Author Topic: What are your motivations behind FIRE?  (Read 7535 times)

rjg

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What are your motivations behind FIRE?
« on: August 10, 2014, 10:07:12 AM »
It seems this place is a big tent with a wide variety of motivations/backgrounds/budgets.

It also seems that many people pursuing fire because they dislike their jobs but later go on to make money in other ways (much like mmm did). So it seems many here want a career change with a nest egg as a safety valve.

So, what does financial independence mean to you?

What are your plans post fire? Does it include other money making endeavors?

Is disliking your job "enough"of a reason?

What are your contingency plans?

Are any of you content with simply taking care of your day to day chores, enjoying more free time, etc? Or do you need a larger purpose?

Zikoris

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Re: What are your motivations behind FIRE?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2014, 11:08:55 AM »
I want to retire because getting up early and going to work sucks. Boyfriend feels the same, and we're working to fix that as quickly as possible. We'd much rather travel, pursue hobbies and interests, and do fun things. We don't particularly want to work, so why do it then?

We don't have money-making plans for after retirement, but would be open to it if something really fun that did not feel like work and did not get in the way of travel came along.

Contingency? Well, if somehow we managed to lose all our money due to some bizarre reason, we only spend about $18,000/year outside of travel (and it's dropping as time passes) - so ditch the travel, and even if we each get only two or three day a week minimum wage jobs, and we'd be making way more than we actually need to maintain our lifestyles. Only needing a tiny amount of money to maintain your lifestyle is probably the best contingency plan in the world, other than homesteading skills.

erae

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Re: What are your motivations behind FIRE?
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2014, 01:21:39 PM »

So, what does financial independence mean to you?


My husband and I are not financially independent, so I can only speak to our path towards financial independence.  I like having FI as a framework for our discussions and decision-making because it challenges us to be painfully honest about the choices we're making and our priorities.  If we truly value independence from our employers and our time together over everything else, we would make decisions that would get us to FI ASAP.  As it is, we make decisions every day that draw out our timetable towards FI in favor of comfort, status, desire to help family, etc. but we have the vocabulary and the framework to be honest about those choices and acknowledge that we are choosing one priority over another with our limited (though ridiculously high) resources.  We ask ourselves questions that check to see if we're leading our lives in an integrated way such that our time, money, and energy are as closely aligned as possible with our values, priorities, and sources of happiness.  Without this framework, I think it can be easy to get into a debate about what's "reasonable" or "normal" which is rooted in comparisons with others and doesn't acknowledge that each time we choose X we're not choosing Y. 


What are your plans post fire? Does it include other money making endeavors?


We both work in fields we love, but are both working long hours (50+/week) and chose our employers based on salary and opportunities for professional advancement rather than a strong desire to be a part of their team.    I suspect we'll both work part-time and be choosy about our clients/employers once we are FI.


Is disliking your job "enough"of a reason?


I've found that when I'm running away from something, I don't make great choices.  Also, "disliking" something isn't a very compelling analysis of the situation.  I'd look at your job in terms of costs/benefits .  My job provides us with financial security (depending on what we do with my income) and keeps my skills and resume strong for future opportunities.  It also provides me with a network of like-minded professionals and time Monday - Friday with people I like and respect.  It costs me time with my husband and friends/family, energy b/c I often come home tired, my health b/c I'm less active than I was in my previous, less-demanding job, some flexibility in choosing my own work, and it keeps me from giving back to my community as much as I'd like through volunteerism.  When I look at this list, I can think of ways to make my current job "cost" less and I can better articulate the life I'd like to have. 


What are your contingency plans?


To go back to work, understanding that we'd make that choice only after examining the "cost" of working and deciding those costs were aligned with our current priorities. 

