What are You Capable of if You Attempt FIRE?

capable FIRE

I’m sorry that I haven’t posted in a reeeeeeally long time. It’s because I’ve been focused on Student Loan Planner. A funny thing happened when I tried to retire at 25, I got bored of traveling the world without anyone to share it with. 

I got married about a year ago, and I’ve been building a business since Oct 2016 that’s advised over 360 million of student debt. That’s a crazy figure that I never would’ve dreamed possible. I now make more than what I did as a bond trader (at a low cost mutual fund firm, not Wall Street), which is something I never dreamed would happen.

The key ingredient in that success was being pushed to do something instead of just be lazy and work 50 hours a week in a job that I wasn’t fully present in.

Every time I tried to work harder and hustle more, I realized the returns I would be getting were defined and limited. I tried to “retire from my job” at 25 with about 50% of what I needed to live a $20,000 a year lifestyle in perpetuity.

Lesson: You Are More Capable Than You Think

What’s interesting is that we’ve hit 100% of that 20k a year FI number, but my spouse does not think that 20k is nearly enough to raise a family and have a comfortable lifestyle. She’s probably right. She’s somewhat hostile to the idea of financial independence, and I’m ok with that.

She has shown me what it means to be more generous with my money, putting less faith in the 4% rule and more faith in my actual faith, among many other things.

I probably like money a bit too much too. That’s a stark realization that I’ve come to and I’m glad I have my wife to push back and say “hey what are you really doing this for?”

What I’ve learned is that you shouldn’t let some artificial rule dictate when you retire early forever. In my view, you need enough that you don’t have to worry about money for the next 2 years.

If you have 0 credit card debt, $100,000 in assets, and a positive view on life, that’s all you need. We don’t have an FI number anymore. Our financial journey will depend on us feeling satisfaction from our work. If that’s not there, we’ll change our work because we can afford to.

Quitting Your Job Should Not Be a Big Deal

This post is a bit rambly, so sorry not sorry. I gave up monetizing Millennial Moola a while ago, so this is just a place to vent my thoughts where I don’t have to worry about what it means for our mission, revenue, etc.

What I’ve found is that I should’ve cared a lot less about quitting my job in June 2015. In fact, I should’ve done it earlier to have more time to travel and see more places before starting a family.

Not that I regret anything for a second, but I think that’s the advice I would’ve given my 24 year old self. Take more risks and gamble more on you.

My 28 year old self fondly remembers the 40 countries I visited a few years ago. This 28 year old also never dreamed he would be financially MORE secure because of quitting a very safe high paying job rather than LESS secure.

Get to 100k in Assets and See What You’re Capable Of

The FIRE movement is in vogue right now. Soon there will be a market crash and the media will make fun of the folks who get pushed back into the work force as a result.

That’s not the point.

How many people like you reading this could quit their job and start a business (one day) that would bring in enough money to live your desired lifestyle?

I for one think that anything over 40k that allowed me to travel, wake up when I want to, and go to the movies in the morning on a weekday fits the bill.

A lot of us are working in jobs we don’t like to hit some artificial asset number that is still going to leave us empty.

Instead, calculate your FI number and cut it in half. If you’ve hit that, my suggestion is take a risk and you might end up making more money than you did while working one day by accident.

What do you think you’re capable of if you “retire early?” You might shock even you. I certainly did. I had zero plans and one day things started clicking after 18 months of failing. You just need the space to think to figure things out.

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