Author Topic: How much longer would you work in my situation? 1 yr from FIRE, but debating...  (Read 2361 times)

bayareafire

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TLDR: Mid-30s, married professional in HCOL city. Spouse (also in 30s) and I keep finances separate, and all numbers below are my own. No kids, though we might adopt within a few years (and numbers below would be able to support a kid, inclusive of adoption stipend etc.).

Currently at $1.05M.  Debating FIRE in 1 year at $1.25-$1.35M, or keep working in new, lower stress job ($300K/yr) and aim to FIRE in 2 or 3 years somewhere between $1.5-$2M.  Each year worked, assuming markets do decently, is another roughly $250K to the investments.

Current $1.05M would support my current, perfectly happy lifestyle at $40-$45K/yr.  $1.25/$1.35M would support my desired spend level of $57K/yr in retirement.  $1.5-$2M is that much more, and would add a nice safety buffer or spend amount in exchange for working an additional 1-2 years.  Note, numbers have a more aggressive withdrawal rate because a sizable portion of my spend is a fixed, non-inflationary mortgage (I'm targeting 90% chances of success in FiCalc with flexibility to lower spend in down years and use cash reserves).

As a bit of background, I've wanted to FIRE for a long time - in part because I want freedom to do what I want with my time, as well as to get away from my stressful industry (legal).  However, I went in-house a little bit ago into a new type of job that is way lower stress and still pays very well (about $300K/yr all in). 

Given that the new job is easier and less stressful, I'm thinking I should take advantage of it and should work at least another year to hit my ideal spend FIRE number but am debating whether I should keep working longer than that, since I'm still rather young and each year worked could be an additional $250K to the nest egg... that's a huge percentage increase of my overall savings.  On the other hand, I don't want to OMY forever.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

LeftA

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Iíd work longer.

You are mid 30s, with a lower stress job that pays $300K?

Thatís a long retirement with many life choices still in front of you. So, Iíd want to have a greater cushion. Especially given the amount at which you can save with that level of pay!

bayareafire

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Iíd work longer.

You are mid 30s, with a lower stress job that pays $300K?

Thatís a long retirement with many life choices still in front of you. So, Iíd want to have a greater cushion. Especially given the amount at which you can save with that level of pay!

Thanks, agree it's worthwhile to stick it out for the higher pay as long as the job stays lower stress - at least for some period of time.

But, how long would you suggest working until?  I could potentially hit $2M in 3 years, and I'd still only be older 30s.  Then there would be an argument to keep working since I'm still young and potentially making even more money at that point, hence my fear of continual OMY syndrome.

TheFrenchCat

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If it were me, I'd definitely work at least till you hit your ideal number since you're in a HCOL area and are thinking of adopting.  As for beyond that, I'd definitely be tempted to work more, but it would depend on how much lower stress the job turns out to be.  Also, it'd probably be ideal to be FIRED before adopting, so you have more flexibility.  And last, if it were me, I'd want to have an idea of what I wanted to do with my time before leaving my job, which you may know already but didn't mention.

joe189man

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agreed, keep working. you have no idea how much free time you have right now that is probably wasted. keep a 30 minute time journal of what you are doing throughout the day. i bet you have time to explore lots of things that you are putting off till fire.  if you adopt/have kids that free time basically drops to ~30-60 minutes a day (sometimes less), including weekends.

as far as how long to work, it depends on what your goals are. journal on that and try to put some costs to the goals, then see if your stash can provide for the goals. if not adjust the goals or stash size/years still working and re-assess. 

bayareafire

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If it were me, I'd definitely work at least till you hit your ideal number since you're in a HCOL area and are thinking of adopting.  As for beyond that, I'd definitely be tempted to work more, but it would depend on how much lower stress the job turns out to be.  Also, it'd probably be ideal to be FIRED before adopting, so you have more flexibility.  And last, if it were me, I'd want to have an idea of what I wanted to do with my time before leaving my job, which you may know already but didn't mention.

Thanks. Def plan to work for at least another year when I'll hopefully hit my ideal number by.  Tougher part will be what to do after that.

We decided to push off foster to adopt process until next year at the earliest, so have flexibility on when to pursue that.  Might want to FIRE before pursuing it so I could be a SAHP until the kiddo goes to kindergarten, but not sure yet.  Will have to see what I'm thinking about the job and how much longer I want to work.

And yup, have lots of ideas on how to spend my time. Would love to take some computer programming courses just for fun. Take up additional sports. Volunteer. Go to the beach. Make more FIRE friends.  Just to name a few :) BUT, I am still young and want to be practical about when to leave (maximize amount of $ saved, maximize young years to enjoy my life, etc.).

