Author Topic: Giving back after FIRE  (Read 3543 times)

epower

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Giving back after FIRE
« on: April 30, 2017, 01:27:40 AM »
The pursuit of early retirement to me personally seems like a selfish pursuit.

I'm looking at ways to give back to people, communities, etc.

What are ways people have done this or goals they are working towards?
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Ozstache

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Re: Giving back after FIRE
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2017, 04:38:35 AM »
I help out my extended family much more than I was able to do when working.

mara

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Re: Giving back after FIRE
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2017, 04:56:09 AM »
I try to help people who want it get work. There's always something useful one can do. Just not being a burden to society could be a worthwhile pursuit.

After the last world war, the U.S. government intentionally promoted consumerism to its citizens, believing that keeping them busy earning more money to buy more things would lead to widespread harmony. What do YOU want to do with that infomation?

Freshwater

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Re: Giving back after FIRE
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2017, 06:11:08 AM »
Once I fire (next year fingers crossed) I have ideas for 2 x non-profits. I will try to make those work primarily. Other than that I already volunteer a few hrs a week, I'm going to ramp up my hours there, plus help out at an emergency hotline & do some migrant/refugee English tutoring. I also saw a great program for adult financial literacy so I might look for one on one opportunities. Something tells me I'm going to be way too busy!

Once the dog dies we'll do a fair bit of travel but this is my plan for the next 3 yrs-ish.

Mezzie

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Re: Giving back after FIRE
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2017, 06:19:22 AM »
I'll probably be busier than ever volunteering. My areas of interest:
1. Helping our local homeless.
2. Helping our prisoners transition into productive life outside.
3. Foster care.
4. Political action (too varied to list)
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Villanelle

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Re: Giving back after FIRE
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2017, 08:34:01 AM »
I plan to scale up my volunteering.  Due to moving overseas for Husband's work, I've had sustained periods of unemployment, and I've found that I'm someone who very much needs a schedule and commitments.  Library volunteering is magical to me.  I've got about 1/3 of an MLIS degree completed.  Not sure I'll ever finish, but I plan on putting it to good use.   

There are a couple other causes to which I'll contribute, though I've not yet decided on specific organizations or means of support. 

And Husband and I plan on leaving half of our estate to charitable organizations.  I could even see us potentially working in jobs we enjoy (like perhaps a paid gig at a library) to help increase the size of that donation.  Every $10k-$20k we bring in per year would be an extra $12k-30k (~, depending on how long it sits around before we die) we can leave behind to organizations doing great work. 

Moustachienne

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Re: Giving back after FIRE
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2017, 09:28:30 AM »
I'm honestly curious.  Why does pursuit of early retirement seem like a selfish pursuit?  Aren't all our pursuits selfish or not selfish depending on what we do with them and/or the eye of the beholder?


The pursuit of early retirement to me personally seems like a selfish pursuit.

I'm looking at ways to give back to people, communities, etc.

What are ways people have done this or goals they are working towards?

Dicey

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Re: Giving back after FIRE
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2017, 11:46:13 AM »
I started scaling up my volunteering prior to FIRE,  because I wanted to make more local friends. I started by volunteering at the library's quarterly book sales and it blew up from there.

Four years post-FIRE, in addition to taking care of my MIL who lives with us, along with her pal Al Z. Heimer, my list looks something like this:

VP of Friends of (smaller) Library Board. This includes assisting with set-up and running of 5 Book Sales per year, and shelving books in the library lobby every fifth Monday. Picking up the coins from the cash box 2x/ month, banking same at EOM. Basically, we raise money to buy the librarians anything the County doesn't/can't pay for. Monthly meetings plus multiple visits to library, on flexible schedule.

Director of (bigger) umbrella Library Foundation group, monthly meetings plus various events. I just served as Chair of Silent Auction Committee for annual fund-raising Gala, which involved about six months of planning.

Co-chair, Community Service Day. 1 day, 50 projects, 1200+ volunteers. About 9 months of planning.

Usher at our performing arts center, min 1x/month.

