Author Topic: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?  (Read 33621 times)

ichangedmyname

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What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« on: October 19, 2013, 11:14:48 PM »
I'll go first.

I am lazy. I hate working. But I LOVE that working gives me money. I love money. So I work.

When I first read about Dave Ramsey I thought that was awesome. Save my money so I can retire happy! But then I have to work until I'm 65? But... I would be old then. I'd probably be too lazy to travel by then or shop or do fun things.

For awhile there I was just blindly saving money. I didn't really know what the savings would be for... a rainy day I guess. Then I stumbled into the MMM world. Woohoo! EARLY RETIREMENT! What a concept!

So now even though I hate going to work, I do it. I just tell myself FIRE FIRE FIRE.

My job isn't bad. In fact I'm quite good at it, already being groomed for promotion. Great 401k match. Benefits. The pay is really good for what I have to do which is sit on butt answering calls for ten hours a day, four days a week. I am on my way to earning $35k/yr, over 10k of that is strictly from commissions. It is my ticket to FIRE.

Your turn.

Russ

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2013, 11:38:48 PM »
Most of the things I want to do require more time than money, so I'm saving enough to buy all my time from future-me.

Job satisfaction has nothing to do with it for me (for now at least). Work is one of my favorite places.

ichangedmyname

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2013, 11:40:12 PM »
That's awesome!

The only time I thoroughly enjoyed my job was when I sang in a band when I was younger and skinnier. The money wasn't as good though :)

SnackDog

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2013, 03:18:15 AM »
I love my job and don't intend to leave early. But I have always (since childhood) loved saving money as well. I hate spending!!  Our problem will always be having too much money and a reluctance to spend it.  I support all the frugality discussed here as well as the "lean sigma" approach to dialing things in and going easy on the environment.

Cecil

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2013, 05:12:45 AM »
I too love my job and am excited to go to work every morning. But that said, it's just one of the things I like to do. I'd rather spend 40 hours a week doing a bunch of different things than one thing.

I was always really interested in saving money and reducing my spending, even as a child. I tracked all my income and expenses in a spreadsheet when I started tutoring other kids in high school. In university I read personal finance blogs like Million Dollar Journey, Get Rich Slowly, Five Cent Nickel (when those were all actually good) and stumbled across Early Retirement Extreme in early 2008. And the rest is history.

It's amazing how many people naturally save money, yet don't even consider the idea of retiring early until it's in front of them and they realise that it's possible.

justchristine

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2013, 06:05:30 AM »
My first job out of grad school was writing software for a big accounting firm.  80-90 hour work weeks were the norm and quickly had me contemplating a career change.  I knew that I couldn't spend an entire career doing that.  At first I focused on paying down my student loans so I could afford to change to careers to something less stressful and likely less lucrative.  As time passed I stumbled on the idea of early retirement (normal ER).  Eventually I came across Jacobs website.  My first reaction was that I wouldn't be able todo that, that's too extreme.  But I kept coming back to the idea and eventually ran the numbers and realized that it was possible for me to retire in my forties.

HappierAtHome

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2013, 06:36:30 AM »
Some days I love my job. Some days it's fine, some it's mediocre. Occasionally there's a day or worse, weeks, when it's hard and horrible and stressful. Those days are what push me to FIRE.

KMMK

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2013, 07:36:07 AM »
It started with my first real job out of college at 21 years old. That job wasn't a good fit for me, but it led to my current job which is almost perfect for me. So, I've wanted to early retire since I started working, but that was because I hated the job. I still want to early retire now, even though I like my job, just because I can and want to prove it, and because I don't like HAVING to do something. I'm not good with commitment.

But currently, my main reason for semi or full retirement is that I hate hate hate living in Winnipeg in the winter. If winter wasn't so brutally cold and long here, and I wasn't a person who is cold all the time, I might not care about retiring at all. As it is, I just want the freedom to drive south when the winter starts.

ChoicesChoices

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2013, 08:26:32 AM »
A couple things drive it for me. First, it appears I am much closer than I knew, so that is encouraging. Second, I would love to have more time with my kids. Third, my ex retired a few years ago and it is driving me nuts that he doesn't have to work and I do. Fourth, I do not want to get to retirement and not have the energy or good health to enjoy it, especially considering I've worked my butt off for years. Next, i am fairly bored with my current job. And finally, I think there is a well of creativity that will be released when I no longer have such a structured day...or it will be so foreign to me that I will decide I want to go back to work after my kids are on their own. That's ok too.

sleepyguy

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2013, 08:42:25 AM »
Probably my 2 kids in the last couple years.  I've never really wanted (or had to) to work until 65-70 like others, but having 2 kids I KNEW I had to retire early.  We've calculated about 40-42yrs old when I'll call it quits, we're both 35.

pac_NW

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2013, 09:02:17 AM »
Time.

