Author Topic: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!  (Read 16432 times)

meteor

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New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« on: January 14, 2015, 08:31:49 PM »
I want to thank the moderators for opening this forum for people who have reached FI.  I think it will benefit all members to see it's possible to become FI and how one's lifestyle may change in unexpected and sometimes challenging ways.
 
Some of the questions I personally would like to ask others are:
-How old were you when you became FI?
-Was this carefully planned or happened suddenly (inheritance/job payout)?
-What was the biggest surprise you didn't expect after FI?
-What was the most difficult adjustment?
-Do you tell people you are FI?  Why or why not?
-Did your social life/friends change after FI?  How?

Ok, that's probably enough questions for now!  Thanks again moderator "arebelspy" for opening this subforum!

RootofGood

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2015, 08:58:27 PM »
Placeholder for me to respond (hopefully) tomorrow or maybe in a week or two when back on the interwebs.

For now, check out this Reddit guy that just answered a ton of questions on his first 10 years in early retirement:  http://www.reddit.com/r/financialindependence/comments/2sf7q4/fier_10_years_ago_at_36ama/

Another great summary of a few different people who reached FIRE and share their story (also from reddit):  http://www.reddit.com/r/financialindependence/comments/2rsd7v/those_of_you_who_have_achieved_fi_status_care_to/

Retired at age 33 to spend more time with my wife and 3 kids.  2 years in and still loving every minute!
Sharing my thoughts on early retirement, finances, taxes, travel, and life in general at rootofgood.com

MsRichLife

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2015, 03:07:38 AM »
-How old were you when you became FI?

I can't say for sure, but I'm guessing sometime in my early 30's. I've had a large net worth for a long time, but it's only been in the last five years that I've aggressively paid down my mortgages, making me more confident of FI.

-Was this carefully planned or happened suddenly (inheritance/job payout)?

Carefully planned. At 22 I decided that I'd be a millionaire by 35 and retired by 40. My 22 year old self has set me up for life. A huge thanks to that smart, young lady :)

-What was the biggest surprise you didn't expect after FI?

Financially, I'm ready for retirement. However, I wasn't expecting how difficult the psychological transition would be. I'm very thankful to have found the MMM community recently, so I now have the experience of others to draw upon.

-What was the most difficult adjustment?

As above. How to keep working at something you aren't passionate about when you don't 'need' to and are ready to move on? That's a process I'm working through at the moment.

-Do you tell people you are FI?  Why or why not?

Not usually. Only recently have I started to let people know in small ways, and that's only because we have just bought our post-FIRE house and people ask us what we plan to do. I only talk to people about FIRE if they seem interested. Most people are so caught up in their own stuff and I hate 'preaching'.

-Did your social life/friends change after FI?  How?

Nope. Not at all. After RE I expect things will change significantly because we make a major move to a new region (city to small town).

Jon_Snow

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2015, 09:06:05 AM »
Hey, I just noticed this new area of the forum! I've tossed around the idea of starting my own Journal...but I think this may be a better place to document some of my post-FIRE impressions and experiences.

The majority of the forum population are still in the "slog" toward FIRE - as was I until 5 months ago - and it's nice for those of us who have "escaped" to have our own little place here.

Congrats to those who got the ball rollin' on this.

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2015, 09:08:07 AM »
Was technically FI at 32.  Started planning my retirement around 14 years old as I watched my dad suffer in a terrible work environment and get serious about his own FIRE plan.  My plan has changed more times than I can count, but the goal has always stayed the same. Nothing really changed the day I hit my FI number but it happened the day before a 2 week vacation which was pretty cool.  I'm still working for some travel money and some extra buffer as this bull market will end at some point. I want part time work to be optional but not mandatory. 

Just a few close friends know, and I don't think they really believe it.  ER blows most people's minds.  I tried to talk a few folks into FI early in my career and it just made them extremely uncomfortable, to the point of them avoiding me.  Now I don't mention it unless someone asks, and even then, I avoid dollar figures.  I tell them to save at least 50%, invest in index funds, and give it 10 years, then we'll talk again.  Don't think I will lose any friends, but I'm looking forward to making some new ones once I am retired, given that I will have more time to invest in relationships.  I will need some more to help fill my time!  All my friends now are as busy as I am, or even more so!  While ER has been a primary goal for all of my adult life, deciding to pull the trigger has certainly come with it's fair share of stress.  I almost breathed a sigh of relief when I learned that Obamacare credits were being challenged in the Supreme Court because it allowed me to justify working longer.  My current job is tolerable but not fun or satisfying. Even if I wasn't FI and pending ER, it would be time to move on.

I hope the subforum takes hold because I plan to be posting here quite a bit in a few months!       

RootofGood

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2015, 09:27:50 AM »
-How old were you when you became FI?
33; roughly the same time I ER'd.  We could have done the permatravel to Mexico/SE Asia a few years earlier but decided to stick with the rat race to pad the portfolio. 

Quote
-Was this carefully planned or happened suddenly (inheritance/job payout)?
The planning was careful and intentional.  I actually started surfing on the ER forums within a year of starting FT work straight out of college.  So I've been planning my retirement since day 150 or so.  :)  The decision to quit working was made for me by a very sudden culling of the workforce.  After a day of navel gazing I decided I had enough of work and enough money.

Quote
-What was the biggest surprise you didn't expect after FI?
I didn't expect it to take me 6 months to decompress after ERing.  Everyone says it takes a while, but I thought I was special.  I am not. 

Quote
-What was the most difficult adjustment?
I can't think of any real difficulties (outside of adjusting to ER).  If this were a job interview and I had to give an answer, I would say that once I figured out "holy shit, this is the rest of my life.  Tomorrow is right now!" I think it clicked.  No excuses any more.  If something's going to happen in my life, it's on me.  No more blaming work for getting in the way of life.

Quote
-Do you tell people you are FI?  Why or why not?
Close friends and family, yes (for the most part).  I also disclose quite a bit of juicy financial details on my semi-anonymous blog (where I don't use my last name).  Casual acquaintances, not so much unless I'm interested in sparking a potentially long conversation.  I'm just a stay at home dad, between jobs, a freelancer when I can get work, working from home, etc to casual acquaintances.  I'm about to hit "publish" on a lengthy blog post covering this exact topic due to a little oversharing by my daughter at school.  :)

Quote
-Did your social life/friends change after FI?  How?
Not a lot.  I only had a few close work friends, and most of our common bonds were work, grumbling about work, etc.  I occasionally see a couple of the close coworkers, but it's been many months now. 

I have kids, so they are like magic social glue that lets you hang out with other parents.  So we get together as families fairly often (as much as my introvert wife can take it lol).  And I have a number of friends that don't work during the day, so we'll hang out.  Overall, I probably have more purely social interactions now than I did when working. 

Retired at age 33 to spend more time with my wife and 3 kids.  2 years in and still loving every minute!
Sharing my thoughts on early retirement, finances, taxes, travel, and life in general at rootofgood.com

meteor

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2015, 10:10:27 AM »
BTW - Thanks OP for getting the sub-forum idea up and running. Hopefully there will be lots of contributions and ideas. I do have one suggestion though - and that is to make separate threads for some of you question rather than one long one which could get convoluted. Maybe make this thread a general introduction and start a new thread for each/most of your other questions.

Good idea...I didn't think that one out because i have so many questions :)
« Last Edit: January 15, 2015, 10:12:31 AM by meteor »

Dr. Doom

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2015, 10:12:43 AM »

Thanks for getting the forum started, OP.  I'll be interested to see where it goes.

To your questions:
  • 35 FI.  Currently 37.  Haven't ER'd yet.
  • Planned.  I graduated college 40K in debt and have been in software/IT jobs since.
  • Surprise?  How easy my job suddenly became.  There are rough spots, like any white collar office job (busy periods, political flareups, etc) but I just don't feel emotionally connected to it the way that I used to.  My confidence has also gone through the roof.  Work rarely bothers me anymore.  Originally I wanted to get FI because work felt very painful, and it -- just doesn't anymore.  Maybe I've become somewhat institutionalized over the years.  Also I've found a better employer.
  • Adjustment:  Spouse onboarding.  Lots of issues here.  Currently it's:
    "What are we going to do with our lives?"
    "Whatever we want."
    <disbelief - even though we've been talking about this for years.>
    And so on.  It's been a process.
  • Telling folks:  Yes to close friends.  But I don't bring it up all that much - it's a sensitive subject. No to family (across the board -- this is a hard and fast rule.)  My family is terrible with money and it's not OK for them to know, unfortunately.
  • Social life changes:  Not really.  I have mostly the same group of friends.  This may change after ER and I can no longer properly gripe about work when we get together, reducing things we have in common. 


