It’s Time to Semi-Retire… the Blog! (+ an Update on Our Plan)

“Why have you stopped posting?”, “Have your plans changed?”, “Are you closing down the blog?” and even “Have you given up on Financial Independence?” – these are just some of the questions that hit my inbox over the past few months. Yes, I’ve been a bit more absent recently and have published articles far less frequently than in the past. I had planned to write a little update as part of the next quarterly Semi-FI update, but it turned out way too long, so I decided to publish it as a separate post.

Here is the tl;dr version: I’ve decided to semi-retire the Money Flamingo blog. I’ve changed; my priorities have changed; the FI community has changed – so I feel it’s time to take a step back and make space for other things.

In this article, I’ll share a bit about

  • the reasons behind this decision
  • what this will look like in practice
  • an update on our overall goals and plan
  • a little announcement

It’s Been a Long Time

I’ve been a member of the FIRE community since early 2012. First as a reader and spectator, then as an enthusiastic participant, and eventually, once we had gathered momentum, as an active contributor. It’s been a long time – just over 11.5 years, to be exact.

I originally started the blog to share our take on Financial Independence and to stay accountable during the last leg of our accumulation phase (which ended in 2020). I then started writing more about alternative FI strategies, mindset, happiness and life design – topics that are important to me and that should be more widely discussed in the FI community.

However, I now feel that, in many ways, the blog has served its purpose, especially considering how much the FI community has changed over the years. I wrote about this in more detail in the recent 5-year anniversary post.

I love the FI community and the values we all share. But the truth is that three years post-accumulation, I feel I may have outgrown the FI label and find it harder to connect with those just beginning their journey (or pursuing FI for reasons I can’t relate to). Maybe I also suffer from a bit of FIRE fatigue?

FI is one of the pillars that has allowed us to create a fantastic life for our family. But now that we are busy living that life, the role FI plays in our everyday routine is becoming smaller and smaller.

So I’ve decided it’s the right time to step back and semi-retire the Money Flamingo blog (note that I didn’t say fully retire!).

We Have Arrived

When I first started pursuing FIRE, I saw it as the ultimate escape plan from the rat race and a job that made me miserable. I felt trapped and was desperate to gain control over my time. Autonomy. Choice. Freedom. I wanted to build a life on my terms, based on my values.

I can honestly say that I have achieved all of that and more. We are now living a life that’s completely different but, at the same time, much better than what I pictured when we first started this journey.

I am extremely lucky that I realised early on that work is not the enemy and that meaningful, enjoyable work is, in fact, an important piece of a fulfilled life. This has meant that we were able to optimise our journey to FI around this fact – that’s how Flamingo FI was born. This approach has saved us years in the accumulation grind.

When we first came up with our plan, I made this chart:

I started the blog at the “Start of Project 1000” (which chronicled the last 1000 days of our accumulation phase). We are now well and truly in the second phase of the plan (the semi-retirement phase in the chart). And the way things are currently looking, we will likely choose to stay in this phase as long as possible.

We are now living the goal we set all those years ago. It really feels like we have arrived at the destination of our FI plan. In many ways, we are living life on easy mode these days – thanks to the principles of financial independence.

One of the reasons I don’t write as many progress updates and strategy articles is that these things are becoming increasingly irrelevant to our plans and priorities.

I have also become less interested in 101 conversations about index funds, cash buffers, and yields. Our finances are on autopilot, and we are slowly coasting along. Reaching certain monetary milestones is a mathematical certainty.

All of this is, of course, a natural transformation and a good thing.

In short, we have switched from pursuing FI to living it.

Shifting Priorities

I don’t want anyone to think we are totally loaded and living the Fat FI champagne lifestyle – we are not.

I’ve always said that FI is all about the right mindset and that the numbers, beyond a certain level of financial security, make little difference. And that’s proven to be true for us. This is what I’m talking about when I say we are living a FI lifestyle.

We still have a lot of plans and goals we are working towards. However, our goals are not based around wealth accumulation and spreadsheets but around family priorities, travel, experiences and quality of life. We are actively optimising for lifestyle and making memories as a family while our kids are young. Some of this costs money (a lot, actually).

