Hello! I am Mrs. RME and am here to offer my perspective on our journey to financial independence/FI/ early retirement/FIRE…call it what you want but, basically our journey to FREEDOM.
My role at Retirement Made Easy is to convey a spouse’s perspective (and sometimes sympathize with you ) for when you think your spouse has gone off the deep end in regard to your personal finances…they might actually be on to something amazing. If/when your spouse suggests eating Ramen for a month to see what that does to your monthly savings rate…that’s a big time NO…every time. It is absolutely critical to be on the same page (and sometimes planet) with your spouse in regard to money. Money is the number one thing couples fight about and can be an enormous elephant in the room. I look forward to sharing my perspective and will offer numerous tips and ideas to help make sure you and your spouse are on the same page!
A bit about my Journey.
Mr. RME and I have been together pretty much forever. I have a business degree and worked in Corporate America until we had RME Jr. and decided to stay home with him. To this point, Mr. RME has been the driving force behind our retirement journey. Not that I don’t have a vested interest in our finances…I just didn’t have the vision that he had and it took me a while to share his dream!
I admit that the early retirement picture Mr. RME painted when we first started discussing our financial future was not appealing to me in the least.
Here we were, two young, newly wed professionals making good money, just purchased our first little house and he is talking about how, if we live like college students forever, we could retire early. I was confused. Why in the world would I want to do that? Isn’t the American dream, to keep up with the Joneses? I honestly hadn’t thought too much about what our financial future would look like. We are both natural savers and tend to be frugal in many ways so, I assumed we would save until it was time to retire and that would be it…
In the years to follow we had many discussions that I am slightly ashamed to say were mostly me fighting this notion of early retirement. It felt like the future was so far away, why would we make ourselves suffer through all these years now to retire a little early? What would we do after we retired? Pick up knitting, live in the middle of nowhere because it is cheaper, never travel again? The panic, and to be honest, resentment, began to build.
This was not the life I had pictured for myself.
I have never felt the need for ‘expensive’ things or to ‘keep up with the joneses’ in any way. I was happy to drive my used hand me down sedan from my parents, purchase a modest home and to be perfectly honest, my favorite clothes tend to come from Walmart! Everyone spends their money in different ways. I prefer to spend money on really good quality ingredients to cook at home, good quality products for my home/personal care and travel is an absolute must. I have wanderlust and I have it bad!
I didn’t start to really understand early retirement until the phrase ‘Financial Independence’ was brought into the discussion. This term resonated with me and Mr. RME’s vision started to come into focus. So, what is FI? Financial Independence or ‘FI’, is when you have enough money saved to cover spending, so that you no longer have to work a 9-5 job. This sounds so much different than what most think of retirement.
Mr. RME and I also started to discuss our money and I was amazed at how much we had already saved just by living our ‘normal’ lives. As time progressed, it was actually starting to be FUN to watch our money grow! You would think that as a business major I would have had a full appreciation for the power of compounding interest…maybe I slept through that in my finance classes. I never made the connection that what I was learning could also be used in my personal finances and change my life entirely. Over the years, we have realized that we don’t actually have to live like college students to achieve our goals. Whew!
We just need to make smart, conscientious and sometimes outside of the box decisions, which for the most part, comes natural to us.
For me the phrase Financial Independence Retire Early or “FIRE” describes what we are trying to accomplish perfectly. We want to be financially independent so that we can be free to live life on our own schedule and retire early so that we can maximize our time.
What does FIRE look like to me? Every person on this journey will answer differently. This is a different question entirely from ‘What would you do if you won the lottery?’. Even in FIRE there are financial constraints…unless you really did win the lottery (the odds are not in your favor: 175 million to 1 (Data)) but, once you reach FIRE the constraints on your time disappear. I am still working out exactly what FIRE looks like for us…since it is still cold outside (March 2018) I am currently seeing myself on a beach in Mexico with a margarita in hand. Once you have reached FIRE…the world is your beach!
I think the word retirement has somewhat of a negative connotation associated with it and honestly it shouldn’t. Retirement isn’t just for people turning 65. Crazy right? You can reach retirement at any age and the earlier the better.
If retirement in your thirties is wrong, I don’t want to be right!
Here at Retirement Made Easy we are going to make the term ‘retirement’ cool again by showing everyone how easy and fun it can be! Call it FI, FIRE, retirement, or whatever you want but, join us on this journey to freedom!
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