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« Four Enjoyable Activities for 2019 That Help You Saving Money | Main | How to Allocate Your Assets for Financial Freedom »

January 07, 2019

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Incredibly helpful article! Thanks, Kevin!

I never knew anything about the FIRE movement when I started planning to retire very early, but have enjoyed learning from the community in the past 8 years or so. I was not enjoying working, working long hours, and found myself having to travel way too much, all of which kept me away form my family more than I wanted to, and didn't want to live in a large city which was where the best work opportunities were. I also dealt with the stress of losing jobs and not knowing where the next paycheck would come from.

I was luckily someone who made good money (around $150k 10 years ago) and thought that unlike my peers who just then spent 3 times more than the average b/c they made 3 times more, that I should be able to let my wife stay be the SAHM she wanted to be and still save so much instead of working for 40 years should be able to finish in 15, the math seemed to say so if one gave any credence to the idea of the 4% SWR.

As far as the 401ks, I always had to save more than allowed in those anyway so had more money in taxable accounts than those anyway, so didn't have to figure out all the 72T options of pulling out that money without penalty etc which I know others successfully do. Basically at 46 my 401k money was probably enough to grow and fund retirement at 65 and older without any further additions, and my taxable account was enough to pay for the age 46-65 time period.

The thing is I didn't find many downsides in my path that I hear about re: FIRE. Very quickly I had enough money that job instabilities didnt create fear. At the age of 35, with a paid off house and a good deal of money in the bank I had the guts to start a work form home business that allowed me to live with my family, whereever we wanted to, and eventually it made much more than my salary potential.

Now I know I can pull the plug anytime I want. But instead I've found a way to scale down hours and scale back risk, and while still working from home, b/c I get some enjoyment out of the work and pride out of the business so don't feel the immediate need to retire.

This has led to me filling 529 accounts for the kids and creating a decent sized charitable fund for giving, and even increasing my spending (which I didnt do in earnest until AFTER I felt I had reached FIRE at my previous spending levels)

SO I very well may have become what someone in the FIRE movement considers a failure given I still work for money, but following the basic fundamentals of what makes for successful FIRE (which I consider to be minimalist living wrt to your income to quickly get to the point you don;t need any more earned income) has given me a much better life with many options.

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