Author Topic: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?  (Read 33653 times)

NeverWasACornflakeGirl

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #50 on: October 22, 2013, 08:29:20 AM »
Quite simply, I got tired of working for, or with, dickheads.

+1k

My spouse and I never got really caught up in the consumerist lifestyle, but we did buy a house that was too big for us, then I took a job where I found myself in tears every single day.  We had a lot of money in the bank, but didn't really know what we were doing with it, or what our goals were.  I was making so much more money than we ever thought possible, so my spouse wouldn't let me quit without another job, and I was so emotionally devastated that I just couldn't find anything else.  Having that FU money made all the difference in the world when I just walked out.  I immediately got another job, we sold the big house, paid off all of our debts, and now I like my job a lot.  Finding MMM helped solidify my goals - having FU money.

limeandpepper

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #51 on: October 22, 2013, 08:35:57 AM »
I have always been a saver, and on some level it is because I associate having a money cushion with freedom and possibilities. I didn't really have a specific goal, however, just vaguely thought it was good to have for "just in case", and that I'd eventually buy a property, or use it to take a sabbatical, or extended travel. Then I started reading MMM and it really helped give structure to my saving goals - "Shockingly Simple Math" in particular was an eye-opener. My main goal is still not necessarily retiring early, because it'd probably still take longer than I'd like and I want to be able to enjoy more freedom even sooner than that, but I like knowing that there's the option of FIRE and how to get there - and then I modify/adapt/adjust the idea to suit my needs. I'll probably downshift or go for sort of a semi-FIRE lifestyle in the not-too-far-away future.

Frankies Girl

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #52 on: October 22, 2013, 08:49:47 AM »
I have always been frugal and a saver, and had already planned on early retirement in my 50s. Then I got a sizable inheritance, and realized that if I learned about the investment side, I could retire MUCH earlier... that was the catalyst for me.

Most of my family is frugal and saved money. None of them have more than basic knowledge of how investing works or what "passive income" actually is. When I first joined this forum, I was pretty intimidated at investing and the stock market and reading my first few posts about that, I was going to follow what the rest of my family did - leave it in someone else's hands for a fee. Then I got some good info here, and read many great blogs on indexing and basic investment strategies and how stuff should work, and I'm not scared in the least now, and it's a very empowering feeling knowing that I can do this... so I guess the thing that really got me going on FIRE is the idea that I can be in charge of my own life and all aspects of my finances.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 09:40:34 AM by Frankies Girl »

vespito

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #53 on: October 22, 2013, 10:11:27 AM »
Two reasons:
1)I want to reduce stress in my life.  Most of my stress comes from relying on someone else for income (boss, customer, etc).  The only way to reduce this stress is to be financially independent.  When I reach FIRE, I know that I've put my family in a really good place and provided a certain amount of security.
2) Options/Freedom.  We don't/won't have kids unless we decide to adopt.  I'm trying to change this into a positive thing by thinking about how I am now free to pursue whatever I want in life (not that parents can't do that!).  The best way to do that is to be financially independent.  And, if we do decide to adopt, we'll need a bunch of cash for new place to live, additional expenses, etc.

I always thought of myself as a pretty smart guy but now I'm almost angry that I didn't figure out on my own what nobody ever told me - I should save.  That I should start early and save often.  I do wish that I had been smart enough to know that investing money isn't about greed - it's about taking care of yourself and your family and investing in freedom.  I guess I'm not as smart as I thought as I was and that's a bitter bill to swallow.  I'm on the right path now though (I think)!
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 10:30:36 AM by vespito »

pachnik

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #54 on: October 22, 2013, 02:05:25 PM »
I always thought of myself as a pretty smart guy but now I'm almost angry that I didn't figure out on my own what nobody ever told me - I should save.  That I should start early and save often.  I do wish that I had been smart enough to know that investing money isn't about greed - it's about taking care of yourself and your family and investing in freedom.  I guess I'm not as smart as I thought as I was and that's a bitter bill to swallow.  I'm on the right path now though (I think)!


Hi, Vespito, I hear you.  I felt very depressed for a few days when I first stumbled across MMM 6 mos. or so ago.  Not angry so much, just depressed.  I wasted a fair amount of money.  I also wasn't as smart as i thought I was.  But I know I am on the right path now.  If I hadn't found the MMM website, I would probably still be wastefully stumbling along without any financial goals and wondering why i was unhappy.  As I often think to myself, the worst case scenario of following the MMM program is that you will be doing the best you can for yourself financially.   I think MMM is a 'no lose' proposition.

vespito

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #55 on: October 23, 2013, 10:02:13 AM »
As I often think to myself, the worst case scenario of following the MMM program is that you will be doing the best you can for yourself financially.   I think MMM is a 'no lose' proposition.

