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What started you on the road to FI ?
Old 11-14-2011, 05:58 PM   #1
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What started you on the road to FI ?

Me, a book about not having debt, carrying only term life insurance, owning only no load index funds and paying off the house in half the time by doubling up on principle payments. That was thirty years ago.

What say you ?
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:12 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frayne View Post
Me, a book about not having debt, carrying only term life insurance, owning only no load index funds and paying off the house in half the time by doubling up on principle payments. That was thirty years ago.

What say you ?
I could rattle off a list as long as my arm but the the bottom line is the girl I married turned out to hate debt as much as me.
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:15 PM   #3
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It all started when I was a little pup. When I saw well off folks living in a nice brick house while living in a trailer park after my daddy dog retired after many years living from one base housing to another base housing.

While all my friends were enjoying their summer in the pool, I mowed lawns under the Texas hot sun to save for my new bicycle to make my paper route easier faster with with 10 speed. After I upgrade my bicycle, I upgrade to motorcycle to work at KFC by lying about my age. Back then you could get your SS card at post office. I wanted to earn morn than I need to save toward FI and RE.

Anyhow, I want to be FI when I'm 50 so I didn't have to worry about basic necessities in life. I'm still on the journey and past my deadline due to two divorces but still want to FIRE or just be FIR (without E) in the worst case scenario.
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:20 PM   #4
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When I found myself penniless and alone at age 50, with my only income being from a soft money research job, that little lightbulb went off over my head.... I thought, "Gee! I need to get my act together."

Later when retirement seemed like an impossible goal, my brother told me it wasn't and that I could figure out how to reach this goal. His faith in me helped me to believe I could do it, too.
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:30 PM   #5
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While all my friends were enjoying their summer in the pool, I mowed lawns under the Texas hot sun
Oof, Been There Done That when it comes to mowing in the Texas heat and it's a lot harder than it sounds. People who don't live there don't understand about Texas heat (and for REWahoo's benefit I should add, fire ants, scorpions, high property taxes...). Actually I loved Texas but sure got dehydrated mowing that lawn for 8 years.
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:33 PM   #6
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While there were many steps on the way to realizing that I would FIRE at some point before I turned 60, the biggest realization that I could attain this came in 1998 (I was 35) when I paid off my mortgage (after having had one for only 9 years) and greatly reduced my annual expenses.
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:43 PM   #7
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When my aunt served me noodles that were drenched in sweet and sour sauce (the kind you use for dipping chicken nuggets)

She was on a pension which was being whittled away every year - she was renting an apartment and there was no rent control. The more she spent on rent, the less she had for little luxuries. Every year, her life seemed to close in around her.

It came to a head with the noodles - she was making do with whatever was in her pantry but was too proud to say anything.

I was able to get her cheapskate kids to chip in some money towards her necessities, and her landlord eventually froze her rent at a lower level. Towards the end, she was doing fairly well for herself.

It got me thinking though - as a single woman, I did not want to run the risk of being homeless, with no one to help me down the road. I bought my place and started saving like mad. It kind of helped that my boss doubled my salary at about the same time.
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:44 PM   #8
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I was born thrifty, and married similar.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:04 PM   #9
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My road to FI started in earnest in 2002. After only 8 months on my first real job, my employer went bankrupt with little warning. Lining up another job proved difficult due to the ongoing recession and it really did hurt my pride. I thought to myself, there is no way I am gonna put up with this BS for another 40 years.

ER only became a focus of mine after reading 'work less, live more' circa 2005-2006.

But, in reality, my passion for saving money started when I was a kid.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:20 PM   #10
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I grew up poor. Food pantry, only one shower per week until highschool kinda poor. My income when I first started out on my own was ~$20K/yr. That was 11 years ago and it seemed like a lot of money at that time. I lived on less than that right from the start and never increased my expenses even though my income rose to nearly $50K/yr. To this day I live like a poor college kid. I've spent a total of less than $4000 on home furnishings in my life and see no need to spend any more for several years. FI is much more doable if your spending $15K/yr than if your spending $50K/yr.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:24 PM   #11
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The tech crash of 2000-02 and resultant personal misery made me obsessed with FIRE, and Cashing in on the American Dream showed me it was truly possible.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:35 PM   #12
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Coming to the realization that my current job was never going to be what I hoped for and that anything else I wanted to pursue came with a sizable pay cut or huge financial downside risk. Being FI would allow me to escape mega corp and chase one or more dreams.


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Old 11-14-2011, 07:36 PM   #13
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About 15 years ago when I found TMF and RetireEarly and realized my needs were easily covered by $25K/year; and the stress was killing me.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Oof, Been There Done That when it comes to mowing in the Texas heat and it's a lot harder than it sounds. People who don't live there don't understand about Texas heat (and for REWahoo's benefit I should add, fire ants, scorpions, high property taxes...). Actually I loved Texas but sure got dehydrated mowing that lawn for 8 years.
Thank you for your understand and empathy. It was worst when I had non-motorized mower until I invest in motorized mower to mow more lawns and faster. That when I learn that it takes money to make money. My productivity went up three fold with motorized lawn mower.
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:09 PM   #15
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I was divorced and a single Mom when the light bulb went off that I needed to save to put my children through college and retire some day . I started saving and never stopped .
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:16 PM   #16
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A good financial education from my parents helped get me started on the right path, but the biggest driver was in my early twenties when the fall out from the 1987 share market crash and following recession (which hit my home country very hard) bankrupted a prviously wealthy uncle and a previously wealthy aunt and saw me spending part of my early career working on mortgagee sales.

I still think to myself "I don't want that to happen to me."
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:32 PM   #17
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Pretty much the grace of God and dumb luck. Someone mentioned the 4 percent rule and FIREcalc, and learning about that and seeing it support the success rates reported by retirement calculators at Fidelity, Money magazine's old site, etc., when we plugged in our info relieved a lot of stress.
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:37 PM   #18
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When my mother died at aged 62. I was 40 at the time.
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:39 PM   #19
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There have been many influences, but the earliest was the fact that I have had a bank account since I was a baby and was taught about compound interest as a young child. Frugal parents helped too. They had their pension calculations worked out to the last penny. I started my working career about the time my father retired, and the fact that he had a COLAd pension, which I would never have, got me thinking that becoming FIRE was all up to me.
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:40 PM   #20
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I could rattle off a list as long as my arm but the the bottom line is the girl I married turned out to hate debt as much as me.
This. My wife is even thriftier than I am.

Both of us came from lower income families. Neither of us expected to have a lot of income (we met at a teacher's college). When I ended up with a good-paying job, LBYM was kind of automatic.
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