Back in the Fall of 2020, I made the decision to take a sabbatical to test out Coast FI starting at the end of January 2021.
The plan is to try out my ideal FI schedule now, which includes 10 to 20 hours of passion work, even though we have not reached our full FI number yet. The income generated through my passion work would thus allow me to cover my share of our average yearly family spending while allowing my investments to compound and hit my individual FI# sometime in my early 40s.
Since my last update, Second & Third Months of my Sabbatical to test Coast FI , quite a lot has happened. It ended up leading to what I called a Guiltless Summer where I reflected on semi-retirement rather than Coast FI. Events of the last few months have also left me with a renewed sense of why making the most of the freedom acquired along the journey to FI is incredibly important.
In order to immortalize these first few months into this sabbatical and share my experience with you, I’ll be doing
monthly occasional updates on how this experiment unfolds.
Here are the previous updates:
Instead of doing week by week updates, as it’s been so long since my previous recap, I’ll simply go higher level in this one, digging into the most significant events of these past months.
The week following my Second & Third Months of my Sabbatical to test Coast FI post, we received devastating news that an extended family member had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Doctors were giving her a few weeks to live but thankfully treatment extended that time a bit to give her a few quality months with her loved one.
She ended up passing away only four short months later. I did a quick Twitter thread on the subject here: https://twitter.com/ModMillionaires/status/1439930590460006409
I won’t add much more details on this person as this is not my story. Yet I wanted to write a few words on it’s impact on me.
Watching a young person that we know and that was close to us in age receive this diagnosis was very difficult. It still doesn’t feel quite real, neither did it feel real the last time Mr.Mod and I spoke with her. It just feels like a bad dream.
While I don’t think that anything I write will do justice to the emotions I’ve felt and continue to feel about all of this, here’s what this experience has left me with. It has solidified my belief that we have to continuously question the way we are spending our days because we never know what may come the next day.
This likely had a big impact on how, during the summer, I ended up working a lot less than planned and feeling good about generating less revenue for the year.
A New School Year
As I covered how summer unfolded for me in my Guiltless Summer post, this brings us to the beginning of a new school year. This time it was the first for our youngest who began kindergarten while our oldest started first grade.
Last year, I remember feeling overwhelmed with all the preparation to get our son ready for school. This time around, it was very different. I did not have the obligations of a 9 to 5 to work around while doing the shopping and preparing all the material. The pandemic measures seemed somewhat clearer despite how short notice it was for them to announce what they would put into place.
Perhaps not having the background stress of work helped me process the information on all of that better and have the space to self-regulate. Overall, it felt like the preparation was quite smooth!
While I didn’t feel that tired the first week of school and pretty happy with my energy level to deal with all the emotional support my kids needed to adjust to the new routine, it didn’t take long for all of us to get run down by some back to school colds.
I’ve been so thankful for the flexibility I’ve had thanks to this sabbatical but really… how are working parents managing all of this? What about the parents that work in health care or the education system? These are really tough times and I cannot wait for the vaccine to be available for kids and hopefully for the case numbers to stop climbing.
When I began this sabbatical back in January, I told myself that I would wait until the month of October to make my decision with regards to returning to work. Low and behold, we are already in the second week of October and time feels like it has flown by.
Looking back on the past 8 months, I’ve felt more energized by the work I do than I have ever felt in my life. I truly want to help my clients shed their financial anxiety and create plans to secure their financial future. Having more time to dedicate my attention to this goal has been invaluable and led me to enjoy this work even more than when I was doing it as a side-hustle. I also feel like I have a lot more content that I want to create to serve this purpose.
As such, after hours and hours of reflection, looking at my numbers, projections and discussing the plans for our family’s future with Mr.Mod, I have made the decision to officially resign from my 9 to 5. I’ll be moving into a semi-retired lifestyle!
My plan is to continue creating educational financial content and carry-on with financial coaching on a part-time basis through Modest Millionaires. Summers will be a period when I put my content creation mostly on pause in order to spend more time with the kids while they are off from school. When we can, we will also pursue some slow travel. That’s what I am seeing for myself at least for the next several years. My projections are showing that I will likely hit my FI number sometime in my early forties which feels more than fine with me!
I’m announcing it now as I have officially notified my supervisor at work, yet this will certainly require a post on it’s own. In the meantime, I would love to know if you have any questions for me about this decision! Let me know in the comments or join my newsletter to send me a quick reply with your questions.
There you have it, the sabbatical will be turning into a semi-retirement! These last several months have been insightful both through painful events and through joyful ones, all along with the usual daily things that demand my attention, which feel like a good representation of life. You can feel deep sorrow while experimenting the best that life can give you with all the regular day to day routines and parts of life.
Having pursued financial independence over the last several years has been the best thing I have done. It now allows me to be more involved in deciding what I do with what life throws at me and gives me more freedom in how I want my day to day to look. I’m feeling really motivated and happy with my decision. I’m excited for what comes next and want to thank you all for following along my journey!
Do you have any questions on my decision to leave my 9 to 5 and move into semi-retirement?