Our Story – From Broke to Semi-Retired in 5 Years

You are sick of the 9-5. You start looking for a way out of the rat race. You finally stumble upon the concept of Financial Independence. You get excited. You learn about the 4% rule, index funds and frugality. You make a plan. You cut expenses. You start investing. You’ve found a way out!

But after a while, you realise: Financial Independence is exactly what you want, but it will take years to get there. Years of your life that you will have to spend behind a desk, years you will never get back. You wish you had started earlier. You get impatient. You start looking for a shortcut.

Hi there! I’m Mrs. Flamingo, the voice behind this blog.

The passage you just read describes the exact situation my husband and I found ourselves in a few years ago. At that point, we had been chasing Financial Independence for a while. Our projected FIRE date was sometime in our mid-40s.

While this sounded amazing when we first embarked on this journey (and had previously assumed we’d work well into our 60s), we started to question if sacrificing another decade of our lives to reach FIRE was worth it. For a number of reasons, we decided that it just wasn’t an acceptable option for us anymore.

We got creative and came up with a strategy that still gives us the freedom we want without having to sacrifice all of those years to get there.

We hope to inspire you to think outside the FIRE box so you can get your time back sooner as well. Remember, life is short and should be enjoyed, not endured!

So who are we?

We are a semi-retired couple in our late 30s (me) / early 40s (Mr. F.). We have two young children and live in Sydney, Australia.

We are well-travelled and have lived in several different countries over the years. I am from Europe originally and Mr. F. grew up in Australia. We love the outdoors, spend a lot of time at the beach and try to enjoy life to the fullest.

Our FIRE Journey

We found out about FIRE around 2012 while living in Europe but didn’t do much about it for several years. When we finally got serious about reaching FI in 2016, like most people, we started out with a 10-15 year plan. However, we soon realised that we didn’t want to spend the best years of our lives chasing the freedom carrot. So we came up with our own approach to FI – Flamingo FI.

Long story short: We reached Flamingo FI in late 2020 – just before Mr. Flamingo’s 40th birthday and have enjoyed a semi-retired lifestyle ever since. It has never been our goal to “retire” from work completely. We simply wanted to be able to control more of our time and work on things we enjoy.

Semi-retirement has come at just the right time for us. With two young kids, we are busier than ever and grateful that we are able to spend so much quality time as a family.

Money Flamingo

I first started Money Flamingo all the way back in May 2018 to share our journey, stay accountable and let the world know about our approach to FIRE.

These days my mission is to encourage others to re-think their approach to Financial Independence, money and life in general. I write about alternative paths to Financial Freedom like Coast FI, Semi-Retirement and Flamingo FI. I also enjoy building tools that help others figure out the best strategy for their own FIRE journey – like our free Semi-Retirement Calculator.

The Money Flamingo community has grown a lot over the years and it is so good to see others embrace alternative paths to Financial Independence and live their best lives.

If you would like to find out more, this page is the best place to start exploring the site.