Reaching Financial Independence Before Marriage

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I never would have pictured my life turning out the way it has. I graduated college, got my first job, went to grad school, jumped around to different companies, moved to Orange County and then back to the Bay Area, and started the journey to financial independence. Pretty standard stuff.

Now…

I’m on the verge of completing this arduous journey, which should conclude by the end of 2014, or sometime in early 2015.

If that happens, there’s a very reasonable chance that I will finish the quest single, and unmarried.

An Outlier

You know, it’s crazy. When I was a student in high school, I knew other people who were pregnant with kids even before high school graduation. At the time, I didn’t think anything of it, but today, I can’t even wrap my head around that thought. It all seems so scary! How do you raise a kid when you yourself have no real life experience? No college education, no skills, and most importantly, no money.

It’s gotta be a hard knock life just to make ends meet. Fast forward to today, and I find myself in a situation where I make six figures, have no real life stress (no family or kids to support), good health, and I still struggle to make ends meet. If I have it tough (which I don’t), how must these other people be feeling? It’s easy for me to grind it out because I know that the end is near. I know that financial freedom is just around the corner… but what if there was no light at the end of the tunnel?

If I really analyze the situation, it seems like I attacked life in reverse order of almost everyone else. Go figure, it’s just like me to go and screw things up. 😉 Really, how many people achieve financial independence before settling down and starting a family? I’m sure it isn’t unprecedented, but I doubt that it’s all that common a finding either.

I guess I’m just an outlier.

The Future

But it is what it is. I’m not going to dwell on it or anything. The purpose of this blog entry is to really just reflect on this recent thought of mine. Suppose I did reach financial independence and found myself single…

I don’t think it would be the worst thing in the world. Actually, it could be a lot of fun. I would be able to do the following:

  • Since I don’t have a family or kids, I can come and go as I please. I can live in any country for any duration of time. I do as I please.
  • I’ll have all the time in the world to work on my “game” and date around. The thought of mingling with different women in different parts of the world does have an exciting allure, I must confess.
  • Life will slow down. I’ll have ample time to work on myself and really discover who I am. This will help bring out the best in me. I’ll no longer be a boring, monotonous drone (this is the impression a female co-worker once told me she had of ALL male engineers lol). When starting a conversation with a woman, I’ll actually have interesting things to say.
  • My mind, body, soul, and spirit will be revived. I’ll work hard to build up optimal health and eliminate all stresses. This can only be a good thing. I want to radiate strong, positive energy.
  • When the time comes, I’ll only be 30! I should have plenty of good years remaining.

Just the Beginning!

So, the future is something I’m definitely looking forward to. Sure, it would have been wonderful to have met someone when I was younger and to be settled down by now. Lots of people are, and I actually don’t think I have any remaining friends who are still single. But rather than feel bad about the situation, I’d rather try and put a positive spin on it. Life happens, so you just gotta roll with the punches. I didn’t ask for this, nor plan for it. But I’ll make the most of what I got.

For anyone else out there who’s wondering… don’t worry, you’re not alone!

And besides, life is just beginning for me! I’d rather be in my shoes as opposed to someone who hates their job, is tied down with kids, has a huge mortgage and car loans, and feels trapped in life.

After all, I’m that guy who does things in reverse order!

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IntegratorMichelle @fitisthenewpoorJoeFI FighterLeigh Recent comment authors
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Connie @ Savvy With Saving
Guest

Congrats! You definitely seem like you’ve experienced a lot of success. My boyfriend and I have been together since we were teenagers but we’re really in no rush to get married or start a family. Even though we’re headed in that direction, we want to be financially stable before taking that next step. And plus, we’re only 25…plenty to time! 🙂

Roadmap2Retire
Guest

FI Fighter,
Your progress and goal sheets are an inspiration. Great work on getting financially independent by the age of 30.

What do you intend to do after you “retire”? You have alluded to traveling and the excitement that comes with it. Wishing you the best in your journey and your quests.