Pachnik - Thanks for the response - glad to see I'm not the only one.  I agree it's a 'no lose' proposition. Just as important as saving, the mindset of being happy with less what I have has really raised my standard of living while lowering expenses.

jfer_rose

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #56 on: October 23, 2013, 02:01:55 PM »
I must say I'm surprised by how many people here love their jobs. I would quit mine tomorrow if I could, despite the fact that I picked a job I am extremely passionate about and that I absolutely love in theory. Despite the theoretical love, some days I dread, dread, dread coming in to work. In part because I sometimes have to work with dickheads (although my immediate coworkers and bosses are fantastic). But even if the dickheads are taken out of the equation, I can't seem to focus on my job for 40 hours in a week. I have too many other interests I want to pursue.

ichangedmyname

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #57 on: October 24, 2013, 08:39:32 AM »
Also maybe another thing that kinda inspired me was my parents worked until they were eligible to retire and now they're getting their first house built. My mother has credit card debts and took out loans when she was still working to go on trips and she went months with a paltry paycheck to pay off the loans. It was a cycle. The moment she got the loan paid she'll take out another one.

The worst part of this is she had nothing to show for it. She didn't use it to pay off debts or do something. So yeah. I don't wanna work til I'm 65 and still not be financially secure. I wish I knew about MMM years ago when I was younger. I was raised by two bankers but didn't know how to handle money. Until now.

smalllife

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #58 on: October 24, 2013, 08:40:45 AM »
I must say I'm surprised by how many people here love their jobs. I would quit mine tomorrow if I could, despite the fact that I picked a job I am extremely passionate about and that I absolutely love in theory. Despite the theoretical love, some days I dread, dread, dread coming in to work. In part because I sometimes have to work with dickheads (although my immediate coworkers and bosses are fantastic). But even if the dickheads are taken out of the equation, I can't seem to focus on my job for 40 hours in a week. I have too many other interests I want to pursue.

Well said. 

ichangedmyname

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #59 on: October 24, 2013, 09:02:04 AM »
I must say I'm surprised by how many people here love their jobs. I would quit mine tomorrow if I could, despite the fact that I picked a job I am extremely passionate about and that I absolutely love in theory. Despite the theoretical love, some days I dread, dread, dread coming in to work. In part because I sometimes have to work with dickheads (although my immediate coworkers and bosses are fantastic). But even if the dickheads are taken out of the equation, I can't seem to focus on my job for 40 hours in a week. I have too many other interests I want to pursue.

I would too! I'm paid hourly and I tried doing OT so I can ear a little bit more but OMG I just wanna scream if I have to be there longer than I have to. I'm doing 3 hours today to make up for missing a day last week but no more voluntary OT. For now. It just makes me miserable. :(

sassy1234

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #60 on: October 24, 2013, 09:12:53 AM »
Time.  I want time away from an office, so I can enjoy my family and my life.  After all, we only live once. 

Stache In Training

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #61 on: October 24, 2013, 09:19:09 AM »
I have to agree, time to enjoy with my family and my life. 

I had always been frugal, but still thought I'd have to retire at the same time as everyone else.  I just assumed that I'd have slightly more money than others.  It was really the MMM blog that made me realize that I frugality could lead to early retirement.  I always thought you had to get paid a lot (or win the lottery) to make that happen.  As soon as I started reading, it was like I could see a veil lifting, and all of my frugality had more validity other than "that's what I'm supposed to do."  It was a means to an end!

So there, that's what lit up the FIRE desire in me.  I always wanted to retire early for my family, but it was this blog that made me finally realize it was possible.

livetogive

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #62 on: October 24, 2013, 04:01:53 PM »
I saw my now former boss and a coworker making more than $500,000 per year and still working.  One had emergency quadruple bypass surgery on Thanksgiving Friday and came back to work a few months later,  I assume because he hadn't saved enough to just retire.

dadof4

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #63 on: October 24, 2013, 04:20:00 PM »
I have always been frugal. But I took for granted that the well worn mantras were true - you need 85% of your pre-retirement income, you need to work till you're 65, etc.  So I just chugged along.

Had a member on another forum claim he was retiring at 50, wasn't rich or getting a government pension, and he pointed me here. Suddenly, retirement was attainable within a reasonable time frame.

It's a very big mental shift!

