Author Topic: Ready, Wait, FIRE!  (Read 4195 times)

jadbgee

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Ready, Wait, FIRE!
« on: October 02, 2014, 12:46:06 PM »
I have all the trappings of the American dream, and now I've done a 180 and see them as excess.  It's a little more vague than this, but my switch to mustachianism has essentially stripped me of my pride in all the things (financially and materially) I thought I had "achieved" in life to this point.  Anyone else experiencing a shock to the system?

Everyone has their plan, and everyone has their spreadsheets, and for some, FI is right around the corner.  For those of us who are less badass, or perhaps majorly badass now and recovering from years of being complainy-pants consumorons, how can we pass the time?  How are you making your trip to FIRE fit into your everyday life?  How do you cope when you look at your FIRE Plan and say, "just 15 (or 20 or 30) short years until freedom!"

I, for one, am obsessed, and need to find a way to take a step back and renew my focus on my family (and stop reading at work).  The need for more time with them was a giant influence on my change in perspective, and here I am neglecting them because I can't fit anything in my head except for interest calculations and bloggy catch phrases.

BonBon

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Re: Ready, Wait, FIRE!
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2014, 01:05:46 PM »
For me at least, focusing on the large goal was too much really. I read everything, became aware of how my spending was affecting me and reigned in any excess spending (which for me wasn't too much as I was already quite frugal- I think I cut my monthly spending from $1200 or so to $1000). I think that it is pretty obvious that goal setting is a motivating factor for almost everyone with a FIRE dream, and for me sit back and wait 10 years wasn't going to work. So instead now I focus on pieces of the puzzle. Why do I want my freedom? What will I do with it? Of that what can I do now? How can I develop skills to make it easier or to speed things up? I set minor goals and check them off the list. Get Fit. Run, Bike, Bike to work. Check. Learn how to Garden. Start a Community Garden and meet neighbors. Check. Find ways to progress my career.(I've only been working for 6 months so I still like it) Make subgoals. Achieve subgoals. Mainly I try to focus on the lifestyle and gratitude. This approach slows things down I think and brings things back to the moment a little bit I think.   This is probably really disjointed but I hope it makes some sense.

bo_knows

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Re: Ready, Wait, FIRE!
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2014, 01:12:55 PM »
My first thoughts about FIRE were right out of college when I learned that my now in-laws fully retired at age 52.  I honestly didn't think people could retire before 65 unless they hit the lottery.  I didn't really get excited about it until about 3 years ago when I started reading places like early-retirement.org, MMM, and ERE. 

I've made *some* effort to cut expenses, but we were already saving at least 30% of our income before I read MMM.  We're at about 50% now, but it interesting... I've found that reading about FIRE has put my current life more into perspective.  I find myself trying to work less and enjoy life now, knowing that I'm still going to fully retire before 50.  If I completely busted my ass, and fully got my wife on board, and we both worked full-time, we could FIRE much earlier... but we're enjoying our current employment setup (90% FT and 60% FT) and enjoying raising a kid in our own house on our own time.

How do I pass the time?  I endlessly run through scenarios on cFIREsim and try to convince my wife that they'll come true.  We're planning on selling our townhouse soon and buying a single-family home in the same neighborhood (nothing much bigger, we just want a yard)... and I found myself trying to do the calculations for FIRE based on that, and comparing it to a scenario where we bought 2 tiny-houses on wheels (1 for adults, 1 for kids) and the difference was almost a decade.  It sounds so sweet, but I'm pretty much on autopilot now.

Calvawt

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Re: Ready, Wait, FIRE!
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2014, 01:22:21 PM »
I think you are being hard on yourself.  Don't feel guilty about past choices, feel empowered to make better ones going forward!

I have made lots of changes in the last year, but still could reduce expenses even more.  At this point I know what things are most important to me.

Less than 8 years to retire is my motivation!


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apfroggy0408

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Re: Ready, Wait, FIRE!
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2014, 01:32:03 PM »
make sure you're doing what you want to be doing in FIRE already.

Jessa

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Re: Ready, Wait, FIRE!
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2014, 01:59:09 PM »
For those of us who are less badass, or perhaps majorly badass now and recovering from years of being complainy-pants consumorons, how can we pass the time?  How are you making your trip to FIRE fit into your everyday life?  How do you cope when you look at your FIRE Plan and say, "just 15 (or 20 or 30) short years until freedom!"

I, for one, am obsessed, and need to find a way to take a step back (and stop reading at work).

Dude. Right there with you. I'm new at this, and my general way with things is to get obsessive about them. Sometimes I'm super proud of the changes I've implemented, and excited for the future...and sometimes I'm like "all this, and I've still got 16 years before it pays off"

I think it's a matter of focusing on what you can do now for the future. What things do I want to do in FI can I start work on now? And once you've got stuff in place, focus on the present. 'Cos I could get hit by a beer truck tomorrow, and never hit FI, so wouldn't it be stupid if I died obsessing about something that's never going to happen?

oinkette

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Re: Ready, Wait, FIRE!
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2014, 02:04:56 PM »
I totally get where you are coming from...especially when you are older!

For me, it's simply watching my money grow (which is at a point where it is actually enjoyable now) and making sort of game of challenging myself.  How many days can I go without using my car? How much would that $5 latte I decided not to buy be in 10 years?

Part of it is also looking back and realizing how much time actually does fly. I was just talking having visited a relative with my mom and realized it was over two years ago even though it seems like I just saw them! How much has my stache grown since then!

Of course, this is beacuase I don't think about such things regularly.  You do actually have to step back and live life and forget about all this FIRE stuff.  As the saying goes: a watched pot never boils. Just stay frugal and find ways to save and invest and before you know it, you're there!


RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Ready, Wait, FIRE!
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2014, 03:10:17 PM »
make sure you're doing what you want to be doing in FIRE already.

This.  Think about why you want to FIRE, what is it you want to do?  Start doing it.  For most things you don't have to wait to get started.  I'm just now starting to beat this into my own head after being stagnant for a while having finances on autopilot and just waiting around watching the years count down.

Zikoris

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Re: Ready, Wait, FIRE!
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2014, 04:25:22 PM »
I try to focus on having the best quality of life I can, and doing all the things I enjoy most. This means a lot of reading, outdoor activities, cooking and baking experiments, travel and travel planning, ballroom dance, and spending time with friends.

My boyfriend and I also spend a lot of time optimizing our systems and doing various projects. We're going to be starting gardening and composting soon!

Punchingat50

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Re: Ready, Wait, FIRE!
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2014, 05:51:15 PM »
I Hear you OP! Below is how I keep from going nuts.

1. Made my long term FIRE plan first, then added a timeline (10-15 years).
2. Made milestones at 5 year intervals.
3. Made sub milestones at 1 year intervals.
4. Only focus on the sub-milestones 98% of the time. Make updates to the long term FIRE plan once a year.
    4a. As a reward, take trips out of the city/country once a year when sub-milestones are met.

I found this method and MMM were the only ways to keep my sanity.

Good Luck