Well, today, my friend – you’re in luck!!
We’ll help you decide what to do after you retire early!
Here are the criteria of how we’ll argue what is best – retire early and travel or retire early and settle down
MUB won the toss and chose to defer – YMG will start us off:
I’m Michael from Your Money Geek. Mike and I had an epic Atari 2600 battle to determine who had to argue each side. I really wanted “stay put.” I fought hard and had him against the ropes, besting him in Pitfall and E.T, however a double or nothing game of Smurfs now means I must convince you to get out there… and I have to name my next child “Mike”.
Admittedly, I’m not the biggest fan of traveling. However, I am a blogger, and let’s face it – when has a lack of experience ever stopped a blogger from sharing their opinions? Without further ado, here are ten reasons why you should FIRE early and travel.
1. Medical Tourism
Health insurance is super expensive to purchase on your own. Why go through the hard work of saving up enough money to afford health care? If you have a travel credit card with decent points, you can travel hack your way to an exotic, remote locale and get your next surgery for pennies on the dollar. When your FIRE plans sound like an episode of The Simpsons, you know you are on the right track.
2. Your Friends are jelly
You don’t have any friends. Let’s face it, in the 7 years you have worked, all you talked about was how you were going to FIRE by 30. Letting your co-workers in on the fact that you were planning on dropping them the second your Vanguard account hit your FIRE number probably wasn’t endearing. Additionally, your epic viral YouTube video of you walking out of the office naked probably didn’t help.
Note: When you’re getting that Bermuda breast augmentation, make sure to exchange cell numbers with your roommates.
3. You can sell waaaay more eCourses.
We all know the quickest path to FIRE is setting up a blog and selling eCourses; why else would anyone ignore their day jobs to spend 10+ hours a week blogging? The best way to move massive eCourses is to park yourself on a beach and plaster social media with selfies and product pitches. Sure, you could do this from the city like the other bloggers, but you don’t want to be like the others. Think like Suze Orman; she owns a whole island. Imagine all the courses she must sell.
4. You have no reason not to
Since you have been reading FIRE blogs for the last 8 years, you probably decided to go the DINK (dual income, no kids) route. Good news, since you decided to forgo those uneconomical children, you can travel without worries about school schedules. No extracurricular activities will keep you from enjoying those off-season travel deals, right?
5. You won’t miss your stuff
I know this one was tricky. We all know if you have been planning FIRE since 8th grade, you don’t own any stuff. All you have is a 20-year-old Toyota, a dog-eared version of the Millionaire Next Door, that copy of Meet the Frugalwoods you never returned to the library, and the Berkshire Hathaway annual reports you collected until you learned about Vanguard. (Stock picking is for suckers, right? When will Warren buffet learn???)
6. You Have Passive Income
House hacking has a nice ring to it. Buy a multi-unit home and rent out the other units. Gotta love that passive income, isn’t that what all the gurus say? Since you found the one house in the neighborhood that never needs repairs and is always booked with model residents. Go and take a month to backpack in Europe, those passive income checks with keep rolling in – always on time.
7. Your House Probably Sucks
I read a lot – a lot – of blogs, and the one thing I have learned from them is you can’t reach fire if you have cable TV. I know it sounds crazy if you are new to blog readership, but it’s true, Google it. You should also add to the banned list: lattes and K Cups. Surprisingly craft beer is allowed. You can cook at home for entertainment but only on Sunday and it must be for the whole week. The good news, 6 days a week you are free to travel. Just make sure you book an Airbnb with HBO because the new season of Game of Thrones is coming out, and you won’t be able to watch it with your sister’s Netflix account.
8. Your Family Won’t Find You
9. Work might hunt you down
10. Your partner might find they don’t like you
A snark-less take on FIRE
Seeking FIRE is a great goal and everyone should strive for the security that FIRE provides. Life is about balance, its ok if you’re not FIRE by 30, 40 or even 50, you can enjoy life along the way to FIRE. Don’t put your life on hold waiting until you reach FIRE, save some and spend some. Spend responsibly and don’t get into bad consumer debt, and the path to FIRE will more tolerable.
MUB with the counterpoint(s):
1- Kama’aina discounts –
2- Family ‘reunions’ / Friendsgivings at regular intervals –
3- Higher age = less reliable bowels –
4- Playing in a sand volleyball league –
5- Community outreach –
6- I am not an effective homeschooler 100% of the time –
7- You only have to defend one position against the zombie attack –
8- Your kid’s homies –
9- When we do travel, it leaves a mark –
10- It’s less expensive –
The knockout punch
Real Money Robert picks the winner!
Who are we kidding, we are all winners after reading this epic debate!
I’m Robert, from Real Money Robert, and I’ve graciously volunteered to be the totally unbiased judge for this great competition.
My job here is to pick a winner, and I’ll have to admit that this was almost as difficult as deciding whether or not Lebron James is better than Michael Jordan.
Spoiler alert, I’m in camp MJ! Sorry King James!
And, since both participants share the same name, nobody gets any points there! Sorry guys!
I will pin each argument against each other and score the winner. I’ll be using my super-secret scoring system to determine who will take each point. Shhh, don’t tell anybody, but I just made a cardboard cutout of each guy and let my chickens decide on a point.
So, here are the winners for each point based on the sole opinion of my chickens!
1- Medical Tourism or Kama’aina discounts?
The point here goes to YMG with Medical Tourism.
Hey, healthcare costs are out of control, and once you’ve reached FIRE, you’ll be able to kill to birds with one stone by traveling to an exotic location and getting that heart transplant you need. Nobody says it has to be a human heart, right?