FI Pilgrim
Guest

You certainly did a great job getting on top of you financial future at such a young age, I love reading your story. But from a guy who got married at 23 and had his first child at 27 I can say that I wouldn’t have it any other way. I feel fortunate to have had the growing, stretching experiences that I’ve had as well (mainly because of kids), even though I’m nowhere NEAR financial independence yet. It’s interesting to think about!

writing2reality
Guest

This post reminds me of some of Sam’s posts over at Financial Samurai. Certainly you might be an outlier, but that doesn’t mean where you stand is any better or worse than others. Currently your passion and focus has been on financial independence and things like relationships can go by the wayside in the pursuit of those passions.

Jumping on the stealth wealth bandwagon pioneered by Sam, I’d would certainly say that if you start dating after you’ve achieved financial independence you would probably want to keep your relative wealth hidden from those you are casually dating. No need to attract the wrong type of individual.

Either way, there is no right or wrong way to go about life, and I think you’ve been tremendously successful, completely independent of your marital status.

The First Million is the Hardest
Guest

There’s really no need to get too caught up in when these big life events take place. Most people are pushing things like marriage and starting a family off later and later than they used to. If you’re not even 30 yet you’ve got PLENTY of time left before this should be a “worry” . Just enjoy the ride 🙂

KK @ Student Debt Survivor
Guest

Love it! Being an outlier is a good thing in my opinion. Like you, I knew people from my high school graduating class who were pregnant soon after high school. Those folks are already married and divorced and remarried in some circumstances. Each day I’m thankful that I’ve done things different than my peers (some are happy and I’m happy for them, but I’m also happy for myself). I’m 30 and never married, no kids and no debt (I think that makes me a total weirdo by some standards, but I’m fine with that).

Financial Samurai
Guest

Great goal and achievement! But who knows? You might find the love of your life TOMORROW! 🙂

Leigh
Guest

I remember one of my guy friends saying that when women get to 30, their primary requirement is that the guy they’re dating actually has a job and wants children. How do you plan to deal with that? You don’t want the women you’re dating to think you’re a complete bum and broke, right?

I don’t know whether I’ll be married or not by the time I am financially independent. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. It all depends on how things change in the next few years. I’m not going to stop saving in hopes that I will save more once I’m married. I do hope I will save more once I’m married, but that’ll be because of two incomes, not because of getting married. I’m not going to put a romantic relationship on the backburner or travel in order to quit work sooner – that’s not a balance that I want. It’s important to be happy now and not just plan for the future. So that’s what I’m doing. I’m still saving a ton and will probably get to FI at some point in the next 10 years, but I would also happily take a pay cut to work fewer hours, even if it meant postponing FI. I have enough in easily accessible funds right now that I could live off of my savings for about a year and a half without cutting any expenses. So if I wanted to quit work and travel for a little while, I could probably do that and then go back to working.

One of my big things I’ve been working on lately is to live in the present rather than the future or the past and I think I’ve definitely been doing a lot better at that with my current relationship 🙂 My boyfriend and I have been dating for about 6 months, but we’ve known each other for over 5.5 years now (met in college, moved to the same city after we were each done college, worked together for a while, lived in the same apartment building, and about a year later, started dating). We may have even met over 8 years ago, in our first semester, but that was just a passing hello if we did know each other. (Don’t worry, I’m still saving plenty. Just trying to concentrate a bit less on money…)

Joe
Guest

Great job! Congratulation. I’m very luck that my wife is also frugal. We also put off having a kid for a long time and that gave us a chance to build our finances.
We should get together next time I head down to the Bay Area. 🙂

Michelle @fitisthenewpoor
Guest

Amazing blog post! I did things the “right way” by getting married at 26 with a load of debt. Both husband and I have some regrets about not fixing our finances first (not the whole marrying part). We would have loved to start our marriage “fresh” and we both have guilt about the debt we are essentially giving to one another.

You are going to make your future partner a very lucky person! Rock on!

Integrator
Guest

FIF,

If it’s any reassurance, I met and married my wife in my early 30’s. We were both already independently doing reasonably well at that point it. It helped that we both had similar goals and objectives. I think part of the fun with being with someone is having someone to share progress and celebrate with as you achieve goals, it’s a shared endeavor. Don’t be too concerned given where you are, plenty of time for you yet to meet someone you share a common bond with.

Enjoying following your path to FI.

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