I Quit My Job

I’ve been burning down vacation time until my last day, which is today. I’m 34 now, and have had an exciting 14 year career as an engineer. You might think because I’m quitting, I hated every minute of it. But the job had its good and bad days. The good days were spent playing in flight simulators or catching a ride in the back of a high-tech aircraft. The job also paid well and I made many good friends. I might even be a bit jealous of the person who gets to take my place. There were however many days where I could envision much more amusing ways of passing my time. For that reason, I’ve been working toward financial independence and early retirement for years.

My New Office

My New Office

Avoid lifestyle inflation

I was fortunate to have recognized lifestyle inflation early on in my career. You get out of school, start to make a buck, and all of the sudden you deserve better. How will everyone know you are successful if you don’t show it? With a mantra like that, it’s not surprising how quickly money can start flying out of your pockets. I exhausted my wallet a fair share of times, spending cash out at bars and fulfilling my adolescent dreams for sporty vehicles. Luckily, I also remembered what I learned in college – you can get wasted with friends for ten bucks at home, and a Honda Civic will take you anywhere you are willing to drive. Screw being frugal, that’s just economical.

Spend less, save more and retire early

When your salary keeps increasing and your cost of living remains the same, it’s amazing how fast things can move. We recently became financially independent, years sooner than I thought possible. When you do the same thing for 14 years, it’s easy to predict what your next day will look like.

I suppose I’m quitting my job just so I can get up in the morning and do something different. I don’t have any plans and that’s the part that has me excited. Over the years, Mrs Crazy Kicks and I have had an ever evolving vision of where we wanted to end up and what we wanted to do in our retirement. Ideas ranged from living off the land in the mountains to buying a house in a touristy town and running a bed and breakfast. My wife also loves school and wants to be involved in the community.

Barbados_Moke_Chevy_SparkNurture cheap hobbies

Our ideas of what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go evolved because so did we. We didn’t want to get into homesteading years down the line without knowing anything about farming. Starving in the boonies did not sound like much of a lifestyle upgrade. So we started gardening on our small plot of land. After visiting some farms including urban homesteads we decided to raise chickens, right where we already lived.

Chicken_In_Garden_CT

Our backyard garden

We traveled to places that we’d want to move to. And rather than doing the touristy things, we always sought out what it would be like to live there as a local. In the end, we have learned a lot about who we are and what we like to do. We also realized for right now, we have gathered many of the things we were looking for right here in Connecticut. That doesn’t mean we are going to always stay here, only that we still haven’t found a better option that’s persuaded us to move.

We are close to family, friends, major airports, and have our own urban homestead where we practice many of our hobbies. We will keep looking though, and we’re OK with having no idea where this next chapter will take us.Making_Saison_and_PicklesOur way of life is probably a bit unconventional and yet I have found some great inspiration – not just through our travels and experiences, but also on the internet. Many bloggers like Mr Money Mustache and Jeremy at Go Curry Cracker have not only entertained me while sitting in my cubicle, but also helped galvanize my ideas on financial independence.

Although I’ve been mostly a reader to this point, I plan to try and contribute more. Some of my hobbies include traveling, gardening, home improvement, cooking, brewing, and living well for less. I hope to share some my of sentiments and experiences on these topics in this blog.

23 thoughts on “I Quit My Job

  1. First of all, congrats! I look forward to reading more. As I read through all these articles where people are 5-10 years ahead of me on the path to financial independence, I’m always looking for what strategy they used with regards to investing. I was wondering if you would share whether you choose a path of index funds, dividend stocks, or a combination of both to get to where you are today?

    • Thanks, Austin! I primarily invest in index funds, I have a series of articles in the works where I plan to lay out my investment strategies in more detail.

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  6. Congrats, Mr. CK!

    You’re gonna love early retirement. I do believe that keeping busy with new goals and challenges to your liking is key. 🙂

    34 is very impressive and a great example to those aspiring to be in your position.

    Cheers!

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  8. I got here from a comment at MMM blog. I am not quite into the early retirement thing yet but I like the frugal ideas and Ideas for Travel and DIY. Hence I am always on the lookout for more first hand information on these things.

    I think I am going to stick around your blog to get some travel tips and ideas.

    • Thanks!

      Most mutual fund managers (80% over the long term) can’t beat the S&P500, and the fees these funds incur often kill any gains over the market. All of the buying and selling within the funds often cause undesired tax events.

      I would never recommend mutual funds over index funds. You might want to reconsider what you consider “amateur.”

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  13. As you can’t yet pull any of the $’s you might have stashed into IRAs and retirement funds…. how do you cover your monthly expenses? Granted, they might not be high but even if you own your home, you still likely need $2K-$3K/month to live off of, right? Even 1/2 mil in investments needs to stay at 1/2 mil until you get to “formal” retirement age 67 so how do you generate income for the next 33 years?

    • Hi Jay,

      More than half of our investments are in retirement accounts. After doing some research I discovered there are several ways to withdraw money without penalties including a ROTH conversion ladder and SEPP distributions. I talk more about these and why I prefer Pre-Tax retirement accounts in my post “Screw the Roth, Max Your Pre-Tax”

      We have enough investments to support our expenses. I describe how we determine how many investments we need here.

      Hope this helps 🙂

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