Thursday, December 30, 2010


i've been purposely anonymous (not just by name, but also in not divulging my age, profession, income, etc.) in my writing on this blog from the beginning because i felt that would allow a broader audience to read my posts.

an interesting thing happened the other day that made me rethink this approach, and made me think that i should narrow my focus and write with a very specific and personal audience in mind. you see, i was having lunch with a co-worker and the topic of goals, retirement, and the like came up. now, here's a guy i respect very much, who is about the same age as i am, about the same income level, and for all practical considerations, we could be practically twins on paper.

when the talk moved to retirement, i shared with him that my goal is to retire or semi-retire by the time i am 45 years old. i am currently 36. he was a bit shocked, and floated a big question my way: "what's your secret?"

i was perfectly honest with him. i don't have any secrets. for the most part, i am a pretty normal guy. i have not had any big windfalls occur in my life. i have not made a ton of money in stocks or real estate. i did not come into any family money by birth or inheritance. i am not an entrepreneur. i do not own my own company. i am a hard worker and make a decent wage.

there might be some small things that may separate me from my co-worker. i have never carried any credit card debt. i did not take out any student loans. the only debt that i have ever carried is mortgage and car loans. i have been an aggressive saver most of my working life.

i am married and my wife and i were dual income / no kids for about 7 years. my wife is now part time and we have 2 kids -- a one year old and a three year old. we live in the suburbs some 20 miles north of dallas, texas, in what is for most respects our "dream house".

i used to think that i'd need 2 million dollars to retire, but these days i feel like retirement or semi-retirement can be accomplished with far less. i could be dead wrong. but, this is what i am going to write about.

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