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General Discussion => Post-FIRE => Topic started by: ddm5 on July 06, 2015, 04:17:27 PM

Title: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: ddm5 on July 06, 2015, 04:17:27 PM
So I am a 29 year old male, originally from the Midwest. I've stayed single because everyone I meet is, I don't know how else to say it: "normal", and they've always tried to get me to become "normal" with them. I have too much I want to accomplish in my short time on this planet to make sacrifices for someone I realistically won't be with for life, anyway.

This is a great problem to have, and I am not trying to sound like I'm complaining, but I am experiencing option overload.

My income is from several sources:
Rental properties: varies widely month to month, but typically averages $5-6k profit per month
Internet biz #1: seems to average another $5000 per month. I consider it icing on the cake and not something to rely on long term, even though it has been going steady for 2 years with a couple hiccups. It's a unique situation and is not scalable.
Internet biz #2: this will hopefully net me a few thousand extra per month and is scalable to some degree. I just launched it so I am in the hole at the moment.

I went balls to the wall with the rental properties and last December until this month consisted of me paying down high interest, loan shark type loans for some extremely profitable properties I couldn't have acquired without them. In six months I paid off about $50,000 so now all I have are my low interest conventional mortgages. Now it is time to build reserves so I can start financing more properties. I plan to stick about $30k at least in the VT etf in a brokerage account by the end of the year so I look good to lenders for 2016. I feel poor because I have been living on 1-1.5k per month getting the debt paid off. I started Internet biz #2 at the same time, which required an initial investment, and at one point I was rationing water so I wouldn't run out before my next rent check came in. I will not move this aggressively in the future and have learned my lesson.

It could be due to the frantic debt paydown of the last few months, but I do not feel fulfilled.

I traveled all over the US for the past year ( I sold my house and live in a Volkswagen Rialta small RV) because I had never been out of my cold Midwest city. It was a great experience, but it really showed me that as a guy who wants to be where the action is, I am limited to probably a dozen cities. I really can't deal with 7 months of horrible Midwest type weather anymore for the rest of my life, so that narrows it down further. And on top of it, the climate can't be too extreme because of the RV. For instance, I was in Tampa for a bit and it was absolutely unbearable with the heat, humidity, and mosquitoes. I do have AC, but it requires the obnoxiously loud generator or a plugin to work. I also have heat, but super frequent propane refills would get annoying. So this experience made me realize that beyond a few cities and of course all the gorgeous national parks (which are fun for visiting), I am really uninterested in 99% of this country.

I have considered moving internationally as I have friends having a ball in aces like Bangkok and Chiang Mai, but I would really like to see if I can crack it in the US before I do a round the world trip. I have satisfied my travel bug for the one being and would like to hunker down and work on something for a bit.

My top contenders were Phoenix (Scottsdale) and Denver/Boulder, CO, but the heat/cold was stopping me...then I had an epiphany and drove to LA. I have been here a month and the consistently mild weather is really a godsend with the RV. I enjoy how I am getting the best of everything...the food is outstanding for instance, and there is no better place in the country for mixed martial arts instruction, which is a hobby of mine. I never had time to commit fully to it before, but I have been doing it for 4-6 hours per day for a month and I enjoy it more than anything.

However, the prospect of living here long term is daunting. Currently I park my RV on the street wherever. This is totally legal here. I have had two incidents with police who just came by to see if everything was OK. They're VERY relaxed compared to my hometown. This option does not seem that attractive for a decade down the road. I love the RV life and I have adapted well. I cannot think of any logical reason to stop. The unlimited mobility and freedom are incredible. BUT, I would prefer, if I am living in a city long term, to have a little grassy spot or even driveway to park it at night for peace and quiet. I've thought about buying a plot of land and growing my own food, basically having a place to come home to in between trips. This seems to be impossible in LA, since it is a massive urban sprawl and is completely developed. I could "normalize" and give up all my freedom for an apartment, but this would cost me at MINIMUM an extra $1500 per month and would be very inconvenient. It seems illogical and stupid.

I'm also pretty lonely out here. I have some good friend prospects from martial arts that may turn into something, but other than that I know no one. I don't drink for health reasons (kills testosterone) so I'm not just going to drink alone at some bar and holler at random people. I don't have a job so I can't meet people that way. Online dating out here is a complete wasteland. I have met a few women but they are usually around my age and want to settle down and have kids. For this reason I try to target the early twenties crowd, since they seem less judgmental of my alternative lifestyle and don't have baby fever. I should probably give it more than a month, but I feel pretty alone as a minimalist, mustachian, financially independent but not flashy, non-drinking guy with no social network. I'm also an atheist, which caused enormous problems in my Bible Belt hometown...I can't say if it will out here or not yet. The weird thing is I'm kind of conservative despite the atheist ultra-liberal stereotype, so I am really a man without a country.

One place I felt very welcome was Denver/Boulder, especially Boulder. There's something about the hippy ladies I must vibe with, because they were flocking to me in droves. It's almost as sunny as LA. Cost of living is lower, traffic is less insane. There is more outdoorsy stuff to do. Food is OK. There is Grudge Training Center, which produces UFC fighters. I also have a couple good friends there. However, part of the allure of moving to LA was that I could reinvent myself because I knew no one. Is it just me or are Colorado residents extremely over represented on this site? When I told people I lived in an RV, they LOVED it out there. People were down to earth and not as flashy and status obsessed. I am getting mixed vibes in LA. A large percentage of the population considers such a lifestyle to be weird, and I feel like it may cause me to be an outcast. This is a huge city though, so I hesitate to judge. To be honest, I feel kind of like packing up and moving to Colorado, but the one major thing stopping me is the winter. I'm not entirely sure if a Colorado winter is better than a Midwest winter, but I cringe when I look at the average winter temps. I am really one with the cold, gray weather of my past.

I also would like to do something productive with my time and become a rich person for kicks. My businesses run passively, so I can afford to pick up some sort of job as long as it doesn't intrude on my MMA hobby and doesn't make me hate life, like all my past jobs have done. This is the semi-retirement state MMM talks about.

Options I've considered:

1. Coding bootcamp - costs $10k, takes 4 months. This would ideally lead to being able to do contract work so I only work part of the year, or remote work. However I am terrified that it would actually lead to nothing at all, or a new 9-5 office job (surprise, it's 7-7 plus a commute!) I might be able to pay my dues for a year and go remote, but I don't know if this is how it works.

2. Commercial real estate - I love real estate and I plan to be a big commercial property investor in the future. This would be a great way to have access to the best deals and a good network. My income would also be uncapped as it's 100% commission. Some of these companies like CBRE seem more corporate with killer hours, but other like Marcus and Millichap seem to be more like a traditional realtor, where you make your own hours and you're a contractor. I'm probably still working a lot, but at least I can take time off where I need it for my hobbies.

3. Nursing - many of the mma fighters I know are nurses for the schedule of 3 12 hour shifts and the decent pay. The best, cheapest way for me to do this would be to go to a community college for two years to get an ADN. On the surface, being surrounded by college girls for two years doesn't sound bad at all, but I am pretty sure I would burn out from sitting in a chair not making any money while my businesses throw off thousands.

4. Bartender/yoga instructor/some other low paying but relaxed job that allows socialization - obviously this would be a way to boost my social network. However I have never taken a yoga class and have never worked as a bartender or server, and I also don't drink.

5. MMA fighter - sounds insane at first, but I have been doing combat sports off and on my entire life. Many UFC fighters are in their 30s and 40s. It seems to matter less what age you start at...what seems to matter is that you have a 9 year professional window before you start declining. I think I have the potential to do this, but it's going to take 2-5 years of hardcore training to get to the pros. I'm willing to do it because id like to do something "cool" but there is no reason I can't hold down a job at the same time as long as it's an honest 40 hours and not the more typical modern 60+

Why not start another business? Because businesses need capital, and I have none right now. I need to rebuild my reserves. I'm not going to push it again for at least a year. I would rather leverage a little of my time right now, since I have an abundance of it. Traveling the world or hiking every national park sounds fun, but it's very solitary and gets lonely when you have no one to do it with. All my friends/potential girlfriends work crazy hours and are tied to their cities...I got tired of doing everything by myself. No one my age is at these places or doing this stuff, they're all stacking cash. I want a more balanced life than them, but there is really nothing for me to do during work hours.