Li

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2013, 09:17:50 AM »
I like my job well enough and currently work at it 3 days per week and also have a side business of teaching yoga.  The problem is that I have so many other interests that I would like to explore and not enough time to do so.  FIRE to me means being in a position where I can choose to focus on whatever interests me day to day and week to week.

farmstache

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2013, 09:29:12 AM »
Wow. This is a great thread.

Actually at first I wasn't looking at Early Retirement in any way. All I wanted was to throw the consumer, urban life out of the window, go live in a farm, teach, do architecture for farmers and tourists in the towns nearby, greenbuild, grow food, breed livestock, train dogs and horses. I also believe it'll be healthier for me, for my future kids, and I can try other ways to make a difference in the world.

So my way to start on this path was to try for several govt positions in small towns, and it turns out this was the only way Boyfriend would feel safe enough to join me. Still he was hesitant until he found out about MMM and realised we didn't have to pay thousands for kids school, we didn't have to have awesome cars or live in big houses or spend R$8k per month to live. Really, I thank MMM every day for this change of heart in lifestyle. It wasn't that we are huge spenders, but he thought he *needed* to save or have jobs that paid well enough for lots of expensive things.

I was always like: I'm okay with sending my kids to public school on the first years, I'm okay with driving an old car, why the hell would I need new furniture, and I really need to quit this job so I don't have to spend so much on nice clothes for meetings.

Now we're looking into something close to ER before we move out of town, so we don't have to depend on govt jobs in small towns, or any other, actually, and can focus on the self-employed non-mandatory jobs we really want to do (which will probably yield much less $$ at first).

totoro

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2013, 09:52:15 AM »
I would like to have my time be my own and I really enjoy being at home.

Norrie

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2013, 09:55:53 AM »
I want to own my time. My husband works for himself, and every day is like a grand adventure for him. He loves what he does, he derives great personal satisfaction from it, and his time is his own. I want the same thing, even though almost every single person (aside from you guys and the husband) tell me that it's just not possible.

We paid off over $65,000 of debt in one year. I feel like surely that means that we can stache that same amount if we're not too foolish.

I crave total financial freedom, because until then, my time is not really my own.

lara

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2013, 10:12:13 AM »
"Most of the things I want to do require more time than money, so I'm saving enough to buy all my time from future-me."

+ 1.

elaine amj

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2013, 10:13:17 AM »
About 3-4 years ago, I was working on our annual budget and started forecasting numbers of what we would need to retire so I could plan our savings accordingly. I stumbled across ERE and was fascinated. Ran a bunch of numbers and determined there was still no way we could retire for at least 10-15 years (maybe 5-10 years early). Decided there was no point in denying ourselves for a goal that really didn't seem all that good.

So we just put all those hopes aside and did conventional savings. We've always believed in saving though so we have consistently saved a large chunk of our income. That said, the last 2-3 years, we've definitely experienced lifestyle inflation as my salary has gone up.

This year I was doing the budget thing again and came across MMM's website (not the first time - but this time it struck home). I realized I really DON'T need 70K a year to retire. I liked the idea of reducing consumption and not being so focused on material stuff. Then running the numbers again - we can retire in 3-6 years! The finish line is so close, it definitely gives me the incentive to give up  ton of ridiculous excesses. I'm not saying we are not indulgent. I'm not giving up my 12-15 mini trips a year plus a couple of big trips. Like MMM, we are not interested in a lifestyle where we feel deprived. What I am excited about is being able to feel indulgent, with a whole lot less money!

I like my job, but like others have said, I want financial freedom and flexibility. Knowing ourselves, it's unlikely that we will sit still. Even as SAHM I couldn't sit still and eventually started doing community work. I am also an overactive volunteer with a goal of sitting on fewer boards. (have a hard time saying "no"). Every time I quit a board, I end up joining another. A friend was teasing me that if I sit on a beach, in 2 weeks, I'll whip up a full volunteer committee to clean up the beach and organize round the clock activities. Sad to say - she's right!

