Starting a Blog: My First Step to Semi-Retirement
Here it is! My first blog entry. The first step to quitting my job. Not just my job, but the world of 9 to 5. I’m currently 36 years old, and I’d like to enter semi-retirement at the ripe age of 40. How does writing a blog help? It’ll keep me accountable and give me actionable items to help pursue my goal.
My goal is to transition into trading stocks full time. And when I say full time, I mean one to two hours a day, and no weekends. I hate to use the term FIRE because it’s been haphazardly thrown around, but I guess it’s a variation of that. I wouldn’t really be retired because like I said, I’d be putting in a couple hours of hard work every day. Did I mention no weekends?
My husband has also expressed the desire to leave his job before retirement age, although his timeline is much longer than mine, so in addition to trading, we plan on beefing up our passive investments. We want to get to a point where my income from trading and our passive income exceeds our spending while keeping our current lifestyle. The end goal is to have at least five sources of income.
Why the heck not? Unless you’re part of the 13% of the population who claim to love their jobs, who doesn’t dream of quitting and spending their time however they please?
I’d like to not be in a rush in the morning when I get ready for work, pack lunch for my kids, and get them ready for school. I’d like to be able to walk my dog (if I had a dog) after I drop the kids off, or go for a run (if I liked running). Or maybe I’d take a yoga class. I’d like to be home when my kids get out of school and make them an after school snack instead of sending them to an after school program. I’d like to take up gardening or learn how to play the guitar. I’d like to not be mentally tired after work and actually enjoy a bike ride with my family in the evening. I’d also like to have enough time to make a proper dinner every night.
Why Am I Jumping on the Blogging Bandwagon?
Accountability. As I mentioned, I can set my goals, write them down, and actually pursue them. Hopefully, you will help keep me accountable.
Help others. I want to share my experience so you can learn from my mistakes or be inspired by my successes. So help me help you by reading my blog.
Community. I want to connect with like minded people with whom I can share and discuss this stuff. Believe it or not, I don’t meet too many people who are fascinated by finance and enjoy endless discussions on trading and investing.
Yes, these are boilerplate reasons for starting a blog, but I think everyone’s experiences are unique and valuable. I believe everyone has a story worth sharing.
Our Current Situation
We’ve been doing well with savings, but we haven’t actively kept track of our finances.
Income. I work as a software engineer, and my husband works as a mechanical engineer.
Passive Income. We’ve been saving for another house with the plan to rent out our current home, possibly in a couple of years. We have a small investment in Lending Club, and I recently started with a $1,000 investment in Fundrise.
Active Trading. I’ve been investing in stocks for a while, but it’s only recently that I started actively trading. For the past four months, I’ve been learning about short term trading, mostly focusing on swing trading.
Retirement. My husband and I both have 401ks at our current jobs, and we have IRAs from our previous jobs.
Expenses. Aside from our mortgage, our biggest expense is childcare. We have a three-year-old daughter who just started pre-school, and we’re paying child support for my husband’s daughter. We also have a little boy on the way. As a matter of fact, he’ll be here in four weeks!
Lifestyle. Neither my husband or I are big spenders, but we’re not a fan of budgets. It’s like counting calories and dieting. You feel restricted and end up splurging or having extra cheat days. We’d rather just have a balanced lifestyle where we are comfortable and not overspending. We want to be able to eat out when we feel like it and not feel guilty when we spend on big ticket items.
I don’t expect to be immediately profitable with trading so I’m giving myself four years to get to “full time” trading. Why four years? I’m treating it like a college education, and I figure it will take me that long to be consistently profitable. Plus it’ll give me time to recover if I blow up my account. My daughter will also be out of preschool by then, and we’re paying up the wazoo in childcare so some of that cost will be alleviated.
In the next four years, we plan on increasing our passive income investments, acquiring investment property, and developing a trading plan that will provide consistent income.
Every month, I’ll update my trading progress, our passive income investments, as well as our overall financial progress.