Greystache

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Re: What are your motivations behind FIRE?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2014, 04:43:35 PM »
Mostly just because I can.  I am almost 55 and I have had a job of some sort since I was 12. Since getting out of school, I have never taken more than 3 weeks off at one time. I am ready for some time off. I am no longer happy with my job. I know that I have a good job with good pay and decent coworkers, but it has no intrinsic value to me.  It has become just a paycheck and I feel like I am just going through the motions.  Better to get out and give a chance some young person who appreciates the job. I have a reasonably conservative retirement plan.  My WR should not need to exceed 3%.  I am counting on SS, but will only need 50% of what is due to me in order to make my planned budget work.  I won't be tapping my SS for 10 to 12 years.  If my investments tanked to the point where I could not safely withdraw 3% of my current stash, then I would cut back on travel and non essential expenses.  In the worst case scenario, I have over 500K in home equity that I could tap. My wife plans to work part time after she retires next year.  Her part time income is not included in our plan, it would just be gravy.  I am not planning to work, but I might do something part time if I feel the need.

Ralphus27

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Re: What are your motivations behind FIRE?
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2014, 05:12:38 PM »
I really hate the feeling of having my life partially in another person's hands.  Yes, we all are responsible for making our own breaks, but I am uncomfortable knowing that my quality of life/work may be dramatically affected by getting a new boss or being moved to a new department.

EarlyQuit

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Re: What are your motivations behind FIRE?
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2014, 05:24:16 PM »
I do not hate my job at all, I even enjoy parts of it, but I dislike the fact that I have to be there at least 40 hrs a week. My time on this Earth is limited, and I want to be able to spend more of it in accordance with my priorities and desires. That is the main reason I want to be FI.

Alabaster

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Re: What are your motivations behind FIRE?
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2014, 05:35:24 PM »
My motivation? Freedom.

I hated school since 4th grade since my teachers could play absolute hell with my life. Oh, its time for winter break? Lets pull out some extra prep work! Oh, you thought you were going to get a break after you turned in those four major projects? Too bad, we've got the end of the year test to prep for! It didn't improve in college. When we say jump, you ask how high and you damn well better like it or we'll be taking your tuition and giving you nothing for it!

I love my job. No-one has pulled that crap on me yet and I've got a 40 hr work week for the first time in a very long time. But I haven't been working too long yet. FI means that if it ever came to it, I could walk out. I get to choose who I associate with and that's freedom.

Emilyngh

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Re: What are your motivations behind FIRE?
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2014, 07:44:11 PM »
It seems this place is a big tent with a wide variety of motivations/backgrounds/budgets.

It also seems that many people pursuing fire because they dislike their jobs but later go on to make money in other ways (much like mmm did). So it seems many here want a career change with a nest egg as a safety valve.

So, what does financial independence mean to you?

What are your plans post fire? Does it include other money making endeavors?

Is disliking your job "enough"of a reason?

What are your contingency plans?

Are any of you content with simply taking care of your day to day chores, enjoying more free time, etc? Or do you need a larger purpose?

Freedom.

Right now, I love my job.   I have no idea how long I'll keep doing it, or anything similar or different FT or PT post FI.  It'll depend on when I've had enough.

Yes, hating your job is enough of a reason.

And I have no contingency plans, as of now.    I suspect I'll think about this when it's closer (still 10+ yrs out), depending on how conservative my situation is.

MsRichLife

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Re: What are your motivations behind FIRE?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2014, 07:49:46 PM »
I like my career. I've done some great things and enjoyed wonderful experiences. I find the work stimulating without being taxing and I've had a lot of freedom and autonomy in my roles for the last 7 years. Within reason I come to work when I like, I leave when I like and choose the work that I like to do and I get paid a lot to do it. At the moment the cost benefit analysis weighs heavily in favour of staying in this job. I've always said that as soon as I no longer enjoy the work, or I stop having so much flexibility, then I'll leave. FIRE gives me that option.

Also, we knew that before we had children we wanted to have the time and freedom to be with them as much as possible. We hated the idea of both juggling full-time jobs with a child. We've seen family and friends try and didn't want to put ourselves under similar amounts of stress. Because of FIRE, we are able to have one parent at home full-time and I have a flexible job where I don't have to rush around and spend large amounts of time away from home. We lead a reasonably simple, relaxed lifestyle and I love it.

