Author Topic: Claiming freedom  (Read 3949 times)

The Watchman

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Claiming freedom
« on: November 05, 2013, 02:07:01 PM »
Hi all!

I read MMM's blog entry 'Reader Case Study: Should This Man Claim his Freedom?' and made a comment about what drove me to leave my career in 2 months (to receive a voluntary redundancy), aged 42, with an adequate 'stache. I was encouraged to write about my case here in the forums in case it is of use to others.  (Apologies in advance if I picked the wrong forum.)

I only started reading MMM a couple of weeks ago (not being a follower of financial blogs - I even had to look up 'FIRE' before making this entry to see what it meant), but read all of MMM's entries over a couple of days.

I've been fortunate to have done most of what he recommends since I left university, having read Richest Man in Babylon, Millionaire Next Door, and more importantly, possessing some grasp of compound interest.

I saved about half my net salary ($100k gross) bought a large but not expensive house but have always had housemates to help pay it off quickly, and shoved any savings since then into the sharemarket (as a diversified share portfolio).  I didn't bicycle as much though, as I preferred my motorbike.

I have about $1.8 million in assets (including equity in my house) plus an indexed pension that will pay $30k pa for life.  My partner is a fair bit younger than me and has just finished repaying her student debt, and wants to continue to work in her save the world NGO job, even though my savings could allow both of us to retire.  I guess by choosing to save the world, she *is* retired.

On the 'financial accumulation' side of things where many seem to be preoccupied, the maths works. Spend less, save more, start early and let your little green employee dudes do their thing.  It amazes me sometimes to think that of every dollar i've earned in my jobs, because of early saving and investing, i've kept every single one of them and more (obviously my grasp of compound interest isn't yet complete).

It's just like that dude in Shawshank Redemption with his minature pick - with enough time, a lot can be done.  Mind you, it's worthwhile saving more so that you effectively have a bigger pick, as you don't want to spend too much time being raped by psychos in jail.

I haven't been particularly frugal either - overseas trips every other year (us Australians get 4 weeks a year), tennis a couple of times a week, eating out too often, and drink too much wine (and refuse to drink Banrock Station out of a goonie bag, sorry MMM).

In terms of the less important 'stuff', just to show that we're not ascetics, we have two cars including an (older) Lexus LS400, teardrop camper, soon to be sold motorboat, motorbike, home gym toys, nice (and numerous) fountain pens, travel and camping goods, and other embarrassingly indulgent stuff.

The stand out obvious thing is that we don't have kids.  I wonder if my partner and I could be as frugal as MMM if/when we had/have them.  However, I can see how having a F you/make work optional/financial independence 'stache will help in raising kids by giving you all of your time with them.

On the 'how much is enough' side of things, I remember spending most of a day creating a financial model of me living to 100. Had I known about the 4% rule, I could've saved a day.

On taking the actual step to retire, which goes to happiness/subjective wellbeing, the thing which I think MMM's blog provides most insight, I have gained great comfort in reading about what people say on their deathbeds (a bit morbid, but I find overwhelmingly insightful).

I noted what a study found as the common sentiments given by such folks.  They wish that they:
*. had the courage to live life for themselves, rather than the life others expected of them;
*. hadnít worked so hard;
*. had the courage to express their feelings;
*. stayed in touch with friends; and
*. let themselves be happier.

Iíve found that office work acts in many ways to suppress these desires. Had I expressed all of my feelings about certain of my coworkers, I am sure I would have been fired a long, long time ago!

Well, wish me luck in my shortly arriving Stick it to The Man life stage.  If you have read this far, thank you for indulging me, and I hope that you might have found something useful in it.

Best,

TW


dadof4

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Re: Claiming freedom
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2013, 03:00:44 PM »
A man goes to confession at church and says
"Father, I am 70 years old, but am dating a 20 year old model and we sleep together all the time"

The priest nods and asks "When was your last confession?"

"Never. I'm not even Catholic, I'm Jewish."