Dicey

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It will never be easier to earn this much money with comparatively little stress. My suggestion is to live an Uber Frugal Year. Squirrel away as much as you possibly can for 12 months, then pull the plug. Use points/rebates/creativity to work some fun stuff into the year, but make reaching the goal a game with a fantastic reward at the end.

The Frugalwoods Uber Frugal Month can be started at any time and will give you a blueprint for the rest of the year.

https://www.frugalwoods.com/category/uberfrugalmonth/

bayareafire

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It will never be easier to earn this much money with comparatively little stress. My suggestion is to live an Uber Frugal Year. Squirrel away as much as you possibly can for 12 months, then pull the plug. Use points/rebates/creativity to work some fun stuff into the year, but make reaching the goal a game with a fantastic reward at the end.

The Frugalwoods Uber Frugal Month can be started at any time and will give you a blueprint for the rest of the year.

https://www.frugalwoods.com/category/uberfrugalmonth/

Appreciate the input.  Though I don't really want to become more frugal.  I'm already pretty frugal - of my $40-$45k spend, only $15-$20K is non-housing related.  For a HCOL city, I think that's pretty darn good already and don't want to cut much more than that.

trollwithamustache

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is there an option 4, become a consultant/independent contractor?

I tend to agree with others about not wanting to fully retire that young. especially with the kid situation not clarified.  If as a consultant can you make say, half your current comp working half the time? You'd still be cash flow positive, have most of the benefits of RE right now, and your foot is in the door if things need to change.

Dicey

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It will never be easier to earn this much money with comparatively little stress. My suggestion is to live an Uber Frugal Year. Squirrel away as much as you possibly can for 12 months, then pull the plug. Use points/rebates/creativity to work some fun stuff into the year, but make reaching the goal a game with a fantastic reward at the end.

The Frugalwoods Uber Frugal Month can be started at any time and will give you a blueprint for the rest of the year.

https://www.frugalwoods.com/category/uberfrugalmonth/

Appreciate the input.  Though I don't really want to become more frugal.  I'm already pretty frugal - of my $40-$45k spend, only $15-$20K is non-housing related.  For a HCOL city, I think that's pretty darn good already and don't want to cut much more than that.
It isn't about being frugal exactly, it's about hitting a number so you can get out asap with peace of mind. Wasn't that the question?

dougules

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What do you do for healthcare?  How would your spending change if you ran into an expensive chronic illness later in life?  Unfortunately it's not rare at all. 

bayareafire

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is there an option 4, become a consultant/independent contractor?

I tend to agree with others about not wanting to fully retire that young. especially with the kid situation not clarified.  If as a consultant can you make say, half your current comp working half the time? You'd still be cash flow positive, have most of the benefits of RE right now, and your foot is in the door if things need to change.

I think the more likely option I could pursue would be part time - 4 days a week (possibly 3 days, though not sure if that would be accepted).  There's not really consultant/independent contractor positions in my legal field, unless I joined something like an Axiom (do 6mo - 1.5 year stints at company with time off in between).  Don't know that I'm thrilled with any of these options, but definitely good to at least consider.

bayareafire

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It will never be easier to earn this much money with comparatively little stress. My suggestion is to live an Uber Frugal Year. Squirrel away as much as you possibly can for 12 months, then pull the plug. Use points/rebates/creativity to work some fun stuff into the year, but make reaching the goal a game with a fantastic reward at the end.

The Frugalwoods Uber Frugal Month can be started at any time and will give you a blueprint for the rest of the year.

https://www.frugalwoods.com/category/uberfrugalmonth/

Appreciate the input.  Though I don't really want to become more frugal.  I'm already pretty frugal - of my $40-$45k spend, only $15-$20K is non-housing related.  For a HCOL city, I think that's pretty darn good already and don't want to cut much more than that.
It isn't about being frugal exactly, it's about hitting a number so you can get out asap with peace of mind. Wasn't that the question?

OK. So your recommendation is to work one more year (save as much as possible) and then cut the cord.  I likely won't materially change my spending this next year, but as I mentioned I'm fairly frugal already anyways.

bayareafire

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What do you do for healthcare?  How would your spending change if you ran into an expensive chronic illness later in life?  Unfortunately it's not rare at all.

I'll be covered by my spouse, who will continue working for some time.  If things ever changed in that regard, I could always go the ACA route for $250-$300/mo. 

dougules

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What do you do for healthcare?  How would your spending change if you ran into an expensive chronic illness later in life?  Unfortunately it's not rare at all.

I'll be covered by my spouse, who will continue working for some time.  If things ever changed in that regard, I could always go the ACA route for $250-$300/mo.

