Author Topic: FIRE report four months in  (Read 4209 times)

Financial Ascensionist

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FIRE report four months in
« on: October 15, 2017, 09:09:41 AM »
It's been roughly four months since I hugged my coworkers and turned my badge in. 

I have since traveled to eight states and two provinces.  I spend most of my time doing rock climbing: researching climbs, strength training with a pull-up bar and a hangboard, or climbing on real rock.  My climbing level definitely improved a lot (about four letter grades for trad, one for sport) and I have done some projects that I would previously have thought impossible, such as eight ascents of the Stawamus Chief, a 550 meter granite monolith in British Columbia.  When not climbing, I like to read, drink beer, cook, catch up with friends, and mindlessly refresh Reddit. 

I certainly had my doubts about finances before entering this new part of my life, but I was able to quiet my fears by summarizing my budget as a daily burn rate.  I set a daily target for all my discretionary spending and mentally carry over unused budget to the next day or take a mental note to go easy for the next few days if I overspend.  Once a month, I look at my six-month running average to see if I am still on target.  I also take a quick look at my top-5 spending categories in Mint when I do my monthly review to make sure they are things that actually bring me satisfaction. This is pretty much the only budgeting and tracking that I do.

I plan on pursuing the nomad life for the next several months.  I want to use the winter to seriously improve my climbing level and to attempt El Capitan next spring.  I am not sure what I will do after that, but it will most certainly be related to climbing.  I have other passions that I want to express at some point, but since rock climbing is very physically demanding, I am making it my main focus while I still have a very able body that responds well to training.

Being nomad proved to be a very powerful validation of my minimalist ideals.  As I go from one location to the other, packing my stuff in and out of the car helps me reflect on which physical possessions actually brings me joy and which ones I am clinging to just-in-case with no planned use in the foreseeable future.  I also find that what provides me with the most joy is incredibly inexpensive.  I have had a yearning for luxury items in a previous chapter of my life, but these days I find my moka pot and my solid granite mortar to be insanely more satisfying than my fragile Swiss automatic watch.

I started my adventure with a stash of roughly 35 times my target expenses, mostly invested in low cost index funds.  Now that I see how smooth things are running and how much I am enjoying myself, I am thinking that I could have made the leap much sooner.  At the very least, I don't feel bad at all for having left a considerable amount of unvested company stock on the table when I left.  What I did was without a doubt the best thing for my sanity and for my enjoyment of life.

I am very thankful that I have found this community and I warmly encourage everyone here to keep their focus strong on their path to financial independence and early retirement.  It's absolutely worth it!

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: FIRE report four months in
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2017, 09:27:35 AM »
It's been roughly four months since I hugged my coworkers and turned my badge in. 

I have since traveled to eight states and two provinces.  I spend most of my time doing rock climbing: researching climbs, strength training with a pull-up bar and a hangboard, or climbing on real rock.  My climbing level definitely improved a lot (about four letter grades for trad, one for sport) and I have done some projects that I would previously have thought impossible, such as eight ascents of the Stawamus Chief, a 550 meter granite monolith in British Columbia.  When not climbing, I like to read, drink beer, cook, catch up with friends, and mindlessly refresh Reddit. 

I certainly had my doubts about finances before entering this new part of my life, but I was able to quiet my fears by summarizing my budget as a daily burn rate.  I set a daily target for all my discretionary spending and mentally carry over unused budget to the next day or take a mental note to go easy for the next few days if I overspend.  Once a month, I look at my six-month running average to see if I am still on target.  I also take a quick look at my top-5 spending categories in Mint when I do my monthly review to make sure they are things that actually bring me satisfaction. This is pretty much the only budgeting and tracking that I do.

I plan on pursuing the nomad life for the next several months.  I want to use the winter to seriously improve my climbing level and to attempt El Capitan next spring.  I am not sure what I will do after that, but it will most certainly be related to climbing.  I have other passions that I want to express at some point, but since rock climbing is very physically demanding, I am making it my main focus while I still have a very able body that responds well to training.

Being nomad proved to be a very powerful validation of my minimalist ideals.  As I go from one location to the other, packing my stuff in and out of the car helps me reflect on which physical possessions actually brings me joy and which ones I am clinging to just-in-case with no planned use in the foreseeable future.  I also find that what provides me with the most joy is incredibly inexpensive.  I have had a yearning for luxury items in a previous chapter of my life, but these days I find my moka pot and my solid granite mortar to be insanely more satisfying than my fragile Swiss automatic watch.

