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Subject:  Hey wait a minute -- I think I'm there! Date:  10/28/2004  2:50 PM
Author:  SHWGeek Number:  2771 of 5056

We (my wife and I) started saving and investing ever since we got married eight years ago. I have started to seriously think about FIRE about 5 years ago and made the decision to become FIRE at around 40 with a million dollars. That comes to annual withdraw of $40k, based upon intercst's excellent work in this area. So the original plan called for moving back to Canada at the million dollar mark, enjoy the free health care system, and let the kids spend more time with the extended family.

So here I am at age 38, been working at an assemblyline software house for a year and fully disgusted with myself for wasting my brain away in such meaningless work. One day, perhaps triggered by the drudgery of work, or perhaps by the beginning of my mid-life crisis, I started to think of variations of the original FIRE plan to make for a quick escape. Suddenly, I realized that given our extreme LBYM lifestyle, we can live comfortably with about $2k a month (excluding mortgage). We have also been lucky to participate in the real estate boom in our area early on in the game (and never traded up to a bigger house). So with the equity gain in our house, we can swap for another one of equal size in Canada. Our savings should already be able to generate the $20k per year to live on. That flash of insight has completely changed my plan to hold on to a high paying boring job and grind through it for a few more years!

The current plan calls for hanging on to the current job until my first year's option has vested, or until the inevtiable layoff comes. I am planning to continue working on part-time/short-term gigs to generate enough money for the living expenses.. until I see the nest egg grow to a sizable portion and learn to be comfortable with just living off of the savings. Since we are still very young, we didn't plan on retiring right away anyway. So why not just transition to the semi-retirement life right away? For the other part of my time, I am going to explore and reconnect with more meaningful activities.

I have now come to realize that I was too focused on getting to a previously set goal, and failed to re-examine it in the interim. The million dollar mark became an all-or-nothing goal that I strived to achieve no matter the price. What should have been the right point of view (for us at least) was to save up enough for a FI lifestyle and I think I'm there.

Thanks for reading. I hope that might be a interesting story to some of you.

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