Spreading the Gospel of FIRE

First, I ate the frog. Feels good to be back!

Like any good newb, I’m telling errybody and their momma about FIRE. Really, I’m telling errybody and my momma. I am not so proficient that I can school someone on how funds in their 401k, HSA, and IRA accounts can be withdrawn tax-free without penalty in early retirement through conversion ladders. I know conversion ladders exist, but I don’t know how to use them yet. I’ll get there. Until then, I’m not going to wait until I know every single thing about financial independence to share what I do know with those near and dear to me. 

Telling Our Parents

Both my husband and I already told our parents that we have plans to retire early. They were the first people we told. First, because we are close to our parents and we run major things by them. Second, because we respect our parents and want to get their feedback. On both sides, our parents supported us. They weren’t overly excited, just generally supportive. I don’t think they heard our plans and thought about changing anything in their own lives, which makes sense because our parents are either  close to retirement or retired. It’s a little too late to blow their minds with FIRE. That’s cool, we know some younger people who’ll hear us out.

Telling Our Siblings

Our siblings are late 20’s early 30’s. This is when most people get into FIRE. You’re old enough to be tired of the rat race, and still young enough to do something about it. My husband already told his sibling. She liked the idea. This was expected. She is smart, open-minded, and has a good career in tech. Although she wasn’t floored by the concept, she thought it was cool. This is promising. If she ever wants to talk more about how to get going on investing, saving, and retiring early, she knows who she can come to. I will tell my sibling the next time we talk, I expect a similar reaction.

Telling My Boss?!

Yep. I did it. I told my boss I’m retiring in 10 years.

I’ve read on other people’s blogs that it’s best to  keep it a secret from your boss. That makes me wonder about what kind of bosses these people have! The main reason I told my boss is because he is still at a good age to really benefit from the concepts of FIRE if he chooses to do so. He’s smart and open-minded, so I briefly told him about the concept and what that ultimately means for my family in 10 years. I didn’t fear that he would take this information and use it as evidence I’m looking for a way to quit, or that I’m unreliable. It’s 10 years away. If anything, I think it shows how responsible I am, setting a goal 10 years in advance, and actually working on it now. 

Sharing in the Future

If I sense that any other people I interact with may be interested in the concept, I will share it. I will share it because I wish someone would have shared it with me earlier. If that person was actually living out their FIRE journey in front of me, I would have been even more likely to take it seriously. I don’t want to rob people of this opportunity because of my own comfort. 

I won’t start off the conversation with “have you heard about FIRE yet?”. Nah, not my style. Instead I’ll just ask “are you into personal finance?”. I could ask “do you have a retirement plan?”, but that will get me nowhere because almost everyone with a job has a retirement plan they contribute to with little thought and the expectation to retire between 62 and 65. I will ask about being “into” personal finance because it will let me know if they would be interested in talking about it, whether or not they currently have a set plan. 

Ultimately, we are giving people the good word of FIRE, but we are not expecting them to convert. We just want them to know what we are doing so that they know they have a resource if they ever want to explore the possibility of FIRE for their lives more deeply. That’s it. This is hard for me because when I am excited about something, I AM EXCITED. I tend to rant, I am very long-winded, the exact opposite of concise. When I’m pumped about something my rants are next level. I know this about myself, so to avoid turning people off or even worse, discouraging them from exploring FI, I will intentionally back off and put that energy into my own path to FIRE. I think leading by example is a much more powerful testimony anyway.

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