Where are you AOC? It’s time for an update!

“We haven’t seen a post from you in a while and are hoping all is well.”

Willie’s Great Adventure

We’ve gotten a lot of messages like this one above from our personal finance friends recently so it’s time for a quick update. Luckily (for the blog), we’re both sick on the couch today so we’ve got time to spare.

So far 2023 has been a blur. We haven’t been writing on our blog at all this year and that’s a good thing. It means we’re focusing more of our attention on real life instead of the internet. It also means we’re better at keeping busy than we could’ve imagined two retired people could be.

Life is full and complicated, or really life is way over-complicated here in the USA but that’s another story. What have we been up to? So far this year we’ve attended some amazing big life events with family, traveled to visit friends around the Southwest, made plans for international travel this summer, and we’re also making positive changes for our compound as well. We’re learning plenty of new things, making new friends, setting lots of new goals, and accomplishing our goals together. Our lives are crazy but retirement is good!

And to be fair, there are a couple of factors keeping our blogging motivation low. First, we finally crossed paths with a genuinely creepy stalker who reached out asking us for financial coaching and an in person meetup. Let’s just say that was not a good experience. That person is still roaming around the edges of our personal finance community, and that’s not cool. After that meetup we decided to stop sharing our personal information and pretty much stopped using the blog and social media all together.

On the positive side, there’s another good reason why we aren’t very motivated to work on our blog. Our list of hobbies continues to grow and we’re madly in love with our little Airstream trailer. We want to spend more of our time camping and enjoying the outdoors in addition to traveling internationally. Most of all, we want to spend much less time on our laptops.

That doesn’t mean our blog has been put to sleep forever and maybe just writing this quick post will motivate us to get back to it. We haven’t stopped thinking about that last post in the 3-part series we were working on, and we still have five other posts outlined so I’m sure we’ll find time for those types of projects eventually.

But we have decided to stop doing financial coaching. We loved meeting folks by sharing our tools and ideas and we’ve made some fabulous good friends through the process, but it’s time to hang up our coaching spreadsheets. The kind of coaching we had been doing for folks took up a lot of our personal time and bandwidth and we are ready to direct that time and energy to other things.

Our first 2 years in retirement were focused on full time travel and nomad life. Our next 2 years in retirement were very focused on our blog and financial coaching. This year in 2023, we’re focused on our selves, our relationship, our family and friends, the causes and organizations we care about, our personal finances, and everything else in our very busy real lives. Exactly as it should be!

That’s our update for now. We hope you and yours are healthy and that your own busy, complicated lives are going well!

28 comments

  1. Glad your lives are busy and happy! Sorry about your bad experience too. I’ve gotten so much inspiration and learned so much from your blog (coincidentally just an hour ago I was reading your post about qualified HSA funding distribution from an IRA because I turn 55 this year.) Even if you never write another word, you two have put a lot of good out into the world. Wishing many safe and happy travels!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for this Jacqueline. It’s very nice to hear we’ve helped folks. We finished our last QHFD last year. The CPA had a little trouble finding how to “make it work” on our tax return which tells us how unusual it is, but eventually they got it figured out. I will be 60 yo this year so we will start pulling our HSA contributions out of my IRA this year making those withdrawals tax deductible up to the HSA contribution amount. Yet another way to chip away at any large IRA balances to keep future RMDs down. Good luck!

      Like

  2. I’ve been thinking about you both and hoping all is well! I’m sorry you had an icky person and glad you’re able to set good boundaries.

    I hope someone else takes up the coaching baton – my session with you helped me reset my priorities and plans in a wonderful way.

    I hope this does get you gently back on the blogging path, but only as you truly desire. Get well quickly!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks! We just have winter colds but not fun when we have them at the same time. And we have really enjoyed all the time we’ve spent blogging and coaching. We’ve made lots of friends and good acquaintances and look forward to new connections in the future. There are lots of folks out there taking up the torch for FIRE. I’m sure if you found us, there are others out there equally as interesting and helpful. Best!

      Like

  3. Sorry to hear of your unpleasant experience. Very happy to know life is going so well that blogging has become less of a priority. I often struggle with the the thought of whether or not to continue with my travel journal/blog. I started it as a creative outlet and a means of sharing my travels with friends and family outside of social media. However, I always have concerns over sharing too much personal info over the internet and social media. I don’t take the blogging very seriously and have no plans to monetize. With the large amount of screen time that is required, I am considering giving up “blogging” as well. I do see the value in social media and blogging as a tool for making social connections with like minded people. However, I think I’ll start exploring alternatives for this. Maybe somehow get more efficient with it and keep my screen time to a minimum. Thanks for the update and sharing your thoughts.

    Liked by 2 people

    • We have a theory that hobby blogging has about a 3 year life span. Lots of other folks we’ve met in the last 5 years also slowed way down after 3 years. Its good to reevaluate ones motives for blogging now and again. For now, we have big tangible projects that don’t pair well with in-depth financial writing and spreadsheet calculations so we’re following our priorities. You will find your balance.