If you want a very, very long history of my journey and thought process, feel free to read the 'job experience' set of posts on my blog.  It covers most of the FI path for me - reasons for getting started, challenges moving through the employment landscape, even yearly financial summaries (always on the last page of every year, so you can skip to them if you want.)

BTW blog=not monetized, mostly navel gazing fluff, so I don't consider this to be self-interested promotion.  Hopefully no one is bothered by this.

Also, EscapeVelocity's point about originally thinking he'd be done in his late 20s resonates with me -- I thought early thirties for sure, myself, but then got married, had a bit of lifestyle creep in the form of housing, and re-evaluation of goals and logistics, and suddenly I'm 37.  No regrets, though, as I'm happier now and my financial picture has solidified in the meantime.

RootofGood

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2015, 10:27:54 AM »
Adjustment:  Spouse onboarding.  Lots of issues here.  Currently it's:
"What are we going to do with our lives?"
"Whatever we want."
<disbelief - even though we've been talking about this for years.>
And so on.  It's been a process.

I'm experiencing a tinge of that with my wife.  She's on the verge of pulling the plug, and I think the reality of "what will I do all day" is starting to hit her.  I've already told her that it's not my job to entertain her ALL day.  She's about to request a 3 month (paid) sabbatical when we get back from vacation in late January, and hopefully she gets approved for this spring so she can try on the FIRE lifestyle for a few months before making it official.
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Sharing my thoughts on early retirement, finances, taxes, travel, and life in general at rootofgood.com

Jon_Snow

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2015, 10:34:48 AM »
Yes, a trial run is most prudent. I even did one for myself, even though I knew 100% that I would slip into ER like one slips on an old pair of comfy slippers.

Dr. Doom

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2015, 10:43:30 AM »
I'm experiencing a tinge of that with my wife.  ..  She's about to request a 3 month (paid) sabbatical when we get back from vacation in late January..

The sabbatical is a great idea and I've been kicking it around over the last couple of months as my date approaches in April.  I've recently come around to the thought that there's virtually no downside to it:  You ask for it, and if it's denied, you can quit.  If you're employer is upset you asked and lets you go, well, same result. If it's granted, you go and take your break, come back, and then you still have a choice:  start working again if it turns out you unexpectedly missed it, or quit. 

And the benefit of that break is sweet, sweet data-gathering, which will help you to make the decision that should work best for you.

DoubleDown

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2015, 11:12:49 AM »
I'm experiencing a tinge of that with my wife.  ..  She's about to request a 3 month (paid) sabbatical when we get back from vacation in late January..

The sabbatical is a great idea and I've been kicking it around over the last couple of months as my date approaches in April.  I've recently come around to the thought that there's virtually no downside to it:  You ask for it, and if it's denied, you can quit.  If you're employer is upset you asked and lets you go, well, same result. If it's granted, you go and take your break, come back, and then you still have a choice:  start working again if it turns out you unexpectedly missed it, or quit. 

And the benefit of that break is sweet, sweet data-gathering, which will help you to make the decision that should work best for you.

I did the sabbatical as well as a trial run for ER, and agree that it's great. I'd argue it does have a slight downside though, which is it's a little like training wheels or pulling a band aid off slowly. Eventually you just have to go for it, so the sabbatical in some ways is just kicking the can further down the road. Other slight downside (or possible downside depending on your temperament) is that your final resignation is anti-climatic. There's no ceremony or fanfare or gold watch if you just call back at the end of the sabbatical and say "By the way, I'm not coming back."

I think I've gone over the limit on metaphors for the day, so I'll stop now.
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Nords

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2015, 11:41:22 AM »
-How old were you when you became FI?
In my late 30s, around 1999.  But everyone who invested in the NASDAQ or the S&P500 back then was financially independent, right?

But seriously, we kept running the numbers in the late 1990s (FinancialEngines.com, FIRECalc) and they kept giving us green lights.  But those were all dependent on my military pension starting in 2002, so I served out my final years until the pension "vested".

I retired from active duty at the age of 41.  More details are here:
http://the-military-guide.com/about/about-me/
http://the-military-guide.com/for-the-media/authors-biography/

-Was this carefully planned or happened suddenly (inheritance/job payout)?
I'm a nuclear-trained submariner.  "Planned" is an understatement. 

-What was the biggest surprise you didn't expect after FI?
1.  I didn't expect to enjoy surfing as much as I do.  In retrospect, I'm glad that I didn't know how to surf while I was on active duty.  I would've struggled to make the "right" decision about showing up for work.

2.  The accumulated chronic fatigue.  Like RootOfGood, I expected that I'd sleep in for a day or two and bounce right up into the ER lifestyle.  The reality is that I needed several months of two-hour naps before I felt ready to rejoin the human race. 

3.  I did not expect aging to be so difficult.  I'm 54 years old, and my body betrays me every day with slow recovery, unexpected injuries, and rapid falloff of whatever fitness level I achieve.  I've exercised my entire life and I still have strength & stamina, but when I use either of them then I know there'll be a day or two of payback (and intravenous ibuprofen).  If I skip a week of workouts then I'll have to exercise for a month to regain that previous level.

4.  I did not expect to find so many different ways in ER to save money and to earn money.  When I was working I pretty much projected that budget into retirement without expecting any big changes in expenses.  I also didn't expect to be able to earn any income, yet it's been much more straightforward than I expected (and much more pleasant).  Is this a great country or what?!

5.  Nobody, including me, and least of all any of my old XOs, expected me to write a book.

-What was the most difficult adjustment?
In retrospect (it always is) I was too tight with the purse strings during the first few years of ER. 

In my defense it was a recession, we were at war, and I was learning how to handle spending after years of accumulation.  Now I know that when you start a 4% SWR during a downturn then you should spend the entire 4% SWR.  If a recession hits while you're ER'd on the 4% SWR, then each year during the recession you should be comfortable spending at least 4% of your portfolio.  Maybe 5%-6%. 

-Do you tell people you are FI?  Why or why not?
Not during our introductions, but I do when I'm asked.  Most of the time (especially in the surf lineup) the phrase "retired military" is enough.  Once in a while I'll get the "No, really, what are you doing now?" followup.

A side benefit of living in Hawaii is that many residents have no visible means of support, and we can all dress like beach bums.  It's difficult to tell whether I'm FI or merely chronically unemployable.  Of course the same is true of the bloggers and entrepreneurs with whom I hang out at blogger conferences.    They all keenly understand FI so they're not surprised to learn that about me.

My family and relatives are aware that I'm FI, although a few of them don't see how it could ever possibly apply to them.  Nobody asks for advice.  My father-in-law is convinced that I'm going to make his only daughter and his only grandchild homeless, but my spouse's parents are out of our lives.  My brother-in-law and his spouse have just reached FI (with better finances than us, too) and this is his last season as a tax CPA.  He absolutely gets it and I think he's celebrating his financial freedom on 16 April.  My brother and his long-time girlfriend will start their own vagabond RV ER lifestyle in a few more years. 

Other servicemembers & veterans want to know all the gory details of FIRE, so I explain everything for as long as they're willing to listen.  I hold seminars wherever people invite me-- libraries, coffee shops, and the occasional conference room at a military command.  On the beach after a surf session is particularly good. 

However I'm also surrounded by entrepreneurs who can't understand why anyone would ever want to stop working.  We get along fine as long as we tolerate each other's quirky philosophies about paid labor.

Our neighbors are an example of "Will never get it".  We've lived next to them since 2000, and I stopped wearing a uniform in 2002.  They know I'm retired.  I occasionally go to an investment meeting in slacks and an aloha shirt (which around here is the dress code for "a job") so once when they saw me pulling out of the garage in that attire they must have formed the opinion that I have a job.  My spouse had a conversation with them one morning:
Neighbor:  "So how does Doug like his new job?"
Spouse:  "Job?  He's retired.  He doesn't have a job."
Neighbor:  "But I hear him pulling out of the garage almost every morning at 5:30 for rush hour-- isn't he going to a job?"
Spouse:  "Debbie, he goes surfing!  He's doing dawn patrol." 

-Did your social life/friends change after FI?  How?
We chose to do a lot less socializing after we retired.  We're introverts and we prefer to be alone together, although I get plenty of Internet socializing.  I hang out with the surfers and go to a few investment meetings every month, with maybe an occasional lunch or coffee.

