Here’s What to Do After you Crush it and Retire Early

Way to go!! You buckled down and are able to retire early! Now what? Here - we paint 2 great pictures of the best possible outcomes - then leave it to you! #retireearly #finance #travel #homestead #snarky
Well, congratulations… You did it! You called on all the great frugal tips, created the perfect family budget, and took advantage of all the best tax credits. And because of all your hard work, you achieved the dream – you earned the right to retire early! Congrats!! …But now what?
If you’re one of the prominent FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) bloggers/proponents, you’ll then go on to travel the world, live in either a sailboat or an RV, and blog about all the highs and lows of “living the dream!”
Or maybe you won’t…
You could go the other route of being “debt free including the mortgage”, plant some routes, and set up a co-op workspace for all the local entrepreneurs in your activity-rich town of choice.
But – you’ve worked so hard to reach FIRE and now have to completely evaluate all the pros and cons of life on the road vs. life on the ‘ole homestead. If only there were some resource that could provide all the most important consequences of this choice. One source to paint both of these pictures for you then judge those paintings based on merit…

Well, today, my friend – you’re in luck!!

We’ll help you decide what to do after you retire early!

I’ve got 2 of my good buddies here to help us all out – Michael from Your Money Geek (YMG) and I (MUB) are going to debate both sides of this argument, then Robert from Real Money Robert is going to pick a winner! (What could go wrong??)

Here are the criteria of how we’ll argue what is best – retire early and travel or retire early and settle down

Michael (YMG) is going to be on the side of travel, and I’m planting my flag (and my roots) on setting up shop in a central location. Each blogger will have 100 words to introduce their argument, give 10 points about why their option is superior to the other choice, then have 100 words as a closing argument (in total – their case can be no more than 750 words).
Robert will then come in and score each argument, point by point. A win for that “point” equals 1 added to the blogger’s score, and there will be no ties. Robert will also have a total of 7 additional points to award based on his scientifically proven judgment. 4 will go for unique arguments, and 3 will be for funny arguments (neither the unique arguments nor the funny ones need to win to be awarded points). In total, Robert will hand out 17 points.
The only requirement for all of us is to use ample sarcasm and wit while arguing our points. When all is said and done, Robert will close this post out with his justification of his choices. One last thing – each of us three has families, and we’re writing (and scoring) our points from that perspective.
There’s only one question left to ask…
Are you ready… to Rumble!!!?!?!?!?

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

Do you know about another name for retired early? Free labor. Once you hit financial freedom, prepare yourself to be bombarded with project requests. Nothing says I can’t pick up your dog from the groomer, install your kitchen, or feed your goldfish like, “I can’t talk right now, we’re about to go into the Louvre.” So if you don’t want to get bogged down babysitting nieces an nephews its wise to blow town.

9. Work might hunt you down

”Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!” – Michael Corleone
No one can do your job like you can; chances are your employer isn’t willing to pay to find someone who can. Assuming you haven’t thoroughly burned the bridge down with your naked stunt (above) chance, your employer might try to lure you back in with fewer hours and more perks. Don’t fall for it, playa!  Solution: book a nonrefundable vacation for the day after you post your “I quit manifesto” – problem solved.

10. Your partner might find they don’t like you

Spending 24 hours a day together in a quiet cableless house, your partner may find they don’t like the sounds you make when you eat lunch.  That’s a skill that until recently has been reserved for your co-workers.  (before you think this is silly, admit it. We all have had that one co-worker who eats way too loud, and have wondered how their partner copes) Best bet: book a vacation reservation for early retirement right now and rekindle the magic. If you are a loud eater, you better make those reservations nonrefundable too.

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):

Have you actually taken the “Europe Trip” or driven cross-country to “see the sights”? Sure, it looks like “The most amazing time!!!!” on Insta but, man… Traveling is stressful, complicated, and costly. In short bursts, I’m all for it. Living out of a suitcase isn’t all bad… For a week or two. But to make that life your life 100% of the time seems a bit too… energy intensive for my taste. “Why?” – you ask… Well, because these benefits keep me lovin’ the home life:

1- Kama’aina discounts –

I lived and worked in Hawaii for a total of about 7 months, and it took me about 5 of those months to learn about Kama’aina discounts (a discount for locals). I’ll tell ya one thing – you don’t get those as an outsider…

2- Family ‘reunions’ / Friendsgivings at regular intervals –

Keep your friends close and your in-laws closer ????. This way, regular get-togethers don’t require plane travel (with an infant) or long distance road trips 100% of the time.

3- Higher age = less reliable bowels –

Yeah, I said it. How many times have you been traveling in Europe or on a cruise at port in some Caribbean beach town… And then you get the urge… Well, if you’ve got a home base established – you know exactly where to go. If you’re on the road – you’ve got stress.

4- Playing in a sand volleyball league –

This is probably the most important point. Sure, you can have pickup games here and there but life on the road will not let you participate in a league, week-in, and week-out with some of your closest friends dominating the competition. Doesn’t get better than that.

5- Community outreach –

As relatively new business owners, we’ve recently had the good fortune of integrating with our community and spending time with some excellent local agencies doing great work for the people of our city. Helping anywhere is great – helping to improve your community carries a little extra fulfillment.

6- I am not an effective homeschooler 100% of the time –

God bless those of you who homeschool your kids. Point, in fact, there would eventually come a time when I would go insane – and we have an absolute gem of a daughter. (I can’t envision a scenario where I lose this point…?)

7- You only have to defend one position against the zombie attack –

A peer-reviewed, double-blind, and scientifically proven study showed that 68.72% of the posts on YMG reference zombies in some way. By living in one location, you can fortify your defenses and mount an attack. He should concede this point to me.

8- Your kid’s homies –

Our daughter is 3 and after a long weekend, she’s already asking about when she gets to see her friends from school again. I could cite the studies, but let’s just admit that stability and foundational relationships are great for the mental health of our children.

9- When we do travel, it leaves a mark –

Traveling full time – shmaveling full time… Monument here, “most amazing beach” there. Oh, and the sunsets!!! Give me a break… Seriously, if all you’re doing is seeing amazing things every day, they’ll start to seem less earth-shattering (I lived in Maui for 7 months and was ready to come home at the end – just stupid crazy). Alternatively, when we travel, we soak it up – then we leave it wanting more. Then we do it again in a few months.

10- It’s less expensive –

Gas, campsite fees, eating out, hotels, airfare, mini-fridges, paying for beers at bars outside of the midwest (read: $8.50 per) – and let’s not forget you’ve got the kids with you, who may or may not eat .32% of the plate of food you just bought for them (a $12.50 kids meal value!!). Brotha, enjoy financial independence while it’s still yours.

The knockout punch

So, planting roots is less expensive, safer, better for the community, easier on the bowels, and better for your kids. Maybe the zombie attack is forthcoming and maybe it isn’t, but even if YMG gets this one right – wouldn’t you want your family best prepared…? I would. So head out there with your sand volleyball team, plan for that beach vacation in 4 months, and cheer like hell for your kid in their soccer game – because when you’re sitting on that front porch sipping a beverage of choice watching the sunset, the roots never tasted so sweet.

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…

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