I applaud anyone who made it through the novel I just wrote and I thank anyone who replies in advance. I know this seems very vague and disjointed, but a year ago I had a (miserable) life plan laid out before me, and now I am free to do anything I want. It's a shock to the system, especially coming from a position of ignorance about practically everywhere and everything (improving due to travels). Maybe some of you have been in a similar situation upon attaining FIRE, even at a later age. I think the main thing with me is, I'm single and I'm hungry for more "success" (but not at the cost of a horrible boss). Whereas, many of the people I've read about on here seem to have accomplished most of what they wanted, or had kids, or are enjoying time with a significant other. I think it's safe to say I can forget about #3, since my situation is exceptionally rare for someone my age, so the only option would be to make so much money that I can tell potential s/o to quit their jobs and I'll support them fully while we travel. Sounds like kind of a bad deal. Most of the girls who are rich enough to not have to work are probably not going to be interested in a guy who lives in an RV. I can't walk around with my net worth stamped to my head, nor would I want to.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: Bob W on July 06, 2015, 04:31:33 PM
Wow!    So move to Boulder take some nursing classes and call it good for now.   
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: ddm5 on July 06, 2015, 04:45:25 PM
I get the impression what you mean is: pick any option at random because if I don't, I'm just going to stagnate, and if I do, the worst that can happen is I fail and have 60+ years to try something else? Maybe I'm reading into it too much but that's what I got out of it
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: iris lily on July 06, 2015, 04:47:23 PM
You sound really cool, wish I had a daughter to meet you.

No advice here, just good wishes  on your journey.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: Jon_Snow on July 06, 2015, 04:55:56 PM
That was an entertaining read...if a bit long. And my B.S. meter went off a few times...but heck, not being at all familiar with you, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

It is apparent to me that you couldn't a be a more different person than myself...so I don't feel I can help you...hope you find what you are looking for.

Again, haven't been entertained by a single post like that in a while...dropping in the MMA out of nowhere was especially good. :)

There is no reason you shouldn't be able to fashion a kickass life for yourself - all you need is IMAGINATION.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: Financial.Velociraptor on July 06, 2015, 04:59:02 PM
Have you considered picking a major city based on climate and opening your own MMA academy?  If you have black belt in either JJ or MT you can probably recruit people to do the other wing plus a boxing coach and maybe a judo guy/girl?  The guy who owns the place I train BJJ at is maybe a little like you??  He isn't into accumulating stuff and loves BJJ.  He moved to Brazil shortly after Gracie made headlines to train with him and now has a chain of three academies that have trained UFC and some smaller league fighters.  His Judo instructor is an Olympic silver medalist (he can beat him when/if he can get him on the mat!) 

He has a couple sidelines such as he runs an MMA grade 9 to 12 high school under a program similar to what you'd do to open an arts high school or whatever (it works in TX at least).  And he has a popular "Women's only bootcamp" that is composed of a 1 hour crazy-woman cardio session full of mountain-climbers, burpees, kettlebells, and some wicked core work.  Those girls can probably all kick my butt because the routines are gonzo.

He makes decent money as far as I can tell but that isn't what is important to him.  What matters to him is he LIVES AND BREATHES MMA, especially the grappling arts (there are specialty coaches for striking arts.)   He also has sort of a unique niche in that he runs a *clean* gym.  You may have seen some MMA places that are filthy?  He is kind of a germaphobe and keeps everything shiny spritzed down with antiseptic.  This is probably why his gym is so popular for the women's only classes?

Anyway, it sounds like MMA is where you really want to spend your time.  Being a professional fighter is kind of hit or miss I'd guess?  I mean mathematically, at least half the fighters have to be [not-winners] who are destined for another career.  Running a gym could be a good fallback though.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: MarciaB on July 06, 2015, 05:15:52 PM
Aren't there a couple of MMM groups in the LA area? You could meet other mustachians, that would give you an opportunity to meet some like-minded folks.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: ddm5 on July 06, 2015, 08:50:38 PM
You sound really cool, wish I had a daughter to meet you.

No advice here, just good wishes  on your journey.

Thanks that's very nice of you
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: ddm5 on July 06, 2015, 08:51:49 PM
Check out meet ups in the LA/OC area. There are literally thousands of them almost everyday within a 25 mile radius. Including many MMA groups and pretty much everything under the sun. I live in OC and like it MUCH better than LA so it may be more your style. San Diego is great too.

I've heard about meetups but have never actually gone to one. Does anyone have experience with them? Like, have you gotten genuine long term friends from them? It sounds promising...I will definitely go to some and see.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: ddm5 on July 06, 2015, 08:55:10 PM
That was an entertaining read...if a bit long. And my B.S. meter went off a few times...but heck, not being at all familiar with you, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

It is apparent to me that you couldn't a be a more different person than myself...so I don't feel I can help you...hope you find what you are looking for.

Again, haven't been entertained by a single post like that in a while...dropping in the MMA out of nowhere was especially good. :)

There is no reason you shouldn't be able to fashion a kickass life for yourself - all you need is IMAGINATION.

That's why I love this forum. Instead of calling BS like any other forum would, people here take it at face value because they've seen the math and have cut the junk out of their lives. We know people can retire early and live minimally. The rest of the world doesn't know this.

I think my problem is my imagination actually. There are an infinite number of routes to take, but I have only a finite time on the planet and I get anxiety about not being able to do everything I want to do. I'm not that old, but there are some paths that are closed to me at 29. I have to be realistic and shoot for ones that I can still take. If I think professional MMA is a viable option, just think about the stuff I dreamed up that I'm ruling out due to realism, haha.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: ddm5 on July 06, 2015, 09:00:56 PM
Have you considered picking a major city based on climate and opening your own MMA academy?  If you have black belt in either JJ or MT you can probably recruit people to do the other wing plus a boxing coach and maybe a judo guy/girl?  The guy who owns the place I train BJJ at is maybe a little like you??  He isn't into accumulating stuff and loves BJJ.  He moved to Brazil shortly after Gracie made headlines to train with him and now has a chain of three academies that have trained UFC and some smaller league fighters.  His Judo instructor is an Olympic silver medalist (he can beat him when/if he can get him on the mat!) 

He has a couple sidelines such as he runs an MMA grade 9 to 12 high school under a program similar to what you'd do to open an arts high school or whatever (it works in TX at least).  And he has a popular "Women's only bootcamp" that is composed of a 1 hour crazy-woman cardio session full of mountain-climbers, burpees, kettlebells, and some wicked core work.  Those girls can probably all kick my butt because the routines are gonzo.

He makes decent money as far as I can tell but that isn't what is important to him.  What matters to him is he LIVES AND BREATHES MMA, especially the grappling arts (there are specialty coaches for striking arts.)   He also has sort of a unique niche in that he runs a *clean* gym.  You may have seen some MMA places that are filthy?  He is kind of a germaphobe and keeps everything shiny spritzed down with antiseptic.  This is probably why his gym is so popular for the women's only classes?

Anyway, it sounds like MMA is where you really want to spend your time.  Being a professional fighter is kind of hit or miss I'd guess?  I mean mathematically, at least half the fighters have to be [not-winners] who are destined for another career.  Running a gym could be a good fallback though.

This is an awesome suggestion and I appreciate it. Your gym sounds awesome and a lot like mine. One of the main reasons I'm here in LA is because it's generally regarded as the best in the world. It's squeaky clean.