SweetRedWine

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #64 on: October 24, 2013, 06:44:41 PM »
For me it was a change in job situation.  In April of last year I was let go from a job where I had a great boss and got on really well with most of my co-workers.  Actually, the entire department was let go.  I was fortunate enough to immediately start another job.  Unfortunately, I quickly realized that I didn't like the job, the company or my co-workers.  I'm still there, but it's no coincidence that I discovered, and took an immediate shine to, MMM about 5 months after starting the horrible job. I like my actual basic job responsibilities, so I'm not completely focused on Early Retirement.   Financial Independence is my current goal.  I would like to be in a position where I could give two weeks notice simply because I don't like the job and not worry AT ALL.  I would also like to be able to spend more time in my home, doing the things that I want to do. 

teen persuasion

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #65 on: October 25, 2013, 08:14:49 AM »
Jane Austen - I wanted to be the ones living off investment income.  I didn't want to be Lydia & Wickham.  I saw Mr. Bennet as a cautionary tale - he should have saved something for the future, but never managed; it was only when it was too late (no male heir) that he realized his error.

Of course, I didn't have this epiphany in my twenties.  We did things a bit differently.  We've always been frugal, thru necessity (low income), but our priority was never money; it was family, and time w/ them.  We could make ends meet, so I was a SAHM to our 5 kids.  It is only since DS5 has hit school age that I have re-entered the work force (after nearly 20 years), and I am enjoying it.  Unfortunately, DH would like to swap roles now, but I don't make much part-time.

Part of living frugally for us was paying off our student loans (relatively modest, but 8% at the time), and paying off the mortgage ASAP (it was 9.75%).  Once we got the mortgage out of the way, I ramped up our retirement savings from 5% to 10% to 20% to 40% to 50+% of DH's pay, and added Roths for both of us from my pay.  It was sometime in this period of paying off the mortgage and me returning to work part-time that I began reading money blogs and eventually found MMM and everything clicked.

Dulcimina

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #66 on: October 25, 2013, 10:04:50 AM »
I got sick in my twenties.  I got scared that I might be forced to stop working early, and not be able to take care of myself. 

I'm still doing the same things now that I did before discovering this site.  The difference now is that I'm letting go of a lot of the fear.  Rather than planning to retire at 57 because it would be safer to wait until I'm eligible for my pension/retiree healthcare and my mortgage is paid off, I'm thinking I could retire at 49 and then do whatever I want - keep working; semi-retire; move somewhere cheaper...

Eric

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #67 on: October 25, 2013, 10:56:50 AM »
I just don't like going to work.  I like my job fine, it's just not how I'd choose to spend my time.

Nords

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #68 on: October 25, 2013, 11:00:48 PM »
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.
I learned to surf on the day I officially retired from the Navy.  During the lesson, I suddenly realized that I was really glad I did not know how to surf while I was on active duty. 

lizfish

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #69 on: October 26, 2013, 02:26:07 AM »

Hi, Vespito, I hear you.  I felt very depressed for a few days when I first stumbled across MMM 6 mos. or so ago.  Not angry so much, just depressed.  I wasted a fair amount of money.  I also wasn't as smart as i thought I was.

Oh yes, same here. Smarter than average but still pretty dumb. I think a lot of people here had mustachian traits but failed to realise how they could super-charge them. DH and I overpaid our mortgage and lived in an apartment for 8 years before we moved to a 'proper' house. I wish that we'd known about FI/ER earlier and perhaps we would both be doing whatever we wanted right now. I have it light, but DH does not and that needs to change. I guess my motivation for FIRE is my desire for our future kids to have happy, available, fulfilled parents. I want my DH to spend much less time working, or driving to work. I have been self-employed for 2 years and not earning enough (partly due to my mother's illness) and now I know that we can live really comfortably like this it's time for me to work more and him less.

We have so much more of a financial cushion than anyone we know but we just never thought of using that in conjunction with low expenses to radically change our lifestyle. But now we know, and now our lives will always be better for it even if we never RE.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2013, 02:31:36 AM by lizfish »

Sarita

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #70 on: October 26, 2013, 03:32:49 AM »
I work in HR. I have laid off more people than I can count through restructurings, economic downturns, etc.   Witnessing people's reactions and talking with them afterwards as they transition to a different chapter in their life has been very instructional.  No person and no job is ever ever safe.   The person who was lauded yesterday may find that their new boss has different ideas about their performance.  It is folly to have an emotional attachment to any job.  Taking responsibility for your own finances and security is critical.

happy

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #71 on: October 26, 2013, 06:05:19 AM »
Quote
I think a lot of people here had mustachian traits but failed to realise how they could super-charge them

I really relate to this.. I had bits and pieces of the puzzle all my life, just never put them all together.

