This post is the second part in our “our next life” series. Click here to start at part 1. Here we’ll discuss some of our plans and day-to-day living.
In all likelihood, the start of our early retirement will be very similar to the way we currently live except that I’ll be staying home. By the spring of 2017, we’ll have three kids in elementary school. While they’re at school, in addition to taking care of household chores and preparing dinner, I will work on side projects, maintain the garden, work out, seek investment opportunities, and do anything else that needs to be taken care of. After all, it wouldn’t be right to completely mooch off of the wifey. I’ll need to provide at least some value and another huge benefit is that we’ll no longer have to pay for child care which currently costs us about $17K/yr (ouch… just typing that out is painful).
If we move after Mrs. DTG graduates from school, ideally it will be to a desirable location where we would like to be long term like Colorado. This is a major wildcard in our plans and we’ll find out for sure sometime around next April. In the military, you never really know what’s going to happen when it comes to getting a new assignment. You just have to hope for the best. We’d also love to get an overseas assignment which would allow for about three years of easy travel throughout another part of the globe.
Because we really don’t know what’s going to happen, it’s tough to speculate beyond what we’ve already done. One thing I can say with a fair amount of certainty is that we will begin to do more homesteading. Our garden this year, for the most part, was a failure. A late spring hail storm really tore up our berry bushes (the blueberries never recovered) and the summer heat scorched anything we tried to grow. We did end up with a few handfuls of raspberries so it wasn’t all bad news, but we could never get the tomatoes or zucchinis to produce anything before they dried up. We’ll need to improve our gardening skills drastically if we want to grow more of our own food.
Additionally, Mrs. DTG would like love LOVE to have chickens. At first I was against the idea, but I’ve warmed to it recently. We currently go through about three dozen eggs a week which can get quite expensive for the organic, pasture-raised variety. It seems as though keeping a small flock of about five egg-laying hens could be a fun addition to our family and future homesteading goals. Who knows, if things go well she could even get some more chickens and sell the extra eggs on the side to make a few bucks!
Finally, a major part of our early retirement plans involves traveling. Conforming to the kids’ school calendar really puts a damper on travel plans and forces families to travel during the peak seasons. One idea that we’ve been seriously considering is to home school the kids for one year while traveling across the United States and parts of Canada. Most likely, we’d use our primary residence as a home base and take many multi-week road trips to various regions of the country. There are so many diverse places to see and I think this would be an amazing learning experience for both us and the kids.
I guess that’s about it. Nothing too extravagant, but it would fit us nicely.