Honestly I'd plan to be able to cover the out-of-pocket maximum for an ACA plan.  It's kind of delicate to say, but high health spending and divorce are so common in the US it kind of makes sense to plan for both. 

AlanStache

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Am not clear, have you done a hypothetical budget that includes a kid?  Privet school, clubs, health care, college etc?  Also have you averaged out large home maintenance costs? 

Mr. Green

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I think your market performance projections are pretty rosy. 250k on top of 1,050k is a ~25% increase. I could see that happening one year but it's unlikely to be that for several years running without a pull back at some point.

Tester

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My current situation is to try to get to 1 million net worth in 4 years, at 500k currently.
At 43 years of age.
If I could I would stop working today for the next 15 years until my smaller child gets to 18.
Then I might start again something.
I can't stop working now...

If I would be 30 and in your position, I would work full time for 2/3 years then get to half time/zero time to enjoy the kids.


ChpBstrd

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Are there any charities / causes you are passionate about? If so, a $100k-200k donation could be your greatest legacy in life, and it would only cost you a few months of easy work.

Just bear in mind you can FIRE right now to a more luxurious lifestyle than can be enjoyed by about 95% of the world's people. You are aiming for about 97%.

Dicey

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It will never be easier to earn this much money with comparatively little stress. My suggestion is to live an Uber Frugal Year. Squirrel away as much as you possibly can for 12 months, then pull the plug. Use points/rebates/creativity to work some fun stuff into the year, but make reaching the goal a game with a fantastic reward at the end.

The Frugalwoods Uber Frugal Month can be started at any time and will give you a blueprint for the rest of the year.

https://www.frugalwoods.com/category/uberfrugalmonth/

Appreciate the input.  Though I don't really want to become more frugal.  I'm already pretty frugal - of my $40-$45k spend, only $15-$20K is non-housing related.  For a HCOL city, I think that's pretty darn good already and don't want to cut much more than that.
It isn't about being frugal exactly, it's about hitting a number so you can get out asap with peace of mind. Wasn't that the question?

OK. So your recommendation is to work one more year (save as much as possible) and then cut the cord.  I likely won't materially change my spending this next year, but as I mentioned I'm fairly frugal already anyways.
Yes. I used to do a no-spend February long before it became a thing. I was always shocked at how much extra my very frugal* self came up with by the end of the month. If you're "fairly frugal" you might be pleasantly surprised, too. Maybe try just a month with Mrs. FW and see what happens.

*Haha, that was pre-FIRE. Eight years FIRE and I spend with abandon. This shit really, really works!

Watchmaker

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I think your market performance projections are pretty rosy. 250k on top of 1,050k is a ~25% increase. I could see that happening one year but it's unlikely to be that for several years running without a pull back at some point.

I think that projected increase includes their new savings.

Freedomin5

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We are in a similar position. I left a high-paying job (~$500k/year) two years ago to take a lower paying but more stress-free job (~$300k/year) once we hit Lean FIRE. Net worth continues to grow at around 250-300k a year due to our contributions and market growth. Not saying you should do what we are doing, but we have a kid, and kid stuff costs money, so we are slowing down and coasting but not stopping working until we hit our Fat FIRE number of around $2M. Since Iím working an easier job, I donít dislike it, so Iím able to work a bit longer to keep growing our stash.

Instead of using current expenses as a gauge of how big a nest egg we need, we are using estimated future FIRE expenses. So if you currently spend $40k and plan on adopting and expect your kid to cost you an additional $10k a year, use $50k as your expected expenses. That would mean you need a stash of 1.25M.

As a point of reference, my kid probably costs us an extra $500 a month, but you have to remember adopted kids also statistically have a higher incidence of learning disorders, emotional disorder or medical needs, so you may want to factor in a buffer for any therapies the child may need.

bayareafire

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Are there any charities / causes you are passionate about? If so, a $100k-200k donation could be your greatest legacy in life, and it would only cost you a few months of easy work.

Just bear in mind you can FIRE right now to a more luxurious lifestyle than can be enjoyed by about 95% of the world's people. You are aiming for about 97%.

I plan to volunteer my time during FIRE, among many other activities.  To each their own, but I will not being considering a $100-$200K charity donation.  If I had that extra amount of money, I would use it for additional safety buffer or additional spending.

bayareafire

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Am not clear, have you done a hypothetical budget that includes a kid?  Privet school, clubs, health care, college etc?  Also have you averaged out large home maintenance costs?

Yes to all.  Kiddo would go to public school, not private.  Foster to adopt provides good health care until 18, and also a stipend towards their care (stipend doesn't cover everything but it helps).  We've budgeted for other things, and we would cover approximately $75K in today's dollars for college (think it's good for the kid to have some skin in the game).

