As I was going closer to my goal, I did find that I not in a bad way, but in a good way cared a little bit less about work in a way that I could like look at it objectively, instead of more emotionally when things would go wrong, which is very helpful because then I could solve the problems instead of just freaking
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If you want the episode show notes for this episode, go to journey to launch.com. Or click the description of wherever you're listening to this episode. In the show notes, you'll get the transcribed version of the conversation, the links that we mentioned and so much more. Also, whether you are an OG journeyer, or brand new to the podcast, I've created a free jumpstart guide to help you on your financial freedom journey. It includes the top episodes, so listen to stages to go through to reach financial freedom, resources, and so much more. You can go to journey to launch that comm slash jumpstart to get your guide right now. Okay, let's hop into the episode.
Jamila Souffrant 2:48
Hey, journeyers, I am interviewing someone who I think you will enjoy a lot because not only has she been on the podcast before she was on episode 126 Purple, as we call her from a purple life. But she's someone who is doing what we all are aspiring to do. If you're listening to this podcast, at least I think which is retiring early. She's living a retired life early life and is one of the few people I know who are actually like is doing it, you know. So what I mean by that is we talk about early retirement retiring earlier than the standard retirement age and quitting our jobs and living life on our own terms, not necessarily worried about money or where our next paycheck is coming from. And most of the people that I know who've done that have either had the net later on in life, which is great like it does to me doesn't matter when you do it. Even if it's the standard retirement age, if you can stop working at some point and really enjoy your life, like kudos to you, no matter at what age. But oftentimes, it's like later in life, maybe that the person is doing it, or they have quit their job and are maybe pursuing entrepreneurship and is making money in that way, which again, no shade, like make all the money you want retired or not. But to find someone who is pursuing financial independence, retired early and literally just chillin, which is what we're going to hear from purple right now. It's really like, wow, like so it happens, it can be done. And I want to hear more. So purple. Welcome back to the podcast.
Thanks so much for having me.
Jamila Souffrant 4:22
All right. So last time you were on the podcast, you were on episode 126. And this was actually before you were going to retire like this was your working up to it. It was I believe back in 2019. So yeah, you're on the podcast back in 2019. This was before you know, like the pandemic struck. But I remember you were saving up like you were at the last part. I don't even think you quit your job yet. I think you were working up to that. But at that point, you said you were going to retire by 30 live off of $18,000 a year. And your goal was I think at your portfolio to or it was at 353 $1,000 So you're gonna live off your nest egg of a portfolio of $350,000. I know those numbers may have shifted since our conversation. So I want to kind of go back and see exactly. When did you actually quit that job retire early? And what was your portfolio when you left? Everything behind?
Yeah, so I think my portfolio was 350. Like you mentioned when we chatted, but my goal was to have half a million invested. And I was spending $18,000 a year while living in Seattle, but my retired annual spending goal was 20,000 plus inflation every year. So yeah, we're getting to the final legs of it. And then, you know, march 2020. What's that about? So actually, march 2020, right before the market crashed, I had almost like, quickly hit $500,000. So I was like, oh, that's exciting. And then it's like, just kidding. We're going down 33%. I'm like, Oh, great. That's nice. But yeah, I had to make a choice. Did I want to keep my plan to retire in October 2020, knowing that we were now in the middle of a pandemic, and having job security might be a really good thing, or what? But I wrote a post about it. Of course, that's how I helped process everything. And I decided to go for it. So at that point, like I mentioned, the market was down a third. I didn't know vaccine timelines, I didn't know what this new world would look like. But I was like, Yeah, I'm still gonna quit and six ish months, and we'll see what happens. So of course, then the market was like, I got you girl, all the way back up. And then when I retired, I had 500,000 in invested and two years cash cushion. So $40,000, in addition to that, in October 2020
Jamila Souffrant 6:45
Wow. Okay. And again, if you want to hear more Purple's backstory, so listen to episode 146, I think you can listen to this one first, like, continue to listen. But if you want to hear how she worked out her plan, how she saved, I think in your story, the last time you were able to go from literally zero net worth to what you had when you were We were chatting $350,000 In a matter of I forget how many years but it was a short timeframe. So if you want to learn how people did that, listen to episode 126. But we're going to jump into kind of back to 2020 when you retired and quit your job, because I know for a fact that you were getting a lot of pushback, you know, maybe from on people online. I know you were doing some interviews then and wondering like what are you doing, like most people are trying to double down, save more, secure their jobs. And here you have yourself saying, You know what, I'm not not doing that. So what gave you the confidence in your plan that this was going to work out for you.
So actually, it wasn't confidence, it was fear. Because of the pandemic, I was like, Oh, great. So I already kind of a morbid person in that I think about death every day. I've had, like, a lot of people, unfortunately, die in my life. So I was already racing towards the school because I wanted to spend more time with my family and friends like present time, because unfortunately, I'm one of those people where even if I'm in the room with you, I'm still thinking about work. I'm not fully there, like 60% there, but not fully there. And I wanted to be completely actually there with the people I love. And then with the pandemic, I was like, great. So it's really not guaranteed that any of us will still be around a little bit. I mean, I I have preexisting conditions that would make it bad for me to pre vaccine have had COVID and all that stuff. So it was fear. I was like, okay, so if this is it, I don't want to spend the last couple of months of my life being stressed out over I was in marketing over ads that no one wants to see. So I quit.