After FIRE, I expect we'll still have some side gigs bringing in some cash. We are both entrepreneurial by nature and won't be able to help ourselves. I always need something to be working on (a larger purpose as you say) and wouldn't be content with 100% leisure time.

Like your wife rjg, I very much value financial security ( I grew up in a poor household with lots of money stress). As such, I'm prepared to keep bringing in a bit of money as part of my risk management and contingency planning. I couldn't sleep at night relying on the market to provide consistent returns for the next 50 years.

pachnik

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Re: What are your motivations behind FIRE?
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2014, 08:39:39 PM »
To me financial independence means that I don't have to work for money.   I am an older person and I don't feel secure in my job.  It would be nice not to have this to worry about.   

Once I reach financial independence I will probably go and work as a temp doing office work or I will get a part-time job or two doing simple things like delivering the newspaper.  I think for me it will be hard to see the money I have accumulated start to deplete.  And if my health is good, part-time non-stressful work is an option.

I am motivated by the simple fact that when I found this website I easily cut several hundreds of dollars out of my monthly spending.  A year later, I can't even remember what I used to spend my money on.  Clearly, I was frittering it away.  There is really no hardship for me in saving just over a third of my income.  My contingency plan is continually learning to live on less. 

I think my time after FI will be used in spending more time with family.  My parents are getting older and will be needing more help as time goes on.  Also, I would like to foster a cat or a dog and do some volunteering.

JoyBlogette

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Re: What are your motivations behind FIRE?
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2014, 09:11:44 PM »
I want to enjoy my kids while they're little. 

alibean

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Re: What are your motivations behind FIRE?
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2014, 09:45:53 PM »
So, what does financial independence mean to you?

I'm actually pretty new to this so trying to figure out exactly what it looks like to us.  We've made a lot of mistakes but despite that, we aren't in terrible shape.  To me, it means not relying on our jobs for our living expenses. 

What are your plans post fire? Does it include other money making endeavors?

I expect it will be a very long time before we reach complete FIRE.  We picture a modified FIRE.  My husband is a software developer and can hopefully do a couple/few independent projects per year.  I'm not sure what I would do exactly but I could potentially do contract work as well- although in my field thats not desirable to me.  Ideally, I could get additional certifications and do something I'd really enjoy on a part-time basis.

Is disliking your job "enough"of a reason?

I don't hate my job but my husband does hate his.  It's a bit soul killing for him and he doesn't find much meaning in it.  He feels like he has to do it to support the family.  He does make the lion's share of the income.  I hate for him to feel that way so I'm the one initiating the idea of FIRE.  It takes a toll on his mood which in turn takes its toll on the family.  So yeah, I think that's enough.  Life is short and I think people spend so much time on things that are not important.  For me, I just want more time w/the kids.  I want to feel less rushed.  I like my job (so far- it's a new one for me though) but I hate putting my kids in before and after school care.

What are your contingency plans?

We don't really have one, I guess.  I think both of us will continue working PT for a very long time- maybe even "normal" retirement age.  We're just starting to entertain these thoughts and have a lot of major changes to make before then.  My husband could possible make as much or more than he does now by working 6-8 mos out of the year as an independent contractor, but it's still risky.  The work has to be available and he has to be able to find it.  So, we need to build up our nest egg. 

Are any of you content with simply taking care of your day to day chores, enjoying more free time, etc? Or do you need a larger purpose?

I think we already have a greater purpose, in a way.  We aren't able to dedicate as much time and effort as we'd like at this point but I feel we definitely have purpose.  =-) 
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 09:50:12 PM by alibean »

rjg

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Re: What are your motivations behind FIRE?
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2014, 01:53:38 PM »

So, what does financial independence mean to you?

I'm actually pretty new to this so trying to figure out exactly what it looks like to us.  We've made a lot of mistakes but despite that, we aren't in terrible shape.  To me, it means not relying on our jobs for our living expenses. 

What are your plans post fire? Does it include other money making endeavors?

