I just found MMM (through ERE) this weekend. It has been quite a while since I felt so inspired and excited about my possibilities.
My wife and I live in Oak Ridge, TN (near Knoxville), and I work at the national lab. My plan of record to this point has been a traditional retirement at age 63 (2023) with a pension, social security (if there's anything left), 401k, and IRAs. However, exposure to the ideas here at at ERE has gotten me thinking about the possibility of accelerating that schedule.
Current situation: about 6K of income each month, with a mortgage (started at $153K in 2011, now at $88K, plan to finish by end of 2015) and a car loan (8K, plan to pay off with proceeds of selling already paid off 2nd vehicle next month -- we're keeping the small efficient Versa and selling the big wasteful Quest). We're currently putting about half my take home on the mortgage and see some ways to increase that a bit around the beginning of next year.
Of course, once the mortgage is gone, that 50% will be going into building the 'stache. So far, we have around $240K in assets (401k, IRA, and taxable investment account) accumulated, so we're not doing too badly.
What I hope to learn here is how to reduce our expenses further so we can get to FI with a smaller 'stache, faster.
As it turns out, I do have a bike and rode it to work for much of 2010 and 2011. Over the past summer, my wife took up running and I stopped riding the bike so much as I was running every morning with her. However, the ERE/MMM gospel has inspired me to get back on the bike. Riding to work most days will save us about $1000 a year in gasoline, not to mention the wear and tear on the car.
The ideas of simplicity/frugality/minimalism on the one hand and early retirement/financial independence on the other have always appealed to me. ERE and MMM (and I hear there are others out there) are the first sources I've encountered that show how the two fit together in such a synergistic, serendipitous fashion.
I'm very excited and happy to be here. Looking forward to getting to know everyone.