Scenic route to FIRE?

Hi fellow mustachians

I have been thinking about FIRE and how it would be different from my life today. My guess is that it would not be very different and I’m very thankful about that. My whole life I wanted to be an entrepreneur, ever since I was a teenager I have had lots of different business projects and in 2011 I finally found something that I love doing (of course not every day but most of the time) and that pays the bills and more. I always more or less hated my day-time jobs due to multiple bad bosses.

During the whole time I dreamt about being self-employed with all the freedom that comes with it: working from anywhere, not having a boss etc. it reminds me of my new goal of FIRE. I guess what I see a lot is a false illusion of how everything will be great once we FIRE but I really think its an illusion because a lot will stay the same and one will probably also need to be more dilligent in working on personal projects to not fall into depression or similar because I really believe we all want to feel useful and needed and that is a big part of working. Its also a big part of our idenities sometimes. When I look back at my +15 year obsession to have a profitable business, I see that I could have taken the scenic route and been a lot happier…but thats always hard to see when you are in the middle of it.

I guess that once we (me, husband and 2 young children) FIRE, I will be dedicating more time to gardening, sports and traveling but on regular days I want to continue with my business because its just very fulfilling. Maybe I could do it as a non-profit for a cause… Just thinking out loud a bit :slight_smile:

What are your thoughts on FIRE? Are you taking the scenic route or do you suffer from how much time it takes to get there? Have you heard stories from people who have FIRED that surprised you? I’m curious to know.

Thanks for reading


Interesting topic. Every situation is different and it really depends on personal history and background.
For me, I began to deepen the topic after discovering MMM blog, because I’ve found myself in an unsatisfactory work situation, with a good and well paid position but not bearing boss and main customer anymore… then I had a look at my financial situation and seen that I was practically living to paycheck, because I threw away nearly all the money in stuff (nice cars etc…).

I realised that I was forced to keep the position or look for a similar one (which is quite difficult in the small TI) not because of personal ambition (career) but in order to support my lifestyle. As I knew that I prefer to have a job in the nearby, in order to maintain the possibility to spend time with family / children (not only during the WE), I began thinking about what could I give up without regret (fancy cars, stuff) and what I valued and wanted to maintain (travel).

This way, I began saving stash but - mainly - spending less, which gives me the option - if/when the time comes - to apply for a less well paid job without being forced to give up on things I value (family, travel).

Sometimes it’s not so easy to find a balance (I’m often tempted to avoid spending at all, to maximise savings, but have to compromise with myself and wife, in order to maintain an happy family life and avoid that this FI route becomes too much of an obsession…:joy:).

What I’ve gained with this FI path I’m following is for sure some peace of mind, which also reflects positively on working situation, as I’m tending to relativize much more and/or "keep distance"instead of getting mad when things don’t go the way I’d like to… :blush:

In few words the FI route allowed me to acknowledge the importance and value of “having options”. RE is then secondary if you’ve found a balance in your current life.

1 Like

FIRE! ohh yea! (2019) for us.

I would say it is like the carrot to the donkey as @weirded said it keeps you going and makes you put everything in perspective.
Should I really spend that much time at work instead of being with the family? and… that issue that keeps me stressed at work… does it really matter in the long run?
I believe that at the end is not the final goal, but the person you become while achieving it.
FIRE could be a trap too, though. Why?
It could happen that you get obsessed with it and then you miss the reality and stop living and enjoying the present 'cause you’re only thinking of “what it will be like”

So, put thinks in perspective, enjoy life. :slight_smile:


Thank you for being frank and sharing your thoughts with us @mrs_oberland. It’s interesting to hear your perspective as an entrepreneur, having myself always been a full time employee and never really having felt compelled to start something on my own. Maybe I just never had really bad bosses or direct contact with soul-crunching customers to push me into seriously considering that route, but mostly I think it’s a personality trait.

What is interesting for me is to see that someone who followed the entrepreneurial route confirms the same thoughts/concerns that I’ve always had about it. On my own path, the more I reason about things like lofty professional goals, inspiring stories about entrepreneurs who’ve hit gold, the more I just want to be able to enjoy the here and now, get more in touch with the simple things in life, and stop focusing so much on how much brighter the future will be if I just manage to achieve this or that goal. That includes stressing about whether I’m being paid according to my skills, or if I could be making 10 or 20% more and therefore retire earlier.
There will always be companies/industries where you could be making more, so at some point you have to ask yourself if you want to keep chasing carrots like that for the rest of your life, or focus on living with what you have and make the best of it (which for most people in the IT industry already means being in the top 5% of the income/privilege range, which is quite humbling and remarkable at the same time).
A couple of years ago I’ve changed jobs so that I’m now 100% remote and completely in charge of my schedule, with less commute and daily risks/nuisances, and I believe that’s a good vehicle to start enjoying life more.

