Author Topic: Short term RE - please help!  (Read 2342 times)


  • Handlebar Stache
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Short term RE - please help!
« on: December 25, 2016, 07:50:29 AM »
We crunched our numbers and are ready to pull the plug in a few years (exact year depending on external factors). However my husband wants to try out RE before he commits to it - he is a guy who feels every day not working or doing something that brings in money is a day wasted. So our Christmas gift to ourselves is RE for four months in 2017. It's not a long period but sufficiently long for us to get daily work out of the system and to get into real RE lifestyle. It's also short enough we are confident we can swing it at work without either of us having to quit. And if my husband hates it, it's a small enough period to know the end is in sight.

Our plan is to do it from October 2017 to February 2018. We have some travel planned but very minimal and most of it would be spent at home. However, here are the caveats:
1) we currently rent in a HCOL area and with no commute to tie us down, we are wondering if it would be easier to just stop renting our current apartment, put things in storage and live in a LCOL area (one we are thinking of moving to in future but are not sure of fit) closer to family - pros: we'll be spending more time with family, scouting the new area to see if it really is a fit for us, save money since our rent here is higher than Airbnb there. Cons: we'll have to downsize a bit so we only store important stuff, I've never used storage units so I'm not sure how mattresses and couches will hold up, hassle involved in doing the move along with kids.

2) we'll have a six month old and an almost three year old at the time of move. We've never moved with a kid. So I'm not sure how it'll be with two :( though we've done plenty of moves before kids, somehow the thought of having to pack and move everything while still taking care of two kids and their needs (not to mention our own sanity) is terrifying  to me. But this is the best time to move since we don't have to worry about school schedules or them not adjusting mentally (at this point my daughter is fine with being anywhere as long as her food, sleep and playtime are not affected much - not sure I can say the same if she was older and had friends she didn't want to leave behind).

3) both of us plan to work till the kid#2 is out and then I'll be on maternity leave till our move. I'm concerned how I'll be able to pack up stuff along with taking care of a new born during the months that lead up to the move. My husband will take care of kid#1 most of the time.

4) we have two cars, an Acura RDX 2014 which is our primary car and a Honda Civic 2009 which is a commuter car with 25k miles. Both are paid off and in good shape. I want to sell the Civic and move to be a one car family since only I do the drop off/pickup for daycare and all the grocery stuff over weekdays. During weekends, we don't use both cars simultaneously. My husband's commute is 4.5 miles one way with 25 minute by bike according to Google. But he doesn't want to bike since he feels it's not safe enough and isn't in great physical condition to bike an hour a day. We keep going back and forth on this one. I'd bike to work but can't do both kids daycare and work on bike and still be on time everyday without driving everyone insane. Due to our work differences, he can't take up the daycare part. Our other two options are to sell the civic and get an electric car when we come back (hopefully my husband would be more interested in biking then but we'll have free electricity for the car making our fuel costs go lower than now and maintenance would be less too) or store both cars and use them till one of them gives up or we downsize when we FIRE. What would you suggest?

We are set financially for this experiment and would continue having health insurance, salary and savings, etc since we're taking a sabbatical at work and not really quitting (so not really RE in that sense).

Please poke holes in this experiment. I'm sure I've forgotten something given that this will be a big change for us. Also any advice/tips on handling the above or anything related to a move like this would be great!

Thanks a lot :) and happy holidays!!

PS: I think this is one of the best Christmas gifts I've given/gotten in a long time. Can't wait to see how it turns out. So excited!


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Short term RE - please help!
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2016, 10:16:51 AM »
Agree with #1

#4 - Sell the Acura, that's $25k to have tied up in a car and not making money for you

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Re: Short term RE - please help!
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2016, 12:02:00 PM »
Don't worry about the kids, they are resilient and won't have any trouble with moving.  We just moved across the country with a 2 year old and a 6 year old and both adapted way better than I could have imagined.  Even with my 6 year old changing schools.  Just spend time with them post-move, which you will obviously have plenty of time for! 

Oh yeah, packing and moving is much easier without kids around!  My wife and kids went to visit relatives for a few days while I handled all the packing and moving logistics.  Best decision we ever made!


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Short term RE - please help!
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2016, 12:36:11 PM »
Your ideas sound cool, but I might not mix the FIRE experiment with moving and lifestyle changes. Do one, then the other, or else you're spending your FIRE trial stressed from life upheaval. :)

We did a 30 day FIRE trial 18 months before DH retired. It made us feel better about our decision and was quite fun.

Best of luck to you all! :)


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Re: Short term RE - please help!
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2016, 01:14:16 PM »
#1 - 4 months is not enough time to move and get settled somewhere new & have it be a trial for living there & a trial of RE all at the same time. Lots of craziness in your life at a busy time in life with the kiddos. Agree that it would be a mistake to think this will simulate FIRE in LCOL.

I'm also skeptical that you can test out the aspect of RE that is concerning your husband - he wants to know what to do with his time that will feel purposeful. Knowing that it's a 4 month trial, would he be able to make commitments to various roles (as volunteer, with groups/clubs, etc.) that match what he might prefer to do in RE? If he won't because it's not enough time, then you want have the test you're seeking anyway.

#2 - Kids won't care. But you might. Parenting 2 kids can be MUCH harder than people with 1 think it is.

#3 - You might find it exhausting and very difficult. Hard to know now in advance. Can you make plans that involve backing out if you're overwhelmed?

#4 - You want to get rid of the car your husband uses for his commute because you think he should bike? And the car you want to get rid of is the cheaper/commuter car, not the expensive SUV with poorer gas mileage? This whole thing seems like a nonstarter. You've gone back and forth because you disagree with your husband. I'm going to take his "side" here. You want to get down to one car by making your life stay the same, while changing his. Maybe with a young child and another on then way, he doesn't want to be biking an hour each way to work. If you want to embrace more frugal choices, sell the RDX and replace with older Odyssey.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Short term RE - please help!
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2016, 12:58:37 PM »
This makes no sense to me.  If you are on track to RE in a few years, why not just continue saving as you have been, then he can try it out when you are actually ready to RE.  If he doesn't like it, he can go back to work then.  Nothing about doing this extended vacation now with small kids makes any sense, and I doubt it will give him any true sense of what RE will be like in the future when the kids are older.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Short term RE - please help!
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2016, 01:12:34 PM »
Your ideas sound cool, but I might not mix the FIRE experiment with moving and lifestyle changes. Do one, then the other, or else you're spending your FIRE trial stressed from life upheaval. :)

+1 to this advice.  Having a child, moving, ect, this is a TON of work.  From everything I've read in the postFIRE sections of this forum it takes at least several mos of "normal" life time to experience what it truly feels like to be FIRE.  There is too much upheaval in your plans to use this as a preFIRE experiment. Do what you have to do, but plan a second experiment later to test the waters, or alternatively do the experiment and wait to move and make other changes.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Short term RE - please help!
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2016, 10:23:34 AM »
Thanks for all the replies! After a lot of discussion, we decided to scope out the LCOL area and spend time with family. We'll move the RE experiment to next year. About selling the Acura, we've started discussing it. Hope we can sell it before the move.

Frugaldrummer, my husband is the type that if he doesn't see value in a goal, he'd go after something else (in this case, spend money on expensive travel and cigars just because he can and not because he loves them). So I want him to experience the benefits of being RE so he gets fully behind it.


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Re: Short term RE - please help!
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2017, 05:26:24 PM »
I'll be curious to hear more about this.  Hope you start a thread in the journals section with the info from the OP (and link it here).  :)

Also, if your husband is willing, have him read Dr. Doom's blog, especially posts about productivity.
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