Unfortunately this would only be an option in the long term. I am good at MMA mainly because I have a little experience in many different disciplines...most of the effective ones...but I have never been able to commit for years and get to high ranks in a single discipline due to working my ass off for money, until now. So although I would be an effective competitor, I am not qualified to teach or run a school yet. This would be a long term dream semi retirement career though, for sure. Especially here in LA, black belts in my discipline are a dime a dozen, which is insane and unheard of outside of Brazil or NYC. So trying to run a school at a lower belt level would not generate much attention. I am sure my instructor is raking in the dough though. It's $240/month per student, plus he has his own line of instructional videos and grappling apparel, plus you can actually make a little money in the fights themselves when you're as good as he is.

I need something to fill the gap though, and I have master's degrees in finance and Econ which I barely used, so that's one reason why I gravitate towards commercial real estate brokerage.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: ddm5 on July 06, 2015, 09:01:43 PM
Aren't there a couple of MMM groups in the LA area? You could meet other mustachians, that would give you an opportunity to meet some like-minded folks.

Is this true? I will check the forum, I'm sure there is a meet up section. Thanks
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: asiljoy on July 06, 2015, 09:15:47 PM
I think my problem is my imagination actually. There are an infinite number of routes to take, but I have only a finite time on the planet and I get anxiety about not being able to do everything I want to do. I'm not that old, but there are some paths that are closed to me at 29. I have to be realistic and shoot for ones that I can still take.

Get out of my head!!!!!!!!

Someone recommended I take up yoga/tai chi/meditation to help myself learn how to take a breath and appreciate the moment. Haven't made even the smallest attempt to do that, but it worked well for the person who recommended it. Maybe it'd help you?
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: former player on July 07, 2015, 01:21:47 AM
I think you are right not to want to rent or own an apartment, but how about renting a room in a shared house for a few months at a time?  It would get you through a Boulder/Denver winter, for instance, or give you some people to start socialising with in LA and a change from living on the street in the RV.

Also, you are young, fit, in LA with time on your hands and not learning to surf?

If I were in your situation I might be looking at going back to university.  Not just to learn a specific skill that locks you into a particular job (why on earth would you want to go to coding boot camp when you've already got two internet businesses going?).  But to explore a subject I found fascinating, and also to get myself a network of people active in the same area of interest.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: patrickza on July 07, 2015, 03:53:43 AM
Wow very impressive considering your age. Love to hear about your internet businesses if you're happy to share. I'm trying to move in the direction of earning my keep via the web, but I consider $1000 a good month... Another $1000 on top of that would get me to hand in my notice.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: Mrs.LC on July 07, 2015, 08:26:08 AM
Not understanding the nursing school part. You are considering going for the work schedule? That makes no sense at all to take up a valuable spot in nursing school when you don't care to work in the field. Maybe you are underestimating the commitment and passion it takes to be successful in route to becoming a nurse. Please clarify your intentions if my assumptions are incorrect.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: WhoopWhoop on July 07, 2015, 08:36:39 AM
I have only a finite time on the planet and I get anxiety about not being able to do everything I want to do.

I get that same anxiety feeling sometimes now that I'm in the middle of a long career break and I can do...anything.

Then, it disappears when I realize that life is meaningless and life does not care if I choose reading a book in a park over bungee jumping off a bridge (or vice versa).

You never see a dog or cat having anxiety about maximizing their life. They do shit sometimes, and then other times they sleep. They don't care.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: MoneyCat on July 07, 2015, 08:40:01 AM
I would recommend getting some mustache wax and starting a Mumford band.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: mamagoose on July 07, 2015, 08:53:05 AM
When you mentioned living in your RV in LA and the cops giving you a pass, I couldn't help but think of the South Park episode where Cartman was convincing all the homeless people in SP to move to LA. He even made a song "California, super nice to the homeless" :-P And yes, LA is wonderful, especially if you've already got your finances in a row.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: AlanStache on July 07, 2015, 09:41:45 AM
Have you ever tried rock climbing?  Guides can make ok money and get paid to travel around, also they hang out with young-ish active people in cool outdoor sites.  Getting paid to drive an RV around the western states taking people into the mountains for a week at a time does not sound like the worst life style. 

re nursing:  do you really want to be that guy?  :-)
(http://i.imgur.com/ag9Z8Fn.jpg)
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: NorCal on July 07, 2015, 10:00:44 AM
One idea for cities is the Santa Cruz area.  Drive up north and see if you like it.  It's known as a pretty hippie city, and it's surrounded by ag.  You could probably find a good place to hang your hat around there.

As for what you want to be when you grow up; you have another 35 years to figure it out.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: KBecks2 on July 07, 2015, 10:06:23 AM
Summers in Colorado, winters in LA?  Why not? 

I agree that nursing does not sound like something you really want.   You have identified real estate and MMA as you passions.  Go after those.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: waltworks on July 07, 2015, 03:13:23 PM
Strike up conversations at random on the bus/plane/Costco/at any public event.
Go to bars and holler at/talk to people.
Go to any activities you like and talk to people. They don't have to be people of the gender that interests you romantically.
Get some fun volunteer gigs and talk to people. Old people. Young people. Anyone who shows up.

I mean, honestly, it sounds like you are unbearably lonely. Money won't solve that problem (well, not the way you probably want), nor will cool hobbies, nor will anything you can do but learn to interact with people. Your great challenge in life (this was mine also, though I had my crisis at about 19) is going to be to turn yourself into enough of a "normal" person that you aren't always going to be alone.

It's hard, and you have to want to change yourself at least a little bit (the world is not going to come to you) but it's worth it. And as you make friends, it gets easier and easier. Go forth and make smalltalk!

Also, seriously, while I can't recommend consuming alcohol purely to solve emotional problems - it might be time to find a safe place to get buzzed and/or high to help you start talking to people. Your testosterone will be fine.

-W
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: ddm5 on July 07, 2015, 05:54:58 PM
Wow, what an awesome journey, and you're just getting started.

I believe it was Kierkegaard who said, there are two kinds of despair: 1) a feeling of no possibility and 2) a feeling of infinite possibility. Sounds like you are struggling with #2. 

Really glad to have you on the site.  We don't seem to have that many entrepreneurs on here.  I would love to hear more about your internet properties.

What is it about the MMA that you find appealing?

This is a great quote. Do you know where he writes this? I would like to read it. I can't really talk too much about my Internet stuff or else someone could steal it, but one of the things I do is amazon.

I like MMA because it's the toughest sport in my opinion. It's just you and another human trying to kill you. There's nothing more pure. I'm also good at it, so that's probably the main reason haha.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: ddm5 on July 07, 2015, 06:00:53 PM
I think you are right not to want to rent or own an apartment, but how about renting a room in a shared house for a few months at a time?  It would get you through a Boulder/Denver winter, for instance, or give you some people to start socialising with in LA and a change from living on the street in the RV.

Also, you are young, fit, in LA with time on your hands and not learning to surf?

If I were in your situation I might be looking at going back to university.  Not just to learn a specific skill that locks you into a particular job (why on earth would you want to go to coding boot camp when you've already got two internet businesses going?).  But to explore a subject I found fascinating, and also to get myself a network of people active in the same area of interest.

Not a bad idea on the shared room for the winter. This wouldn't cost much if it was for a few months and would make it easier on me.

The ocean, particularly the Pacific, scares the hell out of me. I'll go out and swim in it maybe 100 feet from shore on a calm day, but other than that count me out. That is one of the rare skills I have no desire ever to learn.

I don't know how to code at all. I pay other people to do everything for me. So I only engage in businesses with high margins where I can do this and automate everything. I have basically no skills other than high-level management. I am great at running my own businesses, but would suck as a "manager" of someone else's.

So the idea was, I could learn to code and then take contract or remote gigs. I know of no other industry where I can get paid a hefty chunk for either working from home or for working for a few months of the year. I tried the oilfields and will never do that again.