Also have a home maintenance budget, though we have a new construction home so repairs should be minor and exterior repairs (including roof) are covered by the HOA.

bayareafire

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It will never be easier to earn this much money with comparatively little stress. My suggestion is to live an Uber Frugal Year. Squirrel away as much as you possibly can for 12 months, then pull the plug. Use points/rebates/creativity to work some fun stuff into the year, but make reaching the goal a game with a fantastic reward at the end.

The Frugalwoods Uber Frugal Month can be started at any time and will give you a blueprint for the rest of the year.

https://www.frugalwoods.com/category/uberfrugalmonth/

Appreciate the input.  Though I don't really want to become more frugal.  I'm already pretty frugal - of my $40-$45k spend, only $15-$20K is non-housing related.  For a HCOL city, I think that's pretty darn good already and don't want to cut much more than that.
It isn't about being frugal exactly, it's about hitting a number so you can get out asap with peace of mind. Wasn't that the question?

OK. So your recommendation is to work one more year (save as much as possible) and then cut the cord.  I likely won't materially change my spending this next year, but as I mentioned I'm fairly frugal already anyways.
Yes. I used to do a no-spend February long before it became a thing. I was always shocked at how much extra my very frugal* self came up with by the end of the month. If you're "fairly frugal" you might be pleasantly surprised, too. Maybe try just a month with Mrs. FW and see what happens.

*Haha, that was pre-FIRE. Eight years FIRE and I spend with abandon. This shit really, really works!

I'll keep it in mind, but there's only so much to cut.  In the first 4 months of this year, I've spent $10K (about $2500/mo).  Considering that housing and utilities are about $2,000/mo, I've only been spending $500/mo on average in a very HCOL city.  That's for groceries, gas, entertainment, etc.  I don't think trying to save $100 or $200 is worth the tradeoffs of potentially less hangouts with friends, entertainment, etc.

P.S. Spouse is a Mr., not Mrs. :)  Agree with all your sentiment here, but just don't know that it's particularly applicable to my situation.

bayareafire

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I think your market performance projections are pretty rosy. 250k on top of 1,050k is a ~25% increase. I could see that happening one year but it's unlikely to be that for several years running without a pull back at some point.

I think that projected increase includes their new savings.

Correct, the hopeful target of $250K/yr is savings + investment growth all in.  More like a 10-14% growth that I was modeling.

bayareafire

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We are in a similar position. I left a high-paying job (~$500k/year) two years ago to take a lower paying but more stress-free job (~$300k/year) once we hit Lean FIRE. Net worth continues to grow at around 250-300k a year due to our contributions and market growth. Not saying you should do what we are doing, but we have a kid, and kid stuff costs money, so we are slowing down and coasting but not stopping working until we hit our Fat FIRE number of around $2M. Since Iím working an easier job, I donít dislike it, so Iím able to work a bit longer to keep growing our stash.

Instead of using current expenses as a gauge of how big a nest egg we need, we are using estimated future FIRE expenses. So if you currently spend $40k and plan on adopting and expect your kid to cost you an additional $10k a year, use $50k as your expected expenses. That would mean you need a stash of 1.25M.

As a point of reference, my kid probably costs us an extra $500 a month, but you have to remember adopted kids also statistically have a higher incidence of learning disorders, emotional disorder or medical needs, so you may want to factor in a buffer for any therapies the child may need.

Thanks for sharing!  Awesome to hear you've been adding about $250-$300K/yr at that salary level.  That's in line with my projections, assuming the market performs decently. 

Re: budget, I do have my current spend budget as well as my estimated FIRE budget, with and without a kid. 

As for withdrawal amount, you're using the straight up 4% rule.  As mentioned in my post, I use a slightly higher number because a large portion of my spend is due to a fixed, non-inflationary expense (mortgage).  I'm still targeting 90% chances of success in Fire calculators. 

Re: adopted kid, they would have healthcare provided by the state including free therapy as well.  State also provides a stipend (doesn't cover all costs, but it helps some).

bayareafire

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It will never be easier to earn this much money with comparatively little stress. My suggestion is to live an Uber Frugal Year. Squirrel away as much as you possibly can for 12 months, then pull the plug. Use points/rebates/creativity to work some fun stuff into the year, but make reaching the goal a game with a fantastic reward at the end.

The Frugalwoods Uber Frugal Month can be started at any time and will give you a blueprint for the rest of the year.

https://www.frugalwoods.com/category/uberfrugalmonth/

Appreciate the input.  Though I don't really want to become more frugal.  I'm already pretty frugal - of my $40-$45k spend, only $15-$20K is non-housing related.  For a HCOL city, I think that's pretty darn good already and don't want to cut much more than that.
It isn't about being frugal exactly, it's about hitting a number so you can get out asap with peace of mind. Wasn't that the question?

