FI Lifestyle Personal Finance

We Did It—We Reached FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early)!

lantern festival rebecca swafford

Photo credit: Rebecca Swafford on Pexels

The big announcement

My subscribers may have noticed a little PS at the bottom of my last email. It said:

“I’ll be back next week with a big announcement… probably the biggest one yet on this blog!”

Today’s the day!!!

Well, today’s the day, and I’m sharing the big announcement. It’s still surreal to me, but it’s true—M and I have reached FIRE! 🔥🔥🔥

That’s the news! Mic drop… see ya… I’m outta here.

mic drop awkwafina

Credit: Cucumber mic drop by Awkwafina on Giphy

Just kidding! 

Of course I’m not leaving. Like it or not, I’m in this for the long haul. I’ll continue to blog here at Eat Sleep Breathe FI—even post-FIRE.

That means you’ll still get my How Much Does it Cost to Live the FIRE Life interviews, other FI-focused content, and updates on our post-FIRE life. 

I look forward to sharing how we navigate this new chapter of our lives—starting with this post. I’ll detail when we achieved FIRE, M’s retirement decision, the reactions of our family and friends, and much more.

But before we get started, I want to address the elephant in the room…

FI versus FIRE

Since the beginning of this blog, I’ve tried to mostly use the term ‘FI’ (financial independence) instead of ‘FIRE’ (financial independence, retire early). I briefly mentioned the reasons behind this in one of my early posts:

I take no issue with the term ‘FIRE’ (financial independence, retire early). And yet, I mostly use the term ‘FI’ (financial independence). Why?

It’s because confusion about the word ‘retirement’ is a roadblock. I’d rather remove the confusion and make things clearer.

We’re all better off spending less time arguing with others about retirement and more time striving for FI. (Which is what’ll actually allow us to retire!)

So, why am I using ‘FIRE’ now?

1. Times have changed

The FIRE community has evolved and become increasingly mainstream. More people are talking about and representing FIRE accurately. 

This has helped me get more comfortable with using the term FIRE. (It also means, one day, I’ll no longer need to write ‘debunking’ posts like thisthis, and this!)

2. FIRE describes our situation

We’ve reached FI (financial independence) and plan to live what most would consider an RE (retired early) lifestyle. To me, retirement (whether early or traditional) means:

  1. No longer having to work for money.
  2. Any work (paid or unpaid) is optional and purely for enjoyment.

M and I meet both those retirement ‘requirements,’ so I’m comfortable labeling ourselves as FIRE. (Go ahead—come at me, Internet Retirement Police!)

However, even though I’m comfortable saying that we’re FIRE, I still believe FI is what we should focus on—the RE is entirely optional.

Questions, questions

I imagine you’ve got a few questions. So, I decided to turn this post into an interview with myself. (This is turning into a bit of a habit!)

I tried to think of all the questions I’d have for someone who’s newly FIREd, then asked them of myself below. Let me know in the comments if I’ve missed anything!

When did you find out you were FIRE?

M and I found out in May of this year (2021) that we’d hit our FIRE number. Coincidentally, this was the same day that M received his annual letter notifying him of his pay increase and bonus. 

So, on the same day that M realized he’d be making more than he’d ever made before, we also realized he could walk away—if he wanted.

How old were you when you hit your FIRE number?

When we found out we’d achieved FIRE in May, I was 42, and M was 45. We’re now 43 and 45, and our kids are 16 and 13.

Why didn’t you reveal the news sooner?

It all came down to M’s job. He wanted to see his project through, and he also wasn’t sure if he was ready to retire.

So, to give M time and space to make the decision, we decided to keep the news private. However, we did tell a handful of family and friends early on—it was too hard to hide it from everyone!

I’ll share their reactions later in the ‘interview’.

So, is M going to retire?

After many months of debate, M’s made his decision. Yes, he’s going to retire! He finally gave his notice a couple of weeks ago. (Which is why I can finally share the news here.) His last day will be Thursday, November 18, 2021.

That marks the end of 36* years of working, 22 years in the videogame industry, and nearly 19 years at his current company. It’s been a long run.

*M started his first job at his parents’ bike shop—at the age of 9! He cleaned mowers and tuned bikes there until he turned 16. M remembers those years fondly. It was fun spending time with his parents and brother, learning new skills and earning money. Since then, he’s continued to work every year of his life.

Didn’t you say M loved his job?

Yes, I did, and it’s still true! M still loves his job and knows how lucky he’s been to have had the career he’s had—and at such an amazing company. 

It’s hard to imagine a more ideal work situation. He gets to work with talented, passionate people, be creative, and learn new skills. He also feels that he’s making a difference for his company and in the lives of his staff. It’s an incredibly rewarding job.

M’s experienced so much and made countless memories in his 19 years with his company. (So have the boys and I; his company worked hard to include partners and kids at their events.) 

M will miss many, many things about his job. I know it’ll be bittersweet for him when he signs out of Zoom for the last time in November. 

So, without a doubt, M has loved (and still loves) his job. That’s why he needed so much time to be sure about his decision. He flip-flopped on it nearly every day. But after many discussions, we realized that retirement was the right choice. 

Okay, so why is M retiring?

So, if M’s not retiring to get away from his job, why is he retiring? He and I have had a lot of conversations about this, and it boils down to this: he wants more time freedom.

With his eye health* continuing to decline, our boys growing up, and relatives aging and ailing, we’ve realized that life’s too short. As much as M loves his job, it eats up an outsized portion of his days. That’s time that he’ll never get back.

Continuing to work would largely be for earning more income (albeit very enjoyably). But at this point, we have more than enough to live off for the rest of our lives. For us, more time is far more meaningful than more money.

That’s why we’ve made the decision—now is the right time for M to retire.

*I share the sad details about M’s failing vision in this post.

Is it hard walking away from the income and benefits?

Yes, it really is. Very much so. This was another reason why the retirement decision was so tough for us. It just seems crazy to walk away from a job you love, that earns you good money, and offers amazing benefits.

These are the proverbial ‘golden handcuffs’ that lull so many into one more year syndrome. M and I very nearly fell prey to it—despite my previous belief that we’d be immune!

It was very hard not to consider the extra income that another year (or more) could bring. After all, the triple benefits of working longer are nothing to sneeze at:

  1. You continue earning and investing more income.
  2. You’re not withdrawing from your investments.
  3. Your investments have more time to grow.

It also seems completely counterproductive to work so hard all your life, reach your peak earning and career years… then opt-out. Who does that?! It feels like such a waste; such a huge opportunity lost.

And yet, when M and I sat down and really looked at it, really searched deep in our hearts, we confirmed again that retirement was the right decision. As I mentioned earlier, even though he loves his job, M’s main reason to keep working would be to earn more income.

But we’re not fancy people. We live very happily on less than most, and we padded our FIRE number, so we already have more than enough. So, really, more income wouldn’t mean a lot for us at this point.

What it would mean is M giving up precious time with his loved ones. But for what? More money that we don’t need? For us, that’s not a worthwhile trade-off. When you look at it that way, the decision is crystal clear. 

