Author Topic: Reader Case Study - FIRE this year or OMY?  (Read 1375 times)

GreenSheep

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Reader Case Study - FIRE this year or OMY?
« on: June 20, 2018, 04:51:01 PM »
Life Situation: 39 years old, married filing jointly (but could file separately if needed), no dependents, US citizen living in the US
HOWEVER, we keep our finances separate, so this is only about me, at least to the extent that it can be. I realize that being married ties our finances in the eyes of the law. He makes a low six-figure salary and is not a hardcore Mustachian, but he's pretty frugal and loves his job, so I don't see myself needing to support him. I do wonder what his income will do to my taxes once I retire, although we'll probably split whatever we owe according to whose "fault" it is.

I work about 90 hours per month, plus two full days of travel. I'm away from home for about 1.5-2 weeks per month. I do it this way, rather than shorter trips, because I want to minimize the number of days wasted on traveling.

Gross Salary/Wages: varies quite a bit, but generally around $300,000/year -- although pay is going down in my industry, so it may be more like $200-250K in coming years. Also, I'm burned out and really don't want to keep going at the rate I have been. I can for another year or so, but any more than that and I'd probably start cutting my hours in half. Fortunately, I can work as much or as little as I want, and my pay is directly correlated with how much I work.

Individual amounts of each Pre-tax deductions: My take-home pay is generally about half of my gross income.

Other Ordinary Income: None, unless you count Vanguard investments

Taxes: This varies, but as noted above, my take-home pay is about half of my gross income after taxes, etc.

Current expenses (monthly total, averaged over the year)
Utilities $150
Groceries $300 (I'm a foodie/health nut. This expenditure makes me happy.)
Meals Out $50
Cell Phone $30
Personal Care (everything from toilet paper to clothes) $25
House (We paid cash for our house and have no mortgage. We did just buy the house a year ago, and there are several things we've been fixing/changing, mostly DIY. This category is for insurance, repairs, upgrades, etc. I expect spending to continue at this rate for another year or two, then decrease to general maintenance.) $600
Car (2015 manual Honda Fit, bought with cash) $100
Health $25
Dog $40
Fun (hobbies, day trips, etc.) $30
Gifts $50
Tax Prep $85 (This will go away after retirement. My taxes are multi-state and very complicated right now.)
Travel $500
TOTAL $1985 ... Let's call it $2000 to make the math easy.

Expected ER expenses: Same, plus about $370 for health/dental insurance. Possibly a little more for travel, as my parents and my best friend live across the country, and given more time, I'd love to visit them more often... at about $500 per flight. The only huge expenses I can think of are things like major house repairs (new roof, etc.) and someday a new-to-me car when the little Fit finally dies. In those cases, my plan would probably be to scale way back on my travel for a couple of years to cover the expense.

Also, I'd like to have a buffer to help cover intermittent large expenses like those mentioned above, so even though my expenses are currently about $24,000/year, I'd feel more comfortable having $1.2M saved so that I could withdraw up to $35,000/year. I've always been financially conservative, so I plan to withdraw no more than 3.5% per year. But is all of this too conservative? Am I wasting years of my life trying to prevent every negative possibility?

Assets: I'm not including my car or home because I would have to be extremely desperate to give up either. (Facepunch me for the car, but I live in a rural area. The closest grocery store that is not a fancy little roadside shop is 30 minutes away by car, and the only public transportation is a bus that only goes through town twice a day.)

Brokerage account, Vanguard: $352K in VTSAX, $31K in VBTLX
SEP IRA, Vanguard: $393K in VTSAX, $53K in VBTLX
Roth IRA, Vanguard: $62K in VTSAX, $4K in VBMFX
Personal savings account emergency fund: $50K
Business checking account: $39K (About half of this will eventually come to me.)
Debt owed to me: $60,000 (This is 30% of what was originally loaned. Payments are ongoing and have never been missed/late, so I have no doubt that the remaining funds will be repaid.)
Total = $1,005,000 (not including business checking account)

Liabilities: None

Specific Question(s):

Am I ready to retire, or would OMY be better? Am I being too rash or too conservative? I think I'm in a situation where I'm too close to the details and need an uninvolved person to give me their perspective.

