Interviewees Needed: the FIRE Starter, FIRE Crossroads, and Post-FI Interview Series

That’s right. I’m starting not one but three written interview series to showcase readers’ finances, accomplishments, struggles, and to give them some crowdsourced help with conundrums they may be having.

With a recent reader survey, I got to know a lot about you collectively, but I don’t yet know much about you individually. Not yet, anyway. That survey is still open, by the way, and if you’d like to share your input I’d appreciate it.

I decided to host three interview series because people have different expectations, goals, and quandaries at various points in their financial independence journey.

Whether you’re just getting started, in a mid-career quagmire, or have already achieved financial independence, I’ve got an interview series for you.

Participating gives you a chance to share some knowledge and wisdom from your unique perspective. You’ll also be able to get help with any questions you may have as other readers and I may offer solutions or opinions when solicited.

If you’re interested in participating in one of three interview series, please download the most appropriate form for your life situation: FIRE Starter, FIRE Crossroads, or Post-FI Notes.

 

interview-series

 

While some of the questions will be the same among the three series, each stage lends itself to some specific questions that might not make sense for others. I’ll also give interviewees the leeway to ask and answer additional questions when desired.

I plan to publish these anonymously unless someone really wants to be identified. You can choose to share as little or as much specific information as you wish. If you’re going to be vague, we’d prefer you do so with self-identifying info and not with financial info. Voyeurs want to know the details!

 

FIRE Starter Interview Series

 

“I’m a FIRE starter. Twisted FIRE starter.” -Prodigy

 

This interview series is primarily for those of you who are early in their careers and financial independence journeys. You may have a negative net worth or a six-figure net worth, but you’re relatively new to the FIRE movement, that is, Financial Independence Retire Early.

Just over a quarter of my readers fall into this net worth category, so you’ve got plenty of company. Here’s what I’ll be asking.

 

Getting to Know You

 

Where are you on your financial independence journey? Have you reached a positive net worth? It’s OK if you haven’t! Most of us started out in the red.

 

Tell us about your household. How many people and at what ages? Are you supporting anyone outside of your home? Where do you live?

 

In what field are you working? How is your career going? What do you like best and least about your chosen profession?

 

What is the most challenging obstacle to making progress towards financial independence?

 

Investing

 

How is your money invested? Approximately what percentage is allocated to stocks, bonds, real estate, and alternatives?

 

Are your investments primarily in tax-deferred, Roth, or “taxable” post-tax accounts?

 

Do you have investments in an HSA? How about 529 Plans?

 

What has been your best investment?

 

Your worst investment?

 

FIRE Kindling

 

What attracts you to the FIRE movement? Do you think you’ll retire early when you’re in a position to do so?

 

How do you anticipate your life changing post-FI?

 

What steps have you taken to hasten your time to FI?

 

Are your friends, family, or coworkers aware of your interest in financial independence?

 

What advice do you have for others beginning their own FIRE journey?

 

[Ask and answer any additional questions that would further contribute to your story.]

 

Finally, is there anything under the sun that you’d like some help with? The hive mind would be happy to weigh in.

 

FIRE Crossroads Interview Series

 

“I’ll see you at the Crossroads.” Bone Thugs ‘n Harmony

“I went down to the crossroad; fell down on my knees.” -Robert Johnson

 

When you reach the crossroads, you’ve got to choose which direction to go. Do you continue on the path you’ve been taking? Veer left or bear right? Is that Eazy E that I see? Or Clapton, maybe?

I would expect most interviewees in this series to be mid-to-late-career, but  crossroads can present themselves at any stage. You might be wondering if you’re actually FI or close to it. You may be contemplating part-time work, a different job, or a different career altogether.

You might be struggling with concepts like YOLO, FOMO, and trying to balance living for today with saving for tomorrow. These are all common considerations on one’s road to financial independence.

More than half of my readers indicated they’ve got a household net worth of $1 Million to $5 Million. I suspect a portion of them will want to fill out a Post-FI survey, but many will be at some sort of a crossroad. This is what I’d like to know.

 

Getting to Know You

 

Where are you on your financial independence journey? Have you crossed the halfway point in terms of net worth and/or passive income?

 

Tell us about your household. How many people and at what ages? Are you supporting anyone outside of your home? Where do you live?