I expect it will be a very long time before we reach complete FIRE.  We picture a modified FIRE.  My husband is a software developer and can hopefully do a couple/few independent projects per year.  I'm not sure what I would do exactly but I could potentially do contract work as well- although in my field thats not desirable to me.  Ideally, I could get additional certifications and do something I'd really enjoy on a part-time basis.

Is disliking your job "enough"of a reason?

I don't hate my job but my husband does hate his.  It's a bit soul killing for him and he doesn't find much meaning in it.  He feels like he has to do it to support the family.  He does make the lion's share of the income.  I hate for him to feel that way so I'm the one initiating the idea of FIRE.  It takes a toll on his mood which in turn takes its toll on the family.  So yeah, I think that's enough.  Life is short and I think people spend so much time on things that are not important.  For me, I just want more time w/the kids.  I want to feel less rushed.  I like my job (so far- it's a new one for me though) but I hate putting my kids in before and after school care.

What are your contingency plans?

We don't really have one, I guess.  I think both of us will continue working PT for a very long time- maybe even "normal" retirement age.  We're just starting to entertain these thoughts and have a lot of major changes to make before then.  My husband could possible make as much or more than he does now by working 6-8 mos out of the year as an independent contractor, but it's still risky.  The work has to be available and he has to be able to find it.  So, we need to build up our nest egg. 

Are any of you content with simply taking care of your day to day chores, enjoying more free time, etc? Or do you need a larger purpose?

I think we already have a greater purpose, in a way.  We aren't able to dedicate as much time and effort as we'd like at this point but I feel we definitely have purpose.  =-)

I definitely understand your husbands feelings toward software development. You sound like a very kind and understanding wife. He is a lucky man!

Is a career or job change possible?




lauren_knows

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Re: What are your motivations behind FIRE?
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2014, 02:06:35 PM »
I have structured my life to be as stress-free as possible, but I still feel like I don't "have enough time" for a lot of things. I hate the feeling that I don't have enough time.  It's a common gripe among people, and a lot of folks will label it as an excuse, but we often don't have enough time.   Not enough time to stay in shape, not enough time to pursue your passions, etc.

I want more time to myself.  I want to have actual time to pursue projects that I like (not just when my kid is in bed, and I'm exhausted) and I want to be able to live a healthy lifestyle without having to try to "squeeze" activities in.

It's funny... the more I advance in my career, the less I want to work.  My wife works 60% FT now, and I only work 36hr's a week.  I keep imagining if it'd be worth it to my FIRE status to cut back to 32 or less now.   I need more time!

snshijuptr

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Re: What are your motivations behind FIRE?
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2014, 02:31:17 PM »
So, what does financial independence mean to you?
I'm nore on he FI sde than the RE side. My husband and I both LOVE our jobs, but we have never had job security and see the world getting worse in that respect. We want to not worry about losing our jobs EVER. This will give us the freedom to build on our pose FI plans...

What are your plans post fire? Does it include other money making endeavors?
We are both educatrs and we want to start a school...or at least grow our consulting business. We want to work toward dreams without being hindered by the need for a paycheck to survive.

Is disliking your job "enough"of a reason?
Sure it is. Thankfully it isn't our reason. I believe in what my High School English Teacher called your "vocation". She explained that the true meaning of "vocation" is your calling. Thankfully we have both found ours. It just might take us a few years of going without a salary to get our dream school off the ground.

What are your contingency plans?
Continue consulting for colleges and education companies. My husband is amazing at hustling.

Are any of you content with simply taking care of your day to day chores, enjoying more free time, etc? Or do you need a larger purpose?
That said, I could definitely see us leaving ourselves WAY more time for daily chores. I feel like nothing ever gets done with both of us working full time and a toddler at home.

Gin1984

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Re: What are your motivations behind FIRE?
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2014, 02:35:25 PM »
I have a tendency to stress out.  I discovered, looking back, that even with stressful jobs I was less stressed when I did not NEED the money to live but just wanted it.  Therefore my first goal is to not to NEED to work, so have enough money invested to pay the bare minimum bills.  Otherwise, I actually do plan to work till 60 or so.