I want to retire ASAP. I hate my job, and I hate all of the travel involved in my job. We recently moved to a new state and bought our dream home, and although I do enjoy traveling for fun, it kills me every time I have to leave for work. Even if my work were local, I hate it anyway. I do have work commitments through October which will bring in another $40,000 or so.

I've run these numbers by my accountant (I have one for my business. He's also a financial advisor. I have never used him for that, but I did pick his brain just for this.), and he feels that I'm in very good shape assuming I don't run into any major medical bills, which I don't expect given my family history and my own lifestyle. (Though that also suggests I'll live a long time, necessitating a larger 'stache.) He recommends pressing on until I reach $1.2M just to help mitigate any major medical bills or living past 90. This would probably take me until the end of next year.

I'm submitting this here to get thoughts from someone other than a financial professional who typically advises 60 year olds on retirement. I know many people here have personal experience that may be helpful to me and anyone else in my situation.

Thank you all so much for any opinions you may have on this. And please don't hesitate to throw any necessary facepunches... I'd rather hear it from you than figure it out the hard way later.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 10:59:40 AM by GreenSheep »

ysette9

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Re: Reader Case Study - FIRE this year or OMY?
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2018, 05:01:29 PM »
With expenses of $24k a year and invested assets of $1M I’d say you have definitely won the game and there is no need to work a second longer if you don’t want to. I’d recommend spending your une really reading up on safe withdrawal rates to get comfortable with the massive amount of safety you already have baked into your plans. I recommend the thread over in the investing forum that has been sticky-ed on why you shouldn’t worry about the 4% rule. On page 15 or so there are some eye-opening charts about the probabilities is running out of money versus dying for given ages. Get out there and start living because chances are that you have a higher probability of dying than running out of money.
Congrats on your great work.
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CalBal

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Re: Reader Case Study - FIRE this year or OMY?
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2018, 06:47:29 PM »
I suspect that you will mentally feel better with OMY and the 1.2M, so it might be worth it in that sense. If you did, you should set an absolute end date and make a promise to yourself to stick to it (no "one more" OMY...) If you can, you could try scaling back REAAAAAALY far and dump as much as absolutely possible into retirement accounts, thus accelerating the end date. But yeah, you don't need to work anymore. I would have quit yesterday. Congrats, I think you won the game! :)

PBandJelli

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Re: Reader Case Study - FIRE this year or OMY?
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2018, 07:02:38 PM »
You're ready now, but if the idea of OMY doesn't make you miserable...do that.  You will most likely be happy you did after you FIRE (especially if there is a downswing in the market).

reeshau

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Re: Reader Case Study - FIRE this year or OMY?
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2018, 06:29:22 AM »
Clearly, you could make this work.  Simply to have the expense levels you listed, while maintaining the income you have, makes me think you will be able to navigate the curves that a long retirement will throw you.  I do think your expectations of health insurance, over a lifetime of planning, are too low.  Try shopping for someone 20 years older, and make that your budget target.

One question:  you say that your income can vary directly with you work input.  What would your chances be to get back in the business, if worst comes to worst, or if you end up missing it?  Given that you have modest base needs, but a known desire for some fun spending, it might be worth "one half more year"--whether that is one year half time, two years quarter time, etc. but earmark that money for fun spending, not just to the general pool.  Would that motivate you differently?  And, if you can get back into the business, maybe you take a year or two to detox (call it a sabbatical) and then take the second step--do it for fun, and maybe do it for a set of specific, bucket-list-worthy fun things.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Reader Case Study - FIRE this year or OMY?
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2018, 07:57:26 AM »
One question:  you say that your income can vary directly with you work input.  What would your chances be to get back in the business, if worst comes to worst, or if you end up missing it?  Given that you have modest base needs, but a known desire for some fun spending, it might be worth "one half more year"--whether that is one year half time, two years quarter time, etc. but earmark that money for fun spending, not just to the general pool.  Would that motivate you differently?  And, if you can get back into the business, maybe you take a year or two to detox (call it a sabbatical) and then take the second step--do it for fun, and maybe do it for a set of specific, bucket-list-worthy fun things.

