The Intersection of FIRE and Disney

1st*toright

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 1, 2017
Had an interesting discussion with a former colleague this week that made me think of a lot of the money vs. life discussions we have here. She is now a partner with a Big 4 accounting firm. High pressure, tons of work, very little actual time off (working 2 or 3 hours a day on vacation is normal). Well compensated. Mandatory retirement age is in your early 60s. She is thinking of leaving a few years earlier than that - but that is still 8 or 9 years away. She's getting grief from other partners about "walking away" from all the money she'd earn by sticking around until she's 60.

And I'm sitting there thinking how glad I am that I left public accounting and get to go home and have dinner with my family most nights.

Its so easy to get wrapped up in the culture of the people you are around and think whatever it is they are doing is "normal". Everyone you know live in a gigantic house with a huge car? Seems normal. Everyone around you works all the time and then takes a week long fancy vacation once every 3 years so they get to see their kids for a couple of days? Seems normal. Everyone around you runs up huge debts and spends every cent they get? Seems normal.

Biggest benefit of this whole FIRE thing for me is the focus on making intentional choices about lifestyle and money. Every time I see this person she asks me to come back and work with her (as do all the partners I used to work with), but they can see it in my eyes that I'm not going back to that particular rat race anytime soon. My retirement will be less fancy than theirs, but it will also cost much less of my pre-retirement life.

And with that, I'm going home to make dinner for my kids :thumbsup2
 

SouthFayetteFan

Saving Money on Disney Vacations since 2006
Joined
Sep 6, 2014
Had an interesting discussion with a former colleague this week that made me think of a lot of the money vs. life discussions we have here. She is now a partner with a Big 4 accounting firm. High pressure, tons of work, very little actual time off (working 2 or 3 hours a day on vacation is normal). Well compensated. Mandatory retirement age is in your early 60s. She is thinking of leaving a few years earlier than that - but that is still 8 or 9 years away. She's getting grief from other partners about "walking away" from all the money she'd earn by sticking around until she's 60.

And I'm sitting there thinking how glad I am that I left public accounting and get to go home and have dinner with my family most nights.

Its so easy to get wrapped up in the culture of the people you are around and think whatever it is they are doing is "normal". Everyone you know live in a gigantic house with a huge car? Seems normal. Everyone around you works all the time and then takes a week long fancy vacation once every 3 years so they get to see their kids for a couple of days? Seems normal. Everyone around you runs up huge debts and spends every cent they get? Seems normal.

Biggest benefit of this whole FIRE thing for me is the focus on making intentional choices about lifestyle and money. Every time I see this person she asks me to come back and work with her (as do all the partners I used to work with), but they can see it in my eyes that I'm not going back to that particular rat race anytime soon. My retirement will be less fancy than theirs, but it will also cost much less of my pre-retirement life.

And with that, I'm going home to make dinner for my kids :thumbsup2
This is just a wonderful comment to me. The bolded sentence just encapsulates everything this is about for me. The sad part is, you don't have to be chasing FIRE to embrace the attitude you're describing. If people were more intentional about their lifestyle and money, they would improve their lives drastically. Instead, people chase things/posessions/experiences that mean nothing to them simply because, as you so nicely put it, they want to be viewed as "normal". Social media has certainly not helped in this respect at all either.

Thank you for sharing this, it's just encouraging to read a comment like this!
 

orangecuse

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 30, 2018
Had an interesting discussion with a former colleague this week that made me think of a lot of the money vs. life discussions we have here. She is now a partner with a Big 4 accounting firm. High pressure, tons of work, very little actual time off (working 2 or 3 hours a day on vacation is normal). Well compensated. Mandatory retirement age is in your early 60s. She is thinking of leaving a few years earlier than that - but that is still 8 or 9 years away. She's getting grief from other partners about "walking away" from all the money she'd earn by sticking around until she's 60.

And I'm sitting there thinking how glad I am that I left public accounting and get to go home and have dinner with my family most nights.

