to turn 30 next month, and will hopefully be retired by August or September of this year.
If you all would not mind, I would like to share my story, as I finally feel like I have found some people that would understand it, and not think I am nuts, and if you are so inlined I would appreciate, any wisdom that you all would be kind enough to impart upon me.
Even as a young child, I think my biggest fear at 5-10 years old was wearing a suit to work everyday. I never understood the "go to school, make good grades, spend 100k or more on college, so you can get a job and work for someone and make them rich".
My first adventure was starting a lawn mower business when I was around 10 or so, and I actually got it to the point where I was making 40 dollars a hour all during the mowing season. When not mowing I got a almost full time job working at a restaurant, while attending school, playing sports.
When I was a kid I worked my rear end off, because my goal was to be self-employed and open my own store one day, by the time I was 18 I had saved around 80k. I had scholarships to the US Naval Academy and the Citadel, but at the time I was not sure if I would be mature enough to do as well as I should, and the long commitment to the military scared me also.
Eventually I got the USMC bug, and decided with all my expenses paid I could join the Marines, get some discipline, learn leadership skills, and save the rest of the money.
Everything went great until I shattered my back in a rollover in a 5 ton. I am still able to walk, but have lived with pretty intense pain for the last decade. Which being on my feet 10 hours a day on concrete floors hasn't helped.
But even that was a good expierence, because I knew that I would not be able to work the length that most people could, due to my injuries getting worse as I got older.
After I got out of the Marines I opened my own national franchisee restaurant (don't wanna say which atm, due to hard feelings with franchisor).
As a young kid, I had always felt if I gave everything for a couple of decades then I could goof off the rest of my life. This was really reinforced, by watching my father in law, bust his ass, retire at 61 and then die of a heart attack 6 months into retirement.
The restaurant business while it has been profitable, has utterly felt like it has been sucking my wife and my soul away. It is so sad how people in America (not all people but alot) have become so incredible rude, and dumbed down. Employee's either stole from me, or ran my customer off or were lazy, and my wife and I got to the point where, we would not hire people and just worked our ass off and did it ourselves. No vacations for a decade, working on our anniversary, sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice.
I never really had a desire to be super wealthy, I just wanted to make a million bucks, and be done with it.
We live very frugally, about the only thing I will purchase for myself is a video game every now and then.
Our living expenses with some screw off money will be around 600 dollars per month at most, and we have zero debt. We will never go into debt again. Debt to me = slavery.
What I was planning to start my retirement, was having around 1 million in cash in CD's (at a 6.11 rate atm), and my income will also be suplemented by my disability, which at 100% from the service, and SSDI, is around 3600 or so a month tax free with COLA going up every year with inflation or close to it.
We plan on just living off my disability and letting our nest egg grow and grow, so we can leave our children (when we have them eventually) a huge nest egg to start their lives with when they are mature enough. Will most likely re-invest most of my disability also, as my wife and I can live of 24k a year and live as happy as we can be. We see money as nothing more then a tool, like a hammer or something. To us it is all about the freedom.
Our dreams are to travel, and to be able to raise children with BOTH of us being home. I dream of teaching my son at 5 years old the things wise people taught my in my late teenage years on how to build wealth. ( Drives me nuts that they do not teach these things in school, but I guess that is to keep people in the system)
My dream "job" is to wake up in the morning on some tropical island, walk down to the beach, and report to the wife, that the ocean is still there that morning
My wife and I have basically just become disgusted with the American dream of self-employment and dealing with idiots all day, and we want to enjoy life and do everything together. I got to the point where I would rather go help at a zoo and shovel lion poop then deal with one more moron.
But anyways, that is part of my story, and just wanted to share that, and pick your brains.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.