Author Topic: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?  (Read 15642 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!

Financial.Velociraptor

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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.

Sun Hat

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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.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2017, 10:43:39 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.

EfficientEngineer

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #4 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 #5 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 #6 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.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #7 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.

Cookie78

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #8 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 #9 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 #10 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.

SIS



Check2400

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #11 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 #12 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 »

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #13 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.

chasesfish

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2017, 04:53:19 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!


Metta

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #15 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.

Holyoak

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #16 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 #17 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 #18 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 #19 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 #20 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.

CCCA

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #21 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.

jim555

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #22 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 #23 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 #24 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.

ixtap

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #25 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.

Will

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #26 on: January 24, 2018, 10:53:01 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.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #27 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 #28 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.

nancyjnelson

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #29 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 #30 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!
« Last Edit: March 29, 2018, 12:42:54 AM by Dicey »

FrugalAussie

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #31 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!

sui generis

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #32 on: March 22, 2018, 10:19:05 AM »
I'm so glad I stumbled on this thread!  Reading too many blogs had me thinking I'm the only one out there that isn't definitely starting a business post-FIRE, and it's made me fear FIRE a bit because I don't have anything to "retire TO".  Don't get me wrong, like a lot of folks on this thread, I have a long list of travel and hiking destinations (including testing out the idea of doing the PCT), finally becoming fluent in my second language, several orgs I plan to volunteer with, establishing a steady meditation practice and many, many books to read, etc etc.  But the way the FIRE community blogosphere reads (to me at least) is that these random collections of ways to pass the time are not sufficient for a meaningful life.  And certainly that may be true for a lot of people, but I really wanted to stumble upon the people that were happy to downshift the speed of life and found meaning in pursuing a rainbow of often unrelated activities. 

I will definitely bookmark this thread and read your journals where available.  If anyone has other recommendations on that theme, I would appreciate it.  I'm spending the next 11 months until my FIRE date trying to get mentally prepared for my shift in perspective and life circumstances and it is both scary and exciting.

Cassie

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #33 on: March 22, 2018, 11:46:54 AM »
In the past 6 years we have done a lot of traveling. I have done volunteer work but often it starts to feel like a job so eventually I quit. However, now I am mentoring first generation college students and that has been fun. About 7 months after retiring a p.t. job teaching one online college class fell in my lap and I love it and am still doing it. I exercise daily, cook, read, play on the internet and meet friends for activities, etc.   We also go to movies, festivals and entertainment events. We were too tired to do these things when working f.t.

Mrs. Rocker

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #34 on: March 26, 2018, 04:09:32 PM »
We had an idea of what we wanted post FIRE but nothing set in stone. Thought we would be doing more gardening, woodworking, etc. Instead we bought an RV, sold the house and everything in it and now travel full-time. It's a great life!

DreamFIRE

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #35 on: March 27, 2018, 06:56:55 PM »
We had an idea of what we wanted post FIRE but nothing set in stone. Thought we would be doing more gardening, woodworking, etc. Instead we bought an RV, sold the house and everything in it and now travel full-time. It's a great life!
I played with the RV idea, a class B or something like a Roadtrek, maybe even a travel trailer, traveling around for most of a year, but then I hear about the high cost of campgrounds/hookups, needing reservations months in advance, turning away 10 year old RVs, Class B's & C's being rejected from admission, more overnight parking restrictions, and the closing of more BLM boondocking sites, and it turns me off of the idea.  Being single, I don't know that I would want to go that route alone, anyway.  It seems easier to just drive my car and use a hotel or AirBnb to knock out some traveling, then just head back home until my next trip.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2018, 05:19:59 AM by DreamFIRE »

Carrie

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #36 on: March 27, 2018, 07:27:04 PM »
I just want to make, create, and diy. I've started doing it already. I'm the non-working spouse, DH still has a job, but it's low stress and remote.

I cook from scratch, plant and tend a small garden, sew clothes, quilts, and home decor. I build things in the wood shop, I sketch, draw, and paint. I design things. I exercise, read books, keep up with current events . We don't travel much, yet, because young kids + school schedule, but that will likely change soon. I'm starting to do more volunteer work, and I'm making new friends around the neighborhood. I need to get my dinner club back up & going (our old group fractured when some moved away), because I loved that challenge and fellowship.  I'm basically living my perfect life already, even though we're only 3/4 to our minimum fire number.