I started my adventure with a stash of roughly 35 times my target expenses, mostly invested in low cost index funds.  Now that I see how smooth things are running and how much I am enjoying myself, I am thinking that I could have made the leap much sooner.  At the very least, I don't feel bad at all for having left a considerable amount of unvested company stock on the table when I left.  What I did was without a doubt the best thing for my sanity and for my enjoyment of life.

I am very thankful that I have found this community and I warmly encourage everyone here to keep their focus strong on their path to financial independence and early retirement.  It's absolutely worth it!

Awesome!

Glad you are enjoying yourself.  I'm trying to get into better shape myself.  Have kicked it up a notch at the gym.  It isn't showing up on the scale but more on the measuring tape.  Progress!

I have a feeling you will conquer El Capitan.  Gogogogogogogogo!
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CowboyAndIndian

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Re: FIRE report four months in
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2017, 09:41:22 AM »
Great to hear of your journey.

You should think of getting a truck like C40 (https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/c40's-journal-'cause-my-life-is-dope-and-i-do-dope-sh*t'/)

And also take a lot of pictures like he does.

We need more pictures of Post-FIRE!! (not joking, but photos of what you climbed would be awesome)

Stasher

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Re: FIRE report four months in
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2017, 09:48:08 AM »
Right on ! Way to go on making the most of the start of your FIRE'd life and challenging yourself on several levels. That's awesome that you made it up to send the Chief so many times, I live here and have yet to do so. Have you put the Bugs on your radar yet?
I Fire'd myself this past May but have scored so many little gigs here and there from my side hustle I created that getting away has been hard. I did manage to sneak away to the Eastern Sierra and get some wicked 4th and low 5th ridge scrambles in last month. Met a couple guys who I plan to head back down and visit again, we did East Ridge of Russell while they sent Mitheral Dihedral which looked so good! North Ridge of Mt Conness was my favorite and loved it . We did a scouting run of Mt Emerson for the SE Face and will be back for that one.

I really want to be doing what you are doing and the wife told me she isn't ready to radically downsize and travel for at least 5 years. We still have a daughter in high school and a retail business the wife runs. Until then I look forward to mini adventures here and there.

My blog started on personal finance but has since evolved into photography of outdoors, trips and gears which is now partially funding my retired life to preserve the Stash.
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TartanTallulah

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Re: FIRE report four months in
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2017, 01:38:11 AM »
So glad to hear that you're happy with your decision and are following your passion.



Financial Ascensionist

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Re: FIRE report four months in
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2017, 09:14:08 AM »

Thank you for the positive comments, everyone.

It is indeed a really cool adventure van that C40 has built for himself.  I personally do not live in my car, I instead go for one short term rental to another with a few camping outings in between.  This works well enough and I really enjoy the comfort that it provides, but I also see how true van dwellers are a lot more mobile and flexible regarding how they can react to opportunities.  I might give it a shot at some point.

Stasher, that's a really cool blog that you have there.  I love the inspiring scenery that you set as the backdrop for all these gear reviews.  I am more into hard technical climbing than alpine these days so the Bugaboos have not been on my radar as much as say, Skaha and Horne Lake.  I'm still a terrible hiker and therefore I tend to gravitate around areas with short and easy approaches.  Thankfully, just doing these short approaches on a regular basis seems to improve my ability to walk with a heavy pack so maybe I will eventually be in good enough condition for alpine outings.


Stasher

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Re: FIRE report four months in
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2017, 10:31:14 AM »
Stasher, that's a really cool blog that you have there.  I love the inspiring scenery that you set as the backdrop for all these gear reviews.  I am more into hard technical climbing than alpine these days so the Bugaboos have not been on my radar as much as say, Skaha and Horne Lake.  I'm still a terrible hiker and therefore I tend to gravitate around areas with short and easy approaches.  Thankfully, just doing these short approaches on a regular basis seems to improve my ability to walk with a heavy pack so maybe I will eventually be in good enough condition for alpine outings.

Thanks , love working on the blog as it is now my main source of income via the contract work I get out of it.
For climbing on Vancouver Island the main destination is actually Crest Creek Crags and the new routes on Quadra Island, the Chinese Mountains.

