Author Topic: Bootstrap FI - who here has done it?  (Read 13129 times)

Fishindude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2471
Re: Bootstrap FI - who here has done it?
« Reply #50 on: January 18, 2016, 07:30:17 AM »
- No inheritance
Did get $8,000 from aunt / uncle year ago, if that counts.

- No free or subsidized home/housing during adulthood
Moved out at 18 on my own and never moved back.

- No college/private education paid by others
Skipped college, went to work.

- No significant financial/property gifts received
Dad kicked $1500 towards our first house purchase, but that's about it.

- No wealth via spouse/SO
She comes from blue collar family, no real wealth.

My big boost was working in the family business and being offered the chance to purchase it when dad retired.  Have worked every job in this company from laborer to president position.  Several other siblings had same opportunities but didn't want to do it, put forth the effort, commitment, etc. and haven't fared nearly as well.

Retiring soon and looking forward to getting away from dealing with people, and more back to doing things for myself and working with my hands.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28265
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Bootstrap FI - who here has done it?
« Reply #51 on: January 18, 2016, 07:46:42 AM »
Bootstrap (to help oneself without the aid of others).

- No inheritance
- No free or subsidized home/housing during adulthood
- No college/private education paid by others
- No significant financial/property gifts received
- No wealth via spouse/SO
- etc.

If so, please describe your journey.

We almost qualify, depending on how nitpicky you want to be with zero help.  Probably 95%+ done ourselves, we did have small help at the beginning.

We both got cars in high school (hers new, low end model, mine used).  Our parents did help some with college, but we also got student loans.  We went to a public university where tuition was ~2.5k/yr, plus 1.7k/yr campus fees, she did 3 years, me 3.75, plus I had non-resident costs of ~10k the first year, so total of about 40k costs, and we ended up with 30k+ in student loans.  We probably paid paid 80% ourselves, if not more, and even if we hadn't got that help, an extra 10 grand in student loans, from 30k to 40k, wouldn't have changed our FI time at all--we hit 1MM net worth before age 30, so 10k doesn't materially change anything, since we already had the loans (it wouldn't be like going from no loans to some, it just would have delayed FIRE by...under a month, based on the final rate we were saving).

By age 19 or so we were completely on our own financially, so the above was the only help.

We both worked through college.  Then became teachers.  Then bought some real estate.  Then became FI.  The ER'd, before age 30.

More details in the journal link in my sig.

But no inheritance, no free or subsidized home/housing during adulthood, no college/private education paid by others (aside from the small help mentioned above that wouldn't have changed the FIRE time), no significant financial/property gifts received, no wealth via spouse/SO, etc.

So some minor help starting out that doesn't materially change anything, IMO, but otherwise just all on our own from ages 18 (her) and 19 (me).

BUT we had a * ton of help and luck being able to be in the position to be intelligent, good education, etc.  So yeah, we did it "on our own" after age 18/19, but only succeeded because of how well we were set up (not monetarily, but internally) by that point.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

TheNick

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 136
Re: Bootstrap FI - who here has done it?
« Reply #52 on: January 18, 2016, 09:55:12 AM »
We almost qualify, depending on how nitpicky you want to be with zero help.  Probably 95%+ done ourselves, we did have small help at the beginning.

Yeah this is the catch here...unless you started off homeless with no friends or family its kind of hard to claim nobody ever gave you anything...but in the big picture maybe you got to live at home for free for a couple extra years while commuting to college or got gifted a used car as a teen ager...in the big picture if you were FI in your 30s in the end small gifts like that would have moved your date back a year tops...but you'd have done it anyhow.  Its a bit different than someone who was given a house, inherited a six figure+ amount, etc, and is FI under circumstances that would make anyone but those most spendy of spendypants FI.

Mr. Green

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2332
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Wilmington, NC
Re: Bootstrap FI - who here has done it?
« Reply #53 on: January 18, 2016, 11:07:36 AM »
I would guess the majority of the people on these forums looking to retire under 40 have done basically everything themselves. It's that mentality that creates the possibility of such extreme early retirement. I suppose some could start out that way, see big career dollars and blow it, but for most that thought process is probably ingrained enough by the time you hit a "career" that you're already built to save. That's the way it was for me wife and I.

aperture

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 472
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Bootstrap FI - who here has done it?
« Reply #54 on: January 19, 2016, 06:51:47 AM »
As arebelspy suggests, we all start with more or less intangible assets from parents, community, mentors, churches, rich experiences, lives lived in peacetime, and etc.  At the age of 26, I was homeless in Philadelphia desperately attending 12-step meetings and trying to absorb some of those internal assets that I had not previously obtained. 

Despite addiction and homelessness in my youth, there is no way that I can claim that I bootstrapped my way into my current circumstances.  Countless people invested their belief in me. Hundreds armed me, and loaned me the courage to make my own hard decisions.  Through their support, I achieved.  The money it took to go to school was nothing compared to the faith it took to pursue an outrageous calling from the gutter.

After graduating and 3 years of post-doc training (age 38), I was $70K in debt, and building the confidence, belief and courage that most 24 year olds take for granted (sometimes to their detriment). In employment, and financial management, my wife and I had no intention of ER.  We both had lived in frugal households and so it was not difficult to pass on the expensive things, but we were so new to money that we made some dumb choices that did not bring better quality of life.  Those experiences taught us. We paid our debts and maxed our 401K contributions early on. 

Today early retirement is on the horizon. Again, it is the courage, vision and calling (as much as the financial assets) that I need to build.  I want to ER, but I need for my family to share this vision and to see value in this undertaking.  I have to dream big again and bring them on this ride. If I am to travel the world, I have to do it with a wife and two teens in tow. If I am going to hike and bike and live my days at home, I have to make their lives richer because of it.  Otherwise, I will declare FI and stop wearing a tie to work and that will be its own special freedom. 

I rely on you all to help me tell this story.  What could be better than showing pictures that gocurrycracker took in Chiang Mai or arebelspy took on the camposino?  You guys are my inspiration.  Best wishes to you all today.  Off to take my walk.  Aperture.

squeakywheel

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 44
Re: Bootstrap FI - who here has done it?
« Reply #55 on: January 19, 2016, 09:48:51 AM »
At the age of 26, I was homeless in Philadelphia desperately attending 12-step meetings and trying to absorb some of those internal assets that I had not previously obtained.

Aperture, just wow. How impressive.

My DH and I also did it ourselves. Back when we went to college, it was easier to work your way through (which I did, 40 hrs per week waiting tables late-night). DH lived in Europe, where college is essentially free. I did once get a $2000 bequest when my grandfather passed away, which I spent on a motorbike and thus was no longer tied to a bus schedule.

Although we are FI, we are still working...many reasons for that. But it is nice to know that we could quit whenever we feel like it.