Do you want FI and ER? Or just FI?

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
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Do you want FI and ER? Or just FI?

Post by FrugalPatat » Thu May 10, 2018 10:12 am

I am under the impression that most people here are aspiring financial indepence and early retirement at the same time. However I happen to like my job and I believe in my employer's mission. When I say that I like my job; that doesn't even mean that I feel content at work: there is stress, frustration and boredom, sometimes lots of it. But when there is purpose, this doesn't matter.

My striving for financial independence is driven by the desire to protect myself from things like office politics, layoffs or becoming 'obsolete' when I become older; as well as to make me more flexible if I ever would want to do something else (whether it be a different kind of job or full time volunteering). But I am certainly not driven by an aspiration to leave the workforce.

Do you want FI and ER? Or just FI? Why?

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Re: Do you want FI and ER? Or just FI?

Post by IlliniDave » Thu May 10, 2018 12:12 pm

RE is the goal for me, FI is more the means to that end rather than a goal in-and-of-itself. In a sense it's the same with workforce participation. "Getting out" is less a goal than a waypoint.

My goal with retirement is to spend my time in places and doing things that aren't easily compatible with maintaining paid employment. If it were a trivial matter for me to drift back and forth from reasonably satisfying employment to non-employment I would consider it. But it is not important enough that I'm going to put a lot of time and energy finding the mechanism to make that work.

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Re: Do you want FI and ER? Or just FI?

Post by wolf » Thu May 10, 2018 1:00 pm

I want just FI, in order to have the flexibility of a sabbatical, mini-retirement, job change, more opportunities. I don't want to retire in the traditional sense. If I would achieve FI, I think I would work for another year at the job I am doing right now. Currently I am very satisfied with my job role and workplace, so there is no need to change / retire, but you'll never know what it will be in 5-10 years. So...FI. (from that both options). If you'd ask for a ERE lifestyle/principles/mindset/... , I'd go with that! :-)

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Re: Do you want FI and ER? Or just FI?

Post by Seppia » Thu May 10, 2018 3:31 pm

As with most things, I have seen my financial goals as a series of incremental goals.
It looks like I am much more effective at pursuing things that are relatively near in terms of being achievable.
When I was young and underpaid, more money was the main driver of my career decisions.
My goal at the time was to get to the point where money wasn't the main driver any more.
I find myself now in the situation where "more money" has an extraordinarily weak power in driving my deicisions.
Potential "less money" still has an impact though
I am in the middle of changing jobs, and I didn't even try to negotiate for more money. The new employer gave me a bump anyways, but it would not have been a deal breaker if they didn't.
Still, I'm not willing to give up any money at this point, even in exchange for a better schedule or what not
So my goal now is to be fully FI, because at that point I will still pursue employment, but without taking money in any consideration.
I will probably try be a teacher, a job that here in Italy pays about 1/5 of what I make now.

What I'm trying to say is that as of now, FI is the goal, but later on it could be RE as well

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Re: Do you want FI and ER? Or just FI?

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Thu May 10, 2018 4:23 pm

I'm with Seppia.

My goal is FI followed by more interesting work, with long breaks tossed in to travel and spend time with the family I have in Europe and other parts of the world.

I too no longer care so much about making more money, but less would slow down my timeline to being fully FI dramatically.

When I am fully FI, I plan to work as a bicycle mechanic, learn how to do construction/home-building, work as an automotive technician, and various other more outdoors type jobs. Kayak tour guide? Work at a seasonal resort in the Adirondacks? There are soooo many awesome sounding jobs on the "" site that I would give a go. But I also want the freedom to travel perpetually for a year or two, without worrying about turning back on the fire hose of money I have now.

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Re: Do you want FI and ER? Or just FI?

Post by George the original one » Thu May 10, 2018 5:02 pm

Work was increasingly stressful, so I needed to be ER before it damaged me any more than it already had. 2.5 years after exiting the work force, my time is my own and life is good.

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Re: Do you want FI and ER? Or just FI?

Post by slsdly » Thu May 10, 2018 5:46 pm

I always just wanted to live a quiet life. Write free/open source software. Exercise, preferably outdoors. Read books from the library. Learn about music, and other arts -- not that I claim any gift for such things! Cook. Board games. There was a point in my working career where I did nothing but work -- that's what prompted me to find ERE ("there has to be more to life than this!"). I was already saving 50+% of my net income, I just wasn't deploying it effectively. Like many of us in the software industry, I'm on easy mode. I wouldn't say I have any solid plans for post FI, beyond what I already do -- I'm not in a rush to quit my current job, but who knows what will change in 10 years. I will just maximize the options for future me, at zero cost to present me.

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Re: Do you want FI and ER? Or just FI?

Post by sky » Thu May 10, 2018 8:40 pm

There is nothing wrong with working if you enjoy it.

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Re: Do you want FI and ER? Or just FI?

Post by ThisDinosaur » Fri May 11, 2018 7:38 am

The goal for me since childhood has been financial security (enough not to worry about job loss). That mostly meant a large savings account and a minimalist expense level. After I discovered the SWR concept, ER became the target.

I am convinced that having ER as a viable option has made me more impatient to get there and less tolerant of workplace interpersonal drama.

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Re: Do you want FI and ER? Or just FI?

Post by prognastat » Fri May 11, 2018 9:45 am

My main goal is FI so I can focus on other things, some of which may lead to income some of which may not. I just don't want to have to stay in any job because I need a paycheck.

The ability to spend more time on my interests and with family are also big motivators.

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Re: Do you want FI and ER? Or just FI?

