FIRE.121 Mojo Phase

BOOM— like you’re shot out of a cannon—you’re flying, off into your retirement.  After the initial shock (think retirement party confetti/smoke) you realize you’re flying above the ground, arms flailing, no safety net, you are all on your own.  That’s SCARY…at first.

That was a strange analogy that jumped from my keyboard, I have no idea where it came from, but honestly, at some point, you settle into the adventure.  You look around and realize—I’m flying free.  Maybe you are literally flying and off on some travel adventures, or maybe your mind is flying free to take on new tasks and interests.  Hopefully, you have released the ball and chain (of WORK, you know—your job, the daily grind—what did you think I was talking about?) and feel the freedom.

I love the Michael Stein retirement phases of  GoGo, SloGo, NoGo.  I think the years are roughly assigned as 65-75, 75-85, 85+, respectively.  Yes, I see those numbers overlap a little, and that is perfectly correct.  There will be some overlap in your own “Go years.”  But…

MoJo = GoGo+

Recently I checked in with a cohort who had progressed from the “retiring soon” phase, to the “finding a home in Fort Lauderdale FL” and being too busy with their scuba diving lessons and running around doing all sorts of activities in their new life/style to even keep up with themselves.  In talking with them, I felt like they had turned on their mojo.  They are absolutely loving their new home, new activities, and new lifestyle.

This made me think about being young and active, and how we will never be younger or healthier than we are today, right now today!

Shouldn’t we take extra care to fully maximize our “best” days that we will have into our futures?

Last year my wife and I decided to kick our retirement into a higher gear and live it up a little.  We figured it was the start of a new year, a new decade, etc.  I dubbed it the Raving 20s, sometimes Roaring 20s.  

To be more transparent, I wanted us to spend an extra $1000 per month living it up.  It seemed to me that $1000 per month—or more accurately $12000/yr—just assigned having a blast would be a significant increase in spending.  It also seemed like $120k over a decade, our youngest years of age decade would be doable.  It also seemed if we lived it up for the decade of my 50s, I would be able to take the “GoGo decade” of my 60s a little slower if required—having already lived an amazing decade.

So our MoJo decade was going great, right on plan, for TWO MONTHS, then the world stopped and then opened back up to slowwww pace.  After a while of no mojo, I realized we were actually living in the SloGo phase.

OK, so now it’s 2021.  For the truly detailed person, this is the actual start of the new decade.  How’s that for a positive slant?  As I usually do, I was crunching numbers back and forth, left and right, tool A to tool B (actually tools C, D, E, F, etc), and there have been crazy returns that past few (many) years.  Time to rethink the MoJo Roaring Raving 20s decade, right?

So here we are with a new and improved plan to take MOJO to a full-caps SHOUTING level.  We’re going to increase our monthly spending more.  We’ve planned the new increased amount over the next 9 years and the hit of just the increase to our investments is less than the growth of just the past couple of years.  [note: there is a whole; bucket/safe withdrawal planning opportunity here]  We will revisit the investment portfolio balance/net worth statement each year to be cautious, but I want us to go for it for a decade.

Thought: it seems so crazy for me to type out what I’ve been processing in my head (spreadsheets) for the past month or so.  Carefully planning an increase in MoJo should not be too crazy as long as we monitor and make little agile adjustments along the way.  To be clear, going from mojo to MoJo or MOJO level spending is based on reviews and agility.

So much of our MoJo plan is based on a pretty low base floor cost of living lifestyle.  I think of it as “living large in a tiny home/lifestyle.”  Maybe a step below (or different than) “upper-middle-class.”


Back to being shot out of the cannon, flying through the air without a safety net.  I feel like we’ve launched airborne.  However, I do feel like we have a safety net.  I feel like we could land our “flying” at any point by slowing or stopping our extra spending if required  I also believe we could increase our spending again and fly some more if appropriate.  It’s almost like interval spending with recovery periods in between.  (my wife would understand that based on her drop-saddle spinning classes—but she doesn’t read this because she’s stuck listening to my babble all the time anyway).

What is your mojo?  How are you optimizing and maximizing your current best, youngest, hopefully healthiest years, right now? 

I feel like you can be risk averse or cautious and still push yourself outside your comfort zone safely.  Maybe I’ll revisit this post in 9 years, or 3 years and realize I was clueless.  That has happened before with some of my plans, but honestly, I’ve found that well-thought-out plans, monitored closely, tend to do pretty well.  Professionally, I found catching the problems early allowed for the easiest reorganizing and ability to continue onward in the project (where feasible).

Here’s to your MoJo!

*** 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.

One thought on “FIRE.121 Mojo Phase

  1. Bob

    Loved this analogy – ” I think of it as “living large in a tiny home/lifestyle.” We live a very simple life and even thinking of spending mojo let alone MOJO seems foreign right now in the pandemic. I always tell my wife I need few things but the things I need have to be of quality…. I don’t always get it right but my goal is to get the most out of the things I love and not worry too much about the rest.


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