OK. So your recommendation is to work one more year (save as much as possible) and then cut the cord.  I likely won't materially change my spending this next year, but as I mentioned I'm fairly frugal already anyways.
Yes. I used to do a no-spend February long before it became a thing. I was always shocked at how much extra my very frugal* self came up with by the end of the month. If you're "fairly frugal" you might be pleasantly surprised, too. Maybe try just a month with Mrs. FW and see what happens.

*Haha, that was pre-FIRE. Eight years FIRE and I spend with abandon. This shit really, really works!

I'll keep it in mind, but there's only so much to cut.  In the first 4 months of this year, I've spent $10K (about $2500/mo).  Considering that housing and utilities are about $2,000/mo, I've only been spending $500/mo on average in a very HCOL city.  That's for groceries, gas, entertainment, etc.  I don't think trying to save $100 or $200 is worth the tradeoffs of potentially less hangouts with friends, entertainment, etc.

P.S. Spouse is a Mr., not Mrs. :)  Agree with all your sentiment here, but just don't know that it's particularly applicable to my situation.

Also what part of NorCal are you in?  And how long have you been FIREd?  Congrats on being FIRE btw!

Dicey

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It will never be easier to earn this much money with comparatively little stress. My suggestion is to live an Uber Frugal Year. Squirrel away as much as you possibly can for 12 months, then pull the plug. Use points/rebates/creativity to work some fun stuff into the year, but make reaching the goal a game with a fantastic reward at the end.

The Frugalwoods Uber Frugal Month can be started at any time and will give you a blueprint for the rest of the year.

https://www.frugalwoods.com/category/uberfrugalmonth/

Appreciate the input.  Though I don't really want to become more frugal.  I'm already pretty frugal - of my $40-$45k spend, only $15-$20K is non-housing related.  For a HCOL city, I think that's pretty darn good already and don't want to cut much more than that.
It isn't about being frugal exactly, it's about hitting a number so you can get out asap with peace of mind. Wasn't that the question?

OK. So your recommendation is to work one more year (save as much as possible) and then cut the cord.  I likely won't materially change my spending this next year, but as I mentioned I'm fairly frugal already anyways.
Yes. I used to do a no-spend February long before it became a thing. I was always shocked at how much extra my very frugal* self came up with by the end of the month. If you're "fairly frugal" you might be pleasantly surprised, too. Maybe try just a month with Mrs. FW and see what happens.

*Haha, that was pre-FIRE. Eight years FIRE and I spend with abandon. This shit really, really works!

I'll keep it in mind, but there's only so much to cut.  In the first 4 months of this year, I've spent $10K (about $2500/mo).  Considering that housing and utilities are about $2,000/mo, I've only been spending $500/mo on average in a very HCOL city.  That's for groceries, gas, entertainment, etc.  I don't think trying to save $100 or $200 is worth the tradeoffs of potentially less hangouts with friends, entertainment, etc.

P.S. Spouse is a Mr., not Mrs. :)  Agree with all your sentiment here, but just don't know that it's particularly applicable to my situation.
LOL, it took me a moment to suss your post script out. "Mrs. FW" means Mrs. Frugalwoods, aka Liz.

I'd say you're selling yourself short. $500/mo after housing is pretty damn badass, not "fairly frugal".

And I'm waving from the sunny East Bay. FIRE as of December 5, 2012 and loving every minute of it.

AlanStache

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...
Also have a home maintenance budget, though we have a new construction home so repairs should be minor and exterior repairs (including roof) are covered by the HOA.

sounds like you have done your homeowork.

Homes (like us people) will age and the HOA does not get deliveries from the free money fairy, ie there can (will?) be special assessments. Cash reserves may be good now but new "leadership" may push for lower fees that draw down the reserves.  just hypothetical of what can happen over 30 years.  but as others have said another year or so of making stupidly large amounts of money and you will be set.  not that you are not in an incredible position now.

blingwrx

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Do the FIRE numbers still work if in a year or two maybe your husband decided he wants to join you in the FIRE life. Hopefully he has more money then you so thatís a non issue. But just have to calculate all possible future scenarios.

Iíd keep on working until you get to a more comfortable number. Maybe one day you wonít want to be so lean on the budget. I agree with going with the lower paying less stressful job as it will allow you to work longer without hating life.

