I am writing to thank you for your influence and work through discussion groups, speeches and especially your co-authorship with Joe in Your Money or Your Life.
I learned of your original book through a Scott Burns column. Scott is a syndicated financial columnist who previously wrote for the Dallas Morning News. Your work remains the most important book about money and the integration of values with finances that I have ever read. Your influence changed the direction of my entire family. As I tell my friends, Your Money or Your Life is not a book about money. Rather, it is a book about values that happens to be THE book on money as well.
Through fits and starts my wife and I went through the steps. As time passed we developed a plan an eventually we achieved a measure of financial independence that was beyond our expectations, especially in light of our more modest childhood years.
My own game plan is to continue to work. I have no interest in an early retirement. I continue to work in a job that I love for people whom I respect while maintaining a pace that allows time for family, study, and travel. This summer we will spend three weeks in France followed by a trip to Italy this fall (using frequent flyer miles to finance much of the travel). It does not get any better. I view income from investments as “icing on the cake”. As you say, it is not necessary to completely retire from paid employment to enjoy a lower stress fulfilling lifestyle.
This month I will speak to a group and this will be my first opportunity to share some of these ideas in a more public forum. You have been a great coach hiding in the background. It is time to say thanks.
As we grow old my hope is that we will be filled with great memories. My hope for you is that you will know that there are many of us “out there” – people just like me and my wife who have learned from you and who have experienced greater freedom within the context of a fuller and richer life. May your days be blessed and thank you for your work Vicki. You have made a difference.