Growing up my family didn’t have a lot, but like many of us we managed the best we could. My parents did the best they could, giving us what we needed, however I started wanting designer clothes and my parents wanted to buy me clothes from Kmart so I started working at the age of 12 going door to door selling newspaper subscriptions and also did one summer detaseling corn (hated that job!). I worked so I could buy the jordache jeans I wanted and the clothes that my parents wouldn’t buy me because it was out of their budget.
I continued working until I got pregnant at the age of 18 and I then married my high school sweetheart and had a couple more children. I divorced my husband (2 times) and then went back to school at the age of 32 to get a degree which opened so many doors for me. I had a great career for about 15 years working in the admin industry. I loved my jobs, loved my supervisors and every company I worked for.
After meeting my now husband Allan, I gave up my career, stopped working and moved to Louisiana to be with him because he was traveling 6-7 hours every Friday to see me and then back 6-7 hours on Sundays to go to work. Allan had a very good paying job so I didn’t have to work but it was also a very stressful job. I enjoyed my semi early retirement years but then Allan’s company laid off his entire department, including him (which may have been a blessing in disguise) so we moved back full-time to our home in Pensacola, FL and I got a job while Allan had his early retirement and started his online business 40+ Fitness as a personal trainer. With his severance pay and selling some stock, we were able to get enough money to pay off all of our credit card debts, the house, and even his apartments in Hattiesburg, MS.
We still needed medical insurance so I went back to work and got a job working for attorneys as an Intake Specialist. It was an interesting job but didn’t pay a lot but at least we had medical insurance. Even though the house was paid off, the home owners insurance alone was more than most people’s mortgage and insurance together. Not to mention the upkeep of a beach house, utilities for a 3400 sq ft home and HOA fees. We knew we wouldn’t be able to stay at the house any longer with my pay unless Allan went back into the stressful corporate life again.
After many evenings watching the show on Netflix (see “Making the Decision” post below) and many discussions, we both realized that neither of us wanted the stressful life of working any more. We both wanted to enjoy the rest of our lives simple and easy so we made this big decision to sell everything we own and move somewhere where it is a lot cheaper to live and to make our money go further for the rest of our lives.
We don’t have the money we used to have but we are enjoying the simplicity of life and a life with each other. We are getting to know each other even better and our love has grown stronger. We are learning a new culture, a new way to live and budgeting ourselves.
Our life has changed drastically! Allan is still working, but he’s doing what makes him happy…he’s helping others to live a better healthier life. He isn’t as stressed as he used to be (although the red tape we keep having to cut through getting here is a bit stressful, that will be another post all of its own), he makes his own hours, and still has time to enjoy the island life with me. I’m not sure what I’m going to do while here yet, but I will figure it out once I get to know more people here, locals and expats. Of course, I will keep you posted.