On the flip side, I can see us doing the "One More Year" thing. I want to travel a lot. But won't move to full time travel while my kids are in their teens for the next 6-7 years. So rather than sitting around at home, I can see DH convincing me to keep working.

Debbie M

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2013, 10:49:20 AM »
It's amazing how many people naturally save money, yet don't even consider the idea of retiring early until it's in front of them and they realise that it's possible.

So true.

I started off pretty happy about my low-hours low-stress job.  My friends are mostly programmers and engineers, but I studied social science and education, couldn't get a teaching job, and settled for clerical work at a university.  Low pay, good benefits, and I worked only 40 hours per week.  All I had to do was be frugal.  And I could retire at 53 (52 after I bought a year of service).  Easy!  Had no clue it could be better than that.

Then I read Your Money or Your Life.  Unfortunately, my net worth beyond savings and investments was pretty much zero because my stuff is mostly super old and uncool.  Also, I spent almost zero extra on work stuff (free transportation, thrift store clothes, brought my own lunch), so I couldn't lower my retirement costs.  I evaluated all my spending and found that I was happy with all of it.  It still wasn't obvious to me that extreme early retirement was possible for me.

But then my job turned icky--way too much work for one person and much worse working conditions.  I had found Early Retirement Extreme and was doing equations every day, hoping eventually to find good numbers.  I had lots of savings, but it was all for things like repairs and replacement; I had nothing for job loss emergencies because my employer never used to lay people off and I never guessed I would want to leave so badly.  So I started saving more.

Finally I had to quit for my health and sanity, three years from the pension.  I immediately got some consulting jobs from some of my old co-workers (who knew you could get these kinds of jobs from a government entity?).  When those ran out, I was still two years from the pension--four if I didn't get another job with them because it's based on both years of service and age.  I started job hunting again and qualified for unemployment.

Then last week, after still having gotten zero interviews, I quit the serious job hunting, thus also giving up the unemployment.  So I've still got 40 months until my pension and only 12 months of FY money.  But I also know I'm FI because I've got three years of contributions in my Roth IRA.  I'd rather not use that up, but have decided, hey that's what it's for.  I still have one possible consultancy in the works, plus in my area I was told that if you pass the tax prep course and aren't a jerk, you're almost guaranteed a job, and they let you pick the hours you want, so I'm in that class.  I'll try for those jobs to not drain my money too fast, and if I like tax prep work, that will be a nice way to get "earned" income so I can go back to contributing to my IRA once I get my pension.  And if I don't like it, no big deal.

When people ask what I'll do all day, although I don't really know (besides all the usual stuff but more of it), I can assure them that I will be much better at thinking up stuff I'd like to do than any boss will.

pachnik

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2013, 11:18:53 AM »
I am really enjoying this thread so I thought I'd jump in too.

Earlier this year, I had quit my job just before I came across the MMM site.   I checked out the MMM website and it hit me like lightening that if I had spent my money more wisely I wouldn't have to look for another job.  I could have been semi-retired by now (I am 49 y/o). 

Workwise, I don't actually mind what I do for a living but it was time for a change.  So now I am doing temporary office work while I look around for another job.  So I guess for me, what lit up the desire for FI is needing a change, wanting to do other things such as volunteering and not spending wastefully.   I can't say today that I really enjoyed any of my wasteful spending.

As I have written before in my posts, obviously I got here too late in time to retire early.  I will be able to retire in about 10 years though (59 or 60 years old).   I had always stayed out of credit card debt, put aside 10-15% of my income for long term savings - all the 'right' conventional personal finance things so I am okay that way.  But I could have been saving a hell of a lot more and I didn't - just wasted money on crap like Starbucks, newspapers and thoughtless spending.

Since I got here about 6 months ago, I have changed my spending habits and I really enjoy not living like an unthinking, over-consuming sucker.   Even though I can't retire early, this has been very satisfying for me.  Another thing that I started doing is not putting off doing things that I want to do in retirement, such as socially-useful volunteering.   For example, I am looking for a volunteering position now.  I will just make sure to do it outside of normal office hours. 
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 10:39:20 PM by pachnik »

Jamesqf

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2013, 11:25:38 AM »
Have to do a separation here, as I have no desire for the RE, or indeed, as it's getting a bit late for "early", for retirement at all.

