The Price of Work – Everyday Expenses


Early retirees talk about the pleasure & independence that comes with walking away from the workplace and living their lives to the fullest.  At the same time, they also talk about the shift in mindset that comes from no longer actively accumulating their savings, but continuing to actively spend it.

One opportunity to spend less comes from the costs that are solely work-related.  For me those expenses fall in two key categories: lunches at work and dry cleaning bills.  I recently went on, where I track our spending to see how much these expenses add up to annually.   Continue reading “The Price of Work – Everyday Expenses”

Our Early Retirement Travel Planning Framework & Free Download


I like to always have a big, interesting trip booked about a year in advance, but we have nothing yet planned for 2016. I’ve written about our love of travel before, my goal to get to all fifty states (two left!) and trips we’ve taken overseas. The challenge we face (for the first time ever) is too many opportunities to decide between next year. With early retirement arriving next April Fool’s Day, we’ll have the whole rest of the year to go wherever we wish. Continue reading “Our Early Retirement Travel Planning Framework & Free Download”

Time Moving Slowly to Early Retirement Date


We are still 6+ months from our planned early retirement date and I have to report that time is moving a bit slowly.  I thought when I was within one year of my secret plan to escape Megacorp for a life of FIRE (financial independence & retiring early), that things would start to feel accelerated, but that hasn’t really been the case.  

One of the factors that I thought would make this final year move fast was the idea that I would be doing certain things for the ‘last time’ as I moved through each of the last 12 months.   Continue reading “Time Moving Slowly to Early Retirement Date”

Retire Before Children Head Off To College?

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Well, it looks like “the Boy” – our seventeen year-old son is set for where he wants to go to college. I’ve written before on the cost of college, but wanted to share a little bit about how we have saved & planned for his matriculation into post-secondary education. Many people can’t conceive of retiring before your kids are done with college, but I feel confident that we are well set in that department.  How did we do it? Continue reading “Retire Before Children Head Off To College?”

Mrs. FireStation – My Wife’s Early Retirement


Yesterday, Mrs. Fire Station left on a ‘girls trip’ to Florida with four friends of hers.  She is looking forward to some fun in the sun as the days are already turning a bit crisp & cool here at home.  In fact, I know she would love to spend the winter months someplace sunny when we retire.  I am sure she will bring back some information on the resort she is staying at in Sarasota, with some pictures like the one above (although it is raining today). Continue reading “Mrs. FireStation – My Wife’s Early Retirement”

Liebster Award Part II – Great New Blogs


This is the second part of a two-part post related to the Liebster Award, a pass-a-long recognition of seemingly unknown origin, is used by small bloggers pay to pay forward a little visibility to other small bloggers (less than 200 followers).  Captain Sparky here at has been active for only about 8 months, so I was excited to get the nod from and feel honored to pass it along. Continue reading “Liebster Award Part II – Great New Blogs”

Our 10 Plans To “Retire, Wild, Happy & Free” – Check-In


About 18 months ago, I started reading a book called How To Retire Happy, Wild & Free by Ernie Zelinski. I downloaded it on my Apple iPad and brought it with me on a weeklong cruise to Mexico. At that point, we were more than a couple years away from early retirement, and had just achieved financial independence. Reading it was maybe my first step toward creating a formal plan to early retirement. Continue reading “Our 10 Plans To “Retire, Wild, Happy & Free” – Check-In”

Six Ways To Prepare For Our Early Retirement Lifestyle


DW and I are now just 7 months from early retirement. I recently posed a question to a group of early retirees about the adjustment that takes place between the full-time working world and a life of early retirement.  During my many cups of coffee with friends over the last year, I regularly heard about a need to take the first full year of early retirement to adjust to the new lifestyle.  I have even heard it described as like the adjustment that comes from “leaving a bad relationship” or divorcing one’s longtime spouse.

I asked specifically about how long it took to adjust to not working? Continue reading “Six Ways To Prepare For Our Early Retirement Lifestyle”

One More State Visit – Closing In On Fifty

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This Labor Day weekend, we are taking an unusual road trip.  We are planning to drive more than a half day out to Omaha, Nebraska, simply because it is one of the remaining three states I need to have reached all fifty.  I wrote about my overall quest a few months ago in my “Visit All Fifty States Quest”.

No one in our family would put Omaha on the top of list of exciting vacation destinations (sorry, folks from Nebraska).  But, like a trip we took to North Dakota a few years ago, I’m sure this trip will have  lot of unexpected fun and memorable learning about a state we know very little about. Continue reading “One More State Visit – Closing In On Fifty”

Early Retirement FIRE Escape – 7 Month Countdown

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August was the month where I would say that “this sh*t is getting real”.  With just 7 months left before my FIRE Escape date to early retirement on April Fool’s Day 2016, planning & preparation are definitely moving into full swing. 

August has been a quite eventful month for a few reasons and there has been a lot of volatility in the stock markets to add to the excitement:  Here’s my checklist of things I got done this month:

  • Read Ernie Zelinski’s book “The Joy of Not Working”.  Good inspiration.
  • Had my last annual physical at the MegaCorp medical center.  Good health.
  • Had my second-to-last Dentist visit.  Good teeth.
  • Started my new “side job” – a corporate board role.  Good meetings.
  • Met with our tax advisor.  Good numbers.
  • Continued to update my countdown flags.  Good fun.
  • Watched the stock market rock & roll.  Good luck!

While the stock market fell -4.3% in August, our nest egg has remained pretty resilient at +1.9%.  The difference maker for us has been a sizable holding in my former MegaCorp employer’s stock, which has stayed strong through the Wall Street panic, remaining +4.4% for the year.  Since these shares are in stock options, they have positive leverage and a better than average impact on our total portfolio. Continue reading “Early Retirement FIRE Escape – 7 Month Countdown”