My idea. Just quit your job now and do some part time work once in a while to earn enough "fun" money, e.g. financing your travelling or a big house renovation. And then ensure that you do this work on your own conditions.

Hirondelle

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Re: Reader Case Study - FIRE this year or OMY?
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2018, 08:23:38 AM »
You mention you're burned out and sick of your job. Why stay OMY?

You already have more than you need. $24k with $1M and that's not even including your house.. I'd like to point you to the Rich, Broke or Dead thread where you can see that you pretty much have 0 probability to end up broke.

Medical bills can happen, but depending on your age are most likely to still stay away for a while and as you've got a big reserve this means your stash could grow further to reach 1.2M and cover those bills.

I honestly see 0 reasons to keep working at your current rate. You will bank another $40k before your first stopping opportunity arises so that gives an even higher buffer. If you really don't feel ready for full retirement yet, why not cut your hours in half NOW and do that for OMY?

GreenSheep

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Re: Reader Case Study - FIRE this year or OMY?
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2018, 10:31:27 AM »
With expenses of $24k a year and invested assets of $1M I’d say you have definitely won the game and there is no need to work a second longer if you don’t want to. I’d recommend spending your une really reading up on safe withdrawal rates to get comfortable with the massive amount of safety you already have baked into your plans. I recommend the thread over in the investing forum that has been sticky-ed on why you shouldn’t worry about the 4% rule. On page 15 or so there are some eye-opening charts about the probabilities is running out of money versus dying for given ages. Get out there and start living because chances are that you have a higher probability of dying than running out of money.
Congrats on your great work.

Thanks, I did take a look at that thread and found it helpful. I also updated my original post with my age (39) since that is definitely relevant!

GreenSheep

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Re: Reader Case Study - FIRE this year or OMY?
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2018, 10:32:40 AM »
I suspect that you will mentally feel better with OMY and the 1.2M, so it might be worth it in that sense. If you did, you should set an absolute end date and make a promise to yourself to stick to it (no "one more" OMY...) If you can, you could try scaling back REAAAAAALY far and dump as much as absolutely possible into retirement accounts, thus accelerating the end date. But yeah, you don't need to work anymore. I would have quit yesterday. Congrats, I think you won the game! :)

That's been my thinking, too. I think that rather than setting an end date, I may set an end amount -- meaning that when I get to $1.2M, I'll quit right away.

GreenSheep

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Re: Reader Case Study - FIRE this year or OMY?
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2018, 10:33:57 AM »
You're ready now, but if the idea of OMY doesn't make you miserable...do that.  You will most likely be happy you did after you FIRE (especially if there is a downswing in the market).

Glad to know I'm not being ridiculously conservative. I think my concern is that I didn't work this hard just to be poor for the rest of my life. The idea of OMY does make me miserable, but I think since we're talking about the rest of my life after that, it's worth it. Just knowing that I COULD be done right now is helpful.

GreenSheep

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Re: Reader Case Study - FIRE this year or OMY?
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2018, 10:37:25 AM »
Clearly, you could make this work.  Simply to have the expense levels you listed, while maintaining the income you have, makes me think you will be able to navigate the curves that a long retirement will throw you.  I do think your expectations of health insurance, over a lifetime of planning, are too low.  Try shopping for someone 20 years older, and make that your budget target.

One question:  you say that your income can vary directly with you work input.  What would your chances be to get back in the business, if worst comes to worst, or if you end up missing it?  Given that you have modest base needs, but a known desire for some fun spending, it might be worth "one half more year"--whether that is one year half time, two years quarter time, etc. but earmark that money for fun spending, not just to the general pool.  Would that motivate you differently?  And, if you can get back into the business, maybe you take a year or two to detox (call it a sabbatical) and then take the second step--do it for fun, and maybe do it for a set of specific, bucket-list-worthy fun things.

