Can You Reach FI Faster? Advice From Someone Who Did.

Can you shorten the time to achieve financial independence (FI)? In this episode, Eric talks with Jason about his journey to FI and the steps he took to reach FI faster and retire before 50. Topics discussed include risks taken + sacrifices made, how Eric’s path differed, why early retirement is so attractive, and much more.

Show notes may be found below the video

Show Notes

Essential Background:

The FI journey is far from a solo one for most people, particularly those with long term partners or spouses. As we discussed in this video, it’s essential to be on the same page regarding FI path decisions. Many seem to agree that our two-part series where we discuss our FIRE paths with our spouses, Lorri and Laura, is essential Two Sides of FI content. Check it out here: Part 1 and Part 2!

Want even more candid conversation among spouses? As a bonus, check out the conversation with Eric + his wife Laura, “FI-nancial Decisions – Transitioning to FI with Laura + Eric”, for a behind the scenes look at how they decided on their revised asset allocation last year.

We mentioned BaristaFIRE in today’s episode. In the linked post from Financial Samurai, he describes it as “being able to retire before the conventional age of 60+, but taking on a part-time job (e.g. like at a coffee shop) for supplemental income and potentially subsidized health insurance.” This article provides a good look at this path, and is an effective primer for those seeking more information. In addition to the financial calculations provided in the article, there are numerous supporting tools available online including this BaristaFIRE calculator from Walletburst.

Another common FI path is called CoastFIRE. This is a term used to describe someone who isn’t yet FI but has already put in the necessary effort to mathematically achieve that goal without further contributions. Did you know we talked with someone on this topic in an podcast-only episode two years ago? If you missed it then, you’ll definitely want to check out A CoastFI Path to Financial Security: An Interview with Catherine.

Have you checked out the Two Sides of FI Discord server? If you’re not familiar, this is an instant messaging social network. Ours is meant to be a community for viewers of our show, as well as a space to discuss all things relation to FIRE. It’s totally open, free of charge, and is anonymous as you’d like. This makes it a safe space to talk about financial topics you might otherwise be sensitive about sharing. Come check it out and see if it fits your interests! There are both desktop and mobile apps available.

Did you know Jason resumed blogging? To be notified of his future posts, please consider subscribing here. He’s also archived his old blog, which documents the first 1.5 years after he retired from his career, and started even before Two Sides of FI began. Get more information on those archived posts here.

You can find information on the tools we mention in each episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site.

4 Replies to “Can You Reach FI Faster? Advice From Someone Who Did.”

  1. I’ve really enjoyed watching all of your postings over the past couple of months, I binge watched my way through most of the YouTube clips.

    I am in Australia but living out a parallel existence to you guys on the other side of the planet.

    I am 51, a reasonably high earner, and will FIRE in November.

    Sadly, I don’t have a confidante to discuss my FIRE thoughts with so have had to endure many years of the left side of my brain debating with the right side. That’s my version of 2 sides of FI!

    I am married but my wife isn’t particularly interested in our finances. That said, she is excited about retiring from her teaching career at the end of this school year (calendar year here in Australia) aged 46 with all that we have planned for the years ahead.

    Like you, Jason, I knew I would FIRE before I knew FIRE existed. I started saving early and I am thankful that I took risks through my career to increase my earnings and savings. Those risk paid off and it now means I can afford the luxury of an alternate path by retiring a decade or so early.

    The main driver for me to pursue FIRE is boredom. My CV looks like I have had an exciting international career, but corporate BS really bores me. I say BS because I struggle to list all the ways that I wish corporate life was different.

    I just want to work happily as part of a tight team to achieve things together that would make the team members feel good about what they achieve. Instead, I have to suffer rules, policies, audits, culture BS, performance reviews, restructures, 360 degree reviews, cost cutting, politics, egos, etc etc, Boring!

    Corporate life post Covid is complicated and even more boring as the corporate world is now suffering a bit of an identity crisis, This is the final piece to me pulling the trigger on FIRE now…. Although I have been on the verge of FIRE for the past 5 years. I’m glad we saved a bit more.

    Interestingly, where we are now, rather than hitting a FIRE number, we will be more working off a plan to spend what savings we have amassed now we are FIREing. The number is the starting point rather than the end point. We will have plenty of options as our funds will cover much more than food and shelter. Exciting time ahead

    1. Greg, thanks so much for sharing your story and for your support of 2SFI! There sure was a lot about the corporate world that bored me to tears – including a lot of the areas you mentioned. As you likely noticed, we touched on a similar concept in the episode re: how nice it would be to toss all the BS aside and just do the fun/creative/rewarding bits! Certainly easier when one is their own boss vs. at a corporation, right? Best wishes to you on your journey! Please keep us posted -Jason

  2. 100% true, Scott! I’ve touched on it before but failed to mention it in this episode. My own path followed a related trajectory. I started in the lab too, and later moved into R&D leadership roles. But the real shift came about halfway through my time when I switched to Product Management + Marketing. That gave me the breadth I needed to advance into higher business roles and their associated higher pay. But it’s a great reminder that sales can be such a huge accelerator!

  3. I think a path towards accelerating FI that wasn’t touched on but is more accessible; is transitioning into sales and business development roles in your given field. I personally am in biotech and started as a lab grunt. Moving to sales provided a much higher salary, overall comp, and has provided opportunities that would not have been available if I stayed on original path. Sales roles are in just about every field and could prove to be a valid way to accelerate FI that is often overlooked

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