Confused, the priest asks "So why are you telling me this?"

"Oh, I'm telling everyone!"

------------------------------

Thanks for sharing your story, you should be proud of yourself. Best wishes on your new life!

Here's hoping you stick around and share some post-ER stories. Most of us here are still working toward that end, so it will be interesting to hear more from someone who's already there.

The Watchman

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Re: Claiming freedom
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2013, 04:54:40 AM »
@dadof4: I like the story!  I agree that my post could be read as a bit of a gloat, but hope that it was taken for what it was:

A.  +1 data point for "MMM's stuff works" (with a 2 1/2 year old blog, may not be that many around),   and
B.  shamelessly ripping off Stephen Covey, begin with the end in mind when thinking about taking the big leap to early retirement, apropos to the dude in MMM's blog entry today.

One more thing I forgot to add - spending some time working in a developing country does a lot to buttress one's stoicism and counter hedonism, although it does test one's patience.

And thanks for your kind wishes on early retirement; I hope you reach your goals soon too. 

I'm thinking that although the path to early retirement is similar, everyone's dream retirement will be different, so I don't expect to post anything about that.

But I will be enjoying it just the same. ;)  Time to go to sleep with my 20 year old model.

arebelspy

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Re: Claiming freedom
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2013, 07:57:46 AM »
I'm thinking that although the path to early retirement is similar, everyone's dream retirement will be different, so I don't expect to post anything about that.

Hope you reconsider.  Since the path is similar, we get lots of similar posts on that.  Some unique ones about life after FIRE would be interesting.

Plus there will be some who have similar post-FIRE dreams to you, I'm sure, and it'd be interesting to hear about some of the challenges.

(Also, for anyone interested, early-retirement.org has lots of post FIRE people, but it'd be fun to hear from some Mustachians.)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Exflyboy

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Re: Claiming freedom
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2013, 10:07:43 AM »
Cool.. Aged 42 and you have a significant stach.. Thats awesome.

Question.. When does your pension pay out the $30k/year.. Do you have to wait till 60-65 or does it pay immediately?

Congratulations

Frank

The Watchman

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Re: Claiming freedom
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2013, 02:27:48 PM »
Plus there will be some who have similar post-FIRE dreams to you, I'm sure, and it'd be interesting to hear about some of the challenges.

I'm not sure if there's that many people whose post retirement dreams extend only to deadlifting 2.5 times their bodyweight, training to be a cage fighter, and learning bushcraft skills (while having zero current ability in any of these things, just to make it even more fascinating to a potential reader), so I might pass. (But I would be really badass and prepared for the inevitable Zombie Apocalypse if I get there.)

And yes, with such modest dreams, I should've retired years ago.

(Also, for anyone interested, early-retirement.org has lots of post FIRE people, but it'd be fun to hear from some Mustachians.)

Thanks - i'll check it out.

Cool.. Aged 42 and you have a significant stach.. Thats awesome.

Question.. When does your pension pay out the $30k/year.. Do you have to wait till 60-65 or does it pay immediately?

Congratulations

Frank

Thanks, Frank.

Pension pays immediately when I retire in two months, and is Australian Government backed - pretty sweet deal, I know. 

Gross up using 4% rule (as pension is indexed) gives an asset currently worth $750k, so it's kind of like we've got about $2.5m in net assets.  Of course if I get hit by a bus or die of old age, that $750k asset disappears, so it's got to be discounted a fair bit.

Maybe an actuarial table can help me work it out.  (Yet another dream to add to my post retirement list of three - surely actuarial skills will be needed in a post apocalyptic world.)

Exflyboy

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Re: Claiming freedom
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2013, 03:02:47 PM »
Cool.. yes your set for life!

Frank

frugaldrummer

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Re: Claiming freedom
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2013, 09:35:02 AM »
Quote
surely actuarial skills will be needed in a post apocalyptic world.

ROFLMAO!!!!!!