And for you knowing that you are only going to spend that $20,000 a year, you've done that while working right, like in terms of making sure you were able to stick to that because for a lot of us, including me, that's a low number. I'm like, Oh, I don't know if I'll be able to do that. You know, like that's pretty low. But you tested that out, right? Like before you made the leap.
That's correct. I was living in New York for four years, the first start of my adulthood. Also working in advertising, and I was spending about 35k there but then I moved to Seattle, and my spending instantly dropped in half. That's how I got the 18,000 number while having a bigger nicer apartment living my life eating at restaurants doing whatever. But obviously a huge part of that is that my lifestyle is just me. I don't want kids I don't have them. I don't have a house, a car, a pet. So all of that really helps me keep that number low while living my best life.
Jamila Souffrant 9:39
Yeah, look at you because for someone like myself, like Okay, three kids, Morgan's in New York City. Some people listening they're locked in mentally and financially to some situations where it might not allow you to spend that little but I think it's inspiring anyway to think about okay, because I do want to go into like what your life looks like spending 20,000 Because that might help allow us to be more creative with the way we spend our money. Well, I do want just in terms of like transparency, you have a partner, but you keep finances separate.
That is correct. Yes.
Jamila Souffrant 10:13
Right. Because I know that that probably will be something that comes up like okay, what is she not saying? Like, how is she only living on 20,000 in Seattle are just doing some of the things you do. But so can you as much as you can, or your partner is private, you keep yourself as anonymous, but how that works out with money and how you separate that?
Well, logistically, we just have a spreadsheet. So usually, we live full time Nomad lives, we move about every month, and mostly live in Airbnb. So I'll pay that with my credit card, I'll put it in the spreadsheet, when it gets to a certain amount, he'll pay me back. Easy. And overall, if someone's thinking of doing this without having a partner, I did that in my calculations, because obviously, we look at slightly bigger places, because we're two people I've looked and seeing that I could almost cut that in half and just have slightly smaller places just for me, which would work also at we're mostly staying in the US because he is still working and his company is based here. And if I didn't, I wasn't with him, I would actually plan to be a lot more international, which is overall a lot more affordable.
Jamila Souffrant 11:19
Yeah, because one of the things right, like when someone is considering leaving a job leaving corporate America, they're thinking about the benefits of like health care, and the stability of a paycheck. Now you kind of like baked on for your finances that you built up your portfolio. So that like allows you to have your standard paycheck, which we'll talk about, but for you is are you on his health care?
I am not.
Jamila Souffrant 11:41
So you pay for your own health care. So this is great, because this is something that a lot of people are scared about, what do they do about healthcare? How did you navigate that navigating that now?
Well, of course, it's very complicated. So originally, I had planned to be outside the US about half the year. And obviously, with the pandemic, I had to cancel all those plans and reservations. So when that was the plan, I was going to get expat insurance through img global, which is absolutely wonderful it but it does require that you're outside of the US for half of the year because the US is so expensive. But with that, it covers absolutely everything that a normal health insurance would, including after you're with them for one year, it covers preventative care, too. So that was my plan. It was going to be amazing. I was very excited. And then usually that didn't happen. So I had to come up with a stopgap plan until that can be my life. And what I came up with is I'm currently on world nomads travel insurance, which is very different in that it's just for emergencies. So if hopefully not but if I get hit by a car, it will cover the ambulance, the surgery, the hospital stay. And if I'm in another country, countries that I tell them I'm visiting, it'll cover getting airlifted home and all that stuff. So outside of that when I have like a prescription to pick up I'm going for a quick doctor's visit, I do pay out of pocket. And luckily that hasn't been a ridiculous cost yet, but it's just a stopgap plan until I can actually get out of here.
Jamila Souffrant 13:10
Yeah, well, it just shows you the privilege of being healthy and young, you know, fairly young, because you are correct me if I'm wrong. You're in your early 30s.
Jamila Souffrant 13:21
Because you were fired or you quit your job at when you were 30 years old. Right?
Jamila Souffrant 13:26
Okay. So again, it's like, you know, I know not everyone has the ability or isn't a place to be healthy in this way. And we can't predict what happens to us. But obviously, that's a benefit for you in terms of being fairly neck taking care of yourself. I see that you taken up running, which I can't wait to talk to you about because I'm also a reluctant runner. So this would be great
overlooked. Yeah, no, I love it. No.
Jamila Souffrant 13:50
I want to go back to when you quit. Right. So how did your coworkers take this? Like, did you tell them that you were like quitting? Did they think you were going to go to another job? Or you were like I'm retiring? And how did they look at you? Like they they look at you like what do you do?
