Dear Mom…

I have a lot to thank my mother for. She brought me into this world, provided a safe home, sent me to good schools and spent quality time with me. She taught me the meaning of money and not to live beyond my means.

I remember my parents having a budget, splitting money into different envelopes for different activities each month (groceries, gas, utilities, shopping etc). I wasn’t involved in any discussion but I witnessed two grownups managing their finances responsibly. With every car they purchased, it was a view to last 10-15 years. When I was 17, my parents added me as a user to their credit card. At the end of each month, they would highlight the charges on their statement that belong to me and I would pay them in cash in full. I had a weekend job and this responsibility showed me that they paid off their credit card bill every month. When I was 19, I borrowed $4,000 from them to buy my first property. I had a good job and was able to pay back them within a year.

My mom is one of my closest friends. I go to her for advice, a chat and I enjoy hanging out with her. We live on the other side of the world but still try and communicate daily. She has this dream to drive from East to West in the US, taking her time, taking in all possible sights. She is currently 63 and I’m 34, I promised her that I will take her when she is 70.

She asked me how this is possible and that I need to work. She is in a generation where they have it drilled into their heads that they must work until retirement age. She has never heard of Financial Independence before and I’m sure the sound of it terrifies her. She doesn’t know about my journey to FI or this blog. She will probably think it’s impossible for me to stop working when I am 40. I will send her this link once it’s published.

Well Mom, this next part is for you! I aim to have enough money by the time i’m 40 that I will never have to worry about work ever again. It sounds nice doesn’t it? You’ve always said to me that a small lottery win would mean you can quit work and enjoy life. Well, instead of playing the lottery, Mrs FI and I are saving and investing like we’ve never done before. We’re saving at least $80,000 a year and our aim is to have $1,500,000 in the next six years (we started this journey three years ago). We also want to have our house paid off and will relocate to a cheaper area, buying a house for half the price of our current home ensuring we have a large enough cash buffer for emergencies/market corrections.

Using the 4% withdrawal method, we would be able to live off $60,000 a year. This is more than enough, we have budgeted that we will need just $40,000. The next six years we will continue to work and save hard. We want to have freedom and this is what we’re working towards. I also hope that when you’re reading this, you’ll realize that we do not need or want any inheritance from you. I want you to spend every penny you’ve worked for on enjoying the rest of your life and doing experiences you want (if you leave anything to my brother and sister I won’t mind). If you read the rest of my blog, you will see that I’ve already made plans to look after your grandchildren in the long term (if not, you can read it here).

So, there you have it, don’t worry about us, when we do stop working, we have this day planned. After the summer of travelling with you, we will take the kids on amazing life journeys around the world visiting each continent each summer until they leave us. When the kids do leave for college, Mrs FI and I will travel the world slowly.

I want to thank you , you’ve taught me the basics of Finance and without your lessons early on in life, we wouldn’t be on this amazing journey today. I can’t wait to travel with you and see this amazing country.

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