Its so easy to get wrapped up in the culture of the people you are around and think whatever it is they are doing is "normal". Everyone you know live in a gigantic house with a huge car? Seems normal. Everyone around you works all the time and then takes a week long fancy vacation once every 3 years so they get to see their kids for a couple of days? Seems normal. Everyone around you runs up huge debts and spends every cent they get? Seems normal.

Biggest benefit of this whole FIRE thing for me is the focus on making intentional choices about lifestyle and money. Every time I see this person she asks me to come back and work with her (as do all the partners I used to work with), but they can see it in my eyes that I'm not going back to that particular rat race anytime soon. My retirement will be less fancy than theirs, but it will also cost much less of my pre-retirement life.

And with that, I'm going home to make dinner for my kids :thumbsup2
My husband feels the same way! He’s always been up front that he will never do a big 4, prefers his tiny firm that pays less but is much more flexible and laid back. Its hard not to see the $$$ and start dreaming but the trade offs are far worth it.
 
  • arminnie

    <font color=blue>Tossed the butter kept the gin<br
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2003
    I retired early at 55. Had I stayed another decade I would have had at least a million more dollars (the company went public). But I have zero regrets. I have a nice life even though I do watch what I spend. I got to live with my father and provide for him for the last decade of his life - priceless. Vs. being 2000 miles away.

    I was able to buy a condo in New Orleans and enjoy life there - vs being stuck in Northern California where everything cost so much that I was quite restricted in what I could afford to do. I did some political volunteer work and was able to attend the last 4 presidential conventions as a delegate. (Trying not to be political here by identifying sides).

    No I can't afford to make a bunch of trips to Europe - but I am not physically able to do that anyway. And I did do that when I first retired. So glad I spent the money then when I could travel. I also traveled internationally a ton (business) before I retired.

    But even if I'd never traveled anyplace - that is not necessarily the end all and be all. Spending time with those that you love and doing the things that you love can be priceless. I have many, many friends who have never spent much time traveling - but they have wonderful children and grand children and in a few cases a great grand child that they love and enjoy. Find out what brings you happiness and embrace it.
     
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    Budzooka

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 28, 2016
    Had an interesting discussion with a former colleague this week that made me think of a lot of the money vs. life discussions we have here. She is now a partner with a Big 4 accounting firm. High pressure, tons of work, very little actual time off (working 2 or 3 hours a day on vacation is normal). Well compensated. Mandatory retirement age is in your early 60s. She is thinking of leaving a few years earlier than that - but that is still 8 or 9 years away. She's getting grief from other partners about "walking away" from all the money she'd earn by sticking around until she's 60.

    And I'm sitting there thinking how glad I am that I left public accounting and get to go home and have dinner with my family most nights.

    Its so easy to get wrapped up in the culture of the people you are around and think whatever it is they are doing is "normal". Everyone you know live in a gigantic house with a huge car? Seems normal. Everyone around you works all the time and then takes a week long fancy vacation once every 3 years so they get to see their kids for a couple of days? Seems normal. Everyone around you runs up huge debts and spends every cent they get? Seems normal.

    Biggest benefit of this whole FIRE thing for me is the focus on making intentional choices about lifestyle and money. Every time I see this person she asks me to come back and work with her (as do all the partners I used to work with), but they can see it in my eyes that I'm not going back to that particular rat race anytime soon. My retirement will be less fancy than theirs, but it will also cost much less of my pre-retirement life.

    And with that, I'm going home to make dinner for my kids :thumbsup2
    I am a partner in a public accounting firm and I love what I do, but it is very demanding and high stress. Mandatory retirement is 65 and I’ve already told my partners there is no way I am working that long (42 right now). I am trying to make smart, intentional decisions that will provide us the freedom to walk away when ready.

    I am the only partner that doesn’t drive a Lexus or BMW and we live in a very modest home, but our monthly payment is only $1200 on a 15 yr mortgage, so we aren’t moving anytime soon. We do travel quite a bit, but it is highly subsidized from credit card rewards. Our next big obligation is putting two kids through college (16 and 8).

