Author Topic: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE  (Read 7768 times)

GettingThere

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Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« on: November 21, 2016, 08:29:10 PM »
Hi all

   I discovered MMM around 2012 and started to get serious about saving and reaching  FIRE in early 2013.  I am a CPA (Canada, 40 yo) and very objective oriented, so it motivated me to go for  the FIRE goal  around 2021. My profesionnal  situation is particular, as I have my own accounting services company which is actually divided in 2 income producing activity : The tax season of 2.5 months which nets me 55K annually, and one big consulting assignment which nets me 80K.  We live on 55K (Family of 3, mortgage paid off) and save 80K per year. My FIRE number is 1.25M$ (all figures in CAD$). I have 650K saved up and thought I could get to my FI number around 2021 and just quit everything. Now I have learned that the company I have my consulting assignment with will go belly up in the near term (nothing to do with my consulting ha ha). I live in a small city in Canada and it would be extremely difficult to find another consulting assignment that accepts my situation (absent for 2.5 months per year for tax season and paying very well).

So I will soon be working 2.5 months  per year which will be enough to sustain my COL, but will add zero savings. This means it will take 10-15 years before I reach my FI number. I should be happy but can't help feeling depressed and a failure. I was so motivated by the freedom FI would bring me that I just can't believe I won't attain my objective. And it is out of the question for me to go back to work for an employer, that would be much more depressing.


 I guess time will improve my mood. My point is that it it extremely hard to plan and reach an objective for such a long time (like FIRE) because life will throw things at you. We hear a lot of people successfully reaching FIRE, but not too many stories about people who don't. I guess life is not meant to fully fit in an Excel sheet.

Happy pursuit of FIRE everyone, I'll try to enjoy my non-FI semi-RE! Any help on moving forward when your plan changes direction would be appreciated. And excuse the poor english, native french speaker here.



Bicycle_B

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2016, 08:36:39 PM »
Congratulations on being stable and getting this far.

10-15 years is a long time for good things as well as bad ones.  Perhaps you will find another gig even though you don't see it yet. 

It was less than 6 years ago that Mr. Money Mustache started this blog...


terran

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2016, 08:42:00 PM »
Sounds like you're in a great position of meeting all your needs with lots of free time (outside of tax season) to work on expanding your income to get back on track with your FIRE goals. Any chance of expanding your tax business? Do you do business tax work, or only individuals? Might you be able to expand into consulting for your business clients during the rest of the year?

Outside of increasing your income, what opportunities do you have to reduce your spending?

okits

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2016, 08:50:13 PM »
I live in a small city in Canada and it would be extremely difficult to find another consulting assignment that accepts my situation (absent for 2.5 months per year for tax season and paying very well).

So do some work during the other 9.5 months a year to earn income, even if it's less than the $80k you were making.  Why are the only two choices being paid very well or feeling depressed and like a failure?  If you want to keep your FIRE dream alive, adapt, get out there and hustle, find another path.  You could try CPA-related things (finding other, less-lucrative work for your company, tutoring or teaching accounting) or completely unrelated (anything someone else is doing for money you could consider, too). 

Relying heavily on a single, large client is always risky.  Sorry you got burned on this but I think you can do a lot to salvage your situation, if you try.

desk_jockey

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2016, 09:12:18 PM »
I bet you could find something to do that would earn money during the other nine months of the year.  Seasonal agriculture work if you're desperate to increase your income,  otherwise I bet there are dozens of options to consider.   It does not have to be in the same field as your tax or consulting work. Or you could move to an area with more jobs.  Or your spouse could work. 

FI  is about freedom and it looks like you have essentially achieved it for 3/4ths of the year.  That seems like a good place to be.


deborah

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2016, 09:30:04 PM »
You already have your own business. You can expand it to do other work.

The internet has allowed many more people to work from a different location to their home.

You already had a job that was for the other 9 months of the year, so they actually do exist - all you have to do is find another.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2016, 01:26:33 AM »
I don't see the problem here.

