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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 5:38 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:00 am
Posts: 47

I'm 27 years old, and just got started thinking about early financial independence this year. Prior to that, I use to save about 20% to 30% of my income. Although the drudgery of work had already started to take its toll after 5 years, I never really gave early retirement much thought. I figured I was doing ok, for the most part, since I was saving more than most of my friends.


After reading the blogs and other journal entries on this site, I am now inspired and totally bought into doing this. I value the freedom and flexibility to do what I want, when I want more than anything. My efforts so far this year include: opening a taxable account for investing in stocks,aiming to save 60% to 70% of earned income every month, being more green and walking 3 miles to and from work as opposed to driving, finding cheaper hobbies, etc.


The biggest money savers so far have probably been eating out less frequently, and finding cheaper (but equally as entertaining) hobbies.


Here is how I did in April:


Rent 750.00

Utilities 15.00

Internet 15.00

Food 175.16

Gas 59.47

Phone 50.00

Other / Fun 251.84


Total 1316.47


Expense Ratio 25.69%

Savings Ratio 74.31%


With the earnings saved, I put about $1200 into buying some Chevron stock (CVX) this month. In general, I am trying to invest up to $2000 a month into the market. If I feel the market is too expensive, I simply transfer the funds into my brokerage account and leave it sitting in the cash account. The idea is to build up this taxable account and create a passive income generator.


Well, this is my starting point anyhow. Looking forward to fine-tuning and finding even more ways to save money.




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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 10:55 am 

Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:25 pm
Posts: 79

FI, that's an excellent savings ratio and computes to an excellent annual salary for a young person. You are on your way! Are those ratios based on gross or net wages? Don't forget, I assume you also have expenses for health & auto insurance and auto maintenance. I also buy short & long term disability insurance and long term care insurance, costing me $70/mo.


Are some of your utilities included in the rent? Mine run run $75 - $100 for gas, water, electric.


My savings ratios bounce around quite a bit depending on unexpected expenses, especially home repairs, but ever since I stopped paying $800+ per month rent and bought my house outright, my savings ratio is running about 25% of net pay.




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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 11:06 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:00 am
Posts: 47

Andre,


Thanks for the encouragement! Those wages are based off of net earnings that I receive each month. In regards to health insurance, I am fortunate that I have a very good plan provided by my company. I generally only have to account for $10 co-payments. Of course, I will be tracking any health expenses in my journal as well. For auto expenses, I had a $60 smog check this month that is included in the 'Other' category. I paid my registration last month.


Yes, utilities are included in my rent. I live with 3 other people, so I am lucky that I don't have to pay so much atm. The landlord is also a pretty nice guy, and his monthly rates are fixed. From what I've gathered, I also don't expect the rent itself to increase in the next year.


Congrats on your home purchase! This must be a very exciting time for you, and it must feel great not having to pay somebody else anymore. 25% savings is excellent. What is your preferred method of investing your savings?




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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 8:58 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:25 pm
Posts: 79

FI, half of my net worth is in an IRA. That's equally split between CDs (at 2.5% to 5.5%) and 7-to-10 year A-rated corporate bonds (at 4% to 5%).


My non-IRA funds are equally split between blended Vanguard funds and fixed investments (CDs & corp bonds).


I've become fairly risk averse since the stock market downturns of 2001 and 2008. I think I may need to take on a little bit more risk, and may put some more in Vanguard funds (but I've been telling myself this for two years).




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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 9:20 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Posts: 4838
Location: Chicago, IL

In terms of budgeting for "fun", my cash flow for fun is fairly large, but my expenses are fairly low. In other words, outgoing is high, but so is ingoing, so the difference is fairly low. This works by buying things used, having fun with them, and selling them again when I no longer use them. The "rent" that's paid on things which has a high enough quality to have a viable "used-market" is close to zero.


(In fact I consider my woodworking tool collection to be part of my inflation hedge. As good as gold. The skipper on the boat I used to crew on in sfbay also ran it as a charter boat when he wasn't using it. He pretty much broke even after outsourcing the entire operations to a sailing school so it was a way to have a free boat with a recoverable resale value (because he bought it on a discount) compared to just having the money sitting in a ~0% savings account.)




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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 10:19 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:00 am
Posts: 47

Jacob,


Thanks for the input, and that makes a lot of sense. In fact, having this type of mindset in advance will make it much easier for a person to commit to worthwhile hobbies that might seem too expensive at first glance.


