Our Exit Strategy
Last updated by Lauren in October 2017
Tim and I have talked it over, and know that we can't just quit our jobs and rough it out. We need a plan. We need a financial plan, a skills plan and dream plan. So these are our conclusions over the last few months of hashing it out.
Every day I sit at my desk I feel my body telling me it desires to be outside. It wants to work and move. It wants to be productive by growing plants and tending to other creatures. And no, my 2 African violet office plants don't count as growing plants.
In order to move from the city we need 2 things. Capital and mobile income. We also need a debt payoff plan.
Capital: We need cash to buy land, build/fix dwellings and invest in tools. We need cash to invest in our own skills. We also need cash to pay for things we can't barter or trade for, say car insurance, and property taxes. Preferably we want to buy land with cash and build with cash to avoid mortgage debt. We are trying to keep our expenses low so we can save money for capital.
Mobile Income: Passive income would be great, it would be money we don't have to work for. However being realistic, you need lots of money to make passive income. So we have come to the conclusion what we really need is mobile income. Income that doesn't require us to work specific hours or in a specific place. We need income that we can start now in our apartment and travel with us to the farm. This income would be to provide on-going cash flow while we work to set up the farm and to ease the stress of financial uncertainties. This blog is part of our mobile income plan.
Financial Book Recommendations:
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki General introduction to financial literacy, and financial independence.
- Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker Study of the mindset that supports wealth vs mindsets that support continual poverty.
- The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco Cutting the bullshit on wealth building and laying a blueprint to financial freedom.
- The 4-hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss Redefining the concept of retirement, and how to create a dream-line. A timeline for your dreams.
- Good to Great by Jim Collins Defining what it means to be a good employee/company vs a great employee/company. The Hedgehog concept is to find what you can be the best in the world at, what you are passionate about and what best drives your economic engine in a simple concept.
- The Undercover Economist by Tim Hartford This book is a humorous introduction to the world of economics.
- A Whole New Mind by David Pink This book takes a look at the new socio-economics forces of the post information age that have the potential to transform the structure of the developed world’s job market.
We both recognize we don't have the skills we need to farm, it's just not what we were trained to do. We have made a list of skills we want to learn, and have started to check things off the list. While we amass capital and build mobile income, we can also learn skills.
- Mass Hunter's Education Course (official website)
- Mass License to Carry Live Fire course (Boston Firearm School)
- Foraging in Massachusetts (Russ Cohen, Forager)
- Cow Milking, Cheese + Butter Making Class (The Milk Shanty)
- Bachelor in Mathematics (Lauren)
- Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering (Tim)
- Brewing Homemade Beer
- Fundamentals of Green Building Design
- Blogging and Online Businesses
- Gardening (see my community garden)
- Large Animal Training and Care
- Deer Hunting + Butchering (learning from a friend)
- Carpentry (searching for a school/mentor)
- First Aid (American Red Cross)
- Basic welding
- Wood Felling, Cutting, Stacking, Milling, etc
- Home-building (framing, windows, flooring, insulation)
- Solar panel and independent electric generation systems
- Composting ("The Humanure Handbook" by Joseph Jenkins)
- Permaculture and Sustainable Agriculture
- Chicken Care and Butchering
Tim and I have thought a lot about what we really want. I want to spend time outside in the garden or barnyard. I want to have time for family and friends. I want to be more self-reliant and self-sufficient. I want to fill the world with more beauty that I found it. I want to paint and create beauty in whatever form that takes.
Tim would like to have a more relaxed job with time to play video games. Tim wants time to play guitar and jam with friends. Tim would one day like to repair old cars and build a hands-off automated brewing system.
- Take a 2-week intensive home building class at the Heartwood School or the Shelter Institute
- Buy raw land (+5 acres) with or without a house
- Build a workshop/garage with living space loft (we like the looks of the 24' x 32' barn from Shelter Kits)
- Potential: Live in RV or yurt while building or renovating the house
- Build a root cellar + chicken coops
- Plant a garden and orchard
- Build the animal barn
- Build greenhouses or walipini
- Upgrade and expand house as desired
Of course it's all variable. Maybe we find land with a house already and skip straight to the gardens! Maybe we take a gap year traveling the country in an RV, before we settle down on land, one never knows!
Time-frame: So when's this whole moving to the farm thing gonna happen? Honestly I have no idea.
We are hoping to take the intense home-building course this summer 2018 if not then next summer 2019!
We want to set ourselves up for success. And for me that means not setting a hard deadline. I could make it and be rushed into it. I could miss the deadline and be disappointed and frustrated. Or I could be ready before the deadline, who knows. So for now, we are going to keep working on the plan and see how it evolves with time.
Our financial plan give us a goal to work toward.
Our skills plan gives us something to focus on now.
Our dream plan gives us hope and spark.
We want to inspire others to follow along our journey. We want to learn from others that are farther along this same path and be encouraged by their passion. This path won't be easy, but we think it'll be worth it.
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