You have 9.5 months of time freed up now. I am sure you can do some side work, whether it's related to your CPA or not.

Also, with you being home those 9.5 months, is it not possible for your spouse to earn a little income as well?

With some side income and further budget optimization you will likely be able to FIRE long before you currently anticipate.

That being said, if you chose not to earn anything those 9.5 months, and your spouse doesn't either......congratulations you have 9.5 months to do with whatever you want =)

expatartist

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2016, 02:00:29 AM »
Bonjour from Hong Kong. It sounds like you are actually in a brilliant situation. How wonderful that you will only 'need to' work for ~20% of the year! You'll have plenty of time to come up with other ways to augment your income, and add to your stache. Given the discipline you've shown so far, that shouldn't be a problem.

I guess life is not meant to fully fit in an Excel sheet.

Wise words. Depending on one's perspective, it's liberating.

arebelspy

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2016, 03:03:57 AM »
I am a CPA (Canada, 40 yo)

First of all, I like when people use the acronym "yo" for "years old," because I can read it like the word "yo" (as said in yo-yo) and it sounds like you're fake talking gangster "I'm 40, yo!"

Quote
So I will soon be working 2.5 months  per year which will be enough to sustain my COL, but will add zero savings. This means it will take 10-15 years before I reach my FI number.

Nice!  2.5 months a year to cover expenses, let the stache compound for a decade or two, then quit from even that 2.5 mo.  That's AMAZING!

Quote
I should be happy but can't help feeling depressed and a failure.

What?  Really?

Sounds like you've put yourself in an awesome spot to:
1) Earn enough in 2.5 mo to cover your spending (by both keeping spending modest, and earning a good chunk in that short time period)
2) Have enough cash built up for it to compound in the background.

Quote
I was so motivated by the freedom FI would bring me that I just can't believe I won't attain my objective.

You'd rather full FI in 5 years than work < 25% of the year for 10-15 years, then full FIRE?

Seriously, your way sounds so much better.

I mean, as others pointed out, you can earn more during that other 9.5 months, if you want.  There's plenty of ways to earn money.

But so many people would WANT to work a little, not stop cold turkey.  Yes, it limits your lifestyle a little, having to plan around those months, but 9+ months of freedom?  I think you might enjoy the accounting when you do do it.

I'd almost be thinking of this as full FIRE with a side gig (aka your main gig right now, the 55k job) in terms of lifestyle.  Yes, the side gig  is mandatory, but you can basically live how you want, and do that.

I think you're in a situation most here would love to be in.  :)

Or, if you really want to push for full FI, no biggie, go earn some more, whether that's in the same field, or not.

All you need to do is shift your mindset, because being unhappy about such a great situation is only making your life worse, when it should be amazing.

Congrats!  :D
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
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GettingThere

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2016, 08:17:04 AM »
Thank all for your replies. It is true  that I should be grateful about my situation , and just looking at globalrichlist I am in the top 1.40% worldwide for net worth. Most humans would kill to be in my spot. It is just the objective-setting, the working hard and then not achieving it that gets to me. Maybe I should not have put that many eggs in the consulting basket and diversify. My geographic location is also particular, and the economy here is limited especially for CPAs. I live here because I grew up here, and after a high profile career abroad I really wanted to get away from the corporate life and the big cities.  We have a 6 yo (YO!) son and right now moving is not something we consider.

Thanks for cheering me up! Have a great day


pbkmaine

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2016, 08:26:14 AM »
I have CPA friends who have built their lives this way and would not trade it for the world. This could end up being a great change for you instead of a negative one. 

wiseclam

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2016, 08:39:57 AM »

Thanks for cheering me up! Have a great day

More cheer for you...   Isn't it true that working 2.5 months per year is like being 80% retired already?  I would love to be 80% retired for 10 to 15 years before I can then be 100% retired.  Glass half full, dude.

Curious (an rhetorical)...  If you have about 80% of your time completely at your discretion now, what's the extra 20% going to do for you?