That's a very good point about the cost of health insurance, and I guess it's another reason to keep going for a bit longer.

Going back to work after retiring, if it's more than a year or so, is 100% not an option at all, ever. It's just not a field where you can leave for a while and come back, because you'll be totally out of date in terms of knowledge and skills, and even if you got back up to speed somehow, being away for so long would be a massive red flag. I've considered just working a very minimal amount for the next 3 years, which is low long it would take for my 'stache to grow to $1.2M, given average returns... but I think in this case, pushing through to the end quickly is better. It would mean less time wasted traveling and less administrative/paperwork crap on the side that I'm not getting paid for but is required to keep the work coming.

GreenSheep

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Re: Reader Case Study - FIRE this year or OMY?
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2018, 10:40:40 AM »
One question:  you say that your income can vary directly with you work input.  What would your chances be to get back in the business, if worst comes to worst, or if you end up missing it?  Given that you have modest base needs, but a known desire for some fun spending, it might be worth "one half more year"--whether that is one year half time, two years quarter time, etc. but earmark that money for fun spending, not just to the general pool.  Would that motivate you differently?  And, if you can get back into the business, maybe you take a year or two to detox (call it a sabbatical) and then take the second step--do it for fun, and maybe do it for a set of specific, bucket-list-worthy fun things.

My idea. Just quit your job now and do some part time work once in a while to earn enough "fun" money, e.g. financing your travelling or a big house renovation. And then ensure that you do this work on your own conditions.

I've thought about that quite a bit. As noted above, I don't think it's a good idea to use my current career to fund that. I have considered taking a totally unrelated job (coffee shop, etc.) but I live in such a rural area that there are very few opportunities, if any, and they are all extremely low-paying. I'd love to have a successful Etsy shop or some other online business, but I haven't had any great ideas yet!

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Reader Case Study - FIRE this year or OMY?
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2018, 10:51:43 AM »
You haven't included Social Security at all?  I assume you'll be getting something in another 27 years.  That offers another layer of protection as well.

In your shoes I would not be working OMY, not full-time anyway.  I'd probably immediately downshift to part-time.
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GreenSheep

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Re: Reader Case Study - FIRE this year or OMY?
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2018, 10:55:22 AM »
You mention you're burned out and sick of your job. Why stay OMY?

You already have more than you need. $24k with $1M and that's not even including your house.. I'd like to point you to the Rich, Broke or Dead thread where you can see that you pretty much have 0 probability to end up broke.

Medical bills can happen, but depending on your age are most likely to still stay away for a while and as you've got a big reserve this means your stash could grow further to reach 1.2M and cover those bills.

I honestly see 0 reasons to keep working at your current rate. You will bank another $40k before your first stopping opportunity arises so that gives an even higher buffer. If you really don't feel ready for full retirement yet, why not cut your hours in half NOW and do that for OMY?

Thanks for that link! I read the thread mentioned above about the same graphs, but it's interesting to be able to plug in my own numbers and see how thin the "broke" area is. I did update my age (39) in the original post, and you're right... I'm relatively young and healthy now, and I don't foresee any major medical bills for at least several years. Also, my older family members either dropped dead quickly, had a small sliver of unhealthy life at the very end, or had terrible lifestyles that resulted in prolonged years of poor health. I'm currently healthy, don't smoke, eat a healthy diet, exercise, etc. so I see myself falling into one of those first two categories.

These replies have me mentally going back and forth. There's a lot of hard data that says I could retire now without any problem. And yet I worry. I've always been a worrier. The stupid thing is I've seen plenty of other threads written by people with similar concerns, and my thought is always, "Go live your life and stop worrying! It will be okay!" But it's hard when it's my own life! I have actually daydreamed about having some sort of reason that I couldn't go back to work... one of my main workplaces shutting down, a parent needing long-term help at home, even my dog having a long-term illness and requiring constant care. If I had a good reason to leave, I'd leave. But if I can hang on for a little longer and make my retirement a little more comfortable, then my worrywort side seems to like that idea.

