Goodbye Money Worries

My wife said to me the other day “I no longer worry about money.”  Which might seem a minor statement, but  to me knowing her past this was a major breakthrough.  I nearly felt the desire to break out a marching band. 😉

So let me put this into context.  Her parents divorced when she was young and her mother raised four kids most as a single mom.  My wife grew up worrying about money…all the time.  They knew money was tight because if the washing machine broke, her mother didn’t always have the money to replace it.  So my wife learned a pattern that there was never enough money and you needed to worry about that fact.  So she repeated it all through high school, university and even when we got married.

In fact, shortly after we got married she was upset.  She thought she was spending too much, since I never seemed to spend anything.  I actually had to show her that I just had a different spending habit. I would save for six months to a year and buy something big, rather than lots of small things.  After that she felt a bit better about buying the odd new shirt or a book.

Then I introduced her to the idea of early retirement, and initially she didn’t really care about the idea (but she didn’t hate it either).  Until it occurred to her that that while I kept talking about freedom and choice of what do with our time, she could also use that to mean ‘never worry about money again.’  So with that she came on board to the idea of early retirement, but put her own stamp on what that means for her.  For example, when she quits working she never wants to do it again: even for fun money.  So she will likely work a few more years after I quit full time to build up her own fun money slush fund.  Totally her choice.  Even in the same household, FI doesn’t look the same to both of us.

In the end, even well before we got to early retirement my wife got her wish.  She has enough money now to know that barring catastrophic issues like every insurance company we deal with going bankrupt at the same time or the end of civilization she will be fine for money.  We have savings, a paid for home and insurance to cover the obvious big issues.

So what motivates you towards early retirement?  Freedom seem to be the most common, but what else?

9 thoughts on “Goodbye Money Worries”

  1. So what motivates you towards early retirement?

    My kids motivate me towards early retirement. I have an almost 8 year old, and a 2 year old, and we are planning on one or two more, and I want to be able to spend the time with them while they grow up. I want to be able to teach them that money is an idea and used properly, they too can retire early. Mostly the idea of not being stuck behind a desk for 8 hours a day is the driving factor, as I don’t think I can do this for another 25-30 years.

    Freedom seem to be the most common, but what else?

    I want to travel more and see the sights of the world that you see on tv and in the magazine pictures a lot. I had someone ask me last night if I would go to China or Japan and I said that yes I would. I find that the culture shock is pretty interesting to see and how my wife and I handle it seems to be the interesting part.

    I think if I had the time, I would go back to school and get a degree in languages. This would be a purely selfish and self interest thing to do, but I know I would love it.

  2. I would love to have the time to volunteer. I could happily find 80 hours a week of volunteer work never earning a penny and having a lot of fun. Or spend 6 month overseas on a volunteer project . . .or both. (Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?)

  3. Women are almost all safety focused. It is a great think to have a husband who reduces the risk of poverty for the family.

    I just read your book and posted the following on
    5 Stars
    Excellent well researched and organized book. It talks about far more than money. There are many charts that simply and clearly illustrate his content.

    There are excellent quotes through the book like: “Dealing with taxes is sort of like changing kitty litter; not fun but necessary to avoid a stink.”

    While he gives few specific tips on how to save money he does an excellent explanation of how to figure out where your money is going in Chapter 10.

    I really appreciate the Canadian focus of this book. It is an excellent resource covering RRSPs, OAS, pension plans, TFSAs and lots of essential but technical stuff. If the author would expand chapter 13 into an entire book I would buy that one too.

  4. Freedom … yes, that’s pretty much it.
    Freedom to not be in Winnipeg in January, or February or…
    Freedom to not be stuck in the office in work clothes freezing from the air conditioning and wearing sweaters in July.
    I can’t wait.

  5. What motivated me? Not having to commute to work any more. I simply HATED the long, tiring, often sickening commute, even when I had reduced it to 2 days a week in the last 17 months I worked.

    When I see the transit reports on TV in the morning and my commuter rail system (the Long Island Rail Road) is having another of its frequent problems causing delays, I say to myslef, “I am soooooo glad I am not part of THAT crappola any more!”

  6. Mmm, interesting ideas everyone. Thanks for sharing.

    @Erin – Cool, thanks for the review. So I should expand what I covered in chapter 13…good to know. I’m basically almost done the research for book2, so I’ll try to work some more of that in.


  7. Awesome post. Freedom from debt and worry will likely be the answer from many, but also the freedom from ‘routine’. Money often forces people into a routine that on some days is just unbearable – whether it be your commute or an annoying co-worker or the sinking feeling associated with an upcoming mortgage payment.

    Personally, the idea that my (future)children won’t have to worry about money would be the greatest benefit to me. I can handle the worry of money, but I don’t want them to have to do the same.

  8. For me it’s about career freedom. Right now I work in an industry that I enjoy, and it pays me well. But I’ll want to try new things. Maybe in 2-3 years go a completely different direction. Those moves cost money, and stagnate income. But if I have a bulletproof retirement plan now (say retire at 45), a few hitches here and there, and I am still fine. Maybe I retire at 55 or 65.

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