Family of Four Taking Flight to Financial Independence

Early Retirement During A Global Pandemic and Financial Apocalypse

Choosing our own path to FIRE.

Is it possible to early retire during a global pandemic and financial apocalypse?  The short answer, yes!

So this week was officially my last week of working FT as an art teacher in a public school (yes, it sure didn’t end the way I envisioned / hoped for given COVID-19, but it ended nonetheless).

I posted this accomplishment in one of my social media FI (Financial Independence) groups (ChooseFI), and the post surprisingly got a lot of attention, praise, comments, and questions from likeminded folks.  I mainly lurk (or maybe have always just lurked) in this group so this was a first for me.  A few screenshots ...

So why so much attention?  I am guessing a few reasons ... 1) I am a teacher.  2) We were able to basically achieve FIRE in approximately 5 years (and two years before that we paid off debt).  3) There are four of us including two children.  4) All of this was done despite the global pandemic / financial apocalypse.  Also several were curious about 5) Spain.

So if you want to ... can you achieve FI (financial independence) and RE (retire early)?  Yes.  What if you are a teacher?  Yes.  Can you do it faster than you thought?  Maybe so.  Can you still achieve it with kids?  Yes.  What if there is global pandemic?  Financial apocalypse?  Can it still be done?  Yes.  Yes.  Yes.

So ... how?  Let’s recap (simplified version for you).

1) Pay off your debt.
3) Invest, invest, invest.  We recommend Vanguard, but some people prefer other routes (like real estate).
4) Don’t forget your safety margins (prepare for the next financial apocalypse!).
5) Achieve FIRE.

And still need help with achieving FIRE?  Erik can help!

So what is next on our somewhat unexpected path and journey?  We are first moving (unexpectedly due to COVID-19) into Houston’s Museum District this summer.  Next up after that?  I will start researching and planning for City Schooling this Fall (and try some things out this summer with the kids to better prepare for the Fall).  Then I will look into the timeline for hopefully obtaining our Non-Lucrative Visa for Spain (some of that process will start this Fall).  And as we have learned in the past few months, I will start extensively researching backup plans in case the Visa doesn’t work out for Spain (Maybe Spain for just 90 days on a passport?  Maybe travel somewhere else first?) ... oh, and I want to research and start my side hustle sometime this summer.

Sometimes people ask ... but what will you do?  Won’t you be bored??  Honestly I have a hard time understanding that question or even relating to that question.  I don’t remember the last time I was ever bored - even in adulthood before kids!  There is always something to do - you need to do, should do, want to do, or would love to do ... etc.  There are always chores, hobbies, things to do with the kids / family, and more.  As you can see from my tasks above, I am not sure how much downtime I will have ... but I do look forward to doing more reading and art to name a few things.

Spain Update: And we do have an update regarding our original trip to Spain / our original plan to take flight ... we got airline credits for our tickets to Spain and New York City that we mentioned in a previous post.  We also already had housing in Spain through Airbnb, and our host as been more than understanding about the COVID-19 situation.  We are currently working on obtaining a lease directly with her for the Spring (which will actually be saving us money!  More on that later).

Are you on a journey to reach FIRE?  Where are you at in your journey?  What questions or comments or suggestions do you have for us?


No comments