July 19, 2017 Adventures Family Frugality Living Simple Living Well Philosophy 32

Over at Our Next Life, Ms. ONL posted an article titled “Write Your Financial Independence Mission Statement”.  In this post, she outlines an exercise which can be utilized to create your own personal Financial Independence Mission Statement.

Formula for a Financial Independence Mission Statement

To begin, Ms. ONL suggests answering the following four questions:

•What is your goal?

•How will you achieve it financially?

•Why do you want to reach that goal?

•Who ultimately benefits if you reach your goal?

This seems like a worthwhile idea so we’re going to give it a shot.  Here we go…

What is your goal?

Summer evening clouds.

Mr. Adventure Rich and I would like to live an adventurous, unconventional, joyful and generous life here on earth while working to reach the ultimate goal, eternal life.

On a practical level, we are pursuing the goal of some form of financial independence, including but not limited to early retirement, mini-retirement (like Jillian at Montana Money Adventures and Chris at Keep Thrifty) and/or fully-funded lifestyle change (Slowly Sipping Coffee).

We would like to live life to the fullest by positively impacting others, living with intention, remaining curious, and exploring things that intrigue us.  Ultimately, we seek some form of happiness each and every day.

How will you achieve it financially?

Fresh batch of Mr. AR’s home roasted coffee.

In order to free up our time and energy to focus on our passions and goals, Mr. Adventure Rich and I are actively saving, investing and limiting our lifestyle in the pursuit of financial independence.  We invest primarily in low cost index funds via our tax advantaged accounts with some stock investments in taxable accounts.  We are also interested in creating additional sources of income, whether that be through real estate investing, a side hustle or another type of business.

If we choose to go pursue a fully-funded lifestyle change (check it out at Slowly Sipping Coffee!), we will work to achieve a financial state that would partially sustain our expenses while we work “fun jobs” or “passion jobs” regardless of pay to cover the remaining expenses.

What might be a fun/passion job?  Here is our short list*:

Mrs. Adventure Rich:  I loved waitressing during my six year stint at a local restaurant, so maybe I’ll go waitress again.  Maybe I’ll coach a local high school sports team (Alpine Skiing? Track? Cross Country? Basketball? Do they have Mountain Bike race teams these days?).  Perhaps I’ll apply to be a ski instructor at a local ski resort.

Mr. Adventure Rich:  Mr. Adventure Rich interested in developing our land into something productive and he enjoys organizing community social events, both of which could evolve into passion projects!  He is also interested in brewing beer and we have lots of local microbrews in our area… work at one of them?  And, in my humble opinion, he is a rockstar at roasting coffee… small batch roasting company?  Other side hustle/business?

*Subject to change at any time for any reason whatsoever.

Why do you want to reach this goal?

Pre-thunderstorm sky.

There are several primary reasons driving our desire to achieve this goal.

Family:  We are a “we”, a couple dedicated to our marriage.  We also have a rambunctious, inquisitive two year old son.  Other(s) may join him as members of our family in the future.  We desire the time, flexibility and freedom to focus on building an ever stronger relationship with each other and to be present and adventurous with our child(ren).  While this is possible with two full-time working adults/parents, it is a constant challenge and effort to prioritize our time appropriately.

Community:  Mr. Adventure Rich and I recently moved to a beautiful area of northern Michigan with a vibrant, active community.  We want in!  In the short 11 months since we moved from California to Michigan, the Adventure Rich family has been welcomed into and benefited from a variety of community organizations and the general community as a whole.  We would like to be active members of our community in some way, whether that be through our church, activities/community clubs/organizations, or some volunteer position that comes our way.

Time on the Job:  While Mr. Adventure Rich and I enjoy our jobs (more Mrs. AR’s career here and here), we have further passions outside of our careers.  We would like to be able to be free to choose our path, whether that be remain in our current careers, step back to work in careers or jobs that are hobbies, or retire early to pursue other passions altogether.  Currently, our jobs and, in Mr. Adventure Rich’s case the job commute, take up a significant portion of our week and limit our ability for other pursuits.

Ultimately, it comes down to  the ability to have options and the freedom to choose who we spend our time with, how we spend our time, what we focus on, and what area of life we would like to impact the most.

Who ultimately benefits if you reach your goal?

Our community!

Hopefully many people!  To start with the most obvious, Mr. Adventure Rich and I would benefit from the freedom that would come with financial independence.

Next comes AR Jr. and any other kiddo(s), who will (hopefully!) grow up with parents free from financial stress and able to prioritize family, activities and work appropriately.

I then hope that we are able to benefit those immediately around us.  We strive to be positive, joyful and generous individuals… sharing our time, energy, talents and (depending on the situation) our wealth with those around us.

Finally, I hope to have an impact on those I will never know by leaving a legacy.  Whether it is the person across town who benefits from our work to help build a supportive community, the child halfway across the globe who receives aid from our church’s charitable giving, or the individual who benefits from some downstream impact of our work or our family one hundred years from now, I hope we can be a part of a beneficial chain reaction/domino effect.

Building the Mission Statement

Thunder clouds rolling on in…

Phew, that was a lot.  So, how do we sum this all up?  What is the Adventure Rich family’s “Financial Independence Mission Statement”?

Taking another page from the Our Next Life playbook, Ms. ONL writes the following:

“…you could go a step farther, making your mission statement both aspirational and practical, and encompassing the purpose you’ve laid out for yourself.”

“…it takes some thinking to boil it all down to the most essential, directional core mission.”

Alright, so we’re looking to create a concise mission statement that is both aspirational and practical, includes the most essential, directional core mission, aligns with our purpose and guides our actions and decisions to our goal.

Our Financial Independence Mission Statement

On target (?)

The Adventure Rich family strives to live a rich and beautiful life full of adventure, simplicity, and intention while aiming for some form of financial independence by building wealth through index investing and other income streams in order to be able to generously give of our time, energy and resources for the good of our community, our family, and each other, relying on God to strengthen and direct our actions each step of the way. 

That’s a mouthful.

Will This Mission Statement Last?

Rainbow sunset in late June.

To be honest, it took quite a bit of reflection and editing to come up with our mission statement.  And yet, I read it and think, “Yes, this is appropriate for now, but it may change”.  And that’s okay!  Our goal in writing our financial mission statement is to set up the guiding parameters for our life as we know it right now.  As Ms. ONL writes in her original post, the statement should be a flexible tool that will help to combat decision fatigue by guiding us to our goals.  But life can changes, goals can change and so mission statements can change too!

Thank you to Ms. Our Next Life for the inspiration for this post and thank you all for following along.  I look forward to hearing about your unique Financial Independence Mission Statements!

Always an Adventure,

Mrs. Adventure Rich