My 10 Year Plan to a Remarkable Life

Tue Jan 10 2023

How do you know how much you need to save for retirement if you have no idea what your retired life looks like? Are you living in city or the burbs? Do you have kids, spend all year traveling, are you taking care of your parents?

The first step on your path to financial independence has to be setting a vision for what you want your financial independence life to look like. Figuring out what kind of lifestyle we want to live, helps us determine how much we actually need to have saved for financial independence and how long it's going take us to get there. So the first thing we want to do is set our vision.

One of the best vision exercises that I discovered on my journey to financial independence was from Debbie Millman, one of the most renowend graphic designers in the world. Debbie was interviewed on the Tim Ferris Show where she talked about my 10 year plan to a remarkable life. Debbie Millman's 10-year plan to a remarkable life includes setting clear financial goals, mapping out her career trajectory, and nurturing personal growth through continuous learning and self-improvement. She would give this exercise to her design students.

And so let's walk through it.

My 10 Year Plan to a Remarkable Life Exercise

Imagine your most optimistic dream life 10 years from now and write it all down in deep, deep detail. That means everything from the moment you wake up in the morning until you go to bed, everything from what do you see when you wake up looking out your window? What clothes are you wearing? What color are your walls? Are you drinking coffee in the morning? What type of coffee? How do you make it? How many kids do you have? Where do you live? What kind of car do you drive. How are you spending your day? Who are you with? What are you doing? Are you working? Are you making any money? What does that look like? Imagine in great, great detail and write it all down.

Dream big and dream without any fear, just write it all down.

And as Debbie said, most importantly, dream big and dream without any fear, but just write it all down. Your goal is to basically do this exercise and then pick it up once a year and read it. That's it. You'll be amazed at what happens.

The Money Optimist Addition

The one edition that I like to add to Debbie's exercise is when doing my 10 year plan vision, get as detailed as you can on your financial picture because this is what we're going to actually use to calculate our financial independence number . Think about what your expenses are going to be in this awesome life that you're living, so that we can properly calculate how much you need to have saved in order to achieve financial independence.

You'll then use that expense estimate as your expense number in your financial independence and coast FI calculations . You can then compare your FI number results using your 10 year vision vs using your expenses today in order to get a sense for home much more you'll need to save to achieve your dream life.

Closing Thoughts

I really love starting here because I, I feel like it gives us a great understanding of where we're trying to go and what we're trying to achieve when it comes to our finances.

At the end of the day, money is our tool to fund our lifestyle, how we want to live and the person we want to become. It's important for us to have a clear sense of what that most optimistic life looks like 10 years from now, and what we can start doing today with our money to get us on our path to achieving that life.

So set that vision. Write as much as you can down in deep, deep detail and dream big like Debbie said, and dream without any fear.

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