As for me it looks like I'm the reverse of you LOL , I can backpack and hike with the best of them but only climb at low 5th right now in the alpine.

Phil Stone with a couple friends of mine put together a new guide book
https://gripped.com/news/new-guidebook-crest-creek-rock-west-coast/
http://www.wildisle.ca/crest-creek-rock-climbs/index.html#.WeTd0RNSyRs
http://www.wildisle.ca/quadrarockclimbs/index.html#.WeTd5hNSyRs
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dude

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Re: FIRE report four months in
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2017, 12:53:28 PM »
It's been roughly four months since I hugged my coworkers and turned my badge in. 

I have since traveled to eight states and two provinces.  I spend most of my time doing rock climbing: researching climbs, strength training with a pull-up bar and a hangboard, or climbing on real rock.  My climbing level definitely improved a lot (about four letter grades for trad, one for sport) and I have done some projects that I would previously have thought impossible, such as eight ascents of the Stawamus Chief, a 550 meter granite monolith in British Columbia.  When not climbing, I like to read, drink beer, cook, catch up with friends, and mindlessly refresh Reddit.

Man, you are living my ideal FIRE life!! Mind if I ask how old you are?  I'm always inspired when I hear of guys in their 50s/60s improving their climbing. I'm hoping that will be the case for me when I retire at 54!

Financial Ascensionist

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Re: FIRE report four months in
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2017, 09:55:53 PM »
I'm 39 and I know from doing a few DXA scans that I was able to gain 3kg of muscle mass in about 3 months by really focusing my training.  I am a bit surprised that my body is still that malleable, but I am definitely not complaining.  Let's hope that it stays like that for several more years.

Financial Ascensionist

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Re: FIRE report four months in
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2017, 11:17:02 PM »
Stacher, I am travelling south of the border for the next few months, but I will be sure to check out Crest Creek Crags next time I am in BC. Thank you for the recommendation.

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Re: FIRE report four months in
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2017, 05:09:19 AM »
Wow, sounds like you've had a great couple of months !! Smart to accomplish the more physical goals while still young and able.  I'll be a little older but plan on the same strategy after FIRE.

spartana

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Re: FIRE report – four months in
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2017, 10:29:00 PM »
Hey OP congrats on attaining FIRE. It sounds like you're really making the most of it and enjoying it. Nice to hear such positive FIRE reviews from people. I was (am) like you in a lot of ways in that when I FIRE (years ago) I left work in SoCal on a Friday and less than 24 hours later was half way to Washington state to spend couple of months hiking, climbing, etc... That was my decompression. I had kept a home base because I had several pets but now with all but one gone am becoming more nomadic. Im in the process of figuring out how I want to do that - currently trying van dwelling for the last 2 months and giving it another month before renting a place for winter. Please report back on your adventures.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 10:35:50 PM by spartana »
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concealed stache

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Re: FIRE report four months in
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2017, 06:02:05 PM »
I'm a bit late to this party but love to hear these updates - every story about someone making it work is so reassuring as I tip into FIRE myself.

I'm a bit of a squamish fan - what routes did you like up the Chief? I was there over the summer but ended up doing a lot more single pitch stuff. Looking forward to a longer stay next summer than my standard two weeks working man holiday - did you have a permanent partner on hand or were you able to find competent companions on the go?

Financial Ascensionist

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Re: FIRE report four months in
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2017, 08:30:35 PM »
Spartana,
You were in fact a source of inspiration for my post-work plans.  Thank you so much for being so generously sharing your stories.

Concealed Stache,
I climbed:
* Europa;
* Snake + Butt Light;
* Millennium Falcon (with Upper Black Dyke finish);
* Angel's Crest (4 times);
* Rock On + Ultimate Everything;
* The Grand Wall (but stopped at Bellygood Ledge).

I found it quite easy to find climbing partners, both transient travelers and locals.  I would usually start by doing a cragging day of single pitches with new partners.  If things clicked, we would embark on bolder projects.  I ended up with a small group of regular partners, but given my very open schedule, I found it useful to meet new partners regularly to make sure I could climb as frequently as possible. 
« Last Edit: November 04, 2017, 03:08:09 PM by Financial Ascensionist »

Hikester

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Re: FIRE report four months in
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2017, 09:49:41 PM »
You certainly have the right idea to tackle the physically demanding goals early on after FIREing. Thirty five times spending also seems quite acceptable. I wish you the best climbing El Capitan! Please post pictures, I will be following your adventures.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

spartana

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Re: FIRE report – four months in
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2017, 01:21:46 AM »
Spartana,
You were in fact a source of inspiration for my post-work plans.  Thank you so much for being so generously sharing your stories.

