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FI@35 - My Story
Old 05-26-2006, 01:51 AM   #1
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FI@35 - My Story

I've been lurking for awhile and finally decided to introduce myself and start participating in the discussions. Here's my story as it relates to FIRE:

Growing up, I always had the idea that I would become a rich and successful corporate type. I spent a few years after high school playing Jr A hockey in the midwest with hopes of getting a scholarship. I met my wife and we married at 21. I didn't get the scholarship so I decided to get a real job and joined a technology company. After 4 years of tasting political BS, I started questioning my definition of "rich and successful" and whether I really wanted to be a "corporate type".

These questions led me to a few life-changing books: The Power of Purpose, Your Money or Your Life, and Cashing in on the American Dream. It was at 25 that I decided FI at 35 would be my new goal and definition of success. My wife supported this as she grew up in a small midwest town and had always wanted a simple, happy, unmaterialistic life. She could never understand the workaholic part of me that I inherited from my parents.

The first step was getting rid of $10K of debt. We decided to turn in the SUV at the end of its lease and buy a used car with the cash we had been saving for a down payment to buy the SUV. We then applied the $600/month (previous SUV and insurance payment) and my wife's entire paycheck to the debt. It was gone in less than a year.

The next milestone was my wife retiring at 27 (no kids). By moving from the midwest to a big city, I was able to get a 50% raise so my new salary was the same as what we both made in the midwest. By taking on a 4 hour/day commute, we kept our cost of living the same.

During the next 7 years, we kept our expenses (excluding house payment) flat while I continued to grow my salary. We grew our net worth by investing the leftover money from my paycheck, buying low/selling high two houses, and picking the right company to work at for 7 years (stock options).

Last year I got fed up with the political BS and a bad boss and decided to walk. Spent the last year working as an information technology project management contractor. Also sold the house and downsized into an apartment 4 miles from my new clients. The crazy thing is, I now have less work, no commute, no stress/politics, and make more money. I keep wondering why I didn't jump to contracting earlier.

I just turned 35 a few months ago and have achieved my goal FI at 35. I plan to retire at the end of this calendar year. I could do it now but my wife is having jaw surgery in a few months and as usual the insurance company doesn't cover it. We also plan to move somewhere less expensive early next year. Can't wait to get away from the traffic as well (it's now bad all day long and grid-lock during rush hour).

So that's my FIRE background. I've enjoyed hearing your stories and hope my story inspires any 20-somethings out there who doubt whether FIRE is possible in your 30's.
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Re: FI@35 - My Story
Old 05-26-2006, 03:11 AM   #2
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Re: FI@35 - My Story

Hello FI,

Hi Fi* to you, young man! And double!
I'm celebrating your success with a cup of tea at 2 a.m. Why? Because I can. Here's to you and the Missus (lifts cup, types w. 1 finger).

Congratulations.

Where are you? Just want to get a visual. Invent if you prefer* ** * okay, cool.

Kaleko
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Re: FI@35 - My Story
Old 05-26-2006, 07:52 AM   #3
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Re: FI@35 - My Story

A goal, hard work and a little luck - what's not to admire? Congratulations FI.

So, what are you going to do every day?
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Re: FI@35 - My Story
Old 05-26-2006, 08:58 AM   #4
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Re: FI@35 - My Story

Quote:
Originally Posted by FI@35
I just turned 35 a few months ago and have achieved my goal FI at 35. I plan to retire at the end of this calendar year.
This seems like a well planned and mature trip to FI and ER. FI at an early age frequently comes from inheritance and is accompanied by horror stories of sloth and wasted lives. My wife and I worried that if we both died our kids would inherit enough to be able to immediately retire if they so chose (a good thing) but that they might be too immature to handle it (a bad thing). We set up trusts that would pay for education and a level of support through age 30 and then turn over the reins to them. My son is now 32 and sensible enough to handle the inheritance without blowing it. My daughter is 19 and who knows -- the trust remains for her.