When DH quits, I think we'd keep doing all we are now, but add more building projects, and maybe add a little more travel.  *but maybe not - we're homebodies.

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #37 on: March 28, 2018, 06:50:58 PM »
We had an idea of what we wanted post FIRE but nothing set in stone. Thought we would be doing more gardening, woodworking, etc. Instead we bought an RV, sold the house and everything in it and now travel full-time. It's a great life!
I played with the RV idea, a class B or something like a Roadtrek, maybe even a travel trailer, traveling around for most of a year, but then I hear about the high cost of campgrounds/hookups, needing reservations months in advance, turning away 10 year old RVs, Class B's & C's being rejected from admission, more overnight parking restrictions, and the closing of more BLM boondocking sites, and it turns me off of the idea.  Being single, I don't know that I would want to go that route alone, anyway.  It seems easier to just drive my car and use a hotel or AirBnb to knock out some traveling, then just head back home until my next trip.
Many people travel by themselves in RVs of all types and sizes. Some of them meet up with others and travel together for part or parts of the year. As far as the high cost of campgrounds, needing reservations months in advance and lack of BLM land that is not the case. We seldom make reservations and if we do it is a few days in advance. We also have stayed on BLM land where there was plenty of room for anyone that wanted to be there as well. Campgrounds can get expensive if you choose to stay in high-end RV resorts but that is not for us. We much prefer city, county, state and national parks that have more space, better views and are much cheaper in price. There are also many free stay options that we use often.

Mrs. Rocker

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #38 on: March 28, 2018, 07:02:22 PM »
We had an idea of what we wanted post FIRE but nothing set in stone. Thought we would be doing more gardening, woodworking, etc. Instead we bought an RV, sold the house and everything in it and now travel full-time. It's a great life!
I played with the RV idea, a class B or something like a Roadtrek, maybe even a travel trailer, traveling around for most of a year, but then I hear about the high cost of campgrounds/hookups, needing reservations months in advance, turning away 10 year old RVs, and the closing of more BLM boondocking sites, and it turns me off of the idea.  Being single, I don't know that I would want to go that route alone, anyway.  It seems easier to just drive my car and use a hotel or AirBnb to knock out some traveling, then just head back home until my next trip.
I think the cheap way most people RV (like the Rockers) is to give up the home base and go full time. There are a lot of inexpensive monthly RV parks out there that include utilities and are fairly inexpensive (a few hundred a month). Many are in or close to towns so you can also get your "social fix" if travelling solo. Public campgrounds with nightly rates CAN be high in State and Nat parks - especially with hook ups - but they are still lots cheaper than motels and also avoids the motel bed bug/skank factor if you are phobic about that stuff like me.

For myself though RVing is not my thing at all. Too much expense and hassle. But a mix of tent/mini van camping  works good and seems to be much cheaper than RVing or cars and motels. Or if I want to stay in one area for a month or longer I can often find cheap off season vacation house rentals.   When I had my house (and if I get another place again) I liked doing 2 months trip in late spring and 2 months in early fall. Best travel time I think.
Yes being a full-time RVer is much cheaper than a part-timer with a home base. We sold our house as we didn't spend enough time there to justify having it. Campgrounds in national parks are very reasonable compared to other types of campgrounds. Our favorite sites are ones run by the Army Corp of Engineers as they are located on water and offer beautiful views for minimal cost. We have solar on our RV and often stay in areas without hookups which most often are are free making our costs minimally different than someone tent/mini van camping. We do post our monthly expenses on our blog for everyone to see what our actual costs are. Of note, so far for the month of March we have spent $16 total for campground fees.

Trudie

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #39 on: March 28, 2018, 07:54:51 PM »
I'm only about five weeks into it.  I had a list of ideas, but nothing set in stone.  First step was decompression.  Then we took a vacation to see family in Arizona.  As the days pass I find that the biggest relief and source of contentment for me is being off the clock... I've been on a very rigid commute, work, volunteer, exercise schedule for eleven years and it was killing me.  I'd wake up every morning and know how my day was going to look hour to hour.  I knew how the week was going to play out, and I basically lived for the weekends.

I don't have specific goals yet, other than to work on a few very important quality of life things.

