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The Five Year Plan

Many years ago, when Yolanda and I were just getting to know each other, we decided to follow a 5-year plan. If we only had five years together, what would we want to do? Where would we go?

Five years seemed like the right amount of time. It created just the right sense of urgency. It was long enough to justify keeping our jobs but short enough to force us into action. It kept us from taking time for granted. I want to go rock climbing again, I said. I want to see a glacier, she said. I want to learn how to sail. I want to go on a Cruise. I want to eat pizza in Rome. I want to see Iceland. And the list went on.

Each year we renewed our five-year plan. We checked things off the list. We added new things. We planned. We traveled. We discovered new places. We lived five years at a time.

And then something changed.

Yolanda’s parents retired when her Dad was 51 to follow their dream of living a simple life on a lake house in Northern Michigan. And they got to live that dream. For 8 years. Then cancer came.

Our conversations slowly changed from…

If we only had five years together… to… If we die in twenty years, would we be happy if we never got to live our dream? Are we ok waiting that long and taking that risk? Can we really afford to wait?

We wouldn’t. No. We can’t. We want to fulfill a dream of truly seeing and experiencing this amazing world before we die. And not just in 2 week chunks. We want to do it permanently. Slowly. Savoring it. At 5 miles per hour. On a sailboat.

The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.

Eleanor Roosevelt

So we started a new five-year plan. A plan to untie the lines at the end of 2023. For good.

And we hope to resurrect this blog to document the journey for our friends, family, and anyone who may find our story useful, or better yet, inspiring. We’ll discuss how we got here and what we will do for the next five years to get ready for our departure. We will talk about finances, the boat, our fears, and all the minutiae required to start an alternative lifestyle that goes beyond the 9 to 5 grind. And we will start soon with the question that most people ask… how can they possibly afford to retire so “young”?

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