FIRE Station Fun – Let Me Count The Ways

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A number of readers have been chatting about how many months they have until their own early retirement dates and how anxious they are getting.  I started this blog when I had 15 months left before my FIRE escape date from MegaCorp.  That seemed like a really long time at that point, but now when I reflect on it, it seems like no time at all!

To keep patient and persevere, I started a number of countdown activities – even though I wasn’t sharing my plans with anyone at the office.  These were my favorites:

  • Post-it Flag Countdown – I kept this inside my office credenza overhead
    (I even tweeted it out to the company Twitter account and the “liked” it)
  • PowerPoint Presentation Title Pages – A sly weekly countdown number
    (Everyone could see it, but (almost) no one really understood)
  • Countdown app on my iPhone
  • Spreadsheet split into months left, weeks left, days left, work days left

Another idea I heard recently – which would have been fun to do – is to take a shot of scotch every Friday afternoon when you get home from work.  There are 22 shots in one liter whiskey bottle, so you might need a couple of bottles.  I toasted my early retirement with a bottle of The Macallan 18 – a fun way to celebrate!

What other countdown ideas have / are you using?

Image Credit: Pixabay


13 thoughts on “FIRE Station Fun – Let Me Count The Ways

  1. I’m still too far away from early retirement to pinpoint when my last day will be. 😦 But, you’ve just given me the idea to do a countdown for when I reach smaller goals though! Like when I reach $250k or $500k net worth. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good idea – I also track net worth goals and mark down how long it takes between each of them. If you are doing it right, they come faster and faster!


  2. I really like that quote! Sometimes it can be hard to be consistent, but if you can make a little progress every day / week, you will get there and can accomplish almost anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s right – keep stepping toward your goal and it is always surprising how fast you reach it! 🙂


  3. Love it! Ive counted down from 1200 days. I am now down to 721 days. Family and friends say that its better to count how many weeks left or better yet, how many days ONLY counting Monday-Fridays or just say 24 months. I like the days method. I have a calendar on my desk in my office that I put X’s on. Kinda looks like a countdown on a prisoners cell wall 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Prisoner’s cell wall! Wow – that made me laugh. Enjoy the count – 721 days left is just under 2 years. That’s not long at all!


  4. I am using an iPhone countdown app and have a post it note with tick marks that I keel on my calendar. BTW, I have found that April 1 is the “sweet spot” in the corporate world (401k match, bonus, HSA contribution, some vacation accrued paid but not to far into the year)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I work at a Primary School – 100 days of school is a huge celebration! Kids make all kinds of things that are related to the number 100. Including fruit loop necklaces. I made one counting down 100 days to retirement. About 10 of those loops are gone!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 90 days left until early retirement – how exciting! And, you’ll be out to enjoy the summer weather by then. Good for you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Eric, I am passing this onto Shawn. He has two years remaining but we actually started our count down when had five years left. In 2014, we had some renovations done to the house in Great Falls and put it on the market. I moved to Tennessee in our motor home and lived at campgrounds while searching for the prefect retirement spot. As soon as the house sold, Shawn moved into a studio flat. Both living situations seem crazy to “normal” people – who would choose to live in an RV or a studio apartment instead of a nice family home! But, we saw the opportunity to “fast-forward” Shawn’s retirement, or to at least make him feel retired 3 days a week. I will let him weigh in on whether it has worked out that way.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Two years will go by very quickly. The funny thing about time is that when you look back on a period when you’ve been patient and waiting, it never seems like it was very long. It’s like our minds compress time retroactively. Especially when you look back on how quickly kids grow up!


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