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I hope you bear with me cuz this is gonna be a long post. I just got laid-off from my job today and with the severance package I am also FIREd!

It has not yet sung in what a great thing just happened. Although I was planning to FIRE this year anyway, on a conscious level, I don't think I acknowledged to myself just how miserable I was in that job situation. As one of my wise friends once said, sometimes you cannot see the sharks circling under you until you are out of the water.

To let you know how special this day is to me I have to explain where I have been. Back in the early 90's, I first began to question my relationship with money. About this time that two events happened: 1) the company I work for started downsizing and 2) my marriage came to an end. Even though I survived that downsizing, I began to realize just how vulnerable my financial situation was. And after coming through the divorce, I had very little in the way of assets while assuming some of the former joint debts. I decided to take stock of my situation and sat down to write my goals. In light of the downsizing scare I decided that I never wanted to be dependent on having to have a high-paying job again. As time went on, I read books such as Your Money or Your Life, The Tightwad Gazette and Cashing in on the American Dream. Pretty soon I had the goal of RE. Along the way, I found out about REHP and the Motley Fool discussion boards. To all of you helped me along the way, especially Intercst & Dory36, you have my heartfelt gratitude.

No, I haven't accumulated a million dollars or anything close to that amount, no hefty pension nor did I win the lottery. I think that I possess something even more valuable.

To wit:

-After 9 years living below my means, I now have the skills to creatively live at my modest means. I know where to buy my prescriptions the cheapest and how to ski for next to nothing. Now don't get me wrong—there is still fat in my budget, so I look forward to having more time to hone those skills. With fixed expenses that are way below the safe withdrawal rate, I'll deal with the variable ones.

- When I went looking for housing, I didn't look for a tax deduction, I didn't look for appreciation—I went looking for low cost housing i.e. priced at least 30% lower than the appraised price. This decision allowed me to purchase a very low cost dwelling thereby reducing my housing costs by hundreds of dollars per month. Of course, this strategy depends on being in a market that allows this sort of purchase—like they say timing is everything. As Intercst once said: If reducing your housing expenses frees up money you can invest in an asset class with a higher long-term average return, that's the alternative that will produce the largest nest-egg over time.

- I secured a non-employer provided health insurance policy while I was still working. As Intercst says, why not RE, all you have to lose is your health insurance. Well, now I don't even have to lose that <grin>

- My definition of FIRE doesn't mean that I will never again work for money, It does mean I will only accept short duration assignments and I will be extremely picky in choosing them. With the time to dream and explore, I'll see moneymaking possibilities that I would have never been able to think of while doing the daily grind.

Although I paint a very happy picture, don't get me wrong—this is all a little scary. Kinda like the feeling you'd get when you were about to dive into a pool of ice water. But overall I feel confident and prepared to start this next phase of my life.

As YvesManoover once said:
“Look, the guy who figured out how to amass 500K in 10 years is the same guy who will be smart enough to figure out a way to not let his money run out as the time comes. Trust yourself. Get out after 10 years, and don't look back.”




Patnbj – not looking back, singing the Ohio Players version of “FIRE”!
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Congrats Patnbj!

Attitude is EVERYTHING, and it looks as if you have a leg up on that.

Golfwaymore
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I know where to buy my prescriptions the cheapest and how to ski for next to nothing.

Patnbj--Congrats! But please expand on the above.

HomerUSA
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I know where to buy my prescriptions the cheapest and how to ski for next to nothing.

please expand on the above.



Prescriptions - I get them in Mexico. I live about 3 hours driving distance to the border. My Rxs are 25-33% of US prices.

Skiing - I work in exchange for free ski trips.
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Patnbj is on the right track. I got fired a couple of years ago and have adapted to a newer, slower lifestyle that I'm enjoying. Ironically, given the free time to explore, I've made almost the same amount of money.
At age 56 as my friends start dropping over, I appreciate every day I have to enjoy my free time.
Looking back on it, I don't think I would have made it another 10 years.

Ackera
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I'm a relative newcomer to this board...I've done a search and haven't found a definition...I know what RE is (obviously), but what the hell is FI?

Loren
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lorenbc asks:
I'm a relative newcomer to this board...I've done a search and haven't found a definition...I know what RE is (obviously), but what the hell is FI?

Welcome Loren!

FI = Financial Independence
RE = Retire Early

Now for some REHP trivia...

Prior to 1/19/2001, the combination of FI and RE was rarely used in the same post on this (REHP) board. There were exactly three REHP posts using the "FI/RE" notation: msg numbers 16089 (fzabaly), 18142 (eurotrash01) and 29138 (wanderer0692). Two other posts used the acronyms FI and RE together but not concatenated in any way: 9554 (UMsprite) and 21169 (bill2975).

On 1/19/2001 things changed. It was on this day that wanderer0692 coined the shortened version of FI/RE -- "FIRE". Here is a link to that epic post:

Subject: things that are stronger than death and fear
Msg Number: 29265
Link: http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14154995

A snippet from the above post:
So, from now on, I'm gonna drop the slash. A "FIRE" it is. May it be ever thus.

wanderer0692, so say ye, so shall it be ;) A big thanks to wanderer dude for making FIRE an integral part of the REHP vocabulary!

PtSurMr
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