Our year of failure was a success!
Happy 2017! We are super excited to share this update with our readers! Last New Year, we themed 2016, the year of failure. You might be asking, “Why would anyone theme an upcoming year “a year of failure”?” Well… keep reading!
Let’s back track to 2014… One month before our first wedding anniversary, we decided that we were sick of being in mounds and mounds of debt. Shortly after our wedding, we quickly paid off some taxes and our honeymoon, but that still left us with a debt of over $800,000. Approximately $660,000 of this debt was our student loans.
Student loan companies usually schedule 300 monthly payments to pay off debt. That’s 25 years of a whole lot of interest! We calculated exactly how much we would be paying in interest if we stayed on a 25 year schedule. We would have paid over $400,000 in interest alone, totaling over $1 million in loan payments over 25 years!
We were not willing to pay $1 million for “tuition”. Our original plan was to pay off our private student loans in 3 years, then pay off our federal student loans in 10 years. Instead, we became even more aggressive with our debt payoff. By April 2015, we had paid off our entire private student loan debt – $130,000 in only 6 months! Once we slayed the private loans, we went to work on the federal loans – $530,000.
While we continued to aggressively pay off student loans, the year 2015 had come and gone and we were no closer to any of our other goals. We had an independent contractor business that we wanted to get off the ground. Nii wanted to start a podcast. Renée wanted to start a consultation business. All of this while trying to start a family, which proved to be one of the biggest challenges that we faced. By the end of 2015, we had some serious decisions to make.
Much of what held us back was fear of failure. What if we tried and failed? Then we asked, so what, if we tried and failed? At least we tried. Facing our fear of failure head on, we themed 2016 our “year of failure”.
We are happy to report that as of New Year’s Day 2017, we have paid off 74% (over $440,000) of our student loans! For seven straight months, Nii went to work as an independent contractor to make additional income, which helped launched our business Equal Access Health locum tenens. He then started his podcast, Docs Outside the Box, in April 2016. Renée finally launched her consultation business, Pre-med Strategies, Inc., as 2016 came to a close.
…AND WE QUIT OUR JOBS
In August, Renée decided to leave her permanent job, do independent contracting, help manage Equal Access Health, and work on her business. Nii left his permanent position as of the first week of January 2017 to focus more on the businesses as well.
But, the greatest news of all is that we are expecting a special delivery in the next few months! You might be thinking, “Why would two people quit their jobs at such a transitional time in their lives?” The question is not just why, but how. Our why is to move closer to our families, especially with our new addition coming soon. The how is by proper planning. We’ve saved for this transition and if we fail, we can always return to being employed. But, if we never take the leap, we’ll never land where we want to be.
2017, THE YEAR OF FAMILY
In light of our goals, our theme for 2017 is “the year of family.” Not only do we look forward to moving closer to our families, but we look forward to having the flexibility that this new life will give us to make all the birthday parties, school plays, high school football games, and all other family events that we missed over the last several years. The risk is well worth it.
Happy New Year, everyone! What will you theme your 2017? Please share in the comments.