Here is the situation. In one year our lease is up in our apartment. We are using this as a catalyst for the next change in our lives. Jordan and I have decided to pack what we need, wrangle up the cats, and pull the trigger on retirement.
“[R]etirement isn’t the end of work anymore…. Retirement is the end of mandatory work.– MMM Listen to the piece here.
This is a twist on the more traditional word of retirement–the withdrawal from active working life. More so for me than Jordan, but not working–not being productive in one sense, sitting on a beach sipping Piña Coladas until we die–does not sound appealing. Yes, there may some of that–hopefully, a lot of that–but, not just that. Embracing the end of mandatory work will free us. Free us to do what we want, work where we want, and when we want.
He who fails to plan is planning to fail.– Wiston Churchill
This brings up different challenges of what will happen within a year. The day our lease ends will be May 29, 2022. At a high level, here is our current plan:
- Extensive stay in Chelan, WA: I am lucky to have family living in one of the many beautiful places in Washington. My mother and brother have been living there for over 12 years and before we leave the Pacific North West, having some more quality time with family would be magical.
- Drive the 101: What better way to leave the Pacific Northwest than to take advantage of one of the most iconic drives along the Western coastline. Starting in Olympia, up over the peninsula, down Washington, through Oregon, and across California. I envision us taking it through Baja and ending in Cabo San Lucas but the details of this trip have yet to be laid.
- Drive to South Carolina: Recently Jordan’s sister’s family has settled on making Hilton Head, SC their home for now. Depending on our starting point–be it Cabo or San Diego–we will traverse either through Mexico or the southern part of the US.
- Buffalo/Toronto: We are invited to a wedding in Buffalo, NY in August of 2022. Taking advantage of being this far north, we will head into Toronto to visit my family.
- Get back to work: At this point, Jordan and I will take advantage of our professions and embark on our career as a travel physical therapist (PT) and registered nurse (RN)–the PTRN of the blog’s namesake.
Now for the challenges that I mentioned before, all of which we have a year to figure out:
- Our cats: We have 2 beautiful cats that we love. They are members of our family and are part of the plan. But we will need specific details on how to live the above with our cats and still enjoy the road trip–i.e. camping, hiking, car riding, doing touristy things.
- Our stuff: And a lot of it. Living 4 years in an apartment and together for over 12 years, we have accumulated a lot of stuff. We need to decide what to take with us and what to get rid of. We also do not want to just throw things away so the challenge over the next year is how do we do this in an environmentally friendly way.
- The money: We have enough money to take a gap year, heck drop our lifestyle we have enough to live off the 4% rule so famously touted in the FI community. But I know me, and I know I will be freaking out if we are not making money somehow and just spending it. “If you ain’t making it, you’re spending it.”
- Health insurance: Jordan and I are lucky enough that we do not have any serious medical conditions currently–knock on wood. Still, insurance is protection against the catastrophic and we need to make sure we are covered. This is a heated topic again in the FI community and we will need to weigh out our options.
- Post road trip jobs: The idea of travel PT and nursing has been in our heads for quite some time. But, I only recently have been back into nursing practice as a nurse vaccinator and Jordan is primarily an inpatient physical therapist. We need to set plans in place so that we are employable in some sense to be able to become traveling PT/RNs.
The reality is, [people] just experienced a tremendous amount of discomfort, and going back to what is familiar, is easier than navigating that change.– Jillian Johnsrud
People are afraid of the change and would rather endure what they are familiar with rather than deal with change.
The next year will be a test of this statement. It brings excitement and anxiety as the next chapter begins to play out. Has anyone ever faced something similar? Let us know how you got rid of things. How have you arranged your corporate-free healthcare. Tell us what you’ve done–and what we should do–on the 101. How did you prepare your cats or other pets for a long road trip. We need to avoid the paralysis by analysis and tackle these challenges. It will make the day within a year easier for a transition.