Hospitality Chair of a Women's Arts Group which meets 6/year, plus 9 Board meetings.

A friend ran for City Council. I served as her Treasurer. Two years later, coached another candidate's Treasurer, and helped run campaign literature distribution for three candidates.

I run a Neighborhood Food Drive every December at our house.

Volunteer for various City Events, as needed.

In all of my FIRE planning, I never dreamed I'd be married, much less caring for a MIL with ALZ. Volunteering has wildly expanded my social circle,  and helps me keep my sanity. Achieving FIRE lets me care for an ill family member and give back to my community with my time, energy and money.

Pretty sure I'm making more of an impact with my life now than I ever did in my sales career.
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seattlecyclone

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Re: Giving back after FIRE
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2017, 12:02:25 PM »
Re: selfishness, I think that voluntarily giving up your spot in the workforce to someone who needs it more can be seen as a very unselfish thing to do.
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SwordGuy

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Re: Giving back after FIRE
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2017, 12:40:39 PM »
Well, there are lots of people who need a good job, and in 13 months they'll be welcome to mine.  :)

Not joking aside, we'll volunteer more. 

In the past, my wife served on the local board of directors of an advocacy group for people with mental disabilities.   I served on the county board of directors for the mental health department and also on the city's mass transit advisory committee.

We've also volunteered for various professional groups we've been associated with, some work related and others hobby related.
We've both acted as editors of various publications associated with those groups.

It's hard to do those with both of us holding down full time jobs plus working an extra part-time job getting to FI sooner.

So, now we'll get to do more of that.   I'm looking forward to it.

We had decided that every 5th real estate investment would be for charitable purposes.   We're doing a (very) slow flip on a really cool mid-century modern house to save it from destruction.  When we started it, we were certain we could break even, so we considered it was going to be our charitable work.   Now it looks like we might actually make a fair bit on it, so if we do, we'll make #6 into a charitable one.   

Our original charitable house idea was to find one really cheap and restore it, then donate it to a local group for use as a battered women's shelter, or for use by people who have been burned or flooded out of their homes, or who need a free place to stay while visiting wounded military family members at the local military hospital.  Any of those outcomes will make us happy.  If the cost is a bit too high for us to handle as a full donation of the property, we might rent it out ourselves for a few years to recoup the expense. 

An alternative idea is to keep the title to the properties but donate the rental profits.    Or just sell it and donate the profits.

I've mentioned elsewhere on the forum that we're going to try to partner with some local groups to train young folks or folks out of prison with some good handy man/ construction trade skills plus some wages.   And make them aware of frugality and how it will help them invest in themselves for a better financial future.   We've done that on an informal basis on occasion and gotten decent results from it, but we have no idea how well it will scale up (or if it will at all).

Tyler

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Re: Giving back after FIRE
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2017, 11:39:22 PM »
IMHO, there's a very big difference between selfishness and self-empowerment.  FIRE is the latter.

With regards to post-FIRE activities, I simply think of it as working on things that interest me and sharing the results with others without worrying about profit as a primary motivator. That can easily be confused with "giving back", but the motivation has nothing to do with a sense of debt or charity.  It's more about setting up a good situation to just be yourself. 
« Last Edit: May 01, 2017, 08:17:35 AM by Tyler »
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Freedomin5

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Re: Giving back after FIRE
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2017, 03:41:54 AM »
I'm pursuing FIRE so that I can use my skills to work with organizations that would otherwise not be able to afford or access my professional expertise.

Villanelle

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Re: Giving back after FIRE
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2017, 06:37:34 AM »
Well, there are lots of people who need a good job, and in 13 months they'll be welcome to mine.  :)

Not joking aside, we'll volunteer more. 

In the past, my wife served on the local board of directors of an advocacy group for people with mental disabilities.   I served on the county board of directors for the mental health department and also on the city's mass transit advisory committee.

We've also volunteered for various professional groups we've been associated with, some work related and others hobby related.
We've both acted as editors of various publications associated with those groups.

It's hard to do those with both of us holding down full time jobs plus working an extra part-time job getting to FI sooner.