While we haven’t added to our portfolio in three years now (because we are done saving for FI), we are still saving – but for “extras” like holidays, experiences and things we feel would improve our lifestyle as a family.

Of course, having a cushy nest egg that can cover all our core expenses makes focusing on lifestyle easier, so I know I’m speaking from a position of privilege.

The FI goal has pretty much been ticked off the list, and we’ve moved on to other things.

Normal Life – Work and Family

They say that work gets better when you don’t need the money – and that’s 100% true. But work also gets better over time as you slowly dig yourself out of the miserable hole that entry-level positions can be (mine were).

When I started my first job, for some reason, I assumed this was what work would always be like (for the next 40 years!) – low-paid, thankless, tedious, and robbing me of my time and freedom.

That’s obviously not how things usually pan out, and work has gotten (much) better and more enjoyable for us over the years.

That, combined with the F-You factor our nest egg gives us, means that we have plenty of freedom and choice when it comes to our careers (portfolio or otherwise) – and no good reason to stop doing what we are doing in the foreseeable future.

This also means that from the outside, our life looks pretty normal – because it is. We are working parents with young kids, enjoying family life. The only difference is that we have choices and a level of optionality that feels liberating but is invisible (and irrelevant) to the outside. Remember, FI is an inside job.

So I don’t have any clickbaity “I retired at 30, moved my family to Iceland and side-hustle as a spearfishing instructor”-type stories to blog about at the moment. And there is only so much to be said about everyday family life.

We Will Die With Zero

Yes, you read that right. We’ve decided to throw the 4% withdrawal rate out the window and plan to start drawing down our nest egg as soon as we hit our “number” (while we continue working for as long as we enjoy it). I know this might get me kicked out of the FI community, but after thinking about it long and hard, dying with zero just makes so much sense.

I’ve always been more scared of running out of time and over-accumulating (= wasting life energy) than of running out of money. So this is the logical choice for us and will allow us to maximise the enjoyment we get out of the wealth we’ve built.

As most of you know, I’m not a naturally uber-frugal person – so I don’t have that existential fear of cracking open the nest egg that so many suffer from.

I feel this is another area where we’ve moved away from the general line of thinking in the FI community. This is something I plan to cover on the blog at some point.

I’m Not an Influencer

I’m just not an influencer. I’m bad at social media. I don’t enjoy it. I don’t like writing about things I don’t care about. I’m a private person and won’t share my family’s personal life on Instagram. I don’t want to post sound bites five times a day.

I enjoy going deep. I like creating (and consuming!) long-form content. About topics I care about and find interesting. However, the way the financial media universe is evolving, the humble blog is fast becoming an outdated content model.

The opposite of all the things I listed above is required to stay relevant these days, and that’s just not my style. It would feel like a chore (or another job…) – which is obviously not the goal. Another reason to take a step back.

What Does Semi-Retiring the Blog Look Like in Practice?

We’ve defined semi-retirement (in the work sense) as being done actively growing your nest egg. So the way I like to think about my blogging semi-retirement is that I’m done actively growing the blog (clicks, subscribers, whatever metric you want to use).

I will keep the blog and all the resources (like the Semi-FI calculator) live. I will likely still post from time to time, but less regularly than before (and maybe also about topics not directly related to FI). Maybe I’ll look into putting some ads up at some point to cover the hosting costs.

One thing I will definitely continue to do is to publish our quarterly net worth updates until we officially hit our FI number (because I promised I would and know many of you are following along).

I might also send the occasional email newsletter – you can add your email address to my list here.

Apart from that, I’m not 100% sure what this semi-retired blogging life will look like. Let’s find out. 🙂

A Little Announcement

And to finish the article off, I’ve got a little announcement: I’ve decided to write a book.

Over the years, I’ve written many, many articles, created a course and coached several dozen people at various stages of the journey. I’ve also learned many lessons along the way. I want to create a single resource that brings everything I’ve learned and created together in an organised, curated format that is more permanent than a website. Something I can show my kids one day and say “Your mum wrote this book!” (and watch them roll their eyes).

