FIRE IS financial independence financial freedom

Our journey to financial independence

I’ve been following the Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) movement since  2016 and was inspired by Tim Ferris’s book ‘The 4-Hour Work Week’. Living in Canada meant high taxes and a high cost of living which were both a drag on our savings potential. Between our home /  rental equity and personal savings, we had just over $250K saved (excluding pensions).

In 2018, we moved to the UAE where we were able to save 40% of my salary, tax free. We sold our house in 2019, netting just over $250K, which we re-invested into additional income properties. By May 2022, we had saved an additional $430+K which was invested in low-fee ETFs. 

In November 2022, we will leave the UAE to move to Mexico, which has a lower cost of living. In 2024, we will take possession of our new condo in Playa del Carmen, paid in cash.

Summary of our investments

Our portfolio is currently 60% real estate and 40% investments

Within our investments, our asset distribution is approximately 70% equity and 30% bonds and cash. Normally this would be an 80/20 split but because we have a final payment due on our condo in 2023, we’ve been saving everything in our high interest savings account which means we’re insulated from withdrawing investments in a downcycle. 

For our real estate portfolio, we have three income properties in Canada which are rented, and we own a condo in Mexico outright which will be ready in early 2024. The condo we bought is a pre-build penthouse in Playa del Carmen. It’s a couple of blocks up from the beach and the infamous Fifth Avenue. It’s a 2 bed, 2 bath lock off which means we can fully rent out one half of the condo for additional income. 

For our investments, we invest in low-cost ETFs distributed across a number of risk profiles based on our targets for short vs. long term growth.

While we’re older than many FIRE bloggers, we’ve arrived at this point having lived a pretty luxurious life, without many sacrifices.  It hasn’t always been easy, but we got here anyway.   While many FIRE fans are able to retire within 10 years, we started later, but got there in six years. 

This next chapter is devoted to helping others find their unique path to financial independence, using mindfulness tools to create a life you love. 

See below our Financial Independence milestone timeline.