Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

A totally scientific experiment. Or metaphor. Or something.

Earlier this week I wrote a post about The Single Advantage, where I wrote about the path to FI as a single person.

Yesterday, on my daily walk with Poppy, Jeff and Scout, it occurred to me that this was the perfect time to do a totally scientific experiment to see if my post was accurate.

You see, Poppy and Jeff have been partners since they were in the womb together and they always go for walks on a brace lead. This is simply a leash for 2 dogs which is in a ‘Y’ shape, so I only have to hang on to one loop.

Scout, being the baby sister of the pack, came along later so she has her own lead.

Which lead is the most efficient? The ‘couple’ lead, or the ‘single’ lead? WHAT a metaphor for life! How could anyone possibly say that this is unrealistic?

Ok. My hypothesis is that the two different leads accurately depict two different pathways to FI – one as a couple and one as a single. For the purposes of this experiment, we’ll assume that both the couple and the single are starting from the same position, (a wild enthusiasm to get to FI as quickly as possible), and they have the same goal in mind, (to have a fully-paid-off kennel and to never need to fetch tennis balls again, unless they choose to.)

I had the materials needed. The dogs were raring to go, my phone was in my hand and I was filled with the thirst for scientific endeavour. Off we set around the block to make financial research history!

It was clear right from the start that when Poppy and Jeff were in synch, they were unstoppable. Shoulder to shoulder, facing the same way, they forged ahead of Scout. They make a great team. The fully-paid-off kennel of their dreams is well within reach.

“It’s not fair! There’s 2 of them and I have very little legs. They’re getting ahead of me and it’s not fair! They’re sharing the work, they have 2 food bowls and THEIR LEGS ARE LONGER.”

But hang on…

What starts to happen around every tempting aroma?

Scout takes the opportunity to nip past them as Jeff lifts his leg on investigates every conceivable thing on our path, thus slowing Poppy down and delaying their path to FI. In the interests of decorum, I won’t show you exactly what he was doing. This is a family-friendly blog, after all.

Oh no! While Poppy was waiting for Jeff to get back on task, she sees a bird! She goes out of shot to try and get closer, yanking him off-balance.

They’re completely off task now…

Meanwhile, Scout, her heart filled with joy at not having her dreams of FI and a fully-paid-for kennel delayed by a distracted partner, skips ahead with glee, her eyes on the prize. As for not needing to fetch tennis balls? She’s a modern independent woman and she LOVES her side-hustle of bringing back anything that’s thrown.

This is an action shot; joy requires movement and flopping ears. Please excuse any fuzzy edges in this shot. Science requires sacrifices from all of us to get to the truth.

 However, once Poppy and Jeff have some counselling and get their goals back into realignment, we all set off together.

The Cavaliers have been partners since birth – they’re not going to let anyone stop them! Whereas Scout is as stubborn as dachshunds normally are and she’ll get to her goals with or without a partner. “A man is not a financial plan” is her mantra.

Well, considering I call my place a glorified kennel, the result was never in doubt, was it? Here they all are, enjoying the fruits of their labour. No matter how tempting the scents, the birds and the possum poo along the way, they all got there in the end.

Scout’s route was by far the most focussed and direct, but Poppy and Jeff, when they decided to stop getting distracted on their individual interests and they started working together, were a force.

I know you want to know the results.

Amazingly, both leads ended up at our destination of FI and a fully-paid-off kennel at the same time. I know – I’m as surprised as you!!

What does this totally scientific and non-rigged experiment show?

We can all get to our goals, regardless of our relationship status.

Scout’s little legs meant that she had to take more steps than the others to get there, but she made it in the end. Poppy and Jeff were sometimes pulled off-course by their partner, but they got back on track and also got to their destination.

And now everyone’s sleeping on the couch, safe and happy.

Come to think of it, that’s not a bad result for any of us!



  1. Scott @ Costa Rica FIRE

    lol – enjoyed that! I like the notion that we each figure out our own way there, working through our obstacles and distractions!

    • Frogdancer Jones

      And with company along the way, hopefully!

  2. Tread Lightly, Retire Early

    Hahaha. This is even better than anticipated.

  3. Aussie HIFIRE

    I cannot help but think that despite the tie in to your previous post this one was really just an excuse to talk about your cute dogs! ?

    My mum used to have Cavaliers, wonderful little dogs and I have fond memories of them. Oh and how did your new doggy bag go?

    • Frogdancer Jones

      This post was a bit of fun on the holidays. 🙂
      I’m loving the doggie bag, esecially the poo babs on a roll. I probably wouldn’t have used them if plastic shopping bags were still free at supermarkets, but they’ve come along at the perfect time for me. I love that I can just grab the bag at a moment’s notice and everything is ready to go. So do the dogs.

  4. freddy smidlap

    i love dogs. nice analogy there.

  5. foodnstuff

    I’m not generally a dog person, but I’d have Scout any day! What a sweetie!

    • Frogdancer Jones

      She’s still eating most of the strawberries though. ________________________________

  6. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life

    It was good, but I feel like we could have used a few more dog pictures. ?
    I love your mini pack, I think that might be the only way I could do three at a time again.
    And it’s been so long since I’ve cuddled a Cavalier, they’re as soft as I remember, aren’t they?

    • Frogdancer Jones

      Soft in fur and in temperament. Thank goodness Scout isn’t as headstrong as most dachshunds I’ve seen – after 30 years with the cavaliers I wouldn’t have known what hit me if she was! (The 7 months it took to completely housetrain her was bad enough!!)

  7. Cathy

    Love it! We have a 6 month old puppy who is the epitome of a reckless spender so this gives me hope for the next doggie generation!

    • Frogdancer Jones

      They’re all Good Bois and Good girls. Their hearts are true and bold. It’ll all work out. ________________________________

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