A Change in Our Early Retirement Date

As many of you may remember, back in September 2016, we committed to a roughly six year time frame to reach Early Retirement.

We haven’t changed that date, despite many things changing here at Adventures with Poopsie. We aren’t going to change that date now, but I did want to talk about why and also what has changed.

Why No Date Change?

There are two reasons why I don’t want to change the date, which you can track in our countdown box down the right hand side of your screen.

First, because I want to know how long we have until we thought we could have retired, before we made any changes. This probably seems a little pointless, but I’m a person who is often interested in the road not taken. I don’t have the best memory, so often I forget things and then am not able to see what could have been. By keeping the date there, I have a constant reminder of what we chose not to pursue, and I’m interested to see how different our dates end up being.

The second reason for not changing the date is because we don’t have a new one. Yes, that’s right, currently we have absolutely no idea when we will retire early. We will explore why below, but without a solid date to work to, there seems no harm in keeping the old one. When we eventually do settle on a date (if ever), we will probably add an additional tracker but until that time, we are not committed to a new date.

Why Has Our Date Changed?

The simplest explanation to this is: changing priorities.

But in many ways, we are still trying to figure out what those changing priorities are.

Before we retire, we need to buy and pay off (personal preference, I know not everyone feels the same about paying down their mortgage) our retirement home. We know we want that home to be in Newcastle, but the specific location as well as the cost of that home could vary widely, depending on what we ultimately decide we want.

We have had periods of going back and forth and being unsure, but we always end up coming back to the same suburb. However, if we want to live in that suburb, then the amount we will pay for a home is very large. While we don’t believe it will stop us from retiring early (e.g. before 65), it will almost definitely change our date. At this stage, we both feel fairly happy to work longer in order to get a house in the location we want. The question remains: how much longer are we willing to work?

What is worth working longer for is different for all of us. There are certainly some trains of thought in the Early Retirement sphere that advocate doing whatever it takes in order to reach that retirement. Their advice to us would be “live somewhere cheaper”.

We don’t share that way of thinking. We both strongly believe there is no point in early retirement if you’re not retiring to something that will make you happy. We would not be happy living elsewhere now, so why would be happy living there in retirement? We want to live near our friends and our family (my brother and sister-in-law and two nephews will be moving to Newcastle around the same time as us). We also want to live somewhere where everything is walkable. Even going one suburb out means that we will be entrenched in suburbia and therefore not have the walkable lifestyle we want.

But achieving this lifestyle will come with trade-offs. While there may be a property correction, this area has always been and will always be highly desirable and therefore expensive. If we want to live there, then we will need to work longer. As I said, we are both happy to do that but struggle with trying to figure out how much longer we want to work for.

And despite knowing we definitely think buying a house in this area will be worth it to us, it’s hard not to be disappointed that we are no longer going to be able to achieve our dream of early retirement in six years. We have spent so much time planning for and working toward that goal, and a great deal of our relationships goal setting and dreams have been based on that date. Despite it being a choice of ours, we still feel disappointed and sometimes deflated that we aren’t going to be able to achieve that dream.

And so we continue to ponder, to plan and to try and figure out a way to have the house we want in the location we want and still retire in six years time (spoiler alert: it isn’t actually possible). We’re dealing with our own individual disappointment, as well as the disappointment we share as a couple. Our message to everyone is, sometimes you won’t reach your goal and, even if that’s because of a choice you made that you know is a worthwhile one for you, it will still come with disappointment. The key is to deal with that disappointment and try to move forward, targeting a new goal.

Have your early retirement plans changed? How have you dealt with any disappointment you felt? Share in the comments below!

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8 Responses to A Change in Our Early Retirement Date

  1. LadyFIRE says:

    Congrats on having the courage to admit your initial goal wasn’t possible for you, and that your priorities have changed. It has a bit of stigma for FIREy bloggers to ‘not meet’ their goals, but honestly who knows what exactly they want in a decades time.

    Nice work on getting a better idea of what you want, changing up your life to suit that, and doing it with flair 🙂

    • Thanks LadyFIRE. I was a bit hesitant to admit it on here at first, thinking it didn’t meet the FIRE narrative. Mrs ETT told me I was being silly and I’m so glad I listened. We will all have ups and downs in our journey and I think writing about them helps it seem like a more attainable way of life for people reading.

  2. I recently reset some of my FI goals, but kept the same target date, which is only 30 days after yours! So let’s make sure we compare notes around that time. I agree on the paths not taken, my spread sheet still measures past targets I have superceded because of the same sort of impulse.

    Think the approach you have taken is understandable, and far more relatable than ‘I am living in a tuna can, while I spend $5000 a year and eat tuna – which provides my housing a side hustle housing hack’ style FI narratives out there. Being in a location you’re happy with is going to be critical for your overall happiness and outlook.

    I’m currently adjusting to a two year push out of an interim FI deadline for 2020. It’s going okay. Having said that, I haven’t finished holidays yet! 🙂

    • Wow! If we are both going to meet our goals, we must get together and have a little party. Only thirty days apart is so cool!

      I absolutely agree with you on the location. I was originally hesitant to mention it on the blog as I didn’t think it met the FIRE narrative. Fortunately Mrs ETT set me right and I definitely see now how there is no cookie cutter FIRE narrative, we all have different things that are important to us and we each have to make adjustments in our plan as we need to.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I agree with your philosophy, you want to be doing things that make you happy both on the road to FIRE and once you get there. Obviously you don’t want to take that to extremes, but so long as you’re living within your means and the goal is achievable then that’s fine. There are plenty of expenses almost all of us could cut out but then we wouldn’t be enjoying our lives and would be more likely to give up the journey. So it’s best to face reality and do what will make you happier.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Aussie HIFIRE. I agree with you, we could definitely cut down to the bone and we have done that before and we were not happy. I think it’s about finding a balance but I will admit, I don’t feel like we’ve quite found that balance yet, so we continue to try things out.

  4. I think you’re doing the right thing. You need to be happy where you live – and surely Newcastle would be cheaper than Sydney or Canberra anyway?
    My new place is my forever home. I love it and I’m already spending to make it perfect for my retirement in a few years.

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