School sounds like a fun idea, but I run into the roadblock that it costs $50-60k a year. I have been learning a lot lately. On my own though, with books. I don't think I will ever go back to formal
Education as I already have a master's and I am burnt out.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: ddm5 on July 07, 2015, 06:01:51 PM
Wow very impressive considering your age. Love to hear about your internet businesses if you're happy to share. I'm trying to move in the direction of earning my keep via the web, but I consider $1000 a good month... Another $1000 on top of that would get me to hand in my notice.

The stuff I do is pretty unusual. For an easy path, I would suggest amazon private labeling.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: waltworks on July 07, 2015, 06:07:20 PM
No offense, but "don't like school/burned out" and "no coding experience" is probably not a recipe for success. You don't *need* to go to school to learn to code but a lot of those jobs you want will be the result of connections with professors/other students/etc. Going it solo will be much harder and if you have no idea if you have the inclination/ability...

Forget the money angle. It sounds like that is not your problem. Your problem is WTF to do with your life and how to meet nice single people.

-W
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: ddm5 on July 07, 2015, 06:08:44 PM
I think you are right not to want to rent or own an apartment, but how about renting a room in a shared house for a few months at a time?  It would get you through a Boulder/Denver winter, for instance, or give you some people to start socialising with in LA and a change from living on the street in the RV.

Also, you are young, fit, in LA with time on your hands and not learning to surf?

If I were in your situation I might be looking at going back to university.  Not just to learn a specific skill that locks you into a particular job (why on earth would you want to go to coding boot camp when you've already got two internet businesses going?).  But to explore a subject I found fascinating, and also to get myself a network of people active in the same area of interest.
Or learn to play beach volleyball. A million places to play in Hermosa, Redondo, Manhattan, Santa Monica, and Playa Del Rey beaches and a million people to meet! Same goes for OC and San Diego.

I also second the idea of dumping the RV (or storing it) and renting a room in LA. My sister lives in a nice studio apt attached to a very nice private house in Manhattan Beach for about $700/month with everything included. You can go car-free (hard in LA) or just trade the RV for a compact car.

As for future plans, well if you are FI and enjoy being RE then nothing wrong with not choosing a direction yet. Do all the things you think you want to do and something more fixed that you want to do will come up.

I just can't think of why I want to spend an extra $700 a month to suffer more inconveniences. For example I can't forget anything at home because I take
Home with me. This would be disastrous in LA since it takes and hour to get anywhere. After MMA practice I can go to sleep immediately in my RV if I'm tired, or cook a full meal if I'm hungry. There's no worrying about what to bring or refrigeration.

The only reason to do it would be to not be the "weird RV guy." Now, I haven't gotten this attitude from anyone here, tons of people actually live this way here, but I can't help shake the thought that people, especially potential dates, might think less of me. Ironically, most people have raves about how cool it is (to my face at least). It seems absolutely stupid to waste all that money and be inconvenienced just because SOME girls MIGHT like it more if I had a crappy apartment. I really think it's just something I have to mentally shake, because I have only experienced a negative reaction over it one time, and the chick was clearly super high maintenance and looking for someone to take care of her.

I just don't want to wake up in ten years and realize that for some reason living in an RV has been limiting my life in some way. I really think there are ways around it that don't involve moving into an apartment though. I think I would be just as lonely in an apartment, and I would feel more stuck.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: ddm5 on July 07, 2015, 06:13:42 PM
No offense, but "don't like school/burned out" and "no coding experience" is probably not a recipe for success. You don't *need* to go to school to learn to code but a lot of those jobs you want will be the result of connections with professors/other students/etc. Going it solo will be much harder and if you have no idea if you have the inclination/ability...

Forget the money angle. It sounds like that is not your problem. Your problem is WTF to do with your life and how to meet nice single people.

-W

You are probably right. I think the crux of it is finding the right place to live / the right living arrangement.

My options right now are:

1. All year in LA
2. All year in denver/boulder
3. Warm months in denver/boulder and cold months in phoenix/Scottsdale

Year round phoenix is not an option in the RV.

There is just no way I will earn enough money in ten lifetimes to "make it" in LA. Or rather, I do plan on earning enough, but I will not dump it into a personal residence and status symbols.

The money and extravagance here is truly mind boggling and on another level for a kid from the Midwest. A denver type city seems much more achievable and would be easier to exploit the big fish/small pond angle. Whereas here, that is never happening.

Even if it did happen, by the time it did, I could have spent the last 10-40 years in a lower COL city or even in a place like Bangkok having the time of my life.

Decisions decisions
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: ddm5 on July 07, 2015, 06:15:01 PM
Not understanding the nursing school part. You are considering going for the work schedule? That makes no sense at all to take up a valuable spot in nursing school when you don't care to work in the field. Maybe you are underestimating the commitment and passion it takes to be successful in route to becoming a nurse. Please clarify your intentions if my assumptions are incorrect.

You're probably right. In my defense, it's also because I think I have the temperament to be an ER or surgery nurse. I was going to volunteer at a hospital before taking the plunge. But this seems like the least likely of all the options.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: ddm5 on July 07, 2015, 06:16:24 PM
I have only a finite time on the planet and I get anxiety about not being able to do everything I want to do.

I get that same anxiety feeling sometimes now that I'm in the middle of a long career break and I can do...anything.

Then, it disappears when I realize that life is meaningless and life does not care if I choose reading a book in a park over bungee jumping off a bridge (or vice versa).

You never see a dog or cat having anxiety about maximizing their life. They do shit sometimes, and then other times they sleep. They don't care.

Haha this is good to remember, but I've also lived a third of my life or more and I want to live it with purpose and improve my life. So what you're saying is useful for reducing anxiety but as something to really live by I can't do it
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: ddm5 on July 07, 2015, 06:17:21 PM
When you mentioned living in your RV in LA and the cops giving you a pass, I couldn't help but think of the South Park episode where Cartman was convincing all the homeless people in SP to move to LA. He even made a song "California, super nice to the homeless" :-P And yes, LA is wonderful, especially if you've already got your finances in a row.

Yes! I quote that episode and song all the time and it's true. The homeless people I've met here are pretty nice though and a lot of them seem more well balanced than some over caffeinated office workers back home.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: ddm5 on July 07, 2015, 06:23:57 PM
Summers in Colorado, winters in LA?  Why not? 

I agree that nursing does not sound like something you really want.   You have identified real estate and MMA as you passions.  Go after those.

This is really straight and to the point and I love it.

I really think yes, if I had a gun to my head, I would explore commercial real estate brokerage and do MMA as much as possible.

I probably just need to find the right place to do it. Which your post also addresses.

The problem is, how do I coordinate splitting time between two cities? I would assume this is impossible with any professional job, including anything real estate related (aside from my own real estate business which I'm doing either way).

So I would have to take some $10-15 per hour job, no? I would love to be wrong. At that point, it's questionable whether it would be worth working, when my businesses throw off 10-15k a month and I save most of it. Full time at $15 an hour, which seems like a stretch, is probably less than $2k a lath after taxes, and this does not seem worth my time.

Basically I really only want to work if it's something I love or if I can use it to get filthy rich (commercial real estate = filthy rich).

I feel like commercial real estate is an industry where you need to pick a city and not move, pretty much ever. This would be fine if I could find the right city.

I would love to be wrong though, and if this was he case I would probably spend most of my time in Denver and spent the cold months in phoenix/Scottsdale or just overseas traveling.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: ddm5 on July 07, 2015, 06:25:18 PM


re nursing:  do you really want to be that guy?  :-)
 
For a single guy as the OP is and odds of around 30 females to 1 guy I think he probably DOES want to be THAT guy :-)!