I actually know of some friends who do this. One buddy learned about cars by buying used parts on ebay and installing them in his car. Once he maximized his skill set, he stripped the car, piece by piece, re-sold the parts for about equal value, and re-installed the original pieces. Another friend likes to dabble in vintage guitars. He'll purchase models he wants to experiment with, use them for a few years, record with them, and then resell. In most cases he even makes a nice little profit.


This is great advice and something I'll be keeping in mind when the time comes and I want to try out new hobbies. For the time being, I'm pretty content focusing on the ones I've already got for myself. So, my "fun" expenses usually consist of just money spent going out. Though I do tend to purchase used books every once in awhile, but usually end up reselling when I'm done.




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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 10:23 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:00 am
Posts: 47

I should probably add I'm a big fan of snowboarding though. I've gotten interested enough to the point where I am buying season passes. In years past, I've used snowbomb to find good deals. Any advice on how to maximize this return? I don't think I can use it for half the year and sell it back for face value... I've already invested in my own gear, so should get many years of use out of that.




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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:42 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:00 am
Posts: 47

I kept my spending habits mostly in check in May, and did not splurge or indulge in many excesses. This is an improvement for me, as in previous months I had purchased a new Ipod Nano and a snowboarding season pass for Winter 2012. Snowboarding is my guilty pleasure!


The monthly savings target of net income is to achieve greater than 70%. For this month, I saved ~ 75%. Overall, I am pleased with staying the course and achieving a degree of consistency (so far, 5 months). 2012 is my first year of trying to maximize savings; so far, so good. I cringe when I think back to my previous lifestyle, and can only shake my head when I think about all the money I blew on useless things...


The food bill was a bit higher this month, as I ate out a bit more often. My family and I also celebrated Mother’s Day with a nice dinner, which I covered. It was of course totally worth it, as there are certain things in life you can’t put a price tag on. The goal is to be frugal, but still appreciate the simple things in life.


Gasoline expenses were also increased this month as I did more driving to work than walking. Also, I started my journey towards looking for a rental property to invest in. This involved driving around to many different parts of the city to inspect property.


Rent $750.00

Utilities $15.00

Internet $15.00

Food $209.47

Gas $118.55

Phone $50.00

Other / Fun $117.91

Total $1275.93


Expense Ratio 24.82%

Savings Ratio 75.18%


Here is an update on the dividends received this month:


Procter and Gamble (PG) $24.73

Total $24.73

Year to Date $128.41




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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:07 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:00 am
Posts: 47

Just started a new job today - I left the old one for a 15% pay increase in base. Didn't realize it at the time, but I basically signed myself up for more work + more stress...


Still, the pay raise helps quite a bit with my goals for achieving early FI. I also qualify for more bonuses, RSU's, stock options, etc.


The work environment can't be good for long term health though. Everyone looks a bit overworked and anxious... This makes me a bit nervous and I am wondering how much longer I can stay in the engineering game... I already feel like I've sacrificed so much of my life/energy on trying to build up my career. I'm gonna guess 3 years is the limit for me at this company. Get in, make the $$$, save like crazy, and then get the hell out!




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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:01 am 

Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:25 pm
Posts: 79

FI, congrats (?) on the new, higher-paying job. Over the past few years, I've purposefully avoided pursuing a few internal & external opportunities for a higher-paying/higher-stress/more-hours job. The small pay increase (5% - 10%) just wasn't worth it. In fact, I recently reduced my work hours by 5% (along w/ a 5% salary reduction); I take off every other Friday afternoon. It's fabulous!


Jacob, I hear you on the idea of, in effect, "renting" stuff - buy low, use it, sell it. I've done that with a couple of boats over the past couple of years. Bought a 14' LoneStar a couple of years ago for $1000, sold it for $800. Bought a like-new 13' Boston Whaler for $5500, used it all Summer 2011, sold it for $6700. Bought a 17' TideCraft earlier this past Spring for $1500, sold it last week for $1200. Boats certainly violate ERE, but not too bad yet for me.




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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:05 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:00 am
Posts: 47

Andre,


I agree, the pay increase probably isn't worth it... stress is definitely not something to overlook, as this can greatly jeopardize one's health. I may have to embrace a better lifestyle (eat better, exercise more) to compensate.


