Saturday, February 12, 2011

Is Retiring Early Possible? FIRE Yourself

Yes, it would appear so. Hubby and I have plans to do so. With a shrinking mortgage and 4 teenagers to put through college (13, 15, 17, 19) FIREing ourselves in the near future is a real possibility. What is FIRE? Financially Independent Retired Early.

I recently stumbled across the website and have been lurking around reading their forums. A wealth of information from people off the street, no financial advisers here to tell you where your money should go.

Our household works as follows:
I am in charge of groceries,coupons,freebies,vacations (I used to be a travel agent),insurance (I currently work as a property underwriter for an insurance company).

Hubby is in charge of finding and maintaining good used vehicles, and managing our finances which includes picking stocks.

We talk about household finances almost on a daily basis, as it is an area that we are both interested in. About 8 years ago we quit using brokers and investment counsellers and started doing trading and investing four ourselves. There were mistakes made along the way, but in the last 3 years have averaged a rate of return through two stock market crashes of eight percent. Some return rates are much higher and some were losses. When husband quit his job out of frustration after 17 years a year and a half ago(he has since found a different job), there was a fear of the unknown but no fear of starvation or no roof over our head. We are the King and Queen of cheap and know how to live on nothing, some times from necessity, sometimes by choice. We pay cash for everthing if possible but use our credit cards for airline points while paying off the balances in full each month. We could keep up with the Joneses but choose not to. Our clothing and furniture is a mix of new, bought on sale and used, found at Goodwill, Kijiji and garage sales. There is no differentiation for items bought new or used, both equally appealing and viable. The only debt left is a mortgage which is about 10% of the value of our home.

Why do we scrimp and save? The hope is to semi-retire in 2-5 years to a life that includes only part-time work when we want to at things we are interested in. No more JOBS for us!

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