I was listening to a ChooseFI podcast this week and it set off my idea for this post about our ideal life.
The podcast asked me to think about my ideal life post-FI. If money was no object, how would my life look? I’d never really thought about it in that way and so I got home and immediately directed Mr YFG to get thinking too.
Mr YFG’s ideal life
I think he kinda has it. He gets to pretty much do what he wants (within reason…)
Mind you I think what would make him happier is me being FI too and having me at home. Me at home means that I’m not stressed or miserable from work. Plus he’d have less housework to do as I’ll do my fair share. Mr YFG isn’t really the adventurous type. He can find as much enjoyment in a book or a lazy afternoon as he would from a ‘once in a lifetime’ trip. He likes things relaxed and to do things in his own time. I think what he enjoys most about his current lifestyle is that he gets to dictate his pace of life, and not having it dictated to him.
My ideal life
I get to wake up naturally (sans alarm), make and enjoy a cappuccino and go feed the guinea pigs. Yes, we have pets and our guinea pigs will feature heavily.
I enjoy crafts and making things. Over the years I have made cards, clothing, calendars, candles, jewellery, do cross-stitching, knitting, furniture up-cycling. You name it I’ve probably tried it. With varying degrees of success… My current obsession is making a patchwork quilt. I get frustrated because I don’t have the time I need to dedicate to doing these things right. So, I often rush them or just don’t get round to them. With only a few hours over a weekend to dedicate to what I want to do (and not what I have to do), I can’t get much crafting done.
So I can see my days involving crafts and possibly making my own clothes (again another wild fantasy). I like gardening and sorting out the garden and so I suppose that would feature in summer too.
The next thing I enjoy is cleaning, de-cluttering and organising. I am seriously considering a career post-FI as a professional organiser (yes…you can get a qualification for this…from APDO). Nothing makes me happier than upending a room to put it back together and to donate or chuck things we don’t need. I’ve done this since I was a child (on a Thursday as it was bin day on Friday). I would enjoy an evening session of organising and de-cluttering my room.
I could do babysitting, dog walking and general help for my friends and family. I have an idea of being a kind of fairy godmother who has the time and wherewithal to help those who are still working and are time poor.
Would we move house?
Not unless something horrible happened, no. We love our home and it’s a perfect location for London. Even no longer working in London wouldn’t mean we moved. We are in the suburbs and with great transport links. Moving away from London would mean less convenience and more reason to need a car (shudder).
We would continue doing up the house as bits fell apart, repainting and tiling etc. There is still a good amount of work to do on our neglected gem of a house (two decades of no repairs). We are firm believers in Do It Ourselves.
With Mr YFG being at home most of the time, our house is well looked after. When we go on vacation we often find the places we stay in a less clean and tidy condition than our own home.
If we did move, we would probably keep the house to rent out as it would do well rent-wise. And if we moved I can only imagine it would be to East Anglia (the round hump on the east side of the UK for those foreigners). That’s where Mr YFG hails from and it’s a beautiful, relaxing part of the country.
Would we travel?
Mr YFG and I like a holiday as much as the next person. Our version of travel is going to a nice hotel to relax and eat good food and sit on a beach and have a few walks, for a week max. We don’t hike and we don’t do extreme trekking or camping (no electricity? What is this, the dark ages!).
We find the idea of being away from our home for more than two weeks uncomfortable. We like to have a base and our home comforts.
Would we get a car?
We don’t think that post-FI life would need a car, at least not to begin with. We’ve talked in the past, quite strongly, about why we don’t own a car. We have taxi services and Uber and good train links. I can’t think what we need a car for other than visiting family and friends outside London. I suppose that will be more frequent. The thought of having to own a car is tiring and unappealing – parking it on our street alone is a joke – there’s been a number of fights down the years over parking spaces… Thankfully, being car-less, we can stay clear of all those shenanigans. Then there’s the cost of having a car. For now, I can’t see any way that it makes economic sense. But, We will see.
But let’s be honest….
I have these grand ideas for how I will relax once I hit FI. In reality, I’m very scared of leaving my profession. A lot of my self-worth is tied up in being a lawyer and tied to my status and salary. I enjoy the validation I get from my clients and from the size of my paycheck. Often, I even actually enjoy my job(!).
However, I am tired most of the time and don’t want to work anymore. I desperately want to have more free time and I dread Sunday nights. I don’t want to have to get up early, commute and wear work clothes and do things I don’t want to do. I don’t want to work late nights for no more pay or appreciation.
That said, the thought of open-ended free time disturbs me. This is why I have to think carefully about my ideal life and put things into play before I hit FI. I will need hobbies, a job that can offer me flexibility, less or no commute and the right level of brain activation.
What does your ideal life look like?
I’d be really interested to hear what your ideal life looks like. Does it look a lot different from how you live now? Would it change significantly after Financial Independence or retirement?