About our Project
Welcome to the Financial Independence Project! We started this website to document and share our journey to financial independence where working is no longer required. Some may view this as an early retirement goal, and in some ways it is, but the idea is not to completely stop working once we no longer need to work for money. Instead the goal is to be free to choose the type of work (if any), and when, based on our interests and passions. This is a project that both engages and challenges us to break the norms typically associated with working until you reach the age of 65 or older, or depending on someone else to provide money for us in retirement.
It was only in the last few years (around 2016) that we started to think about financial independence and the opportunities it offered. Prior to that both of us were pretty passionate about working until 65 or later because we loved our jobs and our career paths. We both have tremendous schedule flexibility and significant independence in our work, but the job still comes with trade-offs that can get in the way of our goals. Luckily even before we started thinking about financial independence we had fairly good savings rates that provided a good foundation for us to build upon when we started this project.
Our goal is to reach Financial Independence on or before May of 2022 with a portfolio that would mean that work is no longer required and only optional. Whether this journey and project leads to Early Retirement or simply shifting to work we are 100% passionate about, regardless of pay, we have not yet decided. Our hope is that through this website we will be able to document, share, and hold ourselves accountable to our plan. We also hope that be sharing our story, we add a unique voice to the ideal and goal of financial independence .
We are a non-traditional family of four living in North Carolina who moved from Florida several years ago and intend to move back once we reach Financial Independence (if not sooner). While the primary purpose of this blog is not intended to be political, it is important to acknowledge that we are an LGBT family and we write from that perspective which provides a specific frame and lens for our content. It would be nice to say that we live in a world where this doesn’t matter, but that is simply not the case. We are a two-woman household raising two children, and that plays a role in our path to financial independence, but it doesn’t make our path more or less valid than others. We purposely speak from our lived experience and will not shy away from writing about this topic, and at times we hope our perspective can help others both inside and outside all of our different communities.
My name is Julia and I write about 98% of the content on this site. I currently work as a faculty member at a large public university in North Carolina and have a Ph.D. in Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies (Learning Sciences). Prior to that I was a high school teacher teaching music and dance in Florida. I currently intend to leave full-time employment in academia once reaching financial independence at the age of 45, if not sooner.
My spouse runs her own instructional design business working for a variety of clients developing e-learning courses and training programs. While she is completely on board with our financial independence project, she intends to keep running her business once we reach FI and simply become more selective with the clients she works once we reach our goal.