In the end, this is just a long-winded way (sorry!) for me to say that I totally agree with you, and that I’m trying to learn every day how to take it easier and enjoy the journey. I do think that the FI part (and the path leading there) is much more important than the RE part.


Interesting to read about your thoughts, thanks for sharing. I can also relate to having more peace of mind since starting on the FI path, just because there is a stash that gives a lot of security. I guess balance is the key word here, I agree its not always easy to keep a balance when you are dreaming and working towards something and at the same time want to enjoy the journey.

1 Like

wow congratulations for being so close to FIRE @Mr.HdLR I read a little bit on your blog as I speak Spanish :smile: are you retiring in Switzerland or in South america? (sorry I don’t remember which country)
Yes I agree, enjoying life is what its about!

intersting thoughts @pombeirp 100% remote sounds great, that gives a lot of freedom already. If you would like to travel for instance or take advantage of breaks to do things around the house. Plus the big time save in eliminating the commute. Just be sure to find real-life friends that you can meet face to face (as opposed to online friends :slight_smile: , I found it very isolating working from home without colleagues but little by little I built up a new circle of friends.

Yes, enjoying the journey for me also means enjoying the little things: do sports, baking, crafts, playing with the kids, learning a language, lots of small activities and projects that also gives a little resistance (vs. watching movies or lying on a beach) but feels great once you accomlished them.

1 Like

Yes, that’s been the challenge so far. I still get together now and then with some colleagues from the old job, but there’s definitely a lot to be done in finding new friends with common interests outside work. Maybe taking up some classes or group activity will be the answer. I did find that working from home gave me more motivation (and the needed flexibility) to take up sports (like running, cycling and strength training), which can’t hurt as I get older :slight_smile:

1 Like

I think this thread and its comments are most valuable. I myself find great joy in managing my funds and see them grow, and since i learned about fire about FIRE, it has given me something to aim for.

However I also asked myself at which point i would overdo the whole thing. I consider myself very prone to overcommitting. All your thoughts are very nice impulses to my own thinking about how frugal or how scenic my route is going to be :slight_smile:

To me the balance is somewhere where I still have a lot of contact with my real world friends. Living in a 6 person WG helps a little :smiley:

but as long as i go after my hobbies regularly i should not be too crazy!


Yeah, it’s nice to see how everyone here seems to take different aspects of the FIRE philosophy and integrate them into their own lives in their own ways. In my own case, it actually didn’t change much what I was already doing (without knowing it, I was already saving 40%-50% of the household income), but it did inspire me to do all the extra legwork of studying allocations, determining the actual savings rate, having an idea of a realistic retirement date, and in the process substantially improving my once-shabby finance Google Sheet.

1 Like

Hi @mrs_oberland, we’re definitely moving to Latin America.
Actually, we’re now searching for land to build our Ranch, it’s quite a difficult task since we’re here in Switzerland and remotely looking for it has been a hassle.

We have already some properties to visit and verify the landscape. we’ll keep you posted on the land searching progress.



hey @Mr.HdLR,
why don’t you do a sabbathical for 6 month, traveling south america and check out places? ^^

I would be really interesting to know your budget to live in Latin America.
I wonder if 12000$ dollar is enough to live single in Latin America or south Asia

hi @wapiti, Latin America and South Asia are really huge countries and it really depends where and city vs. countryside.

Regarding latin america I’d say maybe - for example - in Nica, Panama, Ecuador, perhaps Colombia. No in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay (especially in cities).

South (east) Asia it’s probably easier (Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam). Thailand it depends. I’d say no in Malaysia.

I’d go towards LAm for ease of relationship and integration in the local community (language, mentality etc.).

1 Like

hi @Mr.HdLR, I’m also interested (at least in 10 years, when kids will be independent… :grinning:).

Keep us posted !

I’ve been thinking as well about spending retirement abroad. However, I haven’t made my choice yet. My first thoughts were about living in Poland (where my wife comes from), but I am questioning this now. It would be great to have a topic in which everyone can compare different countries in which one can spend retirement! With criterias like quality of life, cost of life, taxation…
I will create such a topic as soon as I have 5 minutes on my own :slight_smile:

1 Like

My fav is Malaga/Spain :slight_smile: Beautiful weather, great atmosphere, reasonable prices and airport :slight_smile: Next year we will go there just to see can it work or not and what areas are there :slight_smile:

1 Like

It’s not perfect, but this website can give you some impression of costs of living: