As my last post of 2019, I wanted to say Happy Holidays to everyone. Hope you had a great year, and here’s to 2020 being even better!
Now, at the end every year, in between celebratory champagne and the New Year’s Eve countdown, Wanderer and I always love to reflect back on everything that happened during the year.
And boy, do we have a lot to reflect on.
So much has happened this year! I swear I’ve been saying this every year since we retired in 2015, but every year it just seems to be getting even more cray cray!
Quit Like a Millionaire
2019 marked the birth of our book baby “Quit Like Millionaire”, which rocked up the Amazon charts to #1 in multiple categories. Thank you so much to everyone who supported us and bought our book! Special shout-out to all the Chautauquans and readers who signed up to our book launch team and helped us share and retweet book-related posts/announcements. You’re the best!
Now, as incredible as it is to have published a book, I also realized this year that accomplishing your dreams doesn’t lead to everlasting happiness. If you’re prone to anxiety, it sticks with you, no matter how many goals you accomplish. Even though “Quit Like a Millionaire” became a best-seller, I still lost sleep and had anxiety about what the “next thing is”. As it turns out, becoming FI doesn’t change who you are. It simply gives you the time to work on yourself.
After nearly 5 years of retirement, we’ve basically fulfilled all our needs on Maslow’s hierarchy, and that’s when we started to think about the bigger picture.
And speaking of the bigger picture…
Playing with FIRE
2019 is also the release of the first FIRE documentary “Playing with FIRE”, which marks a huge milestone for the FIRE movement, as it was featured on US News as one of the top 10 finance movies of the decade! If you haven’t seen this movie yet, you can get it on iTunes, Amazon, Vimeo, and other platforms! And if you have family or friends who don’t get this lifestyle, get this movie so they can finally understand what you’re trying to do. Don’t worry, it might take a bit of time, (I’ve been there), but they’ll eventually come around.
“The FIRE is Spreading”
It’s remarkable how far the movement has come since we first discovered Mr. Money Mustache and JLCollins in 2011. Back then, whenever a new early retiree got featured in the news, words like “cheap skate” or “weirdo” or “privileged brat” would be plastered above their heads.
But since then, more and more self-made early retirees have come out of the woodwork to prove that no, you don’t need to be born privileged to become FI. And recently, in a Toronto Star article in which we were featured, the ubiquitous section where the so-called finance expert spews pithy fear-mongering quotes like “play with fire and you will get burned” has been replaced with:
“They were very smart about it,” added Gray, an Ottawa-based certified financial planner with Money Coaches Canada. She credits the Toronto couple for working hard, boosting their financial literacy and constantly monitoring their finances.
Gray recently worked with a young couple who “were on fire” to follow Shen and Leung’s lead. With two small kids and a house, they wanted to quit their well-paying jobs, sell the house and go off the grid, she said. Her job was “to run the numbers for them and confirm they were on the right path.”
Wow. I didn’t see that coming.
To quote Brad and Jon from ChooseFI, the FIRE is spreading, my friends! Thank you for helping us spread the message. FIRE may not be mainstream yet, but more and more people are realizing this is not a scam, but a mathematically proven method to living life on your own terms.
Finding Our Peeps
Being an outlier can be incredibly rewarding, but also isolating. This is why we were so excited to be speakers again at the Chautauqua retreats in the UK and Portugal this year. Our Chautauquan family keeps growing and it’s rewarding to see all the lifelong friendships that have been formed. We’ve even been fortunate to be able to travel with a number of Chautauquans this year in places all around the world. Who knows, maybe we’ll form a future travelling Chautauqua commune?
For those of you who didn’t get a chance to attend last year, be sure to sign up on the mailing list to get first dibs on the 2020 Chautauqua to avoid disappointment as these events are limited and sell out fast.
FIRE TV Show
At the beginning of this year we mentioned our New Years resolution is to get a FIRE TV show made. Now, there are things in development I can’t talk about yet, but stay tuned next year for some exciting news!
And with that, Wanderer and I would like to wish all of you a Happy New Year. Thank you all for reading, and stay tuned for a breakdown of our 2019 spending, earnings, and investments in the new year!
How has your 2019 been? What are your plans for 2020? Let me know in the comments below.
And finally, let’s all say good-bye to 2019 in style:
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