The motivation to make a change, time to retire early

Retire, Motivation, daily grind
Not just another day in the office

The yearning to retire early must be a common one. I have thought about how to retire early more times than I can count, and I’m only 29!

It is the 21st of January 2017.

I’m 29 years old, I work in construction as a site engineer, here I sit in front of my computer screen at work on a Saturday.  I was made to come in because construction is behind schedule and we need to work today to catch up.  I’m a salaried employee so I get no extra money for coming into work today, I get no time in lieu. Today it is all for love, love that I quite frankly do not have.

This week I worked 10 to 12 hours per day for 5 days, when my contract says 7.6 hours per day. All overtime is unpaid. The last thing I want to do this Saturday morning is donate even more of my free time.

Apart  from the long work hours, I often don’t mind, or dare I say, I can even enjoy my job in the moment. It pays well, I feel like I am really achieving something and the people I work with are great colleagues and mentors. However any illusion that what I have is a work life balance is seriously delusional.

Something has to change…

Retiring early now seems like a realistic goal for me.

So I write this first blog post as a mini silent protest.

I’ve decided today to work toward ending it all, I want to retire super early.  I’ve seen many blogs and articles about how people have saved money, lived frugally and retired early, my favourite by far is

Another noteworthy blog I read is

But these are blogs started by people that have already obtained their financial freedom. They’ve done the hard yards, mostly in private and then when they have reached their personal goals they have shared their success with the world. The advice they give (at least the ones I’ve been able to find) all seems to be very American focused. Most of the saving and investing advice given  relates to the American tax system,  stock market, products and stores. These have been a great motivator for me. A lot of the advice transcends the great ocean divide but it’s not all directly transferable. Furthermore some of the advice that is true for the American audience is bad advice for an Australian audience.

This blog is different, it begins at the start of the journey, to explore the struggles, the hindrances and the petty frustrations along the way. I hope to share my money saving strategies, to learn and to gain support. But mostly I just want somewhere to rant when I am feeling beat down by the journey.

I also aim to have a much more Australian based focus (as that is where I currently live and earn).

I am retiring in 10 years.

So join me on this journey, live vicariously through me, or use my journey to motivate you. It’s going to be tough but we can do it.

13 Replies to “The motivation to make a change, time to retire early”

  1. Good luck Pat, I hope I can join this journey with you too! Pat the shuffler?
    Are you looking at a small business venture or investing or just not being caught up with the earning game by just living with what life brings?

    1. Basically I aim to eliminate every expense I can, live frugally, invest the difference and eventually live off the income. On average it should take ~10 years. But depending on volatility in the share market It may take a tad longer. I want to make that my next post!

  2. Hi Pat, enjoyed your posts. Nice to read something from an Australian based blog regarding financial freedom rather than American ones. How did you build this website? I am keen on keeping my record online as well but unsure on building a nice looking blog like this.

    1. Hi Simon

      Thanks for the support! The Australian based FI blogs are definitely few and far in between. I hope to build this blog into a great resource for the Australian FI community and am really grateful for the readership, comments, links etc.

      I am super keen to write a “how to start your own blog post” to make as detailed an instruction as possible.

      Until then,

      I used this guide

      The initial outlay in money is tiny in my opinion. If you go to that guide and use his links it also has the nice benefit of those companies giving GCC some money through affiliate marketing. I’m all for early retirees making money off of big business for stuff I was going to purchase anyway.

      There is an amount of tech savvyness required, however no coding required whatsoever (though it doesn’t hurt to know a tiny bit of HTML or CSS). Most of the visuals are determined by website “themes” and there are literally thousands that you can get for free.

      Then you just have to have a vision for what you want your site to look like, branding etc. and create some great content!

  3. Pat, good on ya for starting this mate. I agree with your sentiments about all the FI blogs being so American focused. I am a sydneysider and I have been on this journey for the last 3 years myself.

    1. Thanks iprav

      I think being a Sydneysider with all of it’s overcrowding, traffic, stress and depressingly unattainable real estate lends itself to dreaming about a better life. Congratulations on making it to 3 years, keep up the good work. I’ll do my best to focus on Australian issues 🙂

  4. Just found your blog thanks to your tag on Twitter and have done a mini binge read. I’m also from Sydney and on a similar journey. Loving what I’ve read so far and looking forward to following along 😊

  5. Hey mate,

    Scarily similar circumstances to me.
    Also a site engineer, who enjoys his work, but not any minute past that 7.6hr mark – especially on Saturday!

    Have churned through MMM and just come across a few Aussie FIRE blogs.
    Will be binge reading yours now and following.

    Am about to dive into the world of investing.

    Best of luck!

    1. Hi

      Well I have been promoted to project engineer now! But yeah, it is an industry where it is easy to be overworked and as an engineer it can be very high stress, so it lends itself to causing a few people to reconsider if they can keep it up for 30+ years! The work is generally pretty great the hours and stress are just deadly.

  6. Great post Pat! I’m in a super similar situation (was at work on Saturday myself after several 12 hour days last week in a different state!).
    That said, I share many of the same sentiments about the work I do and my colleagues – I derive great satisfaction from what I do and whom I do it with.
    I’ll be keeping tabs on your blog for the Australia-specific content too. I’m an Australian living in the US but won’t be here forever. My current plan has me on track to be FI before I plan to move home but I still think I’ll work part time after that.
    Keep up the great work mate! Happy to chat any time.
    Mr. Mofi

  7. Hi Pat
    I have just discovered your story and I see a younger version of myself in you (I am 48). Here’s a brief account of my journey to financial independence while still young enough to enjoy the benefits.

    I devised a 12 year plan to freedom. I am 8 years into the plan and still on track. 4 years and I’m out of here. I will only be 52. Unfortunately, I didn’t come to the realization (or simply never considered the thought) that this would even be possible when I was 30. But once I got into it, even the set back of a divorce has not derailed my plans.

    I realized that with excessively high living costs, high taxes and expensive housing (rent or buy) that getting a good job in a cheaper country was the way to really build up money quickly.

    8 years ago I moved to Kazakhstan. I am a university professor on a good salary. Tax is a flat 10%….rent is $500 a MONTH which includes all utilities, cable tv and high speed wifi. Food is extremely cheap. I save 90% of my salary. I have a house about 90 minutes north of Sydney which I bought 18 years ago and which tenants have kindly paid off for me 🙂 and the rent from that property covers my other expenses.

    So my plan is rental income + savings. I plan to maximize the value of my retirement income by living (most likely) in SE Asia. It is easy to retire to the Philippines and cheap to live very well there. There are some fantastic regional cities all with great beaches, wonderful people (who all speak English) and perfect weather. Or maybe Sihanoukville in Cambodia as a base. Cyprus, Malta, Panama, Ecuador, Portugal…..all alternative possibilities. It is just too expensive to live well in Australia once retired and on a modest income…and frankly, it really isn’t worth it.

    Kazakhstan is not much fun; it was minus 30 for several days a couple of weeks ago. But I’m here for one reason only….