Family support to FIRE

Setting a up a plan and going on a journey to FIRE is an adventure that comes with a lot of challenges. Next to the usual suspects like asset allocation and investment style, there are there are topics like how much do we want to spend now on luxury, what does our ideal life look like, etc. The former questions are topics I can deal with on my own. It sounds nerdy, but it is what I like to figure out. Being married and having children, these latter questions are not questions to answer all by myself. Answering the questions on why and how to achieve FIRE requires a lot of communication and exchange of ideas with the people that are close to me. I do not hesitate to discuss the topics with my wife (the children are really too young). This helps us forward in multiple ways: we get more and more aligned, we share common goals and approaches, investment topics become a subject we discuss about.

A few Sunday it was Fathers Day in Belgium. The gift I got was really encouraging for me. Reading this book will bring me one step closer to fully figuring out what and how we want to invest. This book is helping more on the mathematical questions, the mechanical questions. 

The intelligent Asset Allocator

Next to that, as a family we also work on the why and the what of FIRE. With my wife, I regularly discuss the topic of money and the financial future. This is something we did less before. I am happy that we now start to discuss the topics more in detail.It helps to get aligned on the goals we have, what we want to achieve and what we are willing to give up.

As it is a long journey, some say it is not a sprint, it is a marathon, we think it is important to be very comfortable while working towards our goals. Even if this means reaching the goals a little later.

Yesterday, we were out on a dinner with just the two of us. This gave us the opportunity to have a good chat on the why. I will document this in another post. So, since I really got into this FIRE journey, I am really happy with the progress that we made as a family. After all, having good moments with the family is the main reason to be starting this marathon.

How do you discuss this topic with your wife and kids? DO you have any tips stay aligned on the goals, why, what and how? I look forward to your approach.

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9 thoughts on “Family support to FIRE

  1. Ciao ATL,
    Interesting view on things, actually I have to say that sharing my goals with my partner is the hardest bit for me as she doesn’t understand this whole frugality/saving thing. I mean, she understand it, but she doesn’t share the same view, therefore making some of the efforts much harder. How did you talk about it with your wife at first? Was it hard to get her “into” the picture?

    Ciao ciao

    Stal

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    1. When getting more into the personal finance space, I started to tell her about people that “retire” early, or better, have the freedom to work what, where and how they want, people that travel a lot (something we both like). I also showed her my projections if we make a little effort. She kinda started to like the idea.

      What has helped is that we always pay ourself first: we set aside each month the money for our saving and investing.

      Not so long ago, we introduced the discretionary spending budget: we each get the same. All the other money goes to saving and investing. This increased or savings rate a little as well.
      But it is not always an easy topic: we need to pay attention that frugal does not become cheap: this is something we need to remind to each other. One other thing that is difficult: not feel guilty when spending the personal budget: this is harder for her than for me. Slowly, we are getting there.
      Good luck with your talks on the subject.

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      1. Ciao ALT, I will try this approach, maybe it will get me somewhere… So far I did not have much luck, but I never really tried to approach the subject on with a “long view prospective”. We also would like to have kids, but that’s a different story. She was raised in an environment where money was never an issue, and therefore spending reviews/budgets are things that never really stick to her easily… I’ll try harder though, if I can bring her to see that there is a chance to stop the rat race and start another “race” maybe… Thanks for the advice!

        Stalflare

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  2. Hi Amber Tree,

    Wonderful to hear you’re taking the time to discuss this with your wife, and are making great progress. I must admit, my wife doesn’t quite get why I’m so enthusiastic about FIRE, and isn’t all that much interested in it. Probably doesn’t help that she’s very happy with life, at home looking after the children which is exactly what she wants to do.

    It probably doesn’t help that I gave her a couple of scares a few years ago, when I said I wanted to sell our house and move to something much smaller so I could quit my job, or when I wanted to quit and start my own business because I was hating work so much! But I think we’re a bit more balanced now, and she’s more supportive, but it still isn’t easy talking about this topic. Thank goodness I have such great bloggers like yourself to share my thoughts with! 😉

    Cheers,

    Jason

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    1. Jason,

      it seems that your wife already lives her designed life… that is great.
      We discuss the longer term goal, where we both work less than full time and have the freedom to explore the world.
      Once in a while I also drop the “I quit and start my freelance business”. It is not yet a idea that gets applause… it will, one day!

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    1. Making the financial plan on your own is indeed simpler to implement.
      I do feel lucky to be financially compatible with my wife.
      Once it comes to the finer details on where/how/what to invest, I get a lot of freedom.

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  3. I feel very fortunate to have married a woman that was on the same financial page as me. There was no discussion about saving nor investing in dividend growth stocks etc. We both simply did it and realized it was the best bet for our financial future. When it came time to decide how to save for our new baby boy she was fully on boards the DGI model. Physical features, personality and financial compatibility is a must before one gets married. Too often couples realize after their wedding day that they are not financially compatible which always raises issues.

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    1. That sounds like a good tandem, you and your wife. Junior divhut will be happy with his DGI… for sure, he will have a nice start!
      For a marriage to work, there are indeed a lot of items to consider. Sadly, one of the least discussed ones is financial compatibility.

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