The FI part is easy: hunger.  The experience of not knowing where your next meal is coming from is one that I don't care to repeat.

CopperTex

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2013, 11:54:25 AM »
I'm a security collector.  I want to always be safe and money is the most reliable way for me to have control in my life.  I will probably never RE, but very much want to have my assets pumping out more money than my expenses each month as a safety net.

Loud Noises

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2013, 12:42:24 PM »
I'm fortunate to be able to make a living doing what I love most.  So I have no desire to retire early, or ever.  But fears of the uncertainty in my career field are what made me start aiming for FI.  I'll always do what I do but sometimes it may pay a lot; other times it'll pay very, very little.  I wanted to eliminate any threats in the future and I realized that FI was the only way.  I'm a LONG way off.  But I can truly say I am enjoying the journey.  I enjoy the challenge of looking at life through the MMM esque lens.  It gives me a clear destination financially and makes the journey even sweeter.

ShavinItForLater

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2013, 01:19:15 PM »
Freedom has always been the driving factor for me.  I'm 42 now, and since a young age I've always wanted to "master" money.  I've been reading personal finance books, etc. for 20 years, and my wife and kids would tell you that I talk about and focus on money too much.  However being "rich" was never the goal for me, it was to be free to do what I wanted, knowing I had enough money that it didn't matter if I worked. 

In terms of what I want to do with that freedom, for me it's all about time and relationships.  Getting married and having kids have only amplified the urgency of reaching FI for me.  I don't spend enough quality time with my wife, and that needs to change.  My kids are entering the teenage years and I'd like to spend more time with them--it's been a bit of a roller coaster on that front, sometimes I've been home a fair amount, other times hardly at all (unfortunately a lot of hardly at all).  I'd like to flip that to being home all the time for the next few years, because after that the older one will be at college, and I don't want to miss the time I have left.  My parents are getting older, and I don't know how many relatively healthy years they have left--again, I don't want to miss them by working those years away.

Secondarily, I also have my own hobbies I have enjoyed and wanted to pursue in my adult life but did not due to higher priorities of work and family.  Many of them revolve around gaining skills, self-directed education, exercise and sport.  I'm tired of having so many things I enjoy being squeezed in on the edges (or more often, squeezed out).

My desire has always been to have my financial freedom, my FU money to be able to set my own priorities and change them at will.

HappyHoya

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2013, 01:23:17 PM »
Both my husband and I are in professional careers that we really enjoy (although my current job has a set end date and I will be looking for another job in the field soon). We are not necessarily looking to stop being involved in our fields. I know we are both lucky and also worked hard and took some seriously (a lot of people here would say stupidly) risky debt to be able to have more than just jobs where we felt we were trading our time for money. HOWEVER, at the end of the day, unless we can be FI without those salaries, that's really what work boils down to. FI would allow us to do what we want because we want to, and not have to stay in a dysfunctional organization or put up with stupid office politics or an offensive boss or anything like that. I am fortunate that I haven't experienced too much of this in my ~13 years of working life, but it happens. We are also both very aware that even the most secure-seeming jobs are not guaranteed to be there, and I don't like the idea of hitching our survival to a company where there is so much outside of our control. I don't know if I'd ever RE, but we'd probably work a lot less, expecting to work in some way our whole lives but ideally with intermittent stretched of traveling and longer breaks. 

steveo

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2013, 02:16:49 PM »
For me it was the MMM blog. I'm not even sure how I came across it.

I suppose I have always been looking for a way to retire earlier or better put get away from my current job. I like my job but I don't like having to do it as much as what I have to so I've always thought about how to do something else with more freedom. I never really realised you could just retire early prior to this blog unless you earnt a lot of money.

I don't see myself retiring early now however I do see myself retiring a lot earlier than I would have if I hadn't read this and the ERE blog.

Gray Matter

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2013, 02:30:01 PM »
I have always enjoyed working, and thought I'd be one of those people who never retired, but I did look forward to the day when I could work purely for fun, and not for the money. 

When we refinanced our house from a 30 to a 15 and I did the calculations, I realized that we would pay off the mortgage the same year our third (and last) child graduates from college, and without mortgage, child, or college expenses our income needs would drop by half.  That got me all excited--were only 15 years away from being able to do whatever jobs we want or even part time--how wonderful!