I think I will end up at least cutting my hours. Summer at my new home is fantastic, and I'm very sad that I'm spending two weeks of each summer month away from home this year. I already told myself a couple of months ago that I'd limit my summer hours next year. And I think now that I know I'm financially fine, I'll find myself limiting my hours for other reasons... Christmas, my birthday, etc. So I suspect I'll end up working through next year but having a much lighter year in terms of workload.

But there's a lot to think about here. There are some very, very smart Mustachians out there, and I appreciate the input all of you have given. I asked because I knew I'd get some good answers, even if they might be hard to hear. If anyone else is reading this and wants to chime in, all thoughts are welcome!

GreenSheep

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Re: Reader Case Study - FIRE this year or OMY?
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2018, 10:58:48 AM »
You haven't included Social Security at all?  I assume you'll be getting something in another 27 years.  That offers another layer of protection as well.

In your shoes I would not be working OMY, not full-time anyway.  I'd probably immediately downshift to part-time.

Oops, I should have noted that I already only work part time. I work about 90 hours per month, plus two days of travel (I'm away from home for 1.5-2 weeks at a time, and I do it that way to minimize time wasted on traveling). I still hate it. :-) I'll edit my original post.

And yes, you're right, I will be getting some sort of Social Security. My accountant mentioned that this can be used to cover my taxes. I'm still a bit unclear on what my withdrawal method will be. I like the method that @Laura33 mentioned in another thread somewhere, about keeping 2-3 years of living expenses in savings so that you can use that for a while if the market takes a downward turn, in order to avoid selling low. That's why I have a $50,000 emergency fund. Otherwise, I'll use the loan repayments that are coming to me, and/or my brokerage account until those are gone. And at some point I'll start a Roth ladder. So it seems to me that I won't have much in terms of taxes, but maybe I'm missing something...?

BrightFIRE

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Re: Reader Case Study - FIRE this year or OMY?
« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2018, 01:57:49 PM »
These replies have me mentally going back and forth. There's a lot of hard data that says I could retire now without any problem. And yet I worry. I've always been a worrier. The stupid thing is I've seen plenty of other threads written by people with similar concerns, and my thought is always, "Go live your life and stop worrying! It will be okay!" But it's hard when it's my own life! I have actually daydreamed about having some sort of reason that I couldn't go back to work... one of my main workplaces shutting down, a parent needing long-term help at home, even my dog having a long-term illness and requiring constant care. If I had a good reason to leave, I'd leave. But if I can hang on for a little longer and make my retirement a little more comfortable, then my worrywort side seems to like that idea.

I think I will end up at least cutting my hours. Summer at my new home is fantastic, and I'm very sad that I'm spending two weeks of each summer month away from home this year. I already told myself a couple of months ago that I'd limit my summer hours next year. And I think now that I know I'm financially fine, I'll find myself limiting my hours for other reasons... Christmas, my birthday, etc. So I suspect I'll end up working through next year but having a much lighter year in terms of workload.

But there's a lot to think about here. There are some very, very smart Mustachians out there, and I appreciate the input all of you have given. I asked because I knew I'd get some good answers, even if they might be hard to hear. If anyone else is reading this and wants to chime in, all thoughts are welcome!

This makes me sad for you. You're so miserable in your job that you daydream(!) of disasters that would prevent you from continuing to work. That's pretty fucked up. Holy hell, why doesn't that equal a "good reason to leave" in your mind? Seriously, step back from this and really think about that. If anyone you knew came to you and told you they felt this way about their job, would you tell them to leave or stay?

Not only do you personally have enough money to FIRE, you have a spouse who will continue to work. There is zero reason to worry. And you know what? If you've always been a worrier, you'll keep worrying, no matter how much money you have in the bank. You have to stifle the little worrywart in your head and take your own wants and needs seriously. I hope you FIRE and enjoy a beautiful summer. Good luck.