We have the same friends we've always had, but most of them are peripatetic military.  It's a mobile relationship with plenty of gaps, but when we're together we pick right up where we left off.  Social media and Internet forums help a lot with that too. 

Ok, that's probably enough questions for now!  Thanks again moderator "arebelspy" for opening this subforum!
I think this is a good experiment, especially if the admin and moderators don't have to do anything different than the usual routine.  Let's see how it works out.

And the benefit of that break is sweet, sweet data-gathering, which will help you to make the decision that should work best for you.
Absolutely. 

One of the military's tropes is "the fog of war", so I wrote a post about "the fog of work":
http://the-military-guide.com/2011/01/06/the-fog-of-work/
« Last Edit: January 15, 2015, 11:46:18 AM by Nords »
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Cookie78

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2015, 11:59:26 AM »
Awesome thread and sub-forum. I'm not very close to FIRE yet, but you guys are truly inspiring!

Jon_Snow

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2015, 12:04:59 PM »
From this thread, you would think that FIRE is all puppies and rainbows. There are challenging/negative aspects. I will certainly be talking about some of these things as we continue forward.

RootofGood

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2015, 12:08:38 PM »
The sabbatical is a great idea and I've been kicking it around over the last couple of months as my date approaches in April.  I've recently come around to the thought that there's virtually no downside to it:  You ask for it, and if it's denied, you can quit.  If you're employer is upset you asked and lets you go, well, same result. If it's granted, you go and take your break, come back, and then you still have a choice:  start working again if it turns out you unexpectedly missed it, or quit. 

And the benefit of that break is sweet, sweet data-gathering, which will help you to make the decision that should work best for you.

Yeah, that's the framework she's operating under right now.  Taking it a day or a week at a time.  Bonus and raise get announced next week (when we'll be on vacation), then she can ask for the sabbatical immediately afterward.  She asked last year and was denied 3 months off but given 5 weeks off fully paid with a promise to get at least 2 more weeks in 2015.  Here we are, so we'll see how promises from upper management hold up.  She's been working 4 day weeks for full pay for the last half of 2014, so management has been very accommodating so far.  :)

Her 5 week sabbatical was pretty awesome.  Busy 3 weeks of roadtripping up in your direction I think and eventually into Canada for most of the time.  We were exhausted so headed back home to Raleigh a few weeks early and she enjoyed 2 weeks of "staycation".  So she had 2 weeks off that were pretty unexpected (we thought we would be playing tourist those 2 weeks).  Lots of book reading, game playing (8 bit nintendo, nothing fancy), catching up on TV, doing fun stuff with the kids, organizing/decluttering around the house.  Not exactly what she would be doing long term in FIRE but a sweet taste suited her well. 

The wife is now stressing over a new trillion dollar client and I'm all like "who cares if they are happy, you won't be there in a few weeks/months".  Easier for me to say from the blissful sidelines huh? 
Retired at age 33 to spend more time with my wife and 3 kids.  2 years in and still loving every minute!
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RetiredAt63

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2015, 12:13:25 PM »
-How old were you when you became FI?
63

-Was this carefully planned or happened suddenly (inheritance/job payout)?
I could have actually retired at 60, but had a chance at another job (3 year term contract) which was super interesting, and I don't regret taking it.  I have always been frugal, if I had not had a very non-frugal DH I could have retired (probably) 5 years earlier.

-What was the biggest surprise you didn't expect after FI?
I was afraid I would be bored.  There are not enough hours in the day.  I knew from teaching (summer "vacation") that I would need decompression/recovery time.  I also knew summers would be fine.  It was winter I was worried about.  This is winter #2 and I am busy/not bored.

-What was the most difficult adjustment?
Not having the company of bright/interesting colleagues and students.

-Do you tell people you are FI?  Why or why not? 
Most people I hang out with are retirees, we all know each other.  And I didn't retire super young.  Although people who don't me are a bit surprised, because I look mid-late 50's, not early 60's.

-Did your social life/friends change after FI?  How?
I have to make an effort to see work friends.  But, I have a lot more time for socializing in the local area - I am free days and not exhausted from commuting.   I am also doing a lot more volunteering.

Financially (not asked) I am just hanging in there, because between the non-frugal DH and the divorce costs the last two years have been unexpectedly expensive.  But that is coming to a close.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2015, 12:14:42 PM »
Wow, so much awesome stuff that I associate with.  I haven't 'connected' with a thread like this in a long time, it's such an awesome feeling!  Many folks have covered a lot of it, I'll try not to duplicate.

-How old were you when you became FI? 
Funny response Nords, I also though about becoming a day trader in my 20's because I was a tech-stock investing whiz and it was way more exciting than learning how to create 'Piping and Instrument Diagrams'.  Real FI came about 10 years later in 2008 when I realized I could hit a million just by saving in the bank, so I sold a big chunk of 401k equity to be sure I didn't lose it.  Lucky for me, I then bought in after the markets had deflated somewhat.  I still lost money though.  FI was solidified in 2009, although I bought back into the market too early, I was pleasantly surprised when the market recovered (and has since kept on going up and up...). 

-Was this carefully planned or happened suddenly (inheritance/job payout)? 
Carefully planned, but the final push came when we got an expat assignment in Norway in 2007.  We sold our house and cars and had no debt, and everything was so expensive compared to what we were used to that we refused to buy much other than essentials for those two years.  Lots of rice and beans...  We have since had another expat assignment in Dubai, I love getting paid to travel internationally with my family, but the kids are that bit older now so I sadly have had to turn down further expat opportunities...

-What was the most difficult adjustment?
Like others have said, when I retire I will be responsible for my happiness.  That sounds like a lot of responsibility.  I'm happy right now, and when I'm not happy I can gripe about 'having to work' (although I don't really 'have to' work, and so I generally have fun at work).  If I'm on my own, I can keep myself entertained for a while, maybe do a few big projects to challenge myself (like write a book), but 30+ years?  My job forces me out of my comfort zone, to learn new things, get acquainted with new technology, meet new people and see new places.  If I was spending my own money, I probably never would have been to Norway or Dubai, and certainly not for 2+ years each...

-Do you tell people you are FI?  Why or why not? 
Other than online, no.  I like giving the impression that I'm just an average Joe (so the saying goes).

-Did your social life/friends change after FI?  How?
This is an awkward one, because our lives changed significantly when we came back from Norway which coincided with being FI, so I don't know.  I don't think FI would have affected much, but I am glad we moved to the area that we did and started new social circles.

Bonus answer that you didn't ask about - I think my kids will FI/RE earlier than I did, and not just because they'll likely inherit both from my parents and us.  If I would've seen how much my Dad enjoyed his early years of retirement when I was slaving away at my first job in my 20's, I would've chucked it for sure.  As it turned out, I was about 5 years in when he retired and my job was finally getting interesting.  Nowadays, he's in his 70's and just takes FI and retirement for granted, so he's not the 'bad influence' on me that I might be on my kids.  I wanted freedom so bad in my 20's - I was used to the open-ended college lifestyle, having single friends around at all hours - suddenly having to work 40 hours in a boring office with boring older people sucked.  Nowadays my job is much more flexible and I'm one of those older people that loves to bug the interns and new hires, regaling them with my international engineering war stories :) 
« Last Edit: January 15, 2015, 01:58:48 PM by EscapeVelocity2020 »
Transitioning to FIRE'd albeit somewhat cautiously...

geekette

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2015, 12:25:41 PM »
I suppose I can post here.  Hard to say I'm retired when I haven't worked outside the home in more than a decade, but now I'm joined by my DH. 

-How old were you when you became FI?
We're early 50's.  Okay, mid 50's.  Whatever.  DH was laid off weeks before he turned 52, and we slowly came to the realization that with the ACA, he didn't have to get another job. 

-Was this carefully planned or happened suddenly (inheritance/job payout)?
More of an oops than a plan.  A pleasant surprise.

-What was the biggest surprise you didn't expect after FI?
The ACA?  We'd probably been FI for years, but without insurance (and there's no free market for people like us), there was no possibility of retirement until Medicare age.
I also find that I'm a bit tighter with money than we probably should be.  We've always been frugal, but I'd like to travel more.  He'd rather eat out and get a cleaning service than travel.  So far we're not doing much of either, but it's been less than 2 years.

