Author Topic: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?  (Read 4653 times)

bruscar5

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Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« on: November 05, 2017, 05:56:43 PM »
Hello all,

I have just recently started learning about the FIRE community, and, as someone who is intrigued but intimidated by the commitment, I was wondering if those who are post-FIRE had an idea of what they wanted to do with their time/hobbies they wanted to dive into/places they wanted to visit before they retired early, or did your plans about what your retirement would look like start to form more when you were closer to achieving it or had already done so?

Thanks in advance, I'd be glad to hear from you!

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2017, 06:13:21 PM »
I only knew what it was I didn't want to do any more.  After I pulled the trigger, it turned out the thing I most wanted to do was go on a 6 week long video game and junk food bender.  I swear I didn't sleep while the sun was down.  I've shaken that off and am now healthier and happier.
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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2017, 06:16:15 PM »
Welcome to the forum!

I've been FIRE'd for less than a year, and am making it up as I go. Some people have definite ideas for what they want to do, but for me, the appeal has always been that FI buys freedom to do whatever I wanted.

When I first heard of the concept of FIRE, I wanted to be a nomadic dirtbag runner, living in hostels and running gorgeous areas for a few months before moving on. Closer to FIRE, I was sick so I had to scrap that plan and replaced it with the idea that I wanted to garden. So having just spent the summer gardening, I'm slowly getting back into running. I'm not making any ambitious plans though, since I've learned that life happens, and that having the freedom to go with the flow without stressing about things is the best part of RE.
"You need a little bit of insanity to do great things." ~ Henry Rollins

spartana

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2017, 10:16:31 PM »
My motivation to FIRE wasnt so much to FIRE but to be able to take multi-year long sabbaticals to do a lot of physically active sports and outdoor dirt bagger activities and travel long term while younger. So the concept of FIRE, and recognition that by making some changes I didn't have to go back to work ever, came to me about a year into a second long work break of what was suppose to be about 5 years (first break was for 2 years) but became permanent ER instead. So I never planned to retire but just to take many long work breaks to do things but ended up FIRE anyways. Sometime ass-backwards is a good thing ;-).
« Last Edit: November 05, 2017, 10:28:51 PM by spartana »
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EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2017, 10:43:39 PM »
Well, you didn't give us much info, so I don't know if this will be helpful.  As a family, we wanted a SAHP, but we weren't FI when the second child came along.  Nowadays, having achieved FI, we have a SAHP that can spend as freely on kids and home as when she was working.  Main reason I'm still working is because I like the benefits, especially healthcare, but also tax deferred savings and international travel.  It's also nice to cover the recurring expenses (food, utilities, etc.) from income and put the excess into taxable accounts. 

For me, once you're FI work isn't the burden it seemed to be, so I'm thankful for knowing that I still want to work for the time being.  Maybe that will change at some point before I'm too much older, always keeping an eye on the big picture.
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EfficientEngineer

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2017, 11:02:54 PM »
I found MMM at a really young age - I'm still in college now - so I am by no means the norm, and yes I have thought about it.  I'd love to RV around the US, travel the world, and start my own businesses.  We'll see what actually ends up happening in the next 10 years :D

bruscar5

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2017, 11:26:35 PM »
Thanks for all the great replies! After reading, I remembered a quote from a Mr. Money Mustache blog I read, that avoiding what makes you unhappy is more important than chasing happiness. Reading your replies and more of the forum, it definitely seems to be a good philosophy to live by. Since I've just started following the FIRE movement recently, it's really cool and helpful to hear what it's meant to people who've accomplished FI.

I only knew what it was I didn't want to do any more.  After I pulled the trigger, it turned out the thing I most wanted to do was go on a 6 week long video game and junk food bender.  I swear I didn't sleep while the sun was down.  I've shaken that off and am now healthier and happier.

That is exactly what I would do with my first 6 weeks of freedom too.

I'm not making any ambitious plans though, since I've learned that life happens, and that having the freedom to go with the flow without stressing about things is the best part of RE.

I get that, especially since when life happens, it tends to domino into work and commitments. Having the freedom to avoid that sounds incentive enough on its own

Sometime ass-backwards is a good thing ;-).

That's good to hear. I've been reading the blogs and doing some of the online calculators, trying to determine my target. I'm an independent contractor, though, so my annual income is pretty variable. If I'm going to achieve FIRE, it's probably going to be ass backwards too :)

For me, once you're FI work isn't the burden it seemed to be, so I'm thankful for knowing that I still want to work for the time being.  Maybe that will change at some point before I'm too much older, always keeping an eye on the big picture.

