Hello to all you ERE enthusiasts!
I have been FI for 10 years now, and have not worked full-time since 2001 and am 46 years old. Since that time I have hosted foreign exchange students, traveled, researched and worked (gratis) in Central America and Europe, studied homeopathy, become a Master Gardener, raised ducks, worked at becoming food sufficient by growing and trading for as much of my food as possible, gotten a Masters Degree in Public Health, as well as taken on different part-time jobs that I have a real interest in. Now, I am teaching public health courses and this allows me to travel and do volunteer work in Spanish (which I didn't know at all when I retired). My DH is not FI but will be in less than 4 years and at that time I hope we can sell the house and travel the western US in an RV and that I can get him interested in living in Central America.
I am happy to know that such a group exists, because I don't know others who think or act like I do with respect to jobs and money. My DH understands (kind of) but I don't think my family quite does, but they don't say much. I don't have any friends that are FI except for traditional retirees and I don't really understand why younger people aren't more interested. So, I have had lots of fun, and haven't spent time explaining myself to others and it really hasn't been a problem.
I don't consider my ER as Extreme as Joe Dominguez or Jacob and I don't believe I spent a lot of time other than doing the YMOYL accounting to get to the crossover point which was $24,000/yr. I have been able to live on a lot less, because I learned more once I quit working and because I got married and we share expenses. I also worked some, but have not needed to dig into that money; I only use it for non-necessary things like travel, gifts and charity. Otherwise, money I earn now goes into Vanguard funds. For the both of us over the last 10 years we have averaged spending about $24K/yr.
I would like to have a better idea of investing, but it really bores me tremendously to do the research. I know the fundamentals, but I'd rather read seed packets or a medical dictionary than a prospectus. I feel that even if I understand all this stuff well, can't these companies give misleading or even false financial statements? I can see how I could have done this when I ran my own small business and can only imagine the deceit that could be created in a larger business.