MrsPete

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #72 on: October 26, 2013, 07:41:03 AM »
I saw the misery my mother was always in when she combined a high consumption lifestyle with no income...
I said I started down this path because I was raised in poverty and wanted out, but my actual reasoning is more like your answer:  I saw my father work in a high-paying job and then come home to spend every penny and more. (The children of a CPA employed in a good job shouldn't be wearing outgrown shoes and sharing antibiotics meant for 3 among a group of 5.)  When he left, I saw my mother, who had stayed home with us for more than a decade, unable to re-enter the work force because her work skills (already skimpy) had been eclipsed by the advent of the computer.  And I saw -- and felt firsthand -- the effects of living beyond your means and failing to save anything for the future.

I think most people tend to base their spending patterns after their parents' habits. 
But you and I, I think, have made very different choices in reaction to our parents' habits. 


I must say I'm surprised by how many people here love their jobs. I would quit mine tomorrow if I could, despite the fact that I picked a job I am extremely passionate about and that I absolutely love in theory. Despite the theoretical love, some days I dread, dread, dread coming in to work. In part because I sometimes have to work with dickheads (although my immediate coworkers and bosses are fantastic). But even if the dickheads are taken out of the equation, I can't seem to focus on my job for 40 hours in a week. I have too many other interests I want to pursue.
Disagree.  I haven't heard a whole lot of people say that they love their jobs -- which, to me, would mean they live-breathe-eat-sleep to go to their jobs, that they can't believe they get paid for doing them.  Yeah, these people exist, but they're few in number. 

Instead, I think a whole lot of people are very satisfied with their jobs.  Like them, even if they have a few duties that they would just as soon skip.  Find satisfaction in going to work.  Generally like the people with whom they work.  But wouldn't continue to show up if the paycheck disappeared (or other compensation that's making it worthwhile to go into the office every day).  I'd put myself in that category.


Ishmael

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #73 on: October 26, 2013, 10:22:58 AM »
I must say I'm surprised by how many people here love their jobs. I would quit mine tomorrow if I could, despite the fact that I picked a job I am extremely passionate about and that I absolutely love in theory. Despite the theoretical love, some days I dread, dread, dread coming in to work. In part because I sometimes have to work with dickheads (although my immediate coworkers and bosses are fantastic). But even if the dickheads are taken out of the equation, I can't seem to focus on my job for 40 hours in a week. I have too many other interests I want to pursue.
Thank you for saying what is in my head so eloquently, and saving me the trouble of typing.

avonlea

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #74 on: October 26, 2013, 01:06:00 PM »
Jane Austen - I wanted to be the ones living off investment income.  I didn't want to be Lydia & Wickham.  I saw Mr. Bennet as a cautionary tale - he should have saved something for the future, but never managed; it was only when it was too late (no male heir) that he realized his error.

:)

FinancialIndependenceTime

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #75 on: October 26, 2013, 01:20:09 PM »
Quote
Quite simply, I got tired of working for, or with, dickheads.

I am now at the 20 year mark in the military. I now have the option of finally being able to tell my boss F U and retiring (quiting) if I am so inclined. I have worked for many dickheads during those 20 years and there have been times when I wanted to yell at the top of my lungs to those people, but I knew I wanted to retire (just to get the monthly pension and health benefits etc.).

Now that I am eligible to retire I am at a crossroads in my life:

Both my wife and I max out our 401k and 403b
We max out our Roth IRAs
We add money each month to our Vanguard account

We were forced to move several years ago and rent out our house resulting in $750 month net loss ($250 of that is to the property management company, $500 to property taxes)

We have 1 17y old starting college in 2014
We have 1 16y old starting college in 2015


The BIG decision I am considering is staying in the military for another 4 - 6 years to cover college costs or not. I have had a good career and enjoyed it (mostly) thus far, but things have changed in the military just like everywhere else and spanning 20 years. I have dreamed of the day that I retired from the military an moved on. 

Rosa_Oliveira

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #76 on: October 27, 2013, 09:37:28 AM »
Two things:

1) Seeing the example of my parents - when my father was laid off at age 55 (in the year 2008, no less) he was able to say "okay, well, now I'm retired!" thanks to decades of smart investing, frugality, and saving. What could have been a catastrophe instead became a comfortable early retirement thanks to having practiced Mustachian habits for years.

I'm also incredibly thankful that my parents helped me avoid taking on crushing student loan debt and taught me smart purchasing decisions and prudent use of credit cards. This early education has made my "natural" lifestyle choices already line up pretty well with the goal of early retirement; now it's just a matter of optimizing things.

2) Marrying someone from a different country, who shares my passion for travel - mobility is very important for us, with family on two continents. We want our income not to depend on either our physical presence at a job, or number of hours worked.

