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Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?
Old 05-05-2006, 07:44 AM   #1
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Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?

Jay G. brought this up in another thread and thought it should be an entire thread 8)

I have decided that I am more inclined to become FI in my early 40s/late 30s first and probably dont want to stop working and will need something to do. Are people in the same boat (maybe want to pursue something more interesting/meaningful that might not pay as well/want to take more risk to start a small business that might not make a lot of money/make babies and stay at home while your wife works, etc.)?*
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?
Old 05-05-2006, 08:05 AM   #2
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?

For the meantime, just FI for me too. I dont hate my job yet. Guess that's a good thing since i'm gonna have to be here for many more years.
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?
Old 05-05-2006, 08:47 AM   #3
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?

The other day I pondered a bit about what would happen if I won the lottery--unlikely since I don't buy tickets--and had my $1mil - $1.5 mil or more right now. Would I really not work?

I don't like a structured life where I'm expected to be in a particular place at 8am M-F. So yeah, I wouldn't work in a traditional job at all. I already quit once in 2000 and am quitting again at the end of this month. I enjoy not working, but for now I still need income, so I'll be looking for work after moving.

But when the time comes when I don't need to work, I'll quit permanently. That doesn't preclude temporary gigs or perhaps other money making schemes, but I'm preprogrammed to not like having my time scheduled for me. I took 10 days off in March and took off driving with no plans and had a ball. Apparently not everyone's like this, though.
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?
Old 05-05-2006, 08:58 AM   #4
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?

I suppose that for now I am working mainly on the FI part, since who knows what the intervening yeras will bring. However, I really have my heart set on RE. Not to say I won't do some PT stuff or one-off occasionally if the pay is good, the headaches and commitments aren't high and it iss interesting.
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?
Old 05-05-2006, 09:08 AM   #5
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?

I am definitely in this boat, and was going to start a whole long post on the subject this afternoon, but I guess you saved me from that.
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?
Old 05-05-2006, 09:21 AM   #6
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?

One of the things I would have mentioned was that I find it a constant source of amusement to post on an "early retirement" board, when I have no intention of really retiring and, to be honest, kind of think of retirement as a boring old-person activity..
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?
Old 05-05-2006, 09:49 AM   #7
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?

I've always aimed at the FI part, figuring it would buy me the freedom to work when and where I chose. If that's not at all, that's fine.

But...

I really enjoyed working part-time in a bookstore many years ago. The pay sucks rocks, but the work itself was fun. I might do that again.

The point for me is that I would never have to work for the money again. If I chose to work for fun, that's different.
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?
Old 05-05-2006, 10:06 AM   #8
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?

Hi,

Well, my goal is to FIRE at 52. I'm 37. I plan to do volunteer work on a regular basis after that, in addition to traveling and pursuing hobbies and things.

I like my job, but if I won the lottery tomorrow, and was set for life, would I quit? I believe I would. I would get more involved with the charity I already do some work for, and find another one or two to help out.

Or, if I wanted to make a little money, I would feel free to get a job that pays little but has no stress or deadlines etc. I like the bookstore idea - I love to read!

Karen
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?
Old 05-05-2006, 10:28 AM   #9
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cool Dood
One of the things I would have mentioned was that I find it a constant source of amusement to post on an "early retirement" board, when I have no intention of really retiring and, to be honest, kind of think of retirement as a boring old-person activity.. *
The definition of "retirement" is being discussed in parallel on several threads right now.* Interesting.

I think the core subject behind Firecalc is FI, not RE.* RE is but one possible outcome of becoming FI.

Retirement "as a boring old-person activity."* Hmmmmmm........* I guess this gets back to definitions again, but I guess I'd say that chances are if you're retiring because you hate your job, you may just be jumping into a boring void.* If you're retiring because you are excited about learning new things, being responsible for yourself financially and seek the opportunity to do things you haven't done before, you won't be bored and you won't be "old."
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?
Old 05-05-2006, 10:44 AM   #10
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?

I would have to agree. I'm working more to the FI than ER. I love to write fiction as a hobby, but I know its a good way to stave to death in the current market place. So I will most likely FI and then continue to "work" on something I love as much or as little as I like.

I suppose the FI gives you the choice to do as you please.

