• The Sprint to FI

    Roth Conversions

    One of the good things that has happened to Cat and I over the years is we have almost always had good income; with the exception of the disaster. The downside, if you can call it a downside is that we do not qualify for certain financial tools because of our higher income. The Roth IRA is one of those things. However, we can still use the Roth IRA as an investment tool, even though we don’t qualify for pre-tax Roth contributions. This is achieved by performing a Roth IRA rollover from a traditional IRA. Why do I want a Roth IRA? Because the growth and withdrawal of money from…

  • The Sprint to FI

    We Always Were Good Savers

    Cat and I were discussing this a while back. We always did save well. Our problem was this; we could save for specific things but for some reason we never considered just saving. I think the idea of just saving for  … something was too nebulous for us. Retirement wasn’t a thing so it didn’t occur to us to save for it. I’m not sure why we had this blind spot but I realized a while ago, that if we had a target we could save. No target = no savings with us. Introducing me to FIRE got us to a point where we had targets and so our savings…

  • The Sprint to FI

    I Need A Hobby

    In a previous post I mentioned a focus on what happens post FI because it is important. This is a part of designing your life. There have been studies that show we deteriorate faster if we don’t have something that keeps us interested. This is a serious consideration when retiring early and why many FIRE bloggers out there recommend a side hustle that you can continue with once you retire. We also use the term retire loosely. The internet retirement police say that retirement means no more work for you. However the FIRE community fight back with; retirement is meaningful activity on your terms and your terms only. So if…

  • The Sprint to FI

    Avoiding Unhappy Things

    Avoiding unhappy things seems like an obvious thing but until I read this: https://www.madfientist.com/happiness-through-subtraction/ … I hadn’t really thought that much about it. This article was a huge revelation to me, and I have been thinking about it ever since. I’ve admitted that I have been unhappy for a while for a number of reasons. I started thinking a little more deeply about what is making me unhappy, and figured that I should make a list of what I think makes me unhappy, and then a list of the things I can change. My Job I work roughly 6am-3pm in my home office (these hours for a number of reasons).…

  • The Sprint to FI

    Another Milestone Reached

    Another goal reached today, only this one is not financial. What prompted my wife and I to start this journey was primarily our health. One of my goals was to get my weight down as it causes me issues with blood pressure and diabetes. Through taking control of my diet, cooking our own meals and taking care with the portion sizes, I have gone from my initial weight of 240lb when we first moved to CO back in April of 2018, to 199.8lbs as of today. I probably need to be down at about 180, but I haven’t been below 200lbs for about 25 years. Definitely a step in the…

  • The Sprint to FI

    Tax Optimization

    If you are looking at or pursuing FIRE, one of the recurring themes is tax optimization.  Mad Fientist goes into this in great depth. Cat & I are not in our 30s and are not going to have to consider Roth IRA ladders as we will be retiring at 60, but we do practice tax optimization to a degree. We file married, jointly. Annual income $ 125,000 C $ 104,500 T $ 229,000 combined Pre-tax deductions – we both contribute fully to our 401ks to reduce our tax burden. $ 24,000 401k $ 24,000 401k $   6,682  Benefits $ 54,682 total AGI is $229,000 – $54,682 = $174.318 What tax bracket…

  • The Sprint to FI

    Those Few Unconventional Choices That Make Us Different

    I was listening to a ChooseFi podcast the other day and something that one of the presenters said resonated with me; “Those few unconventional choices that make us different and add up, compounded over decades” Cat and I have gone against the herd with our decision to sell our house, to downsize, rent apartments, to move halfway across the country at a time when a lot of people our age have been programmed to buy a house, settle down, consume. That is not us any more. For us, the American Dream™ has proven to be a nightmare and we are now on a different path. For many people, Financial independence…

  • The Sprint to FI

    FIRE Milestones

    Question: On your journey to FIRE, how do you know what progress you have made? It’s easy to say you are FI or not FI but surely there is more than that? Well, depending on who you talk to there is. The folks over at ChooseFI had a podcast (32 and 32R) about the milestones or checkpoints on the way to FI along with Joel from FI180. What I want to do here is to explore these milestones, see where Cat and I are on the way to Fi and what the next milestone is for us, and perhaps illustrate how sometimes its not that straightforward. Having milestones and checkpoints…

  • The Sprint to FI

    FI is for the Fortunate

    I want to bring up something I haven’t heard much about in the FIRE community: This is a path for the fortunate. Not necessarily for the inherently privileged (or we’d all be financially independent already), but for those of some means. I can already hear the objections. FIRE is for everyone! Anyone can do it! Start small and it will grow! And theoretically, that’s not wrong. The fundamental principles are sound, and simple enough. But simplicity doesn’t equal realistically possible for everyone. The bottom line is, in order to save for retirement, you have to have something to save. Folks who live in HCOL areas may need every bit of…

  • The Sprint to FI

    Its the Small Stuff

    Sometimes it is the small stuff. Cat and I have combined our Spotify accounts using the Spotify family plan. We both had Premium accounts, and combining is only a $5 saving, but remember that all these little changes add up over time. When I look back to 2016, we were spending about $6500/mth and now we are at about $3500/mth. We didn’t shave off $3000/mth in one go, rather it happens over time by intentionally making decisions, and thinking the decisions though.