KellyFromKeene posted:

Wow, haven't heard of that specifically. But my fiancee is on track to retire early (not that early though!) and I couldn't be more excited. 

Is he doing anything specific that has helped him be able to retire early? Would love to hear more! 

@Briana He lived at home till he was 42!  (Unusual circumstances, death of a parent, etc., but still.) He is a lineman, and saved so much money. He will have the house paid off this year, and has been contributing about a third of his income to his retirement for most of his career. He saves up for everything, pays cash, and is careful about his spending. He drives a 20+ year old truck. He's just good with his money!

The real question for FIRE is not how to get enough money to retire early. There are many ways to do that, especially if you start young. On the other hand, if you put this goal off too long, there is no safe way. So here the simple answer is: start relatively young! 

The BIG question is what to do with all of those years. You may think you can lie on a beach sipping pinacoladas for 25 years, but I assure you, if you are human you cannot. Same for that cabin in the Maine woods. Boredom and suicidal thoughts will intrude.  Humans are a bit like sheep dogs - they are made to work - to use their bodies and brains for some purpose. Relaxation is great and necessary to restore and renew. But it is not a human lifestyle. Same for leisure. The Greeks saw clearly that leisure was necessary for a human life. But what was that? To learn, to think, to create, to engage in the political life of the community. 

Bottom line: you not only have to create a solid financial plan for FIRE, but also a solid creative life plan. 

I retired 15 years ago at the more or less standard early retirement age of 62. I could have retired a decade earlier from a financial point of view, but there were certain advantages for me in staying in the workplace (as a professor, I didn't qualify for emeritus status until 62, and important benefits like access to the university library came with that status). 

For the last 15 years I have become an expert on an important topic (active learning) and have been invited all over the world to give lectures and workshops. Becoming an expert: a master craftsman, an artist, a writer, sportsman, cake baker, designer - all of these are well within reach in a decade of concentrated effort. That is what concentrated leisure is for! 

But like the financial plan, it is important to start the creative life plan reasonably early. If you want to be a writer, sports fisherman, artist, collector of whatever, you do not need endless leisure to get started. Take active steps and get a solid start at the same time that you start saving for retirement. 

 

 

 

I have never heard of F.I.R.E until now. F.I.R.E has me very excited, though. 

Even those of us that have missed the time period for early retirement can leverage the techniques for F.I.R.E to catch up or retire earlier than we thought possible. In my case, I will be leveraging it to catch up and make up for poor investment choices made in the past. (I was on track for early retirement but made a very poor investment and now all my retirement savings are in danger of being lost. By using the techniques for early retirement, I should still be able to retire at a decent age. YAY!!!)

Theodora posted:

The F.I.R.E is on FIRE.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/0...e-fire-movement.html

Would love to hear from any of you who are pursuing a strategy to retire early.  Teach me your ways!

Forced retirement at 57--now 63 and still pursuing jobs to no avail after five years!  Living off savings and waiting to collect S.S. when I run out of $.  Collecting EBT for food and Medi-Cal for medical.  If society doesn't want to give us older people jobs--then they can support us!  

Live simply is the answer.

It is relatively easy to cut back on expenses. Every time you think about an optional purchase, think about the 20 year return on that money split between stocks and bonds. You can immediately see the cost in a more realistic context if retirement is your aim. 

I also have found a vision board helpful. This has kept me focused on the things I want to do. And I read the Wish List Book by Barbara Ann KIpfer, which helped me get an even more specific sense of these things.

But oddly enough, I gravitated mostly back to the things I got good at when I was working, and with less pressure and more leisure, just continued getting better at them in retirement. 

This led to many unexpected opportunities. At 76 I have just re-entered the workforce in a job that enables me to do many things I want to do without imposing typical job  hassles. 

 

 

Thanks to everyone that has shared what they are doing, which books they found helpful, etc. I am making a list so I can follow in your footsteps. 

There is a website I came across that others might find interesting and useful. (To give proper credit, I found out about it from a Penny Hoarder newsletter -- YAY Penny Hoarder folks. You all rock!!)

Some of the suggestions on the website I already do. However, there is much that I am in the process of implementing. For example, right now I am doing the "21 day makeover". I already have no car, but I am living in an apartment costs more than others in the area that I desire to live in. So, apartment hunting I go. I should be able to shave off at least $100 per month in rental fees, if not more, and still live within walking distance to the church my son and I are so very rooted in. That is at least $1,200 in savings per year that could be used to pay off debt and then put into investments. Once I get the apartment situation figured out and handled, I will be moving onto the next makeover task.

The links to the website and its wiki are:


http://earlyretirementextreme.com/

https://wiki.earlyretirementextreme.com/

I retired at 32 due to a chronic medical condition...But I intentionally chose my career because they had a robust disability retirement program so if my medical condition escalated, I would be fine financially.

I am not rich by any means, but I am comfortable.  I have enough to invest, and own investment property as well. 

 

 

Hey There! I researched federal employment for years prior to applying because they had the best retirement & disability retirement plans available.  The government only requires 5 years of federal service to be eligible for disability retirement. I worked for as long as I could until my body couldn't handle the workload or stress and retired.  