Now that I’ve decided to close (semi-close?) this chapter in the life of the Money Flamingo blog (and my FI journey), it feels like the perfect time for this.

I had never even thought about writing a book until very recently when a family member published a book about a topic they are very passionate about, and I could see how much joy and pride they got out of the experience.

I’ve started working on the manuscript and will need some help at some point soon. If you are an experienced editor interested in FI and the topics I write about (if you’ve read this far, you most definitely are!), please get in touch!


Thanks for reading and all of your support! 🙂

 
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68 thoughts on “It’s Time to Semi-Retire… the Blog! (+ an Update on Our Plan)”

    • Your “Die With Zero” calculator is what made all the difference for me. I have spent the last year reading and learning as much as I can, having come into this very late in life (now age 57). My husband has retired early due to a stage 4 cancer diagnosis, so he brings in no income, and is too young for superannuation. I had come to the belief after reading so much information, blogs, books, news articles, that we would never be able to FIRE. Most of them told me we needed at least half a million, and we don’t even have half of that. Then your calculator opened up the possibility to me that we could do the FI part even if not the RE bit. It was a life changing realisation. I am a nurse of nearly 40 years – (since I started as a newbie student!), and am absolutely exhaustedly soul drained, especially after the last 3 years. The calculator showed me I can reduce my hours, maintain my sanity and we can live on my wage alone while withdrawing a small amount of our savings each year to supplement our costs. Once our superannuation kicks in, we will actually be even better off! So I CAN cope with carrying on working until 65 if it’s fewer hours. Thanks so much for bringing the light at the end of the tunnel a little bit closer.

      Reply
  1. I resonate with this blog so much. Meaningful work is part of a fulfilling life – 100%. Even better, meaningful, part-time work.

    I work as a doctor and only work 2 days a week at present and I feel like my desires to fully FIRE are gone. Having the 5 days off is fantastic but I am itching to get back in to things by the 5th day.

    That’s the beautiful thing about FI, you can build a life how you want and it doesn’t have to be a cookie-cutter lifestyle. Thanks for sharing and hope you keep enjoying the fruits of your labour.

    Reply
    • I couldn’t agree more. I’m also a medical professional and have the privilege of being single with 2 adorable small dogs. So my plan is to definitely die with zero and working part time for a few more years. A lot of colleagues feel unable to do this, as we have invested so much to get where we are. But we have only one shot at this life, so for me it makes sense to do less of what makes me miserable and focus more on what I love.
      Thank you Ms Flamingo for your inspiration :)💕

      Reply
    • I couldn’t have said it better – it’s all about building the life you want. I feel the same about work. When I’ve had too many days off, I am itching to be productive and have some structure again.

      Reply
  2. Oh man… I completely understand where you are coming from, but it sucks for the rest of us! Really looking forward to reading the book though and any future articles, even if they are not FI focused. Thank you so much for all the effort you put into sharing the message.

    Reply
  3. Congrats! Thanks for educating us and giving so much of your time to the community.
    Best wishes on the next chapter of your life adventures.
    Looking forward to seeing your book in the near future.

    Reply
  4. Thank you for the years of FlamingoFi, it has definitely had an impact on my fi plans and am grateful that you were able to bring that to myself (and I’m sure many others). Looking forward to all future blog content, as well as the book!

    Reply
  5. Congrats on taking the next step in semi-retirement & good luck with the book!

    Your blog has been the most influential of all the FI resources to me, it got me seriously considering semi-retirement where I’d never considered it before. We’re not quite flamingoing it, but this is where consideration of mixing things up started.

    Thanks so much for sharing your journey so far. Looking forward to the occasional update (& book 🙂).

    Reply
  6. Congratulations! This seems like a perfectly logical evolution to me, and I can resonate with your desires to enjoy life, not number crunch, and not become an finfluencer! Thank god. I look forward to the book. Thanks for everything you’ve shared. Get out there and enjoy your peak value for money period — or whatever Bill Perkins calls it. Thanks again 🙂 Alison

    Reply
  7. Thank you so much for all your inspiring and down to earth content. I loved finding your blog/website (I’m also not a fan of social media). And it’s been so refreshing to read about your FI Flamingo approach, prioritising your family’s enjoyment and experiences during the path. We are also a family with young children in Sydney. Good luck with your book! I will look forward to reading it 🙂 But yes, sad not to receive your updates as frequently from now on. Wah wah wah!!!!!