So, now we'll get to do more of that.   I'm looking forward to it.

We had decided that every 5th real estate investment would be for charitable purposes.   We're doing a (very) slow flip on a really cool mid-century modern house to save it from destruction.  When we started it, we were certain we could break even, so we considered it was going to be our charitable work.   Now it looks like we might actually make a fair bit on it, so if we do, we'll make #6 into a charitable one.   

Our original charitable house idea was to find one really cheap and restore it, then donate it to a local group for use as a battered women's shelter, or for use by people who have been burned or flooded out of their homes, or who need a free place to stay while visiting wounded military family members at the local military hospital.  Any of those outcomes will make us happy.  If the cost is a bit too high for us to handle as a full donation of the property, we might rent it out ourselves for a few years to recoup the expense. 

An alternative idea is to keep the title to the properties but donate the rental profits.    Or just sell it and donate the profits.

I've mentioned elsewhere on the forum that we're going to try to partner with some local groups to train young folks or folks out of prison with some good handy man/ construction trade skills plus some wages.   And make them aware of frugality and how it will help them invest in themselves for a better financial future.   We've done that on an informal basis on occasion and gotten decent results from it, but we have no idea how well it will scale up (or if it will at all).

Are you familiar with Fisher House?  It's basically Ronald McDonald house for military families with loved ones at military hospitals, or pretty much exactly what you posted.  If this cause is important to you , you might want to get in touch with them, either to add them to your volunteer or donation list, or to see if they could use a house you might eventually want to donate.

DeskJockey2028

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Re: Giving back after FIRE
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2017, 07:19:47 AM »
One of the reasons we're pursuing FIRE is so that we can be available should either of our 2 children have children of their own (and are living near us). My in-laws were indispensable to us when it came to child care. They unselfishly volunteered to watch our kids on a scheduled, weekly basis a couple of days a week and that allowed my wife to return to the workforce (part time) a lot sooner than she would have been able to otherwise. It also created some amazing bonds between our kids and this set of grandparents - that's something you can't really buy.

We're going to make ourselves available to do the same. We'd love to be a huge part in any future grandchildren's lives and since our kids will be between 23 and 25 when we're finally FIRED, there's a good chance that will happen.

In addition to giving our kids a leg up, we're going to be upping our volunteer activities in the year or two before FIRE as well. We don't plan on sitting on the couch watching TV when we're done with the working world, we just want to not be beholden to any business entities for the money we need to survive.

kiteboarding.gal

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Re: Giving back after FIRE
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2017, 07:22:38 PM »
Volunteer for something you're passionate about. For me that is gender equality, social & environmental justice.

Help people for free. I like mentoring about early investing, frugality and business.

Start a business to employ people and create jobs.

Be like Richard Branson and keep working but give 100% of your income to the causes you care about.

The world is lucky to have you.

Go do good stuff.

SwordGuy

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Re: Giving back after FIRE
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2017, 06:03:39 AM »
or who need a free place to stay while visiting wounded military family members at the local military hospital. 

Are you familiar with Fisher House?  It's basically Ronald McDonald house for military families with loved ones at military hospitals, or pretty much exactly what you posted.  If this cause is important to you , you might want to get in touch with them, either to add them to your volunteer or donation list, or to see if they could use a house you might eventually want to donate.

We are!  When the time comes we'll contact them if they're the right option for us.

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Re: Giving back after FIRE
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2017, 07:52:41 AM »
I would like to find a longer term volunteer opportunity in some really poor area of the world.  Considering Peace Corps although I am somewhat put off by the stated goal of promoting American values abroad.  Would prefer something completely non-governmental and non-religious but I think that is going to be hard to find.



Dicey

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Re: Giving back after FIRE
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2017, 09:34:47 AM »
or who need a free place to stay while visiting wounded military family members at the local military hospital. 

Are you familiar with Fisher House?  It's basically Ronald McDonald house for military families with loved ones at military hospitals, or pretty much exactly what you posted.  If this cause is important to you , you might want to get in touch with them, either to add them to your volunteer or donation list, or to see if they could use a house you might eventually want to donate.