Well, I worked at a fairly small company. And so a good portion of it, maybe 10% Were actually my close friends. We still are friends to this day. So I told them I was retiring. And they were like, Oh, help me. My 401k did it. I was like, sure happy to help. But then the rest of the company I was like, I'm gonna take some time off, you know, that kind of thing. And they were just like, oh, no, we'll miss you. Like come back. The CEO is like you're coming back right? And I was like, and then my boss, I told him the same spiel, but then accidentally let it slip that. I was like, I'm so bad at this stealth wealth thing. And he's like, Yeah, that's what I thought. That's what I thought about you. I was like, I should stop talking about index funds. So yeah, it came out and then since it's been two years, like, and now everyone there knows that I actually retired.
Jamila Souffrant 14:55
Wow, okay. So now when it comes to taking well I know that you said you had a nest egg or cash. And I want to talk about that. So when people are planning their financial independence journey, how to quit their jobs, I always recommend is something that said, you know, you have an fu you can call it whatever you want, right? I like calling it fu money. But it's some cushion that allows you to walk away or that you're building up. So you don't you really don't need to work or even drawdown on your investments. So can you talk about the plan overall, with how you were going to fund your lifestyle? So you're retiring at 30 years old? How is purple going to not ever have to have a job again and collect the paycheck? Until you know she's ad? Roll? Never again, right? Until you actually die? God, God willing, how is that happening? Well, it so because that break that down for people, what that looked like?
Sure. So the reason for the cash cushion was actually just because I was retiring in 2020. So I didn't know if the market was going to stay down. For two years, I didn't know how long I'd be stuck in my house, what was going on. So I wanted to start out just living on that cash if I could. So that was the thinking behind that. And then after the cash is depleted, I'm currently still living on it. After the cash is depleted, I will start withdrawing from my taxable account. And when I retired, I had about half and my taxable and half in my tax advantaged accounts. And at the same time, as I take things out of my taxable account, which even if the market doesn't increase at all, for the next, like 15 or 20 years, I'll be good to just take all that money out. But hopefully will actually increase a little bit next two decades. Anyway. So at the same time, last year, I started doing a Roth IRA conversion ladder, which is slowly moving some money from my tax advantaged accounts into my Roth IRA, excuse me, from my traditional IRA into my Roth IRA, which I can then touch after five years, so that the thinking is after the tax bill is depleted. And I still have a gap between 59 and a half when I can touch everything in my traditional IRA, that I can start using my Roth. And that's the plan.
Jamila Souffrant 17:05
And this is why I say, you know, money and and the numbers and how compound interest works. It's like almost it's like magic. It's like money is not real. It's real. But it's not like, you know, obviously, I know, we need it, to pay our bills to live the lifestyles we want. But when I hear when I think about some of the things I was able to do, how things appreciate how our money benefits from compound interest and hearing what you're talking about, like someone listening for the first time to this, it's like, well, how can 500,000 Last year even with the market fluctuations for the next six years or whatever, right? Like, how is that possible? And it's just like, compound interest in the market rate of returns and the averages, right, like the market has gone down. But eventually, as long as you don't need to touch that money. You know, it will go up over time, it's shown to increase in value. And I just think it's something that if you're not aware that this is possible, yeah. If you just look at the numbers, and how society has taught us look at money, it feels like a very confined like life and how you can live. But when you realize like, Wait, there's something called Roth conversion ladders, because that's the other question people say it's like, okay, for your spending or saving all this money in retirement accounts. How can you touch that money before the retirement age, right. And so there are ways, and I do want you to explain a little bit about the Roth IRA conversion ladder, because it is a tool, that for people who are wanting to retire early and access their money before the standard retirement age, this is what they'll use. So can you explain what that is for us?
Happy to. So basically, it's just a way to if you're not making any money, or very little money like I am, you can move money from your traditional IRA to a Roth tax free, because it's still with it below the threshold they have. So that's really helpful when you are retired, and not making income. And the only rule is that you stay below threshold, if you don't want to pay taxes, or you can go above and you pay a little bit of taxes, but it might you should calculate it obviously for yourself might be less than you would pay in the long run, for example, I believe it's 70 or 70 and a half when you start getting hit with required minimum distributions RMDs. And your you need and have to via the government, like take out a huge amount. So I was also trying to get my traditional IRA lower because of that. Just thinking, you know, 40 years ahead. Yeah, that's basically Roth conversion. And then the rule is that you can't touch it for five years. So you just do it every year. And then after the five years, you can start taking out what happened five years ago, you just keep it going. And then it's an annual thing that you can withdraw. And I did want to make one other point about compound interest. So that is one of the reasons I like to be so transparent on my blog with my numbers. That's why I post my net worth at the end of every month so people can see what's going on. And just for like a concrete example, even in the market is down. What are we 17% This year, I retired with 500,000 invested, I currently have 620,000. And at the beginning of the year before the market started going down, I hit 750. So just as an example of like what the market can do, even though we've been in a wild time,
Jamila Souffrant 20:18
yeah, and you haven't contributed to that account, right. So it's just the money is working for you. And once you get past a certain threshold, it works faster. Like, I want to repeat that, because just in case, and I'm going to link to the blog that purple writes about. And by the way, her blog is awesome, because she's so transparent with the numbers and what she's spending on to you. I'll link to development blog posts, you can definitely go and check it out also in the show notes. But I saw that again. You said you're 20 you retired in? Well, you had a goal of 500,000 to retire, right. But in 2020, your net worth was 620,000. I'm reading this from your blog. So you know, a
at the end of the year, yes,
Jamila Souffrant 20:59
at the end of the year, but in the middle of that it had dropped. And then, from 2020 to 2021, it went from 620,000 to 750 $500. In net worth, hmm. And that's just compound interest and the markets working now again, right now it's back down. It says the current network, I forgot what year what month, you had posted this blog post, but it went back down to 626,000. So the beauty to about Purple's situation, guys, is that for her because she's not touching the money. She's working off of her cushion. Like it doesn't really matter to you. I mean, maybe emotionally, it can a little bit not really, because you're in this for the long term. So it doesn't matter if it goes down or up. Like it just shows you how important it is to think through the strategies and how you're going to pay for your lifestyle. Y
Jamila Souffrant 21:50
So you are now living off of your cash cushion. The plan is then to tap into your taxable and then your Roth. But how are you sticking to like the $20,000? A year spending, right? Because for some people, it's just like, what are their pledges you want to make? Like what can you break down for us like what that is comprised of on a monthly basis what that equals and then how you're spending it and how you're still enjoying your life for those of us who can't imagine not spending that little.