So, yes, it does hurt our FIRE sensibilities (a lot!) to walk away from a good job and good income. But with our core values in mind, we have zero doubts that retirement is the right decision. That makes it less hard (but still not easy!) to walk away. 

Why didn’t M retire as soon as you reached FIRE?

As mentioned, we hit our FIRE number in May. So, why is M retiring six months after that? Well, as mentioned, one reason was that he wasn’t sure if he wanted to retire yet. 

In addition, there were other important reasons:

  1. We were in the middle of refinancing our mortgage (aka investment loan). Obviously, that’s not a good time to quit!
  2. If M was going to retire, there was a list of things we needed to wrap up, use up and plan. We needed time to sort these things out and get them done.
  3. We wanted to give our nest egg a little more time to grow (to give us even more of a safety cushion).
  4. M would need time to wind down at work, transition his team, and give them time to find a replacement.

I’m glad we gave ourselves six months of space. We were able to go slow and really make sure M was ready to retire. Then, once he was sure he would retire, we could deal with all the things that retirement would entail.

What’s M going to do with all his newfound time?

So many things! Here are just some of the items on his list:

  • Even more time with the boys and me.
  • Work on his classic Mustang with his dad.
  • Help his uncle work on his classic car.
  • Woodworking with another uncle.
  • Visit his grandma and other relatives more often.
  • Spend more time with friends.
  • Bake traditional dishes with his mom.
  • Cook more of his favourite dishes and learn new ones.
  • Make pottery.
  • Take courses (automotive, welding).
  • Continue to volunteer at a local high school.
  • Teach digital media classes.

Of course, M will also be helping me even more around the house, including some bigger projects that we never have time to tackle:

  • Patch and paint our walls.
  • Paint the outside of our house.
  • Renovate our backyard.
  • Start a small container garden.

These lists are just a starting point for M. We expect things to change over time and as his interests evolve. But that’s why retirement’s so great—he’ll finally have the time and mental bandwidth to just explore and enjoy!

What if M gets bored?

M’s favourite answer to this is something a friend from work said: “It’s not my fault if you don’t have hobbies.” Along the same lines, The Accountant from FI Garage said on a recent episode, “If you’re bored, you’re a boring person.”

We’ve yet to meet a retired person who’s bored or out of things to do. In fact, most of them are so busy that they often wonder how they ever had time to work! Whether you retire at 65 or 45 makes no difference—humans want to fill their free time doing meaningful, non-boring things.

So, no, M will NOT be bored after he retires!

How are you going to handle all that time together?!

I don’t know—aaack! Just kidding. 😉 

The truth is, we’re quite confident that we’ll be okay spending a lot of time together; it’s been the norm for most of our relationship. When we started dating in art school (way back in 1997), we saw each other nearly 24/7 for three years!

Soon after, we bought our house, moved in, and carpooled to and from work together—even more togetherness! It wasn’t until our first son was born and I became a stay-at-home mom that we started spending longer days apart.

Related post: Chrissy’s backstory

When M started working from home at the beginning of COVID, we again saw a lot of each other. He also took three whole weeks off this summer to hang out with me and the boys. (And, pre-COVID, we took many 2–3 week vacations with all four of us crammed, with his parents, into their motorhome!)

As you can see, we enjoy and are very used to a lot of time together! So, a lot of togetherness will be nothing new. M will also be plenty busy once he retires, so I’m pretty sure we’ll have no issues with stepping on each other’s toes or getting on each other’s nerves!

Nevertheless, I know it’s inevitable that our couple and family dynamic will change. We’ll be mindful of that and navigate things as we go—much like we always have.

Do you have any regrets about your FIRE journey?

Only that we didn’t know about FIRE sooner! We’ve always been good with our money. But we’d be so much farther ahead if we’d known about next-level FIRE optimizations (like leveraged investing) right from the start.

Even so, that’s a very minor regret. We’ve been very happy on our FIRE journey and have no other regrets. For this, I have to thank early FIRE personalities like The Mad Fientist and Mr. 1500

They paved the way for the rest of us by sharing their mistakes. Namely, they rushed to reach FIRE at all costs and believed (wrongly) that FIRE would solve all their problems. We learned from them and did things differently.

That meant putting a lot of effort into living a life we’d be thrilled to retire into—long before we reached FIRE. This mindful approach made for a happy and fulfilling FIRE journey with almost no regrets.

Related: We chose to pursue Spouse FI as a way to make our journey to FIRE happier and healthier. 

Also, I highly recommend following The Fioneers. They believe that “the journey should be as remarkable as the destination”. That’s exactly the mindset we approached FIRE with!

How do you feel about M retiring?

I couldn’t be more excited for him. Seriously—I feel giddy every time I think about it! I’m like a kid waiting to open presents on Christmas morning. (I’ve even got a countdown timer going on my phone!) 

M has worked so hard for so many years. It’ll be nice for him to finally have a break. I can’t wait for him to enjoy his new life and all the time freedom he’ll gain.

M’s retirement is also exciting for me because it’s the culmination of the last seven years of my journey into FIRE. Since first discovering Mr. Money Mustache in 2014, I’ve worked tirelessly to reach FIRE so that M could be free.

Pursuing FIRE was my way of thanking M for toiling away so I could stay at home with our boys. Even so, FIRE really was a joint effort; M earned the income, and I did my best to be a good steward and grow it. 

We achieved this goal together. And now, we’ll both get to be at home to enjoy our boys’ remaining teenage years (and some of their young adult years) before they move out.

How did your boys react to the news?

Our boys are very FIRE-savvy and have known our plans all along. So, when we told them the news, they were excited and happy—but not surprised. 

When I think about this, it’s kind of odd and definitely not ‘normal’ for 16 and 13-year-olds to know about and understand FIRE. But then again, FIRE isn’t normal (though I think it can and should be). 

To be perfectly honest, though, I’m glad my kids are ‘abnormal’ in this regard. FIRE is already shaping their decisions about the careers they might choose and how they’ll spend and grow their money. 

M and I learned to be good with money through ‘osmosis’—our parents simply modeled good money habits for us, and we internalized them. I’m thrilled to see this natural form of learning repeating itself in our kids. 

All our open discussions about FIRE, money, and investing have helped our boys internalize money lessons that will serve them the rest of their lives. That’s second-generation FIRE in action!

How did your parents react?

My dad was very supportive and happy for M. M’s parents were likewise supportive and happy, but they were more apprehensive. (Naturally, since he’s their son!) 

We invited them to share their concerns with us, which we then discussed together. We also went through our many contingencies and explained how our withdrawal strategy will work. I’m glad we did this because it turned out to be a valuable exercise for all of us. (So much so that I plan to write a post about it.)

I think M’s parents are just a little less fearful now, but I suspect they’ll always worry about us. That’s just what parents do, and we love them for it!

How did other family members react?