Post by Scott 2 » Fri May 11, 2018 5:35 pm

FI and ER was the goal.

As I approached and then passed my original targets, I learned they are not hard lines.

Now I use FI to turn work into play. I spend to remove BS, say no when I want, take risks, prioritize interesting challenges over raises, etc. Financial security lets me shape my job from a position of strength. That makes the work pretty enjoyable.

A lot of it, I could have done without money, if I'd had the confidence. It would have been a smart choice.

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Re: Do you want FI and ER? Or just FI?

Post by EdithKeeler » Fri May 11, 2018 8:00 pm

I want to be FI, and I think I do want to be ER, though sometimes I waffle on this a bit. I think I'd like to early retire from my current career and do something totally different and not have to worry about how to pay the bills, etc. Though doing nothing has its appeal, too. But I wonder sometimes if I'll get all the things I want to do done, and get relaxed and rested up.... and then be restless without my job. I can see that happening.

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Re: Do you want FI and ER? Or just FI?

Post by Jason » Sat May 12, 2018 7:20 am

Yesterday, like most days, I got into a public verbal altercation with a stranger. He was about to drive by in the walking section of the supermarket while I was coming out with my cart. He made a face and I said he can make all the faces he wants but I have right of way. He said some "whatever buddy" nonsense and I told him to "bleep my bleep you bleeping bleep cigarette smoking bleeping hack there's old ladies walking around here". Its all about the two handed, middle finger stretched to the heavens FU. And seeing what I've become with one hand permanently raised in that position, I have to assume that once I get to two, I will be so unbearable that no one will want me around, so I think by necessity it will be R, as I have passed the E.

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Re: Do you want FI and ER? Or just FI?

Post by Seppia » Sat May 12, 2018 7:42 am

Becoming a grumpy old man is basically my only real life goal, so I totally understand you

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Re: Do you want FI and ER? Or just FI?

Post by Farm_or » Sat May 12, 2018 7:52 am

Now that I have been away from the grind for a few years, I look back with wonder. I have changed. Was I previously a product of my environment, or was I living in the world that I created?

That was a world of demand. Ever increasing, thankless and unapologetic. I was dedicated - or obsessive. But that contributed to some financial success. But I was certainly out of balance.

Control of anything was lacking. Industry was the top of my priority list. While you are in that mode, you don't have a whole lot of choices for what you would like to be doing. By default you are always doing something that you'd rather not be doing and that was why the man paid.

Balancing life. I had a friend describe his version of that too me and now it makes sense. You must be out of balance for periods to achieve overall balance. You must sacrifice and pay your dues for the right to stand on the sideline.

How ever you spell it, FI or RE? I have always been driven to have more control over my life. The ability to go to that ball game, concert, BBQ, - all of those moments that I missed out on while I was under the control of the time clock.

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Re: Do you want FI and ER? Or just FI?

Post by FruGal61 » Tue May 15, 2018 12:49 pm

Hmmm...I want both FI and ER. I think I am currently FI, still trying to figure that part out. After reading some of the above posts, I concur. When you are working, you don't have a lot of choices, you are always doing something you'd rather not be doing. And yes, the quiet life is something I am currently living as much as possible and continue to visualize as my future.

I know people in my age group who say they would not know what to DO with themselves if they were not working. I find that very interesting and a bit sad, but hey, if it works for them. These people apparently need the structure of a job whereas I find the idea of a benefited job extremely confining. In exchange for so many weeks/days off per year and help with health insurance costs and possibly contributions to a retirement fund, said job gets to dictate my life. No thanks.

Personally, the idea of "doing" is losing it's appeal day by day. I'm fine with "doing" as long as it is not an obligation or some kind of social construct that dictates I must be "doing" all day, every day, every minute I'm not sleeping. Forced busy-ness for the sake of "doing" is something that seems to affect a lot of the population. We are made to feel guilty for taking leisure time, for not constantly producing/bettering/achieving. Perhaps it all harkens back to "idle hands are the devil's workshop". I like a lot of free, unstructured time to relax, think, spend time in nature, read books/go to the library, and practice my musical instruments. The freedom to spend part of my day writing on this forum, expressing my thoughts, thinking rather than doing. Is it OK to just take up space and breathe? Don't worry, I DO plenty of DOING. :lol:

We all been batted over the head with this idea that we have to have a "job" which in most cases means being owned by a company or corporation, or someone other than ourselves. In "the land of the free", this is not freedom. I've been told I "only get one life" so why not live it the way I want to, not how someone else expects me to? Working for wages so I can buy stuff so I can be like everyone else and be accepted? Yeah, I may be suicidal and stressed, unhealthy and overweight but gosh, I have a big house that is beautifully decorated and always spotless, I have a high end automobile so I can sit in traffic all day to languish under fluorescent lighting, I'm dressed in the latest fashions, and let's not forget, I eat at the most expensive restaurants and send my kids to private school! Yeah, I'm miserable but look everyone, I've made it!

Nope, those last two sentences do not pertain to me. And yes, my peers and family do judge me endlessly. Currently I am (I think) FI because I choose to not participate in rampant consumerism which would keep me working for "da man" until I was 70 just to keep up with the proverbial Joneses.

As a highly sensitive person, it's not easy being a "outlier" when all my peers and family are crowing about their new cars, toys and condos (THAT is what is important). I sleep late, I don't use an alarm clock, I live simply and frugally and I do have a goal - freedom. If I want to go to the woods in the middle of the day, I don't have to ask anyone (for the most part).

In sum, I want FI and ER. Oh yeah, and peace of mind. Working' on that one. :D

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