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2016, 08:50:27 AM »
15 years * 2.5 months of work per year = 37.5 (fairly pessimistic 5% growth) more months to work. 5 years * 12 months of work per year = 60 (fairly optimistic 7% growth) more months of work. With the loss of your consulting client you cut your lifetime months you must work down by more than 1/3. (Though I imagine that 2.5 months of tax season is more intense than your 9.5 months of consulting and may also be the less enjoyable portion of your current work.)

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2016, 08:56:54 AM »
OP, I'm a CPA too. This is a HUGE change to your plans. I don't like it when the plans change either. I understand that there's a mental adjustment that has to be made when plans change significantly. Make your mental adjustment. I suspect later you're going to look back at this thread and think "seriously, what the heck was wrong with me? This is awesome"

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2016, 09:03:45 AM »
I'm also one curious as to your depression as well. 

Seems like most people here are either are shooting for FI b/c they 1) feel stressed, beaten, painfully bored, tired of the crap at work, or 2) they don't mind their work so much, it just consumes way too much of ones hours left on this earth (life is passing me by when there are more important/fulfilling things to do).  It seems like working 2.5 months a year you probably don't have a major problem with (2), is it (1)?  Its just hard for me to understand how your depression/feeling of failure could all be based on "failing" some goal given it all seems to have worked out great. 

fattest_foot

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2016, 09:04:22 AM »
You just became semi-ER for almost the entire year. Use that time to do whatever it was you thought you'd like to in ER. You've made it!

I think most of us would love to be in your situation.

Fishindude

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2016, 09:04:44 AM »
My CPA works year round with multiple businesses, he's just busier during tax season.
Looks like an opportunity to expand your business services to me.

FrugalFan

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2016, 09:17:15 AM »
I'm sorry about this change to your plans but like some of the others, this would be an ideal situation for me. The trouble with weekly part time work is that it gets in the way of travel. I would love to work hard 2.5 months of the year and earn 55k and have the rest of the year free to do what I want!

If you don't save anything else, you will likely be able to FIRE completely in 10-15 years. However, you will probably be able to save a bit anyway if you keep your expenses at 55k. First, you will pay less tax on your income so your net pay will be higher than 55k. Second, your Canada Child Benefits will increase. You'll also be able to max out your CPP contributions on that salary, which will increase your CPP benefits.

If you truly want to fully FIRE sooner, there are lots of ways for you to earn more income the rest of the year.


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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2016, 09:24:12 AM »
this sounds amazing.  i wouldnt be disappointed in this at all.  if i had a job where i could work 2.5 months a year (during what i would consider to be the shittiest months feb-mid april), and cover all of my basic needs.  AND had a stash saved that would be able to grow in 10 years to cover my expenses i'd be extactic. You will actually work far less in your life now ... think about that.  2.5 month x 10 years to hit 1.25MM = 25 months of work left.  vs your planned 5 years x 12 months a year or 60 months of work left.

This company folding may be the best thing that has happened in your investing life.  You're likely gonna look back at this and think how did i ever think this would be a bad thing. 

GettingThere

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2016, 09:40:08 AM »


If you don't save anything else, you will likely be able to FIRE completely in 10-15 years. However, you will probably be able to save a bit anyway if you keep your expenses at 55k. First, you will pay less tax on your income so your net pay will be higher than 55k. Second, your Canada Child Benefits will increase. You'll also be able to max out your CPP contributions on that salary, which will increase your CPP benefits.

Good thinking, but my financial setup is not affected by this as you describe. My accounting business is incorporated and I pay a flat 20% tax rate. It makes 135K net  after paying the 20% tax.  80K of that I transfer to my holding company , which is my nest egg, and the rest, 55K, is paid as a dividend between me and my girlfriend. We pay almost zero personal tax that way, but we will have no CPP benefits because we are not salaried. I made a few calculations and it was better this way if you can be disciplined and save to offset the lack of CPP.