This was nice to hear, as I think I would be really keen on continuing to work, too. It's always been a dream to do the work I wanted to do, instead of sticking with jobs by necessity.

I found MMM at a really young age - I'm still in college now - so I am by no means the norm, and yes I have thought about it.  I'd love to RV around the US, travel the world, and start my own businesses.  We'll see what actually ends up happening in the next 10 years :D

That sounds amazing, there's a lot of beautiful places in the US I've always dreamed of camping too :)

Again, thanks so much for taking the time to talk to a newbie. This community is uncharacteristically friendly for the internet! haha.

DoofusOfErasmus

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2017, 12:56:35 AM »
I only knew what it was I didn't want to do any more. 

That was my primary motivation as well - to escape the 9 to 5 cubicle drudgery of a life insurance actuary.  I did know that I wanted to devote my time to hobbies I already enjoyed: tennis, drawing, travel, snowboarding, and studying foreign languages.  My girlfriend serendipitously changed careers and found a job in Summit County, Colorado, so we headed out west and I've been able to do a lot of the above.  It's been one year and nine months since I've been FIREd, and I'm currently brainstorming ideas for a second career...possibly get my EMT certification so I can join the ski patrol for a resort, or learning to fly and becoming a MediVac pilot.
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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2017, 02:55:43 AM »
For me it was more about getting away from what I was doing and realizing that since i felt I had enough to be fire'd why not give it a shot. Being self employed and dealing with employees everyday after nearly 30 years it was killing me. Once at that point and finding MMM i was able to begin the though process on first financially what i wanted to do and then when I had the freedom what to do. So first I set out to cut all wasteful spending and getting rid of things we didn't use. Downsized our house, sold paid off vacation property and toys we didnt use and worked a budget down for a year to figure out spending. During that time thought alot about what I wanted to do. Well when we downsized we went from a newer mini mc mansion to a 1970s ranch so the first thing was to do some remodeling and make it our own. I will be fire'd 3 years April 3rd and am 2 years this month in my slow mode remodeling. I also have 4 kids so I am very busy with that . One actually left for college this last August and I have another one leaving in January so will be down to 2 but we travel alot.  Seems like i am so busy that when I am home i need to take some quiet time and rest for myself since nights I am usually running the kids around.  So now I am in the though process of what will be the next step as to when the last two go on to college.  The plan is to move to Eastern Tenessee or Western NC.  So much depend on quality of life, where are kids all end up etc.. but i see that being the plan in the perfect world.
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Cookie78

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2017, 03:21:42 PM »
Hello all,

I have just recently started learning about the FIRE community, and, as someone who is intrigued but intimidated by the commitment, I was wondering if those who are post-FIRE had an idea of what they wanted to do with their time/hobbies they wanted to dive into/places they wanted to visit before they retired early, or did your plans about what your retirement would look like start to form more when you were closer to achieving it or had already done so?

Thanks in advance, I'd be glad to hear from you!

I had a general idea, but I want to do SO MANY THINGS that my main driver for FIRE was to gain the time and flexibility to be able to do as many of those things as possible. I still don't have nearly enough time to do them all, but I have way more time than I used to when I was working 9-5.

HawkeyeNFO

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2017, 09:05:34 AM »
After walking my kids to school today, and bringing the dog with me, I noticed the daily traffic jam of commuters in cars and SUVs going to their office jobs in DC.  Then walked through the wooded neighborhoods and trails nearby and was very thankful that I was free to do so.  For now, this is exactly what I want to be doing.  And in a few minutes, I'll go outside and work on some landscaping projects at my own house. 

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2017, 10:48:19 AM »
No, I didn't know. I knew I wanted a break, and I knew I wanted to travel more, but other than that it was all a blank. Decompression took a year, and it's only a year later that I've had energy for new pursuits.

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Check2400

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2017, 11:27:45 AM »
You don't have to know what you want to do in the future.  It can be the same thing you are currently doing, if you want to. 

MMM has a post that is the best summary about why simply starting is important even if FIRE isn't currently a part of the plan--the flexibility, FU Money, and availability of options are all benefits that come while on the path, but before the destination.

My favorite quote:  No matter how much you like working right now, Shit can get Old Ö fast

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2015/09/29/if-youre-not-getting-rich-in-your-20s-youre-doing-it-wrong/

Rollin

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2017, 07:53:21 AM »
Standing on the shore of Lake Michigan in 2007 next to my dad and with tears rolling down my cheeks I knew what I wanted. I was still working at the time, but was on a 3-week motorcycle tour. Although I was only a week into the vacation, I cried for knowing I had to return to work and was not able to head across Lake Michigan (on the ferry of course) and just keep heading west until I felt like coming home.

