We are Early Retirement Now, or ERN, and right now we prefer to not give more information about our identities, except that we are a married couple with a young daughter. Papa ERN is in his early 40s and Mama ERN in her early 30s. We plan to retire in 2018, so strictly speaking, our blog title is a bit of a misnomer because as of right now we’re not actually retired. Extreme retirement planners that we are, planning ahead two years is nothing, considering that retirement has been on our minds for decades already. Seeing that a lot of other early retirement blogs are from already retired, established and successful bloggers, we decided to start our blog early to follow our journey through the last few years before retirement and then (hopefully) many decades or retired life.
Currently, nobody knows about our plan to retire early. Not our relatives, not our friends, neighbors and colleagues. To us, early retirement is this very life-changing event and profound lifetime goal and we don’t want to jinx it by talking about it too early. Out of an abundance of caution, therefore, we will keep our plan a secret, at least for now. Otherwise it would be a bit like announcing we are going to have a baby in two years. A lot can go wrong with that, too. We don’t want to have to answer nagging questions from everybody. Worst of all, we don’t want people trying to talk us out of it. Once we go public, in early 2018, you will see more of us!
Our current situation
We live in one of the large coastal metro areas where real estate prices are insane. Luckily, we own a nice condo in town that we bought many years ago. Large enough for the three of us to live comfortably, but not too large either. Our mortgage payment may seem high almost anywhere else in the country, but it’s so low in our current location, you probably couldn’t rent a 600 square foot one bedroom apartment for that right price now.
Papa ERN works full-time in the asset management division for a large bank. Mama ERN used to work in the healthcare field but decided to stay home and care for our daughter. Currently we have accumulated enough assets to fund a comfortable retirement at a 4% withdrawal rate. Why not just call it quits now? Very simple, Papa ERN is old enough to have lived through two stock market crashes in 2001 and 2008/9 and thinks that it’s wise to milk his salary and Wall Street bonus gravy train for a little longer. Besides, Papa ERN still enjoys his job and we still like living in our current location, knowing that in retirement we should move to a less expensive locale.
In the large spectrum of existing Early Retirement blogs, where is our niche? We hope that people will enjoy our views on anything financial. Sometimes we read other blogs and we have something intelligent and new to say, but by posting in the comments section, not many people will get to see it. That’s another reason to start this blog to share our views with a hopefully larger audience and to get feedback and suggestions for our journey to Early Retirement.
More details and analysis coming soon, please come back!
15 thoughts on “Welcome”
If things are good at work, I think it is a wise move to stay at your job for a while. You never know what can happen these days. It never hurts in these uncertain times to end up with more than enough. Also, your job at this point is kind of like an extra layer of insurance to protect your finances. And in some cases, once you leave it may be harder to get back in to another job. Plus maybe the time will be right in a few years and you could get laid off with severance and unemployment instead of just quitting with nothing. That would likely cover a years worth of expenses for you as a bonus.
Thank you, TM, for visiting our blog. You might be the first person to find us and certainly the first to leave a comment.
Thanks also for the encouragement and the great advice about the “benefit” of getting laid off right before planning to retire anyway. That’s definitely something to keep in mind!
So, please come back and check us out again as we post more material. If you have your own blog and want me to link yours, please let me know!
Certainly good to see FIRE blogs coming up. Looking forward to seeing how you do. Good luck! I started about 15 years late into the process, but hope that it’ll work out too!
Thanks for visiting. Yes, for those of us who spend way too much time in academia everything is several years behind schedule. I realize for the MDs even more so than for the PhDs (my personal case). Best of luck with your practice and financial planning too. I will keep checking your blog, good stuff!
Good luck in your retirement journey. I am at a different end of the spectrum, having retired a little early aged 56 in 2011. Best decision I have ever made. I wish I had thought about reading early retirement blogs a few years before that. I would have gone even earlier….
A couple of things I did do, which might be of interest are
1) I tried it out for 6 months before I finally bit the bullet and resigned. In those 6 months, I proved I wouldn’t get bored. (I was a workaholic!). We realised that we didn’t really need to spend so much. Not excessive frugality, just what we really needed, not unnecessary ‘wants’.
2) after my 6 months, I went back to work with a real goal. How quickly could we afford to stop altogether. We started living on what our post-retirement income would be, and saving everything else. It took a couple of years, and like you, we didn’t tell anyone, just went off and did the maths!
3) I spent some time, researching the most tax efficient ways of saving, and working out what options we had to take lump sums tax-free on retirement. E.g. I live in UK, I was allowed to put money away in AVC’s (Additional Voluntary Contributions) into my pension fund. The government then very kindly gave me 40% tax back. I was then able to lift those AVC’s on retirement as a tax free lump sum. Now that is a good return!
I was lucky, we had cleared the mortgage 10 years before, our kids were financially independent, and I could look forward to a final salary pension. I was prepared to take a hefty discount to take my pension early, but we decided we would leave my husbands smaller one, for the extra few years until it’s proper date.
And we are still saving…. We live on about 25-30% of our income. As it turned out my husband’s firm persuaded him to stay on part-time, but on his terms. The odd day in the office, the odd trip, no admin, just working on his beloved maths which he would probably do anyway! He’ll stop eventually, but that is factored in to our sums. We still travel quite a lot, but in general we’ve lost our desire to buy things! I reckon it will be at least 10 years, hopefully more, before inflation bites enough for us to have to start using our investments.
Wow, thanks for your inspiring story. Glad it worked out so well for you and your husband. Let’s see if my employer offers me something too good to refuse when I finally pull the plug… 🙂
I feel like I’m looking in the mirror reading your welcome blog post. I look forward to following your journey. Sounds like we’ll be retiring about the same time. Best of luck to you.
Awesome, thanks for stopping by. 2018! Let’s hope it’s good year to retire early!
man, we are right on the same boat. I found out this blog because of the SWR study and could not stop reading it until my wife yelled at me – what the fuck r u doing, come help me !!!! by the way shes does not know about my ER plans, neither relatives or friends… i am so screwed. peace.
Ha, that’s awesome! Try to ease your wife into the FIRE mindset slowly. Check out the ChooseFI podcast on how to do that. Good luck!
Howdy! I found you through your insightful comments on the choose fi podcasts and am excited to be starting at the beginning of your story. And I have to thank you… My husband has been somewhat skeptical about the idea of early retirement but your math heavy analysis makes him feel oh so much better about the path we’re on!!!
Oh, Thanks! Math Geeks of the world, unite! Glad we can bring your husband on the path to FIRE! 🙂
Finding this a bit late – you have already retired!
Listened to you on ChooseFI podcast and your “0 Emergency Fund, lost opportunity” reasoning spoke to me. So I decided to start reading your blog for more wisdom. Watch out for binge blog readers 😉
I have only just discovered FIRE and am very excited about it. This concept gave me motivation to work, save, stop spending, look into taxes and finances in general. Luckily, my wife is on board and she is, too, very excited about what the financially independent future might bring for us.
We are starting a bit late (both mid-30s), have just bought a house and have just had a baby… So we are starting pretty much from scratch as far as savings go. We will be religiously saving every month though so hopefully it will all work out.
Good luck to you and your family!
Congratulations on early retirement and hope you’re enjoying every second of it!
Discovered your blog today and am looking forward to exploring all the good stuff in it! 🙂 I’m 1.5 years out of college but just want to hit early retirement soon so I can stop working in a soulless job (maybe be partially because I’m working in private equity at the moment with 90-hour weeks…). Particularly looking forward to learning more about derivatives trading and investing to increase income.
Thanks! Early retirement and derivatives trading? You’ve come to the right place! 🙂