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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!

Entries by Mike (208)

Tuesday
Jul182017

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!  

Monday
Feb062017

Transition Planning Continues!

For those out there who stop by occasionally, I welcome your thoughts on any of this, but here are how things are going for us right now:

1) I've updated one of my niche websites.  It still generates $30-$100 of monthly affiliate income, but putting a few hours of work into it already generated 9x the amount of daily clicks.  It will be interesting to see how this pans out over the upcoming months.

2) I'm reading a ton of books (a sort of "MBA in a box") to get ready for this upcoming transition.

3) I've really been working the network of friends and colleagues over the last few months as I try to explore job opportunities.  Here's the good news:  I think I can land anywhere from $140K to as high as $400K (this is an obscene amount of money to me, to be honest), depending upon how things ultimately turn out.  Most places won't take a serious look at you until you are 90 days out (or so).  These jobs are primarily in consulting, talent development, operations, and strategy development.  Some involve extensive travel, but still allow us to live where we want to.  Others don't.

4) I'm still working through various plans for hanging out my shingle and doing consulting work on my own, plus I have had several people so far offer up 1099 work.  Importantly, this allows us to move where we want to, operate out of a home office, and so on.  I have really no existing network in the place where we would like to move, so I would be generating local work from scratch, but would have to travel for work that might emerge from those who know me well.

5) I have several articles and even books that I think need to be written. 

6) At this point, my heart is in 4) and 5), but doing 3) for a few years would buy me years of future flexibility and autonomy, given the salaries.  4) and 5) might also turn lucrative, but I suspect it will be tougher at first.  

7) We've saved up enough for at least a 20% down payment on a home (perhaps more, depending on what we actually spend), but I'd still like to have at least another $10,000 in hand by June.  

8) I'm gathering up all of my transition notes and I've been sharing them with friends in similar situations.  Perhaps a longer post on this topic here or somewhere else later on is merited.  

So, that is where things currently stand.  I imagine I'll take a close look by April or May, rack and stack the choices, and then figure out what is next!  Thanks for reading.  If you have anything to offer, let me know in the comments below-- oh, and click our Amazon.com link if you need to do some shopping.  Every little bit helps!  Thanks.