M also told his uncles, aunts, cousins, and our siblings that we’d reached FIRE and he was planning to retire. Everyone was happy and excited for him. 

His uncles and aunts are all retired and knew how much he would enjoy being retired. His cousins and my siblings know about FIRE, so they got it right away. It was nice to be able to chat with them about it and discuss their FIRE plans too.  

M’s brother, like their parents, had his concerns. However, he came on board after we shared our contingencies and plans with him. FIRE isn’t his thing, but he understands why M’s retiring and is fully supportive. 

After addressing everyone’s initial questions and worries, they’ve all cheered on M as he approaches ‘the end’. We feel so fortunate to have the supportive and understanding family that we have.

How did your friends react?

Money is not at all taboo amongst our family members, but it can feel awkward to discuss it with friends. That’s why I’ve been more secretive about FIRE around our friends. However, we did share the news with a handful of our closest friends.

They were, of course, happy for M. But I think they were also too polite to ask how and why! I hope more of our friends will feel comfortable chatting with us about FIRE—even if they’re not interested in the RE part. I’d be more than happy to share our experience and knowledge with them.

It was nice, though, that one of our friends shared my podcast with a mutual friend. That friend then reached out, and we met over a few Zoom calls. It was fun helping her figure out ways to optimize her money as she shifts into her own early retirement. 

I love being able to help people (especially family and friends) to do even better with their money. Admittedly, it’s a bit uncomfortable to bring up the topic of FIRE. But if it sparks ideas and mindset shifts in even a few friends, it will have been worth the discomfort.

How did M’s co-workers react?

For obvious reasons, M’s co-workers were the last to find out. He has a lot of genuine fondness and care for his work friends and colleagues, so it’s been a bit emotionally taxing for him to break the news. 

However, the reception has been incredibly warm, supportive, and positive. That’s helped M to feel okay about walking away from his amazing job, co-workers, and company. (It’s still really hard—he’s questioned his decision many times.)

Most of M’s colleagues have, like our friends, been too polite to ask for more details. I can only imagine what they’re thinking—did he get an inheritance or win the lottery? Or maybe he’s burnt out and is leaving whether he has the money or not… and he’ll eventually be back? 

LOL, I don’t know, but I really do wonder! I hope they don’t actually think any of the above! And, as with our friends, I hope more of them will feel comfortable asking M for more details, then be inspired to look into FIRE. 

There were some surprising moments, though—M discovered that a couple of his co-workers knew about FIRE and are on the path or planning to get on the path soon! How cool is that?

All in all, it’s been a good experience for M to break the news. Now that everyone knows, he can focus on finishing up everything he’s committed to and helping his team transition. 

Wrapping it up

It’s been a busy, emotional time since we found out we’d reached FIRE. (There’s a lot to plan and do when wrapping up a decades-long career and cutting off your most significant source of income!)

But we’re in the home stretch now, and FIRE is feeling more real for us. M and I are allowing ourselves to get more excited about all our new adventures to come.

Thanks for joining me on our FIRE journey up to this point. I look forward to sharing our post-FIRE journey with you—bumpy and unpredictable as it may be!

Wait, that’s it?!

I can already hear some of you grumbling, “Hey, what gives? You didn’t mention anything about your investments, withdrawal plan, or even the 4% rule. What kind of ‘I’ve reached FIRE’ post is this?!”

You’re right. I left out all that critical info! To my credit, I’d initially planned to include it. But as I saw the post expand from 1,000 words to 2,000, then nearly 4,000, I decided to break this into two (or more) posts.

I also think it’ll be better to write that post after we start withdrawing. That way, I can share more accurate and actionable info. So… hold tight—the numbers and tactics are coming! 

Note: If you’d like to be notified when I publish that post (and all my latest posts) be sure to subscribe to my email list via my contact page or via the box at the top of the sidebar (desktop) or below the comments (mobile).

Any other questions?

Let me know in the comments if there’s anything I missed. Also, if you’ve FIREd or retired yourself, I’d love to hear your tips for transitioning into this new phase of life. 

Support this blog

If you liked this article and want more content like this, please support this blog by sharing it! Not only does it help spread the FIRE, but it lets me know what content you find most useful. (Which encourages me to write more of it!) 

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As always, however you show your support for this blog—THANK YOU!

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  • Reply
    Court @ Modern FImily
    October 19, 2021 at 10:27 pm

    Congrats my friend, so well deserved!! You know I’m looking forward to the future numbers & strategies post! 🙂

    My first month off my brain was going in overdrive thinking wayyyy too hard. Try to turn that brain off and just soak in the moment. Oddly enough, I now find that my to-do list just keeps on growing now that I’m not tied to a work screen. You’d think we’d be tackling things in record time but I’ve come to learn to push things off (which is very hard for me to do!).

    Go celebrate! You earned it!!!

    • Reply
      October 19, 2021 at 10:51 pm

      Hi Court—ha ha, you know I was thinking of you when I decided to cut out the numbers and strategies! I’ll publish that post as soon as feasible, I promise! (I’m gonna have to pull out my calculator and really focus when I write it!)

      I experienced a version of early retirement when both boys started school, and it was very similar to what you described. Nothing got done as quickly as I’d hoped, and time evaporated just as quickly whether kids were underfoot or not! Your tips are great and I’ll be sure to share them with M. This will all be so new to him.

      Thank you for being such a helpful and supportive FIRE friend. I’m excited to finally join you “on the other side”! 🙂

  • Reply
    October 20, 2021 at 6:28 am

    Congrats to both of you. We are not there yet but can imagine how difficult it is to leave a good paying job so early in life and even harder in M’s case since he loved his job. I am positive it is the right decision for your family given all the reasons you have mentioned above. The purpose of life is make enough money to enjoy life and not the other way around. Before we leave this planet, our regrets will not be I wished I worked another # of number of years and made this much more money but more like I wished I spent more time with love ones, travel, slow down etc.

    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 7:33 pm

      Hi Kevin—I love this quote from your comment: “The purpose of life is make enough money to enjoy life and not the other way around.” That is so true, and something that many of us lose sight of.

      You’re also right about regrets at the end of your life. No one ever says they wish they’d worked more! Time freedom and the choice to spend it with people and activities of your choosing brings so much more fulfilment and joy.

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

  • Reply
    Carol Chandran
    October 20, 2021 at 6:55 am

    Chrissy! You already know I’m thrilled for you, and it’s such a pleasure to read even more details about this huge milestone. I’m really looking forward to your post-FIRE writing too for my on benefit – I’m finding that identifying how best to use my time post-FIRE is an ever-morphing affair (although obviously this falls in the very-nice-problem-to-have category!). Congratulations, my friend! You deserve it!

    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 7:45 pm

      Hi Carol—it’s so nice to have your support and wisdom as we transition to where you were earlier this year! I have loved messaging with you about your post-FIRE life and how you’ve been finding your way. I think it’ll be very similar for my husband. He’ll likely need some time to decompress, then he/we will start testing and iterating this new life of his/ours!

