Our Story: A financial independence and early retirement journey

Thank you for stopping by and being interested in who we are.  Here’s the backstory on us, the Millers, and how we joined the financial independence retire early or FIRE community.

I read an article in April 2015 about a couple who retired in their 30s and who were traveling the world. I emailed the link to Jeremy and Winnie’s interview with Forbes to my then fiancé, Mr. Miller. This short story opened my eyes to possibilities I didn’t even know existed. I want financial freedom!

Mr. Miller and I attended a free financial workshop while we were dating, geared toward young professionals the previous winter. We really enjoyed the two financial advisors that put it on, so when I became a “Mrs.” we decided to hire the financial advisors to help us merge our financial lives. During our initial consultation, we were asked about financial dreams and goals. I casually mentioned that I wanted to retire in my 40s, everyone chuckled and that was the end of that.

Sometimes things change

I’ve always enjoyed my job and the people that I worked with. However, by the Summer of 2016, management had changed. I was no longer eager to go to work. The work itself was fulfilling. But doing important work, in an unhealthy workplace was draining. The micro-management style leadership and policy changes were overwhelming.

I still loved the work, however, I was hating the environment. For the first time in eight years, I had to consider leaving. I was no longer happy.  I dreaded coming in to work. Walking into the office every morning, I could feel the heaviness and tension in the office. Morale was low.

Unhealthy work situation

I started thinking about my options and felt defeated. Unfortunately, my field is specialized. I had some options, but not many. I thought about that couple in their late 30s that I had read about almost a year ago. In my email, I found the article I had sent Mr. Miller. I wondered if I could replicate what they did. The thought of retiring in 15 or even 10 years was incredibly attractive.

Their story was captivating.  I went to their blog and spent hours reading article after article. I was hooked!

The Awakening

Google SearchI spent hours listening to financial podcasts while running errands. Googling the term “early retirement” more than a dozen times that weekend, I discovered a whole movement of 30 and 40-year-olds who had retired.

There were even more 20 and 30 something year-olds who were on the road to being on FIRE, Financially Independent Retired Early.

Financial independence and early retirement was simple, spend less than you make and invest the difference. The question however was, could we do it?  Was financial independence available to us? Was early retirement an option for us?

Convincing Mr. Miller

By the end of that weekend, I created spreadsheets, hypothetical budgets, looked at all of our financial accounts. I was confident…convinced that we could be on FIRE too. One small hurdle… I had to persuade my now husband, Mr. Miller, that this was a possibility. Convincing him to retire early wasn’t going to be the hard part.  It was convincing him that by early I meant in a decade.

I presented all of my empirical data on colorful spreadsheets.  After calculating our financial independence number (FI number), speaking with confidence, enthusiasm, and conviction I was ready. After I was done, Mr. Miller simply looked at me, remained silent for a moment, and said, “Let’s do it.”

I shared with him what we would need to save. Most importantly, I showed him what we would need to cut. Marrying someone whose values are aligned with mine, made the discussion so much easier.

Neither one of us wanted to live a life of deprivation for the next decade. It was important that we continue to travel, have adventures, and enjoy life. Nevertheless, we knew we had to cut down (not eliminate,) on things like the number of times we ate out or ordered take out. We’d have to mindful of our spending in every category.

I’ll share the lessons we learn along the way.

There are so many fantastic resources out there. I’ll share some of our favorite ones.   As we travel down this road, we’ll share our journey and what we learn along the way. The good, the bad, and the awkward. The failures and successes.

You can find a list of all the blog posts from the beginning in the blog archives. I’ll also share our financial progress here. I debated whether or not we’d share all of our numbers. Looking at the financial progress of others was motivating.

I share the details of our numbers in hopes it’s helpful and inspiring to you to save, invest, and build generational wealth.

Thank you so much for reading this far! Millers on Fire will be a financial independence and early retirement blog.

Until next time, Godspeed.

Mrs. Miller

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  1. Sheila Hernandez | 17th Jan 20

    Love this and how the start came about – we are excited to start our journey as well!!!!

    • Mrs Miller | 18th Jan 20

      I am so excited for your journey. Isn’t it exciting to discover something that can be so life-changing?! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

  2. Pashen L Buxton | 13th Jun 20

    This was insightful. Thank you! I look forward to reading more.

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