I’m kind of sort of part of the personal finance blog community. Kind of sort of as I write way more about my mental illness and its intersection with my finances than specific and actionable financial advice for others. When I started writing this blog in 2007, just a little under 10 years ago, there were a handful of personal finance blogger types who had a strong following, and a lot of folks who had a handful of readers and intended to stay that way. Today, it’s kind of crazy how the personal finance blogging community has picked up and become quite the business.
One segment of the community is the “early retirement” folks — the ones that blog about saving money and investing in order to retire, usually in their 30s or, more realistically, 40s, in order to live life on their terms. This week, blogger 1500 Days to Freedom left his FT job with $1.4M in networth. I guess between his family’s frugal living, gains on his portfolio and the lower cost of living in Colorado where he’s based, $1.4M will last him and his family a lifetime. it’s a significant accomplishment, especially at age 40. Strange as it is, I’m only 6.5 years away from 40, and it’s highly unlikely that I will have $1.4M, even collectively with my husband at the time…
I guess it could be do-able, if we manage a growth rate of 10% YoY (unlikely) and put $50k away each year jointly we’d be at about $1.5M when I turn 40. Still, going from $500k to $1.5M is a huge leap, and one that given our spending habits and cost of living will be impossible. But it’s fun to read about other people who have achieved their goals of early retirement in such a short amount of time, it does seem like once you get to $500k it becomes much easier to earn the next $500k, and so on.
I’m certainly more risk adverse than the blogger at 1500 Days, especially now that I’m looking to start a family. I think if I could get to $2M I’d be able to “retire” (that means I’d be able to work and do something I love)… that will take 15 years of investing $50k a year as long as the stock market goes up reasonably. I’m too scared to do any alternative investments so I’ll just stick with the stock market and hope it goes up enough before it starts to come back down again where I’ll have some semi locked in gains.
I’m thinking of starting a public blog about finances so I can “come out” to the PF community. It really is a small, small world and the more I build this blog’s brand, even accidentally, the more I run into people I know on the inter webs. Hopefully they don’t know I’m me… but they could probably figure it out or at least take an educated guess. I have to be careful because this blog could make it impossible for me to ever get a job again, which, well, would give me plenty to write about but not enough ad traffic to make up for the permanent unemployment.