-What was the most difficult adjustment?
He's home all. the. time.  I knew it would be an adjustment since he'd taken 9 months off a couple years earlier.  I also knew I'd adjust, and I have.  He seems to be enjoying his free time, although he's taken over laundry duties (W00t!), so we both have ample free time. 

-Do you tell people you are FI?  Why or why not?
It took him at least a year, but now he claims to be retired.  Before he just said he was thinking about it.  At our age, it's not that unusual.  Last weekend we had a former co-worker call and ask for advice since he's been offered a buyout package.  I hope he takes it.

-Did your social life/friends change after FI?  How?
Mine? Not at all.  DH doesn't eat lunch with co-workers anymore, but he's such an introvert, he's fine with it. 

It seems from this board that so many are busy, busy, busy after retirement.  While I always have something to do, I can't ever claim to be too busy.  I don't volunteer (except to help family), I don't intend to get a part time job, I don't have any big projects I simply must do.  I'm just enjoying life as it comes. 


RootofGood

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2015, 12:26:57 PM »
From this thread, you would think that FIRE is all puppies and rainbows. There are challenging/negative aspects. I will certainly be talking about some of these things as we continue forward.

I started a new thread for all posts antithetical to puppies and rainbows.
Retired at age 33 to spend more time with my wife and 3 kids.  2 years in and still loving every minute!
Sharing my thoughts on early retirement, finances, taxes, travel, and life in general at rootofgood.com

DoubleDown

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2015, 12:27:48 PM »
From this thread, you would think that FIRE is all puppies and rainbows. There are challenging/negative aspects. I will certainly be talking about some of these things as we continue forward.

I did spend my morning rolling around in a meadow with puppies jumping all over me with a rare, giant double rainbow in the sky. Didn't EVERYONE?!
"Not all quotes on the internet are accurate" -- Abraham Lincoln

RootofGood

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2015, 12:33:35 PM »
From this thread, you would think that FIRE is all puppies and rainbows. There are challenging/negative aspects. I will certainly be talking about some of these things as we continue forward.

I did spend my morning rolling around in a meadow with puppies jumping all over me with a rare, giant double rainbow in the sky. Didn't EVERYONE?!

Wait, your ER came with puppies!?!  Son of a...
Retired at age 33 to spend more time with my wife and 3 kids.  2 years in and still loving every minute!
Sharing my thoughts on early retirement, finances, taxes, travel, and life in general at rootofgood.com

Cookie78

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2015, 12:58:55 PM »
From this thread, you would think that FIRE is all puppies and rainbows. There are challenging/negative aspects. I will certainly be talking about some of these things as we continue forward.

I did spend my morning rolling around in a meadow with puppies jumping all over me with a rare, giant double rainbow in the sky. Didn't EVERYONE?!

Wait, your ER came with puppies!?!  Son of a...

I'm amused.

I foster dogs, but only older dogs (1 year at least) because I'm gone during the day for 8+ hours at work. But when I'm ER and staying at home I want to be able to foster puppies too, or even be a whelping foster.

Haven't figured out how to do the rainbows yet!

Frankies Girl

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2015, 01:26:22 PM »
Just to quibble, the question was regarding FI - being financially independent... not FIRE - financially independent AND retired early. So I guess I can play along since I'm FI, but not RE just yet. ;)



How old were you when you became FI?
Um... 39? 40?

Was this carefully planned or happened suddenly (inheritance/job payout)?
Was already on track to be FI/RE by early 50s, but my father died and left me a rather large inheritance that made me FI instantly, and also was the motivation to learn about investing.

What was the biggest surprise you didn't expect after FI?
Still a bit incredulous that I can comfortably live off of my investments - logically I know it works out, but still getting the head wrapped around the idea.

What was the most difficult adjustment?
Realizing that my inheritance sometimes makes me feel like I cheated getting to FI... and that some on here probably think that too. It makes me sad, as I hadn't counted on an inheritance, and I was already working and saving over 50% but it was going to take me at least another decade to get there because I'm one of the ones making well under 100K a year (combined with husband). So on the one hand, thrilled, but also feel sort of like an imposter (and that my hard work was meaningless). Sigh.

Do you tell people you are FI?  Why or why not?
Yes and no. My mother knows, but friends and other family do not. We can't talk about being FI with any of our friends as they are drowning in debt and have not responded well to any offers of advise or help with budgets... they'd take the FI thing as an insult or just chalk it up to dumb luck (which technically it was, but again, I was already going to be out before 50 so the inheritance just speeded it up).

Did your social life/friends change after FI?  How?
I'm quitting in the next month (or two or so) and so far nothing has changed since becoming FI, other than I know so much more about investing and money management now.


I frequently have no idea what I'm talking about. Like now.

FIREd as of: March 6th, 2015!

meteor

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2015, 04:08:22 PM »

I retired from active duty at the age of 41.  More details are here:
http://the-military-guide.com/about/about-me/
http://the-military-guide.com/for-the-media/authors-biography/


I recently read a book about careers in the military (Yes, I started reading weird books when I became FIRE).  I'm glad I didn't read it in college, because I probably would have joined. It has a ton of great benefits.  Considering I have never been able to do a push up or pull up and hate getting up early, I'm sure they would have kicked me out the first week.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2015, 04:10:42 PM by meteor »

Cassie

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2015, 04:38:34 PM »
I was 58 & my hubby 53 when we retired with state pensions. Mine was planned-his was not.  He got laid off & couldn't find another job.  I assumed I would get bored & need to work p.t. & after about 6 months that happened.  I was asked to teach a class at the uni & I consult in my previous profession. My hubby also now consults.  I do some volunteer work but much of what is available is mindless so could not fill all my time with that.  All our friends knew & were fine with it except for a few & we are no longer friends. They were older then us & still working & jealous.  They even tried to talk us out of leaving work. They also were disgusted that we downsized our home, etc.   WE have also made some new friends. At our age we did not retire young. I think why I still want to work is because I came to my career later in life so I am not sick of it. I was a SAHM for awhile then went to college for 4 degrees & then work. I really loved my previous profession & also love teaching.  Also I can do most of the work from home. I love having more free time to walk my dogs during the day, meet friends for lunch, never set an alarm clock, etc. We are planning a month long trip in our motorhome the end of May & could not have done that while still working f.t. for someone else.  I feel like I have the best of both worlds. 

Davids

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2015, 07:49:24 PM »
I hope to be able to contribute to this sub-forum in 7 years.

thedayisbrave

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2015, 07:18:59 PM »
I'm not RE but by all measures I'm FI (though not really through the traditional path) but I'll play...

-How old were you when you became FI?

Um, technically 6.  But I didn't find out about it until age 17.  Couldn't touch it until 18.

-Was this carefully planned or happened suddenly (inheritance/job payout)?

Happened very suddenly - lost my father.

-What was the biggest surprise you didn't expect after FI?

Honestly I'm surprised I didn't blow any of it, given some of my more expensive tastes (horses and cars).  I came close a time or two but ultimately never pulled the trigger.  I've always felt a tremendous responsibility with this, which kind of innately guided me to making better choices.  I've bought a few properties but done so intelligently (save 1) so for the most part I don't count those as frivolous purchases.

-What was the most difficult adjustment?

There's this emotional aspect to money that sudden wealth brings.  Some baggage.  Some fear also that people will find out and look at you differently. 

-Do you tell people you are FI?  Why or why not?

No.  I only really discuss the exact #s with one person outside my immediate family, and he's like my adoptive dad so I trust him implicity and he's done pretty well for himself as well.  He's a Finance MBA, owns his own business, etc. so I turn to him for guidance on many of those and related topics.  Other than him, I tell no one but I mean, I'm sure some people guess.  My car is not fancy by any means but some friends will ask me about student loans only to be met with blank stares, I've traveled to Europe multiple times, am a homeowner at a young age... they probably figure there's something backing all that up.  I still use coupons and actively try to save money (like try to steer them toward making more economical plans, ie redbox over the theater, etc.) so maybe they don't... I don't really know.

-Did your social life/friends change after FI?  How?

Not really.  I found out about it right before college and then just lived like a normal college student.  That actually helped because we were kind of all in the same boat so I was able to cope with it all on my own time.  I'm just past the ramen & job applications stage now, but I still live like that (and was brought up frugally) so it's definitely a choice.
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” -Ernest Hemingway

meteor

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2015, 08:13:20 PM »
I'm not RE but by all measures I'm FI (though not really through the traditional path) but I'll play...

-How old were you when you became FI?