So I in retirement, I think I'm a horrible example because now I buy whatever I want. And then at the like the end of the year, I'm like, oh, did I feel like I went way over. And I was like I went $500 over my spending goal last year. That was it. And the only reason I did that is because we had to get a last minute Airbnb to avoid getting COVID When the numbers were super high last December. So without that last minute Airbnb, I would have been right on target without checking. But I think that's because my main expense, like with most people is rent. So that's one thing that I can tweak and control. Like sometimes we splurge and we get a beautiful penthouse or whatever in Thailand. But that penthouse in Thailand cost less than our Seattle apartment. Even though it was like two storeys and gorgeous the view of the sea, or I literally typed into Airbnb last August, because we had no idea where we want to go Northeastern USA, and just randomly picked up city that look cute. And it was Catskill, New York. And we've paid $1,200 for a beautiful apartment on Main Street. And then I was eating all this food. I'm like, oh my goodness, people talk about the cat schools. But this is lovely. And that's just randomly looking. So like making sure that overall rent is around where we want our target to be. But some months splurging some months not. And then overall, I mean, most of the time I cook at home, but then if there's a week that we're in a new city, I go all out and it just all seem to kind of evened out naturally. So I wish I had better tips. But overall, traveling, I thought it would be a lot more expensive, but it hasn't been.
Jamila Souffrant 23:55
Yeah. And so you're still able to travel. I think I read too, that you have gone to nine US states. So during the time that you've been two years of retirement, nine US states, Thailand and Mexico.
Yep, that was this year, I think last year was maybe another 10 or 12 states.
Jamila Souffrant 24:11
Wow. Okay. And so you're planning all of this out? So I guess that's also the beauty of being retired. Do you have time to plan out the things you want to do to plan out the vacations and the trips?
Yeah, I have time. I also find that oh, that might be another reason that it's within budget, because now I fly based on when the flight is cheaper, because I have nothing else to do. So it's just like, Okay, why is it half the price on a Thursday? I'll just go on that Thursday, and then I'll base the rest of it around that. Same thing with sometimes Airbnbs. I was like, Oh, do they have something special going on? Why is it so much more expensive that week? We'll just go the week before. So yeah, I can build around that and just leisurely, like take $30 train rides up the coast like how I got to Maine. It's lovely.
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Jamila Souffrant 25:55
Tell us what an actual day in your life looks like. You know, or you break it out in a day and then maybe like a week, because for people who can't imagine retiring early like in their 30s. It's like they may be thinking what would I do? And then there are some people like to me a lot of you don't have to ask me that I know exactly what I do. Right? Like I have all these plans. But then you talk to people who actually you know that people are older and retired and they may be bored. They don't want to have like, it doesn't seem that they're having fun. So I want to know how you are keeping your life interesting. Without this carrot of work in front of you and deadlines that like how you live in what you call, I think you said slug life. What does that look like on a day to day basis?
Well, I'm actually that quote was because I'm failing at slug life according to my mom, because I'm always doing something else like No I wasn't. So anyway, to break down. Overall, I do have a goal if I was like, I wanted to get better at sleeping because I used to suck at sleep. So that was a goal of mine. And luckily I am now a rock star at sleeping, nap siestas, all of it. And last year, I had the goal of reading 52 nonfiction books. So a nonfiction book a week and I did hit that goal. But that was low wild. I was like, Okay, that was too much. But I did it. And this year, my goal is to go from zero to fluency in Spanish. So that is also taking up a huge chunk of my time. But day to day is completely different and depending on where we are, but I can just give you some examples, or week to week. Like I mentioned, I'm in Maine. So this morning, got up at like seven and went for a run with my partner. Yeah, no took a shower. We just made keto pancakes and waffles. And then I was chatting with them having some tea by the window. And then I was listening to Muslim birds have gotten into bird watching very retired activity. And then I came in here to chat with you after this, I have a call with my mom where we speak Spanish with each other and sometimes watch a ridiculous reality show. And then I think we're going to the beach. And after that I have a call with my friend in Argentina to also practice my Spanish. So that's just an example what's happening today. And that's kind of what's been happening this whole week just hanging out with family a little bit. Yesterday, I spent the entire day reading a book axioms. And it was absolutely amazing. I couldn't put it down. And it was raining. So I was like perfect reading day. So I just had my blanket and my tea and I was read the book all day. And I was like that was awesome. So completely different. And then last week, I was in Connecticut, helping to care for my baby cousin, who was currently two. Luckily, my mom was the main nanny, and I was just the assistant but I was I was the packet. I knew back. So that was my whole week. I was like what happened? I'm so tired. So yeah, it just changes. I try to see people I love I try to explore new places, eat new foods, go to the water in the ocean, if it's nearby, plan out my next travel ride on my blog, new blog post every Tuesday. That's about it.