      I remember how excited I was for you when you reached this milestone. I still can’t believe we’re finally there too. Thank you for all the kind words, my friend.

  • Reply
    October 20, 2021 at 7:05 am

    Congrats Chrissy that’s absolutely amazing! Definitely enjoy the first few months of FIRE and don’t plan too much stuff.

    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 7:47 pm

      Hi Bob—thank you so much! That’s wise advice indeed. I guess you could say that’s one silver lining of COVID, ha ha. We’ll continue being homebodies and let retirement sink in. 🙂

  • Reply
    Accidentally Retired
    October 20, 2021 at 7:22 am

    Congrats! This is awesome. I think it’s always weird navigating FIRE with both friends and family, but sounds like you guys are being as open and honest as you can and that’s great.

    Since my wife and I sort of stumbled into it, by simply saving/investing as much as we could and getting some bigger paydays, we have been more stealth about it, but I certainly hope to become more open and honest going forward.

    Loved the thorough q&a. I know you and M will be enjoying the FIRE life!

    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 8:01 pm

      Hi Accidentally Retired—your stealth FIRE approach is interesting to me; I want to hear more! I’m glad M and I had a long transition (seven years) to get used to revealing our FIRE plans to various people. That made it far less daunting to share his early retirement news.

      Since you “accidentally retired”, I can see how you’re still not comfortable sharing your situation with friends and family. I’m sure, with time, you’ll eventually find your comfort zone!

      Thank you so much for your comment and all the kind words.

  • Reply
    October 20, 2021 at 7:28 am

    That’s amazing Chrissy! Congratulations to you and M! I’m so happy for you, it’s been awesome following along your journey. Excited to read more about your life after FIRE!

    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 8:04 pm

      Hi Darlene—thank you, you’re so sweet. It’s been lovely chatting with you since we first met at that FI meetup with Marla. (I still can’t believe we all did that! Complete strangers, meeting at a random house in East Van at night, LOL!) I feel so fortunate to have not only online FIRE friends, but real-life ones too. I hope we’ll be able to meet again soon!

  • Reply
    October 20, 2021 at 7:33 am

    So happy for you all and your family! Keep posting the good stuff!

    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 8:06 pm

      Hi Tracy—thank you, that means so much! Comments like yours help so much to keep me blogging. ♥

  • Reply
    Bob Wen
    October 20, 2021 at 7:50 am

    Congratulations to everyone in the Chrissy household. A new chapter begins, and it’s going to be a great one.

    For me, this video provides the most powerful answer to the question “Why?” (warning it could make some people sad):

    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 8:13 pm

      Hi Bob—I was looking forward to one of your lovely, lengthy comments and was disappointed to see it was so short! But I’ve watched the video, and now I understand why… it is a PERFECT answer to the question, “Why?”.

      I will send it to M and my kids. I’m sure they’ll love it as much as I did. Thank you for sharing.

      • Bob Wen
        November 10, 2021 at 9:33 pm

        Oh, I didn’t know that anything I said meant much to anyone, wow, thanks.

        Since retiring I’ve acquired a few new duties. instead of rushing like crazy to get ready, throw down some breakfast, and get out the door for my 45-minute commute to the office, I now get up before my wife, bring her a coffee in bed, and then I prepare our breakfast, which we eat together at the dining table while we discuss our plans for the day. So, what does this have to do with my brief comment? Well, I saw your amazing news just as I was getting up to make that coffee. You and M have deservedly achieved your goal much younger than we did, and as the video shows, time is precious, and by FIREing (for the most part) now, you have all gained something that they say can’t be bought, but you really have; it’s all your time now. It’s wonderful. Congrats again.

      • Chrissy
        November 11, 2021 at 6:01 pm

        Hi Bob—I genuinely value all your comments (both here and on other blogs you comment on). I know it takes time to type up meaningful comments, and I appreciate that you do it!

        This was another lovely and enlightening comment from you. We are still a week away from experiencing the FIRE life and 5-10 years away from experiencing leisurely, kid-free mornings, ha ha. I look forward to reaching your phase in life (while also enjoying the time we have now with our fast-growing kids).

        It sounds like you and your wife are living a wonderful retired life. A comfortable, happy retirement is an enormous achievement—no matter what age you reach it at! So congrats as well to you and your wife. 🙂

    • Reply
      Baby Boomer Super Saver
      October 24, 2021 at 1:22 am

      Thank you for sharing this video, Bob. It’s a good reminder to avoid the “one more year” syndrome of working too long.

  • Reply
    October 20, 2021 at 8:30 am

    Congratulations Chrissy! I think you’re the first FIRE blogger whose reached FIRE while I’ve been following them. It’s so exciting to see it happen to someone in real time! Not to mention that you achieved it one one income, in VANCOUVER without feeling deprived. Just busting all the FIRE myths 😀
    And I was also cracking up on that recent FI Garage episode when the accountant called out people who are bored in retirement! Also can we get a whole Explore FI Canada episode on this milestone of yours please?!

    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 8:25 pm

      Hi Maggie—your comment warms my heart! I’ve been absolutely overwhelmed with the kindness and support I’ve received today. Thank you for taking time out of your day to read my post AND leave such a lovely comment. ♥

      I sure hope that I’m helping to bust those FIRE myths! More and more of us are showing that FIRE is possible in all kinds of situations. Perhaps one day, FIRE (or at least FI) will be the norm and no longer a fringe idea. (One can dream!)

      LOL, all the guys on FI Garage crack me up every time. As for the EFIC show idea, Money Mechanic’s read your comment as well… you’ve got our gears turning. Stay tuned!

  • Reply
    October 20, 2021 at 9:00 am

    Congrats! I am so happy for you guys and look forward to celebrating with you! Loved your post. And I know what you mean about people asking “won’t you be bored.” That thought/mindset makes no sense to me. People need to step out of their comfort zone and explore hobbies! Excited to follow how life changes during early retirement!

    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 8:31 pm

      Hi Shaidah—you and your hubby are masters of productive, fun, and learning-intensive hobbies. That’s exactly the kind of hobby I enjoy most, and I’m sure M will as well (once he has more time and energy to take them on)! It’s crazy that we just happened to be reaching FIRE at the same time as you and your hubby. Can’t wait to see you again so we can celebrate together!

  • Reply
    T on FIRE
    October 20, 2021 at 9:25 am

    I’m so excited to hear this and happy for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your journey with us! I look forward to the next post with all the FIRE-Y details. I am sure you will have tons of fun with your newfound freedom!!

    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 8:33 pm

      Hi T—it’s always nice to hear from you. Thank you for the kind words and for following along. You know I’ve enjoyed following your story too. We have such a great group of FI bloggers in Canada!

  • Reply
    Chris @ Mindful Explorer
    October 20, 2021 at 9:31 am

    Very happy for you both and how it will benefit your family in the coming years. Don’t put up the guard rails and force yourself down any specific path, let it flow like the rains of Vancouver in January lol…anywhere and everywhere it wants !