Physical exercise and getting out of doors -- I've been a regular exerciser for years but want to approach it with more intention.  I'm also trying to do more daily activity whether it's gardening outside or sweeping the garage or washing the floors.

I am on two boards, including as Treasurer of our local Habitat for Humanity (which takes some time).  Apparently I am about ready to be asked to go on another Board, but I am wavering about over-committing.  With that said, what I am getting out of these experiences is an opportunity to be around creative, thinking people who are very unlike the people I used to work with.  If the volunteer work isn't always a thrill a minute I try to keep in mind that I am developing connections that I was lacking when I commuted out of town for my job and worked in a dysfunctional corporate culture.  I feel like I need to heal from that and being around good people is one of the only ways I know how.  At some point I may return to paid work and I want to have some personal connections.

I had a very concrete, sequential, deadline-oriented job.  And now I find that I just want to create and DIY.  I'm working on my gardens, cooking, doing little DIY/tidying projects around the house, and am pondering taking art and writing classes.

DreamFIRE

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #40 on: March 28, 2018, 09:57:12 PM »
Boondocking is the way to go if RVing or camper van/truck. Hard to beat the price of...free ;-). Although if you move a lot you have to account for fuel as well as the cost to buy the RV, insurance, tags, maintenance and repairs, etc. 
And registration and the cost of setting up solar and other misc. related costs.  Glad you added that part about "the RV."  Those Roadtreks I mentioned are about $20,000 with about 150,000 miles on them.   Getting under 100,000 miles, and the price goes up $30,000 to $40,000 for something I would be more comfortable to drive across the country.  And since I mentioned that I would probably only want to do it for a year (and likely from fall through spring), not even a full year, I would probably take a big hit in a short time selling it for a loss.  Dividing that out brings up the average daily cost making it harder to justify.  If it was something I was more passionate about and expected to do longer term, it would be easier.  Otherwise, AirBnB would probably be cheaper to just travel where I wanted when I wanted without all the extra hassle.

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I've done a bit of boondocking in my small van (and previously in a small truck with a shell) and like it short term but prefer a place with water and toilets where I can set up my tent for long term stays. Plus I like to be away from most RVs and campers - especially if they are running generators or (OMG the worse!) have the big outdoors TV on. EEK!
RVs have water and toilets.  I've heard about the RVs and TVs, but at least some places have rules about the times you can run generators.  I've heard people complain about everyone going inside in the evening to watch TV on a nice evening.

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When I stay at public campgrounds I can stay in the tents only section even in the mini van so a bit quieter and more secluded and not very expensive - maybe $20 - $35 a night and less than $10 if I hike or bike in.
Wow, that $20-$35 per night for a tent spot sounds expensive.  For not much more, I would expect full hookups and a place to park an RV.  With a mini-van you could probably stealth about anywhere, though.  I don't think I could handle a mini van for long - not being able to stand-up and not having the amenities of an RV.  I believe I could enjoy traveling in a small RV for a while, but I'm not sure it's financially practical in my case, even with boondocking / free parking.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2018, 10:03:09 PM by DreamFIRE »

DreamFIRE

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #41 on: March 28, 2018, 10:20:40 PM »
Yes being a full-time RVer is much cheaper than a part-timer with a home base. We sold our house as we didn't spend enough time there to justify having it.
Did you have pretty good feeling you would do it for more than one year when you started out?  That upfront investment in a reliable RV, getting it decked out with solar, and all the other related prep is a lot of time and expense if you're not sure it's something you want to do long term.  I think I would like it for a while, but I don't know about year after year with no home to return to.  I feel like I would have to sell the home to make it fit my budget just like you.

DreamFIRE

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #42 on: March 28, 2018, 11:26:03 PM »
I wouldn't want to deal with cleaning out holding tanks etc..  or driving anything big or expensive to operate.
I agree.  And that's what I like about those older Roadtreks - they are not much bigger than a standard conversion van and fit in a regular parking spot (some models are smaller a little longer.)  But strangely, comparing similar age and mileage to the larger more traditional Class B's, the Roadtreks are actually more expensive, like $130,000 to $200,000 new. (Edit - looks like there is at least one model of Roadtrek that's more like $70K new, but I don't know anything about it or those newer models in general.)  It looks like I can get more for my money by not going with a Roadtrek for a comparable age and mileage, but then I have a bigger RV than I really need or want for just myself.

