Today me and my wife were delighted to meet in person Chris Englert, Steve and Kelly in Nenagh Tipperary, Ireland for lunch in a lovely bakery. Chris and Steve from Eat Walk Learn sold their home and everything they own, yes nothing has gone into storage and they are completely FIRE, having retired from Corporate America and are now slow travelling the world with just two carry-ons!
Steve retired a few month’s ago so we were absolutely delighted to meet them as they pass through Ireland and share stories as we ate lunch enjoyed scones and drank coffee! The meetup was enabled by previous FIRE event guest speakers Tim and Amy from GoWithLess. Thank you!
We discussed everything FIRE from American retirement accounts, to asset re allocation, health care costs and options for schooling and education. We learned more about housesitting and vegan-eating tips.
Together they have visited more than 62 countries and all 50 states!
I want to meet more of my international interview guests and speakers so we can also share the photos and experiences with you all as we go.
The next live FIRE event is on 16.09.21 and I am delighted to announce that Chris and Steve will be joining the event as our bonus guest speakers.
I am fortunate to have interviewed Chris Englert and the Q&A follows.
Who are you, and how did you discover fire?
I’m a retired sales person who spent most of her life persuading others to improve their education. I retired at 49, 5 years ago, and had to wait out my husband’s retirement and my daughter’s high school graduation.
They both “hit their numbers” this past June. While waiting for them, I started a small publishing business that included two websites, four books, and several disposable products. When I started the business, EatWalkLearn.com, I never fathomed it would generate a nice income and something to do while I waited on my husband and my daughter.
When they were ready, I sold off the number one website in Denver for hiking, and I still get royalties on my best-selling (albeit very local/regional) books. I kept EatWalkLearn to post about our nomad, vegan, hiking life.
I didn’t know I FIRED until about 4 years after I FIRED. I am your classic textbook early retiree. From the very first day of my first job after grad school, I started socking away my corporate matching funds, all my bonuses, and all my raises. At 22, I planned to retire at 55. When an early retirement option came at 49, I discovered I had hit my number and jumped.
What was the backbone of your fire strategy?
I still remember in the first couple of weeks of my career whilst I was working at IBM when the HR person came in to tell all the new hires about corporate benefits. Funny, it was right when “pensions” were dying off and IBM was replacing it with a matching strategy. I was blown away by the fact that they would give me money for saving money. At the time, they matched 6%. Right then I figured out how to put away my own 6%, then I added in my bonuses and such as I got them.
Although I occasionally increased my living expenses as my raises came along, I certainly always lived well below my means. Even if I found myself in between jobs throughout my career, I still put money away into 401Ks. I remember a time I was collecting unemployment and still making deposits into my retirement accounts. The deposits were smaller than they had been while employed, but it was important to me to keep up the habit so that I could cash in on it later.
How do you spend your time now your Financially Independent and Retired Early?
My husband and I have always kept our finances separate, but together we had the goal to be nomads in June 2021. He put together a FIRE plan in 2011, right after we met, and worked hard for 10 years to get to his FIRE number, including changing jobs in the last year of his career. He even got Rookie of the Year!
He retired in June, and we’ve been on the road since. We had a big road trip through the US over the summer to see family and friends, then we jumped the pond to Ireland. We’ll drop off our daughter at Trinity College, then we’re off to our adventure. It’s a combo of housesit/airbnb/cruises as we venture around the world looking for a long-term place to live.
It may take us a year or ten. Who cares? Our only obligation in the next four years is to return to Ireland for our daughter’s graduation. Other things will come up, I’m sure, but in the meantime, where’s the next city with 72 degrees? Look for us there!
What are some books, podcasts or YouTube channels you recommend?
I subscribe to the free Freebooksy. Every day in my email, I get a recommendation for a free book to download to Kindle. They have a ton of genres, including Travel. It keeps my Kindle loaded up and costs me nothing.
I just finished a #50hikes50states project where my husband and I visited each state and hiked. We chose moderate, 3-5mile loops that were quintessentially unique to the state.
It was a fabulous project that solidified our love for the US while also released us to travel the world. You can follow along at EatWalkLearn or on instagram under #50hikes50states.
Connect with Chris