Jamila Souffrant 29:01
So it sounds like you've created structure for yourself. But also you give yourself a lot of space for CES flow, and things should just happen.
Exactly. Yeah, I like having a little bit well, it's not even structure I have calls that I like to do every week just to make sure that I stay up to date with my friends and family and that kind of stuff. But yeah, otherwise I like that. Okay, I have one call at 7:30pm and the rest of the day is mine what I want to do,
Jamila Souffrant 29:29
yeah, and it sounds like to like the I know you it's more of like these goals you're setting for yourself their work, but it's like work that you want to do. Right? So like taking the Spanish lessons on your own running, you know, like all these they're their activities that cause you to have to exert energy and reading the book, you know, like 52 books like you're setting these goals for yourself. Because it sounds like that creates the purpose that's kind of guiding your life your day to day versus some people think Like, if I don't have something that I'm working towards, like, it feels like I'm lost. I know, I feel that way. Like, I feel like if I don't at least have something in it doesn't have to be necessarily work related. So in my scenario now my work is journey to launch. And like finding things outside of that is important, because this was once my hobby, kind of my side thing that I did that I enjoyed. Now it's become kind of like my main, main thing that gives me income. So then it's like, what is that space that I'm creating for myself, that I don't get wrapped up into this, because the whole point of me starting journeys launch was to explore what financial independence and retirement early could look like, right. And so not that I can just transition this platform to kind of be my main job. It's still like, the real me. And the real mean being like, I'm actually not someone who wants to work for anyone, including myself, you know, I just had this revelation talking to you. I didn't even want to work for myself.
Jamila Souffrant 30:54
it's not that I don't want like a boss externally. I don't even want to be my own boss. I just want to just do what I want.
It's still hard work. Yeah,
Jamila Souffrant 31:01
yeah. So I love that for you. It's like, you've decided that you still have to create like, these goals for yourself. And that's what gives you the things that you do on a day to day basis. Now, for the people who are not in the position to have the type of time you have. Are there ways, it seems like there could be ways so that someone could implement a little of this in their life if they're not too tired? External goals. So what do you think? What do you what do you think? Or what's your advice for that?
I don't think I'm qualified to give advice because when I was working, I didn't have the energy for any of this. I didn't even have the energy to like, think about it. And thinking about having those types of goals stressed me out more. So yeah, I really, I mean, maybe take like a quick sabbatical, and then be able to do the things that you enjoy, like I was, so I was working so hard, and so stressed out, it would take me a full week to remember what I enjoyed doing in life. And I was like, that is a bad sign. And then I'd have to go back to work because the week of vacation was over. So yeah, I guess like, give yourself some time if you can. I know. It's really tough to step away. But yeah, I was just grinding. I couldn't, I couldn't look up.
Jamila Souffrant 32:10
But that's real. I think it's real, because we can, you could have said, and I could have said like, oh, you know, when you come home from work after this long day, find that 10 minutes or 20 minutes to like, squeeze in Spanish lessons. And you're listening to me like Jamila, I don't do you remember, you not remember what it was like to be working full time with a horrible commute. I don't have the energy to do that. And I think that's why finding out about this life and like listening to you, I hope is inspiring. It's not the feeding to someone but inspiring that there could be a pathway out, it does take work, it does take sacrifice and or real intention about everything that you do, right. So your spending, as we can see is low if you had a higher spending amount, this would have taken you a longer time to implement, right?
completely right? Yes, intention was key. And there were I don't mean to sound like it's all or nothing. As I was going closer to my goal, I did find that I not in a bad way, but in a good way cared a little bit less about work in a way that I could like, look at it objectively, instead of more emotionally when things would go wrong, which is very helpful, because then I could solve the problems instead of just freaking out. And I was more open with my colleagues and my boss being like, No, I don't want to do that project, this person has proven to be an abusive client or something like that. And I don't want anything part of it. And actually, I recommend we fire that client. But regardless, I'm not doing it. So there was like degrees of freedom that I experienced getting closer to the goal. And and and I felt less stressed because I was being like more myself setting those boundaries. But yeah, still, I was so tired.