    I’ve targeted 60 as my retirement date, but we should have FI to retire earlier than that if I choose. The hardest part is walking away from a comfortable salary. My mindset is so financially driven to save, save, save, and you have to shut that off and forget about how much money you are leaving on the table.

    I’m not doing anything for a minimum of 10 years, other than continue to put myself into the best position to be able to make a decision rather than being forced to continue to slave away.
     

    Carol unsworth

    DisneyfanUK
    Joined
    Nov 20, 2017
    I retired from nurse management at age 55( I live in the U.K.) .Most nurses who retire at 55 draw their pension and make their salary up by working a couple of days. I chose not to.

    Just as I retired my son’s partner found out she was expecting their first child (My son is an only child, they are both mid thirties)
    Needless to say there were tears of joy!
    My husband has recently retired at the age of 60.
    Our ‘job’ now is to babysit our delightful granddaughter 3 days a week, help with laundry and housework( me) and DIY (hubby)

    We both have reasonable pensions, a few years expenses in the bank,a paid for house and no debt. We are able to have a couple of good holidays a year, we love Orlando and NYC!

    We intend to continue travelling for the next few years while we have our health, and am planning a big blow out Disney trip in three years when I am sixty and our granddaughter is four.

    We feel like we live fairly simply, not into shopping, going out a lot etc, but instead enjoy the peace of mind we have because of our FI.

    We are lucky that we live in the country and enjoy the simple pleasure of a nice walk in the woods on our days off babysitting

    We feel so lucky to have this FI life, but have both worked hard since our twenties to achieve it.No job or salary could ever persuade me to give up this idyllic life! Seeing our granddaughter grow up and helping our family give us so much pleasure, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else now, and I practise gratitude every day.
     
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  • 1st*toright

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 1, 2017
    My husband feels the same way! He’s always been up front that he will never do a big 4, prefers his tiny firm that pays less but is much more flexible and laid back. Its hard not to see the $$$ and start dreaming but the trade offs are far worth it.
    I am a partner in a public accounting firm and I love what I do, but it is very demanding and high stress. Mandatory retirement is 65 and I’ve already told my partners there is no way I am working that long (42 right now). I am trying to make smart, intentional decisions that will provide us the freedom to walk away when ready.

    I am the only partner that doesn’t drive a Lexus or BMW and we live in a very modest home, but our monthly payment is only $1200 on a 15 yr mortgage, so we aren’t moving anytime soon. We do travel quite a bit, but it is highly subsidized from credit card rewards. Our next big obligation is putting two kids through college (16 and 8).

    I’ve targeted 60 as my retirement date, but we should have FI to retire earlier than that if I choose. The hardest part is walking away from a comfortable salary. My mindset is so financially driven to save, save, save, and you have to shut that off and forget about how much money you are leaving on the table.

    I’m not doing anything for a minimum of 10 years, other than continue to put myself into the best position to be able to make a decision rather than being forced to continue to slave away.
    Yeah, public accounting is its own special little world. I learned a lot, enjoyed what I did and worked with a lot of great people. I'm not sorry for the years I spent in public, but I'm also not sorry I made the jump to private. It was either go all-in and shoot for partner (which would have required moving to a larger city), or get out before I was too senior (or too expensive) for a job in private in my area. Found the right role with a good company, and financially I think I'm going to overall do better here than I would have if I had stayed in public and not committed to partner - similar salary, better bonus, plus stock options (provided the company continues to do well.)

    I would like to be work optional by the time my youngest is out of high-school, but I also struggle with the idea of walking away from a good income, so we will see what actually happens when I'm actually looking at giving up my paycheck.
     

    speedyfishy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2016
    Sometimes I feel like I just can’t get ahead. Like this month I cashed out about 7k in Amex points. The markets then decide to take a dump, I had to pay $600 for a character and fitness application for my profession, SO needed new shoes and they stopped making the kind he likes so we stocked up with four pairs (another $400) paid the wedding DJ deposit, bought invitations and centerpieces for the wedding. Along with $400 worth of shoes for the wedding party. My dad offered to cover the wedding costs, but my mom is a control freak so we said we would pay for it ourselves. My dad said he will give us a generous gift and he said we should actually come out ahead with wedding costs, but all these costs right now are hard to swallow. I just want to FIRE now lol

