Saturday, February 19, 2022

14th December - FIRE X.X

Well the flights are officially booked! Our return to the Isle of Wight is officially going to be the 14th of December at the end of this year. The pic above is from FIRE 1.0 when we left Portland back in 2017.

Yes I do understand this will be FIRE 3.0 by now but to be honest I'm starting to think less and less in terms of FIRE in conventional terms and mainly just thinking about the freedom part that I miss the most. The come and go as you please part. Feeling less tired from working all week. Truly miss that.

The strange part is I don't actually mind what I'm doing here for a living, it's not terrible at all and I'm nowhere near as stressed out and burned out than I was when I left here in December 2016. Back then my brain was officially fried and I had nothing left, the job completely drained my life blood emotionally, physically and mentally. Going to Oklahoma for a while wasn't too wonderful either but served a purpose to get us the house in Cowes.

This time? Well it's honestly not as bad, my management leaves me alone so I can't complain. The issue is really just both myself and Mrs DD4L in that neither us actually "feel" a connection to our old lives here anymore. I guess we went away and figured out there is an alternative lifestyle out there that we preferred and returning here doesn't feel right in many ways. We don't fit in anymore, very disconnected from American life.

So why December the 14th? Why not just go now and get our lives back on track? This is purely a financial decision at this point. We both truly do miss our little island life but want to return there with sufficient funds to continue where we left off with a lot more options for the next house remodels.

In february we finished off the house here in Savannah too and immediately put it on the market, this gave us a few potential offers one of which we accepted and are in process to be out of here on the 7th of March, all being well obviously. Currently waiting on the appraisal process as I write which is obviously a busy area given the high volume of market activity.

As of that date we move back into an apartment further into Pooler, GA and literally have one foot out the door again. To hang out any longer than the end of the year though in those circumstances just feels like too long of a pause in our regular life. Just the way we feel, whimsical as we are.

So we did a search for our return flights from Savannah to Atlanta to Heathrow and they start to get expensive after the presto there's our date. Zero extra cash to find in order to return home.

We'll get into London on the 15th, head to Winter Wonderland with the German-style villages etc and then head back to the Isle of Wight to celebrate Christmas with our son and his girlfriend. Actually very excited for it all, particularly feeling free again.

Like I say work is fine, I just don't honestly want to do it anymore. As Peter Gibbons said in the Two Bobs interview "It's not that I'm lazy, it's just that I don't care"

My hours haven't been so bad either flexibility-wise as I've been getting out of bed at around 3.30am to get in for 4.00, head back here to see Mrs DD4L at 11am for an hour or so, then back at it until about 3pm when I clock off for the day. The early starts I understand aren't for everyone but the traffic here is pretty horrendous and at that time there is barely anyone around and the contact patches for the traffic light are functional. I simply roll up, the light changes and off I go. In the afternoon the traffic is also lighter as it's just before rush hour kicks off. 

In the new apartment I'll be about 5 mins from work down from my current 10 minutes so will be spending even less time at work or commuting. 

Savings-wise it's been going terrific and we've both got no complaints. The savings rate has been holding steady at 85% which is phenomenal and better than we have ever achieved before. So much so we are pretty much on track for having enough to upgrade our current house on the Isle of Wight as well as replace this rental with another apartment over there. Win-win.

Will we ever come back here again? Tough question...who knows? 

There most likely will be opportunities back in Greensboro NC in the future, some down in Florida and one of the German companies I used to work for years ago has a facility just outside Barcelona. There are some opportunities in Marseille and obviously Toulouse as always..the question is whether you care enough to get back into it? Can't answer that question though.

Someone asked me this week if I'd go work in Colorado, can say I don't have an opinion because I feel kinda flatline inside when it comes to working. Kinda sad in a way I've got to that level with it but I just don't care.

Right now and for the future I just want to enjoy the freedom life again. Get on my mountainbike for a ride through the fields, hike over Tennyson Down, sit on the stumps at the edge of Freshwater Bay. Also now that the world is beginning to properly open up I'd like us to get back on the road again and get back to traveling. 

Y'know......just be alive. I miss that life but want to hit the financial goals before heading back.

As an alternative to darting back over here or to Europe for a short term quick gig I'd much prefer to use my imagination once more and dream up some entrepreneurial ventures to keep my brain active. Obviously this will be after a couple more house remodeling projects which both myself and Mrs DD4L thoroughly enjoy.

I think that's the biggest problem I see with calling myself early retired, the whole brain atrophy scenario where you cease to respond well to fire-fighting style situations. Losing your "edge". As we age in retirement we tend to spend most of our lives so protected from stress that when it does inevitably happen we over-react and tend to freak out. It feels like we do need to some degree of grey-matter demands going on that keep our brains fully functioning. Doesn't mean we have to be a corporate stooge again, just need to keep challenging yourself a little maybe here and there with projects.

That's why despite my current careless stoic attitude to the corporate grind I think I'll never 100% close the door on taking on a quick mini design project somewhere in this world where it could be fun. Just turn up for a year or so, take a vacation for a few months after and then slowly head home again. FIRE 4.0/5.0/6.0 maybe? lol.  

Nothing serious and definitely nothing permanent. Permanent employment is very much over now.

Does all this darting back and forth mean I no longer believe in FIRE as a whole concept? Also an interesting question..

I think when you decide to FIRE you really can pigeon-hole yourself into an entire "movement" of people and feel like you need to stay FIRE'd to feel like a success. I think neither myself nor Mrs DD4L ever set out to 100% immerse ourselves into that. We didn't finish working to fit into a club or follow a trend, just hated feeling mentally drained from working too darned much and wanted the bullsh#t to stop. Pronto. Which it did.

What FIRE 3.0 has taught me is you don't need to pigeon-hole yourself, you can do things your way. If you wind up heading back to work for 12-18 months you haven't failed some FIRE exam, it all means nothing as it's your life to come and go as you please.

No point lying about it too though, people are dying here every day without ever reaching full retirement age. Like working all their lives only to drop right at the finish line and it happens every day. Seems to happen where I'm working a heck of a lot, like at age 60-70. Yeesh.

The consolation I like is I've at least already experienced retirement for 3 years so far before even reaching full retirement age so I'm very pleased about that. I can die tomorrow knowing I traveled and did all the retirement things for those 3 years and hopefully can continue doing them long after FIRE 3.0.

I think I've waffled on a little on this post because I don't know how the future looks versus how it did in the previous instances I finished work. Still can't truly define how it will all look 3,4 or 5 years from here. Maybe that's more fun than sticking my head in the sand and saying I'm FIRE forever now.

I also look at Buffet and Charlie Munger and see how interested they still are in all of it pushing 100 years old, neither act like retirees and both seem sharp as a tack even if they both have the choice to never lift a finger ever again. I think there's a lot in that. Being free to get up when you want but still having a lot of engagement.

Freedom to come and go as you please without feeling pressured/guilt to do something, or indeed nothing. I think that's what it's really all about. 

Love to all,



No comments:

Post a Comment