≡ Menu

Five Years

Today marks Five Years of financial freedom.

music selection:  “For My Sake” — Shinedown

It was 5OCT2012 when I walked out of the office at Baker Hughes for the final time.  I was on the insider roster and trusted with all kinds of important company secrets but they escorted me out anyway.  Just in case I had a mind to steal a coffee pot or something on the way out.  Huge faceless corporations are peculiar creatures.

I celebrated today with a McDonald’s Egg and Sausage McMuffin for breakfast around 10:00 AM and then a glorious nap.  Because I can do that on any given Thursday now.  Let me tell you.  It feels great.

I tell you these things not to brag but to motivate.  The people in my personal circle are doing very little to secure their retirement in most cases.  They overspend.  They under-invest.  And they bust their butts trying to make as much money as they can in a career they hate.  That is no way to live.

So I offer the Velociraptor Challenge today.  Declare your intentions in the comments.  What is your target date to walk away from conventional work for good?  Take a stand.  And…

Devour your prey raptors!

{ 38 comments… add one }
  • easydividend October 5, 2017, 8:53 pm

    Awesome! Congrats on the 5 years!

    I am now 25 years old and I plan to walk away from conventional work on my 30th birthday. It will be in May 2022, and I am sure I can do this 🙂

    best regards from Austria,

  • IK October 5, 2017, 9:18 pm

    I am 42 years old and i walked away year ago at 41. I agree with you it fills great.

  • John Boner October 5, 2017, 10:38 pm

    You’re the man Lizard King!

  • Jrbroker October 5, 2017, 10:47 pm

    I am 33 yrs old and this year I created additional income on a side gig that will let me retire if I earn returns of 8% on my principal… I think it is doable, just still a little skeptical on this one… Anyways I plan to pull the trigger on Jan’18

    Your blog inspired me a lot

  • Retiring On My Terms October 6, 2017, 1:34 am


    I am in my mid-40s, and my target FIRE date is Friday, July 2, 2021, before I will be 50 years old.

    But you have inspired me to reveal that I secretly want to be escorted out of the office for the final time long before that… perhaps as early as next spring!

  • J October 6, 2017, 1:57 am

    My target date is 2022. Five more years.

  • J. Money October 6, 2017, 2:02 pm

    Absolutely beautiful.

  • Chad R October 6, 2017, 3:37 pm

    March 12, 2026 though hopefully sooner. Less than 10 years to go. Congratulations on your 5 year anniversary.

  • David October 6, 2017, 4:32 pm

    I’ll be boring and say 15 years when I turn 50. It would be irresponsible toward wife and kids to force them into frugality by quitting.

    However, I consider myself financially free in the sense that I do not need my job to survive. I need it to live well. No stress over losing it does not create a grind for me.

    • The Lizard King October 6, 2017, 7:50 pm

      Financial Freedom is where it is at. The retirement thing is just a personal lifestyle choice.

  • Dividend Growth Investor October 6, 2017, 5:52 pm

    That’s awesome man! Congratulations!

    I wish 50 more happy retirement years for you!


    • Dividend Growth Investor October 6, 2017, 5:53 pm

      PS. I started a job I like very much 3 years ago, so I already feel like I am retired.

      • The Lizard King October 6, 2017, 7:50 pm

        Sweet Aye! Keep piling on those distributions!

        • Dividend Growth Investor October 9, 2017, 2:01 pm

          I haven’t shared this yet, but I hit my dividend crossover point this year…

          So it is all gravy from here 😉

          • The Lizard King October 9, 2017, 3:11 pm

            Sweet! Sweet a thousand times. So happy for you.

  • Chris B October 6, 2017, 7:00 pm

    -3/15/2023, 5.45 years
    -Assume 7% nominal ROI.
    -Targeted liquid assets balance $1.25MM
    -Reading the book “Early Retirement Extreme”. It’s a tough read, but deep.
    -Learning options. Considering hedging everything at today’s cheap prices to do so (e.g. SPY collars at 2%/year). A big correction at this point in the journey could add 2-3 years!
    -Trying to talk spouse into downsizing, which could reduce our target amount and save us both another 1-2 years of our lives. Saving $300/mo = $90k reduction in target amount. “But I don’t know if we can live that way. What about our stuff?” #%@$!
    -Making a visible, public committment is a known technique for behavior modification.

    • The Lizard King October 6, 2017, 7:51 pm

      I love the way you estimate to two decimal places. You have an accountant gene!

  • My Dividend Pipeline October 6, 2017, 10:14 pm


    April 1, 2018 at age 46. I could probably unplug now, but I just have to mentally come to terms with the idea of not having a traditional job.


    • The Lizard King October 6, 2017, 10:31 pm

      It’s a major paradigm shift that takes about six months to settle in…

  • Luis October 7, 2017, 6:01 am

    I agree life is much more than working, taking mortgages and buying crap until death. In fact, if my calculus are correct, I will reach FI in 5 to 10 years from now.