    Reply
  8. Congratulations!!! Your words really resonated with me. I’m a little lost myself since retiring early. I’m glad you have new things to enjoy and challenge yourself with.

    Reply
  9. Thank you so much for sharing all the valuable content over the years.

    I started following your blog during the pandemic and that triggered me to kick-start my own FI Journey. Appreciated all your wisdom and generosity.

    Looking forward to reading your book.

    Reply
  10. Congrats on the personal growth you’ve gone through to reach this decision. Your writing provided the blueprint for me to shift from 11 years of hardcore accumulation to semi-retirement in my early 30s (thank you) – something I never thought was possible coming from a traditional FI mindset. Your decision to pull back totally resonates with me… I got to semi-retirement and thought it would be fun to try blogging, but the reality is that life is busy and FI stuff just isn’t that relevant or interesting any more (though it’s still a significant pillar that has changed my life). Cheers to your family’s next chapter & thanks for the valuable lessons you’ve shared along the way – I’ll keep an eye out for those irregular updates and maybe even the book!

    Reply
    • Thank you! Semi-retirement in your early 30s – awesome achievement! I can relate to what you said about blogging and life – at some point there just isn’t room for all this FI stuff anymore.

      Reply
  11. I’m really happy to have you explain something I’ve tried to describe to people for a long time. Semi retired creates so many choices and so much less stress and in our case financial drive. I’ve appreciated your comparisons of fire options that makes it achievable for many. Enjoy your new adventures

    Reply
  12. This totally makes sense and huge thank you for all that you’ve done for the fire community in the last 10 years!! I thought that fire was unachievable until I found your blog and then started my own project 1000 and followed in your footsteps! Next year I will be semi retiring and I’m hugely grateful for all your advice and examples that helped motivate me ❤️🙏

    Reply
  13. Damn! Do you still offer any coaching? I was contemplating whether I should contact you. You’ve been a massive inspiration and source of reason for me. Thank you!!

    Reply
    • I do, but mainly for existing clients and possibly a new one here and there if it’s an extremely good mutual fit. Feel free to reach out, but expect a bit of a wait before I get back to you. Cheers!

      Reply
  14. What a beautiful article. I teared up a little as a long-time follower. Well done and congrats! Love your honesty and that you practice what you preach. All the best for the next chapter. Looking forward to the book. If it’s anything like your blog it will be fantastic. Much love!

    Reply
  15. Ah, I’m so sad to hear this as a long-time reader, but also completely understand where you’re coming from as another blogger who loves long form and hates social media! Thank you so much for articulating this transition so beautifully and for all your fantastic content over the years. You have truly been an inspiration to me on my FIRE and blogging journey. Traditional FIRE never really resonated with me, but when I read about Flamingo FI for the first time, my heart fluttered! It has been nothing short of life-changing to read all of your words of wisdom over the years. Emails from you in my Inbox will be even sweeter now that they will come less often 🙂

    Reply
  16. Thank you for all that you’ve shared, and the community you’ve cultivated.
    Your work truly resonated with me because it’s achievable. It’s a blueprint that so many people can pick up and apply to their lives. Your work has been an enormous driver for our family to re-frame our financial plan, and focus in on our values. We’re a young family also, and are able to work part-time and enjoy this chapter knowing that we will be ‘FI’ at a point in the future. I feel like having ‘FI’ in your grasp changes everything (even if it’s not for 10 years!). It gives you a sense of security and peace that feels comforting in this crazy world.
    I know you mentioned long-form content is out, but I seriously gravitate to it. I know there are a lot of writers using Substack and charging a very low membership- and i love when their writing hits my inbox. Even with this update, I got the notification during the day, and thought, I’ll devour that when i have more time to pay attention. Your book will be a hit. Just please don’t let any publishers advise on making it ‘appeal to the female market’. There are so many female financial books out there that i just cringe at whenever I see the cover.
    You’ve changed lives Money Flamingo. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Yes, the moment things start moving in the right direction, everything changes for the better.