Helvegen

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Re: What are your motivations behind FIRE?
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2014, 03:35:51 PM »
Mostly, I want my husband and I to be able to go back to working part-time. Right now, we both work full-time and though we like our jobs and the money is good, so much time is wasted at work. I'd like work to be part of our lives, not our entire lives. In theory, our expenses are low enough that we could could get by working only PT right now, but it would be difficult to save anything significant. So, we are both working FT until we have enough of a reserve to feel comfortable dropping back to PT, probably in 3-5 years.

Cassie

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Re: What are your motivations behind FIRE?
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2014, 03:36:15 PM »
I need a larger purpose which is why I volunteer, help others, consult p.t. and teach one class.  That leaves me lots of time for individual pursuits.

PeteD01

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Re: What are your motivations behind FIRE?
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2014, 04:33:42 PM »
It seems this place is a big tent with a wide variety of motivations/backgrounds/budgets.

It also seems that many people pursuing fire because they dislike their jobs but later go on to make money in other ways (much like mmm did). So it seems many here want a career change with a nest egg as a safety valve.

So, what does financial independence mean to you?

What are your plans post fire? Does it include other money making endeavors?

Is disliking your job "enough"of a reason?

What are your contingency plans?

Are any of you content with simply taking care of your day to day chores, enjoying more free time, etc? Or do you need a larger purpose?

A loaded question.

I've always liked to figure out stuff. FIRE is just a waypoint after which I will be able to figure out other kinds of stuff. I most certainly never looked at FIRE as a means to particular ends. Now, what makes me like to figure out stuff in the first place is the interesting question. It started well before I was able to think coherently, or so I'm told. Although I act in life as a rather rational entity, at the end of the day, I do not have the slightest idea what it really is that is launching me forward. It definitely cannot be expressed in terms of: I do A so that I can do B (the mechanics of extrinsic motivation) That much I've figured out so far, the rest is still to be figured out. Lot's of work still to be done...

tanhanivar

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Re: What are your motivations behind FIRE?
« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2014, 04:42:46 PM »
I want to be able to:
  • be available to care for/move in with my parents without them feeling it's a burden on me.
  • have time to volunteer, help others, spend time with others, etc.
  • be my own patron: support the bare minimum of life while building an art/writing business.
  • travel and do seasonal or contract work for interest and experience.

alibean

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Re: What are your motivations behind FIRE?
« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2014, 09:15:12 PM »

So, what does financial independence mean to you?

I'm actually pretty new to this so trying to figure out exactly what it looks like to us.  We've made a lot of mistakes but despite that, we aren't in terrible shape.  To me, it means not relying on our jobs for our living expenses. 

What are your plans post fire? Does it include other money making endeavors?

I expect it will be a very long time before we reach complete FIRE.  We picture a modified FIRE.  My husband is a software developer and can hopefully do a couple/few independent projects per year.  I'm not sure what I would do exactly but I could potentially do contract work as well- although in my field thats not desirable to me.  Ideally, I could get additional certifications and do something I'd really enjoy on a part-time basis.

Is disliking your job "enough"of a reason?

I don't hate my job but my husband does hate his.  It's a bit soul killing for him and he doesn't find much meaning in it.  He feels like he has to do it to support the family.  He does make the lion's share of the income.  I hate for him to feel that way so I'm the one initiating the idea of FIRE.  It takes a toll on his mood which in turn takes its toll on the family.  So yeah, I think that's enough.  Life is short and I think people spend so much time on things that are not important.  For me, I just want more time w/the kids.  I want to feel less rushed.  I like my job (so far- it's a new one for me though) but I hate putting my kids in before and after school care.

What are your contingency plans?

We don't really have one, I guess.  I think both of us will continue working PT for a very long time- maybe even "normal" retirement age.  We're just starting to entertain these thoughts and have a lot of major changes to make before then.  My husband could possible make as much or more than he does now by working 6-8 mos out of the year as an independent contractor, but it's still risky.  The work has to be available and he has to be able to find it.  So, we need to build up our nest egg. 

