Wednesday, September 22, 2021



I wrote about FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) at least once before. The Retire Early bit is the problematic bit. It makes much more sense for people to use financial independence to do what they want to do rather than just stop working.

A while back I heard that Mr Money Mustache got divorced. Seems his wife wanted to spend more money given their high income. But that wouldn't fit with his frugality message. Now here is a FIRE blogger who retired with a small nest-egg - so-called "lean FIRE". His wife got tired of not spending much either and of having too much leisure time and not making "progress" in life. And here is another blogger who is tired of not having enough money. Many FIRE bloggers who supposedly retired actually work on their blogging business. They stopped being an employee and became self-employed. This is great.

With a net worth of approaching AUD 6 million we are financially independent by any reasonable definition. But I'm not planning on retiring. As I mentioned before, I like my job, at least the research part. I am hoping to not ever teach more than one course a year again. I am sacrificing more than AUD 40k to take long-service leave next year to reduce my teaching load. After that I am planning to take on a "leadership role" for a while and once I turn 60 I hope to go part-time. Also, I don't want to sacrifice the "prestige" and become a nobody. Unless we plan on moving somewhere else, it seems to make sense to do my very flexible job.

And actually I am thinking that our money isn't enough. Our older child is going to private school and the younger one probably will too. The alternative is to move to a top public school catchment area. My wife isn't happy with the public schools here, though I think they are fine. With the way the property market is going that means an AUD 2 million + house price. Or maybe move to Sydney because the best public schools in Sydney are better than the private schools here. My wife puts a big weight on education. I thought Jewish parents like my parents and me were into education. Chinese parents are at another level.

And, actually, I did the retire early bit already. I just wasn't financially independent.

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