    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 8:36 pm

      Hi Chris—how do you always come in with these amazing knowledge/wisdom bombs? “… let it flow like the rains of Vancouver in January.” I LOVE it! It’s beautiful, succinct, and so fitting, LOL. We will remember your advice. No guard rails!

      • Pam
        June 26, 2022 at 5:49 am

        Congrats! Can you share some numbers, any numbers about income, net worth, expenses?

        It helps out things in perspective.

        Thank you!

      • Chrissy
        June 26, 2022 at 7:38 pm

        Hi Pam—thanks for the kind words! I don’t share our numbers publicly, but I did share some general numbers in reply to your comment on my other post.

  • Reply
    October 20, 2021 at 9:49 am

    Congratulations, Chrissy! This is a BIG milestone. I’m sure you and M will enjoy your newfound time in these last few years while your boys are at home.

    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 8:40 pm

      Hi Kari—from one mom to another, I know you understand how precious these remaining years with our kids are. They keep growing up way too fast! Thank you for your kind words, my friend!

  • Reply
    Liquid Independence
    October 20, 2021 at 10:32 am

    Congrats, Chrissy! You two have achieved what few in their forties could do. Very happy for your family. 🙂
    I’ve always wondered what I would say to my colleagues at work when I retire and they ask why I’m quitting. Usually people quit to go to another company, but it might be awkward to simply say “I’m retiring” lol. Maybe “exploring other opportunities” would be a better answer. 😂

    It’s very impressive that M started working at age 9. People often say start investing as early as you can. One thing to add would probably be – start working as early as you can, lol.

    You’ve already answered all the questions I wanted to ask. If M is comfortable with it, I think interviewing him as a blog post, or in an EFIC podcast could really inspire others who are also looking to FIRE and leave the rat race. Clearly he’s always had a strong work ethic. How does one develop that trait so young? You’ve already given a lot of great insights. Thanks for sharing.

    Reaching FI is just the beginning. Now you start a new chapter, one where you can go through together as a couple. Exciting! 😀

    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 8:56 pm

      Hi Liquid—wow, what an amazing comment! I had to share it with M. It was really nice for him to read what you wrote.

      He wants me to tell you that it’s actually been really nice to tell everyone at work that he’s retiring. Somehow, that seems to bring him and his co-workers comfort because they know he’s not leaving because he’s unhappy or simply moving to greener pastures. But it does require some explanation beyond, “I’m retiring”, LOL! I’m sure you’ll find your own unique and creative way to break the news when you retire.

      Your comment to start working as early as you can is funny and thought-provoking, but also very true! Those early dollars M earned and saved are actually part of our FIRE foundation now. (They went to our down payment, which is now part of our investment loan.) It’s crazy to realize that!

      Shhh… I was hoping to surprise everyone with an EFIC interview with M! Those are some great ideas for the interview… if I can make it happen. (I think I’m wearing him down and he may actually do it, hee hee.) We shall see. 🙂

      I am so excited for this next chapter in our lives. We have no idea where it’ll lead us, but we can’t wait to find out. Thank you again for the wonderful comment!

  • Reply
    Lazy Man and Money
    October 20, 2021 at 11:28 am

    Congrats! That’s awesome! I didn’t realize before that we are the same age pretty much at the same place. My wife is looking to retire next year (but that’s after the One More Year march)

    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 9:00 pm

      Hi Lazy Man—I also didn’t realize that we’re the same age and in a similar FIRE situation! It’s so cool to connect like-minded people in this lovely community we’re part of. Good for your wife to have worked for one more year. As long as she wasn’t miserable, there are so many benefits to doing that!

  • Reply
    October 20, 2021 at 11:37 am

    Congratulations, Chrissy! I’m so excited for you! Can’t wait to read about all the activities you’d tackle in retirement:) And yes, looking forward to the numbers too, haha! Well done, my friend

    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 9:03 pm

      Hi Latestarterfire—thank you for your kind words and for joining me on this journey. It’s been so nice to getting to know a FI friend on the other side of the world! I look forward to continuing to follow your journey (and sharing your blog with late starters). ♥

  • Reply
    October 20, 2021 at 12:03 pm

    Fantastic! Congrats and so great to read you continue your blog. Thanks for sharing you inspiring path!

    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 9:06 pm

      Hi MyFinancialShape—I have been inspired by so many others, and it’s amazing to know I might be doing the same for someone else. Thank you for the lovely comment! 🙂

  • Reply
    October 20, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    Hi Chrissy,

    That’s great news and congratulations. I look forward to your draw down plan. If you could also talk about how you plan to deal with a large down turn in the next 5 important years. We’re close to FI but the 5 year thing keeps me up at night. Even with 1 year worth of cash wedge in savings.

    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 9:19 pm

      Hi Dupton—to be honest, I’d have the same worries as you if we didn’t have professional help with our withdrawal plan. I’m 100% sure M would’ve continued working if we didn’t have the insistent assurance from our financial planner that we’ll be more than okay (even if a downturn hits us the day after M receives his last paycheque).

      It also helped us to sit down and list all our contingencies (we probably have about a dozen)! That gave us a lot of peace of mind. In addition, we can always lean on the most effective tool for portfolio longevity—flexibility. Thanks to all these factors, we’re able to sleep well at night.

      I’ll share our contingencies (and more) in my drawdown post. Hopefully, it’ll help you and others to see how we were able to gain confidence in our plan and numbers.

  • Reply
    October 20, 2021 at 12:27 pm

    Congratulations Chrissy! Well deserved FIRE status 🔥 And thanks for sharing your journey with the rest of us, it helps keep us motivated on our FIRE journies! Super excited for you!

    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 9:25 pm

      Hi Julia—one of the best things about blogging has been ‘meeting’ like-minded people like you. It’s really nice to know I’m not just sending random words into the internet void, ha ha. Thank you for your kind words and readership!

  • Reply
    My Own Advisor
    October 20, 2021 at 12:36 pm

    Congrats, Chrissy!

    Outstanding work and kudos.

    I don’t care what you call it (re: retirement police) – enjoy!!! Ha.


    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 9:28 pm

      Hi Mark—ha ha, yes. Whether it’s FI, FIRE or FIWOOT, it doesn’t matter. It’s the freedom we gain in any of those scenarios that’s important! Thank you for all your support and camaraderie on this journey.

  • Reply
    Torrie @ To Love and To Learn
    October 20, 2021 at 12:48 pm

    How very exciting for your family, and very well-deserved! I’ve loved your approach to FIRE from the beginning, and I can’t wait to read the posts you’ll produce in this next chapter <3

    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 9:36 pm

      Hi Torrie—thank you for the kind words and for coming by to comment. Your comments always make me smile. We don’t know what’s ahead, but it’s exciting to think of the possibilities. 🙂

  • Reply
    David @ Dads and Dollar$
    October 20, 2021 at 1:51 pm

    Congrats! We’ve followed each other on Twitter for who knows how long, but I don’t think I’ve read your blog until now. I’m very happy for you and somewhat jealous. 😀

    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 9:40 pm

      Hi David—it’s so terrible that we can follow someone for years, but never get to know them and their blog! I will do my best to change that between us, starting today.