It's too late to back out now, but I'm hoping I won't have to endure this indefinitely. That is, things should get easier as I gain more experience. I'll admit, the work is more challenging and interesting. Just the added pressure/stress is something I could do without.




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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:47 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:00 am
Posts: 47

July was a busy month as I was focused on closing escrow on my first rental property. As a result, there were some additional costs associated with closing. The appraisal and credit report totaled $461 and the HO6 insurance was $340. Title transfer fees, and other various closing fees came out close to $3000. Since buying an investment property is not something I foresee doing on a monthly basis (wouldn’t that be nice?), I’ve decided to omit these charges from the standard Monthly Expense Report.


Without taking into account for the new property, my total expenses were in-line with what I would usually expect to save. Gas expenses went up a bit this month as I was forced to drive around a lot (to the title company, bank, meetings with real estate agent, etc). This expense will likely increase even further in August when I start visiting the rental on a regular basis to make repairs and do installations to ensure it is move-in ready by September.


Food expenses were kept to a minimum this month as I was able to make week long business trips and expense most of my lunches and all of my dinner meals. I won’t have this luxury moving forward, as I have since resigned from this company. The new company probably won’t have me travelling quite so frequently either.


Total savings for this month were about ~75% of net income. I am pleased with the results, and I am hoping to increase this percentage next month. I received a boost in salary by ~20% by taking on a new position, and again, I have no intentions of inflating my lifestyle. Expenses should be roughly the same, so the savings rate should only increase.


Dividend income this month was low, as Coke (KO) was my only holding to payout. Year to date dividend income is over $300.


On a last note, I have met with a tenant, and we’ve agreed to terms on a 1-year lease on the rental. Monthly rent will be $2100. Based on my calculations, this will net ~$400/month in semi-passive income. These calculations assume a property tax value of $3600/year, or $300/month, which I am hoping are over-estimates of the actual costs. Exciting times!


Rent $750.00

Utilities $15.00

Internet $15.00

Food $125.69

Gas $192.51

Phone $50.00

Other / Fun $117.74

Total $1265.94


Expense Ratio 24.62%

Savings Ratio 75.38%


Here is an update on the dividends received this month:


7/2/2012 KO $17.97

Total $17.97

Year to Date $317.84




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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:05 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Posts: 2576
Location: Orygun

> Monthly rent will be $2100.


<cough>, <splutter>... I'm always amazed at what some people will pay for rent. It must feel good to be on the receiving side of this trade!




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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:39 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:00 am
Posts: 47

yep, it's gonna be different being on the receiving side. Though I'm sure it won't take me long to get used to it ;)


Rent for the most part is pretty expensive in my area. Rates keep going up... but to lock-in a one year lease at $2100/month is more than fine in my book.




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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:58 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:00 am
Posts: 47

Here is an update to my dividend investing progress, as captured on my blog:


September was a very good month for dividends. After receiving my last payment from Pepsi (PEP), I’ve gone ahead and tallied up the total for the month- $229.38. This is a personal best, and the first time the portfolio has gone over $200 in a month.


Year to date, the dividend portfolio has generated $662.57. The first dividend payout was in March, so this works out to be $94.65/month. I am getting very close to reaching $100/month, which was one of my original goals when starting out with dividend investing. I am confident I will be able to reach this milestone by the end of the year (I am expecting an even bigger payout in December due to all the recent purchases ).


This is very encouraging news as I am now starting to reap some of the rewards for all the hard work. In general, I think it takes a lot of discipline to invest on a monthly basis – especially when each transaction averages out to be $1000 to $2000. When you stop and think about it, this is a large chunk of cash that could easily fund a lot of toys! If I didn't put so much money into the market each month, I could easily live a life of luxuries and have the best stuff: big screen tv’s, blu rays, DirecTV, Sunday NFL Ticket, expensive vacations, the latest smartphones, laptops, etc. Or I could do even “better” and finance the latest BMW or Audi.


But I don’t. Instead, I live a life of minimal material consumption. I take more pleasure in enjoying and appreciating the simple things in life: Exercising, hiking on a sunny afternoon, spending time with family, or having a $3 midnight coffee with friends gives me all the highs I need.




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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:03 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:00 am
Posts: 47

I haven't updated my journal in a few months, but I just wanted to say that I am still very actively seeking early retirement! I haven't given up at all, and here's the latest update:


October was a great month for savings. Not only did I receive my signing bonus for the year, but I also tightened up on spending, and deployed more capital to purchase even more stocks. At times, the market was pretty beat up in October, so I tried to use this to my advantage by picking up shares of discounted companies. I am slowly, but surely building up the passive income portfolio!