Freckles

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #77 on: October 27, 2013, 10:59:00 AM »
I don't love my job, and I have children I'd rather be spending my time with.  Also, I want to teach my children *by example* how to use money to have a good life instead of being limited by a lack of money due to a lack of knowledge of how to use it.  Unfortunately, I know all about that, and not much about using money in a smart way to have a good life.  But I'm learning, finally.  Thanks to MMM and you guys.

frugalcoconut

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #78 on: November 15, 2013, 07:04:50 PM »
I never want to be financially dependent on anybody.  During my university years I realized that I was still basically under my parents' control as long as they were supporting me ... and thus I developed an intense desire for freedom. 

Even before landing my first job though, I heartily proclaimed that I never wanted to work.  At first it was part-time during school which wasn't so bad ... but then it became a permanent obligation sucking away my life energy.

Kiyosaki's books turned my thinking upside-down (or maybe right-side-up?) ... plus a light bulb went off when reading about the crossover point in YMOYL.  Although mortgages were my only debt, I was nonetheless inspired by Dave Ramsey (Total Money Makeover).

I believe that I stumbled across Jacob's ERE site through a guest posting, and the same for MMM.  Lo and behold, there were other people with insanely high savings rates!   One of the charts showed that I only had maybe 10-12 or 5-7 remaining years until FIRE depending on how aggressively I pursued the goal.  This light at the end of the tunnel keeps me going since I know that the countdown is real.

I am quite satisfied with my career and my employer; however, I agree with previous comments that there are certainly days when I would rather be outside or shopping or running errands or taking care of personal business or simply staying home or whatever instead of stuck in the office and chained to my cubicle.

Six and a half years to go...

thelamb

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #79 on: November 16, 2013, 10:32:43 AM »
I'm a fairly high-earner, IT consultant dude.  But sitting at a computer all day, every day never seemed natural to me.  It can suck, actually.  I'm a big urbanist of the Jeff Speck variety with some experience in home remodels and several years working for my dad who is a contractor.  I wanted to do something that would tie all that together and started looking into urban planning, then grad programs in that field.  I was dead set on going back to school in two years.  Then I started doing the math and looking at my spending and debts and all that and said "what the fuck am I doing?"  Realized grad school would be dumb for me unless I really got on the ball, had the finances all planned out, etc.  That's when I was pointed to MMM and as a result now feel that achieving FI is goal one and it will permit all else.  I don't think I have to be all the way there to jump ship because I want to keep working, but I do need to be close and I think I'll be close in 3-4 years, all the way there in 6-7. 

Karl_H

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #80 on: November 16, 2013, 05:02:09 PM »
I have always been relatively frugal.  When I received a high-salary job offer out of college, I immediately started calculating the number of years that I would need to work, before retiring. 

As I started working, I remained frugal, but lifestyle inflation started to occur as I lost focus on retirement.  The big change occured when I accepted a temporary assignment in Calgary and became getting obsessed with alpine rock/ice/mixed climbing, mountaineering, and back country skiing.  My bucket list transfored into a tick list of climbing routes. 

I knew that if I ever wanted to be able to accomplish some of these new objectives, I would have to take 1 or more extended leave of absences from work and/or permanently relocate clsoer to a climbing Mecca. I knew that I would need to do this while young, so that I would still be able to climb the more ambitious/amazing routes.   

My employer pays well, but does not institutionally support extended leaves of absences for recreational purposes.  And getting permanently relocated can also be difficult to finagle.  Therefore, achieving FI, ASAP, became a primary focus. 

tracipam

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #81 on: November 16, 2013, 05:17:55 PM »
Strangely enough, graduate school convinced me that I wanted to retire early.  I had a series of horrible advisors that demanded unreasonable hours and expectations (you can't graduate unless the answer is A, which is the answer I want. Even if the data contradicts A.  So how do I graduate?) I was quickly realizing that I was stuck and couldn't win and had no control over ever getting my degree and getting out--other people controlled my life.  It was a horrible feeling.  Very depressing.   

Then I went on an internship in industry, which did two fantastic things: 1) it introduced me to industry people who confirmed that if you're in industry you have no job security whatsoever and 2) I suddenly was making much much more money than a basic graduate student salary.  Fortunately, I also had free time (another side effect of being in industry) and I decided to start figuring out what to do with this wonderful new MONEY thing while it was rolling in.  That led me all over the internet and beyond: get rich slowly, ERE, frugality, simple living, conservation, YMOYL, bogleheads, investing, vanguard, index funds.... suddenly I had the beginnings of a plan.  No significant salary yet, after I re-entered graduate school, but a plan.  I ended up paying off the remaining loan on my toyota and saving about $15K over the next couple of years during school and then upon finally graduating landing a good paying job and REALLY putting my FIRE plan into practice.  I guess grad school was useful for waking me up if nothing else--if I hadn't been so frustrated and depressed, I might not have figured all of this out so early! 

zinethstache

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #82 on: November 16, 2013, 05:46:52 PM »
My DH had a HORRIBLE job, so I made up an elaborate exit plan and he finally quit in 2011. I showed him our finances and we've done just fine on my income. We are mid stream with our FI plans of owning rentals, we have found the funds to purchase 2 and are paying cash for a third (using a HELOC). I discovered MMM in April and it has been great fun to read up on other's strategies for FI. Being that we are adverse to the stock market,  our focus in on rental income. My DH is a tradesman so does all maintenance on them, saving us a ton of money.

