For the last month I have been thinking long and hard about my life. I have blogged about not having a work-life balance and I foresee things will only get worse in the future. I have been working in the same high tech job for the last seventeen years, which is extremely rare this day and age. I started off as an associate software engineer and got promoted up the ranks to principal engineer, then I switched to management when my old boss asked me to. That was probably my biggest mistake. I wonder if I would be happier had I turn that opportunity down.
I am an introvert and the baby in the family, I don’t like dealing with people or having any kind of responsibilities. Taking up this job means I have to real with lots of people and take on lots of responsibilities. My life’s mission was always about having fun. For most people, it’s a nice challenge, but for me, it’s constant torture. Maybe it was okay for the first couple of years, but these days I don’t even want to get out of bed to get to work. I also sacrificed a lot in my personal life in the last eight years to have this position, and I don’t think it’s worth it. The pay is not much better but the stress level is more than doubled.
The cost of living in the SF Bay Area is expensive and I have no plans to live anywhere else at this moment. I grew up here and this is my home. Financially, I am not ready to retire in this area. I can’t afford it yet. I am single and I live by myself, so there is no one to share my expenses. Someday my boyfriend and I plan to live together, but with our demanding and stressful jobs, it’s probably not the best thing for us at this moment. We both need a lot of alone time and space to de-stress.
When I started this site a few years ago, I thought fifty-five is a good age to retire. But with the demands of this job or any tech job in this valley, I will not survive that long. I think five more years in tech is the most I can handle. This is a reasonable amount of time for me to build my net worth, increase my passive income and decrease my expenses(pay off mortgage or have the means to pay off mortgage).
Today I am declaring my financial independence and early retirement target date to five years from now, or to be exact, April 15th of 2021. Every project comes with risks, so as the project manager of my FI/RE project, I will need some sort of a mitigation plan. I think a more aggressive FI/RE target date of October 15th, 2020 might be achievable, but that means I really need to push myself. To give myself a little wiggle room, I am setting the date as April 15th, 2021, but the internal date I am tracking for myself is actually October 15th of 2020. I am still working on the details of my plan and I will share before April 15th.