But I agree, if you feel the need to do something for a job, then I'd do something you enjoy rather than try to find a any old job that had hours that suit your lifestyle. Look into temp and seasonal jobs in interesting places since you are free to roam. www.coolworks.com

I'm going to check this out, thanks. I have trouble even conceiving of "cool" "fun" jobs, let alone finding them, so this may help!
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: ddm5 on July 07, 2015, 06:31:31 PM
Strike up conversations at random on the bus/plane/Costco/at any public event.
Go to bars and holler at/talk to people.
Go to any activities you like and talk to people. They don't have to be people of the gender that interests you romantically.
Get some fun volunteer gigs and talk to people. Old people. Young people. Anyone who shows up.

I mean, honestly, it sounds like you are unbearably lonely. Money won't solve that problem (well, not the way you probably want), nor will cool hobbies, nor will anything you can do but learn to interact with people. Your great challenge in life (this was mine also, though I had my crisis at about 19) is going to be to turn yourself into enough of a "normal" person that you aren't always going to be alone.

It's hard, and you have to want to change yourself at least a little bit (the world is not going to come to you) but it's worth it. And as you make friends, it gets easier and easier. Go forth and make smalltalk!

Also, seriously, while I can't recommend consuming alcohol purely to solve emotional problems - it might be time to find a safe place to get buzzed and/or high to help you start talking to people. Your testosterone will be fine.

-W

I like everything about this post until the last part. I've never been socially awkward or an unlike able guy, quite the opposite...but I've never had to make friends before because I grew up and spent my life in the same city and knew literally everyone.

I don't think I need to change myself, but I do need to make more of an effort to meet people at my age, which is the consensus I've gotten from the posters here, suggesting meetups and stuff. I have to accept it's not going to be autopilot like before.

I also am going to disregard the suggestion about drinking. It's probably the quickest way to get destroyed by our police state judicial system, not to mention yes science has verified it kills testosterone for up to 3 weeks after just one drink, not to mention myriad other horrible health effects. I've seen everyone I went to school with drink themselves int fat, unhealthy, porcine bodies. This has no place in the life of someone who wants to be athletically successful in an individual sport. Not many of the guys who do this drink. It's just not congruent with the lifestyle. I don't mind some weed every now and then, but I know no one here, and being on the fence about jobs and such I would hate to be foiled by a pre employment drug screen. From a health perspective though I will absolutely take cannabis over alcohol any day.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: waltworks on July 07, 2015, 06:38:40 PM
Ok, dumb question here, but why do you care about saving $700/mo (or way more) on housing if your main concern is that people (especially single ladies) think you're weird (in general, you are probably right about that) for living in an RV?

Are you FI or not? Because FI means you can make the choices you want to make and not worry about the money. In your case, that probably means if you want to fit in a little more and get dates, you should not hesitate one hot second about spending some money on a place to live (whether a rental or purchase). Hell, rent and furnish an apartment *just for dates* if you want!

If you've got a cool million invested and are living in an RV to cut your expenses from $25k to $15k... you're doing it wrong. You are letting the money make you miserable, just like people who slave away at jobs they hate. Frugal isn't the same thing as cheap.

Just move to Boulder (hint, not as down-to-earth as you think) or wherever and play it by ear.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: ddm5 on July 07, 2015, 06:51:29 PM


re nursing:  do you really want to be that guy?  :-)
 
For a single guy as the OP is and odds of around 30 females to 1 guy I think he probably DOES want to be THAT guy :-)!

But I agree, if you feel the need to do something for a job, then I'd do something you enjoy rather than try to find a any old job that had hours that suit your lifestyle. Look into temp and seasonal jobs in interesting places since you are free to roam. www.coolworks.com

I'm going to check this out, thanks. I have trouble even conceiving of "cool" "fun" jobs, let alone finding them, so this may help!
If you don't need the money then why do you even want to work? I've been retired over a decade, absolutely love it,  and plan to never work again. I fill my time in all sorts of awesome, fun and challenging ways without having to worry about being committed to any one thing. Why not do that? Work on the MMA, train a lot, get involved with everything and anything you desire and forget about trying to make money that you really don't need and will probably never use in your lifetime.

Really I don't know. Maybe inertia? I save a ton of money and like it because at my current rate I can buy a new rental or start a new business every 2-3 months. I get a lot of satisfaction from this and so I basically live cheaply to save. If I get another year or two of rentals or businesses under my belt, I can scale up the lifestyle a bit.

Really though I live well. I eat organic food, I train at the best gym in the world (it's pricey) and I have everything I want, I just decided to cut out the most massive expenses for most people (house and car).

I just graduated a few years ago and kind of feel like my education was a waste if I'm not working for at least a bit longer in some form. I also feel like I'd be throwing in the towel to do this at 29. Maybe I'm wrong.

I make good money but it's mostly because the yield on my leveraged assets is ridiculous and my Internet businesses make money from thin air. My net worth is probably only a million. I would feel much better if I could crank this up to 2-3 by mid 30s and 10+ by traditional retirement age. I don't want to think about money.

You do have a good point though and that may be what I end up doing now that this debt is paid off. It was really a race against time to pay off the debt, but I may be able to relax now. I just paid off 50-60k in 6 months so I have no idea what it will feel like to no longer have those bills
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: Goldielocks on July 07, 2015, 06:54:42 PM
Have you looked into a part-time social job?  Something where you meet a lot of active people of both sexes your age.

I suggest gym receptionist, recreation center or rock climbing attendant, bike shop, the outdoorsy tourist guide idea was a good one, etc.  These make use of your interest to spend time in the gym.

  Maybe university tutor if you are inclined that way...
Whole foods clerk / health food clerk, starbucks, etc?  Places those hippie women would go to?

IMO,Don't get a job at a status industry like real estate firm, or even bartender, most people you mingle with will have different values.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: waltworks on July 07, 2015, 06:59:45 PM
Ok, so you're an outgoing, athletic young millionaire who "doesn't want to think about money" and inexplicably can't find dates, but currently plans to keep working indefinitely/not really changing your female-offputting lifestyle to earn even more money?

Nothing about this makes sense to me anymore.

-W
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: Cole on July 07, 2015, 08:14:21 PM
You mention international travel a few times, why not try that and meet people who are also traveling the world that are similar to your age (single women). People who have already left the states to wander the world probably share a similar mindset about life.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: Jakejake on July 07, 2015, 08:51:25 PM
If you're fit, comfy in small houses (including the RV), looking for more of a sense of community and liking the hippy/frugal vibe, maybe doing an apprenticeship at emerald earth or a year of work study at dancing rabbit would work out well for you. You would learn about natural building, being off the grid, maybe you could even develop skills helping others transition to solar power. I haven't personally been at emerald earth, I had a short visit at dancing rabbit when my daughter was living there. They have a communal kitchen, communal meals, but it's not mandatory that you partake in those, you can still have your alone time there.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: ddm5 on July 07, 2015, 11:09:20 PM
You guys rock! I have so many new options I didn't know about before to explore now. Thank you all...I really needed this.

To the guy who said this doesn't make sense...you are 10% correct and that's why I'm here, haha.

I wouldn't necessarily call the RV thing female off putting. I can definitely pull good looking women, but yes some of the more status oriented ones are not gonna have it. However, like someone else said, then I would be stuck with someone who doesn't share my values so what's the point anyway? Most of my problem is I'm not really motivated to meet them because I'm in limbo. Whenever I think about meeting a nice girl, I think about how she can't really travel with me or live my free lifestyle unless I tell her to quit her job and fund her. This is not really a deal that I think has a high probability of a healthy relationship, so I shrug it off in confusion and go train MMA.

The social job thing is such a great idea...I didn't even realize it doesn't have to be bartender or yoga instructor...the ones you listed are all jobs I could do and would not cause any stress. I've thought about whole foods but was worried working at a grocery store would suck, but it seems like a pretty hip place and the employees seem genuinely happy. I'm a bit concerned about it bumping me up a weight class but I digress.