Concealed Stache,
I climbed:
* Europa;
* Snake + Butt Light;
* Millennium Falcon (with Upper Black Dyke finish);
* Angel's Crest (4 times);
* Rock On + Europa;
* The Grand Wall (but stopped at Bellygood Ledge).

I found it quite easy to find climbing partners, both transient travelers and locals.  I would usually start by doing a cragging day of single pitches with new partners.  If things clicked, we would embark on bolder projects.  I ended up with a small group of regular partners, but given my very open schedule, I found it useful to meet new partners regularly to make sure I could climb as frequently as possible.
Ah shucks (blush) thanks. Nice to know I can occasionally be a good influence - its usually the opposite  ;-). Envious of your adventures although I'm more into longish distance hiking and scrambling nowadays as I messed my wrists up a year ago.

ETA: yes post pics and maybe even consider a journal about your path and experiences.  I think it could be very inspirational for others.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2017, 01:37:26 AM by spartana »
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Stasher

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Re: FIRE report four months in
« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2017, 09:58:53 AM »
If you do come up to Squamish again I can connect you with a network of locals, some that don't work the regular 9-5 :)
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concealed stache

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Re: FIRE report four months in
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2017, 06:46:02 PM »
Spartana,
You were in fact a source of inspiration for my post-work plans.  Thank you so much for being so generously sharing your stories.

Concealed Stache,
I climbed:
* Europa;
* Snake + Butt Light;
* Millennium Falcon (with Upper Black Dyke finish);
* Angel's Crest (4 times);
* Rock On + Ultimate Everything;
* The Grand Wall (but stopped at Bellygood Ledge).

I found it quite easy to find climbing partners, both transient travelers and locals.  I would usually start by doing a cragging day of single pitches with new partners.  If things clicked, we would embark on bolder projects.  I ended up with a small group of regular partners, but given my very open schedule, I found it useful to meet new partners regularly to make sure I could climb as frequently as possible.

Some nice long days in there! Did you ever do High Plains Drifter as the AC finish? I thought that was definitely going to be on the list for me this summer but things didn't quite line up. That arcing crack with unbelievable exposure... makes me melt just to think about it!

Financial Ascensionist

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Re: FIRE report four months in
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2017, 10:43:34 PM »
Some nice long days in there! Did you ever do High Plains Drifter as the AC finish? I thought that was definitely going to be on the list for me this summer but things didn't quite line up. That arcing crack with unbelievable exposure... makes me melt just to think about it!

We did High Plains Drifter by doing hiking to second peak then rapping down.  The first pitch is perfect hand jams with great pro.  The slight overhang is all the difficulty, but the hands are all there.  The second pitch is where is gets spicy.  The crux move is a very long reach (it was a lunge for me) and you won't get to protect until you reach the anchor bolts.  Reserve a green or purple cam for the high point before the side launch.  This was a really good route!  The approach from AC looked rather exposed, but then I have not done it so I can't tell for sure how scary it is.

concealed stache

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Re: FIRE report four months in
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2017, 07:28:37 PM »
We did High Plains Drifter by doing hiking to second peak then rapping down.  The first pitch is perfect hand jams with great pro.  The slight overhang is all the difficulty, but the hands are all there.  The second pitch is where is gets spicy.  The crux move is a very long reach (it was a lunge for me) and you won't get to protect until you reach the anchor bolts.  Reserve a green or purple cam for the high point before the side launch.  This was a really good route!  The approach from AC looked rather exposed, but then I have not done it so I can't tell for sure how scary it is.

Just sounds so good! How tall are you, if you don't mind me asking? If I recall correctly the second pitch is gradde around 11c due to that move - I like to believe that makes it onsightable for me as a more competent face climber, if it was based upon the difficulty of the jamming it might be a little optimistic to head all the way up there to flail around - for some reason it just seems pleasing to execute smoothly on such a worthy route.

Financial Ascensionist

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Re: FIRE report four months in
« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2017, 10:17:09 PM »
I'm 1.70m. The move can certainly be done static, but I'm not sure how tall you have to be for that. One way or another, it's a really good route!