Author Topic: 2018 FIRE cohort  (Read 528696 times)

pecunia

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Re: 2018 FIRE cohort
« Reply #2350 on: November 02, 2019, 12:20:12 PM »
Well,......I didn't go in 2018.  Looks like I won't go in 2019.

I read all of the wonderful comments .  I can just sense the lack of stress.  I can feel the relaxation through the words on the computer screen.  I say YES!  I certainly do have something to look forward to.  I have resisted to ensure that I will have health care.  My employer gives good health care. 

I will be 63-1/2 at the end of the year.  I have been saving money to COBRA to Medicare.  I could go the ACA route, but it still may go away.

I have been sent out of town on a job for 2 months or so.  A few days ago, I received an e-mail from one of the bosses.  He was demanding something before COB today.  My co-worker and I were able to laugh when we saw it.  We both smiled and said, "Oh my, he will send us home."  He did not get his demand before COB that day.  Unfortunately, he didn't send us home.  Even, just being close to the end takes the stress off from these guys.  Oddly enough, it makes it easier to get along with them.

Your stories are like a beautiful ray of sunshine seen at the end of a tunnel.

PhilB

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Re: 2018 FIRE cohort
« Reply #2351 on: November 03, 2019, 08:44:49 AM »
My first year of FIRE flew by.  We spent 20% away on various holidays including 5 and a bit weeks round France and Spain.  Lost weight and got a bit fitter fitter.  I learned how to use trekking poles properly and managed to climb Snowdon (highest mountain in Wales at 3000 odd feet) for the first time in years despite my knackered knees.  Got a few DIY jobs done, but still have a long list.  My books to be read pile has grown rather than shrunk :o(
Financially, spending came in at the low end of budget and a bit of overtime on my one-day-a-week part time job meant my net spending for the year came out at £3k which is a bit embarrassing.  Still sitting with about 3 years' worth of spending in cash and I have yet to sell any investments.  Ever.  Eek!  Oh and I started a journal to make my 1 year anniversary!

My wife and I will still frequently look at each other and say 'Guess what, we're retired!' then grin manically.

SwissMiss

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Re: 2018 FIRE cohort
« Reply #2352 on: November 03, 2019, 09:58:44 AM »
Also 1 year FIRE anniversary here. It has been fantastic!
We have been doing so much that the last 12 months feel more like 12 years. My husband and I are sooo insanely happy. Every day feels like a holiday and I am forever grateful of having discovered FIRE and this community at MMM.
The first 2 months we spent in Florida, then 3 months in Spain, then Florida again, then 3 months Switzerland, 1 month Berlin and currently we’re in Florida again until Christmas.
We have more in our stash than when we FIREd a year ago, despite all the traveling. We’re planning to continue this mode of life for the next few years.
I also have time to learn Spanish, read a non-fiction book a week, work on my (non-finance) blog and to do sports everyday.
Life is so so good!

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: 2018 FIRE cohort
« Reply #2353 on: December 31, 2019, 03:59:32 PM »
2nd FIRE anniversary!

Wow, it has been two years since I FIRE’ed! It has been an interesting 2 years. Other than one low, life in FIRE has been great!

First the low, I  fell sick with GBS 11 months into FIRE and spent the next 6 months waiting for my nerve sheath to regenerate, learning how to walk again and struggling with double vision. As of now, I am 90% of normal, so I am extremely grateful.

Now, every one of my friends who have not retired asks me how I spend my free time.

Sleeping is definitely something I was deprived of, working on Wall St. with a 3 hour round trip commute. It does not matter if you wake up at 4 AM and cannot fall asleep for another hour or so, you just wake up an hour later. So wonderful to wake up only when my body decides it has enough sleep.

I was always a voracious reader but had not been able to read much in the 20 years before FIRE. I have read more books in the past two years than I did in the 20 years before, even including the 6 months in FIRE when I could not read.

I picked up a few new hobbies, dropped the planned hobby of traveling to exotic locations and grew totally disinterested in the hobby of writing software for myself instead of as a profession.

