Countdown to Early Retirement – Post-it Flags

I recently wrote about possible ways to countdown my last year to early retirement.  I had gotten a lot of great ideas online and shared them in this post.  Since it’s a couple of weeks later, I thought I would share a couple of the approaches I adopted.

First, I made 52 tags out of Post-it Flags and hung them up in a colorful way in my office.  I didn’t put them out in the open where everyone would ask me what they were for – since my path to FIRE (financial independence & retiring early) is still a stealthy initiative.  Instead, I put them in one of my overhead cupboard doors.

Here’s what they look like … 

2015-04-07 09.34.44

I also liked the devious idea to embed a mysterious countdown number into the footer of my work Excel spreadsheets.  Budgets are among my least favorite administrative tasks, so it’s fun to see that little number “50” in the corner, knowing that I have only 50 weeks left to my FIRE escape.  Especially funny is when I share a budget file and someone else starts using it, never really knowing what the number is for (or bothering to take it out of the footer).  Good fun.

Won’t they all be surprised a year from now?  

15 thoughts on “Countdown to Early Retirement – Post-it Flags

  1. Hmm, I still wouldn’t do this at work, where somebody might be curious enough to ask what it’s about, or perceptive enough to see that you’re counting down to something. Except if the inside of your cupboard is never shown to other people (for example when you reach in to retrieve something)?


    1. Yes – Good caution. It’s inside the cupboard, facing away from anyone else. I can always say that it’s XX weeks to my 50th birthday.


  2. Just found your blog, and glad we did! We’re on a journey to retire at the end of 2017, and love that you’re ahead of us. Look forward to reading up on your journey, and follow along as you make the big leap!


    1. How much longer to go? Time (and your retirement savings) can go/grow a lot faster than you think. Five years ago it was just a hope, within a couple of years FI became a reality and RE a certainty by 50.


      1. As short as 2.5, as long as 5. External factors (inheritance, etc.) could have me on the faster track. (It’s hard to actually allow that to be part of any sort of plan, seeing as it’s something that’s difficult to think about.) If it depends entirely on my saving efforts, that pushes it out a bit. If I had to simply do the 4% rule based on current spending, it would take less than 5, but then I see my mother with the expenses of assisted living, and know I can’t expect my expenses to remain this low. I’ve got time to figure it out. But hopefully not so much that my post-it flags won’t fit on one cabinet door.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I can tell you after only a few weeks of doing it, the post-it flags come down fast. Already 4 down out of 52!

        Liked by 1 person

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