Welcome to my little hangout on the web! What is this all about?

Back in 2010 I graduated with an MBA in finance and thought I knew everything there was to know about finance. I was 28 years old, single, and had just moved back to Ohio after two years in DC. I had landed a job with a major international corporation. I was ready to take on the world and tackle Corporate America head on. After all, when I had initially graduated from college 5 years earlier my dream had been to get an MBA from a top 25 school and land a high paying corporate job at which point I was going to change the world and embark on a career that would be filled with ups, downs, and most of all fulfillment.

During the first few weeks at my new job, before the work and responsibility started piling up, I began playing around in an excel spreadsheet to project how much money I would have when I retired. Not what I needed to retire. What I would HAVE when I retired (I have since learned that what I NEED (aka SPENDING) to retire is the number that really matters). I assumed that I would be working until I was 68 years old and have millions of dollars to my name.

While I was still setting into my corporate gig I flirted with the idea of trading stocks for extra cash, thinking that I had what it took to beat the market. I didn’t want to day trade trying to make money on market moves. I wanted to be the next Warren Buffett and outsmart the market by finding stocks undervalued by other people and be the one smart enough to swoop in and buy them. After I found these stocks no one else could find, I would make a killing on them when they turned around. So I started searching the internet for forums where I could talk about stocks and find resources to help me find those diamonds in the rough and buy them up.

What I discovered was something else entirely. I stumbled onto the early retirement forums (www.early-retirement.org) and from that day forward my perception of the world changed. I had picked 68 as my goal for retirement because I thought that was what people did. Everyone worked until they were in their 60’s and retired and rode off into the sunset. Here was a community of people that had found a way to retire younger than 65, and in some cases younger than 50!!! How was this possible? No longer was I looking at retirement in 40 years at 68, but trying to figure out how to retire in my 50’s (which is still the goal today).

My goal with this blog is to share this ride I’ve been on since I first stumbled on the early-retirement forums a few years back, and hopefully spark discussion on what it takes to reach FIRE (which is my favorite acronym of all time and stands for Financial Independence Early Retirement) how I really believe it can be a reality for anyone.

Did you mean to spell it as Personal FUNance?

Yes! Ever since I stumbled onto the early retirement forums I’ve discovered how much I love (and how FUN) it is to learn about money and analyze my own personal financial situation. When my wife and I first moved into together and I would analyze our finances she’d ask me what I’m doing and I’d always respond “I’m working on FUNance!” She’d roll her eyes at my lame pun, but the name stuck!

What’s your FUNancial situation?

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you all around!