But that was very quickly followed by a sinking sensation, because that meant we had to keep our noses to the grindstone for another 15 years, and what is the sense of going part-time when my last child leaves home?  So I could spend my time rattling around an empty home?  I'd have all this time, but no-one to spend it with.

So I feel like I've undergone a major shift in priorities--I no longer want to live for "someday."  I don't want to work 10 hours days (which mean my kids have 10 hour days) for decades in order to sit around twiddling my thumbs in retirement.  (I know that's not what retirement is, but to work so hard now in order to not work at all way off in the future started to seem absurd to me.)

So I've become very interested in frugality in order to be able to work part-time now without jeopardizing out ability to help our kids with college and retire someday.  I'd rather our lifestyle and consumer habits take the hit when I go part-time, not our savings.

MrsPete

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2013, 02:40:21 PM »
I was raised in poverty, never really feeling secure about what the next day would bring.  I knew as a teenager that I didn't want to live that way, and in college I researched EVERYTHING money-related:  Frugal living, real estate investments, retirement savings, 401Ks, and so forth.  When I didn't have much going on, I spent hours in the library reading about things that I could not put into practice at that point . . . but gaining knowledge for how I wanted to live my life once I started collecting a paycheck that could do more than just buy a few bags of groceries. 

I started my adult, professional life with the idea of living frugally.  I didn't really see early retirement as a goal, and it is not my #1 goal now. 

I married a man whose goals lined up with mine, though I was more focused on saving money on a daily basis (keeping the grocery bill low, furnishing our house with thrift-store finds, paying a little extra on the mortgage every month); whereas, he was more focused on long-term retirement savings.  We complimented one another well -- and we continue to do so:  He was amazed that I could run a household so much more cheaply /efficiently than he'd done as a bachelor.  In turn, I was surprised at how the money he socked away in investments added up with the magic of compound interest on our side.  Marrying a person with similar goals is the #1 reason we've been successful financially.   

But what actually STARTED me down this path was growing up without financial security.  I knew I wanted to live differently. 

ender

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2013, 02:52:26 PM »
I want the freedom to enjoy my job.

The more I have to be there, the harder this is.

ichangedmyname

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #28 on: October 20, 2013, 03:00:17 PM »
Really enjoyed reading these answers. thanks for sharing your stories!

Melody

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2013, 05:12:33 PM »
I want the freedom to enjoy my job.

The more I have to be there, the harder this is.

This pretty much sums it up for me. I want FI much more than I want RE... I like my job, but I also want the mental space and freedom that this will buy me.

I found MMM because I wasn't satisfied with conventional financial advice (Pay down debt, save 10% blah blah blah), and this made me interested in the concept of FIRE. I think I was looking for information around how to pay down a mortgage in HCOL in 10 years or less...

Zamboni

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #30 on: October 20, 2013, 05:26:51 PM »
I decided I needed FI after being sexually harassed at work.  I didn't leave and find another job, which would have been easy enough, because then my harasser wins as his goals seems to be running off women (which he has excelled at for many years.)  Steps were taken at work to make sure that his ability to harass me is minimized; they won't fire him, but that's another story entirely.

After that horrible experience I decided that HAVING to depend on work to make ends meet is just a bad idea.  Several changes in my life were made to speed me on the path to not having to work.  Now I feel empowered because I am there because I want to be there, not because I'm in some sort of dependency position.  I can stand up for myself because what can they do?  Fire me?  I don't care if they fire me, but I won't put up with any bullcrap again.

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #31 on: October 20, 2013, 08:03:23 PM »
You can add me to the group of those who want FI but not necessarily RE.  Mine all started on the spending side.  I hated the idea of having to make enough to pay my rent.  It seemed Sisyphean to me and in contrast buying a home and paying off a mortgage seemed easy.  After buying, I reworked my amortization tables to make sure it would be paid off in a reasonable amount of time rather than basing them on what I wanted to pay.  This meant I was paying well over 50% of my income towards my mortgage.  I still wasn't really thinking of this as FI, per se.

A few things converted this rent/mortgage aversion to thinking about full blown FI.  Job uncertainty made us save better for darker days (although they have yet to come).  Me making more money on side jobs gave me more money to "play around with".  Play around with ended up meaning starting investing instead of just throwing it into our mortgage.  I also realized we had to plan for prospective children which likely means one of us staying home at least part time.  If nothing else, it means I need the leverage to ask my work that without fear of losing my job if I press hard.  All of that led us to a more cohesive strategy of paying down our mortgage, saving, and investing.

