At FI, Now what?

We hit our financial independence number in April of this year, two years sooner than our original plan. Our original plan was to reach financial independence and retire in March 2023. Like everything in life the only thing that is constant is change. And now our plan is changing. It doesn’t feel real that if we stick to our budget and no major market issues that we’ll be able to not work again if we choose not to. I expected a different feeling like the universe was going to mail me a pink slip and fire me or a huge fireworks display. But instead nothing has changed from day to day. Now that we are very close to FIRE being a reality its time to seriously consider what life will look like post-FIRE.

What is the new FIRE Plan?

The new FIRE Plan is to step back from work around the end of this year. Our first year of retirement will be 2022 provided no major issues before then. We’re going to take it easy our first year spending most of 2022 in a small mountain town called Boone, North Carolina, where my in laws live. We’ll travel to Arkansas to visit my mom some of the year too. I think we’ll need this year just to reprogram our minds from the years of corporate cube farming. Then once we have adjusted to our new lifestyle we’ll work on what’s next. I suppose the current thinking is to spend summers in Boone, NC and winters somewhere warmer. For all the planning we’ve done, we’ve done very little planning about our post-FIRE life.

Sometimes I wish I could say with 100% confidence what my post-FIRE life will look like. I mean who really plans to quit a career and not know what they are going to do with the free time. The thing I do know for certain is I don’t want to continue to do corporate work, I want to travel and I want to visit family. And pursuing financial independence is one way to achieve all three desires. I feel like the closer I get to our FIRE date the less certain I become about what is next. This is one of my biggest fears about post-FIRE because I am a routine type person. I like knowing what my day will look like. I guess I thrive on structure. I thought as this date approached I would have fears about expenses and budgets or the money lasting, but instead those thoughts are fleeting.

I’ve said this before but I am amazed at the direction my thoughts take when writing. This post was intended to outline our quit date and post-FIRE plan, which it did, but also it turned into identifying what my fear is about FIRE. So from now until we FIRE I will refine what I want my life to look like next. For me I know that it will include plant-based eating, running, and nature. Those are the things that ground me. More to come as time marches toward FIRE.

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