In our recent interview with ABC World News Tonight we covered a lot of topics that didn’t make it to the final cut. We spent a lot of time talking about investing… how we invest, how much time it takes, my level of investing expertise compared to a layman, and recommendations for the average individual.
The reporter I spoke with was really interested in our lifestyle, and the whole conversation felt very natural and genuine. After I answered all of her questions about safe withdrawal rates, cap gain harvesting, cash flow management, portfolio rebalancing, asset allocation, and all of that other mumbo jumbo buzzwordy stuff, she asked a really powerful question that really struck me…
“What about me? How would I ever be able to do all of that?”
Everything about that question…. intonation, tone of voice…. made me feel as though I had completely failed as a messenger. Sure, I answered the questions she asked… but I didn’t address the heart of the matter. It’s probably the same on this blog. (I’m an engineer, not a politician.)
For the United States, the past century is an incredible story of economic growth and prosperity. The Post WW2 era especially witnessed a tsunami of growth and expansion.
In recent times the media and political rhetoric seem less optimistic. Economic anxiety is highlighted as motivation for everything from voting patterns to the opioid epidemic. Sources of anxiety vary… globalization, income inequality, job insecurity, student loan burden, the gender pay gap, cost of child care, The 1%, and the robot revolution are all cited.
Some even go so far as to predict The End of the Middle Class. Is it really so dire?
Our story was recently shared with 8 million viewers on ABC World News Tonight. Awesome!
Hopefully exposure to a huge audience of normal people will inspire a few to think about retirement in a different light. If you haven’t seen the video yet, here is the youtube clip (less than 2 minutes.)
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Oops, I did it again.
For the 3rd year in a row we are headed to Europe and the United States for the summer.
For the 3rd year in a row, we will be circumnavigating the globe.
And for the 3rd year in a row, a substantial portion of our transportation costs will be zero.
About 6 years ago we started traveling the world nearly full time.
“How can you afford this?” they asked. “Where does the money come from?”
It was so easy to say we “retired early” and that we were “financially independent.” It seemed so credible, and it was safer and easier than admitting the truth… even my own wife believed it.
But it has been a heavy burden to carry. Recent calls for more transparency in the Financially Independent / Retire Early community, my own conscious, and perhaps the future of our country require that I come clean.