One of my original goals for this year was to build a portfolio that would be valued at $60,000 by the end of the year. I hit that mark this month, and should the market cooperate, I will be able to check off this goal as successful at the end of the year. Going forward, I will set goals focusing on dividend income received as opposed to total portfolio value (which will always be volatile).


Further, I succeeded in reaching my fourth goal, which was to contribute up to the maximum ($17,000) in my 401k. Maxing out my 401k was a secondary goal for this year, as I had already been doing so since I first started working full-time. However, my current employer has a wonderful matching policy, which made it very difficult to pass up the free money. I told myself I would make an attempt to contribute up to the maximum, but would stop if I ever found myself needing the extra cash. Luckily things worked out ok (it helped that I switched jobs and received a higher salary/bonuses), and I was able to reach this goal.


I am striving so very hard to reach early financial independence, so I need to concentrate more on building up my taxable portfolio. I’ll need the taxable account to fund my freedom since my current plan is to not take an early withdrawal from any of my retirement plans. The Roth IRA and 401k are off limits until traditional retirement age. Since I’ve already contributed so much into the 401k, the foundation has already been put into place. I figure I will have at least 30 years or so to let this thing continue to compound and grow. Maybe next year, or the year after, I’ll stop making contributions to the 401k altogether.


Expenses were steady, and pretty much consistent with the previous month. I did spend a little bit more on food, but other costs were mostly minimized.


The rental property is doing well, although I did have a slight surprise this month. I found out that the trash and recycling are not included in the water bill, but are instead billed to the homeowner every four months. Since I wasn’t aware of this, I didn’t factor in this cost when the lease agreement was signed. Therefore, it would be difficult for me to try and force the tenant to pick up this tab now. I figure it probably isn’t worth the hassle, and as long as they pay their rent on time and take care of the property, I’ll let this slide and eat the cost myself. It’s about $30/month I will be losing on the bottom line. Oh well. I’ll just have to make sure future tenants are aware that they will have to account for the trash and recycling bill separately from their water bill. Lesson learned.


When adding in my yearly bonus, I was able to save over $8000 this month. But instead of going on a material shopping spree, I did the shrewd thing and invested the capital into stocks. I went on a different type of shopping spree and made a total of eight purchases this month, an all time high! I picked up shares of: Caterpillar (CAT), Cummins (CMI), (2) Kinder Morgan (KMI), Intel (INTC), Air Products and Chemicals (APD), Abbott Laboratories (ABT), and Norfolk Southern (NSC).


Here is the breakdown:


Expenses

Rent $750.00

Utilities $15.00

Internet $15.00

Food $523.11

Gas $121.17

Phone $50.00

Other / Fun $368.25


Subtotal $1,842.53


Rental Property

Mortgage $1,094.11

HOA $165.00

Rental Insurance $30.00

Rental Expenses $0.00

Property Tax x

Trash-4 Months $115.74


Subtotal $1,404.85

Profit $685.15


Income

Work Income $3,919.40

401k $1,769.22

Rental Income $2,090.00

Dividend Income $18.09

Bonus $5,150.00


Total Expenses $3,131.64

Net Income $12,946.71


Expense Ratio 24.19%

Savings Ratio 75.81%


Expense Ratio (Exclude Rental Expenses) 15.96%

Savings Ratio (Exclude Rental Expenses) 84.04%


Monthly Net $9,815.08

Money to Invest $8,027.77




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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:43 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:00 am
Posts: 47

I haven't updated in here in awhile, but here's a recap of 2012.


For 2012, I was able to meet most of my financial goals, which encourages me to do better and aim higher in 2013. This is Year 2 in my journey to early financial independence, and achieving success this year will go a long ways towards helping me reach my final destination – freedom.


Goals


1) Acquire Rental Property #2


I am currently under contract on a short-sale property, which I won back in late October. At the time, my winning bid was for $285,000 for a 2/2 condominium in a prime location. Since then, the local real estate market has continued surging, and the estimated value of the home is now around $320,000.


My offer was just accepted two days ago. I am now working on getting a bank loan.


