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General Discussion => Post-FIRE => Topic started by: NorcalBlue on August 06, 2016, 09:53:10 AM

Title: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: NorcalBlue on August 06, 2016, 09:53:10 AM
I was laid off from my employer 18 months ago at 42 years old after 12 years of service.  I had a Vice President I worked for that was a real Dbag and had it out for me, so once mass layoffs started I knew I'd be on the chopping block.  Once I got canned, I decided to FIRE or at least give it a try.  I'm single and had an invested portfolio of 1.2M so thought I was in pretty good shape.  I traveled for the next 12 months off and on and had a great time.  Studied all the FIRE blogs and got educated about investing (thanks JLCollins, MMM, Go Curry Cracker, etc.). I was miserable in my middle mgt. job anyway so it was a blessing I got the hook.

Fast forward 14 months and my former employer calls and wants me to do some consulting.  They offered $80 per hour and I said "Thanks, but no thanks."  So they comeback with an offer of $115 per hour!  LOL, at that point I decided I had to give it a try.  It's been great since I returned.  I no longer have to manage anyone - just straight forward work and no political B.S.  I'm not sure how long it will last, but I must admit, it feels like a bit of redemption.  And if it gets stale after awhile, I'll walk away with a little extra gravy for my portfolio.  I'm currently investing 100% of my earnings from this job and living off of less than 2% of my portfolio (now $1.4m).  As a side note, the VP who canned me has been demoted and marginalized and on the chopping block from what I hear.  He had no idea I was back so passing him in the parking lot with a big grin on my face was just EPIC!

Anyway, I thought I'd share my lil story as this blog has helped me greatly over the last two years.  I like to consider myself Semi-FIRE at this point - life couldn't get much better.  As I tell my close friends who wonder how I FIRE'd - I tell them, "Instead of buying stuff....I bought my freedom"  Having the freedom to do whatever I want is the most fantastic thing I could have ever bought for myself :).
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: kudy on August 06, 2016, 10:22:36 AM
Thanks for the inspirational story! So awesome to be working part time on your own terms... I wonder how long you'll want to tolerate it ;)
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: Financial.Velociraptor on August 06, 2016, 10:24:37 AM
Epic story bro.  Keep on rawkin' it!
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: Stachey on August 06, 2016, 10:31:16 AM
Awesome story!  Thanks for sharing.

Laughed out loud at the point where you said they offered $80 then they came back with $115!!!   Ahhh the awesome power of FU money.
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: NorcalBlue on August 06, 2016, 10:43:53 AM
Thanks folks.  I'm not sure how long I'll consult to be honest.  My contract goes through January 2017, but they're already talking about extending the deal.  I might have other plans by then :).

I guess I'm a lil different than many ER folks - I'd like to expand my lifestyle as much as possible via a bigger portfolio (as long as the job is engaging and tolerable).  Getting my portfolio to the $2.0-$2.5M range would really take my lifestyle up a level.  $80-100k of annual spend (4%SWR on 2-2.5M) would be a real game changer.  I guess I'm just greedy - I enjoy seeing my portfolio grow.  Being single allows me to have a lot of flexibility on spending.  Once I'm fulltime ER again, I plan on using a 4% variable withdraw rate based on portfolio balance. 

I consider this consulting gig GRAVY....but hey, who doesn't like gravy :).
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: NorcalBlue on August 06, 2016, 10:54:03 AM
Awesome story!  Thanks for sharing.

Laughed out loud at the point where you said they offered $80 then they came back with $115!!!   Ahhh the awesome power of FU money.

So true.  FU $ is so key as Mr. JLCollins beautifully articulated.  JL is just great btw.  I was a stock broker when I first got out of school.  Finance degree, Big Ego, etc.  Bottom Line:  I thought I knew everything about investing.  Turns out I didn't know anything and cost myself TONS of money because of my ego and lack of discipline. 

Knowing what I know now - Twenty years ago, I would have gladly paid 6 figures for JLCollins simple and straight forward investing advice (and the discipline to follow it).  So simple - yet so powerful.
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: Stachey on August 06, 2016, 11:04:53 AM
You're right about that NorCalBlue...FI is very simple and straight forward.  It's not rocket science.  So it's amazing the percentage of the population that are totally stumped by the whole concept.

