Saturday, 7 April 2018

It’s starting to get Interesting (Part 2)

A lot of very thoughtful comment last week so I thought it might bring some value to the collective if I expand on my musings a little more.  Wandering Star I think hit the nail on the head – for me this FI (Financial Independence) moving to FIRE (Financially Independent Retired Early) lark is no longer about finances but now about psychology and so that’s where I’ll focus today.

I think The Accumulator also makes a good point with “I admire your willingness to play out your doubts in public. It is helpful on a personal level, while at the same time we, your audience, can't help but cheer, hiss, wince and cover our eyes from the galleries.”  I don’t believe I’ve ever claimed to know what I’m doing but what I have tried to always do is learn, experience and then share both the outcome and the journey.  I hope my tossing and turning proves helpful – the other option is to do that behind the scenes and then just communicate surety but I that doesn’t seem as useful from where I sit.  I guess it goes without saying that not for a second did I ever expect to find myself where I am today.  I honestly thought I’d reach FI, soon after convert that into FIRE and then ride off into the Mediterranean sunset.  So just what is going on...

It might be helpful to start with putting some backstory on the table.  I apologise to those who’ve read my book  as you’ll already know some/most of this.  I genuinely come from pretty humble beginnings which means that if I get this wrong I have nowhere to run.  This also means no top up inheritance to come should it all get a bit lean later in FIRE.  Thinking this through and for me it’s more than just a risk to manage.  I’d go so far to say it’s actually a fear.  I have seen and been part of poverty.  It’s not fun.  This is definitely having an impact despite me knowing I have enough.  Shucks, when I look at my wealth today my withdrawal rate if I went today would be less than 2.5% and that comes with knowing that additionally 47% of my spending could become discretionary if/when we see a very bad bear market.  One of the benefits of a quality of life for me costing very little.