Thanks for your input!

GettingThere

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2016, 09:45:01 AM »
I'm also one curious as to your depression as well. 

Seems like most people here are either are shooting for FI b/c they 1) feel stressed, beaten, painfully bored, tired of the crap at work, or 2) they don't mind their work so much, it just consumes way too much of ones hours left on this earth (life is passing me by when there are more important/fulfilling things to do).  It seems like working 2.5 months a year you probably don't have a major problem with (2), is it (1)?  Its just hard for me to understand how your depression/feeling of failure could all be based on "failing" some goal given it all seems to have worked out great.

My "depression" is more linked to not achieving a goal I really wanted to get, and now just being a guy who earns 55K CAD (that's around 40K USD) and needs to support his family. Not much room for extras, travel, etc. I always envisioned being FI at 44, quitting everythting and working here and there to finance extra travel.  Now I am rich in time, and must appreciate that this is one of the coolest wealth someone can have. I just won't be able to say F you to some of my tax clients that are so annoying (but 90% of them are OK).

arebelspy

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2016, 09:45:20 AM »


If you don't save anything else, you will likely be able to FIRE completely in 10-15 years. However, you will probably be able to save a bit anyway if you keep your expenses at 55k. First, you will pay less tax on your income so your net pay will be higher than 55k. Second, your Canada Child Benefits will increase. You'll also be able to max out your CPP contributions on that salary, which will increase your CPP benefits.

Good thinking, but my financial setup is not affected by this as you describe. My accounting business is incorporated and I pay a flat 20% tax rate. It makes 135K net  after paying the 20% tax.  80K of that I transfer to my holding company , which is my nest egg, and the rest, 55K, is paid as a dividend between me and my girlfriend. We pay almost zero personal tax that way, but we will have no CPP benefits because we are not salaried. I made a few calculations and it was better this way if you can be disciplined and save to offset the lack of CPP.

Thanks for your input!

So you're going to have a 60% savings rate (saving 80k out of 135k) while working 2.5 months/yr., and letting your stache compound, and you're upset?  :P

Also why wouldn't that 80k/yr vastly accelerate the time your stache will take to compound you to full FI?
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
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arebelspy

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2016, 09:46:21 AM »
I'm also one curious as to your depression as well. 

Seems like most people here are either are shooting for FI b/c they 1) feel stressed, beaten, painfully bored, tired of the crap at work, or 2) they don't mind their work so much, it just consumes way too much of ones hours left on this earth (life is passing me by when there are more important/fulfilling things to do).  It seems like working 2.5 months a year you probably don't have a major problem with (2), is it (1)?  Its just hard for me to understand how your depression/feeling of failure could all be based on "failing" some goal given it all seems to have worked out great.

My "depression" is more linked to not achieving a goal I really wanted to get, and now just being a guy who earns 55K CAD (that's around 40K USD) and needs to support his family. Not much room for extras, travel, etc. I always envisioned being FI at 44, quitting everythting and working here and there to finance extra travel.  Now I am rich in time, and must appreciate that this is one of the coolest wealth someone can have. I just won't be able to say F you to some of my tax clients that are so annoying (but 90% of them are OK).

You achieved a better goal!

Also, if you still want that one, you now have 9.5 months/yr to work another job, be it in the same field, or not.  Is there something stopping you from working?  If you want it, go get it.   I don't see how you've failed, except if you decide you have, and give up even if you still want it.
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

boarder42

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2016, 09:49:42 AM »


If you don't save anything else, you will likely be able to FIRE completely in 10-15 years. However, you will probably be able to save a bit anyway if you keep your expenses at 55k. First, you will pay less tax on your income so your net pay will be higher than 55k. Second, your Canada Child Benefits will increase. You'll also be able to max out your CPP contributions on that salary, which will increase your CPP benefits.