Iím in a similar scenario where I hit my lean FIRE numbers and Iím still in my 30ís but Iím going to continue working for a bit longer as I already scaled down to consulting so itís not as stressful as when I worked full time. I would love to be able to increase my travel budget and maybe get a better house than I have now so ideally working a bit longer will allow me to achieve more of a regular FIRE.

Linea_Norway

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I would start working 4 days a week, to enjoy more free time. If you have a progressive tax system, that will cost you less than 20%. It feels really good to have a 50% longer weekend. I can recommend taking Fridays off.

bayareafire

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It will never be easier to earn this much money with comparatively little stress. My suggestion is to live an Uber Frugal Year. Squirrel away as much as you possibly can for 12 months, then pull the plug. Use points/rebates/creativity to work some fun stuff into the year, but make reaching the goal a game with a fantastic reward at the end.

The Frugalwoods Uber Frugal Month can be started at any time and will give you a blueprint for the rest of the year.

https://www.frugalwoods.com/category/uberfrugalmonth/

Appreciate the input.  Though I don't really want to become more frugal.  I'm already pretty frugal - of my $40-$45k spend, only $15-$20K is non-housing related.  For a HCOL city, I think that's pretty darn good already and don't want to cut much more than that.
It isn't about being frugal exactly, it's about hitting a number so you can get out asap with peace of mind. Wasn't that the question?

OK. So your recommendation is to work one more year (save as much as possible) and then cut the cord.  I likely won't materially change my spending this next year, but as I mentioned I'm fairly frugal already anyways.
Yes. I used to do a no-spend February long before it became a thing. I was always shocked at how much extra my very frugal* self came up with by the end of the month. If you're "fairly frugal" you might be pleasantly surprised, too. Maybe try just a month with Mrs. FW and see what happens.

*Haha, that was pre-FIRE. Eight years FIRE and I spend with abandon. This shit really, really works!

I'll keep it in mind, but there's only so much to cut.  In the first 4 months of this year, I've spent $10K (about $2500/mo).  Considering that housing and utilities are about $2,000/mo, I've only been spending $500/mo on average in a very HCOL city.  That's for groceries, gas, entertainment, etc.  I don't think trying to save $100 or $200 is worth the tradeoffs of potentially less hangouts with friends, entertainment, etc.

P.S. Spouse is a Mr., not Mrs. :)  Agree with all your sentiment here, but just don't know that it's particularly applicable to my situation.
LOL, it took me a moment to suss your post script out. "Mrs. FW" means Mrs. Frugalwoods, aka Liz.

I'd say you're selling yourself short. $500/mo after housing is pretty damn badass, not "fairly frugal".

And I'm waving from the sunny East Bay. FIRE as of December 5, 2012 and loving every minute of it.

Oh, my mistake! LOL. I thought Mrs. FW was some sort of new online lingo (like DH or DW) that I wasn't aware of yet :)

And thanks for the frugalness compliment! My expense tracking spreadsheet had an error that I fixed, and it looks like my average non-housing spending over the past 4 months has been $660/mo (not $500/mo).  But still pretty darn frugal.  Of course it'll be balanced out over the year when I spend on bigger items, like weekend trips, travel, new technology gadgets (though may not upgrade anything this year).

And waving back to you, also from the sunny East Bay! Small world.

Congrats on being FIRE since 2012.  That's great!

bayareafire

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Do the FIRE numbers still work if in a year or two maybe your husband decided he wants to join you in the FIRE life. Hopefully he has more money then you so thatís a non issue. But just have to calculate all possible future scenarios.

Iíd keep on working until you get to a more comfortable number. Maybe one day you wonít want to be so lean on the budget. I agree with going with the lower paying less stressful job as it will allow you to work longer without hating life.

Iím in a similar scenario where I hit my lean FIRE numbers and Iím still in my 30ís but Iím going to continue working for a bit longer as I already scaled down to consulting so itís not as stressful as when I worked full time. I would love to be able to increase my travel budget and maybe get a better house than I have now so ideally working a bit longer will allow me to achieve more of a regular FIRE.

Unfortunately my husband is further behind than me on FIRE.  We've talked about it, and he's OK with me FIREing well ahead of him.  His main concern is that I don't go galavanting all around the world on my own all the time, and feeling like our lives are splitting apart.  We may try to do a large 1-month vacation every year (if he can swing it with his work), in addition to additional smaller weekend trips, to satisfy my travel desires as a compromise.

And thanks - agree don't want a super lean budget, but I don't think my hopeful planned for budget for next year would be lean.  Of course more would always be nice, but that's the tension of deciding how much is enough. 

Congrats on being leanFIRE, and best of luck in your financial journey as well!
« Last Edit: April 24, 2021, 01:11:37 PM by bayareafire »

bayareafire

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I would start working 4 days a week, to enjoy more free time. If you have a progressive tax system, that will cost you less than 20%. It feels really good to have a 50% longer weekend. I can recommend taking Fridays off.

