Starting my FI Journey

Hello, I am a mom, professional and now blogger starting on my FI journey.  I first heard about the FIRE movement a couple of months ago, when my husband shared this New York Times article with me.  I have been a "saver" for most of my life, and he thought I would appreciate the community.  Boy was he right!

Ever since then I have been reading other FI blogs like Mr. Money Moustache and listening to podcasts such as Choose FI and the Mad Fientist.  This has not only let me know that I am not the only person in this crazy world who doesn't base their joy and self-esteem on consumption, but also taught me some tips and tricks that I otherwise would not have come across.  Right now I work at a non-profit, so I found this Millionaire Educator Mad Fientist podcast particularly helpful.  An interesting thing that I have encountered in the healthcare non-profit world is that not many people talk about money, whether it is their own benefits or their unit's budget.

I am also an avid gardener (more of the experimental rather than the gorgeous landscapes variety at this point in my development), love to live in Alaska and strongly believe in family time and community participation.  This blog will encompass all of these topics at different times as I work my way through achieving FI (financial independence) and determining what RE (retire early) means to me.

I am starting this blog anonymously because I don't know where I want to end up, and I don't have my answers for my next steps - Leave the career workforce?   Stay in the workforce but spend less time with my kid (soon to be kids)?  Go part time or work as a contractor?  Or work from home more frequently?  What do I want out of this turn on the whirligig of life?

One of the amazing things about living in Alaska is that an incredible work-life balance is common and available to many people.  40 hours means 40 hours here, not "you'll work until you burn out" like so many cultures in the lower 48 push.  The incredible and at times challenging presence of nature here helps to reinforce our work hard, play hard culture, because who wants to be crammed in an office with fluorescent lights when it's a beautiful day for skiing/snowboarding/hiking/fishing/running/sailing/berry-picking and otherwise being joyful?

Another often-repeated phase here is that "in Alaska, you choose your family".  We have enough transplants (and I am one of them!) that it is common to consciously choose who we want to spend our life around, and folks are privacy minded enough to not worry too much about other people's business.  That being said, our community also draws together to support each other in times of need because we are an artificial island.  Near the border there are interactions with Canada, but we receive the vast majority of our goods via Jones Act ships rather than via rail or hyperloop (hint, hint Elon Musk!).  This unfortunately acts as an additional federal tax on Alaska, by artificially raising the price of goods based on what prices the two major shipping companies decide to charge us.  This duopoly exists currently in a Nash Equilibrium without anticipated market disruption, creating some interesting adaptive distortions.  It also increases our vulnerability to food-supply disruption, because both of our shipping companies begin their routes in Washington state.  If (and when) their next major earthquake comes, we could potentially run out of food.  So many people are preppers of varying degrees here as well!

So long for now, I'll talk to you all again soon!


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