I am 45 and had planned to work until 50, but alas my back has decided it is done working for me. After emergency surgery in July, I've spent the last 6 months in pain and no improvement in sight. Dr says "you much change your lifestyle and daily habis". I have a stressful job as a lead Web Analyst at a big company, like the work and pay, but my back doesn't like it one bit. I have to sit for hours fixing production issues, sit in very intense long meetings and sitting is not my strong suit right now. I come to these forums to look for every little possible tip or trick to expedite my time at a day job. I do best when I am at home where I can manage my back pain as needed.

Alas, We are not ready to have me not working, but I am keeping a close eye on our plans and hope to survive no more than 2 years at my day job so we can get rental 3 and 4 locked in. At that point we will be comfortably FI for our current rather lavish annual living expenses (4.5k/mo). We will be able to whittle away at that, ending up with 3k/mo expenses down the road some day in our true "retirement" phase of life.

I have an entrepreneurial spirit and over the years have established a few reputable side gig hobbies, love them all, some will have to go if my back can't handle them (for instance, I don't think being a horse trainer on the side will work out for me!), but I am sure in the end I will find lots to keep me busy. These hobbies are all well seasoned money making ventures that without the day job I can focus on them for any extra money I feel like earning. It will in fact be these side ventures that help us pay down some things to get to that magic retirement expense level goal of 3k - you know like our primary mortgage and the like.

Keep all the case studies, thoughts, tips, ideas rolling in MMM!

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #83 on: November 16, 2013, 06:03:43 PM »
I had cancer when I was 21 and realized then that our time on earth is scarily finite. I worked hard to buy my first house and to have enough money saved to handle any other curveballs life had in store for me. I have always been consumer-debt free. I was also careful to enjoy the here and now, so there was lots of travel, new experiences and FUN in my budget. I saved enough to retire very frugally, but was always too afraid of future health insurance costs to pull the plug.

Two major things happened when I was 54. I finally met the man I was to marry (Oh, was he ever worth waiting for!). Next, my company (Kindly refer to them as the evil empire, please.) passed out iPads that could track our whereabouts 24/7/365. They could see if I was in my home office, my garage or my bathroom at 6:00AM, for crap's sake! While I liked my customers and co-workers (I was in outside sales), I did not respect the way the company treated either group and was not about to like being shackled to an electronic device. My DH said I could quit if I wanted, so I submitted my retirement gleefully.

Now, we joke that I married him for the health insurance and he married me for the...nevermind. We both say that we have a rich spouse. Truth is, we are both rich and lucky because we know how to manage our wants and needs. He lost his first wife to cancer, so we both know that life is precious and to live it well is simply the best way to, well, live.

If ERE, GRS and best of all MMM had been around in my early days, I probably would have achieved FIRE much sooner. Without the company of blogs such as these, I often felt like a freak because I lived my life so differently than most people around me.  Now, I am completely happy with the way things eventually turned out. I wake up every morning with a smile and the days just fly by.

JessieImproved

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #84 on: November 16, 2013, 06:31:20 PM »
When I am confined, I'm twitchy.  I wan to be free.  I want to think about things.  I want to explore.  I want to chase what I'm interested in.  I have so much LIFE that's just waiting to BURST OUT, and work is seriously cramping my style.

Moomingirl

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #85 on: November 16, 2013, 10:31:07 PM »
There are so many things in life that I want to do. Spending forty hours a week at a desk is not one of them.

dude

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #86 on: November 19, 2013, 06:30:04 AM »
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.
I learned to surf on the day I officially retired from the Navy.  During the lesson, I suddenly realized that I was really glad I did not know how to surf while I was on active duty.

Nords, I was a surfer when I was stationed in San Diego many years ago, but sold my board when I moved back east.  I've always wanted to move somewhere with great surf and take it back up again.  Last year, I went to Costa Rica and got back on a board for the first time in two decades -- and man did it feel great!  Part of my ER plans includes spending several months in Costa Rica or similar location working the waves . . .  <he says with that far-off look in his dreamer's eyes>

:-)

dude

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #87 on: November 19, 2013, 06:40:47 AM »
The big change occured when I accepted a temporary assignment in Calgary and became getting obsessed with alpine rock/ice/mixed climbing, mountaineering, and back country skiing.  My bucket list transfored into a tick list of climbing routes. 

