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Old 01-06-2013, 05:21 PM   #21
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 93
Thanks MelBay!

We have worked very hard and luckily this lead to success for our small business. One of the key factors in being able to FIRE has been to keep our expenses relatively low instead of trading up like many of our friends have (i.e. huge home, European vacations, expensive clothing, etc). Not judging, just explaining why we can Fire.

If the market took a big hit, we could chop $20K off our expenses without feeling much pain (i.e. mortgage paid off and no other debt), so that provides further peace of mind.

Also, my wife and I have both had health scares within the last year. Luckily nothing too serious, but issues we did not expect to face until late into our 50s. So this definitely provides perspective. The bumper sticker is true that says "Getting old is not for wimps."

Getting feedback from the members on this board was a necessary step in my process of letting go. The "one more year"-itis is real and it's hard to pull the plug on a money machine that can't be restarted. So I appreciate the positive comments, encouragement and guidance from all of you on these boards. It is a big help with the "mental" portion of FIRE, which is just as important as the means part. Thanks all!

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Old 01-06-2013, 05:41 PM   #22
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We are debt free also, and just got started a little later than you did. We're getting there, but I agree, the "mental" portion of this whole thing is proving to be as tough as the actual financial perseverance. This is a great resource, isn't it? My husband is going to grow weary of me quoting things I read on this board...

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Old 01-06-2013, 05:49 PM   #23
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Financially you look very good to go.

A couple of questions (which I am sure you have already thought through):

1. you mention a couple of "health scares" - presumably if there is any possibility of these recurring they will be within the scope of your health insurance?

2. you mention that you run your own business - I'm assuming you will either sell it or shut it down when you FIRE? Have you considered whether there may be any possibility of some residual liability coming back to haunt you afterwards?

3. you've only asked about the financial aspects so I assume that the non-financial aspects are well in hand in terms of things to do after you FIRE?
Budgeting is a skill practised by people who are bad at politics.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:35 PM   #24
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1. Health Insurance - Yes, I injured my back about a year after we decided to go with the private insurance policies, so it is covered. I was in great shape and injured it at the gym ironically. Now have chronic back pain and just have to deal with it as best I can. Wife is also fully covered, her issue initially seemed serious but turned out not to be, so we are very lucky. But we have no preconditions not covered by our insurance.

The only threat would be is BC/BS somehow figured out a way to cancel the policies (which we and several thousand other private individuals hold) which I imagine is possible. We also received a notice this year that the policies are grandfathered and will not be affected by Obamacare's requirements. I'm not sure what the implications of this are (good/bad??), it's something I will have to research in the upcoming months. But now that Obamacare is law, I figure we can always fall back on that if something happens with our current policies.

2. Business Insurance - I have specific insurance (tail coverage) that we will keep in effect (probably for 5 years) which will cover any claims. We've never had a claim and don't expect one, but I am prepared.

3. Non-Financial - We have expanded our hobbies (i.e. especially boardgaming with groups of people this year) throughout 2012. Right now we are actively seeking out ways to expand our hobbies and interests and looking for new ones. I'm sure it will be a major adjustment, but I figure for the first six months we can relax, get in better shape and start to fully explore the possibilities.

We've even floated the idea of other business ideas (i.e. Landlord, reselling on Amazon, etc.) as a hobby that brings in a small amount of income every year. But we want to take at least a year off before pursuing another business endeavor.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:39 PM   #25
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Join Date: Feb 2011
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Congrats on your success in achieving FI. Sounds like you've put some good thought into things. Few more issues to consider (and you may have already)-
1. Mental/emotional preparation. Are you psychologically ready to go from "business owner" to "retiree"? Might you be happier easing into retirement by working part-time?
2. Short term cash- Most planners I know rec having 6+mo of living expenses in cash (or equivalents) so you are not forced to sell equities into a market downturn. Did not see cash mentioned in your asset allocation.
3. Activities- Do you have enough non-business stuff to keep you from getting bored over next (hopefully) 40+yrs?

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