Early Retirement – Early Days – What I’ve Learned from the First 3 Months

I officially retired from corporate life in December 2018 and now enjoy the idyllic, stress-free existence that I had been dreaming of for so long. Conference calls are a thing of the past, as is the feeling of not being in control of my own time and being at the beck and call of of the machine.

But what has the first three months really been like and what have I learned?

Continue reading “Early Retirement – Early Days – What I’ve Learned from the First 3 Months”

It’s Official – I FIRED the 9 to 5!

Hello and long time no speak! Apologies for the break in posting – life got a bit too much there for a while and some things had to give. But the big news is – I actually did it! I resigned from my job in December and have left the Corporate world far behind.

I am still getting used to the idea and genuinely wake up smiling to myself every day, wondering whether this can be real 🙂 So how did it all play out? Continue reading “It’s Official – I FIRED the 9 to 5!”

Does Achieving Early Retirement Mean Failing A Career?

What did you want to be when you grew up? At various points for me it was a doctor, a librarian, an author, a bookseller. I never wanted to be an accountant that’s for sure.

Nevertheless, having fallen onto that path many years ago, ambition kicked in and I put my best foot forward, ever upwards on the career ladder. I always assumed I would keep going until I got to the very top. It didn’t occur to me that I would ever get vertigo and feel an almost irresistible urge to jump off.

The question is, when I look back in twenty years time, the misery of my current day to day will have faded to a long distant memory. Will I be disappointed that I didn’t make it to the top? I will never call myself CFO. Will I look back and wish I had achieved more in my career?  Continue reading “Does Achieving Early Retirement Mean Failing A Career?”

Life, Death and Getting Drunk on FIRE

A few years ago, a small piece of card dropped through my letterbox. I still have it – I’m holding it right now. This is what it says, misspelling and grammar uncorrected: Continue reading “Life, Death and Getting Drunk on FIRE”

Finding Fulfilment in Early Retirement

Confession time: I LOVE Grey’s Anatomy. I lose a week of my life every time a new series is available, binge-watching the entire thing start to finish. More than the characters (yes they are my friends!) and the drama of the show, for me it’s about people doing good in the world.

My family roll their eyes and sigh when Grey’s season comes around, knowing exactly what I’m going to say when the credits roll.

“I don’t save any lives. I don’t help anybody. I don’t make anybody’s life better”. Continue reading “Finding Fulfilment in Early Retirement”

The “Bad Habits Be-Gone In Early Retirement” List

A quick post today to give myself some accountability in the future. I spend a lot of time thinking about what life will be like once I no longer have to work. So many of my thoughts begin, “When I’m retired…..”

Time to put my money where my mouth is. These are some of the ways that my life will change for the better once I no longer have the stresses and strains of a full-time job. Continue reading “The “Bad Habits Be-Gone In Early Retirement” List”

Aspiring to be Rich – What Does that Mean?

 

Before I discovered the concept of financial independence and before I realised early retirement was achievable for someone like me, I was still interested in educating myself about all things money and gaining wealth. I knew that the way to a rich life was out there somewhere and I wanted to find it.

I think I am just one of those curious people. I didn’t want to be working into my sixties, that’s for sure but other than that it’s hard to describe what I was looking for. What did I mean by the concept of a rich life? Continue reading “Aspiring to be Rich – What Does that Mean?”

Safety in Numbers – Refining the FIRE Plan

As I get ever closer to my FIRE date and am facing the possibility of a much earlier exit from my current job than planned, the geek in me has gone into overdrive and I have been spending some time (…..ok, A LOT of time) reviewing and refining the numbers. Continue reading “Safety in Numbers – Refining the FIRE Plan”

Invoking the F.U. Clause

It’s been a bad week.

Every quarter the VP of the business holds an off-site management meeting and the sixteen or so leaders from various parts of Europe meet for a few days. I attend in my capacity as Finance Business Partner and as an introvert, the whole thing is my idea of hell. Continue reading “Invoking the F.U. Clause”

Financial Resilience – Being Bullet Proof

I have been thinking about financial resilience this week.

I spend a lot of time considering ways to earn more money, or ways of saving money by reducing my spending, but is there a chance of losing what I already have?

We can take insurance against major catastrophes. And so, heaven forbid should my house burn down or I’m involved in a car accident, I would not need to be concerned about money and could focus on dealing with the fallout instead. But life is full of twists and turns and whoever really knows what is around the next corner? What about those things we don’t always insure against or don’t even think about – am I in good enough shape to withstand any shocks to my finances? Would my early retirement plans be derailed if something major were to happen? What could those shocks even be? Continue reading “Financial Resilience – Being Bullet Proof”

Tax and the 4% Rule 

How should we consider tax when using the 4% rule for early retirement calculations?

I have a plan.

A financial road map, leading me from where I am now to where I want to be. It ignores get rich quick schemes and the latest crypto craze and takes the shortest route I know that will get me there in one piece. Continue reading “Tax and the 4% Rule “

Single Parent Seeking FIRE

I spend many hours a week with my head in financial independence blogs. (Maybe that’s why I’m single 😉 ). What often jumps out at me is how the majority of writers are part of a couple. That observation is not unusual – any single person will tell you that wherever you go, the rest of the world seems to be in couples. But more of us are choosing the single life (or having it forced upon us) than ever before.

This post is about my journey – what it’s been like for me being single and working towards financial independence.

(Spoiler alert – it feels good 😊) Continue reading “Single Parent Seeking FIRE”

Rethinking the FI Budget – What Do We Really Need to Include?

