My Five Year Plan to FI/RE

For the last month I have been thinking long and hard about my life. I have blogged about not having a work-life balance and I foresee things will only get worse in the future. I have been working in the same high tech job for the last seventeen years, which is extremely rare this day and age. I started off as an associate software engineer and got promoted up the ranks to principal engineer, then I switched to management when my old boss asked me to. That was probably my biggest mistake. I wonder if I would be happier had I turn that opportunity down.

I am an introvert and the baby in the family, I don’t like dealing with people or having any kind of responsibilities. Taking up this job means I have to real with lots of people and take on lots of responsibilities. My life’s mission was always about having fun. For most people, it’s a nice challenge, but for me, it’s constant torture. Maybe it was okay for the first couple of years, but these days I don’t even want to get out of bed to get to work.  I also sacrificed a lot in my personal life in the last eight years to have this position, and I don’t think it’s worth it. The pay is not much better but the stress level is more than doubled.

The cost of living in the SF Bay Area is expensive and I have no plans to live anywhere else at this moment. I grew up here and this is my home. Financially, I am not ready to retire in this area. I can’t afford it yet. I am single and I live by myself, so there is no one to share my expenses. Someday my boyfriend and I plan to live together, but with our demanding and stressful jobs, it’s probably not the best thing for us at this moment. We both need a lot of alone time and space to de-stress.

When I started this site a few years ago, I thought fifty-five is a good age to retire. But with the demands of this job or any tech job in this valley, I will not survive that long. I think  five more years in tech is the most I can handle. This is a reasonable amount of time for me to build my net worth, increase my passive income and decrease my expenses(pay off mortgage or have the means to pay off mortgage).

Today I am declaring my financial independence and early retirement target date to five years from now, or to be exact, April 15th of 2021. Every project comes with risks, so as the project manager of my FI/RE project, I will need some sort of a mitigation plan. I think a more aggressive FI/RE target date of October 15th, 2020 might be achievable, but that means I really need to push myself. To give myself a little wiggle room, I am setting the date as April 15th, 2021, but the internal date I am tracking for myself is actually October 15th of 2020. I am still working on the details of my plan and I will share before April 15th.


Lady Butterfly



6 thoughts on “My Five Year Plan to FI/RE

  1. Are you on schedule to reach your goal in 5 years? Are you worried about stocks taking a huge fall or is that included in your plans?

    • I am generally conservative when comes to setting goals and I don’t like setting myself up for failure. I am 95% sure that I am on track to reach my goal, as long as the world economy doesn’t collapse in 4-5 years. I do worry a little about stock / real estate markets taking a huge fall, but history has show us that they will eventually bounce back. I have a buy and hold strategy so the fluctuations of the stock prices won’t hurt my chances of FIRE. Since most of my assets are in real estate right now, I am hoping for a few more corrections in the stock market, so I can pick up more cheap quality stocks before I actually retire.

      • I wish I could retire in 5 years but I have 10-12 years to go since I want one million. 3 financial advisers have told me I could retire sooner with social security included but I’m not including that right now. The closer I get to age 58 I’ll start to trust it more.

        • I haven’t talked to any financial advisers. I think most financial information can be found on the web. I think getting to a million in net worth and retiring early are two different goals. If your goal is to reach a million, then you will have to work until you reach that number. But if your goal is to retire early, then as soon as your future income (including SS, pensions) can cover your future expenses, you can retire. You also have an option to move to a lower cost of living area (outside of CA). When my 5 year approaches, that is one consideration I’ll have to make. At that point I want to pay less taxes, so I have to consider a state with no state income tax and lower sales tax.

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