Aussie Firebug

Financial Independence Retire Early

Nothing written below is financial advice. The below questions and answers are for general information only and should not be taken as constituting professional advice. You should always do your own research when making any financial decisions.



Question (5:37)

Hi Aussie Firebug,

Big fan of the podcast and blog. You’re my favourite finance personality and I love following along each month and watching you get closer and closer to FIRE.

Congratulations on selling your house! What do you plan to do with the funds now? Invest all at once or dollar cost average into the market?



Firebug’s Answer

Hi Rick,

Thanks so much for the kind words about the blog 😊

This was the most requested question today so I skipped a whole bunch of older submissions to answer this asap.

I have to admit, when the money hit my account it was a bit of a weird feeling.

I spent way too long staring at the below image and thinking to myself ‘Holy Shit that’s a lot of money’


And we still had more in other accounts. It was nearly a quarter of mill at one point. But we ended up buying around $15K of shares and I’m leaning towards dollar cost averaging over the next 18 months or so.

That lump sum above is currently sitting in our offset which basically means that IP3 is not accruing any interest at the moment 😬. Cash flow will be off the charts!

Statistically speaking, investing the lot into the market at once will return a better result. But the truth is that I’m letting my emotions get the better of me and am basically too scared to dump it all in there in one go! We will drip feed $15K each month over the next 18 or so months.

That’s currently the plan with this lump sum. When we sell IP2 and IP3, I think we’ll do something similar. There’s also the potential to use the money earned as a deposit for our home when we stop renting.



Question (13:37)

Hi Aussie Firebug,

I just had a few quick questions:
1) What is your FIRE goal/At what age are you hoping to retire, with what sort of income?
2) How much do you currently work (at your 9-5) and are you planning to progressively cut back on work or straight retire?
3) What is/was your salary at your 9-5?
4) With the potential of a stock market/real estate crash, do you feel you will have to work a 9-5 during these tougher economic times?

Once again, thank you so much for your generosity and sharing.
Keep fighting the good fight.

Take Care,


Firebug’s Answer

Hi Tom,

  1. I’m hoping to reach FIRE at no later than 35 with an income of $50K per year splits between Mrs. FB and I. Well on track to get there.
  2. 38 hour weeks. Yeah, I’ll probably cut it back to 3 days a week to start with and then take it from there.
  3. I’ve been in an acting role for the last few months which pays $118,000 per year. My normal role pays $90K but I’m a good chance to get this role permanently. I have interviews in a few weeks (wish me luck).
  4. Potentially. There’s always the chance that a crash could happen after we pull the pin which could result in extra work. The truth is I doubt I’ll be earning $0 money once retired anyway. It’s just that the money I’ll be making will only ever be coming from passion projects and not because I have to be there.



Question (18:35)

Hey Mate,

I’ve been following your blog / Vlog / presence for 12 months now. I’m almost 23 and closer towards the start of my Journey (compared to yourself) however I’m a good saver and very frugal.

I’d love to see you talk about a few things in particular.

1. Your HECS Debt and what you did with it. (I’m in an industry that is performance-based and when I have a well performing month you really begin to feel the drag of a HECS debt). Would you suggest paying it off if you have sufficient funds to do so or let it run its course?

2. Chasing the FHOG. If I was going to bother with it I’d wanna do regional as its 20k vs 10k. However, I don’t really want to live in the property for 12 months. Moreover, the tradeoff in building in a regional area VS the appreciation had in an area maybe closer to Melbourne.

I’d love to hear a little more about what you did towards the start of your Journey and any other obstacles you had to overcome etc.



Firebug’s Answer

Hi Jordan,

Being a good saver and frugal is really the most important thing for reaching FIRE. Starting young is another major advantage, so you have two big aces in your hand already!

  1. I never paid off my HECS debt early. It’s the best debt you’ll ever have in your life and it never makes financial sense to pay it off quicker. The only reason you would add extra to it is for phycological reasons. If you’re someone who doesn’t like being in debt, paying it off could relieve stress.
  2. This is a timely question as I’ve just sold IP1. I detailed my experience with the FHOG in that post but basically, I received $21K from the FHOG which is the only real reason I was able to afford my first IP in the first place. You only had to live in the house for 6 months back then too. So much has changed. There are so many regulations these days that people can’t get loans. This will affect your ability to sell at a higher price later. I don’t know the future but it seems like the government are hell-bent on keeping property prices low for the foreseeable future. Do your research carefully and make sure you stick to your strategy.

One of the hardest things I had to overcome at the start of my journey was to learn how to relax a little. FIRE seemed so far away that I got obsessive over tiny things. This was not healthy and made life harder than it needed to be. The mental shift you experience as you get closer to the goal is crazy. I sort of wished I didn’t know about FIRE at 24 but kept saving hard and investing and maybe one day just realised I had reached the goal.

But then again, without the goal who knows if I would have made all the sacrifice I did in my 20s…


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