Good thinking, but my financial setup is not affected by this as you describe. My accounting business is incorporated and I pay a flat 20% tax rate. It makes 135K net  after paying the 20% tax.  80K of that I transfer to my holding company , which is my nest egg, and the rest, 55K, is paid as a dividend between me and my girlfriend. We pay almost zero personal tax that way, but we will have no CPP benefits because we are not salaried. I made a few calculations and it was better this way if you can be disciplined and save to offset the lack of CPP.

Thanks for your input!

So you're going to have a 60% savings rate (saving 80k out of 135k) while working 2.5 months/yr., and letting your stache compound, and you're upset?  :P

Also why wouldn't that 80k/yr vastly accelerate the time your stache will take to compound you to full FI?

ARS i think you missed it the 55k is basically all he makes in 2.5 months the other 80k is going away and he earns that the other 9.5 months a years still he achieved a way better goal.  25 months of work vs 60months.

arebelspy

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2016, 09:52:44 AM »
ARS i think you missed it the 55k is basically all he makes in 2.5 months the other 80k is going away

Got it.  I knew the 80k consulting is going away, I thought with his latest post he was saying his accounting business makes 135k net, separate from the 80k consulting.

If it is part of it, and it goes down to 55k, I'm not seeing why he added that info to reply to TravBio--he can always set it up a different way now, with lower income, to take advantage of Canada's benefits.
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

Slee_stack

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #25 on: November 22, 2016, 09:56:02 AM »
this sounds amazing.  i wouldnt be disappointed in this at all.  if i had a job where i could work 2.5 months a year (during what i would consider to be the shittiest months feb-mid april), and cover all of my basic needs.  AND had a stash saved that would be able to grow in 10 years to cover my expenses i'd be extactic. You will actually work far less in your life now ... think about that.  2.5 month x 10 years to hit 1.25MM = 25 months of work left.  vs your planned 5 years x 12 months a year or 60 months of work left.

This company folding may be the best thing that has happened in your investing life.  You're likely gonna look back at this and think how did i ever think this would be a bad thing.
And he gets that extra time off in 'younger' years so he can do more physically challenging things as well. 

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #26 on: November 22, 2016, 09:59:15 AM »
Just to be a devil's advocate, although I generally agree with what others are saying, I can also understand wanting to hit your first goal.  I think that when I decide to 'retire', I want the full freedom to do whatever I want to do and not have to worry about 'staying current' or have a chunk of work waiting for me in the future if I don't feel FI.  With this in mind, as well as the life change you are adjusting to, I'm wondering if your girlfriend can maybe pick up some work while you are the SAHD.

You are in a good place, but just throwing a thought out there.  We have had a lot of success with my wife working a little on and off while the kids were young (currently on, but soon to be off again, probably for good this time).

BBub

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #27 on: November 22, 2016, 11:53:21 AM »
I can totally understand the initial feelings of disappointment as well.  The fact that a part-time situation may be ideal for some is irrelevant.  You had these plans & goals that you've been working towards for 3-4 yrs, and now there's a major change in circumstances.  I think your feelings of disappointment are totally normal.

You will need a little time to adjust to your new reality, re-work your timelines, and figure out how to replace some of the consulting income.  Or decide that you're content with the part-time situation.  Either way, just try to maintain a positive & optimistic mindset.  You'll figure it out.

boarder42

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #28 on: November 22, 2016, 01:59:21 PM »
i'd retire 10 years later in a heartbeat if my boss walked in tomorrow and said hey we'll pay you what you need to maintain your family for the next 10 years meanwhile your nest egg can grow and your wife can stay home with the kids.  all you need to do is work from feburary thru mid april.  HELL YEAH!!!

Guesl982374

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2016, 02:50:57 PM »
My geographic location is also particular, and the economy here is limited especially for CPAs.

While I am firmly in the 'this sounds great, sign me up' boat, I would like to offer a counterpoint on why the OP might be feeling down.

If the local economy is small/limited for CPAs and finding a $55K / year job is difficult in any industry, not just accounting, AND the OP is unwilling to move for family reasons, then the OP is having to accept a higher level of risk vs. just achieving FI with the $80K consulting gig.

