Oh no, not another fake guru talking about FIRE. I have never really paid attention to all the websites and YouTube videos around Financial Independence Retire Early. This journey is one I started before most people were regulars on the internet. Before Google. Before YouTube. I’m only 42. I never researched FIRE on the internet because the internet wasn’t really relevant when I developed my plan and mindset.
I’ve started watching YouTube videos lately as a side effect to starting to write this blog. I had no idea how crowded this space is. It’s mind blowing how many flashy objects there are. I am blown away by how many people are experts on retiring early. Who is real and who is a fake guru?
It reminds me of when I found out MTV Cribs “stars” rented their cars and houses. It makes it all seem too good to be true. Where there is flash there is rarely cash.
So why should you listen to me? You shouldn’t. I want you to be you. Ideally you’ll read my site and find some interesting tidbits. You’ll read other people’s sites and find interesting tidbits. You’ll watch flashy YouTube videos and learn. Some will be B.S. Some will be great. Just learn and try. Then you put it all together into your own story. Your own journey.
Everyone on the internet is an expert. There is so much good advice, and so much bad advice. It’s up to you to figure out which is which. Free advice is expensive. Paying for advice is expensive. Just slow down and think about all the advice and turn it into your own plan. Do your own thing. It’s easier to follow your plan than someone else’s. At the end of the day FIRE isn’t complicated, it’s just a math problem and mindset.
I am not a fake guru. That’s because I am not fake. I am also not a guru. I am just writing for you what i have learned and what worked for me. I’ve tried to be smart and I’ve tried to be efficient. I’ve made a lot of mistakes. But more than anything, I’m just a data point for you. My way isn’t the best way for you. Your way is the best way for you.
I’m also not even retired yet! I have Financial Independence, but I have not retired early. Having 3 kids 4 and under and living a comfortable life in a nice neighborhood (bordering some of the most expense zip codes in the large city we live in) means our cost of living is high. I could always lower it. That lever is there. Instead we are focusing on the very last steps of accumulation and income. My wife and I could both stay at home and not work. We just aren’t ready. We want a bigger cushion or supplemental income. So FIRE to us may mean one of us works a part time job. But we have the freedom to not do that. We have the financial independence.
I am 42. She is 38. We have 3 kids 4 and under. We aren’t frugal. Yet work is optional.
We have the freedom to do many things. FIRE to us doesn’t mean no income. It doesn’t mean only live off of the income from our investments. Instead Financial Independence to us means we don’t need to work full time until we are 60. We can get out of that trap earlier. We are in control.
That’s the thing. FIRE means so many different things to so many different people. The outcome is the same. It’s a matter of having time and freedom earlier in life. Why wait until you’re in your 60s to have time on your hands? I prefer the idea of being present with my wife and kids. I prefer retiring in my 40s and 50s and then having time on my hands so I can still run around and be active. No offense to the active 60 year olds, but we all know it isn’t the same. Recovery is tougher.
This blog is my story and my thoughts, but it’s for you. It isn’t for my ego. I haven’t even said my name. I don’t matter. The story does. I am not looking for pats on the back. The best outcome of this blog is for there to be a few more people retire early. The even better outcome than best is for a few more dads to retire early and spend more time with their kids and grand kids. I want that for your kids and grand kids.
If you gather a few ah ha’s, and you come back I’ll consider this site a success.