What do others think? It seems to me that if you earn your FI at an early you are probably mature enough not to screw yourself up. But if you inherit it in your teens or twenties there is a much greater risk of blowing the dough and/or screwing your life up emotionally. Or am I just projecting what I would have done? '
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Re: FI@35 - My Story
Old 05-26-2006, 09:24 AM   #5
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Re: FI@35 - My Story

Quote:
Originally Posted by M. Kaleko
Where are you? Just want to get a visual. Invent if you prefer* ** * okay, cool.
Thanks. I'm in Redmond, WA. Still looking for a suitable visual to add to my profile. Stay tuned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas
So, what are you going to do every day?
Thanks. Funny you ask, I have a list (as Paul Terhorst suggests in his book.). Here's my daily activities list: walking, biking, exercise, lunch with friends, relaxing and reading by the pool, dining out, renting DVDs, and getting a decent amount of sleep. For my frequent activities list: writing, browsing bookstores/library, massages, golfing, travel, hiking, zoo/aquarium, and concerts/plays. Creating this list has helped me realize there is a lot to do without spending a lot of money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
It seems to me that if you earn your FI at an early you are probably mature enough not to screw yourself up.* But if you inherit it in your teens or twenties there is a much greater risk of blowing the dough and/or screwing your life up emotionally.
I agree. The hard work of getting to FI is the very thing that will improve the odds of sustaining it.
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Re: FI@35 - My Story
Old 05-26-2006, 12:13 PM   #6
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Re: FI@35 - My Story

Wow FI@35, I'm graduating at the end of the year and truly hope to emulate your success. 10 years is also my goal, and you've just shown that its very possible. Most members here suggest that 20 years is the most feasible amount of time to get to FI. I hope I can make out as well as you did.

Congrats!
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Re: FI@35 - My Story
Old 05-26-2006, 12:29 PM   #7
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Re: FI@35 - My Story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Veritasophia
Most members here suggest that 20 years is the most feasible amount of time to get to FI.* I hope I can make out as well as you did.
You can do it! It takes a lot of hard work (some luck doesn't hurt), discipline, and frugal living but 10 years of hard work for 45+ years of FIRE is a good trade-off in my book*
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Re: FI@35 - My Story
Old 05-26-2006, 03:10 PM   #8
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Re: FI@35 - My Story

good for you. fi at 35. very nice. though i never considered myself a sloth, certainly i was not near as focused on money at such an early age that i would ever have been able to accomplish that on my own.

since i was a bit of a party boy, i have no doubt that an early inheritence would not have lasted me long, as i'd be typing this post from an early grave.
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Re: FI@35 - My Story
Old 05-28-2006, 10:03 PM   #9
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Re: FI@35 - My Story

FI@35,

Welcome and congrats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FI@35
The crazy thing is, I now have less work, no commute, no stress/politics, and make more money. I keep wondering why I didn't jump to contracting earlier.
Thats what we call payback time for your years of tenacious sparring with assorted degenerates masquerading as "bosses" in a social and spiritual cesspool littered with cubicles, blinking fluorescent lights and creaky chairs and populated by stressed-out two-legged fried zucchinis and dead fishes in ties and skirts shuffling aimlessly to no where with files and memos to no one (... now, visualize THAT Kaleko* ).* Hmm, throw in a couple of leprichauns, a talking cat and we'll have a Hollywood script, casting Danny De Vito and Bill Murray.

Anyway, that bit on Contracting or CONsulting is true. These past two mths since I walked away from ToxicTel, Inc., I get the VIP treatment (... limos, post-mtg health spas, exotic meals with cuts of wild meat not yet known to western science, mint-laced toothpicks, .... the works) just for attending Board/Project Mtgs for the next crop of MegaCorp wannabes. My problem has been to pry myself away from my backyard slumber (not very successful) and once I'm at the mtg, to actually stay awake and/or to not burst out laughing at the bizarre ideas thrown around the table by newly-minted technopreneurs flushed by $x millions of oil-backed VC funding.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Veritasophia
10 years is also my goal, and you've just shown that its very possible.* Most members here suggest that 20 years is the most feasible amount of time to get to FI.*
A plausible early FI path: Hard Work, Discipline, Frugality .......... + Stock Options (lots of it).*

Anyway, FI@35, you're on the right track.

Now, back to my late morning nap. Ahhhh, .... the good life.



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Re: FI@35 - My Story
Old 05-29-2006, 02:06 AM   #10
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Re: FI@35 - My Story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Under FIRE
* ).* Hmm, throw in a couple of leprichauns, a talking cat and we'll have a Hollywood script, casting Danny De Vito and Bill Murray.
Totally OT: Casting alert.

De Vito & Bill Murray?? They're curmudgeons, beloved by all! We clearly need Kevin Spacey at his most merciless. And if I'm not mistaken, Gary aBusey will be available for the leprechaun. He is one in real life.

Quote:
.... ....* to actually stay awake and/or to not burst out laughing at the bizarre ideas thrown around the table by newly-minted technopreneurs flushed by $x millions of oil-backed VC funding.

What does VC funding stand for? My guess: Vicious Corpses funded by Oil & Gas Bags Inc. International. Am I right?*

K
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