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Hello, we are Tony and Cat.

We are a pair of non-millennials in tech careers on a path to financial independence. Generationally, we’re at the older end of GenX, so we are close enough to retirement age that it won’t be particularly early in FIRE terms. We started on this path later than many, around age 50, but we’re incorporating FIRE principles in our philosophy and approach to spending, saving, investment, and problem solving.

This blog tells the story of our journey from the financial disaster of 2008 to our planned financial independence. We have divided this up into 4 sections:

Section 1: 2008 – 2011  Disaster

Section 2: 2011 – 2015  Rebuilding

Section 3: 2015 – 2018  Course Correction

Section 4: 2018 +  The Sprint to FI

The sections on Disaster and Rebuilding set the scene for the life changes we made in Course Correction and The Sprint to FI. If you’d like to read a firsthand account of recession-related bankruptcy and foreclosure, check out Sections 1 and 2. If you want to head right for the FIRE stuff, then Sections 3 & 4 are for you.

We aren’t holding much back here, despite having made some choices in the past that we’re not proud of. By putting ourselves out there, we hope that others will know that they are not alone, and perhaps some of the things we did can help you.

Over the course of writing this blog, we:

  • Lost more than half our income (2008)
  • Declared bankruptcy (2010)
  • Lost our home to foreclosure (2011)
  • Had a car voluntarily repossessed (2011)
  • Incurred more debt for a house and cars (2014/15)
  • Sold our house and downsized (2017)
  • Moved across the country (2018)
  • Paid off all our remaining debt (2018)
  • Built a net worth of just over $0.5M by EOY 2019
  • Increased our net worth to just over $1M (EOY 2021)


… and all of this in less than 15 years. We are hoping to be fully retired by the time we are in our early 60s.