      I might have to look into Substack and similar platforms that people have recommended if I ever feel like writing regularly again. Thanks for the “appeal to the female market” hint – publishing is new to me and seems a bit confusing to navigate.

      All the best!

      Reply
      • Its sad for us readers since I believe your blog is the best and most balanced one out there in FI community. But I respect your choice we need change in life in order to grow and develop or just get to wherever we want to go.

        Our time is limited and you have contributed more than enough for the community and the blog will still be readable right? So no worries your wisdom is out there for anyone to read.

        Once again thanks for all the years of good content. Waiting paitently for your book.

        Kind regards Anonym-m

        Reply
  17. Enjoy the next journey and writing your book! Do you have a publisher? It’s a very long, but rewarding process. It took me 2.5 years to get to the finish line for my last.

    Can you clarify below?

    “That’s obviously not how things usually pan out, and work has gotten (much) better and more enjoyable for us over the years.

    That, combined with the F-You factor our nest egg gives us, means that we have plenty of freedom and choice when it comes to our careers (portfolio or otherwise) – and no good reason to stop doing what we are doing in the foreseeable future.

    This also means that from the outside, our life looks pretty normal – because it is. We are working parents with young kids, enjoying family life.”

    Does this mean both of you are working parents, not FIRE? If so, why not take the leap of faith and retire early? It’ll be fun!

    I’m actually thinking about going the opposite route. After retiring in 2012, I’m thinking about getting a full-time job in 2020 for once my daughter goes to school full-time.

    Cheers

    Sam

    Reply
    • I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes me 2.5 years too! Let’s see how it goes.

      To answer your question – for us it’s all about the FI, not the RE. I have zero desire to retire early at this point, but who knows, things might change later on. Good to have the option! 🙂

      Reply
  18. Always love to see your posts whenever – if ever – they get published 🙂 The nice thing about life is you can stop and go and change your mind and just flow whenever you want! If you come back here one day, great!! We are all for it! And if you move on completely, we are happy for you there too. You’ve added some magic to our community here and we’ll always love you for that 👊 🙏

    Reply
  19. You have made such a tremendous positive impact on my life and my family’s approach to finances. Thank you for the calculators, the thoughtful writing and most of all the bravery to share a unique perspective. It was so hard to find people espousing a balance between family and FIRE and you have nailed it. Thank you for everything you have done! I am wishing you all the best.

    Reply
  20. One more very thankful reader! It was a privilege to get to learn about and truly get inspired by your unique, balanced and values driven approach to FI. All the best to you and your family!

    Reply
  21. Thanks for the update. I really understand. When you’ve been on the pathway a long time, you’ve sorted out all the niggles and are on automate and letting compound interest do its thing you’ve moved past where a lot of people new to focussed financial management are at. Enjoy your break away knowing you’ve written excellent content for us all to consume. I am looking forward to your book!

    Reply
  22. Thanks for articulating and sharing such relevant content! Your articles are entertaining, honest and hit the nail on the head regarding prioritisation of happiness. Writing a book is a great idea, enjoy!

    Reply
  23. Long time reader and first time commenter here.

    I can’t thank you enough for all of your insight. You have helped me immensely and I frequently recommend your site to others. I am thrilled you are keeping it live.

    Thank you thank you.

    Reply
  24. Congrats! It should be an easy decision, but I know it´s not!
    We are a couple of MD from Brazil in our 40´s, always searching for FIRE, and thanks to your blog we´ve realized that we were FI since the end of 2022. But we realized that a couple of months ago! kkkk
    We are currently living a OMY Syndrome, because of the political moment of Brazil and our history of high inflation rates. “Just to be sure”. Well, that´s our excuse! kkkkk. But I know it´s not…
    Like this blog and many other things, we shouldn´t be arrested for anything. We don´t have that time to waste. Our priorities can and will change. And that´s ok!
    Your mission is accomplished! I´m sure that this community woudn´t be so selfish to wish anything different of your happiness.

    Reply

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