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A Week In The Life of a FIRE Household

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My journey to financial independence and retiring early (FIRE) started largely because I was burnt out on my career. This led to an oversimplified solution. If my career was the source of my unhappiness, I should pursue the opposite: retirement.

In the process of planning for early retirement, I realized retirement with no work and no income would solve some of my problems while creating new ones. A traditional retirement became less interesting.

This is a common pattern I’ve observed among those who write about FIRE. It leads to a common refrain from critics. We’re “not really retired.

It would be easy to dismiss critics as internet trolls who lurk in the shadows and sling arrows. But it’s not that simple.

Recently, Carl Jensen was featured in the New York Times article How to Retire in Your 30’s With $1 Million in the Bank. Jensen shares his story, which contains many parallels to my own, at 1500 Days to Freedom.

In response to the article, Dirk Cotton tweeted: “The only way to fund 60 years of retirement with a million bucks is to totally ignore the math.” Cotton is no internet troll. He’s the creator of the respected retirement planning site The Retirement Cafe.

 

Cotton’s comment is probably accurate if we’re talking about a standard American lifestyle and a traditional view of retirement. Many of us who write about FIRE use the word retired, because there’s not a better term for what we’re doing. But we advocate for something genuinely different than common perceptions of retirement.

For the week of August 27th to September 2nd, I tracked how I spent my time in a “typical” week. I’m sharing details of our life to demonstrate some principles of FIRE, allowing you to assess if a similar lifestyle makes sense for you.
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Using Real Estate to Retire Early

I connected with real estate investor, entrepreneur, writer, and educator Chad “Coach” Carson in 2015 when we were both getting into blogging about financial independence and retiring early (FIRE). We’ve developed a friendship around our similar … [Continue reading]

Investing in Land

Twin Meadows

Most financial experts will tell you that investing in land is a bad idea. And they're probably right. At best, on average, in many cases and places, land will only appreciate at the rate of inflation. And it won't produce any income while sitting … [Continue reading]

August 2018 Best of the Web

It's time for the best articles we've found around the internet in the last month to help you save more, invest smarter, and retire sooner. This month's selections explore the latest move in the price war to lower investment fees and what it means … [Continue reading]

Our Investment Plan: What We Do, What’s Changing, How We’ve Performed

A reader recently asked me to share my investment choices and portfolio breakdown. I'll do this by sharing our investment policy statement (IPS). This includes our asset allocation, strategies to control investment fees and taxes, and plans for … [Continue reading]

5 Lessons Learned In My Year As a Landlord

I've been intrigued by real estate for years. I first saw it as a way to accelerate my path to early retirement. More recently, I’ve considered the benefits of diversifying out of paper assets due to high stock valuations and low interest rates. … [Continue reading]

Microadventures Before and After Retirement

Muir Trail Ranch junction

Travel, adventure, seeing and being in new places, is the spice of life for many of us. But there is never enough time. In the working years we mostly have to make do with a few weeks of vacation annually. By the time family obligations and house … [Continue reading]

July 2018 Best of the Web

I hope everyone is getting outside, enjoying the long days, and having a great summer. Next Monday, we'll resume publishing new, original, weekly content. First, it's time for the best articles we've found around the internet in the last month to … [Continue reading]

DIY Investing Resource #4: All About Asset Allocation

The following post was originally published on Eat the Financial Elephant in March 2015, shortly after my wife and I dug out from under our past investing mistakes. It is the fourth of the four most valuable resources that helped us go from feeling … [Continue reading]

DIY Investing Resource #3: The Intelligent Asset Allocator

The following post was originally published on Eat the Financial Elephant in March 2015, shortly after my wife and I dug out from under our past investing mistakes. It is the third of the four most valuable resources that helped us go from feeling … [Continue reading]

DIY Investing Resource #2: The Little Book of Common Sense Investing

The following post was originally published on Eat the Financial Elephant in February 2015, shortly after my wife and I dug out from under our past investing mistakes. I posted it as the second of the four most valuable resources that helped us go … [Continue reading]

DIY Investing Resource #1: JL Collins’ “Stock Series”

The following post was originally published on Eat the Financial Elephant in February 2015, shortly after my wife and I dug out from under our past investing mistakes. I posted it as the first of the four most valuable resources that helped us go … [Continue reading]

June 2018 Best of the Web

Before we dive into this month's best of the web, we need to take care of a little blog business. First, Can I Retire Yet? was featured in several audio formats this past month. I had the chance to sit down with Todd Tresidder for a rare episode … [Continue reading]

5 Reasons You Need A Financial Advisor

I’ve shared my poor experience working with a financial advisor and spelled out inherent conflicts of interest that are present when paying for financial advice. You may think I chose the title of this article as “clickbait” to draw readers in … [Continue reading]

Retire With Abundance

The following is an interview with ESI from ESI Money, a blog about achieving financial independence through earning, saving, and investing (ESI). It’s written by an early 50’s retiree who achieved financial independence, shares what’s worked for … [Continue reading]

Downsizing, 5 Years Later: Any Regrets?

Moving day

Five years ago this month we downsized for early retirement. With a series of yard sales, charity pickups, and gifts to friends, we reduced the volume of our possessions by about one-half. We then carefully staged our 4-bedroom family home where we'd … [Continue reading]

May 2018 — Best of The Web

It's been an exciting month for the blog with exposure to a lot of new readers. Welcome to those of you finding us recently. It's time to share the best items we've found from around the internet in the last month to help you save more, invest … [Continue reading]

The Perfect Storm – Demonstrating Conflicts of Interest With Investment Advice

I began writing about personal finance to create a positive outlet for the anger, regret, and pain I experienced because of investing mistakes I made as a young professional. I became a consumer advocate to help others avoid repeating my … [Continue reading]

The Worst Investment Advice I Ever Heard–Everywhere

My financial story creates an interesting juxtaposition, as I recently shared with Steve Chen on the NewRetirement Podcast. On one hand, my wife and I did many things well with our money. We achieved financial independence quickly, allowing me to … [Continue reading]

My Retirement Income Taxes: 2018

Form 1040 with pen and glasses

A few weeks ago I completed and filed my returns for the 2017 tax year. Once again, without much attention to the matter, I paid very little in taxes. And, once again, despite what many financial professionals will tell you, I didn't find taxes … [Continue reading]

April 2018–Best of the Web

It's time to explore the best articles from around the web to help you save more, invest smarter, and retire sooner. This month we start with articles focused on one of our core principles, keeping your finances simple. We also look at times when … [Continue reading]