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Hi, I am MusicalFIRE
Old 08-17-2017, 06:21 PM   #1
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Hi, I am MusicalFIRE

I am new to this forum, but have been investigating FIRE for about a year and half now. When I first learned of the concept of retiring early I was immediately attracted to this idea. I am 33 and currently working a day job as a bank accountant and auditor. My initial thought and plan was to work for about 10 more years, save a ton, drive expenses down, then retire early.

However, my husband and I have a side hustle as a performing musical duo. We love doing this and it has been lucrative as a side hustle. We want to do more of this, but I have a hard time doing too much more than we are already doing on top of my full time job. Although my day job is lucrative and could get us to complete early retirement in about 10 years, I am unhappy in this job, and with both of us being musicians, I don't think we will ever truly "retire" in the sense that we do not have any income. We will always want to play music, but we don't ever want to be financially struggling musicians.

After a while, the concept of financial independence, rather than early retirement seemed to be a better fit for our goals. Maybe like a hybrid early retirement where we know we can count on at least a part time income. Has anyone out there retired early or become financially independent to pursue a passion that they knew would bring income? If so, how did you plan for this?

A few other tidbits about me: I have an education in music and business, I love reading and learning about business strategy, I love all things yoga/fitness/wellness (becoming a yoga instructor is on my bucket list!).
Any input in greatly appreciated!
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Old 08-18-2017, 03:31 AM   #2
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Welcome.

Your is a common goal. But, it all comes down to income and expenses. How much investment income (non-qualified: not IRA, 401-k, future pension, etc.) do you currently have? How much do you make from your music "business"? How much are your expenses? If you add it all up, and come up short on $, how can you make that money up if you quit your job? More music gigs? Become a yoga instructor? Eventually, your income will increase and your expenses will decrease until they cross over. At that point, you may feel comfortable about giving up your "real jobs".

Your hybrid ER idea is a good one. Ramp up the PT income. Cut some expenses (downsize your home? Give up a vehicle, or travel, or eating out, or lattes?). There is no risk in that scenario.

DW is retired. I am semi-retired. I have a fun "hobby job" that is enough to provide extras to supplement our investment $, retirement savings and SS. But the numbers would not have worked out 20 years ago when we had kids in HS/College.
Good luck.

If you have a shortfall, you have choices. Earn more or spend less, or both.
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Old 08-18-2017, 08:22 AM   #3
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You'll hear the following (as brucethebroker stated) throughout this forum; it ALL comes down to income/expenses. Don't pay any attention to things like, "you need 80% of your pre-retirement gross income." That's pure crap. Or, "you need 25X your income to retire." That too, comes out of the south end of a northbound bull.

Stay away from financial advisers unless you like under performing the market while surrendering 1-2% of your nest egg each year.

Good luck!
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Old 08-18-2017, 10:02 AM   #4
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I think you need to ensure that your savings can provide the amount you need for your fixed expenses at minimum. Then your music income can supply the discretionary side. The discretionary can be adjusted as needed, but your fixed expenses must be covered.

Financial independence is really what it's all about. Once you have FI, then you can do what you want. Retired does not have to mean no work for money.
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Old 08-20-2017, 10:07 AM   #5
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I'm just an amateur musician who had a "regular" job for years. To be fair, I was good but never great, plus I can't sing, so a career in music never would have happened in my case.

Now that I'm retired and have financial independence I can say without a doubt that having the ability to pick and choose who I play with and what gigs I take without ever having to factor in if it pays enough makes it much more enjoyable. I know a few musicians who pursued music for a good portion of their life and many of them are still hustling for gigs in their 50's and 60's because they need the money, or they're working at dead end jobs for some regular income. One of the best bass players I know is in his mid-50's and has to give lessons in his basement because he doesn't make enough playing.

My opinion...if you can be FI in 10 years at age 43, then stick with it. Being able to play music for your own enjoyment far surpasses having to play or give lessons to pay the bills when you're in your 50's...
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Old 08-20-2017, 01:38 PM   #6
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We are in a somewhat similar position. Hobbies are music and photography. Have built up a small wedding photo / video business over the last couple which should generate some fun money over time.
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Old 08-21-2017, 05:18 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by brucethebroker View Post
Welcome.