With that being said, my recommendation to the OP is as follows:

-Be thankful, like you already mentioned, that you are in the top 1-2% of the world. You've already won the game
-Continue the CPA gig however use the other 9 months of the year to decompress for 1-2 years.
-Use your free time to do the things you'd want to do if you were fully FI.
-If you still want to achieve your goal of full FI, then start projects that have a chance of earning money. Use your time for other entrepreneurial ventures, who knows, you might find success in a place you never imagined and blow right past your number.

aspiringnomad

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #30 on: November 22, 2016, 04:55:19 PM »
Funny, I'm grappling with some similar thoughts right now, although in a very different situation. I also had a specific number and time frame in mind that would have allowed me to live luxuriously (by Mustachian standards) almost anywhere in the world at full RE starting around 2021-2022. Our plan has always been to travel very slowly (i.e. min 6 months per spot) for ~2 years after FIRE, then settle in my wife's HCOL country longer-term. But thanks to the following factors, we are now making our first moves to semi-RE in 2018 or 2019 instead, with an understanding that we'll have to work for a bit when we settle back down.

1) Desire to slow travel at a younger age
2) Current job passion starting to diminish
3) Realization that when we first settle in my wife's country we may want to work at least part-time for the social benefits
4) Post-election realization that a massive chunk of the US doesn't share even fundamental values with us, so the desire to take off to someplace that does has strengthened

So even though our circumstances are completely different, I can totally empathize with the disappointment you're feeling about not hitting your original objective. I'm feeling it too, even though I'm now more excited about Plan B than I am about Plan A. Objectively, I've convinced myself that it's a better plan. But even so, it's hard to let go when you've been so focused on another objective. I think I'll get over that, and as others have said, hopefully so will you.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #31 on: November 22, 2016, 08:34:33 PM »
It's about maximum happiness, not FI or semi-RE. It was a really big deal when my wife transitioned from full-time to part-time work. It had a huge impact on our overall happiness. I have a flexible full-time job and never plan on retiring. However, my wife now has a more flexible schedule like me and we can travel together and do other things.

If we wanted to reach full FI, she would continue to work full-time. However, that is not really part of our goals.

EnjoyIt

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #32 on: November 23, 2016, 04:27:32 PM »
Gettingthere,

I love your story and completely empathize with your situation. I don't see you as a failure.  Your story is a success story of living well below your means, and now that you hit some turbulent times in your career, your finances are stable and allow you to live through it comfortably. Therefor a congratulations is in order.  This is exactly why we live below your means.  Just a thought, but now that you are not receiving $80k consulting income it might be better to start paying yourself and your wife a salary.  I don't know Canadian tax law, but doing this might lower your taxes and provide for some CPP which could offset some of your expenses.

Facts:
You have $650,000 and need $1,375,000 to retire and live on 4% or $55k/yr
At some point your child will leave the house and your expenses should decrease so maybe you need less money in the future
At 5% growth it will take you 15.5 years to get there.

I see the following potential scenarios play out.
1) You semi-retire and enjoy your smile retired life for the next 15 years. . . Wonderful
2) You semi-retire and the markets do better and returns 6% and you retire in 13 years. . . More Wonderful.
3) Most likely scenario you and the spouse find some side work throughout the year that brings in a few thousand and allows you to retire easier. Even more awesome.
4) You find more consulting work that is significantly profitable allowing you to be right on track as before.

As you can see, there is no bad scenario in your life.  Once again, congratulations on your new found freedom.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Failing to reach FI and accepting semi-RE
« Reply #33 on: November 24, 2016, 02:21:23 PM »
Congratulations on being stable and getting this far.

10-15 years is a long time for good things as well as bad ones.  Perhaps you will find another gig even though you don't see it yet. 

It was less than 6 years ago that Mr. Money Mustache started this blog...

Right? And look at what it's making now! Sometimes all that free time is worth much more than 80k a year.