I starting working towards FIRE the day I started working full time, beginning with $10 per week in my retirement account. That increased to the max at the end, while keeping spending in check.

But to your question, every time I had an idea of what I wanted to do in FIRE I would write it down, or email it to myself with the title "to do in retirement." It is a long list and I'm carrying out much of it. I still have many things left on it to though, but it continues to grow. The hardest part of FIRE for me some days is deciding which of the awesome things I can do that I will do. This includes hard work, play, rest, etc. (I've taken an 11,000 motorcycle trip since then, hiked for a month in the Rockies, bicycled thousands and thousands of miles, spend quality time with friends/family/my dogs, and even was offered the opportunity to take care of my mom and dad as they both were very ill from December 2016 until about August of this year (dad had major infection and amputation and mom broke her hip and then had double by-pass surgery - all reinforcing my desire to remain super healthy).
« Last Edit: November 15, 2017, 10:11:01 AM by Rollin »
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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2017, 04:42:17 AM »
It's good to hear that so many of you kind of made it up as you went along.  Most of the advice you read declares that you must retire TO something; if you're just doing it to get away from work you don't like, you'll waste away in bitterness and boredom, just watching TV and eating junk food until you slip into a diabetic coma.

I'll be pulling the plug in early January.  I have a list of things to do, but it's more of a loose collection of half-baked ideas than a real plan.  I'm planning to just take it as it comes.  I don't do the sitting around doing nothing thing very well, so I'm sure I'll stay busy with whatever interests me the most at any given moment.
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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2017, 04:53:19 AM »
I wish I had a story as good as all of you!

I knew I wanted financial security in high school/college.  I had family members who had it and ones who didn't, my observation was those with a decent job and reasonable spending habits were happier.  I found Clark Howard in college and some good folks on their message boards.

Fast forward though, we didn't get serious about savings until 2009.  I worked in commercial banking and saw all these hot shot residential construction lenders being laid off, the job got miserable as we were responsible for working problem loans, and I saw high-spending clients bankrupt in their 30s, 40s, 50s.   We were decent savers, but barely had a positive net worth due to Student Loans and the house value tanking.  7 years later we had a $1mil net worth.  (I can't find that damn spreadsheet back from 2009 for anything, would love to see exactly where we were).  I'm still working, 35 now and plan on pulling the plug at 36.  Based on the timing of my compensation at work, it'll either be in seven months or fifteen to sixteen.

I'm enjoying watching the post-FIRE comments, we're still trying to do things like figure out where want to live, what we want to do, I have a laundry list of hobbies I'd live to do more of.  We want to spend much of my last year to year and a half of working taking a lot of weekend trips and figuring out where we're going and what we're doing.   I don't want the junk food/video game binge, but I want to go binge on Hawaii for longer than two weeks!

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2017, 10:22:50 PM »
I had a very long list of things I wanted to do once I left my job. What I learned was that some things I loved doing when I worked, I no longer love. Cooking was a passion for me but now it is an interest but not a very important one. I think some of what I found deeply interesting in my time at work were simply relieving the stress I felt at work. I've narrowed all of those interests down to just a few: doing things with my husband (gaming, hiking, etc.) and writing my book. I also spend time with people. I am satisfied at a deeper level. Maybe this will change in time but for now I'm pretty happy with just a few things on my plate.

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2017, 06:51:08 AM »
I adopted "fly by the seat of my pants", as my FIRE philosophy, never again allowing even an atoms worth of the rat race into my life.  As others have said I knew what I did not want, and even more pressing, what I did not have to put up with anymore.  I like a very calm life, and to that end I continue to strive, tweak, and adapt.  By the time I was 25 I had been to a dozen or so countries, lived abroad for a few years, and really have little desire to travel much now, especially by air because of the complete circus that it has become.

Having every day be a never ending vacation, and not broke, can really bring on much satisfaction no matter what you are doing.  The activity matters little; having the freedom mindset to do or not to do by choice, is the greatest gift of FIRE.

Metta

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2017, 06:57:42 AM »
Having every day be a never ending vacation, and not broke, can really bring on much satisfaction no matter what you are doing.  The activity matters little; having the freedom mindset to do or not to do by choice, is the greatest gift of FIRE.

Yes! Exactly.