Jamila Souffrant 33:56
Yeah, but you just brought up a good point is that and I like talking about this is that freedom, your experience, even while you may be feeling stuck or still on the path, like we may not all be at purpose level where we literally don't have to do like anything, right regardless of how much you want to spend like we're not I'm not there yet. And you may not be there yet listening but when you do have at least an ability to know it's possible and then potentially a pathway to that and you start seeing the numbers work to your favor, whether that's paying off debt, saving and investing more I do think there becomes this level of confidence and space that you give yourself because before we thought your job was everything in it and the only thing you had until you were just ad you now know that that's different and so when things are happening you're not as I know for me I wasn't as caught up the commute it was just like I knew only have a couple more years of this or I only have a couple more months. I know what I'm doing like I did feel more freedom as I travel the law.
light at the end of the tunnel. Yes.
Jamila Souffrant 34:57
So in terms of how things are coming doing now for you. So you're still relying on your cast cushion? Do you have plans? Like when I look at your blog and like what your perspective? You know, I do think you could potentially make a lot of money, right? Like there are people who blog kind of meaning like, even just if you wrote a book about your life or like what you're able to you. So, but this is what this is, this is really interesting, because this is that trade off that for you. Like, it doesn't matter like about the money, you prefer the freedom that you have. So let's talk about that. I want you to explore that with us.
Sure. I mean, the book is a good example. Several people in publishing have asked me to write a book. And I've said no, which maybe is because friends that have written a book was like, oh, it's as hard as having a child and they've had children. So I was like, what? Like, oh, yeah, it was painful. I'm like, You're not selling this to me. And then like, it's hardest thing I've ever done. I'm like, Yeah, this is not really going to fit into my nap. And birdwatching schedules. So no, thank you. I'm, I must say, I never will. Maybe I'll change my mind. Maybe I want to big challenge in three years. What I've, I don't know, become fluent in Spanish and read all the nonfiction books on my list. But right now? No, I'm not really looking for that. Yeah. And yet, the money is not even a consideration. So it would be because I want to do it not. And also because book publishing is. So I wouldn't even say fickle, but challenging. Like, there's no guarantee that you would make much if at any money. So yeah, that wouldn't be a thing for me.
Jamila Souffrant 36:35
Yeah, well, I mean, I'm in the middle of my publishing journey. I'm writing my first book this year, and it is a long, daunting process, but you are really looking at this from a level of real freedom, like, you're really able to say no to things you don't want to do, like not even for the money, like I just, that's okay, like not doing it. And that's super power, I think we all are looking to achieve. But I think for you, and I think for other people, maybe it can be like you've done the work like so when we listened back to your episode, like you worked, you worked in corporate, like you got the raises, you change, you know, jobs to increase your income you saved and invested that money. I think what it really comes down to is this trade off right of your expenses, like the type of lifestyle you want to live, and what you consider Nice. So for you spending 20,000, and maybe spending x amount on a restaurant here, or this Airbnb to you, it's, it's great. And I think so far, maybe someone else like they can't, maybe that same Airbnb, they'd look at and say, Well, I'd want more space, or I'd want the pool or I want the other option. And I think that's if that's what you want, then it's being honest with yourself, well, I may have to just work a little harder than not, I may, I will have to work longer and harder. In order to achieve this level of freedom, then if that's the case,
yeah, definitely figure out what you like and what you want. That's what I did. And I do like luxury things. But then I discovered how to get them more cheaply. For example, I go when I fly internationally, I fly first class period, sometimes business class now that it's almost as nice as first class like when Singapore Air when we went to Thailand in February. So that is something that I'm not going to give up long haul flights in first year business. But if I want like that penthouse with the pool, I'm like, okay, then I will get that in Thailand, where it's a quarter less than maybe a 10th of what it would be in the States. Or when we went to I went to Mexico for nine weeks to jumpstart my Spanish learning. And we had an amazing, free standing house with a pool like gardener like all this fancy stuff, once again, almost as much as our Seattle rent two bedroom, like all the walls were glass, and you could open them I was like what is happening here anyway. So when I want the luxury, I just figured out how to get it but within my budget, and luckily that fits into our Nomad life and my want to be more international, and all that kind of stuff. But otherwise, I'm pretty low key and what I need, I did just buy some fancy running shoes, which I was excited about. I'm thinking about getting some bone conductor earphones for like $200. But yeah, I don't need much I don't think
Jamila Souffrant 39:20
and with the whole being so thoughtful with your purchases, is this something that you need to think about often or because you practice this lifestyle? And you know what you'd like and why is that something that takes a lot of discipline?
Yeah, the ladder, no discipline at this point. Like if we were in an actual market downturn and I was taking money out of my portfolio, I probably actually would be looking at my budget, but since I've got my cash cushion, I'm good. I don't really have to worry for another year or two. We'll see to even touch my portfolio. I'm like, Man, buy the shoes. I didn't even look at the price before I bought them. I was like Who is she? So I'm fine for now. And also because I'm not like buying Fancy running shoes or expensive headphones every year, even, maybe every other year. So it's not like, I've completely changed to a fancy lifestyle I can't afford.
Jamila Souffrant 40:16
Yeah, and you just brought up a good point because also the way you're, you're living on the income, it's from money that is safe, you know, quote, unquote, it's not depreciating or fluctuating as the market fluctuates. So I think it's just, it just may be a good to point out though, if you were drawing down from your investments, you'd be a little bit tighter, even more tighter than you are now like, with how you're spending your money.