Um, technically 6.  But I didn't find out about it until age 17.  Couldn't touch it until 18.

-Was this carefully planned or happened suddenly (inheritance/job payout)?

Happened very suddenly - lost my father.

-What was the biggest surprise you didn't expect after FI?

Honestly I'm surprised I didn't blow any of it, given some of my more expensive tastes (horses and cars).  I came close a time or two but ultimately never pulled the trigger.  I've always felt a tremendous responsibility with this, which kind of innately guided me to making better choices.  I've bought a few properties but done so intelligently (save 1) so for the most part I don't count those as frivolous purchases.

-What was the most difficult adjustment?

There's this emotional aspect to money that sudden wealth brings.  Some baggage.  Some fear also that people will find out and look at you differently. 

-Do you tell people you are FI?  Why or why not?

No.  I only really discuss the exact #s with one person outside my immediate family, and he's like my adoptive dad so I trust him implicity and he's done pretty well for himself as well.  He's a Finance MBA, owns his own business, etc. so I turn to him for guidance on many of those and related topics.  Other than him, I tell no one but I mean, I'm sure some people guess.  My car is not fancy by any means but some friends will ask me about student loans only to be met with blank stares, I've traveled to Europe multiple times, am a homeowner at a young age... they probably figure there's something backing all that up.  I still use coupons and actively try to save money (like try to steer them toward making more economical plans, ie redbox over the theater, etc.) so maybe they don't... I don't really know.

-Did your social life/friends change after FI?  How?

Not really.  I found out about it right before college and then just lived like a normal college student.  That actually helped because we were kind of all in the same boat so I was able to cope with it all on my own time.  I'm just past the ramen & job applications stage now, but I still live like that (and was brought up frugally) so it's definitely a choice.

wow. I am so sorry you lost your father so young.  This whole ordeal must have a lot of bittersweet experiences to it.  Do you think you'll actually look for a job and start a career?  Just curious.

thedayisbrave

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #29 on: January 18, 2015, 08:19:22 AM »
Do you think you'll actually look for a job and start a career?  Just curious.
Thanks for your kind words.  To answer your question, yes!!! I work now as a real estate agent in my hometown.  I just officially finished up w/ grad school last month and I've kind of taken the long, scenic route here but those lessons have taught me just what I'm looking for in a career.  I've always been the entrepreneurship type and worked briefly in a finance/office setting but realized pretty quickly being cooped up all day like that drove me insane.  So getting my own real estate business up and running is perfect :)
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” -Ernest Hemingway

Nudel

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #30 on: January 18, 2015, 07:45:47 PM »
Like a few others, I'm FI but not RE. Case of OME syndrome while I sit in shock and look at my spreadsheets that tell me it's okay to stop working.

-How old were you when you became FI?
40 but I didn't know it yet. I was updating my yearly investment tracking spreadsheet and my jaw dropped after I looked at the updated year end numbers. I'd crossed the finish line earlier in the year. After sitting in stunned silence I busted out a calculator to make sure the math was right. Then I just cracked a huge smile and sat in happy silence for a while.

-Was this carefully planned or happened suddenly (inheritance/job payout)?
HUGE planning. It was in the works years before MMM. Not until I had access to a few more of the awesome resources being shared in forums like this that I realized I could retire well sooner than I'd thought.

-What was the biggest surprise you didn't expect after FI?
Also the sense of "fuck it, I'm here to say what I'm going to say during this meeting and if you don't like it sever me off...please." and how that somehow translated into a raise. Granted there was no actual swearing but I had the attitude.

-What was the most difficult adjustment?
Being really pleased and only being able to share that excitement with my spouse. Also I had some tension because where we were living was not the retirement house so I needed to stay cool and calm while working out what that was and would become. It was hard to keep patient while working out those kinks.

-Do you tell people you are FI?  Why or why not?
No. Spouse got to saying he was looking forward to it and after all the crap remarks I had to pull him aside nicely and tell him to hold that stuff back. His family is hardcore spendy and will not get it.

-Did your social life/friends change after FI?  How?
At FI, no. With the exception of one co-worker who asked me for advice she only knows I'm thrifty. Expecting more change after RE. When is that? All of you will need to facepunch me so I do it this year. Wait (gets calculator) if I work OME...

travelbug

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #31 on: January 18, 2015, 10:13:47 PM »
This is great! I feel I will be in here a bit this year as my head catches up to our FI number and what that means...
We are not RE, but will be by the end of the year, pending the sale of our house.


-How old were you when you became FI?

Since 38, I am 39 now but it has taken DH a bit to get his head around it all.

-Was this carefully planned or happened suddenly (inheritance/job payout)?

Planned. I have controlled the finances for a decade and been planning it all. DH and I are frugal and we have been on the same page.

-What was the biggest surprise you didn't expect after FI?

The biggest surprise for me was that DH did not believe it at all. He then added another 100% to our projected retirement figure and buried his head in the sand. I was gobsmacked. It has taken him 18 months to realise and embrace what we have done. We have also tried to sell our business, but can actually afford to shut it down if we want to. He has finally seen this and is excited. yay!

-What was the most difficult adjustment?

Deciding what to do. We live in a place we have no desire to stay in. We moved here for our business to expand. So we have decided to travel for a few years and then se if we feel like settling somewhere. We also have two young children and have had to take their lives and how our desires and theirs will play out together.


-Do you tell people you are FI?  Why or why not?

no, no-one knows what we are worth except my parents. We are telling people that we are having a year or two off and are starting another business later on. Our family and friends would make it all too complicated. (based on us feeling our way with simple discussions linked to FI)


-Did your social life/friends change after FI?  How?

No. But we are looking forward to meeting nomad families while we travel.

Ozstache

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #32 on: January 27, 2015, 02:28:48 AM »
How old were you when you became FI?

45 (am now nearly 47)

Was this carefully planned or happened suddenly (inheritance/job payout)?

Happened suddenly. I had always been frugal and saved a lot but I had always been working towards a high % of current income as my retirement goal, which we know here to be an upwards moving target. After discovering a few key MMM posts, that target changed to current spend + 20% buffer. I was already way past that, so FI rapidly led to RE.

What was the biggest surprise you didn't expect after FI?

How hard it was to keep tolerating fools at work until I could ER. Some bosses were revealed to be very uninspiring leaders once their power of career threat was removed from them. While I don't think I burnt any major bridges, I did let loose with the flamethrower of truth on some of them on occasions.

What was the most difficult adjustment?

Having faith in my FI calculations. As previously mentioned, I was suddenly way past FI yet I spent my first year in RE being as frugal as ever for fear that my calculations were out. That resulted in an underspending of just over 1/3 of my worst case budget. While comforting to know I have such a buffer, that magnitude of underspend would have had me fired in my previous job and that (still) causes me internal conflict. This year we plan to do a lot more travel, donate and help family members in genuine need to address this.

Do you tell people you are FI?  Why or why not?

I have been telling people who ask that I am on a 'career break', which implies some level of FI, but after nearly 18 months that is wearing a bit thin. Those closest to me have a fairly good idea now that I'm not returning to work anytime soon. By the end of this year I will be comfortable telling anyone who asks that I am fully retired.

Did your social life/friends change after FI?  How?

Not really. Moving around every few years when I was working and being an introvert, I tended to not develop lasting friendships with co-workers, so the transition to RE was no big deal. I am spending a lot more time with my close family, including on my wife's side, and that has turned out to be a good thing.

Happy Little Chipmunk

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #33 on: January 27, 2015, 03:29:16 PM »
How old were you when you became FI?

47, but I didn't realize it.

Was this carefully planned or happened suddenly (inheritance/job payout)?

Both. We've always been bike-riding, home-cooking savers (although hobbies like skiing or cyclocross or love of new technology can bump the budget occasionally). We'd rather fix something than buy a new one. Neither of us brought school debt into the relationship and we always maxed out 401Ks and IRAs even when living hand-to-mouth in our 20's. But we also had some windfalls...I worked at a company which went public and was very careful with my stock options. DH had a small trust that paid for school plus a wee bit more, so investments started early. And more recently, he received an inheritance. So some of that pushed our FI dates up a bit and meant that we were a bit "looser" with discretionary spending that we otherwise would have been.

But to get to this realization took some work. A few years ago, my ego was having insecurity issues. I needed to recognize my contributions as a SAHM and honor the fact that I WAS contributing financially to our household and that I DID have a good brain. I needed to push myself to learn new things and affirm that I was a force for good in my community.