The process took about 6 months after I applied and my payments began at the beginning of the new year.  I actually do consult as a paid hobby- helping individuals with disabilities become eligible for federal employment since there isn't a conflict of interest anymore for me. 

I worked as hard as I could to move up as fast as I could because I never knew when my body would give out.  I also saved about 20% of my income through my TSP(the government's ira program) every year for the 8 years that I worked.   

I'm personally not yet in a position to do a FIRE strategy, but my partner is.

We researched many ways to do so, and they all basically boil down to this:

  • Research early and young.
  • Land a high-paying (and likely high-stress job) in your 20s.
  • Live well below your means (rent 15% ~ 20% of monthly income. The lower the better.)
  • Contribute heavily to a 401k plan, preferably at a company that offers employer matching.
  • Max out a ROTH IRA account annually, which is currently $6k for people <50 $7k for people >50.
  • Build an emergency fund for ~6 months taking into account those hefty retirement contributions.
  • After that, strategies differ. Some open brokerage accounts, some make real estate investments. But that's the core.

A lot of people "retire" into a career field that they really enjoy, which is also usually low-paying. It keeps them busy and fulfilled, and they can work without depending on the job to cover their necessities.

My husband and I plan on being in the position to retire in 12 years. I'm currently a SAHM with some side hustles and he's AD military. Here's our plan:

We currently max out our IRAs

He contributes to his TSP

We invest in dividend stocks.

We plan on buying a house every time the government moves us (every 2-3 years) and then renting it out. We currently own 1 rental property and looking to buy another next summer. Unfortunately our currently location and other logistical things (like moving with a 2 week old baby) kept us from buying this move. We make extra payments on our mortgage and plan to have all houses paid off within 5 years of retiring.

My husband will also get a decent military pension when he retires.

We plan on living off his pension, dividends, and rental income. We currently live very frugally and well below our means, so that we can live very well in retirement.

Crystal, that is amazing you have such a well laid out plan this early!! Kudos to you and your husband. 

Do you have a niche rental market with military families?!! I think that is a great opportunity and hope you are able to manage the rentals long distance, rather it be through a management company or yourselves.  I found a niche rental market in my area and it served me well for many years.

I hope you are able to see your plan of early retirement fulfilled!!!

KellyFromKeene posted:

Wow, @Crystal, sounds like a great plan! 

All you landlords out there, is the hassle worth the return? 

Hey there! I’m a landlord of a 5 unit building and what I would say is it is only worth it if you have a solid team to work with (a trustworthy property manager, contractor, etc). I bled money for the first 18 months of being a long distance landlord because I didn’t have a good team. People were stealing money from me, doing substandard repair work, and really just using me for a paycheck. When I finally got the right team, I turned a 12k a year loss into a 53k+ a year residual profit from just one building. I bought the building at 125k and now (2 years later with the updates and rent roll) it’s worth 300k. 

So yes; it can be very profitable- but you have to have a good team. Best of luck!

Crystal posted:

My husband and I plan on being in the position to retire in 12 years. I'm currently a SAHM with some side hustles and he's AD military. Here's our plan:

We currently max out our IRAs

He contributes to his TSP

We invest in dividend stocks.

We plan on buying a house every time the government moves us (every 2-3 years) and then renting it out. We currently own 1 rental property and looking to buy another next summer. Unfortunately our currently location and other logistical things (like moving with a 2 week old baby) kept us from buying this move. We make extra payments on our mortgage and plan to have all houses paid off within 5 years of retiring.

My husband will also get a decent military pension when he retires.

We plan on living off his pension, dividends, and rental income. We currently live very frugally and well below our means, so that we can live very well in retirement.

This is a wonderful idea! Way to plot it out! Make sure you’re getting at least a 5% return on your investments to make up for inflation over the years... but other than that- I’d say this is a solid game plan!

KellyFromKeene posted:

Wow, @Crystal, sounds like a great plan! 

All you landlords out there, is the hassle worth the return? 

As a landlord myself.  I owned 10 units and now only own 5.  It is the only thing I feel that I have done successfully.  I want to buy more but I have changed career paths that is paying me much less.  So I have to build up saving more to buy more. That is why I am here.  Learn how to make more passive income so I can buy more rentals. 

 

I follow a F.I.R.E blog called Can I Retire Yet and this was posted earlier this month about a couple who were able to retire early but had a very rude awakening when the husband was diagnosed with brain cancer.  I thought the comments section was also enlightening to read.

 https://www.caniretireyet.com/because-you-never-know 

I suppose emergencies are always in the back of our minds when we retire, at least it's a big weight on my mind.......health issues being at the top.

I subscribe to the "retire early and live while you can" platform but this article emphasizes the need to have a well thought out agenda. Like these folks, my answer was always "I can go back to work".  We found out in 2008 that plan B needs to have more guts behind it.  My better half and I were both in real estate/construction related businesses and that was THE crash.  There was not work to go find; thank goodness for planned reserves for emergencies. Happy to report I retired 3 years ago and my hubs this year.  But we had our share of bumps along the way and we were not able to retire as young as we had hoped.

 

 

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