The emerald thing is also extremely interesting and I will check that out.

Thank you guys for guiding me through this bout of existential angst and altruistically helping me with a confusing, disjointed issue.

If any of you have questions about rental properties or amazon businesses feel free to PM me.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: fastrex on July 08, 2015, 07:35:22 AM
I am not FIRED yet, but plan to be done in 12 months or so.

My comment is to be careful taking a passion and making it into a business.

I am a total car nut since i was 13. My "dream" used to be to work on cars and run a high end shop when I retired. I recently bought a lift from a very cool shop run by some very talented young guys. We got to talking and they shared with me that dealing with the "business" aspect made them burn out of the passion they had.

For me, I am not going to risk making money with my passions. Just a thought.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: RyFI on July 10, 2015, 12:32:09 AM
I just retired from my career as an airline pilot at the age of 31.  I would caution against the never-ending treadmill of thinking you need more money...there is no finish line and it can make you miserable.  For a few years I was buying a new single family rental home per month; I got up to about 50 rental homes plus a 40 unit apartment building.  I thankfully recognized the path I was on, one where I would never feel fulfilled and would always be thinking about "more" (I was fortunate to have found MMM site).  I did a creative equity split with my former business partner and now I own "only" 16 rental homes that are now supporting myself, my wife, a two year old daughter, and another baby on the way (oops).  My happiness level has increased dramatically.  In my opinion we live like royalty despite only spending about $2,000/month.  We were inspired by the family of bumfuzzle.com fame and we bought a 1968 motor coach we're going to travel around in this winter.  Fall 2016/winter 2017 will be spent in France learning to speak French...or something else that we decide to do instead.  The point: do what feels right in the moment and don't think so much about it.  Easier said than done, I know.

Here are two things that have helped me deal with the primary issue you're having of "what the hell do I do now?!"
1. Be grateful.  The position you're in is amazing.  Cherish it.  As cheesy as it might sound, a gratefulness journal is helpful if you're feeling lost.  Write down every day what it is you're grateful for that day.  You'll soon stop feeling as often that you're not doing what you need to/should be doing and instead a peacefulness in that you're already living a pretty damn good life.  And because that's your attitude, you're going to keep living that awesome life.
2. Happiness is a very elusive word, nearly impossible to pin a legitimate definition to.  Instead, substitute the word "proud".  Not outwardly proud, like you want to show it off, but what you're inwardly proud of.  When considering starting in on a project, buying more real estate, dating a girl, training heavily in MMA, etc., ponder if the you of 5, 10, 20, years in the future would be proud of having spent a portion of your allotted time on earth doing said thing.

Cheers to the awesome life that you're already living!  Time is on your side, enjoy.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: Dicey on July 10, 2015, 11:02:15 AM
Summers in Colorado, winters in LA?  Why not? 

I agree that nursing does not sound like something you really want.   You have identified real estate and MMA as you passions.  Go after those.
Glad I took the time to read the replies before posting. ^^This^^.

Dude, your house has wheels, you can go anywhere! Follow the sun, but not too much of it. There's a guy named Glenn who does this very thing and chronicles his travels over at tosimplify.net. Start with the 1.0 version. He's a very good writer, you won't be disappointed.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: steveo on July 11, 2015, 04:00:26 AM
I'm 41 but turning 42 in 2 weeks time. I do jiu-jitsu and I would love to do MMA. I feel I'm too old and I just don't have enough time.

I am worried about retiring too late - 3-5 years time and not being able to train as much as I would like too.

Basically I'm jealous of the op.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: powskier on July 11, 2015, 08:47:33 PM
Kudos to you, but....
it has been my experience that it is quite hard to make the best decisions under pressure and it sounds like you are putting yourself under a lot of pressure.
I am not you but if I were I would finish up my 12 month remaining FI program, move to Boulder and take advantage( in the mutually beneficial way) of the hippie chicks that like me and just chill out a little. A little "companionship ;) " will help.
It is OK to try certain things, find out they are not for you and move onto the next thing. There is a false idea out there that you have to choose a path and that is it. The cool thing is that once you head down a path other unknown opportunities present themselves.
You sound like you have a lot of your s#it together, it is no problem to not have 100% of your s#it together, give yourself a little brain space first, things will work out.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: Rollin on July 16, 2015, 12:32:11 PM
Cool story and good luck!

"Bible Belt" and "Midwest" don't really go together though, do they?  I can understand getting out of the cold too, but remember the summers are awesome.  Why not plan to (re)migrate there every summer to see the clan and old friends?

Sounds like finding a purpose is what you are asking.  Remember that our purpose is to be in-joy.  Now take that and run with it!  :  )
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: Rollin on July 16, 2015, 12:37:24 PM
Strike up conversations at random on the bus/plane/Costco/at any public event.
Go to bars and holler at/talk to people.
Go to any activities you like and talk to people. They don't have to be people of the gender that interests you romantically.
Get some fun volunteer gigs and talk to people. Old people. Young people. Anyone who shows up.

I mean, honestly, it sounds like you are unbearably lonely. Money won't solve that problem (well, not the way you probably want), nor will cool hobbies, nor will anything you can do but learn to interact with people. Your great challenge in life (this was mine also, though I had my crisis at about 19) is going to be to turn yourself into enough of a "normal" person that you aren't always going to be alone.

It's hard, and you have to want to change yourself at least a little bit (the world is not going to come to you) but it's worth it. And as you make friends, it gets easier and easier. Go forth and make smalltalk!

Also, seriously, while I can't recommend consuming alcohol purely to solve emotional problems - it might be time to find a safe place to get buzzed and/or high to help you start talking to people. Your testosterone will be fine.

-W

waltworks I think you hit the nail on the head!
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: KBecks2 on July 16, 2015, 12:54:08 PM
Have you considered firefighter / paramedic?  If you have the temperament for it…and you want to settle down somewhere…  It's not necessarily a forever job and that's OK because you're set.   
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: Bracken_Joy on July 16, 2015, 01:18:36 PM
On the women front, it really sounds like you're making some big assumptions without actually finding out if they're true. Has it occurred to you that there could be a female version of you who has a location independent job and enjoys a small traveling life? If you really don't want to compromise on ANYTHING to be able to interact with "normal" people, why not look for other "not normal" people? Don't shoot down a plan just because you think you know the outcome.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: Axecleaver on July 17, 2015, 01:12:42 PM
Hi ddm,

You are having a quarter life crisis. I went through this, too. This should explain everything, from the feeling of "is this it?" to your struggles with career, women, and purpose: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quarter-life_crisis

You got a lot of good advice here. One thing I'd recommend against is spending 10k on coding camp. You can learn to code without help, like thousands of kids did growing up in the 80's using Commodore 64's and Apple II's. It's not rocket science. It wasn't then, and it isn't today. If you want to learn, just start building apps. Solve a problem.

When you say that you have a million, is that all in highly leveraged real estate? I'd recommend looking into a risk management strategy to protect what you've built. The 29 year old brain is not good at this; I didn't learn to manage risk well until I was almost 40. You can learn this now, but it will feel very foreign to you at first. It will make logical sense to you before it feels right, and eventually you'll be an old guy like me and it will come naturally.

Good luck and please check in with us soon!
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: citykid3785 on July 18, 2015, 10:21:44 AM
I appreciate you making yourself vulnerable so that we can give advice.  But I think you're trying to answer the "what," but you really need to answer the "why".

Disclaimer: I mean what I'm about to say next in all sincerity, because I genuinely think it will help, as I was once in your boat.  You're troubles seem to stem from your atheism (confusion on the purpose of life, needing guidance, and general feeling of "is this all there is," money goals being your primary focus).  I'm not foolish enough to think I'm going to change your worldview in one post a half a world a way, but perhaps I can put a "stone in your shoe."  You need to know that I'm not a Christian because my parents are, I was born in America, or my friends pressured me.  I became one because when I really really started independently searching for the answers to life's 4 key questions (Origin (how did I get here), Meaning (why am I here), Morality (how do I know right from wrong), and Destiny (where do I go when I die)), Christianity provided better answers for me than any other worldview.  But I didn't get there until I studied "Christian Apologetics."  You should google it, it might prove immensely helpful to you.