    Next month is going to be rough too. We have a week long Disney trip at the Yatch Club and I’m sure we will easily spend $1000 on food. I sometimes feel guilty about the trips we take. I definitely travel more than any of my friends in my age group, but I also don’t want to be a hermit and only save. Like I also kinda feel guilty for cashing out all those points when I could have used them on trips. But another part of me is telling me to cash out more lol
     

    SouthFayetteFan

    Saving Money on Disney Vacations since 2006
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2014
    Sometimes I feel like I just can’t get ahead. Like this month I cashed out about 7k in Amex points. The markets then decide to take a dump, I had to pay $600 for a character and fitness application for my profession, SO needed new shoes and they stopped making the kind he likes so we stocked up with four pairs (another $400) paid the wedding DJ deposit, bought invitations and centerpieces for the wedding. Along with $400 worth of shoes for the wedding party. My dad offered to cover the wedding costs, but my mom is a control freak so we said we would pay for it ourselves. My dad said he will give us a generous gift and he said we should actually come out ahead with wedding costs, but all these costs right now are hard to swallow. I just want to FIRE now lol

    Next month is going to be rough too. We have a week long Disney trip at the Yatch Club and I’m sure we will easily spend $1000 on food. I sometimes feel guilty about the trips we take. I definitely travel more than any of my friends in my age group, but I also don’t want to be a hermit and only save. Like I also kinda feel guilty for cashing out all those points when I could have used them on trips. But another part of me is telling me to cash out more lol
    Don't be down on yourself - optimism is a key component of the FIRE journey. If the market is down - YAY it's on sale! If the market is up - YAY I'm closer to FIRE. No matter what happens in the market, I will be happy! It's a long journey - Mr. Money Mustache once said: There’s only one time you care if one of your shares is down: on the day you sell it. Seems like a pretty true statement to me too :)

    With regards to the optimism thing there are two articles on Root of Good that I think can be a fun read about FIRE:
    You might find those enjoyable on a particularly frustrating day at work or something like that. I would definitely continue to travel and responsibly reward yourself with things you enjoy. You are ahead of 99% of your peers! You are well on your way to FIRE but nobody is promised tomorrow. Denying yourself all enjoyment would be just as irresponsible as spending all your money. Finding that balance is key and from all the things you say here and on the CC thread it seems you have found a great balance! :thumbsup2
     

    speedyfishy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2016
    Don't be down on yourself - optimism is a key component of the FIRE journey. If the market is down - YAY it's on sale! If the market is up - YAY I'm closer to FIRE. No matter what happens in the market, I will be happy! It's a long journey - Mr. Money Mustache once said: There’s only one time you care if one of your shares is down: on the day you sell it. Seems like a pretty true statement to me too :)

    With regards to the optimism thing there are two articles on Root of Good that I think can be a fun read about FIRE:
    You might find those enjoyable on a particularly frustrating day at work or something like that. I would definitely continue to travel and responsibly reward yourself with things you enjoy. You are ahead of 99% of your peers! You are well on your way to FIRE but nobody is promised tomorrow. Denying yourself all enjoyment would be just as irresponsible as spending all your money. Finding that balance is key and from all the things you say here and on the CC thread it seems you have found a great balance! :thumbsup2
    Thank you for this. Ik the market will rebound and it will go back up. It’s just frustrating to see a big drop in a few days. I’m staying the course though. I also need to remember where SO and I came from when we first started dating in HS we thought we had a lot of money when our checking accounts reached $1000. It’s crazy how far we have come since graduating. I should focus on that instead of how far we have to go.
     
