RV on FIRE: Exploring Freedom

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An important aspect of our blog is utilizing the platform to help become a more involved part of the financial independence community. While doing some research into the community, I came across one of my followers, Joe. Joe is the founder of RV on Fire, an amazing couple’s story of independence by means of their RV and investments.

Joe wants to drop what most would consider a normal lifestyle by selling his home and move his family into an RV. This showcases that financial independence means different things for different people. FI could be living out of an RV, moving across the country or the world, continuing to work part or full time, or whatever you want it to be. The best thing about FI is that having enough money invested to support yourself gives you options to do whatever you want. So I sat down with Joe to talk about his story and discuss how he plans to turn his life upside down and begin to live out of his RV.

Who is Joe?

Joe, is currently 43 years old with plans to retire at the age of 48 with 1.5 million in net worth. Joe’s path up to this point was very surprising to me. He told me that both he and his wife have modest incomes by California standards and their simple tactic was making sure they saved about 15% of their income each year and then invest it. They’ve done this since the age of 18. Joe admits this savings rate is not nearly as high as many people who are planning to achieve financial independence but he willingly offered a little secret, that he and his wife both struggle with impulse buying. This has been the main factor in why their savings rate is low compared to other FI’ers. Despite this, Joe and his wife have amassed nearly one million dollars in investments even with a lower savings rate and living in the high cost of living state of California. This goes to show that when money is invested early on in life it will grow exponentially over time.

So why live in an RV?

This was one of my first questions. It seems so unconventional. Joe replied that in the Southwestern region of the United States it is actually very common for people to live out of an RV in order to travel the Country. Joe got his first taste of this when he, his wife, and son, rented an RV to take a road trip. After this excursion, they were hooked and had many discussions about buying their own RV to travel in. Joe related that the RV lifestyle brings his family peace and tranquility, giving them opportunities to go hiking and fishing, and also remove themselves from the busy lifestyle they have to live once they get back home and back to work. This freedom was so alluring to Joe and his family that they decided to basically take on a second mortgage and purchase a brand new 40′ RV for approx. $200,000.

But what about financial independence

Wow. That is a big purchase, especially when considering that Joe is already a homeowner with a mortgage. Joe is aware that this is an expensive purchase but he and his wife are looking to the future which will be coming up very soon when their son will be off to college and they will be selling their home to live in the RV full time. They will even live in this RV while continuing to work for the next 4-5 years until reaching financial independence.

Joe started his journey into this whole financial independence concept by first reading the well known blog “1500 days”. He also started reading the works of Mr. Money Mustache and other finance related articles online. He quickly realized that the material these bloggers were putting out perfectly aligned with both his and his wife’s views. Joe is currently working a job that is unfulfilling and he can’t wait until the day he can confidently leave his job because the money he has amassed will sustain him for life.

Joe is now at a point where he is scrutinizing his purchases a little more and fighting the urge to buy things impulsively. He is also parting ways with many of the material things he purchased years ago which he now realizes have not improved his happiness. He and his wife currently own two vehicles and have plans to sell one of them. Joe has sold a coin collection that sat around for years collecting dust, and cut his cable bill down from $260 to $20 per month. Joe is taking small steps that are propelling him forward and allowing him to retire years earlier than he formally would of been able to do.

So please join Joe on his journey at https://rv-on-fire.com/ where he tells his story of his new lifestyle, gives updates on his networth, and documents his path to financial independence. Will the RV lifestyle become something that Joe wants to do forever? We’ll just have to wait to find out but we wish him and his family the best of luck and happiness.

-Matt-

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