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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?
Old 05-05-2006, 10:44 AM   #11
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?

My wife and I are aiming to be FI around age 40, and to be honest I am not sure if I will RE at that time. But we want to live abroad and jobs might be hard to come by, so I want the freedom to not worry about needing to work.

I might work at some small job just because I want to, or I might start some small scale business doing something I like.

But good point - FI is our goal right now, more so than RE. We live pretty simply so if we keep our monthly expenses down we will get there sooner.
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?
Old 05-05-2006, 10:47 AM   #12
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?

Some days its for FI and some days its RE. *Doesnt really matter, I'm still 10+ years away from FI and the possibility of RE. *
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?
Old 05-05-2006, 11:00 AM   #13
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?

It all comes down to how you define retirement. *The reason I want to be FI is to be free from HAVING to work. *When that pressure is gone, you are free to take risks you normally would not - for example, starting your own company, going for a PhD, or teaching SCUBA lessons to tourists in the Cayman Islands. *Those activities don't necessarily even need to "break even" to be worthwhile when you're not concerned about paying the bills.

I'm on track to be FI at age 37 and I doubt I will be playing shuffleboard for the last 50 years of my life. *Part of my "problem" is I have so many diverse interests, that jobs bore me - doing the same thing month after month. *I like learning about ancient history, space exploration, new cultures, new technologies. *I'd love a job where I could dig up dinosaurs in Argentina while searching for new planets, learning conversational Japanese and writing a screenplay! *In my experience, such jobs are hard to come by.

So, when I become FI, I will definitely make changes and "retire". *I wouldn't waste my time doing this menial, uninteresting work if I didn't "have to". *It might mean writing computer games at home and starting a company. *That might mean travelling the world and trying to sell a photography collection. *That might mean becoming a lifetime student or going into research. *Heck, it might be as simple as becoming a Wal-mart greeter if that's how I enjoy spending my time.

So, I guess my definition of retirement IS financial freedom/independence, not necessarily sitting on the couch all day.
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?
Old 05-05-2006, 11:27 AM   #14
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?

Props to Maddy for starting this thread. Some very interesting observations and thoughts on the subject thus far. The consensus seems to be that FI is the true goal of most people, in that it gives you the freedom to choose how you spend your time. People often wish they were 18 years old again so that they can choose a different path. Contrary to popular belief, however, achieving FI is the only time most people will ever have the opportunity to choose how they want to spend their time. This is because at age 18 you still don't have financial independence. Yes, you have your whole life ahead of you, thus you have the most valuable commodity of all -- TIME. The problem is that true freedom requires both time AND money, since we all have to eat, need a place to sleep, clothes on our backs, healthcare, and money to spend in the future when we can't work anymore. Therefore, while some of us might change fields, most of us would still choose money over "bliss" were we age 18 again.

A few months ago, there was a thread inquiring whether FIRE was possible within 20 years of working (i.e., by age 40 or so). FI is certainly possible, even if you have a family, with the primary unknown being the omnipresent requirement of healthcare coverage. Achieving that feat will require frugality and sacrifice during some of the best years of your life. Thus, FI by 40 isn't a choice most people would make. They would prefer to enjoy themselves to a certain degree, so FI by 45 or so is just fine.
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?
Old 05-05-2006, 12:02 PM   #15
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?

IMHO, FI is REQUIRED to RE. It makes all the sence in the world to work to FI first. RE then becomes and option. It is up to you to take it or not. If you like your job then great...keep doing it for as long as you find pleasure in it. If not, then you CAN bail and ER because you are FI.

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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?
Old 05-05-2006, 12:23 PM   #16
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?

Good thing.
The last years of work might actually be fun once you reach FI once you have a GTH (Go To H**L) fund.
FI or close-FI guys don't sweep the floor any more and that is not all due to experience - they can go anytime they want.
Also get better jobs since they are more confident. [Remember the Office Space movie guy with the fish ]
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?
Old 05-05-2006, 12:45 PM   #17
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?