 

In what field are you working? How is your career going? What do you like best and least about your chosen profession?

 

Do you feel you’ve come to a crossroads of sorts? If so, tell us about it. What options are you contemplating?

 

Investing

 

How is your nest egg invested? Approximately what percentage is allocated to stocks, bonds, real estate, and alternatives?

 

Are your investments primarily in tax-deferred, Roth, or “taxable” post-tax accounts?

 

Do you have investments in an HSA? How about 529 Plans?

 

What has been your best investment?

 

Your worst investment?

 

Into the FIRE

 

Numerically, what is your FI goal?

 

When do you suspect you will achieve financial independence? Will you retire from your career once you’re comfortably FI?

 

What are your post-FI plans? How will your life change? What do you look forward to the most?

 

Have you made any major changes in your lifestyle or investments to accelerate your FI path?

 

Are you facing any unique challenges making FI or RE more difficult?

 

What advice do you have for others who are seeking financial independence?

 

[Ask and answer any additional questions that would further contribute to your story.]

 

Finally, is there anything under the sun that you’d like some help with? The hive mind would be happy to weigh in.

 

Start receiving paid survey opportunities in your area of expertise to your email inbox by joining the Curizon community of Physicians and Healthcare Professionals.

Use our link to Join and you'll also be entered into a drawing for an additional $250 to be awarded to one new registrant referred by Physician on FIRE this month.

 

Post-FI Notes

 

“Looks Like We Made It.” -Barry Manilow. Or Shania Twain. Your choice.

 

Congrats! You’re financially independent. My readers and I would love to know how you accomplished this feat, what FI means for you and your family, and what we can learn from your experiences.

More than a quarter of my readers who answered the reader survey reported a household net worth exceeding $5 Million. I assume most are among the 4 out of 11 that consider themselves to be financially independent.

We can learn a lot from those of you who’ve found financial success. I’ll bet we can learn from your mistakes, too. Everyone, and that includes me, has made their share of them.

It would be great if you’d take the time to share what has worked for you (and what hasn’t). Here are the questions I plan to ask.

 

Getting to Know You

 

You’re financially independent. About how much does your household spend in a typical year? How much could you spend while still abiding by the 4% rule?

 

Tell us about your household. How many people and at what ages? Are you supporting anyone outside of your home? Where do you live?

 

Are you still working? In what career? Did your work schedule or attitude towards work change once you knew you were FI?

 

Was financial independence a long-term goal of yours? Did you think you might retire early or be able to do so when you first got started in your career?

 

Investing

 

How is your nest egg invested? Approximately what percentage is allocated to stocks, bonds, real estate, and alternatives?

 

Are your investments primarily in tax-deferred, Roth, or “taxable” post-tax accounts?

 

Do you have investments in an HSA? How about 529 Plans?

 

What has been your best investment?

 

Your worst investment?

 

Post-FI Life

 

What do you like to do with your free time? How much free time do you have these days?

 

Do you enjoy travel? Tell us about a favorite trip you’ve taken.

 

Do you incorporate giving (money or time) into your post-FI life?

 

If retired, do you miss work? Do you get bored?

 

What advice do you have for others hoping to achieve the financial success you’ve found?

 

[Ask and answer any additional questions that would further contribute to your story.]

 

Finally, is there anything under the sun that you’d like some help with? The hive mind would be happy to weigh in.

 

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These are not set in stone. Expect these written interviews to evolve based on your suggestions in the comments below and those from future interviewees. Feel free to add some questions that you feel would be insightful in the comments box and I may add them to the question bank for future interviews.

Again, if you’d like to partake in a future Q&A, please download a FIRE Starter, FIRE Crossroads, or Post-FI Notes interview form.

 

2 thoughts on “Interviewees Needed: the FIRE Starter, FIRE Crossroads, and Post-FI Interview Series”

  1. I just came here to say, love the music lyric references!

    You forgot one of my faves from the ‘90’s “moody woman music” period (as my husband calls it) – Sarah McLachlan: “Into the fire, I am the spark”.

    Excited for these series, esp Crossroads and Post-FI. We are kind of in between the two.

    Reply
  2. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!
  3. Hi Leif
    Looking forward to read these interviews and learn from other experiences.
    My wife and I are on our path towards FI which we want to achieve by end of 2024. I would be open to being interviewed.
    Cheers

    Reply

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