My ideas for doing it are pretty mundane and straightforward but it opens up new possibilities for us.  Both of our jobs offer the vague possibility of working overseas.  I don't want to "put my career on hold" (i.e. delay my independence) or somesuch just to go overseas but I'd be happy to go if I know I can return to a paid off house and a stash.   I also tend to be pretty goal oriented.  FI for me is a relatively low bar and probably not the full standard of living I'd like.  I feel like having your necessities paid for and then working for vacations (and saving a bunch extra on top of it) is much more palatable than working for 'survival'.  I'm pretty excited and I'm not all that far away.

prosaic

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #32 on: October 20, 2013, 08:09:26 PM »
Being sexually harassed at work and realizing how little power I actually had in an institutional setting. I decided to take the power back. So far, so good.

Ozstache

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #33 on: October 20, 2013, 09:06:42 PM »
Quite simply, I got tired of working for, or with, dickheads.

imustachemystash

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #34 on: October 20, 2013, 09:41:21 PM »
My husband is a software developer and works really hard.  He mentioned he wanted to retire early so I started looking online to see how we could do this.  Then I found this awesome place and was hooked!  I work part time and it's soooo great!  I want my husband to have the same opportunity to not have to work so hard.  I chose this lifestyle to support him and make our relationship even stronger. 

Insanity

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #35 on: October 20, 2013, 10:16:11 PM »
I have always wanted to retire early.  I was still on a very good course to do that, especially after marriage.  My wife and I were doing very well as a couple, I had sold a townhouse which made a nice profit.  We lived in a house whose mortgage payment was roughly 25% of our combined monthly income.  Even with the three cars that I've purchased, the cell phone bills, the cable bills, we never really spent a ton of money on "things".  Then I got sick.   Chronic illness.  Required massive surgery.   Then we had a kid.  She wound up with bronchial pneumonia.  My wife left her job, and we've been pretty much even ever since. Then we decided we wanted another kid.  This time, the insurance didn't cover IVF.  So, between that and some other necessary (yeah, maybe emotionally necessary, but necessary to us) I needed to look at some options.

I'm still looking to "retire" early, but it is more so I can pick and chose my work.

happy

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #36 on: October 21, 2013, 01:35:19 AM »
Quite simply, I got tired of working for, or with, dickheads.

+1

If I knew about FIRE in my 20s, I'd have done it then.  Too old for that but will still retire earlier than I thought.

So much has changed in my industry,  I find less and less meaningful and satisfying work and more and more DHs.

pom

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #37 on: October 21, 2013, 05:05:08 AM »
For me, like many here, it is all about freedom to work or not work.

When I decided to quit my last job, I had to stay there about 4 months before I could line-up another job. Had I been FI,
I would have quit right then and I would have avoided to waste 4 months of my life in a job that I don't enjoy anymore.

I am getting pretty close to FI now, I can cover 50%-60% of my current spending rate from investment income. FI should be reached in about 5 years.

chasesfish

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #38 on: October 21, 2013, 05:08:08 AM »
Its a accumulation of a number of reasons:

I saw the misery my mother was always in when she combined a high consumption lifestyle with no income...

From there I thought I wanted to be the hard work, multimillionaire by 40 and be able to quit with a nice, high consumption lifestyle..

Now I'm married to someone who's really taught me not to spend and in my industry, I've realized that the rewards relative to the time it takes to do the job when you move up the corporate ladder 1-2 rungs above me just aren't worth it.  Additionally, my wife has decided not to become self employed in her professional field, which threw another wrench into it.  My industry also started getting regulated to death with overcapacity and I'm not enjoying it like I used to.

MMM helps me realize I can walk away now if I really want to, and still do it more easily in a couple of years.


smalllife

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #39 on: October 21, 2013, 05:34:24 AM »
I sought to retire early even before I started working.  I want to be able to devote my time to various causes and non-profits, but in able to do that you have to not need the money . . . so I started saving as soon as I could in order to be able to do the "job" that I want.  That "job" has changed a bit - mostly because I now have different skills to offer - but the concept remains the same.  I don't want future paychecks to be affected by being attached to unpopular causes.

Now that I am working I can add to that list: I want to run my days, not have a company run them for me.  Office politics.  Scheduling PTO.  Getting home when it's dark in the winter. 

chasesfish

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #40 on: October 21, 2013, 05:45:28 AM »
Quite simply, I got tired of working for, or with, dickheads.