I apologize if I offended anyone with the above statements, I realize others may not agree with the above advice, but my goal with this post was to genuinely provide answers to someone who seems to be searching, speaking from personal experience.  All the best to the OP!
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: SuperSecretName on July 18, 2015, 10:50:36 AM
As a fellow atheist, go jump in a lake
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: Cougar on July 18, 2015, 11:56:22 AM

 hire me as your lifecoach so i can retire and i will tell you waht to do. ;)

 all kidding aside, you have time at your age to figure out what you would most enjoy in life; probably 99% of the world would love to have that position.

 i advise to take you time and try things. you might look into waht the daily life of the things you listed are and if it sounds enjoyable; find where you can start in them, even if its something like a nurse's assistant and if you enjoy it; pursue getting better at it thru education and traing. if after 6 months, you dont like it; try something else. there are people that do this their whole lives until they find what they liked most and then go bacjk to it.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: arebelspy on July 18, 2015, 02:06:39 PM

I just retired from my career as an airline pilot at the age of 31.  I would caution against the never-ending treadmill of thinking you need more money...there is no finish line and it can make you miserable.  For a few years I was buying a new single family rental home per month; I got up to about 50 rental homes plus a 40 unit apartment building.  I thankfully recognized the path I was on, one where I would never feel fulfilled and would always be thinking about "more" (I was fortunate to have found MMM site).  I did a creative equity split with my former business partner and now I own "only" 16 rental homes that are now supporting myself, my wife, a two year old daughter, and another baby on the way (oops).  My happiness level has increased dramatically.  In my opinion we live like royalty despite only spending about $2,000/month.  We were inspired by the family of bumfuzzle.com fame and we bought a 1968 motor coach we're going to travel around in this winter.  Fall 2016/winter 2017 will be spent in France learning to speak French...or something else that we decide to do instead.  The point: do what feels right in the moment and don't think so much about it.  Easier said than done, I know.

Here are two things that have helped me deal with the primary issue you're having of "what the hell do I do now?!"
1. Be grateful.  The position you're in is amazing.  Cherish it.  As cheesy as it might sound, a gratefulness journal is helpful if you're feeling lost.  Write down every day what it is you're grateful for that day.  You'll soon stop feeling as often that you're not doing what you need to/should be doing and instead a peacefulness in that you're already living a pretty damn good life.  And because that's your attitude, you're going to keep living that awesome life.
2. Happiness is a very elusive word, nearly impossible to pin a legitimate definition to.  Instead, substitute the word "proud".  Not outwardly proud, like you want to show it off, but what you're inwardly proud of.  When considering starting in on a project, buying more real estate, dating a girl, training heavily in MMA, etc., ponder if the you of 5, 10, 20, years in the future would be proud of having spent a portion of your allotted time on earth doing said thing.

Cheers to the awesome life that you're already living!  Time is on your side, enjoy.

Love it. Nice to hear you found "enough." 

I'm also a big fan of BumFuzzle, and the wife and I are taking off to travel the world (more similar to GCC than BF) as well, about the same age as you, with about the same # of rentals.

Hopefully we'll cross paths one day.  :)
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: JasonK on July 20, 2015, 08:47:04 PM
Wow, a lot of the things you mention resonate with me.  I FIREd about 2 years ago primarily on the income of my commercial and residential real estate.  I moved out of Dallas (thought I was tired of the big city) to a small town about an hour away, as I could buy a nice cottage style home on a golf course for ~$100K.  Spent the first 9 months rehabbing the house - now I have a home base, close to family, beautiful surroundings, etc.  Plus the free golf is nice.

Then did some travel.  Read a ton of books.  Do Crossfit and cook healthy.  Found a nice girlfriend.

But saying that, now I'm asking myself...what next?

I had planned on traveling ~6 months of the year, and I may still do that, but traveling alone gets pretty...well....lonely.  And I'm lucky in that I've done a ton of international travel over the years, but that also means it's not as cool as it use to be.  At least to me.  I've thought of RVing around the US some, so that's an option, but I've hit most national parks that I want to see and been to most of the big cities, so I'm not sure I really need an RV for my US travel.   

I also considered learning Spanish, but wondering if that's a lot of work for nothing, especially if I don't end up spending at least some time on an annual basis in a Spanish speaking country to keep the skills sharp.

Now saying all of that, for whatever reason I LOVE real estate, and could see myself spending 6-9 months a year buying properties, rehabbing them, renting them out, growing the portfolio.  But I don't have the capital to do that without hard money loans, and I'm unwilling to go that route.  So I've thought about going back to work part time (or maybe full time for one year) to provide the capital needed to speed up my RE acquisition.  Or maybe I just wait, and in a few years I'll have the capital accumulated.  Hell I don't know.  But I want to be 'productive' and do something...

So saying all of that, my suggestions might be:

1) look into the commercial RE deal.  I've thought about the same thing but never looked into it.  I'm sure you could find a firm where you work 8-9 months a year.
2) consider moving to Boulder (love that city) for this gig.  Take 3 months off a year and go somewhere in your RV.  Somewhere WARM
3) consider buying a place in Boulder.  Not because you need it, but because you'll qualify for the low interest owner occupant loan and can add a new property to your portfolio (of course, this assumes the numbers work, which in this market they may not).  Get a roommate or two to share the costs until the year expires and you can rent it out entirely, repeat the process.

My other suggestion, if you're not ready to settle down is just give it more time and think on it a bit more.  Move cities perhaps.  Austin might be a good choice. 

Meet ups are a good idea, I've tried a few, never really met someone but I'd still give it a try.

You may want to check out Art Of Charm - I think they're located in LA, might be a resource to meet some like minded guys (I've only listened to their podcasts).

Hope that helps~


Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: Dicey on July 20, 2015, 11:14:53 PM
Note to JasonK and citykid3785: Very nice responses. I notice you're both 5 o'clock shadows, so welcome!
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: KateFIRE on July 24, 2015, 10:02:13 PM
I understand where you are coming from! I'm 29 as well, and I semi-retired in April 2014. I was so into working hard and saving money during my working life, basically I got used to living unhappily and sacrificing myself every day. It's good to have this mindset when you are pre-FIRE, but post-FIRE it is hard to adjust to relaxing and being happy without the pride of a career.

It took me 1 year to readjust my mindset after stopping full-time corporate work. 6 months after I quit, I started applying for jobs again and desperately racked my brain to think of different careers that I would enjoy. It really disturbed me that I wasn't happy semi-retired, because that was all I had wanted for 5 years. It sounds like you are at this phase.

I would say you need more time to think over what you want. Try to find other people to spend time with. My husband works from home and I have a baby. A lot of people think I'm a stay at home mom, which helps give me an identity that people can understand. It was really hard for me to be okay with my new identity because I used to be very successful, but now, after a year, I am okay.

Time helped me to adjust. I also stopped reading this blog for a while and I stopped looking at my money spreadsheets and brokerage accounts. I was so obsessed with money!! I reached FIRE pretty much by being an anorexic and bulimic with money. I had a lot of emotions and pride attached to money and I really enjoyed making the big bucks, but it wasn't a healthy relationship with money. It was slavery, not freedom, and it had nothing to do with a job, I was actually proud of my obsession with money.

Now I try to find pleasure in little things. I paint a small painting every month of something around the yard or house. Mostly because focusing on the detail of a flower or pinecone helps me to appreciate the little things and count my blessings. I read more and joined a Meetup book club. I watch my daughter to find what makes her smile (those things usually make me smile too, children and pets know how to enjoy life!!)