Also, the Simpsons reference really pushed this one over the edge. After all, Homer and Bart got sent to Hawaii to get an electric needle treatment when Lisa painted them green and pretended they had leprosy. That was a win/win for the Simpsons so it’s gotta be a win/win for us too!
2- Your Friends are jelly or Family Reunions and Friendsgiving?
The point here goes to MUB with Family Reunions and Friendsgiving.
Traveling with infants is never fun. Been there, done that, and I’m glad my children are getting older so we can enjoy travel a little more!
I’ll admit that keeping your in-laws close may seem miserable to some, but I actually like my in-laws, and I can’t imagine my children not having a close relationship with all of the extended family close by.
Also, no one wants to see your naked body walking out of the office…
3- eCourses or the porcelain throne?
The point here goes to MUB with a home-based porcelain throne for those sudden bowel urges.
Let’s face it, you can create eCourses from anywhere in the world! Heck, you can do it while launching that blog if you really want to!
Plus, you never have to worry about whether or not that leaf you’re wiping with is poisonous! Been there done that; it’s not fun!
4- No reason not to or Sand Volleyball league?
The point here goes to MUB again, for sand volleyball.
While those uneconomical little life forms take a toll on the finances, we are all family men here, and my children are my world.
Also, why on earth is everyone giving away participation trophies these days! Whether it’s sand volleyball or pee wee football, those trophies should be earned by battling to the death!
Ok, that’s a little extreme, but we at least need winners and let’s be honest, there is no way we will be able to compete with the locals in a pick-up game on their home turf.
5- You won’t miss your stuff or Community Outreach?
The point here goes to YMG because you won’t miss your stuff.
Alright, I’m a huge proponent of community outreach and connecting with people in the community, but I also can recognize the freedom that comes along with getting rid of your stuff!
When I went through my divorce, I literally left almost everything to my ex, and it was incredibly freeing!
Material things come and go, and you can get involved in community outreach in any community around the world, so sell off some of that extra crap that you don’t use and enjoy a carefree life of minimalism!
Besides, are you really ever going to watch all of those VHS recordings of Seinfeld that are stacked up in your bedroom closet?
Didn’t think so!
6- You have passive income or terrible homeschooler?
The point here goes to MUB with terrible homeschooler!
House hacking and building passive income with real estate investing is a great way to earn extra money and build wealth!
However, I’ve got 5 kids and they would be destined for failure if I was in charge of homeschooling them! Shout-out to all those awesome homeschool parents out there, but I’m not one of them.
Pretty sure you’d find me in a corner rocking back and forth in the fetal position after about 2 weeks.
Plus, rental income is only really passive if you hire someone to manage the property for you, and that takes a huge chuck out of your profits.
7- Your house probably sucks or you only have to defend one position against the zombie attack?
Man, there are a lot of zombie references on YMG, but that’s probably for the best. When the zombie apocalypse comes, he’ll be laughing and sipping his craft beer while we are caged into our zombie fortress.
The point goes to YMG on this one because I’m not giving up craft beer, lattes, or cable TV just to retire early! I’d rather live a full life now and work a little longer so I can enjoy all the things a love!
Plus, when I try to meal plan, my kids eat everything after 1 day and we are left to scavenge like vultures for the rest of the week.
8- Your family won’t find you or your kids’ homies?
The point here goes to YMG because sometimes you just gotta do you!
I get overwhelmed with family requests now, and I work full time and have a pretty lucrative side-gig. I can’t imagine how much of my time would be spent helping family members out if I was retired.
Not that that’s a bad thing, but I want to retire and take care of myself and my immediate family, not paint Uncle Jesse’s garage.
Also, let’s be honest, how many people from school do you really still hang out with?
Friendships are important for the kids’ development, but they’ll be able to forge friendships and learn about international cultures while traveling the world too!
9- Work might hunt you down or when we do travel, it leaves a mark?
The point here goes to MUB.
I really believe his argument here that traveling full time would lose its appeal over time.
Why not have a place to call home and travel every few months?
And if your former employer really does hunt you down and offer you a six-figure salary for 10 hours a week, why not accept it? And if their offer sucks, you can tell them to take a hike.
10- Your partner might not like you or it’s less expensive?
The point goes to MUB on this one!
Let’s be honest, if you retire and have the ability to spend more time with your partner, only to find out you really don’t like each other that much, that’s going to happen whether you’re staying home, or climbing Mount Everest.
At least at home, your partner won’t be able to push you off a cliff when you’re crunching celery in their ear…
Preliminary round winner
It was a hard-fought battle, so MikedUp is leading the pack. Is it really a pack when there are only two people?
Anyway, preliminary rounds have MikedUp over Your Money Geek with a score of 6-4.
Now, for the final rounds and the crowing of the winner!
Unique Argument Scoring
1 point to YMG for coming up with the great idea to travel hack your way into that emergency surgery somewhere on an exotic beach. At least if you die, you’ll be in paradise!
1 point to YMG for arguing that we should walk off the job naked once we achieve financial independence.
1 point to YMG for selling the argument that we should each own our own islands, just like Suze Orman.
1 point to MUB for arguing the case that we need a home base toilet because crapping on the go is no bueno!
Funny Argument Scoring
1 point to YMG for making me laugh out loud when I envisioned Homer Simpson eating his leprosy scab.
1 point to MUB for making me laugh and then subsequently cringe after bringing back those painful memories of wiping with a poisonous leaf when I was a child.
1 point to YMG for overall sarcasm and humor.
And the winner is….
The chickens and I have decided and….
Your Money Geek takes the bragging rights with a score of 9-8 and gets to set sail into the sunset, never to be seen again.
Some say he was kidnapped by zombies, others say he flew too close to the sun, and some stories say he vanished into the Bermuda triangle.
I guess we’ll never know…
Maybe it’s better to stay put after all…