Where do you see yourself in five years? That question was prevalent in the recruiting world quite a few years ago. I asked it myself of hundreds of interviewees. Responses ranged from; I have no idea to I’m going to be rich. What a sucky question.
How many people could answer that question with any real sincerity? I mean sure you might imagine yourself in a higher level position. Maybe married if you aren’t already. Perhaps with children. But really, how many people have a thoroughly thought out five-year plan at the age of 22? How about at 30?
“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” ~ Bill Gates
I had hopes and dreams for sure, but a real plan? Nope. Five years used to seem so far away. They say it’s hard to imagine yourself older and while five years is nothing compared to twenty, I agree it’s not easy. But now I’m nearing the big 50. That’s 10 different five-year periods. Holy shit!
Interesting Crazy Fun Facts:
- Over my entire life, I’ve only lived in one home for more than five years.
- It took me more than
fiveten years to finish college attending part-time while working full-time.
- I never spent five years in any one school district.
- My children were born five years apart
- Only once have I worked for the same employer for more than five years.
- I had started two different semi-successful businesses but sold both before they were 5-years old.
- I’ve not owned any one car for five years.
Sometimes Five Years Isn’t Enough
I’ve yet to go skydiving, call my childhood friend, unpack boxes, or return a borrowed book that I’ve meant to do for more than five years. Sigh.
We have friends who have been ‘moving to Colorado’ for over five years. Other friends who have been remodeling their kitchen for more than five years. Even, others who were going back to school, changing jobs, getting married, getting divorced, losing weight, saving for retirement, paying off debt, etc. Yet, they are in the same position or situation five, ten, and twenty years later.
Can you think back and recall things you hoped to have done by now? Things you’ve put off due to perceived lack of time, confidence, money or motivation? Has it been five years or perhaps even longer?
What’s It Take
These past five years I’ve learned a thing or two, fortunately. In fact, we’ve accomplished many things these past five years, and we have great plans for the next five. It took me discovering the world of personal finance and the FIRE community, finding the perfect diet (for me), and getting unstuck. Now I’m going to be rich. And you can be too.
Really, Amy? Yes, indeed! Okay, okay, like anything being rich is relative. What I might consider rich and what you consider rich may be similar or vastly far apart. But the actual dollar amount or dream doesn’t really matter for we are all at different places physically and mentally. What is important is that in five years you can accomplish a great deal if you let yourself.
Let myself? Yes, let yourself. You need to stop holding yourself back with fear, perfectionism or control issues. Get over your procrastination. Stop waiting for ‘the right time’ and let yourself just do. Declare ‘I’m going to be rich’ and then allow it to happen.
Some of you might be thinking, that’s easy for me to say. But I’m not just saying it; I live it too!
I bought the domain lifezemplified dot com in January of 2014 yet didn’t even begin to create the website until late 2016. Frozen in fear. Eventually, I allowed myself to go. I’ve managed to let go of some control (freaking hard) and perfection (harder) and not worry too much about what others think (hardest).
Since I went live in mid-February 2017 (three years after securing the domain) my life has been truly enriched. I’ve been blessed to connect with you and others in the blogging world. I was welcomed by many in the personal finance community, and I’m earning freelance writing opportunities, and I won a blog contest!
Additionally, for years, I struggled with daily headaches (migraines), dizziness and more. I finally got my act together and discovered the perfect diet for me, and now I very rarely have any migraine or vertigo symptoms, and I lost over twenty pounds too.
Lastly, while it’s been years since I lived paycheck-to-paycheck, I never felt like I was getting ahead until I spent time and attention on my finances. I allowed myself to think differently and imagine possibilities that I never considered before. Now in less than five additional years, we will be financially independent and hopefully early retired.
The Perfect Diet / Fitness Routine / Financial Plan
Spoiler alert, fake news!, scam, whatever you want to call it…I’m sorry to say there is no one perfect diet, financial plan or workout. However, you can discover the perfect ones for you.
The perfect workout or exercise routine for you is the one you’ll do. Hate going to the gym? Then don’t get a membership on January 2nd because you’ll probably stop going by January 30th. Walk outside or up and down your stairs instead. Chase your children around the park. Or chase little white balls on nicely groomed grass. Bike to work. Do whatever you enjoy that gets you moving.
What’s a perfect eating plan for you? The one where you’ll effortless lose weight and the one where you’ll discover all kinds of energy. A diet that heals you instead of making you sick. The diet that isn’t a diet but a way of life.
Does it take work? Yes, of course, it does. Initially anyway. But then it becomes just a part of who you are. You’ll no longer crave things that aren’t good for your body. You may occasionally want something, but you won’t crave it with a ‘give me that cake or I’m gonna hurt you’ reaction.
You might look at my daily diet without bread, sugar, pasta, or processed foods, and think there is no freaking way you would or could do that. I bet though, that if you could feel as good as I do now since I’ve eliminated all my food sensitivities, you’d happily find a way.
I’m Going To Be Rich
There is definitely more than one perfect way to reach financial independence. Just ask any of these 1000+ personal finance bloggers.
Some swear by budgets others swear at budgets. Some invest in bonds; others want nothing to do with them. But one thing they almost all have in common; They are taking steps to discover what works for them to eliminate debt, save money, and control their money instead of it controlling them. Additionally, they want to help others do the same.
What’s possible in five years? Well, for starters, you could contribute $90,000 to your 401k plan ($18,000 per year) or invest $27,500 in a Roth IRA ($5,500 per year). Have a working spouse? Then double those amounts. Age 50 or older? Then you can save an additional $30K in your 401k ($6,000 per year catch-up contributions) and an extra $5000 in your IRA ($1,000 per year catch-up).
Does it take some sacrifice to save those amounts? Yep, for most people it does. It does for us, and for us, those sacrifices are worth it. We’ve grown our net worth more than 2.5 times in less than five years making sacrifices.
“Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness.” ~ Napoleon Hill
As with my workout and eating plan, my financial plan may have similarities to your own, or it may be vastly different. Again, that doesn’t really matter. What matters is taking steps to find the right plan for you. I’ve found what works for me and I’d love to help you figure out what works for you too.
Five Years is Only Five Years, Yet it’s Five Whole One Year Periods
In five years you will be five years older. Will you be a richer, healthier, happier, and less stressed five years older individual or will you still be stuck? Stuck with debt, in a job you hate, spending your health on a paycheck, thirty pounds overweight, fighting diabetes, scratching lottery tickets.
If you’ve still been thinking “I’m going to be rich” as you buy a lottery ticket, wait to receive an inheritance, or start the next get rich quick scheme, please stop. Read some personal finance blogs instead and create a path to financial freedom.
If you are 3, 4, or 5, five-year periods behind me, start today. If you are 1 or 2 in front of me, get started this minute.
Am I going to be rich in five years? By my terms of rich, yes! That’s the plan anyway and it includes:
- Achieving financial independence and retiring early.
- Being healthy and fit for my retirement years.
- Surrounding myself with those I love.
- Being comfortable and content with the decisions I’ve made.
- Counting my blessings and exhibiting gratitude for all I’ve received.
- Enjoying laughter until my end of days.
- Still blogging!
What will you do in the next five years? Lose weight, cure your ailments, start a blog? What does being rich mean to you? Are you going to be rich? Comments, questions or suggestions? Please share below or feel free to reach out to me.
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As always, thank you for reading.