I haven't been at my job the longest period of time, so don't want to ask for a reduced work schedule just yet.  Asking for a 4-day work week might be something to consider next year though, if I want to keep working (or if it's super manageable, maybe just push through for another year or two at full time). 

Linea_Norway

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I would start working 4 days a week, to enjoy more free time. If you have a progressive tax system, that will cost you less than 20%. It feels really good to have a 50% longer weekend. I can recommend taking Fridays off.

I haven't been at my job the longest period of time, so don't want to ask for a reduced work schedule just yet.  Asking for a 4-day work week might be something to consider next year though, if I want to keep working (or if it's super manageable, maybe just push through for another year or two at full time).

After I worked 4 days a week, the feedback was that I was just as productive as when working fulltime. If companies would only realize that more often...

MrThatsDifferent

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Do the FIRE numbers still work if in a year or two maybe your husband decided he wants to join you in the FIRE life. Hopefully he has more money then you so thatís a non issue. But just have to calculate all possible future scenarios.

Iíd keep on working until you get to a more comfortable number. Maybe one day you wonít want to be so lean on the budget. I agree with going with the lower paying less stressful job as it will allow you to work longer without hating life.

Iím in a similar scenario where I hit my lean FIRE numbers and Iím still in my 30ís but Iím going to continue working for a bit longer as I already scaled down to consulting so itís not as stressful as when I worked full time. I would love to be able to increase my travel budget and maybe get a better house than I have now so ideally working a bit longer will allow me to achieve more of a regular FIRE.

Unfortunately my husband is further behind than me on FIRE.  We've talked about it, and he's OK with me FIREing well ahead of him.  His main concern is that I don't go galavanting all around the world on my own all the time, and feeling like our lives are splitting apart.  We may try to do a large 1-month vacation every year (if he can swing it with his work), in addition to additional smaller weekend trips, to satisfy my travel desires as a compromise.

And thanks - agree don't want a super lean budget, but I don't think my hopeful planned for budget for next year would be lean.  Of course more would always be nice, but that's the tension of deciding how much is enough. 

Congrats on being leanFIRE, and best of luck in your financial journey as well!

To me this would be the concern, having you and your DH on completely separate paths. At $300k for a low stress job, Iíd probably keep that for 3-5 years. My thinking would be that the extra time could be used to add to DHís stache. After all youíre married and in CA, so itís all community property. Iíd do some calculations and budgets from the perspective of you both firing together, even if heís not ready for that. Maybe in 3-5 years, once the world returns to normal, he will be. Donít forget to factor that in as well. You wonít be galavanting about for at least 3 years. The world is on pause. Nowís the perfect time to build up as much money as possible. If you did keep working 3-5 more years, Iíd look at seeing whether you can from to 4 days a week (3 even during th last year or two). Love the foster to adopt idea, hope that works out for you. It would be great if you and your DH could work p/t, spend time together and spend quality time with your kid, all while never being concerned about money again.

trollwithamustache

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is there an option 4, become a consultant/independent contractor?

I tend to agree with others about not wanting to fully retire that young. especially with the kid situation not clarified.  If as a consultant can you make say, half your current comp working half the time? You'd still be cash flow positive, have most of the benefits of RE right now, and your foot is in the door if things need to change.

I think the more likely option I could pursue would be part time - 4 days a week (possibly 3 days, though not sure if that would be accepted).  There's not really consultant/independent contractor positions in my legal field, unless I joined something like an Axiom (do 6mo - 1.5 year stints at company with time off in between).  Don't know that I'm thrilled with any of these options, but definitely good to at least consider.

What do you want to do when you are retired? does it conform to the 6 mo on off cycle or do you need 2 days off a week to do it?

chasesfish

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Another vote for continuing to work.

How big is the company you went in-house for (as in how many attorneys?)

If/once you've proven yourself valuable, in-house is one of those careers you could carve your hours back for less pay too.

How are your spouse's finances?  While they are separate in your calculations, savings generated once married usually have some joint property rules.

bayareafire

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Do the FIRE numbers still work if in a year or two maybe your husband decided he wants to join you in the FIRE life. Hopefully he has more money then you so thatís a non issue. But just have to calculate all possible future scenarios.

Iíd keep on working until you get to a more comfortable number. Maybe one day you wonít want to be so lean on the budget. I agree with going with the lower paying less stressful job as it will allow you to work longer without hating life.

