Sitting in the waiting room of the local lab, I wasn’t as worried this time. During my first pregnancy I had been freaked out when I had failed the initial one hour glucose test and had to take the long-form version. This time I knew the drill. In some ways, it was kind of a mini vacation. Four hours to myself! To read! I’d been doing some research into investments recently and had come across Your Money or Your Life.
It’s main revelation was the idea that a typical middle class person in the United States (i.e., one who has not inherited wealth or started an internet company at 15) could retire early. And it laid out the math pretty clearly: when the income of your investments (you work hard to build savings) exceeds the amount you need to cover your (as low as possible) expenses, you are financially independent and can make choices without worrying about a 9-5 job.
In the original book written in the 1970s, the authors invested in Treasury Bonds yielding a secure and reliable 7% rate of return. Can you imagine? While trying to figure out contemporary investments that could be used to the same end, I found Mr. Money Mustache, and read through All the Posts From the Beginning of Time®.
Paula Pant taught me how to afford anything, and what to look for in a worthwhile, positive cash-flowing investment property.
Dividend Mantra had another strategy for covering living expenses through investments, albeit one I ultimately rejected because of how very much money you have to invest upfront in order to have enough dividends to live on.
Here’s where I feel like I’m different from many folks in the FIRE* community and the Mustachians in Practice community: I don’t have an exact FIRE date. There are too many unknown variables for me to figure out the number of days until we can “retire.” I know our overarching strategy is FIRE through buy and hold rental rental real estate, because it’s a good fit for our talents and situation. But what is the exact amount these properties will cash flow? How much cash up front will we need to purchase and fix them up? How quickly or slowly we can gather that cash? What will life throw at us in the meantime? Part of the beauty and salve of life is not knowing ahead of time.
*Financially Independent Retire Early