      I know all about those “somewhat jealous” feelings! At least you’re honest about it, ha ha.

  • Reply
    Mrs Richfrugallife
    October 20, 2021 at 1:54 pm

    Congratulations to you and your family, Chrissy! Although I only stumbled on your journey about a year ago, it’s been fun to watch you navigate it with purpose (rather than rushing to the finish line). You’ve helped me get comfortable with our own decisions to slow things down and for me to leave the workforce during my prime earning years to spend more time with our daughter even though we were still on the FIRE journey (yay for Spouse – FI!).

    I look forward hearing more about your strategies and adventures in this first year where M joins you in retirement.

    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 9:59 pm

      Hi Mrs. Richfrugallife—thank you for your lovely comment!

      I didn’t realize how important the Spouse FI path was for us until I learned from other bloggers how challenging a faster path to FI could be. Slow and steady was definitely the right choice for us! I’m glad that you and your family have also found a healthier, happier path to FI.

      I look forward to continuing to get to know you and your story as we each move along in our life journeys!

  • Reply
    Maria @ Handful of Thoughts
    October 20, 2021 at 1:55 pm

    So excited for you my friend.

    Hubby and I are currently sharing parental leave and it feels like mini retirement I can’t wait to do it do it for you real.

    I look forward to continuing to follow along on your journey. You are an inspiration to so many.

    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 10:04 pm

      Hi Maria—I love that your shared parental leave is serving as a mini retirement! That’s such a gift, to give yourselves time to nurture each other and your newly-expanded family.

      I feel the same about you, my friend! You’ve inspired me in so many ways, and I’m glad we can be on this journey together.

  • Reply
    Ryan Myricks
    October 20, 2021 at 3:25 pm

    Congrats to you and M for reaching this life milestone. So many more to come and with so much more time and security. You’ve both worked so hard, enjoy the fruits of your labour.
    Also, you should be a tad more honest and tell your audience that I’m the reason you use the full FIRE acronym 🙂 CanadianFIRE (RIP) was just too influential.

    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 10:08 pm

      Hi Ryan—you’re never gonna let that FI versus FIRE debate go, are you? LOL! I do appreciate your kind words, though. They mean a lot!

  • Reply
    Money Mechanic
    October 20, 2021 at 4:07 pm

    Big HIGH FIVE to you and M!! Super exciting.

    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 10:11 pm

      Hi Money Mechanic—thank you so much, my friend! It’s been fun to be on this journey together.

  • Reply
    October 20, 2021 at 4:18 pm

    Congrats Chrissy and hubby. Well deserved. Enjoy this moment of being FI. Retiring Early is definitely optional and many will continue to work not because they haven’t achieved FI.

    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 10:42 pm

      Hi Rommel—absolutely, retiring early is, for different reasons, not for everyone. You’ll get no argument from me on that! That’s why I love all the ‘colours’ of FI that are out there (Coast, Barista, FIWOOT, Slow, etc.) There’s something for just about everyone! Thank you for reading, commenting and sharing a very valid and important point.

  • Reply
    October 20, 2021 at 5:10 pm

    Amazing accomplishment! Not sure what I love most: your article about achieving FI or all of the amazing comment from the FI community that follow. Enjoy the nexts parts of your journey!!

    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 10:47 pm

      Hi Jodi—aww, you’re so right! I also love these heart-warming and supportive comments. It’s like a big, collective hug. 🙂 It has been a very happy day for me, to be getting all these messages from so many kind and caring people. The FI community is the best! Thank you for taking the time to read my post and the comments… and then leaving a nice one of your own. ❤

  • Reply
    October 20, 2021 at 8:06 pm

    Big congrats to you and your family!! Your excitement definitely came out in the post.

    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 10:50 pm

      Hi C—thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to comment. I guess I am pretty excited, LOL!

  • Reply
    October 20, 2021 at 9:54 pm

    Amazing Chrissy. Big congrats!

    One random question I have is did M ever consider working part time in his same role or perhaps taking some long sabbaticals prior to jumping into retirement? I recall working with someone who went from full time down to 2 days a week and he loved it, but I know a lot of roles can’t work like that.

    • Reply
      October 20, 2021 at 11:11 pm

      Hi AL—you’re so kind. Thank you!

      That’s an excellent question! Those options aren’t the norm at M’s company, but they’re also not completely off the table. When we first found out we’d reached FI, he was actually leaning towards proposing ideas for a part-time position.

      However, he decided that retirement was still the best choice at this time. Even so, part-time is a very enticing option, so he’s keeping it at the back of his mind—just in case! We never know; he may miss his job too much and really want to go back!

      Thanks for asking the question!

  • Reply
    October 21, 2021 at 12:36 am

    Congratulations to you and your family Chrissy! Your sons must be excited for more family days together! Hope you are going to celebrate with a nice meal together! 🙂

    • Reply
      October 21, 2021 at 10:16 pm

      Hi GYM—thank you so much. Yes, the boys are very excited! We’re lucky that they’re not like I was as a teenager… I was mortified to be seen with my parents in public, LOL! They couldn’t care less if they’re seen with us, and are happy to hang out as a family. You know we’re total foodies, so FOR SURE there will be some kind of celebratory meal! 😋

  • Reply
    Financial Mechanic
    October 21, 2021 at 12:50 am

    Amazing news! Congratulations. I love how you planned it out and gave yourself those 6 months of space. I’m looking forward to more installments on your FIRE plan, the talks with the in-laws, and the process as M retires and life shifts a bit!

    • Reply
      October 21, 2021 at 10:32 pm

      Hi Financial Mechanic—wow, are you sending this comment all the way from Amsterdam?! I’m so honoured. 🙂

      Thank you for all the kind words. I’m also looking forward to sharing the rest of the details behind our FIRE plan.

      PS I am loving your Instagram feed. I’m soooo jealous!

  • Reply
    October 21, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    Congratulations Chrissy! I’m so happy for you and your family. It’s so great that you now get to spend more time with M. Enjoy your retirement!!!

    • Reply
      October 21, 2021 at 10:37 pm

      Hi Virna—you’re so kind! Thank you for coming by to read my post and leave such a sweet comment. Only 28 days to go!

  • Reply
    Baby Boomer Super Saver
    October 24, 2021 at 1:29 am

    Congratulations, Chrissy! I’m very happy for you and your family! Looking forward to hearing how you all adjust to the changes. My husband is retired and I’m about to retire as well. It’s a big adjustment, there’s a lot to decide and so much to do. I will try my hardest to come to terms with it, haha!

    • Reply
      October 24, 2021 at 8:17 pm

      Hi Kathy—I had no idea you were about to retire as well! This is such exciting news. I’m thrilled for you and your husband, to have overcome so many challenges and a late start on FIRE… yet still retiring earlier than most. Congratulations!!!

