Our 30 Year Retirement – Inspiring folks via the BBC

BBC Video Image

Our 30 year retirement BBC screenshot

A few months back we were contacted by a nice chap called Tom from the BBC. He wanted to make a short film telling the story of how we became financially free and offering tips and advice to others who want to do something similar. This happened soon after we’d appeared in the Daily Mail and on the ‘How to retire at 40’ on Channel 4, and as they really didn’t provide much help for people wanting to retire early, we were a tad dubious.

We expressed our concerns to Tom and he talked through his vision and in the end we decided we would go for it. As one of our goals is to help people discover that there are different ways to live life, we hoped this would be a good medium to do just that.

Tom met us towards the end of September and we all went for a spin in Zagan to a quiet location near his storage space. Here Tom interviewed us on camera and from his questions we knew that he ‘got it’ and we’d made the right decision.

Fast-forward to New Year’s Day 2018 and the video went live on the BBC website and Facebook page (they held off releasing it to a time when people are setting their New Year Resolutions). It was a surreal start to the New Year as we spent most of the day as the ‘Most Watched’ video on the BBC News site – which was amazing considering we were competing with the New Year Fireworks!

While things changed a bit from the original plan, we love the film Tom has made. It’s an inspirational piece with few details or tips in it, this is because he knew we covered all of these off in our free ebook Funding Freedom (which has seen a huge spike in downloads since the video went live on the BBC).

Sadly we came in for a lot of criticism on the BBC Facebook page, some of it quite nasty and personal from people who don’t know us or the facts about what we have done. There were lots of incorrect assumptions made and name calling but in truth we expected it as it also happened when we were featured in the Daily Mail. Fortunately among all the noxious comments there were also some really nice remarks from people who are on a similar journey or want to embark on one, which made it all worthwhile.

Anyway, enough gabbing on about it, here is ‘Our 30 Year Retirement‘ – we hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

As of now as I write this (5pm on 2 January 2018) the film has been viewed on Facebook over 810 thousand times, and we’re still in the top five most watched videos on the BBC News website, so I guess we could say we hit our goal of getting the word out about a different way of life!

Have an amazing 2018 wherever you plan to be.

Ju x

20 Comments

  1. I saw your video and I expected it would provoke a bit of a backlash. I expect many comments are from people who aren’t very happy about buy to let and the perception that you are now on an eternal holiday at the expense of hard working families. Those people will have missed the point. I achieved financial independence a few years ago but I’m (presently) continuing to work. Perhaps this will be seen as selfish because I’m taking up a job that could have been made available to somebody else. Anyway – if your blog / website / publications at least encourage others to consider getting financially educated, reduce conspicuous consumerism and aspire to a differnect way of living then you can feel some achievement.

  2. I would suggest you stop reading the comments! Get someone else to read them for you, and only tell you the nice ones.

    To pay off your mortgage and have enough income to live on aged 45 is pretty amazing. As David said, here’s hoping you inspire a few others to clear their debts and look at their spending in a different light. We don’t need all the ‘stuff’ that is thrust at us from everywhere…

  3. It’s easy to say ignore the haters but the keyboard warriors are very vocal. The thing is that it drowns out what could & should be inspirational for others…

    Financial freedom is very much like dieting, everyone knows what to do, or think they do but few actually have the persistence to persevere.

    Chin up!

  4. We are a couple in late fortes early fifties with daughter of 12 always follow your travels and so inspired .we are still working but looking to retire by 55 . In the meantime we travel in the motorhome whenever we can ,so our daughter has seen so far in 2017 Loire valley ,Strasbourg,Black Forest ,Switzerland Lake Constance, Jura mountains ,burgundy ,Brittany, Ghent,yrpres menin gate so moving ,Paris and eurodisney for new year ,what a year and such a learning curve for our daughter .keep pushing the boundaries and enjoy every last minute . Our journeys started when I broke my leg so badly thought that would be the end all ok know and grasp every minute happy new year

  5. I have been following your blog for a couple of years now and really enjoy it (slightly sad you’ve temporarily pulled up the draw bridge) but just wanted to say that you sowed a seed of what could be done and as a result we retired this year, let the house out and have been on the road since May and plan to be for two years at least. We have visited several places just because you did and giggled stupidly about it (and I am about to turn 60 in a few weeks). So ignore the negative idiots on the beeb and take huge credit for inspiring folks like me and many others to do something different with their lives. Thanks a million!

  6. My girlfriend and I have been following your blog for the last few years and are heading off in our new motorhome in March for a years adventure around Europe! You really have inspired us and a lot of people and what you have done is fantastic! This blog is such a great resource for people like us who are kinda nervous on making that first journey.
    So many keyboard warriors out there who have nothing better to do than be horrible! Let them crack on while we enjoy life!
    Next step for us is the investment piece. As well as this site, we also follow mmm an http://www.meaningfulmoney.tv all cracking resources for anyone interested!

