Having a public image can be challenging. Having one based on falsehoods, even more so.
Some months ago on reddit, that bastion of truth and hope, an optimistic aspiring early retiree posted this question on the Financial Independence subreddit:
Is anyone here actually FIRE using only stock market investments (and not “faux-FIRE”)? Without managing rentals, doing part-time work, or blogging?
The subsequent discussion is actually quite good – and the poster is left convinced that it is indeed possible to retire to a life of leisure with a passive portfolio.
But of course there are always outliers, and nobody is ever 100% truly convinced. As proof, I offer the poster’s closing statement:
Alright thanks everyone, my doubts are sufficiently dissolved… FIRE is real and not just for FIRE bloggers. I believe! I still think GCC is a f*#ing liar though…
Confession is good for the soul, they say. So let me confess…
I too believe that early retirement is possible. I hope I can do it one day.
As our family has grown and our expenses increased, we have had to seek other income.
After Jr was born and we started to understand just how much kids really cost, I looked at getting a job in tech again. It turns out nobody wants to hire you when your skills have gone unused for several years.
Thus we have come to depend on blogging income. In turn, that has forced me to spend more time on research and content creation. I now spend more time working than when I was working – Those spreadsheets don’t make themselves.
Unable to go forward, and unable to go back, here we are – faux-FIRE, selling the dream.
So yeah… It’s all fake news. I’m a f*#ing liar.
What went wrong?
It’s hard to pinpoint any one thing that put our retirement off the rails.
Frustration with work, overconfidence in our desire and ability to remain frugal, and an abundance of naiveté were all contributing factors. We just stopped working too soon. But I just couldn’t take it anymore.
Without a job to provide a sense of purpose and a home to ground us, we became listless and unfocused. This led to poor decision making and overspending.
I think we also couldn’t admit to ourselves that we had made a mistake. I mean, what the hell were we doing bouncing around Europe with a toddler? Is this fun?
Instead we just kept telling ourselves everything was fine and we were living our dream. We lied to ourselves, we lied to our friends and family, and we lied to you.
If only random reddit people had called us out sooner :(
It’s been so hard to admit this to myself, let alone to share it publicly. How could we screw this up with the benefit of one of the greatest bull stock markets of all time?
But it is what it is.
With child #2 on the way, we need income to be higher, more stable, and more predictable.
Hopefully I can do that with Go Curry Cracker, but if not…
Friends and coworkers from the past are now senior hiring managers and executives. I should figure out how to use LinkedIn again. I would like to connect with you professionally.
Call for Help
Were it only me, I would probably just tuck my tail between my legs and go live on a beach in Mexico or Honduras. But I have to think of the children, even though it shames me to ask for help.
There is a lot of
great(?) content on this site for people planning to retire early – tax minimization, ACA optimization, travel hacking, geographic arbitrage opportunities, and more.
Please share Go Curry Cracker! with all of your friends and social media contacts. Learn from our mistakes! There are sharing links at the bottom of each post.
And please consider using the various affiliate links on this site when you are able. This provides us with much needed income at no additional cost to you.
From the latest GCC Business review, most affiliate revenue comes from:
- Credit cards – why pay for travel when you don’t have to? Maybe it will be possible again one day.
- Learn how to be a master travel hacker with our Award Travel Series
- Personal Capital – a free service for tracking your expenses and investments (read my review)
- Blog hosting – Everyone should blog, really. Plus, what else you gonna do in lockdown?
If by chance you plan to use those services in the coming months and years, using our links is very much appreciated!
Please. Think of the children.
Again, I’m so sorry for my dishonesty and deception. Living a lie has been so difficult, I hope you can forgive me.
Have a wonderful April 1st.
A f*#ing liar, abject failure, and unappreciated comedian
No Go Curry Cracker!