Iím in a similar scenario where I hit my lean FIRE numbers and Iím still in my 30ís but Iím going to continue working for a bit longer as I already scaled down to consulting so itís not as stressful as when I worked full time. I would love to be able to increase my travel budget and maybe get a better house than I have now so ideally working a bit longer will allow me to achieve more of a regular FIRE.

Unfortunately my husband is further behind than me on FIRE.  We've talked about it, and he's OK with me FIREing well ahead of him.  His main concern is that I don't go galavanting all around the world on my own all the time, and feeling like our lives are splitting apart.  We may try to do a large 1-month vacation every year (if he can swing it with his work), in addition to additional smaller weekend trips, to satisfy my travel desires as a compromise.

And thanks - agree don't want a super lean budget, but I don't think my hopeful planned for budget for next year would be lean.  Of course more would always be nice, but that's the tension of deciding how much is enough. 

Congrats on being leanFIRE, and best of luck in your financial journey as well!

To me this would be the concern, having you and your DH on completely separate paths. At $300k for a low stress job, Iíd probably keep that for 3-5 years. My thinking would be that the extra time could be used to add to DHís stache. After all youíre married and in CA, so itís all community property. Iíd do some calculations and budgets from the perspective of you both firing together, even if heís not ready for that. Maybe in 3-5 years, once the world returns to normal, he will be. Donít forget to factor that in as well. You wonít be galavanting about for at least 3 years. The world is on pause. Nowís the perfect time to build up as much money as possible. If you did keep working 3-5 more years, Iíd look at seeing whether you can from to 4 days a week (3 even during th last year or two). Love the foster to adopt idea, hope that works out for you. It would be great if you and your DH could work p/t, spend time together and spend quality time with your kid, all while never being concerned about money again.

DH makes a healthy six figure salary, but is substantially further behind in part because he pays a hefty portion of his salary into a pension which isn't touchable until later on in life. 

I'm not planning to pay for his early retirement, at least certainly not in this HCOL city.  If we ever moved to a much, much cheaper city or country, and my investments could cover both of our retirements, I'd be totally fine and happy with that.  But that's not on the table as an option anytime soon.

Also, we're not facing community property.  We signed a prenup.

bayareafire

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is there an option 4, become a consultant/independent contractor?

I tend to agree with others about not wanting to fully retire that young. especially with the kid situation not clarified.  If as a consultant can you make say, half your current comp working half the time? You'd still be cash flow positive, have most of the benefits of RE right now, and your foot is in the door if things need to change.

I think the more likely option I could pursue would be part time - 4 days a week (possibly 3 days, though not sure if that would be accepted).  There's not really consultant/independent contractor positions in my legal field, unless I joined something like an Axiom (do 6mo - 1.5 year stints at company with time off in between).  Don't know that I'm thrilled with any of these options, but definitely good to at least consider.

What do you want to do when you are retired? does it conform to the 6 mo on off cycle or do you need 2 days off a week to do it?

I have a variety of things I'd like to do. Maybe take computer programming courses, electrician or handyman courses (or volunteer for habitat for humanity), local politics involvement, see friends and family more often, make new FIRE friends, go to the beach, play video games, etc etc etc.

I think if I tried to pursue an Axiom type job with breaks in between gigs, I would probably burn a lot of bridges unless I waited at least a couple more years to pursue that.  I could likely ask to go 4-days a week. 

But regardless of whether this could fit in a PT or 6-mo off schedule, I still want my schedule fully to myself to choose how I spend my time - eventually anyways. And if the job is easy and low stress enough, I might just want to bite the bullet and work as much as I want to before ending it completely.

bayareafire

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Another vote for continuing to work.

How big is the company you went in-house for (as in how many attorneys?)

If/once you've proven yourself valuable, in-house is one of those careers you could carve your hours back for less pay too.

How are your spouse's finances?  While they are separate in your calculations, savings generated once married usually have some joint property rules.

I mentioned above I could likely easily go 4-days a week next year, if that's something I wanted.  I think 3-days a week would be tougher.  A PT schedule might be something to consider, but I'm still drawn to 100% being FIRE and having all of my time to myself (especially before we have any kid in the future).

Also, savings generated after marriage are not joint.  We signed a prenup.

We be free if we try

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Seems to me you really know what youíre doing, congrats! Iíd only add it sounds like you have some house equity in there that hopefully isnít in your overall fire number above, but does add extra cushion...

bayareafire

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Seems to me you really know what youíre doing, congrats! Iíd only add it sounds like you have some house equity in there that hopefully isnít in your overall fire number above, but does add extra cushion...

Thanks for the kind words. I do have some house equity (about $200K), thatís not part of my FIRE numbers. It does add some additional safety cushion - e.g., if ever need or want to downsize and keep some of the excess.