2) Passive Income of $1000/month


Rental property #1 is generating around $400/month or so in profits (after all expenses). If I can acquire another rental property, I should be able to add an additional $400/month. So, if the rental properties can generate $800/month, this means I will need my dividend portfolio to average $200/month.


I will be forced to sell some stocks in my dividend portfolio to fund the downpayment for rental property #2. By doing so, I expect the total value of the dividend portfolio to be reduced by 30% or so. After the transaction is complete, I will need to use the remainder of the year to rebuild my dividend portfolio.


3) Max out Roth IRA for 2012 = $5000


I still haven’t gotten around to funding my Roth IRA for 2012, but I’ll have until April to complete this task. Since this only requires $5000, I’m confident I will be able to meet this goal.


4) Max out 401k for 2013 = $17,500


I’m holding off contributing to my 401k until the short-sale status is finalized. Once this is all sorted out, I will do my best to catch-up and fund my 401k. In the perfect world, I’ll be able to meet the max again for 2013.


5) 80% Savings Rate Average for Each Month


I’m going to challenge myself this year and aim to save 80% of my net income. Last year, I averaged just under 70%, coming in at 68.96%. If I can cut some costs here and there, and continue building my passive income streams, I believe this goal should be reachable.


Summary


I expect 2013 to be a challenging but fulfilling year. Work stress is anticipated to be at an all time high, which is undesirable, but hopefully this will just add more motivation for me to succeed in reaching my financial goals.


If I stay the course, and all goes to plan, my passive income streams will be generating over $1000/month by the end of the year. This progress would provide a tremendous boost, as it would put me 2/3′s of the way there towards reaching my final goal of $1500/month.


This would make for some exciting times. My forecast for reaching early financial independence has been pulled in from 37.5 to 33! So, let’s get to work and make 2013 a most successful year!




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 Post subject: Re: FI Fighter's Journal
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 8:26 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:00 am
Posts: 47
I haven't updated this journal in ages, but here's a progress update since my last post of January 2013.

1) I did acquire Rental Property #2 in February. Rented that out for $2150/month, and it's been cash flowing about $300-$400 each month. I don't believe in appreciation, but the market value is about $100k more today.

2) My passive income now exceeds $1000/month. Conservatively, I'd put the number at about $1400/month. I ended up cashing out my dividend portfolio in February, when I made the purchase for Rental Property #2. I've purchased 2 more rentals since then.

3) I maxed out my Roth IRA for 2012, but haven't contributed for 2013. Don't plan to either since I'm trying to retire by 30.

4) Only put in about $5000 for 2013. Again, don't really feel the need to keep funding this since I have a sufficient base and I'll need the early FI income stream soon.

5) I'm around 70% to 80% savings rate each month for 2013.

When starting out on the road to early FI, my initial target was $1500/month in passive income. I'm pretty much there now, end of 2013. If I stick to my plan, I should be in excess of $2000 in early 2014. Hoping to get to $2500/month by the end of 2014.

The early FI target has been pulled in from 37.5 to 33 and now 30. I'm 29 now.


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 Post subject: Re: FI Fighter's Journal
PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:26 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:28 am
Posts: 49
Thanks for updating this. I recently subscribed to your blog as well. Inspring stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: FI Fighter's Journal
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:00 am
Posts: 47
Posted on my blog, but I wanted to share this here... Counting down the days until FI...

What Early Financial Independence Means to Me

Early financial independence means something different to each and every one of us. For some, it might mean that you’re retired forever after. For others, it might involve kicking back on the beach everyday and sipping on pina coladas. Others just want free time to travel or learn new things. Different strokes for different folks.

There’s no right or wrong answer. The general consensus, though, is that you’ll be able to live your new life without having to be constrained with worrying about money. By definition, if you are financially free, that means you’ll have enough passive (semi-passive) income coming in each month to pay for all of your expenses.

And that’s all that there is to it.

For myself, I yearn to be financially free, and day-by-day, I’m trying to save and invest my way to making it happen. I hope to get to early FI sometime next year (2015), a year in which I’ll still be 30. If I can make it all happen, here’s what I would like to see happen:

Slow Down Time

I’ve been working since I graduated in 2007, and time has zoomed by at a torrid pace. It’s crazy to think that I’m almost 30 already! When I think back to childhood, I remember long days filled with a lot of fun in the sun. Summer breaks were especially nice because I had so much free time to play sports and learn new things. Life always felt like an adventure, and when I think back to my youth I can’t help but feel nostalgic.