  • Navychica

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 18, 2012
    The Mad FI-entist had Ramit Sethi on his podcast today, and he had some interesting takes on the FIRE movement. While Sethi's all about encouraging Americans to save more, he pointed out that on many FIRE forums like the subreddit, the overwhelming feeling of the posts is negative, with words like "anxious", "depressed", or "guilty". I practice conscious spending, where I've annihilated things that don't bring me joy ($5 coffee or eating out lunch during the week), while maintaining spending on things that make me happy, like travel or experiences. I'm still in a good financial state, so I refuse to feel guilty for spending money. Speedyfishy, it's your wedding! Enjoy it, don't go overboard, and get back on track afterwards.
     

    speedyfishy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2016
    so I refuse to feel guilty for spending money. Speedyfishy, it's your wedding! Enjoy it, don't go overboard, and get back on track afterwards.
    Thank you for this! I tend to feel guilty and anxious about a lot of things. Currently, it’s money. lol For the wedding I’m trying to compromise on things. We aren’t having any flowers and I’m doing just a basic white cake not the $700 crazy one I originally wanted lol. I am trying to figure out what’s important to me. I think we are definitely getting the most expensive photography package through Disney that will be almost 6 grand. We will get two park photo sessions though where we will be alone in the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, plus the full coverage of the wedding. Probably will skip the videographer though.
     

    marsh0013

    i want to drive the zamboni
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2003
    Thank you for this! I tend to feel guilty and anxious about a lot of things. Currently, it’s money. lol For the wedding I’m trying to compromise on things. We aren’t having any flowers and I’m doing just a basic white cake not the $700 crazy one I originally wanted lol. I am trying to figure out what’s important to me. I think we are definitely getting the most expensive photography package through Disney that will be almost 6 grand. We will get two park photo sessions though where we will be alone in the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, plus the full coverage of the wedding. Probably will skip the videographer though.
    Don't skip the videographer! I can't tell you how many brides express their major regret is skipping videography. We had an awful experience with our videographer, but I'm still glad we had one! You can find a cheaper option, you don't have to go off the list from Disney. Please at least consider it. They can catch so many things photography won't. At least consider it for the ceremony.
     

    SouthFayetteFan

    Saving Money on Disney Vacations since 2006
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2014
    Thank you for this! I tend to feel guilty and anxious about a lot of things. Currently, it’s money. lol For the wedding I’m trying to compromise on things. We aren’t having any flowers and I’m doing just a basic white cake not the $700 crazy one I originally wanted lol. I am trying to figure out what’s important to me. I think we are definitely getting the most expensive photography package through Disney that will be almost 6 grand. We will get two park photo sessions though where we will be alone in the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, plus the full coverage of the wedding. Probably will skip the videographer though.
    My dad used to do weddings and I helped sometimes. When’s the wedding...:P haha!
     

    speedyfishy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2016
    Don't skip the videographer! I can't tell you how many brides express their major regret is skipping videography. We had an awful experience with our videographer, but I'm still glad we had one! You can find a cheaper option, you don't have to go off the list from Disney. Please at least consider it. They can catch so many things photography won't. At least consider it for the ceremony.
    What if I just have a family member use their iPhone lol

    My dad used to do weddings and I helped sometimes. When’s the wedding...:P haha!
    I would totally be down but I hear you have a policy of not meeting people in real life lol
     

    amalone1013

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 15, 2016
    Thank you for this! I tend to feel guilty and anxious about a lot of things. Currently, it’s money. lol For the wedding I’m trying to compromise on things. We aren’t having any flowers and I’m doing just a basic white cake not the $700 crazy one I originally wanted lol. I am trying to figure out what’s important to me. I think we are definitely getting the most expensive photography package through Disney that will be almost 6 grand. We will get two park photo sessions though where we will be alone in the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, plus the full coverage of the wedding. Probably will skip the videographer though.
    I like the guy we had, I thought he was reasonable for videography. I also considered something called wedding mix where they send you cameras and you slash who ever you designate films and then they either send you the files to edit into a video yourself or I think you could pay them to do it.

    We get to see your park photos, right??? :hyper: that was one thing I really considered for a long time but they kept raising the price on it before we could book and I had to say no eventually. But from what I remember them costing, $6k for 2 parks plus full wedding is not that bad overall!
     


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