Awesome response.

I think this forum is full of smart people with little tolerance for....dickheads

frugal rph

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #41 on: October 21, 2013, 07:56:25 AM »
My father was laid off when I was in high school and looking at colleges.  My parents were already spending more than they earned, so this was a financial catastrophe for the family.  Unfortunately, almost 20 years later, they are still spending more than they earn, but the experience turned me into a saver. 

My desire for early retirement came because my husband is treated terribly at his job, and I want to be able to walk away if I ever get treated anywhere near that badly.  We are already in a position where he can walk away, but he chooses not to.

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #42 on: October 21, 2013, 09:12:25 AM »
My grandparents retired in their mid-fifties, and my dad recently did as well. Both on government pensions. So, for me, around age 55 has always been what I considered the "normal" retirement age. When I entered the working world, I was absolutely shocked that working to 65 was common, and typically expected. It seemed crazy to me, and I never for a moment considered that I would work for that long.

Unfortunately, I was caught with my pants down, fresh out of college with the ink barely dry on a 30-year mortgage when the housing crisis hit. I had to move a couple years later, deeply underwater in my home. That mistake took many years to unwind, and when the end was finally in sight and my wife and I were nearing freedom from debt (aside from our current home), I began to wonder what we would do with the extra money.

I found "Get Rich Slowly" on Google, and a commenter on that forum posted a link to MMM. I was immediately hooked and devoured every post over a couple of weeks. The idea of early retirement resonated with me immediately, because I had always wanted to do it, but never had the "nuts and bolts" of how it could be done laid out so plainly. To see that a few simple changes in our lives could lead to even earlier early retirement really got the momentum going. I've only been following for a couple of months now, so I hope I can stay the course. I'm currently projecting FI around age 40 (10 years from now). That's with a fairly conservative plan, so hopefully sooner.

jrhampt

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #43 on: October 21, 2013, 10:28:29 AM »
For me, it was hitting my thirties and starting to pay attention to what was happening with my parents and my co-workers.  I realized that my parents are aging and starting to develop health issues, have no retirement savings, and are killing time in jobs they don't enjoy until they can get social security to provide a minimum standard of living.  I got a herniated disc in my neck and working became painful for a while.  I looked at other co-workers with chronic health issues who were still working in their fifties and sixties.  I watched as a co-worker in his sixties had to keep working full time as his wife died of cancer.  I saw a co-worker in her sixties who was laid off after her job was automated; she hadn't fully paid off her mortgage yet and is still looking for work.   I saw another co-worker who retired early in her fifties (as a positive example).  I saw how technology changes and careers have a limited shelf life.  I saw how you could start out in the perfect job and it could all go to hell within a year or so.  Basically, I started thinking about my future and realizing that I didn't want to be trapped like most of the examples I saw around me. 

ncornilsen

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #44 on: October 21, 2013, 11:15:06 AM »
One event got me on this path:
About a year ago, my employer said 'all salaried employee's are to take 9 days off by the end of the year. If you have less than 9 days vacation accrued, those days will be unpaid and considered a layoff."  As the company JUST finished a record quarter for sales. I wanted to tell the little bitch accountant to go f&&& himself and quit, but I couldn't. I was trapped by debt payments and little savings. I'm paid pretty well for someone of my experience and job title... so another job would have been tough to find.  I literally felt like a slave, and vowed never to be there again. About that time a facebook friend posted a link to a MMM article... and the rest is history. I'm now in a position where I could cut my income in HALF and still live pretty well... Funny thing is? Lowering the stakes has made the same job 10X as enjoyable, simply because I'm no longer trapped by it.

dude

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #45 on: October 21, 2013, 12:11:00 PM »
Quite simply -- I derive no real enjoyment from my particular job/profession, and don't like being cooped up inside all day.  That is not to say that I hate my job -- I don't, and I'm rather grateful for my profession and current position for affording me a nice, comfortable lifestyle.  But every nice day (and "nice" is relative, because when it's puking snow outside, that's a nice day to me, because I am a powderhound) that I sit and stare out the window, I realize I would so much rather be out there than in here.  Every time away from work for any period of time, I realize how much happier I am than when I'm facing the daily grind (especially the onerous commute).  And I'm constantly reminded about how short this life really is, even if you live for a "long" time.  All of these realizations have sunk in and fueled my desire to be FI/RE. 

