I thought long and hard about what to call my blog. Primarily, the blog is about personal finance and financial independence but I knew I wanted the freedom to just talk about whatever the hell I wanted, so didn’t want the name to be money related and feel pigeonholed.
Ultimately, I want to try and live a different kind of life than the one that seems to be dictated to us by society. Get an education, find a job, get married, buy a bigger house than you need with a tiny deposit and huge mortgage, work in said job until you’re 65, retire on peanuts and wait to pop your clogs. Thanks, but no thanks.
Thus, A Life Less Conventional was born.
Living Up To Our Name
Recently we took the plunge and made a pretty big life decision. In the spirit of not being conventional, we have decided to move back to the UK by ourselves, not with Mr. LLC’s company. And before we settle back in the UK, we are going travelling for 4 months.
We moved to the USA with Mr. LLC’s company in 2013. They moved us over, paid for our flights and gave us a moving allowance. He moved into a permanent job, it wasn’t a term position or a secondment. So, moving back to the UK would always involve having to find a completely new job in the London office.
Late last year we agreed that 2017 was the year we wanted to move back. When you consider Brexit and the fact we earn more in America than we would in the UK, some would question our decision to move back at all. But sometimes, you just know something is the right thing to do without being able to explain why. We just both know we want to be back in the UK.
Taking The Plunge
We had a few scenarios we were modelling that would get us back to the UK.
Scenario 1 – Move back with Mr. LLC’s company.
After much soul searching we chose not to go down this route.
Scenario 2 – Apply for jobs from America and move back to the UK ourselves.
We’d have bear the financial cost of moving ourselves back but would at least one of us would have a job to move back to.
Scenario 3 – Pick a month and move back to the UK, job or no job.
We ultimately chose a slightly modified version of scenario 3.
We were thinking to have one last, glorious summer in New York and move back in September jobs or no jobs. However, one afternoon Mr. LLC emailed me at work and said, why don’t we move back at the end of May but take the summer to go travelling and settle back in the UK in October? Um, hell yeah!
The Riskiest Plan Is Actually The Perfect Plan
We are bearing the financial burden of moving ourselves back to the UK, neither of us will have jobs, we’ll need to find a place to live, a car to buy and the said new place to furnish. But still, it’s the best decision we ever made.
We’ve talked about doing a trip like this for over 10 years now and something has always crept up to put in on the back burner. It’s always been a ‘one day’ trip. But if you say ‘one day’ too many times, that one day won’t be there anymore.
The decision to pursue financial independence has really opened our eyes to how we want to live our lives. And part of that is being aware that as much as we’re saving for our future, we have to live in the now too. Our future, even though planned for, is not promised.
The hard work and diligence we have put into saving and growing our net worth has meant we have the means to bear the financial burden of relocating back to the UK, establishing ourselves with a place to live, a car and home furnishings and the ability to do this and live for a good while without having jobs. Oh, and go travelling for 4 months.
Savings = options.
We’re Still On The Path to FI
So does this derail our plans to work towards financial independence?
We have projected it will cost us an additional year in terms of when we can leave our 9-5s permanently. We’re still young enough and tenacious enough to build our savings up aggressively again once we’re settled.
People might think, why do the trip now? Why not wait until you’re FI and can travel when you want? Because, as much as we plan to travel a lot when we’re FI, I simply don’t want to put all those travel plans off until then.
And ultimately, our unique position lends itself to our ability to even do this. It’s not like we are giving up permanent jobs, a house and everything else in the UK to do this. We need to move back at some point and we have no debt and no ties to anything that inhibits our ability to do this.
And so before we entangle ourselves in mortgages and bills and jobs back home, we’re going to take pause and go admire some of this beautiful planet of ours.