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ETA I'm a backpacker and also spent a lot of my first couple of years in FIRE taking long motorcycle camping trips with a small tent and minimal stuff. So a big tent, a campground with services, and a warm dry van seem pretty luxurious  to me.
Ha!  I've got 2 motorcycles and have thought of this very thing in the past, but these days, I would prefer the mini-van and tent also.  Heck, my car might even be workable for sleeping in with the seats folded down - never tried that.  I'm about 6' tall, and it would drive me crazy if I couldn't lie flat without hitting my head or feet against something.  One thing I have been thinking about is taking a biking trip where I would camp out at least part of the time.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2018, 12:17:38 AM by DreamFIRE »

Brokenreign

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #43 on: March 29, 2018, 08:28:15 AM »
I wouldn't want to deal with cleaning out holding tanks etc..  or driving anything big or expensive to operate.
I agree.  And that's what I like about those older Roadtreks - they are not much bigger than a standard conversion van and fit in a regular parking spot (some models are smaller a little longer.)  But strangely, comparing similar age and mileage to the larger more traditional Class B's, the Roadtreks are actually more expensive, like $130,000 to $200,000 new. (Edit - looks like there is at least one model of Roadtrek that's more like $70K new, but I don't know anything about it or those newer models in general.)  It looks like I can get more for my money by not going with a Roadtrek for a comparable age and mileage, but then I have a bigger RV than I really need or want for just myself.

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ETA I'm a backpacker and also spent a lot of my first couple of years in FIRE taking long motorcycle camping trips with a small tent and minimal stuff. So a big tent, a campground with services, and a warm dry van seem pretty luxurious  to me.
Ha!  I've got 2 motorcycles and have thought of this very thing in the past, but these days, I would prefer the mini-van and tent also.  Heck, my car might even be workable for sleeping in with the seats folded down - never tried that.  I'm about 6' tall, and it would drive me crazy if I couldn't lie flat without hitting my head or feet against something.  One thing I have been thinking about is taking a biking trip where I would camp out at least part of the time.

We just bought an older Roadtrek for the very reasons you stated. We use it as a basecamp for backcountry trips and therefore need to be able to legally park it in trailhead parking spots. It's 19 feet long and easily fits. It is also categorized as a normal vehicle instead of an RV so it's cheaper to take on ferries too. The whole #vanlife scene has really driven up the cost of class Bs though! We got a good deal on ours but any semi-reasonably priced version (<$20k Cdn for one that's sufficiently new to have fuel injection - 1991 and newer I think) will sell within days. I think if I had to do it again though I'd get a used pop-top camper on a pickup truck. Similar pricing to a class B (for the truck + camper), slightly better fuel economy and probably more reliable too. Plus my class B gets stuck even when the scent of snow and mud is in the air.

As per the core question of this topic, I am done working in three weeks and have about 4 months of mostly-backcountry travel planned. Once winter hits, I am not sure what we'll do. Would love to stay in a resort town but rentals are hard to come by with the doggo. So I guess I know what I want to do for 4 months and will just wing it after that!

DreamFIRE

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #44 on: March 29, 2018, 07:43:56 PM »
We just bought an older Roadtrek for the very reasons you stated. We use it as a basecamp for backcountry trips and therefore need to be able to legally park it in trailhead parking spots. It's 19 feet long and easily fits. It is also categorized as a normal vehicle instead of an RV so it's cheaper to take on ferries too. The whole #vanlife scene has really driven up the cost of class Bs though! We got a good deal on ours but any semi-reasonably priced version (<$20k Cdn for one that's sufficiently new to have fuel injection - 1991 and newer I think) will sell within days. I think if I had to do it again though I'd get a used pop-top camper on a pickup truck. Similar pricing to a class B (for the truck + camper), slightly better fuel economy and probably more reliable too. Plus my class B gets stuck even when the scent of snow and mud is in the air.
Thanks for the feedback.  Yeah, $20K sounds more like it.  I'm at least 14 months out from FIRE and still undecided about the RV slow travel idea, and this might be something I hold off on for my first year of FIRE until I've done some more traditional travel and getting a feel for retirement, and I'll see how I feel after that.  The all-in-one small Roadtrek type of RV sounds the most fitting for me as I envision things today, which could easily change by then.

