As many who’ve been reading this blog for a while know, my hubby and I are pretty much majorly lusting after the elusive dream of financial independence. We want to be financially independent so badly that we can taste it. After spending years in school, we are now both working in jobs that we trained for. We like the work itself. What we don’t like? Some of the, um, baggage that comes with our jobs. It’s nothing terribly different than what probably millions of other people out there deal with every day- long hours, other people setting your priorities for you, difficulty working with certain personalities, etc., etc. The upshot? We have been doing some big dreaming about becoming less dependent on an employer.
However, we’ve been working hard on ditching debt and building up our assets for some time now (well, I have to admit that up until a few months ago we were in major asset accumulation mode, and it’s only been in recent months that we’ve decided that our debts, albeit at low interest rates, suck and we want to get rid of them). We’ve made progress, definitely. Is it enough to say Adios to our jobs? Not by a long shot.
It’s Pretty Far Off
Truth be told, right now it seems like we’re pretty far way from that. Especially with expensive things like an upcoming adoption looming on the horizon. We have been good savers and have squirrelled away a nice chunk of cash for that expense, but still it will be a chunk of cash that we’ll have to part with. And after that of course our expenses will likely increase since babies aren’t cheap we hear. 🙂
Anyway, on days when the jobs are particularly tough we dream of becoming at least partially self-employed (to start, and then hopefully build from there). Since it seems like we are not going to magically become independently wealthy any time soon, self-employment looks like a nice middle ground where we could have more autonomy and more control over our daily lives yet still have an active source of income to draw from in case we never have enough income-flowing investments to cover our expenses.
However, I think there are some definite pros and cons to be considered with self-employment. Pros would certainly include the ability to set one’s own goals and priorities, flexible hours, flexible work attire, etc. We could focus on the work we feel is most important. We could set things up for ourselves, and if we wanted all the work to be location-independent we could totally create it that way. I could go on I’m sure, as I think many would agree that there are lots of benefits to being self-employed.
There are some definite cons to self-employment that we are forcing ourselves to consider at this point though. For example, right now we enjoy some nice benefits at our employers, including a 401(K) to invest in (with a match), employer-subsidized health insurance, life insurance, etc. I also have I think five sick days that I can take each year. Plus some paid vacation time. If we go self-employed? All gone. Ouch. We actually have our own life insurance apart from our employers, so we would be covered there, but basically if we said goodbye to our employers tomorrow we would be on our own for everything else. Not to mention taxes. Yikes. That sucks.
So right now we are sort of looking at a hybrid approach to self-employment, at least to start. I am the one who is most dying to be free from paid employment and I am also the one who makes less at my day job and has another promising income stream starting to flow (from writing and starting a blog), so it makes sense that I could make the break first and hubby could keep his job and all the benefits. I also have the option to do part-time work at my job, so I could go part-time to start while hubby keeps working full time. I don’t think I’m exactly in the position to do this immediately, but it is definitely something we are starting to consider, especially since I would also like to be home more if and when we are able to adopt a child.
Anyway, suffice it to say that there is a lot to consider when you consider becoming self-employed! We are not quite there yet, but this is the direction we think we are going to be heading in the future.
I’d love to hear from any of you who have taken the leap and gone to self employment- do you have any regrets, or is there anything you would change? Is anyone out there like us, wanting to do it but a little nervous about the loss of employer-sponsored benefits?
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Photo credit: PT Money