Dad is FIRE

One dad's journey to Financial Independence Retiring Early

Many paths to financial independence

There are many paths to FIRE. I was just reading a blog called A Purple Life. In mostly her words with slight editing by me: “She developed a plan to retire in 10 years at 35. With the help of decreased spending, increased wages, and geoarbitrageĀ she reached her goal in half the time and retired in 2020 at age 30.”

That’s the wonderful thing about FIRE. There are many paths to the same outcome. A Purple Life’s plan focused on decreasing spending. She has lived abroad, does not own a house, and does not plan to have kids. My path is different. I have a house and kids. Both approaches work. What matters here is that we both had a plan that fit our own personalities.

Something that really stood out when reading her blog was her transparency around her financials. I love transparency. I would like to echo her transparency, but I do not want to state net worth. For my approach, stating net worth online works against me. I am trying to avoid keeping up with the Jones’. If my neighbors know my net worth then expectations on me change.

But i will share expenses for now. One key to Financial Independence Retire Early is understanding your expenses today, and your expenses when you retire.

We are a family of 5 and spend $5k a month. That’s a lot for the midwest. That is not frugal life. We have a comfortable standard of living. We have everything we need, but don’t buy everything we want.

I am still employed in a salary job. We still owe $140k on our house, with a monthly payment of $2k (15 year mortgage). I am trying not to quit my job until that mortgage is paid off in the next 3 years. Once that $2k is removed from our expenses and I quit my job, we will need health insurance. So I am expecting our monthly expenses to stay at that $5k number.

So this just becomes a math problem. We just need to figure out how to have an income (or take away from savings) to cover $5k expenses each month.

So going back to A Purple Life. She did great by decreasing her expenses. Not all paths need to do that. Her decisions allowed her to accomplish FIRE in her 30s. My higher expenses means I’ll reach that goal in my mid 40s (or today if I was more of a risk taker)

Well done A Purple Life!

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