I had expected to travel the world and had my bucket list prepared. So, I did a couple of trips in the first 11 months of FIRE. I fell sick just after my second trip of the year, to Mexico. My neurologist does not want me to travel, especially to locations where I might fall sick as my GBS could be retriggered. Bye, bye Central and South America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. But I can still travel in the US, Canada, India, and Western Europe, so it is not a total loss. In 2019, I have traveled to Scottsdale, Tampa, Cape Cod, Montauk, and DC.

During my recuperation,  I got interested in the birds outside my window since there was nothing else to do since I could not read or watch TV. I ended up setting up a bird feeder with a birdbath right outside the window next to my sofa. I ended up with endless entertainment and a desire to learn more about birds. I found a great community of birders on this forum who gave great advice and guidance.

I wanted to create a bird-friendly environment in my back yard (so I could watch more birds!). When the local Audobon had a native plant sale, I ended up buying a couple of milkweed plants and I suddenly had Monarch butterflies visiting and a whole crop of Monarch caterpillars. I decided that I am now going to make sure that one part of my garden is going to be a butterfly, insect and hummingbird garden. I have spent the last couple of months planning out my butterfly/insect/hummingbird garden. I cannot wait till spring when I can start implementing it.

I pulled out my old DSLR and tried taking pictures of the birds and butterflies. I used to be a photographer who took the easy way out, using automatic mode and not taking the trouble to learn the basics of composition or the technical aspects of photography. So, the University of YouTube has been a great educator. I abandoned the kit-lens and splurged for a couple more lenses, a telephoto, and a prime (cheap) lenses, and a tripod. I have started shooting in RAW instead of jpeg and am using the free RawTherapee to process my photos (still a work in progress). I have seen a huge improvement in my photos, but still quite a ways to go.

Moneywise, I have not yet withdrawn from any of my retirement accounts, just using what I had in cash. My burn rate has been much lower than what I thought it would be. Beginning in 2020, I will have to start the withdrawal process. After 30+ years of saving and putting money away in retirement accounts, it is very hard to start withdrawing money :-(

So, how has your FIRE been?


SwordGuy

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Re: 2018 FIRE cohort
« Reply #2354 on: January 02, 2020, 06:26:52 PM »
Just finished our 20th month of FIRE.   We love it!


Will

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Re: 2018 FIRE cohort
« Reply #2355 on: January 02, 2020, 08:20:04 PM »
2019 was a pretty good year.  Of course, as we all know, being retired is something amazing, and I highly recommend to everyone I talk to.

According to Goodreads, last year I read 8,323 pages over 22 books.  Probably the best one was The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton.

I am a very big fan of hobby board games and card games.  Last year I logged 1,339 plays of over 300 games.  It is my one indulgence (don't ask how much I spent or how many games I own).  I think it is a pretty mustachian hobby because each game can be played multiple times for many hours, and it is very social as I am playing games with multiple friends at least 5 out of 7 days every week.  I even attended a board game convention in Las Vegas (and will be doing so again this year). 

My health is good.  Last year I started eating whole food/plant-based no oil.  I lost 35 pounds, dropping from (at least) 205 down to 170 (I am 6'-1").  I am hoping my good health continues.  I am going to try to be even more active this year, hiking in National Parks and Forests, riding my bicycle more, walking, pushups.

Last year, besides my Vegas trip for board games, I spent a couple of weeks visiting family in the Midwest, took Mom to the Caribbean for 15 days, and then spent a couple more weeks with family.  As mentioned above, Vegas is in the plans again, and hitting at least some of the scenic Southwest while down there. 

My major expenditure last year was purchasing a brand new car, a 2018 Mazda 3.  My previous car was 12 year old MINI Cooper S.  They aren't known for being incredibly reliable, so I consider myself lucky I got as much out of it as I did before I sold it for a pretty good amount.  Now I have a car that I know I will be able to drive anywhere for many many miles (as I go to those National Parks and so on, and drive down to Vegas) without worry.  I got a really good deal on it and have been very happy with it these last 11 months.

I did have a major loss last year.  While I was traveling, my roommate emailed me that little Scruffy, a rescued doxipoo of mine, was not breathing funny.  It was late at night so we agreed that he would take him to the vet in the morning.  Sadly, my sweet boy passed away overnight.  I miss him so much!  I am thinking there is a good chance I will get another dog once our spring rains here in the Pacific Northwest draw to a close.

