FIRE.203 DecaFIRE Independence

I’ve been FIREd for 10 years. DecaFIRE.   I’ve been living a great life, a great life of freedom.  I, however, don’t know if I have been living a grand life—a life of world travel and exploration, or goals and accomplishment—that would amaze others.  I’ve just lived a wonderful, gratitude-filled 10 years of FIRE.  (The years before FIRE—while working—were fine to great as well)

We have made a shift this year to increase our spending (again, even more) to improve on 2022’s MoJo plan, and 2020’s Roaring 20’s plan.  The spending increase is still planned for the remainder of the decade.  We are really pushing for the 20s to be full-on.

I’m now working on spending the Fun/FI Bucket—Full-on FI Bucket!!!

Needs, Wants, Wishes

I’ve used dozens of planning tools and calculators for the past 20 years just to understand our money. 

All of the tools gave us a great outcome at End-of-Plan.  Well, not exactly.  Most of the tools had this high (safe) balance at EOP.  That’s not our goal, to die wealthy and give it to the HOGs, some yes, but not large amounts.

This quarter we had a retirement plan created for us.  It used an entirely different approach than any of the plans, tools, or calculators I’ve used or read about. 

The plan projected core spending (“needs/min dig floor/base great life”) for our lives to 93.  The base included any projected social security and small pension incomes.  It figured out the gap from “guaranteed” income to our core spending needs both before guaranteed income turns on, and after the expenses rise/inflate above that guaranteed income (“crossover point”).  The plan then defined a set-aside amount of money for front-end and back-end core spending needs. 

The plan also considered our additional spending called “fun vision” by year (wants) and then set that amount aside as its own line item (for decades).

Then the categories and amounts assigned to aging/long-term care, inheritance giving, and a safety buffer (boatload of money) were subtracted.

Once all of those categories were planned for, it left the final Fun Number to assign to the Fun Bucket, which is really a nice-sized FI Bucket (wishes).

This post is not about the life we’ve lived in the past 10 years.  Most people talking about this stuff share a recap.  Why bother?  You can read or talk to me about that at the many money-nerd events I’m at.  It’s not really about realizations or lessons learned either.  It’s just some documentation of the continuous improvement we’ve been working on.  Stated clearer:  SPEND MORE SLACKER!

WHY did I wait 10 years to run a formal retirement plan?

I’ve used multiple free, custodian, paid, and professional retirement planning tools.  They all report excellent results from the (conservative) data I input and their algorithms. 

The reason I made a push to spend more starting in 2020 was because I turned 50 and some SORR was removed from our timeline, though there is always “the next few years” of risk ahead (umm, at 50 there’s still plenty of SORR, but at 43, there’s a TON more).  Our investment/net worth return since 2014 has been quite amazing because it turns out, we were under-spending our probable spending power.

Now, four years into the Roaring 20s I had the opportunity to get a formal safety-type plan and I made the purchase and got a great report/plan.  Some of the best money I’ve ever spent.

FI Bucket

I cannot exclude the best upgrade to my FIRE the FI Bucket in this DecaFIRE post. I have dozens of examples of FI Bucket spending. It would sound obnoxious, but it feels freeing, fun, and freaking AMAZING.


This is where I need to improve (some).

I’m now working on the groove/rut that I’ve settled into.  

I want to make sure consciously I do what I love.  I want to live in the moment of greatness and look forward to the even betterness ahead.  No matter what problems or issues are ahead, it is so much more manageable in FIRE.


I signed up for CampFI Colo.  I knew it fills up with the A-team of FI-sters (I think “FIsters” is funny when typed) so I signed up right away last year, especially since it’s the only camp I haven’t been to.  Then I grabbed some Fun Bucket cash and added week 2.  I figured if I was already in town, then I could do something for the four days in between.  Done, two weekend CampFI’s. 

Then I checked the airfare in March or so and it was really cheap $120 round trip.  But, I decided to drive from Phoenix and explore all the green “want to go” towns on my Google Maps.

I have or will explore,/visit/pass-thru Show Low AZ, Albuquerque, Sante Fe, Taos, Salida, Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Camp, Ft Collins, Cheyenne, Longmont, Boulder, CampFI, Pagosa Springs, Aztec ruins, Chaco Canyon, Canyon De Chelly, and Show Low.  I turned a 4-day camp into a 2.5-week exploration drive.

I don’t have hotel reservations (motly) because I’ll see where I end up each afternoon/evening.  I didn’t fix that motley typo because that’s exactly where I was heading on this section.

I have stayed in a little more expensive (not fancy-c’mon) hotels near the center of town and paid for nice gym day passes with the FI bucket.  I still seem to save a little and use Priceline, buy the on-sale kombucha, and each a late lunch (better prices?) and I’m a 4p dinner, early-bird-old-dude.

I was killing time today before the Pueblo event at 4p and was in a cool resale/collectible shop with old music stuff and scored an original 1985 Motley Crue bumper sticker for <$9 and a Def Leppard 1984 book <$19.  I was thinking “I don’t need that/those.”  But seriously, that money would go to the HOGs if I don’t plan and spend.  I had that sticker on my HUGE 80s boombox that was stolen in Phoenix in 1997, so it was a replacement and FI.

Health Happiness Helping

I often think about those three H’s.  I think about those multiple times per week.  They are both grounding and expanding.  To me, they are exponential.

That bumper sticker may be a “thing” to those “experiences are better” people, but it was an experience to me.  It strangely brings me happiness to my very musical core (it’s a teenage 80s rocker thing, Chris gets it.).  I bought it, on July 4th, by a celebration of our Declaration of Independence in Pueblo CO on my FI Bucket Freedom Drive.  (That should be this blog post title)

So, here’s to Independence Day 2014-2024.  I gained my work independence (so far?) on July 7th, 2014.  I picked 7/7 because it was the first work day—Monday—after the 4thand I wanted to get paid for the holiday.

In all honesty, I’m so thankful to the men who committed treason to the King of England and declared independence, and worked to build this country into the great place it is today.  Struggle of all types is constant, but realizing the goodness is critical.

I’m off to the celebration event. Hello Pueblo.

*** Nothing in this article is to be construed as financial advice.  I am not a financial planner, nor do I pretend to be.  You should always consult your own professional when seeking advice. This post is not a piece of literary mastery, just a random thought I had.

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