So, these days, I often find myself asking, “Why does adult life have to be so complicated?” In many ways, I’m longing to get to early FI so that I can experience a rebirth… a second childhood.

I really do believe that age ain’t nothing but a number… You are only as old as you feel. Work makes me feel old and decrepit, so I’m desperately hoping that early FI will be my fountain of youth.

Most important of all, I want to SLOW DOWN time. We only get one shot at life, so we must make it count! Your life doesn’t go on forever… At some point, we all have to come to grips with our own mortality. I traded away my 20′s slaving away for The Man… I refuse to also barter away my 30′s, 40′s, 50′s, 60′s, etc.

Early FI will give me my life back. Life will finally slow down and I will be able to move at a much more relaxed, comfortable pace.

Pursuing Dreams

I aspire to be a polymath. So far in my life, I’ve done an exceptionally poor job of accomplishing that. Rather, I’ve spent my days and nights becoming a specialized drone who only knows how to do ONE thing. My employer wouldn’t have it any other way, but after seven years of engineering, I’m ready to move on and do something else.

I want to dedicate my free time to maximizing health and fitness. I long to be able to work out every single day with passion and vigor. I like to go hiking, and should have the freedom to explore trails early in the morning on the weekdays. Further, I would love to be able to take a nap during the middle of the day, anytime I want… and then lift weights afterwards. Once I get my health back, maybe I’ll even start training to run half-marathons, or full marathons. These days, I’m running on fumes, and just way too burnt out from work to even fathom the thought of trying such things…

I want to dedicate my free time to traveling the world. The world is so vast and there is so much to see and experience. I honestly don’t feel like I can grow and maximize my potential as a human being if I just stay secluded to living in the U.S. my entire life. No matter how wonderful this country is, I need to know what else is out there. Meeting people, learning new languages, and experiencing different cultures can’t help but enrich me as a person.

I want to dedicate my free time to learning. There are so many books that I haven’t read! I’ve always said, “I’ll read it when I have some free time…” No more excuses. When I get to early FI, I’m going to dust off my Kindle, and get to it. Outside of reading, I want to learn martial arts, practice guitar, learn piano, learn how to cook, practice photography, and work on millions of other things.
Recharging the Battery

Life can be stressful, and especially so if you are 100% dependent on your employer for making ends meet. Once upon a time I was, and I nearly destroyed my health in the process. Around 2008-2009 timeframe, almost all of my co-workers were scared of being laid off, so everyone worked from dust till dawn. 9-5 wasn’t going to cut it, and working overtime became the new norm… No one wanted to be let go, so we all worked especially hard during those dark times. Even when I felt sick, or over-worked, I continued working. I just sucked it up and continued marching forward… I was young, stubborn, and scared (stupid).

I never want to have to go through that experience again! Thanks to early FI, I won’t have to. In the future, should I ever feel tired or drained, I will have the option of taking it easy and calling timeout. There will be no need to overdo anything, so I should never have to push myself passed the breaking point; maintaining optimum health will always be the most important thing.

Unlimited Possibilities

When I get to early FI, initially, I want to relax and unwind. After I decompress, I want to travel and explore the world. It’s premature to say for sure at this point, but I’m guessing I’ll want to do this for about a year or two. Once I’ve gotten the travel bug out of my system, I’ll probably start thinking about my next steps in life…

At first glance, I’m thinking that I will want to move back home to the states and attempt real estate investing (REI) full-time. I’ll probably get my license and start trying to buy/sell homes. Depending on how much my network grows, I might even partner up with other investors and try flipping homes.

Early FI lets me escape all the bad things (corporate life), but it should never imply that only a lifetime of leisure and laziness can exist afterwards… And I’m not so sure why so many people feel like that’s what early FI is supposed to mean! Early FI is about freedom of choice… It can be whatever you want it to be. You’re now financially free; do what your heart desires! You can even work harder and earn more money than you did when you worked for someone else… Or, keep working for someone else if that’s what you want to do.

Early FI is all about having choices and being able to pursue a life filled with unlimited possibilities. That’s music to my ears and I couldn’t possibly ask for anything more than that. Let me be the director of my own life and I promise to give it my best shot!


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 Post subject: Re: FI Fighter's Journal
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:24 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:50 am
Posts: 188
That was for sure a love letter to FI, or better, freedom! Would be interesting to see what you will make out of this freedom.


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