Financial Independence Interview-Fervent Finance

Who are you and tell me about your reason for setting a goal of FI?

I’m Fervent Finance, a 27 year old accountant living in Manhattan. I moved here from New England at the beginning of 2014 to take on a new role at the company I work for.

During my first accounting “busy season” right out of college I was 21 years old, working past 9pm, and was getting tired of it pretty quickly. I facetiously told my mom I wanted to retire at 28 years old since I knew I wasn’t cut out for crunching numbers in a cube for another 40 years. At the time I didn’t think financial independence was an option for normal people without seven figure incomes or large windfalls. As a teenager, I would run my own calculations and think “if I need $100 thousand a year to live and can just earn 7% a year by picking stocks, I’d only need about $1.4 million in assets!” Looking back at that now, I can tell you my logic was very flawed, but the idea wasn’t.

Just over a year ago I discovered the concept of financial independence (for the normal guy/gal) and was instantly hooked. I finally figured out that financial independence could give me the opportunity to explore my own interests and passions, and not be a numbers jockey for the foreseeable future. This was all possible because financial independence would give me the freedom of being the ruler of my own time!

Who got you started and who motivates you on your Financial Independence journey?

This great online community prompted me and continually motivates me on my path. People like Mr. Money Mustache, jlcollinsnh, MadFIentist, Go Curry Cracker, and the rest of this great community got me started. I began thinking “holy crap, this pipe dream of retiring early can be a reality!” Although retiring at 28 was out of the question, I started thinking 40 years old was a definite possibility if I kept increasing my income and not my expenses.

My current motivation is the fact that I can picture a future where I have full control over how my days will go, whether that is spending time with friends and family, taking a hike, hopping in an RV, taking a nap, or learning a new hobby. The possibilities are endless!

What or Who is your Why?

My “why” is freedom. I don’t like having to wake up five days a week and go to work for someone else. I want to be able to pack a suitcase whenever I want and take a flight to another country, or hop in an RV for a cross country trek. I also want more time for my passions, family, and friends. I love learning new things, so picking up new hobbies while working a full-time job, working on my blog, and balancing personal relationships doesn’t leave much time for that!

Do you have any debt?  If so do you have a plan to pay this off before FI?

Currently, I have a small amount of student loans at 3%. I was aggressive in paying off my other loans that were at 6+%, but I’ve backed off the gas pedal since these rates are so low and don’t give me agita anymore. Right now I’m concentrating on maxing out my Roth IRA and beefing up my after-tax account.

What planned income streams are you working on towards FI and Early Retirement?

Currently, my Financial Independence Day is calculated to occur in September 2026 when I am 38 years old.

My income streams will mostly be dividends and withdrawals from my after-tax accounts, along with performing a traditional to Roth IRA ladder along the way. If things go according to plan I won’t need to touch the retirement funds as my entrepreneurial projects/hobbies will cover a good portion of my living expenses.

I also really want to buy a foreclosure that needs a lot of updating once I reach financial independence and then update it. I think I could get a decent return on my investment since I would do all the work myself. I have experience with plumbing, electrical, and carpentry from helping my dad while growing up and all my blue collar jobs during high school and college. I think I’ll enjoy the change of pace after almost 20 years of sitting at a desk crunching numbers.

What are your plans during early retirement?  (Travel, special projects, part-time work)

I definitely plan to travel, but I don’t think I could permanently live abroad. I like having a home base, however, I definitely see myself renting out an apartment in Mexico or Spain for a couple months at a time and slow exploring areas on my bucket list.

I also will definitely work for myself whether that’s through creating a financial literacy program, mowing lawns, preparing 1040s, making furniture, turning a foreclosure into an income property, etc. My interests have evolved over the past few years, so I know they will continue to change as I grow older. Financial independence will be the perfect avenue through which those changes in interest can become realities!

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