1. Those are fantastic numbers! It’s great you made the best out of a non ideal situation

    Also wow, the idea of a $400+ electric bill makes me cringe.

    • Those electric bills were money right out the window. We never thought we’d want to live in an apartment again, but this has been a good change for us. As for the numbers, we believe what we do could be repeated in most Georgia school districts (probably most districts in the U.S. too). You have to take advantage of a good financial situation when you have it, but first you have to recognize the situation. These days if I have a teaching job, I see unbelievable possibilities! Thanks for reading, commenting, and correcting my math! Ed

  2. Crazy how much faster you can get ahead with a decent salary in a low COL area compared to a decent salary in a high COL area. It’s crazy how more people don’t see this and take advantage of it. Part of the bonus of coming to the Midwest to be with my SO is that my COL has dramatically decreased 😉

    • Ferv, so true. When I see a home hunter’s show out West or the NE, I am shocked by the prices that are normal there. When I first got here, there were a few livable homes in the $45-$60K range. We didn’t want to buy here because we knew we had a short time horizon, but at those prices it was tempting. As for my apartment, it’s really nice…it’s certainly the best $500 rental we’ve ever had! When my Dad heard what we were paying, he asked me if we were living in a really bad neighborhood.

      I guess the point is that you don’t have to leave the country to benefit from geo-arbitrage. There are many sweet spots right here in the U.S. Glad to hear that you found one! Ed

  3. Sorry for your family loss.

    The accumulation phase and things that life throws at us is also a reminder that life is short, sweet and at times very bitter. Living for the moments today is as important as the plans ahead. And your family seems to have that down to a T.

    An inspiring savings rate and lifestyle that provides motivation for us as we head towards our FIRE in just over two years.

    • Mr. Pie, life is for living, right? We’re all good at enjoying ourselves, but we hit a doldrums period last year. The monotony of the schedule was starting to grind us down a little. Knowing why we came here and that it was only temporary helped us suck it up until the end of school.

      Keep doing what you’re doing because the freedom of choice is certainly worth it. Also, keep spreading the FIRE message because people need to see that there are alternatives to the current debt-slave-deferred-life status quo. Thanks for the kind words and frugal on. Ed

  4. Jeremy Amaismeier

    Thanks for the post. I’m glad to hear you were able to be nearer to your family during your brother-in-law’s illness.

    Thanks for the teaser about a possible future homeschooling vs. traditional schooling post. I’d definitely be interested in reading your thoughts.

  5. Joseph

    Good post Ed! If you make it back to the coast, send me an email and we can meet up for a bit. We are in Brunswick.

  6. Chris

    Hi Ed,

    Since you mentioned I will ask. We too are looking at a sabbatical next year with a combination of travel and time in our very own Columbia River Gorge. Being a teacher myself I have never considered home schooling up until recently. We have a fourth grader who is willing to give it a try. Can you discuss your experiences with this? Is it hard to keep your child motivated? What about social? Curriculum? Any suggestions would be appreciated!

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