Tuesday, December 4, 2018

FIRE(D)!!!

FIRE(D) - Financial Independence Retire Early (by Default???).  So, I had planned on being out of the corporate workforce within two years to concentrate on my investments, property, and businesses.  Well, that plan was just accelerated after I was let go from my position this past Friday, 11/30/2018, due to downsizing.  So now, Decision Day approaches.  Now, the fun begins . . .



Throw out every cliche, "When one door closes, another door opens", "It's not the end, it's the beginning", "Don't look back, look forward", etc., etc., etc.  All motivational, but when you're faced with life altering decisions, words do little in the way of influencing your thought process.  Pencil to paper, running the calculation over and over . . . can you make ends meet?  The numbers can be massaged any way you want and you end up with a huge range of possibilities for the outcome.

The dilemma?  If you miss your mark, you may not be back to square one, but you've definitely set yourself back a bit.  You end up searching for a job back in corporate America, with a chunk of your savings eaten through.  However, you gain invaluable experience.  On the other hand, if things come together, you're home free - and two years before you had planned!!!  Seems like a gamble I might be willing to take, but the big "if" is that "if" I end up back in corporate America at some point, man, it'll be devastating - not only to my bank account but also to my psyche and ego - and tough to bounce back from.

You can never time your life events perfectly in these situations, but I would have liked to have been a little closer than 2 years out from my intended target.  The problem now is that my plan is in place, but if a few major things go wrong, the plan goes out the door.  The contingency dries up and now your faced with a gap in employment, making the possibility of future employment just that much more difficult, if it becomes necessary.

I've bought two businesses and an investment property over the last couple of years.  The property is being renovated, with it already cash flowing with the two commercial spaces leased, but with the four residential units under renovation.  It'll be a cash cow, but still a couple of months out.  The moving and storage business in California is coming out of the toughest year I think we'll face and we've made moves to improve business.  The chocolate company in Nashville is taking off, but like the moving company, remains unproven.

My funds should take us through 2019.  But then what?  Will the businesses be doing well enough to support our lifestyle?  The chocolate company could be huge and could far exceed expectations, with little chance of catastrophic failure.  The property will kick off some cash, but not enough to be a salary replacement.  It'll be a month by month decision.

And so, I'm faced with one of those rare life defining events that you simply CAN'T get wrong.  Not in the sense that you have to make the absolute best decision, but in the sense that whatever decision you do make, there's not looking back.  You HAVE to make it right.  You can't spend any time dwelling on what could have been or else doubt creeps in which is the beginning of the end.

These decisions can't be avoided.  They need to be faced.  They define lives.  The easy way out is to look for another job.  It's secure and it might be smart, but it also prolongs the inevitable.  Will you ever be ready to make that final jump?  Maybe, maybe not - at least without a little push off the edge.

And so, the fun begins . . .

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