As part of that journey, I drilled into our finances, renegotiated some financial relationships, started an investment club and discovered MMM. And I discovered that we were darn close to FI...and that in fact, with a few tweaks, we were FI. And DH didn't believe it. So we padded the FI number to make him comfy and are likely to reach the "new and improved extra-bonus" FI in a bit over a year.

DH has been experimenting with the idea of ER, but isn't eager to make a big change. He really likes his job and the people he works with. He stepped down to 4 days a week though, and fills the extra time with hobby projects, volunteer teaching and time with his charming spouse. So it's a slow process for him.

Like geekette, I didn't see my life change tremendously with this info. But there's a huge emotional boost to knowing that we can weather most financial storms. I feel a greater sense of urgency to work with young people as they decide "what to do with their lives." So I enjoy volunteering and dropping hints of frugality as appropriate.

What was the biggest surprise you didn't expect after FI?
Realizing that, although I feel I should & could manage my finances all on my own, that I want the security of professional assistance and am willing to pay a % for that piece of mind. Part of that is watching the generation in front of me. They've mainly got all their marbles, but I also see cognitive decline in small ways. Plus, I've watched families (including my own) struggle with Alzheimer's and other issues of aging. So I'm putting support in place early and thinking of it as "insurance". I'm embarrassed admitting that in this forum, but there's my truth.

What was the most difficult adjustment?
Not being sure how to handle our role as parents. We want the kids to go to school, get jobs, make their marks in the world and have the confidence (like we did) that they can find their own way (with a boost for school expenses from us.) They both know that they are welcome to come back and live with us after university/additional training if need be...if they do their own laundry, pay rent and take turns cooking. ;-) So we haven't discussed the extent of our good fortune, but they know that we are doing fine.

Do you tell people you are FI?  Why or why not?
Only with one already retired relative. Our situation is only real to one of us. And even when it's real to both, our life won't change tremendously until the kids are into and then out of college. We might both take up some new "work" or do a lot more traveling eventually, but we'll have to see when we get there.


Did your social life/friends change after FI?  How?
Doesn't yet apply...we'll see!

KD

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #34 on: February 12, 2015, 03:37:36 PM »
How old were you when you became FI?

26 (years, Years and more YEARS ago!)

Was this carefully planned or happened suddenly (inheritance/job payout)?

Planned, planned, and replanned, micro-managed and let's just say there were charts made in 2nd grade - no inheritance for me as of yet.  I was an aggressive saver from childhood.  90%/10%.  High aversion to debt.  Hubs has had one inheritance in the last 7-10 years though but we would've been fine without it.  An inheritance is a weird thing.  We tried to encourage this person to spend and enjoy their money traveling or whatever, but no, the frugal gene ran too deep. I will likely have 2 inheritances in the future if the step-parental units don't fardle it up.  Supposedly my sibling and I will inherit the ancestral home but neither of us will want to live there - so there will be work involved to get it sale ready and then marketed and sold...however, I've seen no actual paperwork to back this up.  Let's see, I did get a $10,000 gift a few years back from one set of parents.  Weird too...as I hate any feelings of now being in someone's debt.  Not that they've made me feel that way, it just sort of looms over you and you kind of look for the other shoe to fall at some point.  Anyway, those influxes of cash were not needed to live now & reassembled into investments that we still have and have yet to pull any withdrawals from.

What was the biggest surprise you didn't expect after FI?

How hard it was to keep myself from driving like a 'stress-tightened screaming fool' when driving down the road.  I'd be going to the library like I was in rush hour traffic at 10:32 a.m. all keyed up for a good solid year after I retired.  'Move over ya' hen's rear!!!' 'Where's yer' friggin' blinka sucka????????' I had plenty of time to get where I was going but the aggressive reflexes of metro rush hour driving lingered for a good bit!


What was the most difficult adjustment?

As previously posted "Having faith in my FI calculations."  Remember I RE'd years and years ago.  We had no internet.  We had no good books to read, no forums to surf.  I very much felt like I was swimming alone w/my numbers with no one but one elderly great-uncle (multiple grocery store owner) to ask any questions.  He died when I was about 12 years old.  No inheritance from him, but his sister (my grandmother) did receive a portion of it as she was part owner of the stores (my great-grandmother had started the first one) as they restructured his estate for his children.  I was worried about inflation.  This great-uncle was the only reason I even knew such a thing existed as they certainly didn't teach about it in school back then.

Do you tell people you are FI?  Why or why not?

No, not really.  I don't necessarily feel like it's anyone's business.  I did have a hard go of it explaining to parental units that I felt like I had my bases covered when they pushed for me to continue pursuing even more education after college.  Uh, no, I'm good.  I have ALWAYS been very private about my money.  "But what if XXXX gets laid off.  You'll need to go back to work."  Um, no, we're good.  It has probably been easier for me being a woman as most people just thought I was living off my husband's wages as a SAHM.  Not the case as I was FI & only a year away from ER and working when I met him and he was definitely in the poor house while recovering from a divorce and paying child support.  We kept our $$s separate.  But, I picked up saving & investing his money.  He loved his job and wanted to continue working until 70.  He was forced to retire when his employer shut down at 62.


Did your social life/friends change after FI?  How?

Nope.  Introvert - INFJ.  I was past college and most of those folks were far more into partying than I ever was and had mostly drifted away.  After marriage I made a different set of friends.  I'm like Don Corleone "My circle is small."
« Last Edit: February 12, 2015, 03:41:31 PM by KD »
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Exflyboy

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #35 on: March 04, 2015, 09:55:14 PM »
I want to thank the moderators for opening this forum for people who have reached FI.  I think it will benefit all members to see it's possible to become FI and how one's lifestyle may change in unexpected and sometimes challenging ways.
 
Some of the questions I personally would like to ask others are:
-How old were you when you became FI?
About 50.. Realised I was when I first read MMM a year and a half ago

-Was this carefully planned or happened suddenly (inheritance/job payout)?
Carefully planned.. paid off mortgage, then saved and saved

-What was the biggest surprise you didn't expect after FI?
I suddenly had an overwhelming urge to bolt for the door.

-What was the most difficult adjustment?
The psychological challenge of going from a net saver to a net spender, its not easy.. even though I have not spent anything yet... Now have a pt job

-Do you tell people you are FI?  Why or why not?
Only if they express an interest

-Did your social life/friends change after FI?  How?.. Nope.

Ok, that's probably enough questions for now!  Thanks again moderator "arebelspy" for opening this subforum!

deborah

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #36 on: March 05, 2015, 01:59:38 AM »
How old were you when you became FI?

Not sure - probably early 40s. I went to a financial planner who told me I could retire more than 10 years ago. And you know that financial planners have ridiculous ideas about how much more you really need to retire. I was swimming in cash, and owned my home outright. But I didn't believe her. I have just done the sums with what I had at about that time, and I was definitely less than 4% about 15 years ago. But I really don't know just how long before that.

Was this carefully planned or happened suddenly (inheritance/job payout)?

I was always frugal. Buying a fixer-upper and slowly doing it largely ourselves, having a boarder for a few years, and not having a car until I was in my 30s helped. Anyone who buys a house and immediately renovates it is a real spender in my books.

What was the biggest surprise you didn't expect after FI?

How much you start to accumulate when you have paid off your PPOR. I guess that is more an Australian thing, because our houses cost so much. Once you have paid off a big mortgage, you really have a lot of cash.

What was the most difficult adjustment?

Having so much more than those around you who earn the same. Although I think that's frugality.

I remember a few years after I started work I had a business trip for several weeks. I got the largest cash advance I could, but it was far less than I was going to spend. After I came back, I was missing a receipt, and the person I needed to ask about it was away, so I put all the paperwork in the second drawer of my desk and forgot about it. A year later, the accounts department realised I had received money and hadn't accounted for it. I was asked about the trip, found the paperwork, worked out what should be done about the missing receipt, and submitted it within an hour. For several weeks after the trip, managers at various levels queried me about this. Everyone was amazed that accounts hadn't picked it up in a month - but they were all absolutely gobsmacked that because the trip cost more than twice the advance, I had been owed so much and had done nothing about it. "How could someone go that long without that much money?"

Do you tell people you are FI?  Why or why not?

I am retired - I tell people that! FI was never a big thing because I didn't realise it.

Did your social life/friends change after FI?  How?

No.

