I have been on the FI train for a long time now and it seemed like my wife has just tolerated it. She has always been a good saver, but we had short term goals to save for, like travel or a home purchase. She had career aspirations and didn’t see the point of leaving work behind to pursue other endeavors.
Lately, she has gotten much more interested in financial independence. Did I do anything different to convince her? Or, did she finally come to her senses? Neither! It turns out that a number of things have changed in our lives recently, and the pieces have all come together to change her outlook and life goals.
More Family Time
Having a child changes your perspective on life. Since both of us are working, our daughter spends most of the week at daycare and we see her for a few hours a day. I leave before she gets up and come home in time to spend about an hour with her before she goes to bed each night. My wife gets more time to spend with her but it’s still not enough. Financial independence, we hope, will let us spend more time with our family and take advantage of the time we have together before it slips away.
Secondly, my wife recently got a new job that gave her more insight into the day to day tasks and responsibilities of a school principal. Her career goals had always included becoming a principal and then moving up higher into school administration at the county level. Now that she can see the roles and responsibilities of administration from the inside, she’s considering whether that path is still the way she would like to go. Financial independence would mean she could adjust her career aspirations or think outside of the box completely. Maybe teaching or school administration in another country could be a possibility!
As I’ve stated before, lately I have been thinking more about what life after financial independence would look like. We’ve been talking about what we would want to accomplish and do if we had the freedom that is afforded by FI. Like many others, we like to travel and the possibility of living abroad with our family has really struck a chord with us. This was when the impact of reaching financial independence really clicked for my wife.
We have since thrown around ideas on the logistics of raising children in a foreign country and where we would want to live and for how long in each location. We discussed homeschooling and how much more interesting lessons could be if you’re learning about World War II in Germany or Japan. That’s not even thinking about language acquisition and cultural immersion!
The freedom offered by FI will allow us to chase good weather around the world, plus have extended time with family and friends during the holidays or birthdays (how was everyone in my wife’s family born in May?).
As I said, there was nothing I could do to make this concept resonate with my wife better than her coming to this on her own. Now we can both look forward to and plan to make financial independence our reality.
Have you and your partner come to the FI movement at different times? Do you have any advice for those of us who are working to convince their wives why you’re saving so much or prove to their husbands that this really can be done?