Author Topic: Feeling a little lost without an exciting short term goal  (Read 818 times)

YTProphet

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Feeling a little lost without an exciting short term goal
« on: March 09, 2020, 07:18:44 AM »
My wife and I are set to pay off the house in the next few months and that'll be a cool goal to reach for and has taken a fair bit of work. Before that, we had a sizable chunk (IIRC it was around $135k) of grad school loans to knock off. Both of those goals were easy to see and we could stretch and push ourselves to achieve them.

But then I'll be at the point in the Mustachian journey where it's more of a long haul, that gap between the debt payoff and FU money. I'm already feeling like it's going to be hard to tackle this next phase with the same vigor without something more interesting to work toward. The typical approach would be to sock away money for college for the kids and max out retirement, but that just doesn't interest me in the same way that the debt payoff did. It just feels really...boring. The same automated payments going out to 401k/529/Roth every month for the next 15 years. Lame.

Basic stats are this - $185k income (probably $200k after bonus); $400k house; $225k in 401k's; paid for cars. Everything else is pretty standard except we send our 3 kids to private school so that's $15k/yr.

I'm contemplating just saying "screw it" to college savings, keeping all that money liquid, and focusing hard on real estate investing. I'm pretty good at it and have made a nice chunk of change doing it in the past few years. I think that would actually be fun and keep my attention. Does that sound reasonable? Any other tips from others in this phase of life?

ericrugiero

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Re: Feeling a little lost without an exciting short term goal
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2020, 07:54:32 AM »
I'm in a somewhat similar situation (recently paid off house, no debt other than an investment property, accumulating for FI with 5-10 years to go).  It's a little difficult for me to be patient in this stage.  My struggle is thinking too much about what I want the future to look like and letting that be a negative because my life today isn't there yet. 

What I'm trying to do is automate as much savings as possible, optimize my life and then not focus as much on the RE part of FIRE.  Instead, I'm focusing on my family and enjoying my current life which is really pretty good even if it's not yet my vision of what it could be one day.  Finding the balance of setting long term goals but not letting them detract from my current life is what I'm striving for. 

Regarding the college savings, I'm not focused as much on savings that are definitely for college (529's, etc).  Instead, I'm trying to accumulate cash that is more flexible. 


Sibley

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Re: Feeling a little lost without an exciting short term goal
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2020, 08:12:39 AM »
I think you might need to evaluate your overall lifestyle. If you are driven by the need for a "high" or are highly goal driven, and your everyday life doesn't meet that need in a sustainable manner, then you're ultimately going to have a problem.

You have kids. Be an involved, present parent. If you decide to do real estate stuff, involve the kids. Teaching them how to do stuff is good for everyone.

seemsright

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Re: Feeling a little lost without an exciting short term goal
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2020, 09:24:21 AM »
Yep I remember that time. It took me a very long time to get over it. About 15 months. I got my Black Belt in Kenpo Karate then two weeks later paid off our house. I crashed and burned HARD. Partly due to the over training it took for me to get to Black Belt but also the now what thoughts I had over and over.

I decided to put time and energy into my marriage, and my kid. Work on the space we have created and just slow down. Watch more movies, read more books. To know I have done things that are awesome.

That was back in '15 and now I am trying to train for a triathlon, run half marathons and hike more, bike more. More pure play. This spring I am going to play pickle ball with my 9 year old, throw the Frisbee that type of thing.

My suggestion is to not to jump into the next thing. Because chasing the next is a exhausting mental space to be in.   

YTProphet

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Re: Feeling a little lost without an exciting short term goal
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2020, 06:45:57 AM »
I think you might need to evaluate your overall lifestyle. If you are driven by the need for a "high" or are highly goal driven, and your everyday life doesn't meet that need in a sustainable manner, then you're ultimately going to have a problem.

You have kids. Be an involved, present parent. If you decide to do real estate stuff, involve the kids. Teaching them how to do stuff is good for everyone.

Yeah, I know this is true. And yet I still find it hard to be present. My mind constantly wanders to the next thing. It's like ADD but with relationships. Because of that, I've been trying to do more activities with my kids (sports, walks, etc) where we can be together but be doing something together at the same time. That seems to be working.

They also have shown a lot of interest in the real estate investing I've done, so I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy them a house to work on when they're in high school. Maybe have them do one flip per summer or something. I already take them with me to check on progress when I'm doing an investment, so starting small.

poetdereves

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Re: Feeling a little lost without an exciting short term goal
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2020, 10:23:45 AM »
I donít have any suggestions for your particular situation, but I wanted to say that I definitely feel where you are coming from. When my wife and I first got married we had quite a bit of debt and we buckled down to pay it all off quickly. Now that we have a decent income and a lot of money to save we get pretty bored. I liked the high of seeing my debt go down month by month, but just donít get the same feeling watching my assets increase. We sometimes joke around saying that we should just buy everything we may want in life with credit and then just work to pay it off since we have a lot more fun with that.

Focusing on things outside of finances has definitely helped us. We are at the point where the gap between our higher income and our lower spending gives us the opportunity to try new things without having to pay much attention to our increasing net worth. I donít think that focusing on real estate investing is a terrible idea as long as you  donít put all your eggs in that one basket and take time to understand the game.