In The Meantime is about life as Generation X.
But it’s also about life as Maggie and I see it.
Woven throughout In The Meantime, like a weavy weaving thing, is our story.
A classic Generation X love story:
Gen X boy meets Gen X girl,
Gen X boy makes Gen X girl a mixed tape of 80’s power ballads,
Gen X girl falls (puffy-haired) head over (Doc-Martened) heels in love,
Gen X couple lives happily ever after…
Until losing their shit over debt-fuelled consumerism, deteriorating work-life balance and a lack of purpose. Then they said enough.
Self Help for Generation X
That’s the genesis of In The Meantime. And that’s why Generation X now has its own self help site.
In The Meantime is a collection of stories and lessons we’ve learned from being Generation X and chasing that greatest of prizes: Financial Independence and Early Retirement.
Anyway, back to our story…
Having realised we’d had enough, the next logical step would have been to march into our bosses’ office and shout, “Take this job and shove it!”
But we didn’t do that.
Like many of our Gen X cohort, we were shitty savers. We hadn’t squirrelled away enough to retire.
And we didn’t want to live the tight-ass lifestyle required for us to quit our jobs and retire early.
We couldn’t bring ourselves to live a life without barista-made, skinny, piccolo lattes.
So, we decided to get a plan.
The plan went like this:
- Read, listen and watch all the advice we could get our hands on that explained how to achieve the legendary ‘FIRE’ [cue angelic choir, parting clouds and brilliant light from above]
- Decide what we wanted to do with our lives, especially after we left the workforce
- Get professional financial advice
- Develop a roadmap toward exiting the workforce
- Stop buying shit we didn’t need
The idea to retire early came to us during a beach-camping trip over Xmas 2017. It quickly became known as the ‘Christmas Epiphany’.
Since the Christmas Epiphany, we’ve been obsessively implementing our plan. We’ve learnt lots along the way.
In The Meantime is our way of sharing what we’ve learnt on FIRE and self help for Generation X.
It’s a labour of love, born of the impulse to save other Gen Xers from the many hours we spent elbow-deep in the Google-sphere trying to answer questions like:
- What’s the key to happiness?
- Why aren’t we rich?
- Which generation would win a zombie war?
- Are robots really going to rule the world?
In The Meantime wades through the swamp of info-crap that muddies much of the internet, and finds you answers.
In The Meantime is what we wish we’d found on Day One of our quest to figure shit out.
Generation X Plays Catch Up
Maggie and I come from blue-collar lineage. We grew up in small towns.
We were the first in our families to go to university.
Now Maggie’s at the edge of digital marketing, having worked in the field since binary could only count to zero (a little techy humour for you IT nerds).
I started in a trade (“Get a trade behind you,” was classic Boomer parenting advice to Gen X kids). Then jumped ship, went to university and re-tooled for a career in diplomacy and international security.
Maggie and I didn’t save for retirement until late in life. Like many Gen Xers, our retirement planning was non-existent until our 30s. Maggie was in her early 40s and I was in my late 40s by the time we had the Christmas Epiphany.
Getting Ahead, Getting Out
We’re aiming to be retired in five years.
We’ll do it by selling off a bunch of costly, depreciating toys (goodbye little red sports car and see ya later Harley Night Rod Special), and following a savings plan (bon voyage overseas holidays) as well as making sensible, boring, slow-return investments.
Both Maggie and I are planners. We’ve planned in detail our whole retired life many times over, just for funsies.
Getting Real Early Retirement
The idea for In The Meantime came from imagining our retired life. Early retirees commonly warn those new to the game that giving up work is not as easy as it sounds.
As much as we might look forward to leaving the workforce, we shouldn’t forget our sense of purpose and self-worth are wrapped up in our work.
Despite what we might think now, sitting on a beach relaxing, slamming back pina coladas in a permanent state of holiday inebriation is not enough to be happy. (I can’t believe I said that.)
Don’t get me wrong, it’ll get you a lot of the way to happiness, but it won’t insulate you from boredom and it won’t fill a purpose-shaped hole in your life.
In The Meantime is part of our retirement purpose.
Our blog is our creative outlet, our digital sandcastle, our connection to people and our way of giving something back.
It’s part of our future. Our retirement passion project.
As we move toward our exit from the daily grind and to a post-work lifestyle, somewhere a lot warmer than here, we invite you, Generation X, to come along for the ride.
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