    Take care and thanks again
    Scott & Sarah x

  7. I’d just like to add my voice to those above to say ignore the naysayers and take comfort in the number of people (including us) you’ve inspired. You’ve never been other than gracious and helpful when we’ve been in touch, and we’ve been following you for a couple of years all through the process of choosing & using our MH, selling up, travelling Europe and blogging drivel about it. More power to you both!
    Love
    Ken & Gill

    • Thanks guys, and to everyone else posting messages of support. The messages we’ve had over time from folks saying this blog has been helpful in some way have far outweighed the negative ones, which means a lot to us. We opted to do the BBC video in full knowledge of the fact some of the BBC’s 45 million followers would rip in, but when we were in a dark hole a few years ago, seeing that video might just have offered us the glimmer of hope we (I) needed, so stuff it, we’ll take the criticism on the chin and get on with it! Cheers, Jay

  8. It takes guts, balls, hard work and an entrepreneurial spirit to secure financial freedom. It doesn’t just come knocking. All the naysayers would do the same if they could acquire the same traits. All power to you guys. Keep on trucking.

  9. Hi, have just recently logged into your site and am extremely please I (we) have. We attained our financially independent status some years ago and know that others could resent us but they have no idea what we had to go through we and our two children. The girls are now mid-forties and out on their own but neither can recall more than one holiday when they were young. I have had over 50 jobs in my working life many at minimum wage and some way below that! The last two years we have been doing ‘House-sitting’ all over England and this year will attempt mainland Europe. Your site will encourage us to do this. So ‘to hell’ with the bad comments they are probably like our bad tenants – losers. One couple cost us £18,500 in repairs when I eventually kicked them out! Keep up the travelling. Regards Trevor and Sue

    • Thanks Trevor and Sue. You’re story sounds FAR more inspiring than ours, big respect. From an earlier Daily Mail article we’ve learned what kind of comments stream in on these kinds of thing, so we only read the first few comments, replied to them, then went and did something else! Cheers, Jay

  10. Never read comments on the Internet. You could have save 100 kittens from drowning but you’d still get hateful comments. There are just some sad people, with no life, out there.
    The number of views just confirms what I knew, that a huge number of people have had enough of the 9-to-5 and want a more carefree existence.

    I’ve also noticed that campsites, where a Motorhome would be a novelty just a decade ago, are now 50% Motorhomes (more in Winter).

    One day you won’t be able to get a space to park anywhere and they’ll tell you, “it’s that bloody Our Tour…they made a BBC documentary and everyone bought a Motorhome”.

    Lee at Go Humberto!

    • Haha! Those cat-saving motorhome-dwelling swines! Lemme at ’em! Yep, on the whole we don’t read the comments. This time around we only read the first few so missed the apparent troll-fest. Tom, the guy who did the video, told us all posts get a vast number of negative comments. I wasn’t sure so had a look at an article about a member of the public helping chasing police catch a villain by tripping them up. One commenter went a bit mad going on about how the villain could have been killed, stone dead by the stupid tripper-upper!!! Hmmmm. Both you and Tom are right: don’t waste valuable heartbeats reading words from the unwise… Cheers, Jay

  11. Hi Julie and Jason, All credit to you both for your determination. I have seen the BBC video and followed your blogs with interest. If I am wrong, please correct me, however I understand that you do not have any children and this fact makes a huge, and I do mean huge difference to achieving financial independance as the cost of raising a child to the age of 18 years old is in the region of £100k for an average standard of living, ignoring university. Multiply the foregoing by two or three children and significant income is consumed limiting the ability to pay off mortgages and invest further. The “handcuffing” to a relatively fixed location is also a huge restraint to travel of children are present. You may find that if the foregoing is more widely acknowledged in your posts the criticism will reduce.

    • We’ve no experience of trying to hit FI with kids, we’ve never pretended that we have, but Barney hit FI at 43 and has 3 kids (https://theescapeartist.me), or see the comment on this post from Trevor and Sue. If anyone’s trying to do it with children, Barney would be a much better person to get in touch with than us. Cheers, Jay

  12. J&J FU money is just that, you don’t need to worry about what other people think. You are inspiring people, but you are up against it. All too easy to believe it is just not possible so why try.

    I found you guys probably first with that video you shot in the cooler when I typed something like how to retire early into google. That led me on to others like MMM. Seeing other people do it made me believe I could to and I can, am and will, I have a date now too.

    I want to help everyone I come across but I realise now (and I am a really slow learner) that I can’t. You know in the first two minutes if people are open to ideas other than the ones all there mates have that keep them trapped in work mostly hating everyday….but I try, you try (harder than me, I haven’t got the reach of a blog yet).

    I have got two possible converts outta maybe 100 people who I have talked about this stuff with.

    I maybe have another 4 who are better off but still can’t see that those small gains could amount to something bigger and life changing.

    But I am going to keep trying. So don’t worry about it, let those that are interested be interested and those that are not interested keep going with there life, but you have planted seeds in all those heads that took the time to look at the video.
    Some day it will dawn on them when they are ready.

  13. Hi guys great article on the BBC and what an achievement a credit to the both of you.
    The article has certainly stopped me in my tracks to rethink my current lifestyle of work home work no time to stand and stare.
    As others have said once you put your head above the parapet and have done something that others could only dream about you do become a destination for poorly judged comments from individuals that quite frankly haven’t got the balls to say it to your face but thats modern media I guess. These people make a mockery of our grandparents who went to war to fight for the right of freedom of speech.
    Any way rant over ………..Jason & Julie I bow to your strength and bravery and you are both a shining beacon of hope that there is another life other than work
    Best regards
    James K
    Ps Jason you havent changed much since school days.

    • Cheers James! Nah, we’re neither strong nor brave though, we just got an idea in our heads which made sense to us. As for the comments, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but not all opinions have equal weight. I think we all know that most public opinion on any subject whatsoever can be safely discarded… Good to hear from you, hope all is going well, cheers, Jay

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