Financially, my net worth went up substantially due to the great performance of the stock market.  It didn't go up quite as much as the market since my Vanguard guy has half of my money in bonds.  I'm fine with that; the market won't always go up, and the money I have will last me until at least age 100 in 99.9%+ of the 10,000 scenarios they run.

I think that is most of the news for me from my first full year of retirement!

Happy 2020 everyone!

TartanTallulah

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Re: 2018 FIRE cohort
« Reply #2356 on: January 03, 2020, 01:08:21 AM »
Hello! Loving reading about everyone's successes.

I haven't done so well. Due to other people's health crises and my own ingrained desire to be helpful, my little 12-18 hours per week retirement gig expanded to become 30-36 hours spread over 5-6 days and that's where I'm currently at. I quickly learned to refuse 12-hour working days because being at a desk that long brought back the IBS and migraine I used to experience and left me tired for days. I expect to drop my workload back again this year as colleagues return from sick leave.

Since I developed a knee cartilage problem in May and had to cut back on all my sports to manage it, working extra wasn't a disaster. And I like what I do, though I like not going to work even better. I'm on a waiting list for arthroscopic surgery but not all that keen on the idea except for on the two or three days every few weeks when I'm dragging my leg around and waking in pain in the night.

Then my newfound Home Alone time, which I appreciated, was kiboshed when my FiL moved in because he could no longer safely live alone. This also required a large and sudden rearrangement of our house. He doesn't need a lot of looking after and he's well motivated to make the arrangement work, but he's always here and we can't leave him overnight so we can't shoot off for weeks away here and there. And SO MANY medical appointments! And then my son came back too.

At this rate, my lean FIRE will be quite fat by the time I send my professional registration back.


SwissMiss

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Re: 2018 FIRE cohort
« Reply #2357 on: January 09, 2020, 09:38:17 AM »
In our 15th month of FIRE and it has been fantastic.
Lots of travel (Spain, Florida, Berlin, now South Africa).

I couldn't imagine living any differently. I could never work in a stuffy office ever again.

The only thing that went wrong was an annoying Achilles tendonitis that stopped me from running. But that is over and I'm back to running.

So thankful to MMM and this community here. Without you all, I wouldn't have thought FIRE was possible.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: 2018 FIRE cohort
« Reply #2358 on: January 09, 2020, 12:59:44 PM »
Just finished our 20th month of FIRE.   We love it!

I follow your journal @SwordGuy . I think you are busier in FIRE than before ;-)

Mr Mark

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Re: 2018 FIRE cohort
« Reply #2359 on: February 13, 2020, 10:31:25 AM »
Just dropped by to say Hi! and confirm FIRE is freaking awesome. Lots of travel. Family super happy, SO has been able to go back to school and is about to graduate top of her class with some certificates. She'll then be able to pick up the work she wants to do but with lots of flexibility for vacations and other adventures.

As noted, the market has been more than kind, plus my tenants are paying on time every month and looking after the place. Last year I made at least 3 times more money after tax not working than I would have made working full time in my old mega-corp job. And I'm pretty sure it's only thanks to MMM and JR Collins that I had the balls to hold my nose, ignore the pundits, and put my huge redundancy payout into the market at a 70/30 split last January as soon as the cheque cleared.

And I must say the retired life is damn good. I love the feeling of having a nice relaxed lunch at our local art museum's restaurant, say at about 1:30pm on a Thursday, sipping a glass of sav blanc over my delicious spinach salad, and knowing all is well. Or being able to splurge on upgrades to business class on our next trip because it was a great deal and not having to blink when paying off the credit card.

It's strange I now spend hardly any time back on the forum. Too much other shit to do! Plus, the huge amount of investing research I used to do & enjoy is totally moot - I'm gradually moving to a 'pure' 70/30 ratio using total market and total bond admirals (although included in the bonds % is about 2 years expenses in ultra-short term bonds) as per JL Collins. He was right all along I reckon... now the game is more about tax optimization and finessing the health care system.

