• The Sprint to FI

    COVID update and some optimism

    I wrote a while back about COVID and the financial panic.  We have all heard stories of people pulling their money out of the markets, but we took JL Collins advice and held our course.  In fact, not only did we hold steady, we put money into the market (indexed funds only kids!) and we find ourselves on the upper part of the K shaped recovery. Frankly we have done well so far over the past 12 months: We seem to be missing some growth, but it is interesting that the recovery time post the COVID announcements is maybe 3 months. It doesn’t come back to where it was but…

  • The Sprint to FI

    Almost-FIRE Limbo

    With every paycheck, Tony and I get closer to FIRE. We’re at the point where we are counting the months (now 28 for me, 52 for him). We’ve started to write and think and talk about what retirement looks like and what we want to do, but we’re not actually there yet. For the next 2-4 years (if everything goes as planned), we’ll be in almost-FIRE limbo, where we keep working, keep saving, keep planning, keep living. Since we are so close to retirement, we have decided to continue renting until then — it doesn’t make a lot of sense to buy a home and then have to sell in…

  • The Sprint to FI

    A Milestone Day

    Today (this was originally drafted on 2/6) was an interesting milestone day.  The funny thing is, the milestone was passed sometime last month.  We have just passed the $750k mark in retirement savings.  Wow! We have talked about this today and we are both sort of amazed that we have come to this point.  It does not seem that long ago that we were laboring under a completely different set of circumstances.  And now we have $750k in assets and no debt. Logically, we knew this would happen but emotionally, this feels amazing.  When I say it out loud I have a sense of unrealness and at the same time, elation.…

  • The Sprint to FI

    30 Months

    30 Months. This is the number of months left for Cat to work. Over the past few weeks we have been talking about our retirement plans and retiring at 60 is part of the plan. Cat will turn 60 in 2 years. Just for the sake of financial security, we figure that because she turns 60 in January and occasionally gets a bonus early in the year, she will work just enough to pick up the bonus, max her Roth roll over and 401k and then call it a day.  So that will be about 30 months. I will continue to work after she retires, for two reasons; I will…

  • The Sprint to FI

    Let’s Wrap up 2020

    2020 has been a difficult year, and it has been hard to figure out where to start in terms of wrapping it up. However this is a financial blog, so lets start with the finances. The Numbers At the end of 2019, we had $539k in assets and no debt. We ended this year on a net worth of $700k in assets and no debt. W00t! In 2020 we came close to maxing our Roth IRA rollovers and 401k contributions. This has helped with the growth of the retirement savings in a big way, as well as post tax contributions to our other investment and savings accounts. The market was…

  • The Sprint to FI

    An interesting Year

    I tend to be conservative in my estimates when I forecast, but I had estimated that we would end this year with a net value of about $650k.  We just passed $665k by the end of August. Assuming nothing crazy happens (Election!) we might hit almost $700k by the end of the year. This is interesting because it illustrates the disparity between the national/global economy and the individual economy.  The US has suffered incredible unemployment this year with so many individuals suffering financial hardship, and small businesses closing and yet our portfolio has grown. Why has it grown? I guess the answer to that is that the S&P 500 etc,…

  • The Sprint to FI

    Negative Press

    I’ve seen a few articles (in pre COVID times), where the subject of the article was FIRE, and in most cases I see a lot of negative reactions to the FIRE principles. Either from the writers of the articles, although not always as there are some positive FIRE articles out there, but the comments … oh the comments!  I can’t say I am surprised, as a lot of people have no idea how this works, but I think there are some deeper things going on. The criticism I see leveled at FIRE tend to fall into the following: Its impossible; most people can’t do this you need much more money…

  • The Sprint to FI

    Renting vs buying a home in 2020

    “I know you like your apartment, but when are you going to buy a house and put down roots?” I have a coworker who asks me this question every couple of months. At first I said, well, we are pretty new to Colorado and don’t know where we want to live yet. Then she asked which areas we’re looking in, and I realized that for some reason I didn’t want to tell her that we aren’t looking at all right now. That old message — you’re not a successful adult until you own a house — is somehow still on replay in my head. It’s utter bullshit of course, but…

  • The Sprint to FI

    (Sort Of) Travel hacking

    I don’t really like the term hacking. For me its more of a strategy. A strategic decision that I hope will lead to a good outcome. So what am I talking about? Well I am not into the whole travel hacking thing. To me it all too much messing about with credit cards. However, what we have done is moved a lot of our bills onto a Venture card with Capital One that offers travel points. We sit back, pay our bills and let those travel points accumulate. Our largest source of points at the moment is our weekly grocery bill, but we also have DoorDash on there, as well…

  • The Sprint to FI

    FIRE as a safety net

    I was reading a ProPublica study recently about age discrimination in the workplace and learned that more than half of those over 50 were laid off or otherwise pushed out of their jobs un-voluntarily. That alone is pretty grim, but what’s worse is this part: “Only one in 10 of these workers ever again earns as much as they did before their employment setbacks. Even years afterward, the household incomes of over half of those who experience such work disruptions remain substantially below those of workers who don’t. For the majority of older Americans, working after 50 is considerably riskier and more turbulent than we previously thought.” This kind of…