Author Topic: kveđja (hello), is it time for FIRE soon?  (Read 2090 times)

Valhalla

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kveđja (hello), is it time for FIRE soon?
« on: April 09, 2015, 04:33:13 AM »
I've been worrying about this topic for some time, and would like to get some feedback / opinions.

Some background about us - me as main breadwinner (early 40's), SAHW, pre-teen kid.  We live in an average COL area (relative to national COL).  Annual income varies between $120k - $150k due to bonuses, etc.  Net worth is 1 MM, excluding a $300k house with a mortgage of $200k @ 2.8%.

We are fairly frugal, and monthly expenses are between $2k - $3k, not including mortgage.  We max out 401k, IRA, S529 plans, etc.

Here's the dilemma - I am paid above average for my experience, but I don't know how long it will last.  I telecommute, and work demands fluctuates a lot, so often I am paid to sit at home and do whatever, including reading financial blogs and resources like this.  It seems like a dream job but I don't like being paid to be a bum.  Besides, every gravy train has to come to an end some day right? 

So in the worst case scenario, I wonder if I am ready to FIRE.  I've been advised by close friends / family just to milk this as long as I can, continue to build my wealth, as opposed trying to find a new job where work might be more steady. 

Thoughts, advice, face-punches?

desk_jockey

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Re: kveđja (hello), is it time for FIRE soon?
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2015, 06:22:08 AM »
You are in a highly compensated and low stress environment.  If you were asking about career advancement and milestones to become a COO, then I would advise to start searching for a new job.  Since you’re asking about FIRE, I advise to enjoy it while it lasts.  If you’re serious about pursuing RE, which your numbers indicate is possible, then consider it a transition to RE. 

My father was a 40 hour / week regional salesman, who traveled more than 50% of his time.   Late in his career the company went bankrupt.  A competitor stepped in and contracted him as a sales rep, contracted as in my father formed his own company.   He brought his expertise and contacts and helped grow the new company’s business while reducing his travel to one week / month and working < 15 hours / week on the phones when he wasn’t traveling.   That job allowed him to adjust to a slower schedule and reestablish a lot of outside interests before he finally fully retired some 5-years later.

I saw the benefits of this transition.   I enjoy the intensity of my work now, but when I’m within the last few years of my work life I hope to find a similar transition job.

Valhalla

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Re: kveđja (hello), is it time for FIRE soon?
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2015, 10:17:33 AM »
You are in a highly compensated and low stress environment.  If you were asking about career advancement and milestones to become a COO, then I would advise to start searching for a new job.  Since you’re asking about FIRE, I advise to enjoy it while it lasts.  If you’re serious about pursuing RE, which your numbers indicate is possible, then consider it a transition to RE. 
...
Thanks for the affirmation.

I came across another post in another thread [responding to a different OP] that resonates with my personality (see below).  I think the problem I have is I want to be 100%.  I do have an extremely low stress job, but it gives me stress because it's so easy and low stress.  I don't want a high stress job, but I do want to be pushing forward at 100%.

Right now I'm in my peak earning years, still with potential to make a lot more money.  It's kind of hard to walk away from that and switch gears to wind it down to RE.  I know it sounds a little petty, but I do want to maximize my income during this time so when sh*t does hit the fan later I'm guaranteed to not have any financial worries.

I feel like right now I still do have financial worries because of college for my kid, unknown future rising health insurance costs, and generally becoming a less productive member of society.  FIRE sounds great, but mentally I'm not ready yet, somehow.

Part of me wants to continue the career advancement, part of me says "take it easy".  I'm conflicted because I could easily move my career forward even more because I'm an obsessive SOB who is crazy about doing the job right as best as I can... and employers recognize that, so they allow me the freedom to work how I choose, and still pay me when work is slow. 

Thanks again for the feedback... good thoughts to chew on.

If I'm understanding and interpreting your post correctly, I'd guess that we have a similar personality type. Anything I do is done at 100% capacity. I really can't help it. Burn out is a periodic occurrence for me. As another poster alluded to, part of what's key is finding a way to reset. Regardless of how hard you're willing to work there are mental limits. For example, I've gone a period of weeks where I work or study essentially all of my waking hours. At some point I'll be trying to get work done, and my brain will just stop. I'll stare at a spreadsheet for 25 minutes having no idea what I'm looking at.

When this happens I have to force myself to take a break for whatever period I can afford. Mindless television, believe it or not, can really help. Part of my issue likely stems from the fact that my genuine interests are finance and economics. If I find myself looking at interest rate spreads, backtesting, etc., my mind is not getting a break (regardless of the fact that these are things I truly enjoy).

...

Valhalla

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Re: kveđja (hello), is it time for FIRE soon?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2015, 10:55:35 AM »
Thought I would get more input / replies...no more thoughts from folks out there so far? Come on guys / gals, give me your thoughts!

One thing that really appeals to me is something like this:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NAPKeE_UKk

I love to travel, and would love to have a cheap class B RV to not be "stuck" in one place.

This guy though really speaks to me with regards to frugality:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y56JBbOeqvc 

I hate the rat race, although I am technically doing ok in the rat race.  I can never become fully mobile like Justin in the video, but I do love the freedom to travel and experience new things.

So my goal is to eventually acquire a cheaper, older RV for road travel, to enjoy places like the beaches without having to pay the exorbitant high cost of beach living. 

GetSmart

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Re: kveđja (hello), is it time for FIRE soon?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2015, 11:57:52 AM »
You need a project!  The van conversion might be a good project for you right now - are you handy at all / DIY type?  The van thing has always been a long time dream of mine also - vanagon size - I luvvvv those things !  Anyway, I would just say, if I were in your shoes, I would milk the job - low key, low stress for as long as it lasts and make a plan - 1yr, 2yrs, 5 yrs, - a rough outline of goals.  When you have slow 'work' times - work on the van conversion - you could take a year to get it to exactly how you want it and learn as you go.  In the meantime, you're still bringing in plenty of money - you could have college funded and house paid off - if that's what you want to do- it might take another 2 years?  And then if the job vanishes (as they tend to do) you know that you're all set financially and the dream van will be ready to go - a good motivational project with a good dose of accomplishment for you.

If my crystal ball had been working better 8 years ago - this is what I would have done ;)  and we'd be set right now, but we're not there yet and are now on a completely different path due to job loss that came out of nowhere.  So I'd say go for it and good luck to you !

Valhalla

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Re: kveđja (hello), is it time for FIRE soon?
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2015, 12:29:28 PM »
You need a project!  The van conversion might be a good project for you right now - are you handy at all / DIY type? 

Thanks for the reply!  You're 100% right, I do need something to keep me busy working on something to help my future goals.

I'm of average skill when it comes to being handy / DIY, mainly because in the past I have not had the luxury of time to look into doing much with work and family.  These days with the internet I'm becoming better at doing things like small repairs, fixes.

I will start casually shopping for a cheap van conversion, and dig into that as much as I can.  It will help harness the energy that I've built up but going to nowhere.

The other main frustration I have is that I'm a social person.  But working at home (have to have easy access to internet / email), it's hard to get social exposure.

While I may lead a life of leisure, my friends are all working, so I can't call them up to do things, or meet for lunch (they work at jobs further away and I have no wish to drive there), so it becomes a little lonely being home all the time.  The kid is in school, and the SAHM has her group of mom friends she hangs out with, so it's just me and the dog most of the time.

Yea, first world problems and all that, but it can get to you mentally, you know.  I'm very thankful for what I have, but I could always be improving something.