Late Starter to FI Series Progress Update #1

When I first discovered FIRE at 47, I couldn’t find anyone in a similar situation – I admit my Googling skills were very poor but it seemed that everyone was way ahead of me. And people were retiring early in their 30s and 40s and here I was – just learning about FIRE at nearly 50!

Since then, I have discovered a whole community of late starters and convinced some of them to share their stories in my Late Starter to FI Series.

Have you wondered what is happening in their lives? Are their plans working out? How are they coping with setbacks and road bumps along the FI path?

Our late starters are living their lives and fine tuning their financial decisions all the time. As our community continues to grow, we’ve reached milestones, started side hustles, retired, made a decision to quit our jobs and so on.

So this newsletter is to keep you up to date! We’ll share our progress as well as any major or minor milestones achieved along the way.

It can be a hard slog in the middle of the journey, where we are in the weeds, trying to save and invest our way to achieving our dream of Financial Independence and Retiring Early(ish) or Eventually 🙂

I sincerely hope sharing our progress along the way will motivate all of us to continue on our path.

Please join in the conversation in the comments below. If you would like to share your late starter story, please contact me – info at latestarterfire dot com or DM me on Twitter (@latestarterfire)

Two snails on a road
Are we there yet?

Frogdancer retired at the end of 2020! At 57 – that is 10 years, a whole decade before the traditional retirement age of 67 (or the age we are eligible for an age pension from the Australian Government).


I think she is coping very well on her first day of retirement – she certainly looks ecstatic 🙂 Looking forward to more updates on retirement life and those naps!

Ed reached his target number for Financial Independence at the end of 2020 …. and made a surprising decision to quit his job as a principal at the end of the US school year in June 2021.

Ed explains his rationale and decision in I’m Walking Away. It’s FIOR time.

Financial independence gives us lots of options! Looking forward to your updates as to what you decide to do after the job ends.

Vinnie started a youtube channel for a future side hustle.

And his retirement savings (including investments) increased from 48k to 118k (NZD), an increase of 70k in 2020. That is more than his household income after tax so what a terrific win!

Shaun, our very first late starter to share his story, began investing in the stock market in 2020 – buying an ETF (Exchange Traded Fund)!

He’s had a very full first year on the FIRE path – tracking expenses, budgeting, sorting out insurances and retirement accounts – in other words, taking action. Yay!

Are you READY to TAKE ACTION today?

🔥 practical tips & strategies

🔥 step by step guide

🔥 cut the overwhelm, second guessing & paralysis by analysis

Scott and Caroline continue to blog at Costa Rica FIRE, working on projects they love and investing in real estate.

They launched a new project – Dream Career Club – a club for people working towards their dream career. It encompasses an online job search course Caroline created in 2019, expert interviews, an online interview practice platform and coaching calls with Caroline.

“It fits into the working at projects we love tab since I have for a long time envisioned a group like this and now we have the bandwidth to make it happen.” says Caroline. How good is that?

Mama Purple retired at 55 six years ago and still love every second! She hasn’t changed her strategies at all. And appreciate the true meaning of retirement by being able to be completely flexible.

She drove to New Hampshire then Maine then Georgia then Connecticut to help take care of her niece’s new baby during the pandemic for 7 months. Wow, that is a lot of driving!

For more on Mama Purple, she answered questions from readers of her daughter’s blog A Purple Life – Mama Purple answers your questions

Sometimes one has to make a big financial move to get ahead.

Amelia did just that and sold their RV, after realising they no longer enjoyed the RV camping life. They wiped out $16000 of debt in one move. Good one, guys!

I love how pursuing FIRE forces us to evaluate what we value and that we can acknowledge that our values or what we enjoy may shift over time.

#16 - Healthy Wealthy Life

Alan exceeded his Financial Freedom goals – after a full year of being debt free and therefore able to invest more. He is at 41% of his FIRE number.

But he has done much more than improve his finances – read his Financial Freedom Plan Annual Review 2020

And that's a wrap!

Just in case you missed my 2020 update, here it is again.

And that’s it for the first update, folks!

My takeaway from this update is that we have to monitor our progress and review if we are still on the right track. Then take action and execute! And one day …. we too will enjoy the sweet taste of retirement … or new projects … or whatever rocks our boat 🙂

Financial Independence gives us options and freedom!

What is your progress towards FI? Update us here in the comments below!

3 Replies to “Late Starter to FI Series Progress Update #1”

  1. Fantastic to see how far everyone has come and is going.

    I’m rooting for the law of (non) diminishing returns AKA the snowball effect to get us all collectively where we aim to be, as well as enjoying what we do and who we do it with.

    Thanks for bringing us all together !


  2. It’s great to be part of this group and easily the biggest benefit I’ve had since starting my blog.

    Tracking our progress and overcoming the challenges is very encouraging.

    The best part is seeing some of us actually making it. Well done Ed.

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