Sunday, September 02, 2007

Quest for FIRE

It's been a busy month, looking for a new job. Nothing really wrong with the old one except I decided it wasn't a "good fit", I thought we were supposed to actually show up for work and, well, work. Apparently I was wrong. I had been contemplating taking a per diem position to increase income but when looking at things like my PTO accrual with going to FT at my current place of employment it was a no brainer. So I've changed departments and will be working full time, something I haven't done since Sam was born. It will be a transition.

This is all part of my continuing quest for FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early). My original goal had been 45-whoops, missed that one! Now it's 55; I think I can make that one. But I'm adding a fudge factor of 2 years. My early retirement dreams started about 15 years ago when I first read a tattered copy of
Cashing in on the American Dream found in a thrift store. We were already quite frugal in those days as a way to finance my working only per diem in order to stay home with the boys. Little did I know that this book would change my life and was something of a bible for a whole subculture of people moving toward early retirement. Back then it was difficult to find resources, now a Google search reveals over 3 million! Now with this opportunity of working FT, doing something which will be an interesting challenge, and making more money than we've ever before made in our married lives our goals seem closer than ever. While building the house we veered a bit from our spending plan, so now is the time to tighten things up a bit and restate goals.
  1. Retire in 7 years
  2. Pay off house in 7 years.
  3. Revamp spending plan based on new job.
  4. Incur no new debt (right now we have none, other than the house).
  5. Continue to fund 403(b) at 15% pre-tax income.
  6. Fully fund IRAs.
  7. Maintain and increase my Couch Potato Portfolio.
  8. Add future wage increases directly to savings through automatic deposit.
All very doable but we would never have gotten to this point without the help of several books and websites on the subject of frugality, personal finance, and early retirement. My favorites, in no particular order: It seems that many of the books on early retirement are authored by men making 6 figures. The following 2 books took away my "but I don't make enough money" excuse:

And then there are those people who share their successes, failures, mistakes and spreadsheets through their blogs. Below are 2 I like to read regularly: And what you might ask, will we do with all that free time once retired? Travel!! But that's a story for another day.


Kyle said...

Great list of goals. It sounds like you are well on your way to achieving them. I like your blog, I will be back!

bill kitchen said...

audt and judy is this you? talked to morgan, this is kitch email

StrawBoss said...

Hey Kitch,

How did you find us? What's up with you?