17oclockshadow

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #37 on: March 05, 2015, 08:28:00 AM »
Just to quibble, the question was regarding FI - being financially independent... not FIRE - financially independent AND retired early. So I guess I can play along since I'm FI, but not RE just yet. ;)



How old were you when you became FI?
Um... 39? 40?

Was this carefully planned or happened suddenly (inheritance/job payout)?
Was already on track to be FI/RE by early 50s, but my father died and left me a rather large inheritance that made me FI instantly, and also was the motivation to learn about investing.

What was the biggest surprise you didn't expect after FI?
Still a bit incredulous that I can comfortably live off of my investments - logically I know it works out, but still getting the head wrapped around the idea.

What was the most difficult adjustment?
Realizing that my inheritance sometimes makes me feel like I cheated getting to FI... and that some on here probably think that too. It makes me sad, as I hadn't counted on an inheritance, and I was already working and saving over 50% but it was going to take me at least another decade to get there because I'm one of the ones making well under 100K a year (combined with husband). So on the one hand, thrilled, but also feel sort of like an imposter (and that my hard work was meaningless). Sigh.

Do you tell people you are FI?  Why or why not?
Yes and no. My mother knows, but friends and other family do not. We can't talk about being FI with any of our friends as they are drowning in debt and have not responded well to any offers of advise or help with budgets... they'd take the FI thing as an insult or just chalk it up to dumb luck (which technically it was, but again, I was already going to be out before 50 so the inheritance just speeded it up).

Did your social life/friends change after FI?  How?
I'm quitting in the next month (or two or so) and so far nothing has changed since becoming FI, other than I know so much more about investing and money management now.

Just thought I'd give me 2 cents on your feeligns of cheating wrt to inheritance and FI.

It is cheating, but on the other hand, who wouldn't accept the inheritance $$$?  Better than giving it to the government!
I am in a somewhat similar position: 
I imagine I will inherit a sizeable sum from parents, at some point, who knows when.  However, I also wanted to feel like I earned it.  Thus, I have set my goal to retire early once I have made enough money on my own merit and roughly according to the 4% rule, and with a target of income stream (from investment) or 40k/year (80k if you count my wife).
I will probably retire before inheriting anyways, but there is the knowledge that there may be a 'pillow' there.  Thus, I am doing my best to ignore the pillow. 

Once retired, I will probably live pretty frugally still, in fact I am currently on track to have more than I need (on my own merit).  If I get inheritance, then I might take a couple luxuries.  I always have been trying to think about ways to give back to the community/world in ways that are in agreement with my views what would benefit the world.

Anyways, long story short is that with these things factored in, I feel no guilt with my future FIRE, and I certainly will feel like I earned it.  I feel it is a personal feeling, to be decided by oneself.  People should seriously consider whether they have earned it, not because other people may question them but for their own sense of self worth.  Judgements on others serve no purpose, but being honest with yourself is important.

The bottom line is your happiness/guilt is up to you, and you should decide it for yourself, not let it be dictated by a forum.  In terms of strict definitions, no you wont have 'earned' it if you use the inheritance to accelerate FIRE, and the more you accelerate it with inheritiance, the less you have 'earned' it.  On the other hand, most people on this form had some form of inheritance, in that they were born into a wealthy societies with relatively good opportunities for those.  In that sense other people may have earned it more than you, but have not earned it relative to people that grew up in less fortunate conditions.  The main point is everything is relative; you must decided for yourself what is enough.

So, if you feel guilty or that your FIRE is illegitimate, then I  think you may be able to remedy this by either continuing to work longer while still keeping the money, or picking up a part time job, or by focusing some of your life on efforts that help other people less fortunate, etc...

MrMoogle

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #38 on: March 05, 2015, 03:38:23 PM »
I have two FI goals, and hit the first one last year.  If I got laid off, I could afford to not work indefinitely at my current lifestyle.  So my expenses would be current expenses - job expenses + unemployed expenses (like healthcare).

My second FI goal is a little nebulous, it covers things I want in the future, like a wife and kids, maybe more traveling, things like that.

-How old were you when you became FI? 29
-Was this carefully planned or happened suddenly (inheritance/job payout)?  Hitting FI wasn't planned, saving and investing was.  I looked at my budget a few months back and was like if I cut out these work related expenses and added in this healthcare expense, I have 25x that.  Sweet!
-What was the biggest surprise you didn't expect after FI?  I haven't RE, so no big surprises.  It was a big surprise to realize I was FI though.
-What was the most difficult adjustment?
-Do you tell people you are FI?  Why or why not?  No, not really, but I'll probably mention it to some of my friends who are trying for the same thing pretty soon.
-Did your social life/friends change after FI?  How?  Not yet, but it's still early :)

MountainManMustache

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #39 on: March 19, 2015, 01:05:21 PM »
-How old were you when you became FI? - 49

-Was this carefully planned or happened suddenly (inheritance/job payout)? carefully planned since I was 23 but triggered by layoff and payout.  My original goal was to FIRE by 45 then when that bday came and went 50 was the new target.  Would still be working at a job that bored me beyond measure save for layoff a week ago.  Would have kept working into my 50th year to save more but now I look at that and know that the extra savings would not "buy" another year of my freedom and ;life so here I am happy at the situation.
-What was the biggest surprise you didn't expect after FI? - how little regret or fear I have over the whole change.  It is yet early but I suspect grief will not arrive.
-What was the most difficult adjustment? - will let you know after the first 1-2 yrs
-Do you tell people you are FI?  Why or why not? - only those closest to me whom I know are either working towards FIRE, are already FIRE or know I have been working towards FIRE.  The ones whom I do not tell would likely not understand
-Did your social life/friends change after FI?  How? - too early to tell but I sure hope not.  I worked for a multinational for 21 yrs with the last 10-12 yrs working from my home or while traveling in the US.  Life was already filled with recreation, fun, freedom and friends,  Only difference now is lack of the paycheck and daily conference calls…oh and of course the manufactured fire drills of a corporate existence.

dude

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #40 on: March 20, 2015, 08:51:41 AM »
Our neighbors are an example of "Will never get it".  We've lived next to them since 2000, and I stopped wearing a uniform in 2002.  They know I'm retired.  I occasionally go to an investment meeting in slacks and an aloha shirt (which around here is the dress code for "a job") so once when they saw me pulling out of the garage in that attire they must have formed the opinion that I have a job.  My spouse had a conversation with them one morning:
Neighbor:  "So how does Doug like his new job?"
Spouse:  "Job?  He's retired.  He doesn't have a job."
Neighbor:  "But I hear him pulling out of the garage almost every morning at 5:30 for rush hour-- isn't he going to a job?"
Spouse:  "Debbie, he goes surfing!  He's doing dawn patrol." 

This just made my day!  HAHAHAHA!

dude

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #41 on: March 20, 2015, 09:18:41 AM »
It is cheating, but on the other hand, who wouldn't accept the inheritance $$$?  Better than giving it to the government!
I am in a somewhat similar position: 
I imagine I will inherit a sizeable sum from parents, at some point, who knows when.  However, I also wanted to feel like I earned it.  Thus, I have set my goal to retire early once I have made enough money on my own merit and roughly according to the 4% rule, and with a target of income stream (from investment) or 40k/year (80k if you count my wife).
I will probably retire before inheriting anyways, but there is the knowledge that there may be a 'pillow' there.  Thus, I am doing my best to ignore the pillow. 


Kinda similar boat here, sorta.  My wife owns her parents' house, which was transferred to her as an estate-planning move about a year before we got married.  It's worth between $310K-$350K currently and has been mortgage-free for decades.  We do not need this money in any way to achieve FI or RE.  However, my RE plans involve retiring with a mortgage, so at some point, when my wife's parents pass (hopefully not for a long time, but they are in their late 70s), the proceeds on the sale of that house will pay off our current mortgage.  When that happens, we are going to be embarrassingly well off -- $1,800/month in additional spending money well-off.  But I don't really even think about it, because I've planned to be all set without that largesse.  So yeah, I too try to ignore that "pillow."  But it sure is damn nice to know it's there.

andystkilda

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #42 on: October 25, 2016, 11:47:27 PM »
How old were you when you became FI?
Me: 28, Wife: 29

Was this carefully planned or happened suddenly (inheritance/job payout)?
Carefully planned in the last year or two when we discovered the world of FIRE. Before that we were generally smart with money and started investing - what really sped things up for us in that last year or two was finding some great high cash-flow rental properties, taking on numerous side-hustles, and lowering spending on things that weren't important to us.

