Throwing ICE on FIRE – Retire Earlier than Dad

Image of ICE on FIRE. Fire and ice. The mainstream monetary media’s portrayal of early retirement has all the time felt disingenuous, main with “this 30-something retired” or some variation of that hook, then later highlighting that the “early retiree” is working a brand new job (regardless that they don’t must), operating a enterprise, or has an employed partner offering earnings and medical health insurance.

These bait-and-switch articles proceed to draw clicks regardless of the FIRE motion having lengthy handed its heyday.

I’ve been an “early retirement” blogger since 2013, having written my share of articles advocating for monetary freedom and constructing funding earnings to flee the nine-to-five, fanning the flame, if you’ll. 

However I’ve by no means known as myself retired — extinguishing my possibilities of a CNBC function. 

I left my former IT profession for self-employment. 

Self-employment and enterprise possession are enjoyable and fulfilling. Nevertheless it’s nonetheless a job, and I’m positively not retired. 

The smarter I work, the extra I earn. Nonetheless, now could be the toughest I’ve labored for the reason that summer time of 1996 after I bused tables at Giovanni’s in Ocean Metropolis, MD.

I spent greater than 20 years working for a paycheck and saving and investing with urgency to satisfy my retirement objective. 

However now that I’ve discovered objective in my full-time work, it appears “ICE” could also be a greater acronym for me immediately.


Lengthy-time cash author Jonathan Clements, who runs the web site HumbleDollar (the place I’m an occasional contributor), wrote a bit just lately coining a recent new private finance acronym, ICE:

I’ll Proceed Incomes

ICE is the antithesis of FIRE — monetary independence/retire early. 

Having fun with work, discovering objective in a occupation, and remaining helpful into retirement resonates with me greater than CNBC clickbait as of late. 

As a self-employed enterprise proprietor and on-line content material creator, I’m enthusiastic about my work immediately and what the longer term holds. That doesn’t jive with a inflexible retirement date.

My authentic retirement objective at age 55 remains to be potential. However I don’t see myself desirous to be totally retired whereas my children are nonetheless in grade college.

Journey and profession malaise had been my main motivations for pursuing early retirement. However I gained’t journey whereas our youngsters are nonetheless at residence. And now that I get pleasure from my work, I’m much less inclined to wish to cease. 

Self-employment permits a extra versatile way of life, unshackled from commuting, back-to-back-to-back conferences, and billable hours. Which means I will be super-present in my children’ lives daily. 

If I proceed incomes once they go to school, I’ll have extra monetary wiggle room to fund their schooling wants. Moreover, a versatile profession will permit me to maintain incomes whereas Mrs. RBD and I journey extra extensively. 

For the foreseeable future, I’ll proceed incomes. 

I’m not alone. 

Of all of the monetary independence seekers I’ve met via running a blog, practically everybody nonetheless earns via a ardour undertaking or lively earnings endeavor. 

It’s the irony of FIRE — it motivates those that have achieved it to work once more. 


A number of readers have written me through the years about how they don’t plan to retire. They’ve discovered objective of their careers and luxuriate in incomes and constructing wealth even once they don’t must. 

I’ve all the time deeply admired these individuals.

An equal variety of emails have come from readers who aspire to retire early.

The second group normally has one thing in frequent with me — early in life, they fell right into a occupation that paid effectively however didn’t excite them.  

These readers have struggled to seek out skilled objective, engaged on duties that really feel pointless, repetitive, duplicative, wanted to cowl somebody’s ass or repair somebody’s errors.

They lack enthusiasm and really feel misplaced amongst their passionate colleagues.

Add commuting, not sufficient day without work, necessary workplace presence, and restricted progress alternatives, and a profession can begin to really feel like a jail.

The cell is particularly claustrophobia-inducing when way of life, recurring fee obligations, and the legacy of an costly faculty diploma dictate incomes wants. 

I’m lucky that my mother and father paid for my faculty schooling; I’ve used debt conservatively and all the time prioritized saving and investing earlier than spending.

Constructing a considerable wealth basis over 20 years gave me a alternative to remain or go away my IT profession. 

I stayed so lengthy as a result of I believed my profession was the path of least resistance to my early retirement objective. 

Nonetheless, discovering a unique strategy to earn outdoors of my day job was step one in transitioning from an escape plan to a sustainable and picturesque pathway ahead. 

Now that I’m operating my one-person enterprise, the need to retire early has gone away.

With the urgency to go away an unremarkable profession gone, I can plan for my working future utilizing extra pragmatic inputs, like when my children graduate faculty and turn out to be adults or after I’m good and able to cease working. 


My early retirement objective from 2003 ignited an urgency to avoid wasting and make investments all through my profession. 

I made sacrifices, dwelling in smaller houses, touring gentle, ingesting low cost beer, and approaching most buy selections with a bias towards no.

These habits persist. Costco is my clothier, boxed is my favourite classic, and deal beats luxurious any day. 

My plan to cease working led me to start out a web-based enterprise and, finally, a profession I’ve no want to stop. 

A minimum of, that’s how I really feel immediately.

I might burn out, return to my different profession, or money out early and reside solely on investments. Conditions change. 

When you’re within the class of people that genuinely get pleasure from their careers, I get it now. 

For individuals who wish to retire early, think about what’s driving the urge. Do you merely wish to retire to flee an ill-chosen profession? There could also be one other approach.

Begin by lowering way of life bills. Eradicate the spending waste to present your self extra choices. Take into account aspect hustles, that are plentiful and may result in sudden outcomes. 

Begin a low-cost aspect enterprise; it’s simpler immediately greater than ever. The web offers us infinite methods to earn cash, and the prices to launch are minimal — although it’s gotten extra aggressive since I began.  

Old style native companies work, too, however keep away from important upfront investments. Check, fail, and take a look at once more till one thing sticks.

Revenue from endeavors outdoors of your nine-to-five will pad your financial savings and may result in a extra palatable full-time gig.

Even in the event you make it to some type of monetary independence, the need to earn might not go away after your profession has supplied sufficient.



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