Meet The Lyons

In case you were wondering, Lyon is pronounced like “lion” the animal, not the fancy-sounding way, like the town Lyon, in France.

Roar!  Yep, I did it.  You’re welcome.  Ok now that that’s out of the way…

Hi!  This is the story of The Lyon Family and our path to financial freedom.

Chris and I, Kayla, were both stationed in Hawaii until 2015. The Marine Corps decided it was time for Chris to move to Northern Virginia, a year before we thought we were leaving Hawaii. That became time for me to bid adieu to the active duty Navy and transitioned to the reserves, so I could move with him a few months later.  

I know I know, it’s shocking that I would want to live closer than 5000 miles away from my husband.

I spent my first year in the greater Washington DC area as a defense contractor. I did that thing that so many military officers do: I got out and became a slimy defense contractor in DC. Yep. Also, blah. It didn’t take long for me to realize that just wasn’t for me.  

We knew when the time came for little lyon cubs we probably wanted me to stay home with them. When we found out Little Lyon Cub was on the way I left my “traditional” job and finished grad school a bit early to be done before the baby came (so thankful I didn’t have to worry about school and a newborn at the same time). 

Chris loves flying helicopters, will have 20 years of service, and therefore be retirement eligible, in 2026.  Every parent will tell every couple about to become parents that having a baby will change your priorities and outlook on life.  We were no exception, and it happened faster than either of us thought it could.   

We realized very quickly that we both want to be there to watch our kids grow up and coach their sports teams and go to their school plays and take them to the pool every day all summer long. 

We’ve made very intentional decisions over the past several years to allow me the option to stay home with Little Lyon Cub when she was born. While Chris loves his job very much, he loves us more.  His job requires a lot of travel and time away from home and will continue to do so until he retires from the Marine Corps.  

At that point, we’d both like the option to be home when we want to be, to travel with our kids, to take them to see their grandparents and aunts and uncles, to coach their sports team… the list goes on and on.

That is what this journey is all about.  Since we “started our family a little bit later” then some of our friends, Little Lyon Cub will be in elementary school when her daddy can retire from active duty. If all goes according to plan, he’ll have the option to be home with her, and me for that matter, for a large chunk of her childhood.   

That’s the goal here.

This isn’t about actual early retirement.  This is about choices.  I don’t see either one of us sitting around doing nothing all day every day starting at about 40 (38 for me, 42 for him, so we’ll just call it 40).   

For one thing, kids alone I’m sure will keep us plenty busy.  For another, we’d both go insane pretty quickly.  This blog is also a part of that (the keeping me/us sane part).   

The important part is that we have the option to volunteer, or take a job that doesn’t pay that much, or is part-time, or any number of options because the driving force won’t be to pay the bills, but just to make us and our family happy and fulfilled.

Chris will have a military pension, which will of course tip the scales dramatically as far as passive income is concerned.  That being said, we still have to plan for extenuating circumstances concerning said pension. We’ll compensate for any potential curve balls, regardless of how unlikely they may be, through a high savings rate driven by intentionality and a combination of investments in the stock market as well as real estate.

I’m glad you’re here! I’m hoping to help you learn from our mistakes so you don’t have to make the same ones we have/inevitably will. I really believe with a little intention, everyone can live the life they really want to, and not one they feel they have to. Doesn’t that sound like a much happier place?

Sailing in Fiji on our honeymoon, circa 2015