Blue Days @ MegaCorp / Financial Independence


Yesterday my MegaCorp employer announced weak sales, record profits, and 1,500 job cuts. The rumors started about a week ago and proved true the old adage that 99% of organizational rumors are true. While no plans have been announced for how they are going to go about the layoffs, a couple things are understood: Continue reading “Blue Days @ MegaCorp / Financial Independence”

Early Retirement FIRE Escape – 6 Month Countdown

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My profound wife likes to say that often the “days go slow, but months go fast”.  That feels appropriate to my situation, as I am surprised that I have just 6 months left to my planned early retirement (on 4/1/16), despite the fact that I recently wrote that time seems to be moving slower than I thought it would.

Six months is still a long time – yet, at the same time, it seems like I am now very near the daunting precipice of the unknown.  My thoughts are increasingly “who does this?”, “who leaves their successful career 10 years early to enjoy a life of independence and leisure?” and “will I be wasting my god-given (and relatively highly paid) talents?”

While I wrestle with my fast & slow consternations, I am also watching our nest egg through the relative volatility of the financial markets, that started in August.  Continue reading “Early Retirement FIRE Escape – 6 Month Countdown”

Time Moving Slowly to Early Retirement Date

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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”

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

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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”

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”

Countdown To Retirement – Progress Update

It seems like just yesterday that I posted a blog listing “7 Ways To Countdown To Early Retirement“, but it actually has been a full 22 weeks since I got counting with the secret Post-it Note flags I put inside my credenza door at work. I just wanted to post my progress since I have now removed the entire top row from the countdown and … Continue reading Countdown To Retirement – Progress Update

Falling Toward Early Retirement

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While no leaves are changing color yet, yesterday was the start of the school year for our son, who is now a senior in high school. Just as I count the last year of working before early retirement, he is slowly counting down the days and weeks until he graduates and leaves home for college next fall.

I’ve been watching my calendar since April 1st of this year. Each day marks “the last” day, week, month, or annual activity that I plan on spending in the workforce. I’m currently sitting at 31 weeks remaining as my plans still focus on April 1, 2016. (The stock market plunge of -1100 points in the last 2 days hasn’t scared me off too much … yet) Continue reading “Falling Toward Early Retirement”

Average Age For Early Retirement

I just did the math on the several dozen early retirees posting their age at retirement on a thread (Class of 2016) from early-retirement.org/forums.  The average age was 54.6 years old.  This isn’t a surprise, given the name of the website, but I was curious what a group of early retirement enthusiasts would average out to. As I wrote in my earlier post How Early … Continue reading Average Age For Early Retirement

Early Retirement FIRE Escape – 8 Month Countdown

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Mr. FireStation had a productive month at the office in July, but is now just 8 months from his planned early retirement on April 1, 2016.  While June was largely consumed by a preparing for and enjoying a two week family vacation, July was all about work and making some post-work plans.

Our nest egg was quite secure through July with year-to-date results continuing to grow.  The three numbers I follow are: 1) the SP500, which is up +2%; 2) the International EFEA Index, which is up +6%; and 3) my former MegaCorp stock, which is up +9%.  With all three numbers up (and stock option leverage on MegaCorp), I am quite satisfied with how 2015 is shaping up and no big concerns have emerged.  At the same time, we protected about 25% of our nest egg in cash & bonds (our bond fund is -1% for the year).  All together, I think our portfolio is up +7% for the year.  That’s about +2 pts better than the end of June. Continue reading “Early Retirement FIRE Escape – 8 Month Countdown”

Early Retirement Check-Up With Financial Planner

This past Friday was our annual “check up” with our Financial Planner.  Mr. Fire Station has worked with him over the last 10 years, when an early retirement was just a dream.   I’ve estimated that only 2% of people retire by fifty years old, so it is no surprise that he has always taken a cautious tone to getting us ready for early retirement. … Continue reading Early Retirement Check-Up With Financial Planner