I might return to work later, but this break has been very good for me!

Good luck to you. Give it time and then when you get some clarity, go for it! Or if you don't get any clarity, that's an answer too! Just start enjoying life!!
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: MoonShadow on July 24, 2015, 10:11:29 PM
Buy a used sailboat, and cruise the Great Loop for a year.  You can see the Eastern US in ways that would be difficult or expensive otherwise.  At the end of the year, you might decide you hate boats and just bail; or perhaps you want to sail to Europe, then South America, then the Pacific Islands.

Or you could go study nursing, but would that really be retiring?  What would you do with that, join the Peace Corps?  Do what you want to do, but if you really are unhappy not working, and you think you will be happy working as nurse, do that.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: KateFIRE on July 24, 2015, 10:18:03 PM

1. Be grateful.  The position you're in is amazing.  Cherish it.  As cheesy as it might sound, a gratefulness journal is helpful if you're feeling lost.  Write down every day what it is you're grateful for that day.  You'll soon stop feeling as often that you're not doing what you need to/should be doing and instead a peacefulness in that you're already living a pretty damn good life.  And because that's your attitude, you're going to keep living that awesome life.
2. Happiness is a very elusive word, nearly impossible to pin a legitimate definition to.  Instead, substitute the word "proud".  Not outwardly proud, like you want to show it off, but what you're inwardly proud of.  When considering starting in on a project, buying more real estate, dating a girl, training heavily in MMA, etc., ponder if the you of 5, 10, 20, years in the future would be proud of having spent a portion of your allotted time on earth doing said thing.

Cheers to the awesome life that you're already living!  Time is on your side, enjoy.

I love this advice! I will save it! Thank you.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: sixup on July 25, 2015, 12:48:21 AM
Move to Hawaii. Nobody here cares if you have fancy stuff, the people are cool, relaxed vibe,  perfect weather to live in a van (RV would probably stand out a bit too much, unless you did have your own plot of land, which might be doable), ocean and mountains right next to each other, best waves in the world, natural beauty everywhere.

Then go fishing, grow a garden, work part time on a whale watching boat during whale season, work on a booze cruise the other part of the year, surf, do some amazing hikes, meet some cool people, read books, whatever.

This won't really solve any existential issues, but what will do that? I don't know.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: BTDretire on July 26, 2015, 04:08:54 PM

Quote
I just can't think of why I want to spend an extra $700 a month to suffer more inconveniences. For example I can't forget anything at home because I take
Home with me. This would be disastrous in LA since it takes and hour to get anywhere. After MMA practice I can go to sleep immediately in my RV if I'm tired, or cook a full meal if I'm hungry. There's no worrying about what to bring or refrigeration.

The only reason to do it would be to not be the "weird RV guy." Now, I haven't gotten this attitude from anyone here, tons of people actually live this way here, but I can't help shake the thought that people, especially potential dates, might think less of me. Ironically, most people have raves about how cool it is (to my face at least). It seems absolutely stupid to waste all that money and be inconvenienced just because SOME girls MIGHT like it more if I had a crappy apartment.

I really think it's just something I have to mentally shake,

 That is a point I picked up on first! It is your attitude that needs adjustment, stop concerning yourself with what others might think. They rarely do! and if they do, so what, if you enjoy their company, and they stay around, game over.
 
With the RV, you can spend summer in Arizona or Colorado and winter in LA.

Also If you can develop additional  income generators along the way, just in case one of your other sources fades
that would be ideal. But that's not a constant concern.

 Do things and learn to enjoy them.

 Now as to in and outs of interpersonal relationships, which I think is really the heart of the problem,
if I knew the answer, I wouldn't have the same problem.
 Just keep plugging away, and be happy you are not tied to a desk 50 hrs a week with a family that needs food and shelter.



I just don't want to wake up in ten years and realize that for some reason living in an RV has been limiting my life in some way. I really think there are ways around it that don't involve moving into an apartment though. I think I would be just as lonely in an apartment, and I would feel more stuck.
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Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: Pootie22 on July 28, 2015, 06:29:14 PM
Check out meet ups in the LA/OC area. There are literally thousands of them almost everyday within a 25 mile radius. Including many MMA groups and pretty much everything under the sun. I live in OC and like it MUCH better than LA so it may be more your style. San Diego is great too.

I've heard about meetups but have never actually gone to one. Does anyone have experience with them? Like, have you gotten genuine long term friends from them? It sounds promising...I will definitely go to some and see.

Before I even finished reading your first post I was thinking this exactly!  Yes there are a TON of meetups here and a lot of adult sports leagues where you definitely meet a lot of great people. I live in Long Beach and play in a Beach Volleyball league, Basketball League and Kickball League (where I met my girlfriend, soon to be wife). I have honestly met some of the coolest people joining these groups and I initially joined them knowing not a single person. You also meet a lot of people from out of state (I'm guessing they join for the same reasons you would). 
You should definitely check out Long Beach, still part of L.A. but a bit more relaxed than in DTLA with just as much if not more to do. BTW me and my girlfriend are right around your age so feel free to hit me up if you want to meet up!
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: Dexterous on July 28, 2015, 10:25:50 PM
It seems like LA is not a good fit for you aside from MMA.  Here are my suggestions/ideas:  go to Boulder where you fit in better, find MMA for a hobby there, buy some land for your RV (and future house), and do real estate.  Make enough $ that you can build something you like on that land.  In the meantime, you can tell the ladies you're building a house and travelling internationally, so maybe they'll get over the RV thing temporarily, lol.  :P  Oh, and buy a better heater for the winter!  I'm sure there are solutions.

You could also get snow shoes and skis, the winter might be more enjoyable in the mtns.  And/or if you truly just hate the cold, then travel elsewhere for a couple weeks/months each winter (including overseas!  that opened my eyes to the world).
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: Felipe on July 29, 2015, 11:05:06 AM
Sounds like a high quality problem to have. Off my gut it sounds like you're anxious to do something. Maybe unclear on the why to do it all.

Meditation may help ease that so you can make a clearer choice. You can practice from home or anywhere but I liked Vipassana, it's a free 10 day silent meditation, it's very difficult, but I walked out with more equinimity than I thought I could have.

I'm still not FIRE but I should be set to by 29 as well. For me after I see a ridiculous amount of choice. I want to contribute to global sustainability either want to work as a guide for outdoor rock climbing or another cool outdoor activity, work as a biologist in nature, volunteer around the world teaching English and sustainable engineering, build a self-sustainable (energy, water, and waste recycling) home then community, start a collective (maybe in Colorado) or build a business to face some large global efficiency problem.

Santa Cruz is nice but cold often. I like the idea of moving to Colorado. I have friends who back and fourth between New York and the Caribbean by season, might be a way to enjoy the best of each town.

Good luck, I hope something here helps you move forward to a satisfied life.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: HBFIRE on November 11, 2015, 09:31:07 AM
"places like Bangkok and Chiang Mai"

So you're an affiliate marketer, eh?  Great money in that, I do the same.

What kind of offers are you running?
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: HBFIRE on November 11, 2015, 11:13:12 AM
"I live in OC and like it MUCH better than LA so it may be more your style. San Diego is great too. "

I second this.  Especially if you are doing affiliate marketing as I suspect -- huge number of affiliate marketers in San Diego, so I would meet up with some of the AM down there to start meeting people.   I'd also go for San Diego because it's cheaper than OC, less pretentious/relaxed, and a better laid back culture vibe imo.  Too bad you don't drink, because the beer in San Diego is the best in the world.
Title: Re: FIRE at 29, no idea what to do with my life
Post by: db_cooper on November 11, 2015, 03:48:31 PM
If I had your "problem",  I'd move the RV around CO and UT wherever it was snowing, and ski every day.   Midwest winters suck I know.  Mountain winters rock though.