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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: ichangedmyname on October 19, 2013, 11:14:48 PM

Title: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: ichangedmyname 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Russ 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: ichangedmyname 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 :)
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: SnackDog 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Cecil 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: justchristine 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: HappierAtHome 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: KMMK 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: ChoicesChoices 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: sleepyguy 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: pac_NW on October 20, 2013, 09:02:17 AM
Time.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Li 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: farmstache 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).
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: totoro 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Norrie 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: lara 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: elaine amj 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Debbie M 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: pachnik 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. 
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Jamesqf 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: CopperTex 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Loud Noises 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: ShavinItForLater 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: HappyHoya 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. 
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: steveo 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Gray Matter 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: MrsPete 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. 
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: ender 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: ichangedmyname on October 20, 2013, 03:00:17 PM
Really enjoyed reading these answers. thanks for sharing your stories!
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Melody 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...
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Zamboni 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: stevesteve 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: prosaic 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Ozstache on October 20, 2013, 09:06:42 PM
Quite simply, I got tired of working for, or with, dickheads.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: imustachemystash 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. 
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Insanity 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: happy 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: pom 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: chasesfish 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.

Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: smalllife 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. 
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: chasesfish 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
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: frugal rph 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Mississippi Mudstache 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: jrhampt 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. 
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: ncornilsen 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: dude 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: galliver 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Lina 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Exflyboy 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
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: steveo 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: NeverWasACornflakeGirl 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: limeandpepper 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Frankies Girl 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: vespito 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)!
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: pachnik 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: vespito 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: jfer_rose 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: ichangedmyname 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: smalllife 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. 
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: ichangedmyname 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. :(
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: sassy1234 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. 
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Stache In Training 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: livetogive 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: dadof4 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!
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: SweetRedWine 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. 
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: teen persuasion 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Dulcimina 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...
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Eric 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Nords 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. 
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: lizfish 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Sarita 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: happy 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: MrsPete 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.

Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Ishmael 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: avonlea 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.

:)
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: FinancialIndependenceTime 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. 
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Rosa_Oliveira 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Freckles 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: frugalcoconut 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...
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: thelamb 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. 
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Karl_H 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. 
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: tracipam 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! 
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: zinethstache 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!
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Dicey 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: JessieImproved 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Moomingirl 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: dude 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>

:-)
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: dude 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: MandyM 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!
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: DTown 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Abe 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: nikki 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: ichangedmyname 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: lizfish 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: bogart 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Nords 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!
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: farmstache 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?
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: tanhanivar 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/ (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:
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:
[/list]
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: labrat 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...
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Threshkin 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.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Spartana on July 10, 2014, 08:36:58 PM
The combination of getting out of the coast guard  after many years (a job I loved), getting a civilian job I was bored with in comparison, getting a divorce after years of marriage (which was freeing to me),  and a very strong desire to do other things - especially physical things and sports - while younger.  So I did! 
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Daisy on July 10, 2014, 09:39:00 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.

I can relate to this. I think we had an exercise once in grade school where we had to pick an animal we would like to be. I remember picking a bird and the reason I gave was that a bird had a lot of freedom to fly around wherever it wanted. The laws of gravity seem to be suspended for a bird as it gracefully glides its way through the sky. So majestic.

I've always been interested in finances and my original focus was financial security (as a single woman it seemed important). Now, I want what you mentioned. I've been working since I was 14 and am now in my mid-40s....it's time!

I'm also a night owl and this getting up early to go to work thing not only messes up my morning, but it messes up the night before when I'd rather stay up late.

A big reason too is that I don't know how I ended up in my profession in software. It was a fluke. I was almost going to go into architecture, which I think would have been a better calling. So I've always felt like an outsider at work. People actually read software and other technical books and articles and know the latest of what's going on in the industry. Not me - I gag at the thought. I've been able to do well, but honestly sometimes I feel like an imposter in a strange world.

I can't wait to FIRE and get away from it all. When I was unemployed, I started taking art classes and want to develop those talents further. And read or re-read a lot of the classics in literature. I just can't seem to do this stuff in small chunks of time. I need long stretches of unstructured time to get myself in the proper frame of mind to do these things.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Trudie on July 11, 2014, 07:54:54 AM
My primary driver is to have more time to spend with family and friends, and I want to be healthy enough to enjoy it.  I don't want to be a person who scrimps her whole life to achieve retirement at 67, only to have my health fail and not be able to enjoy it.  My husband is older.  I want to enjoy adventures with him while we're young enough to do it.

My current job is okay, but boring.  But it pays well, has a great 401K match and bennies and I see it getting me to FIRE.  It's in accounting.  I may explore temporary assignments for a few years to help the coffers.  It is also a socially isolated job, and I have recognized this and am working on finding something that is less so.