    But making money, big money, is essential for the FI; with low earnings and non-qualified jobs is almost impossible to accumulate enough capital for this objective in a reasonable time (15/20 years). Even normal-averaged earnings with qualified jobs could not be enough.

    Any person interested in FI should try to pursue the money from the youth, and not waste it with irrational consumism, drugs, fashion, etc. I didn’t put attention to FI until my 30s and wasted a lot of money in nonsenses; I lost many great career opportunities thinking that life is only for enjoying, or the 20s is not the moment for “resposibilities”; now I’m in the correct way, working with good salary and established as an independent consultor as a complementary earning.

    Youth is the best moment for hard-working, contrary to the popular thinking. The earlier you start, the better for you. Don’t doubt it!

    • Chris B October 8, 2017, 1:33 am

      You mention some ppl face the burden of low wages. I did for all of my 20’s, and then I went to business school and the doors opened. Turns out, I should have prioritized upgrading my earnings much sooner. This is more a note for other readers – sounds like you’re doing well, Luis.

      The 2nd piece of advice I have for those dissatisfied with their savings rate: move to a low cost of living location. It’s so much easier to save when the rent is $600 instead of $2,000. Do a salary.com experiment – the pay cut you take is more than offset by everything being cheaper. The only thing to watch out for in LCOL locations is a temptation to spend your money to buy craploads of stuff, unnecessary living space, and fancy cars like everyone else strives for.

    • Jrbroker October 8, 2017, 6:48 pm


      I don’t regret any of my youth spending frenzy, but would definitely be retired by now if I just saved a little bit more.

  • Dividend Diplomats October 7, 2017, 8:10 pm

    Velocirpator –

    Should have def. taken the coffee pot…

    But – saving about 65-70% of my income currently and investing like a mad f*ing man, that’s for damn sure. At this rate, I want to be out of a career I hate by 12/31/2020. Over and out. LETS GO.


  • financialfreedomsloth October 8, 2017, 3:28 pm

    Congrats on your anniverseray! A toast to the next 5 years being even more glorious than the last 5!!

  • David M October 8, 2017, 4:05 pm

    Well said. I hope to be done in about 5 years, I am a late starter. Or at the very least take a gap year off.

  • T October 10, 2017, 2:14 am

    I tried to pull the plug earlier this year. Resigned my position and everything, then I decided to take another job and was hired before my last day at the first job. The market is really strong for what I do (30% raise) and health insurance for my family worries me. After losing my job in 2012 I’m amazed at how things can change. I’ll be able to go from a high wr to a more reasonable one by putting in a little more time.

    I’m 43 and have always wanted to retire by 45 even though I didn’t have a great plan until about 2014. I’ll consider myself FI if I have enough to payoff the house in taxable accounts. I should be able to do that in 2+ years.

    • The Lizard King October 10, 2017, 3:44 pm

      It’s funny how your opportunities seem to multiply as you approach financial freedom and have the latitude to take more risks. Two years; I’m going to hold you to it!

  • chomper October 19, 2017, 5:40 pm

    That’s fantastic Velociraptor. I’ll be joining you in four years, at age 45. I could leave right now, but I’m being very conservative on the investments and padding the nest egg. I have roughly $440k in total, $350k in taxable right now. At age 60 I’ll have a pension, and be set. I’m primarily using Vanguard’s VPGDX, which is overly conservative. Much better income can be found in CEFs and buying individual REITs, mortgage REITs, BDCs, MLPs, and preferred stocks.

  • Danielbek June 11, 2018, 1:19 am

    I’m in my early 30s with two kids (equal unconventional needs). This year I’m judgement close to putting in the 20k from my savings via the mega backdoor leaving me with a stretched out 100k in the savings account. If a scratch pinch happens comment gagner de l’argent I can decent pick it absent from (I the hang of this could be lower due to sell fluctuation, but after all is said all contributions can be captivated in sight). In a minute I go by things ignore together, just attribute the moneyed deceitfully in via mega backdoor quest of the next year.

  • ScottSloto June 11, 2018, 11:57 am

    I was spending a lot of time, as you appear to be doing now, chasing the best investment vehicle. My problem was I really didn’t know what I was looking for and likely overlooked a lot of “good” choices while trying to find “better” choices. In the end, had I known what I was doing, I could have stopped at “good” and moved on with my life satisfied that I was saving something and investing for my retirement.
    I spent about a week talking with the CFA to discuss my income, expenses, tolerance to risk, long-term plans, and other life factors. He delivered a detailed financial analysis and made drastic recommendations that completely changed my investment strategy. I took his advice, sold what he told me to sell, and buy what he told me to buy. I am truly glad I did cours bitcoin because now I am comfortably set for retirement with a nicely balanced portfolio, most of which is with Vanguard. I am confident that I would not be in the same financial situation otherwise.

Leave a Comment


Next post:

Previous post: