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It’s Not A Race To The Finish Line

An interesting opportunity came to my attention a few weeks ago. It was an internal position within my company that had been forwarded over to me by a coworker.

At first glance, the position looked fairly unappealing – it was located on the other side of the globe, in a far flung country with a less than stellar reputation, and the job description was not something that sounded super appealing to me.

As I got to the bottom of the email though, I uncovered a little more about the position which made me reconsider: it was the opportunity for a double promotion.

Factoring in the salary bump for the position level and other monetary benefits that come with taking this kind of position overseas at my company, my already solid pay rate would be nearly doubled.

Oh and did I mention that my company would cover my housing costs? And that I’d be living within walking distance from work? And two free trips home per year as well!?

The only expenses I would have would be groceries and any other discretionary spending I would choose to spend. How about that for frugal living!?

With all these perks, what adventure loving person wouldn’t try to go for this position??

Supercharged Path To FI

With my base expenses at an extremely low level, it seems like it would be a cinch to reach a savings rate level of 80-90% or higher.

With that kind of savings rate I could put away a massive amount of money into savings and investments. I did not do the math, but I don’t think it would be surprising if I could save over $100K in one year alone!

The cumulative effect this would have on my timeline to FI would be drastic, and greatly shift my FI date to a time that’s honestly not quite so far away.

With all these monetary benefits, as well as ease of International travel for vacations, I have to admit that it sounds very appealing.

There’s a few things holding me back though…

It’s Not Always A Numbers Game

Prior to discovering FI, or even thinking about it, my line of thinking would’ve been something like, “what’s two years in the grand scheme of things?”

I’m planning to be around for a long time, so giving up two years to make a boatload of money in a far flung country seems like a no brainer.

But now that I’m in the FI mindset, I’ve been thinking a lot more about how I spend my time. That’s what this pursuit is all about after all, right? Buying back my time to spend it however I would like.

This position would certainly buy be back some time, in that my FI date would drastically move up. However, what it would not help with, is my time during that two years away.

Despite my prior self’s thinking, two years is a long time to be away. Away from family, friends, significant others. Think of all the things that can happen in two years.

Weddings, Family vacations, holiday time, spending time with friends… the list goes on. I could make some of these, but there would be a lot I miss.

These are just the big events too, not to mention all the small, daily things. The country I’d be going to has much less freedom than we appreciate here. A lot of things I enjoy would be restricted or limited.

For instance, I would not be able to bring my significant other with me (if she would have wanted to go). Long distance relationships are hard. Make that double when you’re on the other side of the world, on opposite time schedules, and go several months without seeing each other.

Our relationship is something that’s very important to me, and it’s not something I want to jeopardize chasing money, or a supercharged path to FI.

Ultimately, when it comes down to it, on the journey to FI, what do prioritize more… getting there as fast as you can? Or making the most of your journey and enjoying as much of it as you can?

It’s Not A Race To The Finish Line

I’m not sure about you, but to me the journey to FI is not a race to the finish line.

If it was, I would aggressively pursue this position. Or even likely start job hopping in search of higher salaries in my field to speed up my timeline, at the sacrifice of work/life balance.

Instead, I want to try and enjoy as much of this journey as possible.

I don’t want to miss the big family and friend events. I don’t want to miss precious moments and time with my significant other. And I really don’t want to give up doing the things I love, because you can’t do them somewhere else.

Keeping these thoughts in mind is extremely important.

Sometimes you get so caught up in the destination, that you forget to stop and look around. “Stop and smell the roses as they say”

It’s in these moments, the ones where you would like to freeze frame time, where you can find life’s true pleasures.

Whichever path you ultimately choose, I hope you can prioritize the important things and find happiness and contentment along the way!

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Where do you stand on this matter? Get to FI as quickly as possible? Or ease off the gas pedal to try and get as much happiness as possible? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

18 thoughts to “It’s Not A Race To The Finish Line”

  1. When we rush our way to the finish line, we run the risk of permanently losing something precious. 2 years is a long time to be away from friends and family. Specially without your partner! Kudos to you for choosing life.

  2. I’d ease off a bit and enjoy the journey. Life isn’t going to be much different when you get to FI. You might as well be happy with yourself and family now.
    I’d be a different story if you don’t have a relationship.

    1. Absolutely! If I was not in a relationship, and did not have as many big family/friend coming up in the near future this would definitely be a different story. But alas, I’m happy with where I’m at, and the path I’m currently on to get there 🙂

  3. I think it’s entirely up to the person. You did a good job explaining why it probably isn’t a good fit for you.

    For a single, lonely person like me 😂, I would consider a new opportunity for a lot more money in order to speed up the date. That said, not in another country (sounds like China from the hints you dropped). I have little to no desire to live in a country other than the United States. It would be too much change and I honestly probably couldn’t handle it.

    1. Absolutely agree, I think if I wasn’t in a relationship this could be a totally different story!

      Living abroad definitely isn’t for everyone, though I think in certain countries it would be an interesting and worthwhile experience to have

    1. Absolutely, I’m definitely not going to be easing up on the savings rate at all! But yea I think accepting a position like this would be a bit of overkill, and hurt my life satisfaction in the short term which is definitely not ideal

  4. I think it’s great that, rather than making you focused on retiring asap, FI has made you focused on what your time itself is worth. I think it’s easy to get lost in the battle to save as much as possible any way necessary, potentially sacrificing too much in the present. Tempting as I can see that offer being, I think all of the reasons you listed are pretty compelling ones for staying here and saving a little (or even a lot) less.

    1. Thank you! This whole FI thing really has made me ultra focused on my time and really how valuable it is. While there is always more money to make in the world, there’s only a limited amount of time! It’s best we all make the most of it 🙂

  5. Minus a few details, as of last month, I’m on the other side of a similar offer! I could understand how the change wouldn’t be worth it with a SO.

    My sister and parents are in different cities/states. So I’m kind of used to seeing them less frequently.

    Being in my mid/late 20s also, it’s a time where experiencing friends going through major life changes (work relocation/marriage/kids) is a thing. It makes me feel more used to the fluidity of their frequency.

    I’ll make new friends here and luckily there is already a very large number of Americans my age in the area. It’s a sacrifice in some ways. But every year I’m here, it wouldn’t be difficult to save $100k. Meanwhile, I’m keeping in touch via voip, sms, etc.

  6. Um a double promotion sounds AWESOME. Plus, with you saving that much money, you’d obviously be able to pay for your girlfriend’s travel so she can meet you in fun places all over the world. So way to deprive her of an opportunity to fill up her passport! 😂

    Just kidding, I definitely think that’s the right call. A lot happens in two years, especially in the stage of life we’re in (soooooo many weddings!). And if the whole point of FI is to live life on your own terms, why not start doing that even before?

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