Looking back, I enjoyed my time off. I didn't always make the "best use" of it but I did that somewhat intentionally as I wanted a break and to recover my energy. I think I did that for the most part. The money aspect was odd -- our net worth seemed to stay the same as the markets went up. Our spending without rent was quite a bit less although if you average the cost of the travel trailer out over the ~2 months... But we'll not do that as I do expect to use it more or sell it. I didn't have a problem spending money though. I mean in the sense of not having income and having to spend the money accumulated to live.
In the big picture though, I'd really like to get to FI so going back to working towards that makes me happy. I just have to figure out how to actually work part time on a part time contract (as opposed to accidentally working full time but only billing part time). I'm curious to see where this contracting goes. The current contract is with tiny company that aims to get acquired within 2-3 years and if things go well, there is the opportunity for employment and getting a cut. This business actually makes sense so I wouldn't be opposed to taking a gamble on it to some degree. Or just moving on to the next contract if it doesn't pan out/make sense.
I have thought about my goal number of $1.2M. It feels like there are a lot of single people here who have the luxury (in my eyes) of having a goal that is for solely their own needs. But my goal includes my wife and two kids along with buying a $100-200k house. So perhaps it is a bit low but I also see these things offsetting the goal (and perhaps making it too high):
- at 42, I'm 23 years from the 65 year social security bracket
- my wife is probably going to be working when the kids are a bit older (and she'll have benefits and ideally I'll be on her plan)
- I'll probably keep on consulting/contracting/trying to make successful businesses
- if we knocked out rent by buying a house (and of did DIY for maintenance and of course still had tax and utility bills), our expenses would go down quite a bit...