Where to begin?
Let’s start nearly two decades ago when Mr. and Mrs. PIE relocated to the east coast of the US from the UK, where they both worked in pharmaceutical research. Mr. PIE was offered a transfer with his company and it was very easy for Mrs. PIE to find a position in the area too. This was the late 90’s and research jobs in biotech were almost being given away!
We were extremely lucky to be be arriving to start our new life with no debt (thanks to a UK education and no student loans), a generous relocation package and a significant increase in our salaries. We arrived with very little in the way of savings or even possessions, but it didn’t take long to start to accumulate and learn how to spend our new found wealth.
We got very good at it in fact. Fast forward a few years and we have a large house in the suburbs, two new cars, fabulous vacations and lots of restaurant dining. Add two young children (small PIES) and we had a pretty comfortable and spendy way of life.
That’s not to say we didn’t save. We maxed out our 401k’s early on, started IRA’s and always had an emergency buffer in the bank. We started 529 plans for the boys pretty much as soon as they were born. We weren’t bad at saving, and recognize now what a benefit starting early was. But money was convenience for us and we got pretty good at conveniently spending it.
We’ve always loved to travel with the kids, even since they were very small. We introduced each of them to skiing – one of our great passions – at age 3. We got frustrated at how difficult it was to grab weekend ski trips away with kids, even having the mountains an easy drive from home. That was the point that we decided to buy a vacation home in the mountains.
Our mountain retreat has been everything we wanted it to be. We’ve skied, hiked, kayaked, and generally relaxed. The small PIEs love it and so do we.
How we came to our plan to leave the work force, sell our primary home and move to our mountain home will be the subject of several posts. But that’s our plan. Our date is
July 2019 July 2018. That’s rather arbitrary, but we need a goal. It could be earlier. Between now and then we have many things to figure out. We’re learning how to be frugal, how to cut costs, how to invest smarter, how to understand our current spending and our projected spending. We’ve made a good start and are well on our way to realizing our goal.
Our vision of escaping the rat race means time with the kids, the ability to attend all the school events. Time not spent commuting, or getting up before 5am to miss the traffic. Time to ski, hike and enjoy the outdoors whenever we want. Time to explore other passions, or even figure out what other passions we might have. Just.Time.
We would have had very little hope of making this happen – or maybe even realizing it was an option – had it not been for the wealth of information to be found in the FIRE blogging community, for which we are truly grateful.