We are almost ready to retire early. We have Financial Independence. My wife is a stay at home mom with our three kids. We have assets. We just haven’t figure out what to do next.
The friends that are aware that we will retire soon ask me what they think to be a hard question. They ask “what are you going to do when you retire?” The answer is simple. “smile”. But we aren’t there yet.
We also need to be clear on what FIRE means to me. Actually let’s focus on the retire part of it. I don’t expect my wife and I to do nothing for income. We have a nice asset base, but it isn’t high enough to invest at 5% a year and cover our expense. So retire to me means stop being a slave to a full time job. It means more of a semi-retirement. It means to spend 10-20 hours a week combined bringing in income, and the rest of the time enjoying life. That time spent bringing in income will also be on our terms. We want to work when and how we want to work.
To do this, we will need a mix of passive income from investment and active income from some type of part type job.
Another option is to scale up the investments. I considered this. We could put down payments on 20-30 more houses or an apartment complex. This seemed like the easy option. I was talking through it with a friend on a run recently. He owns several small businesses and real estate. He gave me eye opening advice. “Don’t do that”.
His advice was “you’ve already done single family houses. Do something that makes you learn” He was right. Learning it what is important. I started in real estate with $800 and turned it into many times that. I understand how to do that. But do I really need that much debt over the next 20 years just to have an even larger lump sum when I’m in my 60s?
No we need income now. My approach with single family rental houses in my 20s was to have other people pay the mortgages off. They did. Then I sold most of them. I still have 2 rental houses.
So now we are exploring options. We’ve looked at several businesses to buy but each are more active than I want. We want time. We’re considering one of us taking a part time job. We have also discussed buying a website.
There are so many websites that address supplemental income. There are so many YouTubes on buying laundromats, car washes, flipping furniture, etc. It’s not hard to make money in this country. It’s hard to keep your expenses low enough to be able to make enough money to cover those expenses.
But the most important point to all of this is: If you make a goal, stick with it, then you can be the the driver’s seat of your own Financial Independence. You can decided what Retire Early means to you. You can decide when you are ready to retire early.