DreamFIRE

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #45 on: March 29, 2018, 07:47:48 PM »
I tried some bicycle camping touring (one of my dreams) but have a small dog I take with me and she hates it. Plus a huge hassle for me since I have nowhere safe to lock her inside even to go inside somewhere for a few minutes. So for now its the van but I bring my bike and do day rides with her so works good.
I had a dog years back, so I know how that goes.  The  mini-van and tent idea might work for me to "test the waters" before sinking more serious cash into an RV.

Mrs. Rocker

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #46 on: April 01, 2018, 01:18:05 PM »
Yes being a full-time RVer is much cheaper than a part-timer with a home base. We sold our house as we didn't spend enough time there to justify having it.
Did you have pretty good feeling you would do it for more than one year when you started out?  That upfront investment in a reliable RV, getting it decked out with solar, and all the other related prep is a lot of time and expense if you're not sure it's something you want to do long term.  I think I would like it for a while, but I don't know about year after year with no home to return to.  I feel like I would have to sell the home to make it fit my budget just like you.

We did considerable research before diving into the RV life as it is a big investment. We added solar about six months after purchasing the RV and sold our house almost a year later. We sold the house as we weren't there enough to justify the taxes and upkeep. We've been in the RV almost two years and have no intention of quitting any time soon. There is so much to see and do! If and when we tire of the life we can always buy another house.

DreamFIRE

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #47 on: April 02, 2018, 07:37:49 PM »
I definitely recommend testing the waters before making any big or expensive purchases or irreversible lifestyle changes. I've tried a lot of different things (always starting with the cheapest and easiest, least hassle thing first) to see if its something I might want to do long term. For example if I found out I didn't like long term slow travel as much as I though I would because I missed the more settled life, I'd probably.be able to figure that out just as fast if I were tent camping or using motels and my old car as I would if I had a new shiny RV or camper van or sailboat.
In my case, there's a good chance of the irreversible lifestyle happening in any case, not just because of being retired, but because I'm also looking at a high likelihood of relocating during FIRE.  I don't particularly want to keep living where I am now, so unless I change my mind in the future, I'll be selling my house within the first year or so after FIRE.  I probably wouldn't buy an RV until I had a buyer.  One thing I liked about the RV idea was taking my time traveling around to see different areas I might be interested in relocating to.  And who knows, maybe I would find I actually like the RV life and would want to continue with that longer.  On the other hand, I don't need an RV to travel, and I could always change things up later on and switch to an RV if my experiences pushed me in that direction.  It does give me some anxiety thinking about not having a home to return to.

DreamFIRE

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #48 on: April 02, 2018, 08:05:10 PM »
We did considerable research before diving into the RV life as it is a big investment. We added solar about six months after purchasing the RV and sold our house almost a year later. We sold the house as we weren't there enough to justify the taxes and upkeep. We've been in the RV almost two years and have no intention of quitting any time soon. There is so much to see and do! If and when we tire of the life we can always buy another house.
Even in my LCOL area, I figured it costs me about $600/mo to keep my house as my home base, and maybe double that if I factor in opportunity costs.  Since I don't really want to keep living in this location anyway, I would just sell it before actually purchasing an RV or otherwise taking off on any expedition.  I've done a reasonable amount of research considering how far out I am from FIRE.  I'm really not sure what I'm going to do.  Hopefully my path becomes more clear by then.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Did you know what you wanted to do post-FIRE when you started?
« Reply #49 on: April 03, 2018, 01:18:25 AM »
I sold my house last fall and have had quite a bit of anxiety about being "homeless with dog". My IBL (inner bag lady) screams at me fairly often ;-).. But that's abating now that I found its a bit easier to do short or long term rentals and know that I could buy again if I want to.

We are also planning to sell our house at FIRE and then rent for an x amount of years and eventually probably buy a house again. I am wondering what we should do with the money that we get from our house. We will put 50% of the price of our house in the stock market, but we want to keep the 50% available for buying a new house after x number of years. We cannot tell now if x will turn out to be 1, 5, or even 10. I find the stock market a bit scary for a short term investment, in case x turns out to be 1 or 2. So I guess we will have to put it in bonds. But the return is only 2% or so.

@spartana: What have you done with your house money?