Slow FI / FIRE / FIOR / FATfire / YOLO: What’s your strategy?

Coming off of many years in startups, where you must drink the company kool-aid and believe you are simultaneously changing the world and building something that will one day make you rich (spoiler alert: it won’t), I have to say I’ve enjoyed the move into a public company where people still work hard, but also have lives. Well, at least some of them do.

I’ve been reading a lot on the FIRE concept (financial independence retire early) movement, which has unofficially been my own movement since I earned my first paycheck. Well, I more took the route that catastrophe can hit at any second, so you better have a lot of money saved up just in case. With that mindset, I just started spending less than I earned, and as I earned more, I kept my spending proportionately low, for the most part.

There are some people out there who are happy making $200k+ a year and living in RVs in their work parking lots, but that’s not my style. I’m not on the full-on FIRE bandwagon. I also don’t want to live a life in “retirement” where I can only take 4% of our my savings per year. And, heck, I like contributing to society and earning a living–I’d like just a bit more flexibility.

Hiring a CFP this year was definitely a wake up call. I thought having $1M+ saved now we’d be in a good place–but with our current spending and plans to purchase a house in a HCOL area (and my husband who will only commit to making $60k-$90k a year), there is no “early retirement” in my life. Either we leave this area–which isn’t happening, I win the stock market lotto, or I have to work for the next 30 years making $150,000 a year.

Can you blame me for still hoping to win the stock market lotto?

I don’t think it’s worth it to go back to a private company, unless I found my own–and who has the time/confidence/social skills for that? So, public companies it is. I’m thinking I can increase my happiness at work by switching from my current department to one that works together more as a team and where success is based on how happy you make someone else (ie customer service) — though I’m sure there’s plenty bad in other fields and plenty good in my current career I’m not seeing because I’m just burnt out.

I hired a career counselor I’m seeing next month to help me sort it out. I’m paying her $300 and then $400 a month subsequently to try to understand if there’s a place I can make money and not be miserable all the time, or if being miserable is so ingrained in my DNA that I might as well just stick with this career that enables me to save and maybe retire “early”–like at 64.

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One comment

  1. Mike says:

    Hi There,
    I read your post and the feeling I feel after reading it is – well – sadness…
    I really think we all need to find our passion in life before anything else. The problem is if you ask someone – “what would you be doing right now if you were living your perfect life?” most people can’t answer…
    I have gone through my own life not being able to answer that question until I was 51!
    Maybe it takes time to figure things out. It certainly did for me.
    I do love to RV by the way – but that’s not the passion. The passion for me is freedom to do what I want when I want. And the do what I want is to see the world – to observe – to be aware of my surroundings – and to appreciate the beauty and wonder of it all.
    And that has led me down a path where I can earn a living from my RV Lifestyle to reach the goals I have for myself.
    In the past, I didn’t really know what I wanted – other than money and freedom. But without knowing specifically why I wanted the money and freedom I would simply jump from one shiny get rich idea to the next. Why? Because the money-making schemes were not in alignment with my passion.
    Find your passion and then throw yourself into living your passion and everything else will follow.
    Do not try to obtain happiness. Obtain that which makes you happy.
    All the best!
    Mike at RVBlogger.com

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