I knew that if I ever wanted to be able to accomplish some of these new objectives, I would have to take 1 or more extended leave of absences from work and/or permanently relocate clsoer to a climbing Mecca. I knew that I would need to do this while young, so that I would still be able to climb the more ambitious/amazing routes.   

Ditto, Karl_H -- rock/ice climbing, mountaineering and backcountry snowboarding are the activities that I find truly fulfilling in my life, and I want to retire early enough to be able to do them at a reasonably high level.  My ER plan includes doing some part-time guiding work as well.

MandyM

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #88 on: November 19, 2013, 07:01:08 AM »
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.

Wow. As a woman in a male dominated field, this one made me pause and stop scrolling. I'm lucky in that I've hardly felt discriminated against, let alone harassed, but I see the potential. What a horribly motivating reason for FU money. Prosaic - Good luck!

DTown

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #89 on: November 19, 2013, 10:58:15 AM »
My desire grew slowly over time - there wasn't any particular event that pushed me in this direction. My parents are pretty frugal and have mostly managed their money well. When I was finishing college, I was trying to figure out what I really wanted to do in life. I got a decent engineering job and quickly realized I would make much more than I really needed, and started looking at things I could do with the surplus. I was looking at new cars, TVs, and other expensive things but part of my mind had a problem with spending months of my time working just so I could have cool stuff. Then I made my original goal was simply to pay off all my student loans. During my first several months at my first 'real' job, I was trying to build up some life skills I was lacking, such as cooking, working out, and understanding money. That's when I discovered MMM (he had only been writing for a few months then), and ERE. Both opened my eyes to what was really possible and that I could use the extra money to 'buy' freedom.

I also have some family members who are the complete opposite and showed me what I DIDN'T want. They spend tons of money on the newest gadgets, huge houses and fancy cars. Even the kids were all given new iPhones in their teens, right when they came out. In order to pay for it all, they've had to move every couple years to find jobs that pay enough. When they come in town to visit family they always bring up how they wished they still lived nearby, but how the jobs weren't good enough in the area. Sigh.

Abe

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #90 on: November 19, 2013, 07:36:45 PM »
I'm hoping to develop surgery programs abroad with a group of universities that are getting such a plan off the ground now. Being FIRE (or semi-retired) without having to worry about the cost of taking a lot of time off every year will be key. If some hospital isn't happy with me doing that, I will walk away and find one that does. If none do, then <shrug> there's always a need for a surgeon somewhere in this world.

nikki

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #91 on: November 20, 2013, 12:05:07 AM »
I just want to stay home all day with my cat, reading books, drinking tea, cleaning, and puttering about in absolute happiness.

Going to work isn't the worst thing, but almost every day I find myself wishing I could crawl into bed with my cat and enjoy another cup of coffee.

I'm 27. I want to live my "old woman" life as soon as possible.

ichangedmyname

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #92 on: November 20, 2013, 08:27:18 AM »
I just want to stay home all day with my cat, reading books, drinking tea, cleaning, and puttering about in absolute happiness.

Going to work isn't the worst thing, but almost every day I find myself wishing I could crawl into bed with my cat and enjoy another cup of coffee.

I'm 27. I want to live my "old woman" life as soon as possible.

Me, too! Especially now that I have taken up knitting of the arm kind (no needles just my arms) and dabbling with jewelry making and writing a romance novel, I feel like I just wanna stay home all day and be busy with my new hobbies.

lizfish

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #93 on: November 21, 2013, 08:56:36 AM »
I just want to stay home all day with my cat, reading books, drinking tea, cleaning, and puttering about in absolute happiness.

Going to work isn't the worst thing, but almost every day I find myself wishing I could crawl into bed with my cat and enjoy another cup of coffee.

I'm 27. I want to live my "old woman" life as soon as possible.

