Options for FI

In an earlier post I had mentioned that I was about 18 months away from achieving FI.  This is a limited FI option that would leave my husband and I with our mortgage still outstanding, but would be acceptable because he does not plan to RE (retire early).

However, using a spreadsheet that I got from the Mad Fientist's website I calculated that the entire AF family could be completely FI if we maintained our current savings rate of 55% for about six years.  This would ultimately be more savings than we need, because our rental property is on track to be paid off in the next decade plus our home mortgage would eventually be paid off by our investment income as well.  This would leave us with an additional $500/month around the time our little Peanut and Nugget are middle school aged, and jump up to $1500/month of excess by the time we approach our "second retirement".  Both of our mortgages are below 4% interest, so beyond lowering our monthly living expenses paying them off early is not our top savings goal (although I compulsively pay a few hundred extra towards our rental property's principal each month... it isn't rational, but I suppose there are worse habits to have and I ought to save my willpower up for avoiding those).  Mr. AF pays our home mortgage, so I haven't started slipping money into that account... yet!

I mostly enjoy the job that I have, but worry about missing out on precious years with my daughter (soon to be daughters!).  So I am torn by these options- 1) stay the course until they are both in elementary school and spend less time with them while they are tiny, need lots of cuddles and want me to read them stories, or 2) leave work sooner with our financial future less secure.  We have an amazing daycare provider who makes my older daughter feel at home, along with a few other delightful little girls who are right around her age.  I think it would be a challenge for her to switch from that to staying at home with me and a newborn five days a week.  I haven't gamed out any middle of the road scenarios yet- an additional consideration is that I won't be fully vested in one of my retirement accounts until after four years (I've worked with my current company for a year).  This would add about $12,000 (plus roughly $3,000/year for any year past four years if our benefits package stays the same) that will have been contributed by my employer.  I have not accounted for that in any of my retirement scenarios because I'm not vested yet, so don't want to rely on it.

As you can see, I'm still working my way through all of the options we have in front of us.  What option(s) would you choose?  And what is the toughest decision you have had to make on your FI journey?


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