Hope everyone else is enjoying being part of the 2018 cohort! Woohoo!!



pecunia

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Re: 2018 FIRE cohort
« Reply #2360 on: February 13, 2020, 05:15:49 PM »
Just dropped by to say Hi! and confirm FIRE is freaking awesome. Lots of travel. Family super happy, SO has been able to go back to school and is about to graduate top of her class with some certificates. She'll then be able to pick up the work she wants to do but with lots of flexibility for vacations and other adventures.

As noted, the market has been more than kind, plus my tenants are paying on time every month and looking after the place. Last year I made at least 3 times more money after tax not working than I would have made working full time in my old mega-corp job. And I'm pretty sure it's only thanks to MMM and JR Collins that I had the balls to hold my nose, ignore the pundits, and put my huge redundancy payout into the market at a 70/30 split last January as soon as the cheque cleared.

And I must say the retired life is damn good. I love the feeling of having a nice relaxed lunch at our local art museum's restaurant, say at about 1:30pm on a Thursday, sipping a glass of sav blanc over my delicious spinach salad, and knowing all is well. Or being able to splurge on upgrades to business class on our next trip because it was a great deal and not having to blink when paying off the credit card.

It's strange I now spend hardly any time back on the forum. Too much other shit to do! Plus, the huge amount of investing research I used to do & enjoy is totally moot - I'm gradually moving to a 'pure' 70/30 ratio using total market and total bond admirals (although included in the bonds % is about 2 years expenses in ultra-short term bonds) as per JL Collins. He was right all along I reckon... now the game is more about tax optimization and finessing the health care system.

Hope everyone else is enjoying being part of the 2018 cohort! Woohoo!!

Wow!  I was going to go in 2018 and here I am still working.  I am writing this working out of town from a less expensive hotel room.  I could be at home living the good life that I read about continuously on this forum.  The current project ends in April.  No more OMY and no more TMYs.

Will

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Re: 2018 FIRE cohort
« Reply #2361 on: February 13, 2020, 08:34:22 PM »
D'oh!  I can't believe I didn't think this out better...

I converted too much of my Traditional IRA over to Roth, so now I have taxes to pay.  It isn't a crazy amount or anything, but I feel silly.  It isn't like I am going to need that money anytime soon.  Oh well, now I know.

Speaking of having money to spend:  How are you all doing now that we are "spenders" instead of "savers"?  I'm nowhere close to spending 4% each year.  I'm not even at 2%, but I am so used to living frugally now that spending more feels odd.

Linea_Norway

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Re: 2018 FIRE cohort
« Reply #2362 on: February 14, 2020, 12:06:05 AM »

Wow!  I was going to go in 2018 and here I am still working.  I am writing this working out of town from a less expensive hotel room.  I could be at home living the good life that I read about continuously on this forum.  The current project ends in April.  No more OMY and no more TMYs.

@pecunia Welcome to the 2020 cohort.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2020, 12:07:49 AM by Linea_Norway »

SwissMiss

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Re: 2018 FIRE cohort
« Reply #2363 on: February 14, 2020, 05:02:08 AM »
Speaking of having money to spend:  How are you all doing now that we are "spenders" instead of "savers"?  I'm nowhere close to spending 4% each year.  I'm not even at 2%, but I am so used to living frugally now that spending more feels odd.

We’re in the same boat: our spending is not even at 1%. So all good. FIRE is amazing!

@Mr Mark: thanks for the update!

ozbeach

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Re: 2018 FIRE cohort
« Reply #2364 on: February 14, 2020, 04:13:55 PM »
Speaking of having money to spend:  How are you all doing now that we are "spenders" instead of "savers"?  I'm nowhere close to spending 4% each year.  I'm not even at 2%, but I am so used to living frugally now that spending more feels odd.


Hovering between 2 - 2.5% of LNW (I calculate at the end of each month when I update NW spreadsheet).


You're right that it feels odd. I've increased my "allowance" three times in the last two years as it gradually sinks in that I can stop saving and start spending. My case is a bit unusual in that I'm living off savings and dividends for the next few years until I can access my superannuation, so that forces me to budget in order to make it last the distance. I could double my spending and still be ok, but like you I'm so used to living frugally that I can't think what I would spend it on.