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From Financial Integrity

Dianne & Patrick - Freedom Before Fifty

● Northern Ontario, Canada

● Multi-adult household

● Two children / dependents

Our journey started when my wife and I watched the PBS documentary “Affluenza” and we began to question our own levels of consumption. After watching the documentary we read the book “Your Money or Your Life.” It tied sustainability and the economics of the fulfillment curve together in a way that spoke to our experiences and goals.

Getting started was harder than getting motivated. We didn’t know anyone who had gone through the Nine Steps so we had to find our own way. We purchased and began working through the audio course “Transforming Your Relationship with Money & Achieving Financial Independence.” It was very helpful.

The first entry on our wall chart was in October 2006. We've been working on it since that time. Learning to live below our means was easier than we expected. Recording expenses and using the wall chart resulted in a natural decrease in excessive spending. After seven years, we have no personal debt, no mortgage, our kids' educations are fully funded as is our retirement.

It hasn’t always been easy and we have experienced a number of setbacks along the way. Achieving the crossover point was the most difficult issue we struggled with. It seemed like it was a long way off - particularly because interest rates are at historic lows.

In October of 2011, we felt we would benefit from the advice and guidance of someone who had achieved what seemed to be eluding us. We sought the assistance of a Financial Integrity coach. Our coach, helped in two fundamental ways...

First he helped us understand how the crossover point can look different than its portrayal in “Your Money or Your Life”. Specifically, interest income is not necessarily the only type of income that counts. Once we made peace with that fact everything changed. In fact we realized that we had achieved a crossover that made sense for us.

Second he challenged us to seriously consider what our lives would look and feel like being financially independent. My wife has decided to continue to work for the next couple of years after which point she will take an early retirement. I realized that I don't want to retire in a traditional sense. I just want the freedom to determine when, where and what I will work on.

We’ve come a long way but our work is not done. We know that crossover is dynamic and subject to change. We also recognize that we will be revisiting the Nine Steps for years to come. It is a small price to pay for the peace of mind we now enjoy.


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