Yeah, and one of my like, contingencies that made me comfortable with retiring with this, quote unquote, little amount is because I'm a nomad. So I would get a regular apartment in Mexico instead of a fancy fancy one. For example, if the market was down, and I was living off my portfolio, and it looked like it would be down for a while. So that kind of thing, just slight tweaks a little less luxury. Not a big deal. I'll get it back a little bit.
Jamila Souffrant 41:07
Yeah. Now, when it comes to running, so let's talk a little bit about that. Because like I said before, I'm also a runner, I should just claim it.
Yeah, you are a runner.
Jamila Souffrant 41:17
I'm a runner. Okay, guys, I'm a runner, and purple. You're a runner, too. But I know when I'm running, I always, for some reason, I can always relate things back to the journey and money. Because I actually why dislike the moment in which I am about to collapse on my one. I love, like the feeling, you know, the adrenaline, that runner's high, I get after, like, right after I love how accomplished I feel. And I relate that to like anything any obstacle, career wise, money wise, financial independence wise, like, there is work to be put in. But like the benefits are happening while you're doing it. So for you, what have you learned to love about running? Have you been able to translate that to anywhere else in your life.
So this is really funny, because I started running in retirement. And I think that my take on running is very retirement focused, because I don't do it, unless I'm enjoying it the whole time. So I guess that's kind of my retired life, I'm not gonna do anything that I'm not enjoying. So if I'm not feeling it, like, one time in Mexico was like, 110 degrees at 6am and 100%. Humidity, I ran for five minutes. I'm like, Nah, I'm appealing it. So I went home. And that was that. I am, like, so reluctant to do anything if I'm not enjoying it. So this morning, I was originally gonna go for like, almost 5k around a new neighborhood. And the trails were Hillier than I expected. So I did like a mile and a half. And then I was like, I'm walking up this hill. And then I ran the rest of the way back. But I was like, this isn't fun. So I'm gonna stop doing it for a second, I'm gonna walk up this hill, and then I'm gonna run at the end. And I was like, sprinting, I was like, This is awesome. So yes, I'm going to relate it to not the journey to retirement. But the current retirement mindset of, I'm going to do a bit, it's fun.
Jamila Souffrant 43:10
When I hear that sometimes I think, and I don't know if anyone else is thinking this. But I sometimes think if that's the way you approach everything, which by the way, it's working great for you. So this is more of us. Something for me to consider. And I can be that way too. If I don't feel like running like today, I'm supposed to do yoga, and I was like, not feeling it. I go to yoga, like I just want to come home like you know, same thing. Like I'm not, you know, you have to learn to listen to yourself, your body and how you're feeling. But sometimes I think like we're how do you then get to the next level? And I'm not saying life is all about getting to the next level, you know, like a Mario game, right? Like, it's more like, what how do you stretch yourself? If you're not doing some things you don't want to do?
Oh, my we're getting existential. So in general, not sure. But for running specifically. I started with a run Walk Run program, because I loved walking. I detested running, absolutely loathed it. And so it had to trick myself into actually, we're just going for a walk. But we're going to have like 30 seconds of running every couple of minutes, I'm going to trick you into that. And then I was reading books about slow running, and discovered that I was running way too fast. And that was why I hated it. Because I could I got stitches in my side, which is a sign that you're running too fast. I couldn't catch my breath and other signs running too fast. And so I started running at a comfortable pace where I could properly land on my foot in the middle of my foot and all that stuff and breathe and not get weird cramps. And then I was like, Oh, this is barely faster than walking in the beginning. But I like this. Wow. Okay, great. So I'll keep doing it at this speed. But then as I kept doing it, and I think I hit my one year running celebration a few weeks ago, my body got stronger and so naturally I got faster. So now I run way faster than I walk. But it didn't feel like I was improving. I thought I literally thought I was going the same distance, or excuse me the same pace. But then I looked at my app, and I was like, Oh, I just shave two minutes off my FaceTime. I was like, How did that even happen? I still am breathing normally through my nose, like, Ha, that's great. So it's kind of naturally becoming better and just listen to my body. Because if I'm not feeling it that day, I don't think pushing myself will have great results.
Jamila Souffrant 45:31
And I think that speaks to knowing you, right? And what's a good paste for you? Or it's like, there's versions of you. There's like the version of you that was that couldn't run the pace you're running now that had to do with slower, and then there was a birth that could be because we're not pushing that if it's not going to happen, but there could be a version of purple like next year, if she keeps on that gets to that. But I think what's good and what I like to pull out when I have like these conversations and like these learning points, is that sometimes we don't know like, when we're being like stretched, it doesn't always have to feel horrible. And I'm and so I don't agree in killing oneself for the sake of it and or being miserable. On the journey, whether it's running and or, you know, sacrificing to reach your financial goals, I do believe there is some level of work to be done like for you, like you're learning Spanish for me, if I had to think about like learning Spanish, like, I'd be like, Oh, my gosh, it feels like so much work that was stressing me out. But for you, it's like you are enjoying it. I think we all just need to come to terms and find what that is for our own selves, like we can take inspiration from it and the ideas, maybe someone will say, Oh, maybe I'll try Spanish. Or maybe I'll try running. Or maybe I'll try like only living on X amount per month. But I think you have to sometimes try things to know what you like, what you don't like, and also be willing to be honest with yourself if something's not working, or if you're not willing to do it.