But when I'm at work all I can daydream about is having the freedom to "putter."  I think my ideal day would involve getting up a couple of hours later, going running, running "errands" (public library, grocery), doing something for other people (probably volunteering at the library) so I can have some social interaction, puttering in my garden, making meals in my kitchen while I listen to NPR.  I also dream about going to technical college and studying landscape design.  I could spend my days puttering in gardens, talking to people about gardens, and reading about the greats.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: RetireAbroadAt35 on July 11, 2014, 09:08:36 AM
I worked myself to the bone at a soul-crushing desk job that involved a lot of travel, stress and competition.  When I had enough, I took some savings (I've always been debt averse ^ somewhat frugal) and went on a sabbatical. 

Two years later (I travelled cheap and took advantage of the kindness of friends and strangers for cheap / no-rent) I decided I really had to start saving rather than spending.  I hadn't found a new way to make a living, so I went back to work in my old field.

This time with only one burning desire - to earn & save enough to make the next sabbatical a permanent one.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Cwadda on July 11, 2014, 09:32:38 AM
In the past year I began and am still learning a whole lot about myself. These are two significant driving factors:

1. When I had a financial adviser I was getting charged ridiculous fees.
2. I knew that I did not want to make a full career out of my true passion - music. I realized that becoming financially independent and retiring early would allow me to do more things that I enjoy. This isn't to say I'm being deprived of my passion. I have a very good outlet for it that pays good money for my age.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: JCfire on July 11, 2014, 11:00:31 AM
Within the last two years, a bunch of events contributed.  I turned 30, my first child was born, my mother-in-law passed away, I got a big raise that allowed a much higher savings rate.  But oddly enough, what got me focused on FIRE was buying my dream house.  My financial goals up until then had been taking advantage of tax-advantaged savings and building up cash for a 20% downpayment.  With my biggest savings target achieved, I realized that my next big financial goals are likely my last ones -- becoming financially independent and providing for my children's college expenses (which I intend to pay fully).

JC
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Lyssa on July 12, 2014, 05:05:11 AM
The deep and philosophical reason: realizing that my time is finite.

The nice and pleasant reason: Wanting to spend such finite time on projects of my own choosing. Be it reading, academic courses in whatever outlandish subject I choose, refining my cooking skills, learning archery, exercising more, you name it.

The not so nice and pleasant reson: I really, really like being left alone and I like being able to tell people to go fuck themselves. This leads to a quite and constant satisfaction I derive just from knowing that I work on FI and that it is going well. During a shitty day at work I almost feel like a double agent. I can put up with nodding my head and smiling to complete and utter bullshit, knowing of my secret identity as someone who has partly figured out and partly stumbled upon how to beat the system. Insert your favorite super villain giggle here. :-)
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: MandyM on July 16, 2014, 12:51:09 PM
http://www.cracked.com/quick-fixes/the-60-second-guide-to-bullshit-free-life/

I want my two lists to be better aligned.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: v10viperbox on July 16, 2014, 01:53:28 PM
FIRE allows me to do my job better then anyone else, so I make more money because of it. I like to work currently and while I have a FIRE portfolio it would not produce enough for me to travel extensively later on or weather a major market collapse. Plus I am 33. 

So when you want someone to rip your engineering plans to shreds, tell your code guys whats wrong, or call you out on bad cost estimates or just be a nasty devils advocate I get called. Very few people living month to month typically have the stones to call a spade a spade.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: neo von retorch on July 16, 2014, 02:01:43 PM
I'm also a night owl and this getting up early to go to work thing not only messes up my morning, but it messes up the night before when I'd rather stay up late.

A big reason too is that I don't know how I ended up in my profession in software. It was a fluke. I was almost going to go into architecture, which I think would have been a better calling...

I can't wait to FIRE and get away from it all... And read or re-read a lot of the classics in literature. I just can't seem to do this stuff in small chunks of time. I need long stretches of unstructured time to get myself in the proper frame of mind to do these things.

I relate to much of what you said here. I'm not actually against being a software developer, but I don't live and breathe it or keep up to date on everything possible. I used to enjoy doing it for fun and for freelance clients, but now I'm done with it before I even get done with my work... I want to switch from being pushed across the hot coals trying to program to doing what actually interests me. To mastering the skills I care about rather than the ones that just get this one tedious task completed.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Cassie on July 16, 2014, 02:41:04 PM
I was not sick of working-just the 9-5 gig. I also no longer wanted to work f.t. or for someone else. Now I work from home p.t. which is the best of both worlds for me.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: boarder42 on July 16, 2014, 03:07:03 PM
i really have been a saver my whole life ( all of 3.5 working years before finding MMM) saved probably 35-40% before finding this blog.  Always wanted to know the relationship between saving and when you could retire.  All the retirement calculators were for 40 or 50 year olds. and i planned on being done by 45 or 50.  So i stumbled across his Shockingly simple math behind early retirement.  And sent it to a friend and she said have you read anything else on this blog.  and i started reading ... and reading ... and reading.  Then I was hooked.  Mostly b/c my personality is to go against the grain and prove people wrong.  and there is nothing more glaring to some than being a 30 something and retired and getting those looks like he must be a rich kid ... or you inherited something or won the lottery.  Nope i just took the simple saying from Franklin to heart at a young age.  "a penny SAVED is a penny earned"