Cassie

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2017, 03:32:01 PM »
I had no clue but have tried things along the way. The things that I liked I kept and quit things I didn't like. I am still trying new things almost 6 years later.

zinethstache

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2017, 10:14:08 PM »
After some serious health issues, I made a very specific plan. Travel full time in an RV while I am healthy enough to do so. We sold our home, got rid of 30 years of stuff, stored the rest and we have been on the road since March. So far I would not have changed a thing...EXCEPT... how healthcare works.

I still have (manageable now) health issues and so does DH, it requires we return home once a year. This year we are returning early for medical treatment for DH. I would like to have out of state healthcare which sadly doesn't seem to exist, or if it does it is way to expensive for those of us on a fixed income.

Before my health issues I had planned to work until 55 and take a normal early retirement. I ended up FIRE-ing at 49 instead. DH was already FIREd, I was the holdout.


itchyfeet

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #21 on: December 25, 2017, 02:40:33 AM »
Posting to follow.

We are practically FI, and will hit our number at the end of 2018. In 2019 we will resign our jobs, travel for 6 months to a year and repatriate to Australia.

After that I donít know what weíll do.

This really worries me, but DW is not concerned. She says if she doesnít have anything else to do she will just do some relief teaching, as she enjoys her work but just wants more flexibility.

I feel I need to take the planned 6-12 month sabbatical and then see where my head is at.

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2018, 12:27:46 AM »
It's only been a few weeks (since beginning of 2018) but I've got a long google spreadsheet with all the things I'm planning to do.  I'm a couple weeks into a Coursera class, one of many.  It's been raining so I haven't been able to do as many of the outdoor things as I had planned yet.  The generalist in me is super-happy to have all of this time to explore lots of different things.
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jim555

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2018, 04:51:07 AM »
Not work.  Things are going to plan.

Gimesalot

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2018, 12:21:30 PM »
About 2 years after I started working, I finished paying off my student loans and I started saving about 40% of my pay.  I always thought I would retire at 50 or 55.  Then in 2014, I got fired from my super stressful job.  I had given everything, and I realized that I was done.  Luckily, a few months earlier, i had found MMM and realized that I didn't need to wait until 50.  At that time, when I thought of retirement, I thought of traveling, learning languages, taking some interesting classes, being in better shape, etc.  In the three journey, I rediscovered my passion for dancing, and decided that the first couple of years of FIRE would be dedicated to that.  As time has progressed, the plan has become more refined.  Now I plan on spending most of my time taking care of my body, so cooking healthy meals, practicing yoga, practicing dance, taking classes, going out dancing.  At the same time, I realized that my grandmother is old now, and I will be spending a lot more time with her while I still have the chance.

All this is to say, that you can have a vague idea to start, and fill it in as you realize what is important to you. 

Hikester

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #25 on: January 24, 2018, 09:52:52 PM »
I had some ideas of some things I wanted to do but also left the door open for opportunities. I did not schedule every week day and hour of my life and even today I love looking at the calendar at a completely free day, although most days have activities, I make sure I donít overfill my life and have time to reflect and appreciate open days. I can then come up with spontaneous things to do too. Itís a nice balance.
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And that has made all the difference.

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ixtap

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #26 on: January 24, 2018, 10:10:02 PM »
We found MMM because we were already living frugally with a very specific goal of what to do, but pretty vague about what exactly it would take financially. We had decided to save up 10x in taxable while maxing 401k, IRA and HSA. Studying has allowed us to redefine our goals and reap some more tax savings. Interestingly, our instincts weren't very far off, as the timeline is similar. On the one hand, the new strategy means that we shouldn't have to look for paid employment after our initial adventures. On the other DH is talking about looking for work abroad for visa reasons.

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #27 on: January 24, 2018, 10:53:01 PM »
Having every day be a never ending vacation, and not broke, can really bring on much satisfaction no matter what you are doing.  The activity matters little; having the freedom mindset to do or not to do by choice, is the greatest gift of FIRE.

I really like this a lot, and if it is cool with you, would like to use it to announce my FIRE on June 1st.
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Linda_Norway

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2018, 12:41:18 AM »
We found MMM because we were already living frugally with a very specific goal of what to do, but pretty vague about what exactly it would take financially. We had decided to save up 10x in taxable while maxing 401k, IRA and HSA. Studying has allowed us to redefine our goals and reap some more tax savings. Interestingly, our instincts weren't very far off, as the timeline is similar. On the one hand, the new strategy means that we shouldn't have to look for paid employment after our initial adventures. On the other DH is talking about looking for work abroad for visa reasons.