Yeah. And just with the retired mindset, like I think I now give myself time to do these things. Like I gave myself a kind of challenging one year Spanish goal. So it's like, I'll give myself a whole year to try and learn this language, which if I was work, or still working, I probably be like, oh, yeah, I could probably do that in what, three months. And that requires taking my entire afterwork self to do that, or I have to train in a month for a marathon. So then obviously, I would be pushing myself and running, even if I hated it and all that stuff. But my current Spanish and running goal is just to improve a little bit. It doesn't have to be like every day, but just general trend of improvement. And that is happening. So it's probably happening a lot slower than if I pushed myself. But I also like I said, really want to make sure I'm enjoying the journey.
Jamila Souffrant 47:46
Yeah, yeah. And that's also nice, because you're setting a goal for yourself, no one is setting it for you, and you have the time to do it. So I wanted to like wrap up with some like points, I'd love to hear your biggest takeaways for anyone listening, if you would give advice to someone who's like thinking about early retirement, and either can't achieve it just yet. And is still has to work hard for it, or feels a little intimidated by the thought of it. What you would tell them?
Sure. So if it seems intimidating, I would say just keep living and keep thinking about it. Because I took two years to even come around to the idea of fire. I initially dismissed it as ridiculous. So if I can do that, I think a lot of people can. It might seem impossible, but that's one of the reasons I have all of my financial information on my blog, just to show you Yes, I can graduate with $5,000 Saved from side jobs in my last year of college, and then retire nine years later, with half a million it is possible. And then my other takeaway was, it is worth it. I promise. I along the journey was like, once again, this is impossible, or the markets going to crash and I'll never get there or is this even worth it? Should I be spending all my money to make myself happy and so instead I tried to find a nice balance where I bought things that made me happy, which was usually time with people I loved or beach vacations. But also I was saving a majority of my money so trying to kind of find happiness a little balanced along the way and just believe if that's your goal, and you guys have a plan of how to get there you can do it
Jamila Souffrant 49:28
yes and I just want to say that this for me also just reignited my passion for retiring early and financial independence I think no again like I said because what my job has now been turned into kind of what I was doing as my side hustle and or just thing I loved right like there's still something I love but it's a little different now and I feel hearing that yeah, in retirement though you can still enjoy it like if this was if I did not have obligations And then I'm setting on myself, by the way, for journey to launch, like, what would I do with my time or what I do with my life. And it's just like, oh, there's lots of things you can do. And you can do it the slow way. I think we live in such a society where like you said, maybe your goal to have learned Spanish, if you had all these constrictions would have been faster, and then more stressful, right, versus you can set what it is. But it's important to set something I don't know, if you felt a little at all, during your two years of early retirement, like there have been some days where you didn't have anything to do and that felt a little unstable. But it sounds like setting goals, no matter what they are, will help you like, even if their internal goals and having accountability, which it seems you have from family and friends, I see that you like to do accountability threads with your friends on Twitter. So I feel like that is really the important thing that keeps you going.
Yeah, I had found that since I took that time to decompress from my job. And I remember what brings me joy and what I like doing and what I'm curious about, and I have so much time to be curious now that I keep being like I don't have enough time, which is ridiculous, because I have literally all the time in the world. But it seems like it because oh, I went whale watching and I want to research like what this sunfish is about that we saw I was like, That's ridiculous. I didn't know these things existed. They look silly. Or, Oh, I didn't know that whales can hold their breath for an hour to six. And they're actually mammals, but they breed that out of like, what? So anyway, I go down all these rabbit holes. And luckily, that actually comes into something because I summarize some of the things I've learned in my monthly retirement recaps. But yeah, I just had the time to follow whatever random book catches my fancy and just read it all in one day, or listen to birds for hours on end and learn how to identify them by sound, which I can do a lot of now. plan our next travel, learn about the new country, we're going to learn some of the language we're going to like there's too much to do. And that's a good problem to have.
Jamila Souffrant 51:58
Now, last question, before we wrap up, what's one thing that you know now living this retired life that surprised you that you couldn't have accounted for
how little I think about money. Since I thought about it all the time, on the way to the journey. I was on my spreadsheets all the time. And I loved it. I love spreadsheets. I love finance chatting about finance, but I was shocked that there's a lot of times I don't check my budget at all. But because like I mentioned I have my main expense already unlock rent. It doesn't move the needle as much as I thought it would.
Jamila Souffrant 52:32
Got it. Alright, purple. Thank you so much for this amazing, insightful conversation. Can you please let everyone know where they can find out more about you and follow you on your retired journey?
Sure. I'm over at a purple life.com new posts every Tuesday. I'm also on Instagram at a purple life and on Twitter at a purple Life Blog.
Jamila Souffrant 52:55
And I will link all of that in the episode show notes for this episode. Thank you again.
don't forget you can get the episode show notes for this episode by going to journey to launch.com. Or click the description of wherever you're listening to this. And you can still grab your jumpstart guide for free to help you on your journey to financial freedom by going to journey to launch.com/jumpstart.
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