Hirondelle

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Re: Reader Case Study - FIRE this year or OMY?
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2018, 02:13:10 PM »
These replies have me mentally going back and forth. There's a lot of hard data that says I could retire now without any problem. And yet I worry. I've always been a worrier. The stupid thing is I've seen plenty of other threads written by people with similar concerns, and my thought is always, "Go live your life and stop worrying! It will be okay!" But it's hard when it's my own life! I have actually daydreamed about having some sort of reason that I couldn't go back to work... one of my main workplaces shutting down, a parent needing long-term help at home, even my dog having a long-term illness and requiring constant care. If I had a good reason to leave, I'd leave. But if I can hang on for a little longer and make my retirement a little more comfortable, then my worrywort side seems to like that idea.

I think I will end up at least cutting my hours. Summer at my new home is fantastic, and I'm very sad that I'm spending two weeks of each summer month away from home this year. I already told myself a couple of months ago that I'd limit my summer hours next year. And I think now that I know I'm financially fine, I'll find myself limiting my hours for other reasons... Christmas, my birthday, etc. So I suspect I'll end up working through next year but having a much lighter year in terms of workload.

But there's a lot to think about here. There are some very, very smart Mustachians out there, and I appreciate the input all of you have given. I asked because I knew I'd get some good answers, even if they might be hard to hear. If anyone else is reading this and wants to chime in, all thoughts are welcome!

This makes me sad for you. You're so miserable in your job that you daydream(!) of disasters that would prevent you from continuing to work. That's pretty fucked up. Holy hell, why doesn't that equal a "good reason to leave" in your mind? Seriously, step back from this and really think about that. If anyone you knew came to you and told you they felt this way about their job, would you tell them to leave or stay?

Not only do you personally have enough money to FIRE, you have a spouse who will continue to work. There is zero reason to worry. And you know what? If you've always been a worrier, you'll keep worrying, no matter how much money you have in the bank. You have to stifle the little worrywart in your head and take your own wants and needs seriously. I hope you FIRE and enjoy a beautiful summer. Good luck.

+1. Get out. You're FIREd.

GreenSheep

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Re: Reader Case Study - FIRE this year or OMY?
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2018, 04:36:51 PM »
That is a very good point. I certainly don't want anything terrible to happen to anyone, and if that thought is crossing my mind, well, that's a sign that continuing to work is a terrible idea. I'll discuss with my husband, but quitting at the end of this year sounds good. I have commitments through October anyway, and the weather is horrible in Nov-Dec, so I might as well spend that time working... and then have a very, very merry Christmas and happy New Year.

Laura33

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Re: Reader Case Study - FIRE this year or OMY?
« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2018, 08:03:34 PM »
1.  You are FI.  You can RE any time you want.

2.  What you have is an emotional problem (fear of being poor), not a financial one.  $1.2M is a made-up number.  I guarantee once you get there, you will find some other reason to go OMY yet again (oh, gee, the market’s even higher now!!).

My suggestion:  take a baby step now, right away.  What would happen if you went to half of what you do now?  One week a month?  That would clearly cover your current expenses and then some, and you could focus on how you feel with less work and more time.* And if you like it, then you can cut back even more - what about fly out Monday, work T-Th, fly home Friday?  Until you can finally admit that the whole thing is stupid and you don’t need any of it any more.

I do get it.  I share the fear of being poor, and it is really really hard to walk away from a giant firehose of cash.  But you are miserable.  You are chasing a number in the hope that your worries will magically disappear when you get there, even though you already know that’s bullshit (or else you wouldn’t have posted in the first place).  So stop focusing on how much cash you need to feel “safe,” and start to focus instead on how you can change the thought pattern that keeps you from recognizing how safe you are right now.

And congratulations!