What was the biggest surprise you didn't expect after FI?
How we are constantly shocked every day watching all of the people who seemingly have no problem with spending most of their waking hours completing tasks that have very little meaning to them.

What was the most difficult adjustment?
We're still in the 'fog of war', the 'void' or the 'shock phase' depending on which FIRE blogger you quote - so that's probably it. We're only about 2-3 months in though, so I'm sure as times passes our next challenges or pursuits will magically materialise in front of us... (fingers crossed).

Do you tell people you are FI?  Why or why not?
If they ask or seem interested, we may share part of the story - most though don't seem to get it or just move on after hearing part of it - probably assuming we're just living of savings and travelling for a year like a lot of the other young people around where we're currently living.

Did your social life/friends change after FI?  How?
We're in the middle of a several-month-long campervan trip up and down the east coast of Australia so we're kind of separated from most of our friends/family right now. We have however taken the time (something we previously were to 'busy' to do) to call a lot of family/friends from around the world to chat so those relationships have definitely improved.

soccerluvof4

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #43 on: October 26, 2016, 05:58:08 AM »
-How old were you when you became FI?
Not sure about FI but Fire'd April 1st 2015 at age 50 and thats no April Fools Joke

-Was this carefully planned or happened suddenly (inheritance/job payout)?
Happened Kinda suddenly in that I owned my own business for 25 years and went through 3 or 4 economic downturns and didnt want to go through another one that I saw was coming and was going to cost me money to stay in business.  I was at a point I just hated everything about the business.  Awhile prior to that I found MMM and knowing this was coming it then did become a plan I want to say a year or so.  The MMM forums helped me make the decisions to get started by selling my vacation home, downsizing our main home and selling lots of toys and cutting way back on spending.

-What was the biggest surprise you didn't expect after FI?
While I read alot about it on the forums, until you live it you dont really understand it. I am talking about how busy you really are combined with doing things though when you want to. Having for the most part all the flexibility one could have which makes things alot more fun/easier to do.

-What was the most difficult adjustment?

Having been an owner of my own business and people depending on me, respecting me in the industry I was in...that kinda status. Sense of worth to a degree I guess. I read alot on it which helped me transition through that. Never the material image things though that was actually easy for me.

-Do you tell people you are FI?  Why or why not?

At first I was cautious and would say things like " I am retired till I find the next thing" or " I am retired but not rich by any standards and still need to work" ..things like that.

Now I flat out say I am retired but if there is a severe market extended crash or something fun that pays me I would think about it, but my plan is to stay retired. I am in what I call protectionism mode. Trying to protect as much of my money as I can as I still have 4 kids at home but down to 2 in a year and a half.

-Did your social life/friends change after FI?  How?

Of course it did but in a good way. Day to day, week to week, month to month my view of things became more perceptive and with purpose. As a couple we had more time to plan or think about things WE wanted to really do not do things because we felt we needed to to stay in circles as that became less important. Spend even more time involved in our kids lives and doing projects etc.. So its more about us and less about everyone else. We didn't lose any friends we just do more ourselves and less with others because we try not to do things that are just tossing money out the window.

I would add that being about a year and a half in retirement I still question my decision quite often BUT it is curtailed quickly when I think I would have a regiment I would have to follow again and I just dont want that. And it is true if I found an easy way to make money without much effort I would probably do it to secure my position even more but the numbers say I dont have to BUT why not keep yourself open to having choices. Right now I have so many projects going on and the kids are so active I am glad I have my freedom though right now.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2016, 06:03:22 AM by soccerluvof4 »
" In life you don't get what you deserve you get what you negotiate"

Roboturner

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #44 on: December 06, 2016, 05:30:34 PM »
marking to follow, hope to be here in 2yrs
"I win again, just like always!"




Abe Froman

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #45 on: February 14, 2017, 06:14:47 AM »
Following...
But also interested in what the process was for those that moved from FI to RE. What drove you over that cusp? I am in the fuzzy mid-spot in between where I fear serial OMYs will deprive me and my family of "what could have been". I am that type that is a little OCD on stuff and can't relax if I can't know for certain that HealthCare x 4, College for x2 , and the What-If #1, and What-If #2 are covered.

soccerluvof4

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #46 on: February 15, 2017, 07:31:48 AM »
Following...
But also interested in what the process was for those that moved from FI to RE. What drove you over that cusp? I am in the fuzzy mid-spot in between where I fear serial OMYs will deprive me and my family of "what could have been". I am that type that is a little OCD on stuff and can't relax if I can't know for certain that HealthCare x 4, College for x2 , and the What-If #1, and What-If #2 are covered.




I was like that for quite awhile but was hating my work just way to much. I think thats why you need to try and focus on that going into FIRE doesn't mean you never have to make $ again if need be. In fairness , it took me about 8 months of being really fed up to walk in one day and say I am closing the business to my employees what do you guys want to do? 3 months later done and never looked back.

" In life you don't get what you deserve you get what you negotiate"

Dicey

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #47 on: February 20, 2017, 07:57:26 PM »
Posting to follow so I can find this again.

Retired at 54.

Life looks nothing like I expected, but being FIRE is awesome.
I did it! I have a journal!
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/a-lot-like-this/
And hell yes, I am still moving confidently in the direction of my dreams...

zinethstache

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #48 on: February 20, 2017, 10:41:31 PM »
I originally read this thread, but thought it was FIRE, not FI... So I am a little late to the party..

Some of the questions I personally would like to ask others are:
-How old were you when you became FI? 47 (am 49 now)
-Was this carefully planned or happened suddenly (inheritance/job payout)? This was very carefully planned and happened much faster thanks to the market
-What was the biggest surprise you didn't expect after FI? I did not expect me to be a two year OMY person...I was a coward!
-What was the most difficult adjustment? Making myself quit an awesome job to full time RV travel with my already FIREd DH.
-Do you tell people you are FI?  Why or why not? I did not tell folks until closer to FIRE (1/27/17) We started telling family when we sold our residence last June and moved into my parent's horse pasture to wait out the last 6 months of me working. Work found out when I gave my notice on 1/3. So far everyone has been great about it. Most are jealous or cannot comprehend what I am doing, but they still respect it. I suppose had I retired and not had grand travel plans it would not have gone as well.
-Did your social life/friends change after FI?  How? I am on a fixed income now and will be living out of state full time starting around March. I have still been attending some of my normal events as I prep to travel and I get to spend lots of time with family, but that will all change very shortly.

PaulMaxime

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Re: New Forum For People Who Are Financially Independent!
« Reply #49 on: February 22, 2017, 08:37:00 PM »
-How old were you when you became FI?

I'm 53 now. I suppose I made it a couple years ago which makes me happy and sad since I first started thinking about this a long long time ago (anyone read the Retire Early Home Page?) but life circumstances really got in the way. I wish I had stuck to my guns 20 years ago and I would have been there much earlier.

-Was this carefully planned or happened suddenly (inheritance/job payout)?

It was planned but the last few years have been very good for me income wise. I got a big payout from my former employer and the new startup I joined has been very successful in a short time and I have a ton of equity, so I have gone from barely FI to solidly FI in about 2 years. The financial crisis (2008-2009) was also a HUGE help since I've been able to invest well throughout that time and have nearly quintupled my net worth in just a few years. You younger folks should PRAY for the market to crash again. What a great opportunity.

-What was the biggest surprise you didn't expect after FI?

I'm not RE yet, still working at the startup. It's nice to have the freedom to walk away any time I want. That allowed me to join the risky startup company without any worries. Also my tolerance for things that I don't like is much lower.

-What was the most difficult adjustment?

I'll let you know when I RE. On the positive side it's great to not care about things like our heating system in our home crapping out because a 2K repair is no big deal. If I want to buy something I just buy it, though my tastes aren't extravagant.

-Do you tell people you are FI?  Why or why not?

There's a few of the younger people at my office that are actually interested in learning how to do this. So I offer advice to people where it's wanted. You know, you can't tell people something they aren't ready to hear so I don't offer my opinion or advice lightly. I think at this point most of the early employees are probably FI just because of the equity but I don't know how many realize it. I'll have to be a bit more forthcoming with advice once we get a chance for liquidity.

-Did your social life/friends change after FI?  How?

We keep a relatively low profile. The only thing that gives us away a bit is that we own a large 2 bedroom condo here in San Francisco. We like to entertain and so I'm always throwing cocktail parties and dinner parties. But we only have 1 6 year old car and don't dress fancy or show off. So I think people don't really know or care.
"When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, sir?" - John Maynard Keynes