How much investment income (non-qualified: not IRA, 401-k, future pension, etc.) do you currently have? How much do you make from your music "business"? How much are your expenses? If you add it all up, and come up short on $, how can you make that money up if you quit your job? More music gigs? Become a yoga instructor? Eventually, your income will increase and your expenses will decrease until they cross over. At that point, you may feel comfortable about giving up your "real jobs".

Your hybrid ER idea is a good one. Ramp up the PT income. Cut some expenses (downsize your home? Give up a vehicle, or travel, or eating out, or lattes?). There is no risk in that scenario.

If you have a shortfall, you have choices. Earn more or spend less, or both.
Currently, we have about $13,000 in investment income. Total net worth is $68,000, which obviously means most of it is in retirement accounts, and a $10,000 emergency savings. No debt. Expenses are around $2,000-2,200 a month. Total income around $70,000, including $20,000 from music business. If I quit my job, we would indeed pursue expanding out music biz and I would pursue becoming a yoga instructor. These sources of income just seem a little less secure to me than my current source. To be honest, I haven't really been sure of how to distribute our savings (retirement vs. non-retirement). This is an area that still needs some refining in our financial plan.

Thank you for your input. Your comment, and everyone else's has helped to remind me that the goal of FI is technically completely independent of my decision to remain at the particular job I'm at right now, as long as I can replace the income from another source.
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Old 08-22-2017, 03:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Red Badger View Post
You'll hear the following (as brucethebroker stated) throughout this forum; it ALL comes down to income/expenses. Don't pay any attention to things like, "you need 80% of your pre-retirement gross income." That's pure crap. Or, "you need 25X your income to retire." That too, comes out of the south end of a northbound bull.

Stay away from financial advisers unless you like under performing the market while surrendering 1-2% of your nest egg each year.

Good luck!


Thanks for the tips! So far we did all of our own investing, no financial advisor needed. So I'm glad I found this forum with so many people who are informed about doing all this without a financial advisor.
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Old 08-22-2017, 03:26 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by 38Chevy454 View Post
I think you need to ensure that your savings can provide the amount you need for your fixed expenses at minimum. Then your music income can supply the discretionary side. The discretionary can be adjusted as needed, but your fixed expenses must be covered.

Financial independence is really what it's all about. Once you have FI, then you can do what you want. Retired does not have to mean no work for money.


I had not thought of it like this, but I like this idea. I have always used the opposite thought process, to ensure the music income can cover fixed expenses and then savings would supply discretionary. However, income from music is inherently variable. It does seem to make more sense to match variable income to variable/discretionary expenses, and fixed income to fixed expenses. Thank you for your insight!
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Old 08-23-2017, 06:50 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Music Lover View Post
I'm just an amateur musician who had a "regular" job for years. To be fair, I was good but never great, plus I can't sing, so a career in music never would have happened in my case.



Now that I'm retired and have financial independence I can say without a doubt that having the ability to pick and choose who I play with and what gigs I take without ever having to factor in if it pays enough makes it much more enjoyable. I know a few musicians who pursued music for a good portion of their life and many of them are still hustling for gigs in their 50's and 60's because they need the money, or they're working at dead end jobs for some regular income. One of the best bass players I know is in his mid-50's and has to give lessons in his basement because he doesn't make enough playing.



My opinion...if you can be FI in 10 years at age 43, then stick with it. Being able to play music for your own enjoyment far surpasses having to play or give lessons to pay the bills when you're in your 50's...


I definitely know more than a few of those 50 to 60 year old musician you are talking about above. That is exactly what we are trying to avoid. Thanks for you sharing your perspective with me. Good luck with you musicing!
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Old 08-23-2017, 06:56 PM   #11
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We are in a somewhat similar position. Hobbies are music and photography. Have built up a small wedding photo / video business over the last couple which should generate some fun money over time.


In our situation, all of my husbands income comes from music, from teaching to performing, as well as a piano tuning/repair/restoration business. It would be nice to put more of business and administration skills in to our music to try to make it more profitable. Then again, it's pretty warm and cozy under the security of my accounting job.
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