BTW I like your line "Instead of buying stuff...I bought freedom"  I'm going to be using that one.  ;-)
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: happy on August 06, 2016, 11:03:20 PM
Great story NorcalBlue, thanks for writing it up.
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: FB2020 on August 09, 2016, 06:34:08 AM
Op
What are you doing for health care/ insurance?
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: NorcalBlue on August 09, 2016, 07:43:01 AM
Op
What are you doing for health care/ insurance?

I applied for ACH credits and was told I didn't make enough (after I lost my job).  My dividend income at the time wasn't high enough.  So they put me into MediCal.  Free of charge, but a big hassle.  The company I'm now consulting for offers an HSA and will be switching over to them in September.  I sent Medical proof of income, showing them that I was making money again, and I never heard back from them.  I'm wondering if they're going to come after me for some money at the end of the year when they realize I had a job during part of the time they covered me.  It's been a real pain to prove income since mine has been changing a lot the last two years.
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: FB2020 on August 09, 2016, 07:59:21 AM
So they don't count your assets for MediCal? Only income?
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: NorcalBlue on August 12, 2016, 08:45:47 AM
Yep, only income is calculated for Medical.  After the age of 55 they can clawback all the premiums after you die. But at my age (43) it's totally free with no clawbacks.

I wanted nothing to do with Medical, but I couldn't prove I would make enough to qualify for ACH credits.  I told them I was planning to ladder into a Roth which would count towards my income and they had no idea what I was talking about.  LOL.  So I went along with it and have been on Medical for about 6 months.  I'll be cancelling in a couple weeks and joining a HSA plan through my consulting company.  After I leave that gig in 6 months or so, I'll reapply for ACH credits which I should qualify for this time as my investment income has gone up quite a bit.  Just doesn't feel right to me to be a millionaire and be on Medical - I went a long with it, but I would have much rather have been on Obamacare and paying some premiums.
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: arebelspy on August 21, 2016, 03:42:36 AM
Great story, thanks for sharing!

Awesome the company wanted you back so badly.

Please come back on here and update us when you quit again (will be curious to hear how long from now it is, and why you quit--e.g. not happy with the work, have enough money, found something else you want to do, etc. etc.)!  Whether it's a few months, or a few years from now.. if you remember this thread at some point after that, please come back and find it and bump it with a reply!  :)
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: NorcalBlue on August 21, 2016, 08:56:13 AM
Great story, thanks for sharing!

Awesome the company wanted you back so badly.

Please come back on here and update us when you quit again (will be curious to hear how long from now it is, and why you quit--e.g. not happy with the work, have enough money, found something else you want to do, etc. etc.)!  Whether it's a few months, or a few years from now.. if you remember this thread at some point after that, please come back and find it and bump it with a reply!  :)

I'll do that Arebelspy.  It's going well right now.  My manager is a friend of mine and she handles all the political B.S. (just like I had to do before they let me go) and she's a GREAT person.  So it's all good right now.  It's probably as good as gets in a corporate job.  Little stress, great $ and working with good people.  That being said, it's still a job.  An now that I'm F.I. and have had a taste of FIRE, it's tough to find the drive to spend so much time in an office setting doing uninspiring work.  I predict I have another 6-8 months in me.  Maybe.  One whiff of any corporate B.S. though and I'm out of there :).
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: Metric Mouse on August 21, 2016, 11:36:51 AM
Awesome story. I'm looking forward to the next update.  Having a great boss sure can make work seem more bearable.
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: clarkfan1979 on August 30, 2016, 02:48:33 AM
Great story. Pleasure to read.
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: Exflyboy on September 03, 2016, 05:14:11 PM
Epic indeed..:)
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: okits on September 03, 2016, 06:30:58 PM
Huge fist pump for you, NorcalBlue!

Please consider cross-posting your story in the Epic FU Money Stories (http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/epic-fu-money-stories/) thread so more people can be inspired by it!
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: SwordGuy on September 03, 2016, 08:14:36 PM
Congrats!

I know EXACTLY how you felt when you got to smile at your bad boss as you walked thru the parking lot.

I ended up with a psycho boss and forced out the door.  While that was happening I found another job for a different branch of the organization I was working at, at a different consulting company.   

