Welcome to our latest Early Semi-Retirement where we share the ups and downs of our Coast FIRE journey to Financial Independence and beyond.
If you are a new reader and not familiar with our plan, you can read all about it here.
The first three months of 2022 were pretty busy for our family. Not busy in the “OMG I’m so busy” sense. There was just a lot going on. I have no idea how I ever found time to work full-time in the past!
In Q1 we celebrated Baby Flamingo #1’s third birthday with all of his friends, which was a lot of fun. We also travelled to Queensland to visit Mr. Flamingo’s family and have another interstate trip planned for next month. It has also been nice catching up with friends and being more social after things started opening up over the past few months.
After two years without seeing my family, the Australian border finally opened for parents of adult citizens late last year. We booked flights for my parents immediately, and after a lot of paperwork, Covid tests and stress, they finally arrived in Sydney in late December. They stayed for almost two months and had the best time with their grandchildren. This visit was also the first time they met Baby Flamingo #2. It was so good to see them again. Family is very important to me. Not being able to see my family more often is probably the most challenging thing about living in Australia for me.
We have booked flights to go over to Europe for six weeks later this year, and I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of my family and friends.
I have been unsure about where I want to live long-term. Australia is a great place to live, but I really miss Europe at times. At the same time, we have built a great life here that would be hard to give up.
After many, many months of weighing up our options, we decided that now is not the right time for our family to relocate to Europe. So we will stay in Australia – for now. We plan to take the kids to Europe once a year, and we might revisit the idea of moving there permanently in a few years’ time.
We have also decided to bite the bullet and buy a family home because we are a bit over renting and the lack of stability that comes with it.
Australia is not a very renter-friendly country, and it’s almost like you are a second class citizen if you don’t own your own home. This still blows my mind since there are good and valid reasons for wanting to rent. But it’s just not a great long-term option here. One-year lease agreements and frequent moves are acceptable when you are single or in a DINK couple, but it gets more complicated when kids are involved.
So after months of dragging my feet (especially considering the recent price explosion in most areas), we are now in the market for a house. We have engaged a buyer’s agent, and hopefully, we’ll find something suitable soon. I’ll share more about all the what/where/how questions in a future post.
In my recent post about our first year as early semi-retirees, I wrote about the fact that the journey doesn’t end once you reach your (financial) goal. Life planning is a continuous activity. Making big life decisions is never easy. However, we are grateful we get to design our lives based on our priorities with much less focus on financial considerations these days.
FIRE and Net Worth Update
It has been a rocky quarter for the financial markets, to say the least. However, overall, our overall portfolio has performed surprisingly well. Over the last quarter, we went from 19.6x our annual living expenses in retirement to 20.4x.
Remember that we are currently coasting to Financial Independence, which means we are no longer adding funds to our investments. We are relying on compound interest alone, so it will most likely continue to be a rocky ride to the end goal.
However, the fantastic lifestyle we get to enjoy along the way is 100% worth the uncertainty and dependence on the market.
The joy of having an outstanding work-life balance, working part-time and spending plenty of time with my family and on the things I love is priceless (and can’t be displayed in a chart!).
The chart below shows our overall net worth position displayed in years of living expenses in retirement instead of dollar amounts.
Our total net worth amounts to 24.8x our annual expenses in retirement! So technically, we are very, very, very close to FIRE (25x expenses).
While that’s, of course, nice to see, we keep our FIRE portfolio separate from our non-FI savings. As I mentioned above, we are in the market for a family home, so a lot of the additional funds will be used towards the deposit and purchasing costs.
Thanks for reading, see you back here for the next quarterly update! 🙂
P.S.: Can you believe Money Flamingo is about to turn four years old in a couple of weeks?!
What started as a small personal blog sharing our journey and approach to FI has turned into a beautiful community and an absolute passion project.
Thank you for all of your support over the years, it really means a lot! 🙂