I'm  31, sounds like a great life to me. I'd love to say that I want to change the world, maybe a part of me does, but most of me just wants the quiet life with simple pleasures. (Unfortunately no cat as DH allergic. But we enjoy other people's pets) I think my DH would like to build stuff out of wood and do some IT work on the side. I could do part-time bookkeeping, as little as I wanted, maybe a little light teaching if I was lucky enough to find a gig to suit me. I'd love to get a degree with no ambition of using it to earn money. Philosophy and English perhaps. There might be knitting and other craft too. We could raise our as-yet-unborn kids to be happy and resourceful rather than pushing them to hit the usual ridiculous targets people set for their youngsters. Boring, perhaps. But there's no greater gift to give yourself or others than that of contentment.

bogart

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #94 on: November 21, 2013, 09:05:51 AM »
I enjoy travelling, and the freedom to do it in the off season is nice.  My DH is RE (not impressively so by MMM standards), so you'd think I'd be well-positioned to move in that direction, but we have an elementary-school aged kid, so are (would be) still constrained by the school calendar for the next decade or so (and no, we are not interested in homeschooling).  So that's a partial incentive but not a huge one (my work commitments are the biggest total impediment to our doing more traveling, but not by a vast amount).  I like my work.

A decade from now, fates willing, my DH will be in his 70s and my mom in her 80s, and if either needs me around to assist with caregiving, I'd like to have the flexibility to do that.  So I don't necessarily want to RE, but neither do I want to be stuck needing to work to pay my (or their) bills.

Nords

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #95 on: November 24, 2013, 06:39:17 AM »
Nords, I was a surfer when I was stationed in San Diego many years ago, but sold my board when I moved back east.  I've always wanted to move somewhere with great surf and take it back up again.  Last year, I went to Costa Rica and got back on a board for the first time in two decades -- and man did it feel great!  Part of my ER plans includes spending several months in Costa Rica or similar location working the waves . . .  <he says with that far-off look in his dreamer's eyes>
:-)
I hear a lot of good things about Costa Rica surf!

farmstache

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #96 on: July 10, 2014, 03:40:20 PM »
Guys, I truly love this topic, and I hate starting new ones about the same subject.

My reasons for FI and ER have been slowly changing and evolving. Now I want freedom. I want to be able to say FU in 3 years and go do a masters in Europe. I want to be able to live in our rural property, or just leave. I want to eventually spend time with my kids (though I'm not waiting for ER to have them). Mostly, I want the freedom.

What bout you?

tanhanivar

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #97 on: July 10, 2014, 05:23:53 PM »
I agree with Farmstache - and it is lovely to read about people who love/like/enjoy their jobs, too. I've needed that as an antidote to a grumbly sort of week.

Jane Austen - I wanted to be the ones living off investment income.  I didn't want to be Lydia & Wickham.  I saw Mr. Bennet as a cautionary tale - he should have saved something for the future, but never managed; it was only when it was too late (no male heir) that he realized his error.

This too! I want to have 'five hundred a year' (500 what? No one knows! http://the-toast.net/2014/05/27/tell-jane-austen-novel/) and be able to be deliberately useful.

I fell into my job (can one fall into law?) as part of a misguided effort to make my arts degree look impressive. I loved my firm, but not the job. Then I moved to government work and discovered I loved the job, and was good at it, once the careerism was removed from the equation. But by then I had a mortgage, of course, and I still was working full time (the partner I first worked for was so happy when he thought I was quitting to write a novel). Now I'm struggling with full time work and two 'side' careers (art and writing) which take a lot of time (and people wonder why I'm single). And then the government changed and 'safe' jobs aren't any more.

I don't know if I'd quit, once FI. When I have more than a few days of just art and writing, I start climbing the walls - I need something objectively measurable! But I'd definitely go part time, at least, or find some specific non-creative task to balance me.

I've started a list of reasons which 'lit up the desire' for FI and ER, and which keep me going. The 'silly' ones are:
  • Have a pied-a-terre (if I had more time, I would probably not need one, having plenty of international friends)
Buy a Tesla (well, maybe not a Tesla, but still... maybe a new battery for my electric bike)[/li][/list]
Go to Antarctica (I am going to try to qualify for an expedition artist position, if cycling builds up my fitness)[/li][/list]

The real ones are:
  • Illustrate and write quasi-full-time - ideally, I would be FIRE on bare minimum, and any extra income would come from this
  • Volunteer and serve on a regular basis
  • Run a retreat, or use my spare rooms as accommodation, for frantic authors and burnt-out missionaries (or both at once, which would be an entertaining clash of worlds)
  • Travel
  • Be available as a carer for my parents
[/list]

labrat

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #98 on: July 10, 2014, 07:47:21 PM »
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.

+1.  When the bad days started outnumbering the good days at work, I joked to myself that I should just retire early.  I couldn't get the thought out of my head and started researching early retirement thinking that I'd find info on people who retired at 50 or so.  It blew my mind when I came across MMM and Madfientist and realized that retirement could be less than a decade away if I really hauled ass. If only I could go back and tell my 18yo self what I know now...

Threshkin

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Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
« Reply #99 on: July 10, 2014, 08:19:01 PM »
My dad dieing...

He was ready to go and had lived a good life, but it really made me think about my own future.