      Oh boy, is there ever a lot to do when retiring! M, the boys and I have been so busy getting things wrapped up before he retires. Our schedules and long to-do lists will be quite suddenly empty once he gets to his final day! I’m looking forward to that. We’ll all need some time to decompress and adjust!

      Thanks for stopping by. It’s been lovely working towards FI alongside you. Congrats again!

  • Reply
    October 25, 2021 at 3:16 pm

    Congrats! Do you have any articles on your asset allocation and withdrawal rate to take you to this point?

    • Reply
      October 25, 2021 at 8:12 pm

      Hi Scott—thanks for the question. I’ve never really discussed our investments as I have seen other bloggers being picked apart over their investment choices! Because of this, I try to stay very general with that kind of info: we’re 100% equities for life and we believe in a global allocation.

      As for withdrawal rate, due to the buffer we’ve built into our plan and the expert tax planning we’ll receive, we’ll likely only withdraw around 3-3.5% in the early years. In the new year, we plan to start withdrawing from our accounts, so I’ll share more details after that. (Maybe at the end of the first quarter? I’ll see!)

      Thanks again for the question!

  • Reply
    Family Money Saver
    October 25, 2021 at 6:10 pm

    Chrissy, congrats to you and your family! I think it’s a really great decision your husband has made with you guys. I have no doubt you’ll all be able to fill your additional time in meaningful ways and more importantly be able to spend more of it together. Glad to see you will continue with your FI updates too.

    • Reply
      October 25, 2021 at 8:20 pm

      Hi Family Money Saver—thanks for the kind words, my friend! Yes, you’re right. We have no doubt that we’ll easily be able to fill up our additional time! I know I’m looking forward to continuing to blog and connect with you and all the other amazing people I’ve met in our journey to FI!

  • Reply
    October 26, 2021 at 10:19 am

    Dad & I are really proud of Chrissy and M’s achievement of reaching their goal of FIRE at such an early age. We were very apprehensive when we first heard about that years ago because we are not investment savvy nor had we any inkling of what FIRE was all about. Since I came to Canada in late 1968 and had to start working right away at 18 to help family out, I never felt we had security especially since our income was commission based for the past 30 years in real estate. Though we were successful and very fortunate to have a huge client base that sent us referrals, I always felt that someday, the shoe may fall (it never did!). It took Chrissy 3 years to convince me that we had enough savings to retire very comfortably and stop working 80 hour weeks – I was 68 and hubby was 71 (he had been ready for years!)!!! Like M, it was bittersweet – I loved my “kids” (clients) that we worked with for so many years but it was time and I found 2 great realtors that I could trust to take over for us. Thanks to Chrissy who helped me with our investments and saved us thousands a year in management fees, I did it and never looked back! I am so looking forward to showing M how to make the traditional dishes from our unique ethnic background that hardly anyone makes anymore. We think it is wonderful that M, Chrissy and the boys will be spending more time together – time we can never get back! Congratulations once again – you and M are such a great team! We wish you many years of fun together from here on!

    • Reply
      October 26, 2021 at 11:05 pm

      Hi Mom—thank you, as always, for your enthusiastic support. I know that FIRE was rather foreign to you when we initially shared it! But you’ve made a lot of effort to learn about it and come around to the idea. We’re happy that’s the case and that you’re able to see the benefits, not only for us, but for you as well.

      Seeing M go through the tough decision to leave his job helps shed light on one of the reasons why you found it so hard to retire yourself. It’s not easy when you truly love what you do and it earns you a good living. However, I’m so glad you finally made the leap into retirement. You really deserved it!

      We look forward to enjoying all of our retirements with even more time together. Thanks for the lovely comment.

  • Reply
    November 3, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    Congrats Chrissy! To you and the family. What a major accomplishment! Looking forward to more updates about you and your family’s post-FI adventures!

    • Reply
      November 3, 2021 at 7:54 pm

      Hi Tae—it’s so nice to hear from you again! I hope you and your family are well. Thank you for the kind words. 🙂

  • Reply
    November 6, 2021 at 6:39 pm

    Congratulations, Chrissy! I was so happy to hear this news when I listened to the ExploreFI episode today, I had to come check out more details on your blog. I’ve been following it for a few years now, so it’s very inspiring to see someone I “know” achieve FIRE. Enjoy the FIRE lifestyle and all the happiness and togetherness it will bring for your family. You deserve it!

    • Reply
      November 7, 2021 at 8:14 pm

      Hi Kathleen—thank you for listening and reading! I’ve been very touched by the kindness of so many in the community, including you. Your support and encouragement mean a lot. 💗 (Only 11 more days until my husband’s last day of work!)

  • Reply
    November 19, 2021 at 6:37 am

    congrats – and to actually retire and step away.

    • Reply
      November 21, 2021 at 1:18 pm

      Thank you! It was hard to make the decision to step away, but in the end, we know it was the right choice.

  • Reply
    Fringe Doc
    November 25, 2021 at 11:23 am

    Wow, that’s a lot of comments. Looks like I’m late to the party (story of my life), but FWIW, Huge Props for being able to pull the trigger. This is the natural culmination of discipline and wisdom and not losing sight of your vision over several years. Of course, all of us stand on the shoulders of “the greats” that come before us (ERE and MM for me, but there are others). And I’m sure we all recognize that we are in a blessed place (i.e. stable country, viable job market, sufficient health) to even be able to contemplate the FI/RE path. But none of that takes away from the kudos to those who finish the race.

    After listening to the podcast about the “Accidental FI/RE” persona … I realized that one cannot instantly make a huge pile of money appear, but one COULD (at least theoretically) instantly greatly reduce their living expenses (easier if you are on the more frivolous side of the continuum) such that you drop your required expenses below your passive income generating potential. I jokingly refer to myself to others as “Dirt Bag Retired” … meaning, I could live on my investment earnings if I significantly reduced my living expenses. It’s not meant as a dig (pun intended) to people who live frugally (since I should be punching myself in the face for NOT doing so), more an attempt for me to be honest with others but still not give the impression that they should target me for lawsuits or break into my house to go searching for a big pile of money.

    Anyway, getting off topic. TL;DR – Chrissy, keep kicking ass and taking names. May you and yours enjoy life to the fullest.

    • Reply
      November 25, 2021 at 9:44 pm

      Hi Fringe Doc—ha ha, yes, there are A LOT of comments. They kept me very busy for a few days, but I’m grateful for every single one. What an amazing community to be surrounded by!

      You’re absolutely right that we are where we are thanks to those who came before us. As well, there are the privileges that come from living in this amazing country (flawed as it may be) and growing up in a financially stable, loving home. There are so many things to be grateful for that have helped to bring us to where we are today.

      Regarding the potential from an instant and large reduction in spending, yes, that is very much possible for many people. They are the ones I’m mostly aiming for and hoping will see the light and come towards the FIRE (or at least the FI)! A lot of people in my age bracket are in their peak earning years, and could very easily save a large percentage of their income… if they were even just slightly more optimized with their spending.