We are also in this boat. We had been saving for years and paying down our mortgage with 7,5% interest in few years. A long time ago we calculated how much we really had saved and thought that if we continued like this, we might be able to retire early at 50. MMM was found for a short time ago and helped with defining more concrete numbers, like the 4% rule. I had no idea we could count on letting our money compounding. Now in the end, we will still be approaching 50 when we FIRE.


Hirondelle

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2018, 12:59:15 AM »
I'm still young and nowhere near FIRE, but my main reasons to save up money is to be as independent as possible and to not be scared/insecure.

I see my mom not speaking up at work because she's still on a temporary contract and afraid it won't get prolonged. I see my dad saying "I hope I could stop working a few years before official retirement age" but not making any plans to make it work.

I'm currently in academia and I see many people being scared of the continuous stream of temporary contracts, especially in the post-doc cycle. If I aim at staying in academia, I want to be able to have enough FU money to be picky on the research I want to do, to not just take on any job coming across because I need one. People aren't in academia for the money cause the money is shit. Still I see most post-docs taking on just any job for the money because they have families to support.

My personal stretch goal is to have $100k saved up by the time I finish my PhD (assuming I stay single and don't buy real estate). This will give me the freedom and time to choose whether I want to continue with academia, go into industry, take a fun job for a while or just travel around a bit like I did after my MSc. For a real FIRED life I don't have any plans yet as it's 10-15+ years away and I can't predict the future.

Freedom17

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #30 on: January 27, 2018, 06:40:20 AM »
I had a list of things I wanted to get into that were deep in terms of how you could spend a lifetime mastering then, in my case guitar, learning a foreign language plus some other side stuff like sailing, hiking and getting fitter.

Don't forget you can still work after FIRE but you get to decide the hours, conditions and what you want to work on. I found people surprisingly accommodating and willing to adjust to my needs in terms of working arrangements post FIRE.



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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #31 on: January 27, 2018, 07:20:31 AM »
I didn't have any FIRE plans because it came a few years earlier than I expected.  I had a job that was very rewarding, but circumstances arose that would have required me to live overseas without any dependents, and I had no one to leave my 14 year old daughter with (and she wasn't the type of kid who would have done well at boarding school).  Since my daughter came first, I took early retirement with a much-reduced pension.

That said, I didn't flail about aimlessly.  I moved to Wisconsin (a lower cost-of-living, closer to relatives, a good public university system), bought and fixed up a house, started a website (I'm still running it), raised my kid, and became a tai chi practitioner.  Now that my daughter is in college, I will be selling the house, putting my belongings in storage and heading off for long-term overseas travel.

Previously, being super-organized and making plans for several years in the future was a modality that worked out very well for me.  My new goal is to spend time having adventures and trying out that "seat of the pants" way of living life.

 


Dicey

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #32 on: January 28, 2018, 09:36:51 AM »
Five years post-FIRE here. My life looks nothing like what I planned and dreamed of. It still ROCKS!. I'm slowly spooling out my story on my journal (below), but I'd caution anyone who braves it that there are lots of loose threads I haven't tied up yet. Not shilling for my journal, just don't want to write a wall o'text right now or derail this thread.

Tl;Dr -  Being FIRE ROCKS, no matter what!
I did it! I have a journal!
A Lot Like This
And hell yes, I am still moving confidently in the direction of my dreams...

FrugalAussie

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #33 on: February 05, 2018, 03:28:23 AM »
Five years post-FIRE here. My life looks nothing like what I planned and dreamed of. It still ROCKS!. I'm slowly spooling out my story on my journal (below), but I'd caution anyone who braves it that there are lots of loose threads I haven't tied up yet. Not shilling for my journal, just don't want to write a wall o'text right now or derail this thread.

Tl;Dr -  Being FIRE ROCKS, no matter what!

Dicey, I've just read through your journal, it's fantastic! I'm with you. When life gets busy with aging parents and other family matters, illness/injury and, for us a new home, life is just so much easier and less stressful not having to do all this and work too.

I've found the transition mildly challenging but it's only been eight months for me so early days and certainly I know I made the right decision.

I find having yearly goals important, rather than to worry about how I spend my time day to day. For me, my priorities this year are: spend time with my aging mother whose health is declining, spend time with my daughter who has moved closer to us, improve my physical health by eating well and exercising most days, get settled into our new home which includes establishing a garden, make some new friends and get married (a frugal beach wedding).   WOW! Now I've written it all down I can understand why I have no time to work!
FIRE'd in 2017, aged 51. Not bored yet!