*Note:  I forbid you from worrying about how that would take longer to get to $1.2M - as I said, that is a made-up number that has not a damn thing to do with your actual needs.  The point is to just see how life is with “only” a six-figure income and one week a month at work.
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GreenSheep

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Re: Reader Case Study - FIRE this year or OMY?
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2018, 09:32:23 AM »
1.  You are FI.  You can RE any time you want.

2.  What you have is an emotional problem (fear of being poor), not a financial one.  $1.2M is a made-up number.  I guarantee once you get there, you will find some other reason to go OMY yet again (oh, gee, the market’s even higher now!!).

My suggestion:  take a baby step now, right away.  What would happen if you went to half of what you do now?  One week a month?  That would clearly cover your current expenses and then some, and you could focus on how you feel with less work and more time.* And if you like it, then you can cut back even more - what about fly out Monday, work T-Th, fly home Friday?  Until you can finally admit that the whole thing is stupid and you don’t need any of it any more.

I do get it.  I share the fear of being poor, and it is really really hard to walk away from a giant firehose of cash.  But you are miserable.  You are chasing a number in the hope that your worries will magically disappear when you get there, even though you already know that’s bullshit (or else you wouldn’t have posted in the first place).  So stop focusing on how much cash you need to feel “safe,” and start to focus instead on how you can change the thought pattern that keeps you from recognizing how safe you are right now.

And congratulations!

*Note:  I forbid you from worrying about how that would take longer to get to $1.2M - as I said, that is a made-up number that has not a damn thing to do with your actual needs.  The point is to just see how life is with “only” a six-figure income and one week a month at work.

Laura, I've seen you give nothing but the best advice to so many other Mustachians or soon-to-be Mustachians. I even read topics that wouldn't ordinarily interest me when I see that you've posted in them. So I'm honored that you would comment on my case study.

Of course, you've hit the nail on the head. I didn't work this hard to end up poor. Turns out I'll be taking your baby step advice whether I like it or not! I can't take an immediate baby step without burning bridges (there are contracts with huge financial penalties for not following through, I'd feel like a terrible person for not keeping prior commitments, etc.), but maybe a baby step in 5 weeks is close enough?

My potential contract for Aug-Sept looks like it's not going to work out (restructuring on their end, nothing to do with my work), so I'll be "retired" for those two months whether I want to or not! I do have to work in October (previously scheduled), but it will be good to decompress for two months and see how it feels. And realize that I'm not eating peanut butter and Ramen noodles at the end of September. I mean, unless I want to. :-)

Thank you all for your advice. I am WAY more uptight about this than I realized before I posted it. I really just posted to get confirmation that I'm ready for FIRE, and then when the answer was a resounding "Yes!" and it became real... well, my instinct was to continue to look for holes, evaluate for possible ways this could fail, etc. I'm looking for certainty in a realm where that's impossible, and I need to stop or it will drive me insane.

ysette9

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Re: Reader Case Study - FIRE this year or OMY?
« Reply #20 on: June 23, 2018, 11:55:55 AM »
A blog I really admire is Living A FI. Dr Doom (as he calls himself) spends a lot of time working through his own mental hangups that make it hard for him to quit. He ends up working through all of that and documenting it in a series of posts he calls The Quit Series.
https://livingafi.com/2015/02/17/i-could-quit/
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GreenSheep

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Re: Reader Case Study - FIRE this year or OMY?
« Reply #21 on: June 23, 2018, 01:07:52 PM »
A blog I really admire is Living A FI. Dr Doom (as he calls himself) spends a lot of time working through his own mental hangups that make it hard for him to quit. He ends up working through all of that and documenting it in a series of posts he calls The Quit Series.
https://livingafi.com/2015/02/17/i-could-quit/

Ooh, I like that! Thanks! I read his description of his last day, too, and now I'm thinking how much fun it will be, once I have the actual date of my last day, to make plans. What will I do immediately after work? What will I do the day after, on my first day of freedom? Etc. This is a lot more fun than agonizing over math and predictions that no one can fully predict. :-) I guess like anything else in life, at some point you just have to take the leap. Having 10 extra parachutes never helped anyone.