Home Sports “We avoided the life of FIFO by traveling together as a family”

“We avoided the life of FIFO by traveling together as a family”

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Six Australians worked tirelessly for financial independence when they encountered COVID-19.

The experience of experiencing a global pandemic is far from weakening determination, but has reinforced the value of being able to give up 9-5.

Over the next few weeks we share the stories of half a dozen Australians who are determined to break free.

Leo, Alicia, Dom, 4 years old, and little Eli *
OBJECTIVE: To explore and enjoy early retirement
REQUIRED INCOME: $ 80,000 per year
INVESTMENT STRATEGY: Regular contributions to managed funds that comply with their principles; maximum preferential pension contributions

Leo, 35, Alicia, 32, with two children, Dom and little Eli *, are on their fifth day of early retirement. Having worked without work for 13 years, Leo sighs and says, “I just finished my last job.”

They have amassed $ 2.9 million by leading a nomadic minimalist lifestyle, working across Australia and abroad in the four-suitcase resource industry.
backpack and super-stroller.

They enter a new phase, spend more time together as a family and enjoy simple things in life such as cooking from scratch, playing in the park, gardening and plant breeding, and family walks.

The family traveled together, living in more than 10 different cities and towns in the four countries, instead of Leo arriving and leaving. This strategy made Leo valuable because the companies had full access to his time, which led to higher wages, and the company paid for expenses such as accommodation and relocation.

“Our operating costs were low, about $ 30,000 a year,” Leo says.

The nomadic life not only became a huge incentive for their savings, but also allowed Alicia to be a full-time mother than she appreciated. But now that the House has reached school age, they have decided to take root to build a life and build relationships in the community.

Whether to continue renting for the rest of their lives or buying a home for them was an important decision. “I believed I would rent forever,” Leo says. “I’ve always been debt free.”

Flexibility is crucial in FIRE travel and they have evolved to meet the changing needs of the family. For example, their retirement date changed significantly as they better understood the cost of living of their young family.

The decision to buy a house and stop renting was based on a desire to settle in a local community. Moving to a new home is not only expensive but also devastating when a family has to be in the area to go to a local school.

“It’s not necessarily the best financial solution at a cost like a stamp duty, but buying a home is a lifestyle decision,” says Leo. “It’s definitely more expensive than renting,” Leo says. “There are tariffs, service and utilities.”

Wanting to buy a house, he realized that after Leo retires, it will be difficult to borrow money. Who will lend to early retirees aged 35 and 32? So they bought an old duplex a few years ago, while Leo had an impressive salary. They rent out half to help pay off the mortgage, and this gives room for growth as the kids get older and get tired of sharing a bunk bed.

Although they could repay the mortgage with their savings, they decided to leave it open and repay most of the loan. “We want personal comfort and to have a great buffer,” Leo says. A well-funded reimbursed account helps them minimize what Leo calls a sequence of profit risks in the early years of retirement. If the stock market breaks down, they will use a reimbursed account to temporarily cover their living expenses to avoid having to sell stocks at minimum prices.
Without business trips from work Leo’s life is more expensive and they plan the annual cost of living to double to about $ 60,000 this year and then to $ 80,000 as the children get older.

The lion is looking forward to a life without the stress of full employment, where problems had to be constantly solved. “There was always a low level of worry about what I needed to do at work. It was there all the time. When I woke up, he stayed with me all day.”

He says his work was endless and could always include more. For the first few years he always worked, but when he built a reputation, he knew when to step back to ensure it was sustainable. Leo believes that being able to walk this fine line has saved them an extra $ 500,000 by extending their high-paying careers and not burning out in two to three years, as many people do.

As their savings grew, Leo says the effect of realizing he didn’t need to work because his savings were growing was imperceptible at first, but then it allowed him to be bolder with his employer in what he wanted . He asked to work from home two days a week and bought extra annual leave to help him recharge. “There was also a lot of laptop left in the office.”

It is too early to say what he will retire. Leo says he will lack companionship and friendship with work colleagues, and he will need to participate in society.

Over the next few months there is a lot of work to be done to set up their old home, while limiting the budget. They allocate $ 12,000 a year to the repayment fund for maintenance, furniture and appliances. It covers everything from repairing a refrigerator to replacing a roof.

Leo says they could spend a huge amount of money on home improvement, but a budget of $ 500 a month will limit the desire to do everything at once.

“Will this force us to be mindful of our spending: will it be a rolling door in a parking lot, or a picket fence, or a water tank? We can easily invest $ 200,000 in a house. There are no limits to what you can do if money is not an item.” .

Leo loves to solve problems and analyze them. He is interested in a course in financial advice and helps people who really want to turn their finances.

He wants to work or volunteer one day a week, just like Alicia. “We want our minds to be active outside of children,” he explains.

Alisha has many interests, from designing kitchens to creating green “living” roofs. Employer Leo offers him a contract from time to time, so he can always return to any work if he misses the promotion.

The FIRE community was important to Leo and Alicia in the early years when they learned to save and invest. But as their savings grew into the “sad middle period,” as Leo calls it, they managed their own investments.

“We adjust from time to time,” says Leo. They were thrilled that there was a local FIRE group on Facebook that they had recently met.

* Their names are not real

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https://www.moneymag.com.au/we-travelled-for-work-with-our-kids-to-avoid-fifo

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