GCC: We first met Bob and family at an expensive import coffee shop (aka Starbucks) in Osaka, Japan, where we enjoyed some tasty treats as a globetrotting respite. So clearly this was after they had found balance and inner peace :) Check out this personal story from the trenches of hard saving, and the important reminder to enjoy the journey.
Lately, Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) is getting a lot of attention. The concept is literally spreading like a wild fire as more main stream medias are publishing FIRE related stories. This is certainly true for Jeremy and Winnie, as their story has appeared on many different media outlets.
The core concept of FIRE is simple – Increase your savings rate by decreasing expenses and increasing income. Invest the savings in appreciating assets. Once these assets produce sufficient passive income to cover your expenses, you are financially independent. You can retire early if you choose.
Although my dad retired from full time work when he was 43, my wife and I didn’t fully grasp the key benefits of financial independence (FI) until 2010. After reading many personal finance and investing books and blogs, we began to take charge of our own finances. We simplified our investments and learned to take advantage of the tax-free and tax-deferred accounts.
We are now 8 years into our own FIRE journey. Thanks to our passive income streams, various side hustles, and our house in the hot metro Vancouver housing market, we can be financially independent today if we choose to. We also feel blessed that we could retire today if we wished to. But we realized that we have more to do than just be ready financially.
When we first retired, we had grand ambitions to tour all of Latin America, Europe, and Asia in one monumental journey, but then…
…then we realized, “What’s the rush?!” We have 60 years to complete our journey (or not.) There is no competition to check off a list of countries we’ve visited or places we’ve been (although we’ve been to ~40 countries to date)
So we traveled (very) slowly, immersing ourselves in local language and culture