I didn't enter the "real world" until around age 32, having spent the prior 14 or so years in combo of military service/college/grad school.  But I chose (or maybe it chose me) a federal law enforcement career, with its attendant 20-year retirement schedule, so I had a sense early on that I could stop working for good in my 50's.  But a certain amount of lifestyle inflation -- not over the top by any means -- led me to believe for a long time that I would have to work at my law enforcement job until 57 (mandatory retirement age), and then find another job until I was 62 and eligible for Social Security.

And then I found MMM, and ERE, and Mad Fientist and Retired Syd, etc., etc., and started re-thinking the whole idea -- these blogs have been truly inspiring, and confirmed some things I knew all along, but had not been disciplined enough to implement fully in my life.  I have come to realize that I've been way ahead of the game savings-wise, and with a pension, SS and perhaps some minor part-time work doing something I enjoy (I have a couple options in mind), and cutting out the fat, I could reach FIRE earlier than I had anticipated (53-55).  I am now driven by that idea, and think about it every day.  And it excites the hell out of me.

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #46 on: October 21, 2013, 12:51:21 PM »
I think two things I read in MMM have attracted me to the community and the lifestyle: the concept of "f-u money" and the idea that you can actually make better financial choices with money in the bank (e.g. his post(s) on insurance). It would kind of be a waste of a (anticipated) PhD to retire early, but knowing I don't need my/any job would be liberating.

Lina

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #47 on: October 21, 2013, 12:57:00 PM »
The short answer is the freedom and options that good finances and low fixed costs bring to your life. 

A recent and somewhat long example from my life of the advantages that low costs and good finances can result in. I am on a leave of absence from a government job to try another government job in my field. I was so bored with my previous job so I took a minor pay cut to get this in terms of salary. Due to tax reasons I am actually left with more money. I negotiated a 16 % pay increase from my current employers initial offer when I started in this job because they knew that I would not accept their first offer and they wanted me. I was one of the highest paid in my department. Now my temporary position has been made permanent. I negotiated a 4,6 % raise from the initial salary I got in june and a total raise of 21 % from their initial offer.  With this raise I am the highest paid not counting my boss and her stand in. This is due to my bargaining power due to already having a job and that I stated that I was looking for another positions during the recruitment process to the permanent position. Due to rules regarding recruitment to government positions I had to go through the recruitment process again and of course the salary negotiations.

4,5 months later with the new raise I am making more money than in my previous position and I am up for a promotion which will bump up my salary with another 5 %. That is 27 % more that their initial offer.  I have a colleague (different department same field) that has been working in the organisation for about 20 years. She has a phd and is making 6-7 % more than me. Another of my colleagues, different department, is making about 17 % less than me because he didn't negotiate. We started at same time at another employer 6 years ago after graduation. :)

During the last six years since graduating from university I have increased my salary with 67 % working for the government. Besides delivering top of the line results my biggest bargaining power has been my employers knowledge that I will find another job if I don't get decent raises. It has resulted in higher raises that the standard percentage. I have changed jobs every 2-3 years. I haven't much to show in terms of savings for my 6 years of working but that is going to change. Low fixed costs has resulted in independence for me and an ability to move across country for interesting opportunities.

Exflyboy

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #48 on: October 21, 2013, 03:33:56 PM »
I thought Dave Ramsey had stole all my stuff!

I was doing what Dave Ramsey preached years before I'd ever heard of him.. Why? well I gre up watching my Parents back in the UK making very poor financial decisions.. House came with my Dad's job.. Almost everything was paid for with debt etc.

While in college I tried to coach my Mum to pay off her CC.. I eman she had WAY more in the bank earning nothing and was paying to borrow her own money.

Took me 4 years before she finally did it.

I have always been tight for this very reason.. I went into debt at University by a whopping $600 total.. Made me feel sick!

I never had debt since, never had a car payment.. learned to fix EVERYTHING. I have rebuilt several cars from the ground up, built two full size airplanes from scratch and doubled the sixe of our house with my own bare hands.

I'm 52 and can now retire and am tentatively planning on this in April 2014..:)

Frank

steveo

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #49 on: October 22, 2013, 01:35:00 AM »
The short answer is the freedom and options that good finances and low fixed costs bring to your life.

This is a really good point.