      I have no doubt you reached your “Dirt Bag Retired” number years ago! I also have no doubt that, compared to most of your peers, you are indeed very frugal. So, no need to punch yourself in the face. You are living your life in a way that is meaningful to you and your family. That’s what matters—not reaching a number as fast as possible!

      As always, I enjoyed and appreciated your thoughtful comment and kind words. Thanks, friend.

  • Reply
    December 27, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    Congratulations! That’s great news. You have to put your health first.
    My wife also could retire whenever she wants. However, she is still putting it off because she enjoys her job.
    That’s okay with me. 😉

    • Reply
      December 28, 2021 at 10:19 pm

      Hi Joe—thanks for the kind words. I love that your wife still works because she wants to. That’s a great position to be in!

  • Reply
    Dividendes & FNB
    January 14, 2022 at 12:26 pm

    Congrats 🎉😃👌 to you Chrissy and your husband as well to have accomplished FIRE. We are all saving + investing to reach the same goal. Great blog indeed, it seems popular. But as many canadian / american bloggers including myself, I couldn’t see anywhere on your website any numbers, no net worth, no portfolio or stocks/ETF, no dividend income… I think, it’s always nice for your visitors to rely on real numbers + some transparency rom you too for more credibility. That’s my 2cents. Keep up the good work on the blog! ✌️😃

    • Reply
      January 14, 2022 at 8:09 pm

      Hello Dividendes & FNB—thank you, I appreciate your feedback. I’ve actually gone back and forth many times on what I reveal here on my blog. I’ll explain more below:

      When I started my blog, I was tempted to remain completely anonymous so that I could reveal all the juicy info that you asked about. But I realized that wasn’t how I wanted to blog. I wanted to be a real person having real and genuine interactions. But because I’m not fully anonymous, I have to be careful about what and how much I share.

      In this post, I discuss why I don’t share our net worth numbers. As for dividend income, I don’t have anything to share there because I’m not a dividend investor!

      Finally, regarding what I invest in: when I was a DIY investor from 2015-2017, I invested in the usual index ETFs (VCN, VTI, IEFA, IEMG). My allocation was 30/35/30/5 (Canada/US/Developed International/Emerging Markets). However, in 2018 (a year before I started my blog) we moved our money to the investment firm that my financial planner works with… and I have not been a DIY investor since.

      I’m very open here on the blog and on my podcast about the fact that I work with my financial planner, but I do not share what our money is invested in because: a) they are institutional funds which are not accessible by the general public b) only clients are meant to know exactly which funds are being used—it isn’t public knowledge.

      I know these answers may not be satisfactory for some people. If they think I have no credibility or would rather not believe me, they’re completely justified to feel that way. I’m just a random internet stranger, after all! All I can say is I’ve always been honest and transparent about anything I’ve revealed here and on my podcast. It’s all genuine, and I hope that comes through.

      To sum it up, I reveal as much as I can, but, for many reasons, I can’t and won’t reveal everything. I hope that all makes sense! Thanks again for the kind words, for reading, and for taking the time to share your two cents. 😊

  • Reply
    Moe (Moementum Finance)
    January 20, 2022 at 10:51 pm

    Yaaay!!! Belated congratulations! I am so happy for you and M! 😊 I can only imagine how both exciting and nerve wracking it is to officially retire early. I loved the interview style of this post, by the way. It’s almost like an FAQ with al the questions being to the point, as if you anticioated what questions we’ll ask..haha.😁 Again, I am so very happy for you and your family. I can’t wait for us and all your readers to get to such an exciting milestone in life. 🥂 Have a wonderdul 2022 and looking forward to hearing more updates as your FI journey goes on!

    • Reply
      January 22, 2022 at 8:50 pm

      Hi Moe—what a lovely comment, thank you! It has been an exciting time, and fortunately not too nerve-wracking. This is mostly thanks to having expert guidance from our financial planner and his experienced team. I’m 100% sure that if we didn’t have that help that I would be second-guessing our plans constantly!

      It was a long journey to get here (it sometimes seemed sooo far in the distance) but it’s been so nice to have finally reached the finish line! I also can’t wait to see you and more of my readers reaching FI. All the best to you in 2022!

  • Reply
    Christopher Mercanti
    February 7, 2022 at 3:23 pm

    Hi Chrissy! Congratulations to you both on this achievement! I’ve been getting into Spotify podcasts and that’s how I found your site. I’m a few years past FI but happy to say I’m retiring this July at 55! I As someone with a life-long passion for personal finance, I just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your blog. Thanks and have a great day!

    • Reply
      February 7, 2022 at 4:13 pm

      Hi Christopher—thank you for the kind words and for being a listener and reader!

      Wow, congrats on already achieving FI and on your impending retirement. I’m excited for you as you approach a new chapter in your life!

  • Reply
    Nomadic Samuel
    May 2, 2022 at 6:02 pm

    Congradulations! I love reading the list of all the things that you can now spend more time on in retirement. It is amazing to think of the things that can be pursued when you have the extra free time.

    • Reply
      May 2, 2022 at 7:24 pm

      Hi Nomadic Samuel—I can’t tell you how many times my husband has told me how happy he is to have free time to do whatever he wants, even if it’s in the middle of a weekday! Time freedom is amazing and the greatest benefit of retirement!

  • Reply
    September 12, 2022 at 3:05 am

    Well done and congrats on getting ‘FIRED’. I reached the same in 2018 (sold my company, and now generate $12,500 US in passive income from various resources such as dividend stocks, real estate, digital assets, etc.). I absolutely love it and enjoy every second of it. I now only work on projects I really like, and am a true ‘time billionaire’. Cheers from Singapore, Noah

    • Reply
      September 12, 2022 at 7:37 pm

      Hi Noah—that’s an impressive FIRE story! Congrats on achieving that in 2018 and on your continued (and lucrative) stream of passive income. Well done!

      Being a ‘time billionaire’ is the greatest benefit of being FIREd. We love it too! Singapore is an amazing city/country to be based in. It’s on my bucket list!

  • Reply
    January 8, 2023 at 6:45 pm

    Was any part of either of your parents hesitation due to concern you’d be less able to step in and help them if needed without jeopardizing your own plans?

    • Reply
      January 8, 2023 at 7:40 pm

      Hi Terry—that’s a great question. I know that caring for ageing parents is something many people need to consider. However, my dad and in-laws are all very non-traditional and never had any expectations that we’d support them in their old age, whether financially or with caretaking.

      We’re fortunate that they’re also financially independent, with enough to pay for long-term care should they need it one day. Even so, we’re prepared and more than happy to provide whatever support is needed as they age.

      I’d also argue that retiring early means that we’ll be better able to provide support to our parents. I know of so many people in the sandwich generation, caring for kids (or grandkids) and their parents while also working full-time. It’s extremely stressful to be that time-strapped. Even if one can afford to pay for the best care for their parents, they still need time to spend with them, take them to appointments, etc.

      Money is certainly necessary, but having enough time to care for elderly parents is also important. I hope that answers your question!

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