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Hi! I'm Mike and this is my wife, Jen!  Since we began this site, we've learned to live more frugally, completely eliminate our debts, create new income, radically increase our net worth, and live altogether better lives!  Sign up below for instant access to our members-only toolbox, including our exclusive guide:  15 Steps to Fix Your Broken Finances and Live a Better Life!



Hello everyone!  I thought I owed an update in case anyone stopped by.

In my last post, I said that I was going to do leadership and management consulting for a small consulting firm.  Well... we decided not to, started our own company, and set out to find work.

As I mentioned last post, I have my military retirement-- my "bronze parachute"-- which is a nice chunk of change that also provides health care for my family. 

Jen took a low-paying job at a local school to have some stable pay.

I landed a research and writing gig pretty soon thereafter using an existing contact within my network.  This was intended to be a reliable, but small, sum of money.  Between the two things, this covered our nut (as a reminder, that is the gap between your montly income and expenses).  

Soon after that, our consulting company was asked by a large consulting firm to help out with a big project.  The opportunity came from an existing contact within my network.  Because of the size of the project and the sum of money involved, I've been able to bring on two others to help with the project.

Once we bank this entire project in two months, our nut will be covered for the next five years.  I kid you not.  

So, what have I learned so far:

1. Your network is everything.  Build it by being a good person and doing good work.

2. Put yourself in a position to take risks.  If you keep your expenses low, eliminate debt, and have your bases covered-- mortgage, health care, groceries, etc.-- you can take risks.  A career in the military sets you up for this well.

3. There are vast sums of money out there waiting to be caught in your net if you are positioned well. 

4. Luck matters, but you have to be ready to exploit it when it comes your way.

Once this project is completed, we intend to use it to market ourselves and find more, while keeping a pace that allows us to enjoy our lives and our kids.  I want to grow the business so that we can take on more consultants.

As you'd expect, we are burning the candle at both ends right now, but we're able to do it on our schedule, mostly from home, with some occasional travel.  

We ate into our savings to buy our home, so we'll be replenishing that, reestablishing a nice passive income shedding stock portfolio, and, yes, buy a thing or two that we really want.

I'll check back in later as things develop.  

Get out there and take some risks!


So here is us, on the raggedy edge...

Jen and I have decided to forego the traditional second career, turned down all potential offers, and we're going independent!  We started retirement leave about a week ago and we have 106 days of full military income remaining.  

So, how will we make ends meet?  

First, I have what a good friend calls my "bronze parachute"-- a nice retirement check, plus health and dental benefits for my family.  That will get us part of the way.

The rest?  

I've signed on to do leadership and management consulting for a small consulting firm.  I'm also forming my own LLC and will be looking to generate some of my own consulting work.  Additionally, I'm going to be doing some writing-- I have some projects I've wanted to tackle for years-- and I'll be looking to adjunct for at least one of the local universities, mainly to stay in the classroom, which I enjoy very much!  

Jen is also going to do some independent consulting, as well as some part-time teaching.

What's the magic number?  $1500 a month by the end of October.  That's our nut.  Once we get there, expect that I'll talk about how we're investing anything beyond that...

Aside from our work, it is all lifestyle design at this point.  We are in the house and neighborhood that we want and our kids are enrolled in good schools.  Our expenses remain low.  It is time to reconnect with family, get in better shape (the goal that always remains elusive), and enjoy ourselves!

I'll let you know how we do!  LTNE is back!