So, not only did I get to SMILE and WAVE at psycho boss, I also got to do it knowing I now had more pay, nice people to work with, more interesting technology to work with, and an extra 16 paid days off each year.  Priceless.

So was finding out he got walked off the site about a year later. :)
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: capoevename on December 07, 2017, 10:21:07 AM
Would be awesome to hear of any updates :)
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: happy on December 07, 2017, 02:45:41 PM
Indeed! I felt happy all over again re-reading the thread.
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: Dicey on December 17, 2017, 09:50:37 PM
Please consider cross-posting your story in the Epic FU Money Stories (http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/epic-fu-money-stories/) thread so more people can be inspired by it!
+1 to this suggestion.

Would be awesome to hear of any updates :)
+1 to this suggestion.
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: NorcalBlue on December 24, 2017, 12:59:14 PM
Hello All.

It's been awhile so I wanted to give an updated.

I'm sad to say that my life as changed 180 degrees since writing my post.  Everything was going great until March of this year.  I was still working 3 days a week and planning to fully FIRE in May of this year to start travelling.

Anyway, in march I started experiencing some health issues that have continued to progress.  I won't get into the details, but it's pretty serious - potentially life threatening.  I was an athlete and kept myself in good shape my whole life - it just totally came out of the blue.  I spent the better part of this year travelling to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota in search of a diagnosis.  I kind of have one, but not sure I'm convinced.  Needless to say, this has been a gut punch as I was planning on enjoying my hard earned retirement starting this year.  I decided to keep working in order to keep my healthcare - which has become a HUGE deal for me all of the sudden.

I guess I'd like to warn people that life is short and always planning for the future (as I did) might not be the best policy.  I really don't know what the future holds for me now.  I'm pretty devastated to be honest.  All my planning, living below my means and all the other sacrafices only to have it all put into jeapordy at the very moment I'm ready to FIRE - just seems so unfair.  But life is unfair and many lives get cut short all the time.  That being said, coming to terms with my situation is overwhelming at times.  I still have hope and pray everyday that my health gets restored.

Sorry to be a downer, but wanted to give you all an update and hope you're all living for the moment as well as the future.
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: TempusFugit on December 24, 2017, 02:06:27 PM
Man, that's a hard thing.  I'm so sorry to hear about your trouble.

I hope you can keep a positive attitude, though I'm sure that's easier said than done.  I think you just have to have faith that you can get through whatever this is and on the other side you'll be a stronger person with a better appreciation for the truly important things. 

Thank you for taking the time to remind all of us about how quickly our circumstances can change and that tomorrow is promised to no one, so we should take each day as it comes.  Let us know how things go, so we can perhaps offer a little bit of encouragement and then celebrate with you when you've come through it. 









Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: capoevename on December 24, 2017, 04:00:36 PM
Thank you for sharing. I really hope things play out well for you, Blue. :/
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: Prairie Gal on December 24, 2017, 08:30:55 PM
So sorry to hear this. I hope your health improves, and you are able to enjoy your retirement that you worked so hard for.
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: NinetyFour on December 24, 2017, 09:50:04 PM
Gosh—what a tough situation.  I sure hope your medical team is doing all they can do for you and that you have a strong support network.  All my best wishes for you...

Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: SwordGuy on December 25, 2017, 11:40:51 AM
Best of luck to you!

You've had fun, you've had experiences others haven't, and you have the resources banked to get the treatment you need - you don't have to be dicked around by insurance companies.

I hope everything turns out well!
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: Dee on December 25, 2017, 04:38:23 PM
Best wishes to you, NorcalBlue. That does sound really hard to deal with. All the money you accumulated will be useful in making any financial stress much less significant than it otherwise might have been.
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: Erica on December 25, 2017, 05:17:26 PM
You seem like such a great person, cannot help to be proud for you with all you've accomplished but more for your attitude through it all.
God Bless you NorcalBlue.
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: frugal_c on December 26, 2017, 07:59:05 AM
What a story, this is such sad news.   All I can say is to focus on yourself and your health, I hope all works out for you.
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: 2Birds1Stone on December 26, 2017, 08:16:34 AM
This belongs in the "Epic FU $ Stories" thread =)

Edited - I just read your update and want to wish you the best of luck with the health.
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: Life in Balance on December 26, 2017, 08:53:29 AM
Really sorry to hear about your diagnosis, I wish you the best in the coming year.
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: NinetyFour on December 31, 2017, 08:22:06 PM
Thinking about you on this New Year's Eve, @NorcalBlue .  Very much hoping that you get good health news and are able to enjoy life to the fullest in 2018.
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: Finances_With_Purpose on December 31, 2017, 08:27:05 PM
Awesome story!  Thanks for sharing.