We are!  When the time comes we'll contact them if they're the right option for us.
This is a great suggestion. Giving something that requires upkeep is tricky. Not everyone can afford the taxes and maintenance, nor do they have the human power and knowledge to do so. My City no longer accepts property gifts unless they can be sold. One person donated a hilltop home of no particular architectural value. The City wants to remove the house, which is in need of significant maintenance and make it a park. The family disapproves because they want the house "protected" and the neighbors don't want a park due to increased traffic in their residential neighborhood.
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Villanelle

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Re: Giving back after FIRE
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2017, 02:13:20 AM »
While I don't currently have the patience, I've mentally filed the idea of getting in to extreme couponing when DH and I are fully retired, and using that to get items for pennies (or free).  One issue I generally have with the super coupon-ers is that they end up with 25 year stockpiles of toothpaste and body wash, and they then have to store that stuff.  But doing that and then donating that toothpaste and body wash to Fisher House or RMD house, women's shelters, programs that help foster kids or recently released inmates looking to get settled, etc.  appeals to me.  I suspect they'd love that deodorant I got for $.04, or the free dental floss, or whatever. 

BlackDog

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Re: Giving back after FIRE
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2017, 02:59:45 AM »
We had decided that every 5th real estate investment would be for charitable purposes.   We're doing a (very) slow flip on a really cool mid-century modern house to save it from destruction.  When we started it, we were certain we could break even, so we considered it was going to be our charitable work.   Now it looks like we might actually make a fair bit on it, so if we do, we'll make #6 into a charitable one.   

Our original charitable house idea was to find one really cheap and restore it, then donate it to a local group for use as a battered women's shelter, or for use by people who have been burned or flooded out of their homes, or who need a free place to stay while visiting wounded military family members at the local military hospital.  Any of those outcomes will make us happy.  If the cost is a bit too high for us to handle as a full donation of the property, we might rent it out ourselves for a few years to recoup the expense. 

An alternative idea is to keep the title to the properties but donate the rental profits.    Or just sell it and donate the profits.

I've mentioned elsewhere on the forum that we're going to try to partner with some local groups to train young folks or folks out of prison with some good handy man/ construction trade skills plus some wages.   And make them aware of frugality and how it will help them invest in themselves for a better financial future.   We've done that on an informal basis on occasion and gotten decent results from it, but we have no idea how well it will scale up (or if it will at all).

I'm a property guy too and am working towards setting up a foundation to use my skills, passion, and cash for altruistic purposes. Plan is to build a brand around the foundation, get buy in from tradespeople (discounted services and products), and build a marketing machine around the brand so all stakeholders receive value. Buy, renovate, and/or subdivide and new-build, then sell the house/s - all profits going to the dogs (or any other worthwhile charity/cause). Take one of those giant cheques to the charity with the cameras rolling.

nazar

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Re: Giving back after FIRE
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2017, 11:25:46 AM »
Part of my FIRE preparation is the creation and build up of a donor advised fund that will allow me to sustain charitable gifts in my retirement, and a lifetime gift after my death of the fund balance.  I consider this just as important as paying my bills and enjoying my leisure time.



AlwaysBeenASaver

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Re: Giving back after FIRE
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2017, 11:44:40 AM »
I'm 2 years into FIRE. I'm doing quite a bit of volunteering and loving being able to help out organizations that really need help and don't have funding. I've also found I do little things because I have time now that I wasn't able to do before. Spend a little time picking up trash in the neighborhood, let people who seem rushed and stressed ahead of me in line at the grocery, stop to help someone having car problems, just little things that can really brighten someone's day. There are also tons of volunteer opportunities, just try out a bunch and see what you like. Some are regular commitments and some are drop-in.

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Re: Giving back after FIRE
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2017, 06:41:24 AM »

We have been able to travel and live in different countries while helping friends start churches and community ministries. 
FIRE'd at few years ago. I am 43, DW 39. 5 young kids 10,8,7,4 and a newborn. We have lived in Auckland, Melbourne, Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Suva and currently living in Brisbane.

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