I’ve got some developments to announce. First and foremost, I got engaged with my long-time girlfriend! It was a total surprise for her — in other words, she wasn’t pressuring me at all! You’ll have to use your imagination, but she’s gorgeous, sweet, and generous — the kind you’d put a ring on haha. Anyways, it’s the culmination of a personal journey for me, where I did a lot of thinking and learned a lot about myself — yes it was mostly me. There’s a lot to plan now, but we’re taking it one step at a time.
One of the things to think about is how getting married affects achieving financial independence. She’s totally on board with the idea and I’ve talked about it so much, I’d be surprised if she had a change of heart. Of course, when push comes to shove things might change.
We’re estimating that our expenses will increase by about 50% from what I spend alone. Even with her added income, saving 25 times annual expenses will take another 2 years of work (if we count retirement assets) and 5 years (if we don’t). In comparison, by myself, I would have achieved financial independence in 3 years, not counting retirement assets.
When I first saw 5 years, I honestly felt a little uneasy. But then I realized that should be the worst case scenario. If I make partner this year, the timeline should shorten. Also, cutting expenses will shorten the timeline even further. But if we have kids, then the timeline will probably get longer. It’s all a little uncertain. I’ve come to terms with the longer timeline, however. The intangible benefits should outweigh the additional toil.
Of course, it would be unlawyerly of me if we got married without a prenup. Actually, we’ve talked about this before and she thinks it’s a good idea too. We’ve hammered out a lot of what we want the prenup to cover, plus other details about how to merge our finances.
Then there’s the wedding…after some discussion, we both agreed to keep the actual wedding small (i.e., immediate family and best friends). Later, we would have an informal lunch/dinner with other friends and extended family. This saves a lot of money and gives us a lot of flexibility for the actual wedding. I mean we could all go to the French Laundry and still come out ahead by tens of thousands of dollars, compared to the traditional route.
At least for the time being, we’re just trying to enjoy being engaged!