Laughed out loud at the point where you said they offered $80 then they came back with $115!!!   Ahhh the awesome power of FU money.

So true.  FU $ is so key as Mr. JLCollins beautifully articulated.  JL is just great btw.  I was a stock broker when I first got out of school.  Finance degree, Big Ego, etc.  Bottom Line:  I thought I knew everything about investing.  Turns out I didn't know anything and cost myself TONS of money because of my ego and lack of discipline. 

Knowing what I know now - Twenty years ago, I would have gladly paid 6 figures for JLCollins simple and straight forward investing advice (and the discipline to follow it).  So simple - yet so powerful.

Rather than shoot them down outright, you can always raise your rates - since you're valuing your own time more.  Worst case is you get a nice offer that you could then decide on...
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: NAVRESLDO on January 11, 2018, 11:11:25 AM
Thinking of you Norcal.  Praying for you.  Two thoughts that I hope are useful:

1.  You are still better off FI.  I know it is not fair that you planned and sacrificed with a long time horizon, but it is still better then being poor in your situation.

2.  We all have limited horizons.  Most of us don't know when.  My mother, father and first wife all passed suddenly without a chance to say goodbye or reflect on their life.  You have been given a warning that your time is more limited then you had imagined.  It will be a struggle and it sucks.  But you now recognize, more then most of us, that each day is a gift.  Keep sharing your knowledge.  Live every day to it's fullest.  Take advantage of the opportunity to make plans.

Deep apologies if this is off-base.  I respect your sharing and I'm trying to be helpful. 
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: Livingthedream55 on January 25, 2018, 08:22:55 AM
Thinking of you Norcal.  Praying for you.  Two thoughts that I hope are useful:

1.  You are still better off FI.  I know it is not fair that you planned and sacrificed with a long time horizon, but it is still better then being poor in your situation.

2.  We all have limited horizons.  Most of us don't know when.  My mother, father and first wife all passed suddenly without a chance to say goodbye or reflect on their life.  You have been given a warning that your time is more limited then you had imagined.  It will be a struggle and it sucks.  But you now recognize, more then most of us, that each day is a gift.  Keep sharing your knowledge.  Live every day to it's fullest.  Take advantage of the opportunity to make plans.

Deep apologies if this is off-base.  I respect your sharing and I'm trying to be helpful.

+ 1

Just want to say sorry you are going through this NorcalBlue and we are all thinking of you.
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: dude on January 25, 2018, 09:58:43 AM
damn dude, sorry to hear this. yet another reminder about how fragile and random life can be. stories like yours are an admonishment to us all to live each day like it's your last, and reminds us that all the money in the world isn't worth a damn if you don't have the good health to enjoy living.

I hope you find relief from whatever it is that's ailing you.
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: steveo on January 25, 2018, 04:14:43 PM
I hope you get better. Good luck !
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: midwesterner1982 on January 30, 2018, 04:48:37 AM
Hoping and praying for the best for you, Norcal.  Hope to hear another update soon.  Does your employer have a policy in place to allow you take a leave of absence while keeping your health insurance active?
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: MrThatsDifferent on January 30, 2018, 08:38:41 AM
So sorry to hear, can’t imagine what you’re going through. My thinking is, if it’s as you’ve shared, consider quitting now and travel the world like you wanted to. You have enough money to cover your healthcare and you can get international health care plans. If you get past this and your healthy again, you can always go back to work if you need the money. Otherwise, live your life, spend your money, Do everything you’ve always wanted to do. Good luck!
Title: Re: Sharing my Semi-FIRE story
Post by: arebelspy on April 07, 2019, 09:44:52 PM
I hope your 2018 and start of 2019 went better, NorcalBlue!