How Did The Nerds Catch FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early)?

I felt trapped in the life I had made for myself. I had my dream job that I had worked for years to get to. I lived in Hawaii and owned my own home. Everything looked great on paper. But the reality was something different. 

I was overstressed and overworked. I needed to find a way out but I was the bread winner and someone had to pay the mortgage. I lived like that for years. I needed to find a way to never have a boss again and to never be forced to work at a job that I hated. 

Finally Mr. Nerd’s business began to gain momentum, earning enough to support our life, and I was able to join him in the business. This was the point that I decided to gain control of our financial future. I realized that my unhappiness in our previous work was part due to feeling financially insecure. We were natural savers and that had been enough until that point. It wasn’t enough anymore, we needed to understand our finances so that I would never feel trapped like that again and so that we could build the life we wanted.

I took a deep dive into personal finance and it changed my life. Looking at our income and our spending I realized that we had already improved our finances significantly. We were already on the path to retire early- we were headed toward 22 more years of work- retiring in our 50’s. This sparked the realization that our actions determined when we could retire. Our freedom was up to us. 

Although Mr. Nerd wasn’t particularly excited about another 22 years of work, he was excited about early retirement- he just wanted to get there MUCH sooner. Then we realized that with our higher savings rate we could achieve coast FI before his 40th Birthday!

We got to hustling. 

At the same time I realized that although we love living in Hawaii what we really wanted was to travel. Our favorite memories are of road tripping across the country, living out of our backpacks, and learning about the world. I realized that if we can move our work to 100% online, we can travel anywhere in the world full time for about the cost of living in one place. Or if we wanted to focus our travel in low cost countries we could spend a fraction of what we spend now and afford a much higher standard of living than what we have in Hawaii. 

That’s what we are working on now. Moving our work towards 100% remote and saving as much as possible to make that transition easier. 

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