I think this is a good discussion point because there is no overall right answer. By some calculations my wife & I are FI. She is retiring, well today, sort of. I went ot her school and at the assembly her class sang farewell songs She has been teaching for 20+ years and is 58. She loves teaching but was getting burned out. (Loves! teaching, her class test results are excellent, we have visited schools in foreign countries on vacation, when she taught kindergarten Saturdays were for hitting yard sales to get books & things for her class...) She already has three offers to sub, lead workshops, & coordinate student teachers. I suspect she will stay busy. But there was a critical point in the last couple years when she would come home tired & burned out and it dawned on her that she didn't *have*to work, we were no longer 30 or 40, the house was paid off, one son has left home and other one is a junior in high school. It was having FI that allowed us to do this. Oh, and now she can spend more time with our grandchild (and another on the way) from older son.

Now I like my job, I am not getting burned out but I can easily imagine enjoying retirement even more. So my retirement is more of a calculation based on how much more than the basic level we want and issues like younger son's college costs and maybe a major market downturn. Since I can choose when I retire I can maybe avoid a 1929 retirement. I expect if my wife's retirement goes will it may accelerate my own. That, and I just talked to a senior person in our office who thinks there may be buyouts in the near future. I would probably take one not so much for the money but more because its less fun to work in a place after downsizing. I would hate to see my assistant, who I recruited, get cut and then 6 months later I retire. I'd just as soon go now.

Long & rambling but I think even the most ardent ERs really honor the point of being able to do what you want and acknowledging that for some people that includes working. Why does Bill Gates or Warren Buffett work? I think they want to. (OK, maybe Gates has an inner saddistic life that likes inflicting pain on programers & users....oh, sorry, wrong thread) My dad had a blue collar job but he really liked to work, I think he would have lived longer if he kept working.
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?
Old 05-05-2006, 12:53 PM   #18
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?

Quite true
I opens many doors to alternative possibilities 8)

- ER
Stay home - or travel

- New line of work
Higher income (say NO to any job below a certain reward level) - or Lower income (volunteer, do whatever)

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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?
Old 05-05-2006, 01:13 PM   #19
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMoneyJim
I already quit once in 2000 and am quitting again at the end of this month. I enjoy not working, but for now I still need income, so I'll be looking for work after moving.
Jim, what's causing the job change?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMoneyJim
But when the time comes when I don't need to work, I'll quit permanently. That doesn't preclude temporary gigs or perhaps other money making schemes, but I'm preprogrammed to not like having my time scheduled for me. I took 10 days off in March and took off driving with no plans and had a ball. Apparently not everyone's like this, though.
The fewer the schedules & commitments, the happier I am.

As for you-- you know that in 20 years you'll be spending your FI time beta-testing FIRECalc v6.0 for Dory and programming the changes in PHP v7.9 while this board contemplates its 10 millionth post.
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?
Old 05-05-2006, 04:41 PM   #20
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Re: Who is working to be FI rather than FIRE?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Jim, what's causing the job change?


The fewer the schedules & commitments, the happier I am.

As for you-- you know that in 20 years you'll be spending your FI time beta-testing FIRECalc v6.0 for Dory and programming the changes in PHP v7.9 while this board contemplates its 10 millionth post.
Family and stupidity/laziness/inertia are causing the job change. I want to go back and spoil the new neice and nephew. Also have some extra cousins that all moved back home and may disperse again in the next year. Grandad's not getting younger, etc, etc.. The stupidity/laziness/inertia is that I haven't been looking for work down there except poking my company and telling them I'd really like them to make room for me back home. I'm tired of waiting on myself and the company, so I'm moving down there and will be more motivated to find work while drawing down my modest savings.

I gripe about this job, but as jobs go there's nothing really wrong with it.


Yeah, schedules and commitments suck. I don't know what I'm doing tomorrow, but I know I'll feel good about how I spend the time. I also know I'll have a blast while not working. I did in 2000. Only this time I'm debt free!

I wonder how many years of online time you and REWahoo will have racked up in 20 years? I may have to be sure the counters will go that high.

EDIT: If this works out well, I'm starting to wonder if job hopping every few years will become a habit. After a rough start it worked out well last time, and I tend to get bored with the same thing after a while. We'll see in 3-5 years. If any potential employers are reading this, I'm not talking about you. I'd love to work for your company until age 60-65 and take minimal annual raises and weak bonuses...your company is that precious to me.
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