Think how different our society would be if people thought this way.  Since we tend to hang around friends in similar gross income classes.  If the topic wasnt how much did you make and/or buy this year it was how much did you SAVE this year. 

what a different world that would be.  I love the i cant take it with me when i die statement.  well you can lead a pretty baller life and FIRE esp. my friends we're all engineers.  (this is gonna sound like a brag but all of this is done frugally)  I have a boat tour the country on vacations each year and save 65% of what we make.   You can stretch dollars very far when you use them appropriately. 

Good luck to all on your journey to FI.

Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: RyanHesson on July 16, 2014, 03:15:43 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.

This is basically it for me.
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: Daisy on July 16, 2014, 10:01:37 PM
I'm also a night owl and this getting up early to go to work thing not only messes up my morning, but it messes up the night before when I'd rather stay up late.

A big reason too is that I don't know how I ended up in my profession in software. It was a fluke. I was almost going to go into architecture, which I think would have been a better calling...

I can't wait to FIRE and get away from it all... And read or re-read a lot of the classics in literature. I just can't seem to do this stuff in small chunks of time. I need long stretches of unstructured time to get myself in the proper frame of mind to do these things.

I relate to much of what you said here. I'm not actually against being a software developer, but I don't live and breathe it or keep up to date on everything possible. I used to enjoy doing it for fun and for freelance clients, but now I'm done with it before I even get done with my work... I want to switch from being pushed across the hot coals trying to program to doing what actually interests me. To mastering the skills I care about rather than the ones that just get this one tedious task completed.

After I posted this, the next day someone started a thread on coding languages to learn. A link on that thread led me to an article talking about software people commonly feeling like imposters in their field. I couldn't believe it! I had never used that term before for myself. Anyways, I ended up searching "Imposter Syndrome". I linked to an article in that thread but can't link to it here. You should check it out. Our field changes so much that at some point I think you just get tired of having to keep up.

My major wasn't even in software. It really was a fluke. It was enjoyable for a while, since you are able to design things, bring them to life, and see them in action in your products. But the thrill is gone...
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: MsRichLife on July 16, 2014, 11:02:27 PM
But what actually STARTED me down this path was growing up without financial security.  I knew I wanted to live differently.

+1

I grew up in a household where money (or lack of it) was a very big source of stress. I started working at 12 and investing at 16 because I knew then that I did not want my life to continue like that.

At 22 I realised that although I didn't mind working, I hated having to continue to impress a 'boss'. At that point I decided I wanted to be financially free. It was then that I really started to look into how to retire early and I set a goal to be retired by 40.

A lot of things have changed along the way, and I had almost forgotten that goal of early retirement, but lately it's dawned on me that we've achieved all the goals we've set over the last decade and started asking 'what's next?' That's when I discovered MMM and have now reconfirmed that retirement at 40 is possible. I just need to be brave and make the decision to do it!

MRL
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: blackomen on July 17, 2014, 12:11:32 PM
I like my line of work (Finance) but I don't like the structure (come in every weekday from xxx am to yyy pm with Z vacation days every year.)

I also later realized, the hard way, that your boss has so much power over you when he/she can fire you at will, preventing you from paying your bills.  When growing up, my dad had this saying that "your boss is your lifeline and you have to do everything you can to please him so this lifeline will not be cut." 

To me, living a life where you must please the whims of a particular person or else you'll be in serious trouble is too bleak to be living.  I sought to attain a financial "cushion" so that I can decline unreasonable requests at work (like having to come in on the weekend to finish the work my boss had to finish but didn't because he was playing games all day or being asked to do something illegal or unethical like cooking the numbers in reports to clients.)

Eventually, I realized that with a large enough "cushion" invested in productive and diversified assets, this cushion can replace the income from my day job and I would never have to work again.  Well, I'm still years (maybe decades) away from this goal but having the freedom to say "No" every once in a while to unreasonable requests without serious financial repercussions is a HUGE relief.  Then again, maybe I should find a less dysfunctional workplace (but that's a topic for another day.)
Title: Re: What lit up the desire to FIRE in you?
Post by: soccerluvof4 on July 17, 2014, 12:19:22 PM
I like peace and quiet in its simplest form and hate the rat race. I want to spend time with family and friends on my terms and realized it wasnt going to happen on its own so I had to make changes. Things have become quieter and I spend alot more time with my friends and family when I WANT!