Are any of you content with simply taking care of your day to day chores, enjoying more free time, etc? Or do you need a larger purpose?

I think we already have a greater purpose, in a way.  We aren't able to dedicate as much time and effort as we'd like at this point but I feel we definitely have purpose.  =-)

I definitely understand your husbands feelings toward software development. You sound like a very kind and understanding wife. He is a lucky man!

Is a career or job change possible?

We've talked about it, but he doesn't know what he wants to do right now.  He actually enjoys software development itself- he feels it's a creative process and he likes that part of it.  He hates being in the corporate world with people who know nothing about about software having so much control over what he does.  In his current job, he works in an old, poorly kept building in a dark cube that is also uninspiring.  We talk about how we would never want that for our kids.  Why should we want less for ourselves then we would want for our kids?  Unfortunately, he makes over 3x my salary with both of us working full-time.  We have also developed a lot of lifestyle inflation.  So, we have a lot of things to figure out.  He has built up a lot of relationships with people through the years so it's likely he could independently consult which would hopefully be a better situation for him. 

rjg

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Re: What are your motivations behind FIRE?
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2014, 12:17:27 PM »


So, what does financial independence mean to you?

I'm actually pretty new to this so trying to figure out exactly what it looks like to us.  We've made a lot of mistakes but despite that, we aren't in terrible shape.  To me, it means not relying on our jobs for our living expenses. 

What are your plans post fire? Does it include other money making endeavors?

I expect it will be a very long time before we reach complete FIRE.  We picture a modified FIRE.  My husband is a software developer and can hopefully do a couple/few independent projects per year.  I'm not sure what I would do exactly but I could potentially do contract work as well- although in my field thats not desirable to me.  Ideally, I could get additional certifications and do something I'd really enjoy on a part-time basis.

Is disliking your job "enough"of a reason?

I don't hate my job but my husband does hate his.  It's a bit soul killing for him and he doesn't find much meaning in it.  He feels like he has to do it to support the family.  He does make the lion's share of the income.  I hate for him to feel that way so I'm the one initiating the idea of FIRE.  It takes a toll on his mood which in turn takes its toll on the family.  So yeah, I think that's enough.  Life is short and I think people spend so much time on things that are not important.  For me, I just want more time w/the kids.  I want to feel less rushed.  I like my job (so far- it's a new one for me though) but I hate putting my kids in before and after school care.

What are your contingency plans?

We don't really have one, I guess.  I think both of us will continue working PT for a very long time- maybe even "normal" retirement age.  We're just starting to entertain these thoughts and have a lot of major changes to make before then.  My husband could possible make as much or more than he does now by working 6-8 mos out of the year as an independent contractor, but it's still risky.  The work has to be available and he has to be able to find it.  So, we need to build up our nest egg. 

Are any of you content with simply taking care of your day to day chores, enjoying more free time, etc? Or do you need a larger purpose?

I think we already have a greater purpose, in a way.  We aren't able to dedicate as much time and effort as we'd like at this point but I feel we definitely have purpose.  =-)

I definitely understand your husbands feelings toward software development. You sound like a very kind and understanding wife. He is a lucky man!

Is a career or job change possible?

We've talked about it, but he doesn't know what he wants to do right now.  He actually enjoys software development itself- he feels it's a creative process and he likes that part of it.  He hates being in the corporate world with people who know nothing about about software having so much control over what he does.  In his current job, he works in an old, poorly kept building in a dark cube that is also uninspiring.  We talk about how we would never want that for our kids.  Why should we want less for ourselves then we would want for our kids?  Unfortunately, he makes over 3x my salary with both of us working full-time.  We have also developed a lot of lifestyle inflation.  So, we have a lot of things to figure out.  He has built up a lot of relationships with people through the years so it's likely he could independently consult which would hopefully be a better situation for him.

Sounds a lot like me. I do enjoy the process of software development if it's done at a sustainable pace and I'm interested in what I'm building. I'm also not sure what I want to do.

Your husband sounds like he has the skills and connections to work independently if he chooses. That's great.