It may have taken its time to arrive, but the weather is finally Spring-like in the UK. Every morning, I take the dog for a walk around the the nearby lake before most of the city is awake. When the weather is good, it’s my favourite time of day. No people around except for the occasional other dog walker or early morning runner. No traffic noise. The sky this morning was a beautiful pale blue; sunlight sparkled on the water and the sight of my dog galloping through the shallows chasing her ball was an advert for pure joy.

This. Just this.

If life was as simple as this, who would need an escape? Continue reading “Rethinking the FI Budget – What Do We Really Need to Include?”

Show Me The Money – A.K.A. My Financial Plan

Early retirement is a big deal. For most people it is not going to happen by accident and needs to be based on a solid financial plan.

I’ve talked about how I got to this point in my journey here. What about moving forwards? Where is the money going to come from to live? What will I draw down from and when? What other income streams will be coming in and what back-up plans do I have? Continue reading “Show Me The Money – A.K.A. My Financial Plan”

Financial Independence 101

If you are new to Financial Independence, this post is for you. If you are not new but you’ve ever found yourself in the situation where you try to explain what you’re doing to family and friends and get the blank stare or the shrugged shoulders or the dismissive comment – this post is also for you.

Sometimes I feel as if I am living a double life. I take care of my boys, manage my career, meet with friends and family and yet all the while, it feels like I’m working on this life-changing thing that none of them know much about. Something that has the potential to change my life so radically for the better I want to share it with them all so they can do it too.

Those of us that have had the light-bulb moment know how crucial the message is but it can be hard to convey. So I wanted somewhere to send them that has everything they need to get started. This is my attempt to provide that hub. Continue reading “Financial Independence 101”

Introvert on FIRE

Last night there was an argument in the Twitter personal finance community. I don’t suppose that is particularly unusual, but it’s the first time I’ve watched one play out. I wasn’t involved in this discussion, but I read from the side lines feeling increasingly uncomfortable as the tweets rolled in. Continue reading “Introvert on FIRE”

What (Not) to Hate About Your Job

Mother Nature is trying very hard to bring us Spring in the UK, so the clocks have changed, mornings are lighter and there is a general sense of relief in the air. We are thinking that the worst is over and are starting to look forward to life again with renewed energy and enthusiasm. We Brits are known for nothing if not our love of weather talk and the slightest glimpse of sunshine through the office window brings much excitement for everyone. Continue reading “What (Not) to Hate About Your Job”

You Have to Be In It to Win It

Financial Independence is rarely achieved by chance

…. for most of us it is preceded by the habits of saving and investing combined with the passing of time. Continue reading “You Have to Be In It to Win It”

The Quickest Route To Financial Independence

About this time two years ago it became apparent that my job would soon be redundant. This wasn’t the shock that maybe it would have been to many. Heading up the finance function of a small company that had recently been taken over by a corporate giant, I knew it was inevitable.

To cut a very long story short, come January 1st last year, I found myself in a new role within the aforementioned global corporation. Dodged a bullet, salary still coming in, big relief all round, no need for the poorhouse just yet. Continue reading “The Quickest Route To Financial Independence”

Why Getting Rich is Boring

The more I talk to people about money, the more I realise – those of us who seek out knowledge to improve our financial lives are in the minority. Bizarre as it seems, the majority of the population don’t actively try to learn about personal finance. (I know, right….?). So on the basis that the more content that is out there, the more likely it is that people will stumble across it, I’ll add to the pile with my take on the evergreen question – “How can I get to financial independence?”. Continue reading “Why Getting Rich is Boring”

Why Your Job May Be Better Than You Think

Despite living just over one mile from the gate, every day I drive Teenager Number 2 (TN2) to school. This is not as environmentally unfriendly as it sounds given that the school is on my way to work, which is several miles away. (Yes, I know I could cycle. No, I’m not going to). Parents of teenagers will know what I mean when I say the four minutes in the car where I pretty much talk to myself, occasionally joined by a “yeah” or a “nothin’ really” is about as close to quality time as I get. Another reason I’m not giving it up – you take what you can get in the teenage years. Continue reading “Why Your Job May Be Better Than You Think”

The Illusion of Wealth (Part 2)

Remember Sarah and Paul? Their curiosity got the better of them and one evening at the beach bar the subject of early retirement and the question of “how?” was raised. Continue reading “The Illusion of Wealth (Part 2)”

The Illusion of Wealth (Part 1)

I am on holiday – I may have already mentioned this once or twice. We left England to all its December cold, windy rain, and fourteen hours later were sitting under a palm tree by the sea – the sunshine and warmth a tonic for our vitamin D deprived bodies.

This is not the traditional, hardcore FI way of doing things, but so what? We all find our unique path along this road less travelled and judgement is not a bus-stop along the way.

Yesterday, I met a couple – let’s call them Sarah and Paul. Late forties, they are here with their teenage daughter and son. They own their own business and wear their wealth well. Fit and healthy looking, well dressed, classy casual. A nicer family you could not wish to meet and we spent a fun evening in their company, working our way through the  cocktails menu. Continue reading “The Illusion of Wealth (Part 1)”

Working My Way to Freedom – My Story

Let me just put it out there. At time of writing, it is December. Teenagers 1 & 2 and I have left winter behind for a couple of weeks and are soaking up the sun some place far away from the UK. This may not be typical of something you would read on a blog promoting early retirement. But this is a marathon not a sprint and surviving the corporate grind for the next few years depends on time away to recuperate. Continue reading “Working My Way to Freedom – My Story”

A Dream Of Financial Independence

I am writing this on a beach in the early morning. The sun is just rising, small boats sway gently on the water; the air is still and already warm – it’s going to be a beautiful day.

This would be many people’s dream. I know I should count my blessings, be grateful. And I am grateful. I know how lucky I am. But this is not my dream. My dream is that I didn’t feel the need to escape in the first place, because every day is mine by design. Continue reading “A Dream Of Financial Independence”