What is Life 2?
(For the short answer, scroll to the fifth paragraph, but if you’re one for the detail, take your time…)
You only have one life, right? Make it count, so the saying goes.
Well, this life in its various guises – your life probably included – has, from early on, been very compartmentalised and has clearly defined phases, at least if you’re born in a developed country. Conventionality has it that the productive years are almost entirely in paid work, being a ‘good citizen’ contributing to the economy. Retirement happens around 65-67 years+, making it quite daunting as society deems you no longer useful to the capitalist system. On the plus side, you can now chill, as long as you are able to, financially, physically and mentally. Hm, that bit is a problem for a lot of people. Work has often taken its toll.
That’s Life 1, and if it seems I paint a bleak picture, I honestly don’t mean to. Obviously I’m a little biased. Life 1 has a purpose: It’s the accumulation phase. Hopefully, you also develop some great transferable skills too if you are fortunate to find meaningful work. But really, do you want to do it for that long?
If you’re someone who either naturally thinks outside the box, considers the less conventional life, or who has heard/read about the Financial Independence movement or Early Retirement (or FIRE), then what you may be seeking is Life 2. This is for those who have a reasonably paid job and can save (and invest) enough to be financially free before (often well before) conventional retirement age.
Don Ezra’s term, Life Two, is actually an acronym for Life After Full-Time Work. (I know, but we can forgive the clunkiness.) Okay, I guess it’s simply another way of saying ‘financial independence’! But I named this blog using his term, because I wanted to emphasise both navigating my way through to financial freedom and figuring out what to do once there. The journey is both financial and psychological. Life 2 is a journey in itself.
Once you see that financial freedom may be possible, it’s like a fork opens up ahead in a forest. You didn’t notice it before. You can continue on this main path; probably can’t go too wrong, as so many have trodden on it before you. Or take the other path, the one to Life 2. It sounds exciting but feels scary. Who knows where that may lead? Your life’s training has been for Life 1, after all.
My blog is my way of reassuring myself and preparing my backpack the best I can for the eventuality I’ll cut over to that second path. Sharing this journey online is really changing the way I think about the path, so thank you for reading.
I must add that I’ve never been the most conventional person. It seems I am a deep thinker, dislike mental constraints, I’m pretty open-minded and don’t equate stuff with status. I’m a bit of an idealist and have seen many people follow ‘alternative’ lifestyles. I think this helps. So, the idea of not working in the same career for one’s whole life was not new to me.
What has been new is formulating a plan, albeit an evolving one (the best kind). By tracking things at least somewhat and by learning more about finances, I’m able to stay focused and hopefully get there faster. I spend, invest and save more mindfully.
Whatever your current mindset and financial habits, I hope that along the way, I say some things that resonate with you, that might get you thinking about your own journey.
Make Life 1 count, and Life 2 your oyster! 🙂
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