      Like

  4. Soooo sorry about the creepy stalker. What an awful experience! But love all the time you are taking for yourselves to enjoy life! Important reminder for us all!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s really important to remember to focus on the health of your primary relationship. The longer we are together, the more we naturally change so making sure we are checking in and making time for our relationship is an ongoing priority for us. Thanks for all your support.

      Like

        • Thanks for the compliment Jen, though I’m not sure why we’re getting that particular compliment! We are lesbians with a gay housemate on our compound, and we are very queer but we are definitely not a polyamorous family. We’ve never had an opportunity to talk on that subject before through our blog, but we definitely do support our polyamorous friends. Most of all we’re always happy to connect with new people so thanks for your comment!

          Like

  5. So happy that you are doing well, despite that unpleasant experience with a stalker… I just wanted to say that your articles and the spreadsheets and tools you shared have made such a difference in our lives. They have given us the courage to take the plunge, we officially Fire’d earlier this year! Keep being awesome!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Congratulations! Our original goal was to put out a collection of content that was what we had wanted to find all in one place when we started working on FIRE. We’re so glad it was a help. Good luck!!!!!

      Like

      • Thanks! Writing this from a beach in Thailand, life is way less stressful now obviously! We used to spend so much time tweaking with your Simply-Fi-ed calculator and looking at different timelines and results, until we realized that we had crossed the finish line months ago. I still look at the spreadsheet from time do time, it’s become my comfort blanket in times of turmoil 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        • Do what ever it takes to help you sleep at night. But it does sound like you have crossed that finish line. Congratulations!!!!!

          Like

        • Hey Val, hope that beach in Thailand was rejuvenating! It’s funny that we have that in common, the chapter of wanting to hit the magic number and then realizing we had hit it already! 😆👌

          Well happy travels and happy life to you both, and feel free to stay in touch by email even if we aren’t blogging!

          Like

  6. I’m grateful for the update and hope you are both feeling better again soon. And very sorry to hear about your stalker! (“Ew, David!” ~ Schitt’s Creek)
    I only see wisdom in your amended plan to be more careful in this increasingly digital world. I also agree with other people here about the generous seeds you have sown in the FI space; we are all the richer, wiser, and grateful to you both for your generous sharing! Here’s to Happy Camping and Continued Joy in your Journey! Thank you both again…for everything!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello! And LOL about Schitt’s Creek! Your comments on various posts here have been greatly appreciated in the past. We’re thrilled to have connected with you and so many others through the blog. You know how to reach us by email so feel free to keep in touch!

      Like

  7. Glad to hear that you two are doing well and enjoying real life! Sorry to hear about the stalker experience 😦

    Thank you for all of the excellent posts that you’ve already written!! They really helped cement the ideas and set me on a good path.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey thanks for the comment! We’ve really enjoyed chatting with you about all sorts of topics through the blog. While we go mostly radio silent over here on the blog, please feel free to send us an email if you want to chat more!

      Like

  8. Ugh, I’m so sorry about the stalker, I hope they find their own peace away from you both. Cheers to the more adventures in your lives and I hope by now you’re fully recovered from your colds. I had my first illness in 3 years as well, almost over it. Is there another way I can stay connected to you all if you’re going to be more scarce here?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey it’s nice to hear from you. Sorry to hear about your illness but glad you’re feeling better. We wondered what happened when we didn’t hear back from you in February. Do feel free to stay connected and send us an email anytime. This year so far has been a blur of projects to tackle and giving our time and energy to others, but within a few more weeks things will start to simplify now that we’re refocused. We’re pretty excited about making time for new adventures during the second half of the year. Lots to look forward to!

      Like

  9. I’m so sorry about the experience you’ve had – that’s upsetting and I’m glad you’re doing what is right for you.

    I’ve learned so much from your posts, especially the ones where you explain your thought process along the way and the different options you considered, and why you ultimately made the decisions you did – they’re so informative, and I find myself returning to them from time to time as I continue re-evaluating my own positions and revisiting my Personal Money Statement (drafted after reading your process, yet personal to my own situation!).

    I’ve also appreciated your presence in the FI world as LGBT women who weren’t pulling down tech salaries, but made your way through “normal” pathways and also had your own hiccups! (Your post with your timeline and choices along the way was wonderful). The FI part of the internet can be very bro-ish sometimes, and every time I came here I was reminded how much representation matters. Because of you, your explanations, your ethos of “all options considered,” your plans, and open discussions – I felt confident that I could do FI too.

    Thank you – I wish you nothing but the best and hope that you continue here in whatever form feels right, as I learn so much from your writings and example!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Kate, thanks so much for your comment on this post. We are both so glad to hear that our stories have been useful for you on your own path to FI. And we really loved hearing that you have already been working on your own PMS document!

      It does feel like we have come full circle now. We were frustrated when we were confronted by bro-ish FI voices in the FI community when we first looked for people to talk to and learn from. It’s wonderful to know that there are so many more content creators in the FI community now representing women, LGBTQ folx, people of color, as well as people from all kinds of different career paths and income levels.

      Thanks again for your comment! We may not be writing much on the blog this year but we are always looking for new friends so keep in touch and feel free to DM us if you want to chat more.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.