Jason Fieber is an investor and a blogger known from his blogs Mr. Free at 33 and Dividend Mantra. Jason’s blog was one of the very first FIRE blogs I stumbled upon back in 2013. He had started documenting his journey even before that and I became a regular reader very quickly.
Jason became financially free at the age of 33 in early 2016. He had started investing only in 2010 with just $7000 in his account. Head over to his blog if you want to read more about his story.
I was fortunate to get to interview Jason about FIRE and life after achieving FIRE.
Looking back on your FIRE journey, would you do anything differently if you had to start over?
Hindsight is always 20/20. I could have done many things better. But making mistakes allows us to learn and grow. Being dumb has made me smarter. So I don’t regret any of it. If I wouldn’t have done everything how I did it, I wouldn’t be where I’m at now. And I love where I’m at. But I will say that starting early is key. I didn’t start until I was almost 28. That’s super late.
What are the biggest pitfalls for someone trying to achieve FIRE?
Not knowing their ”why”. If you don’t have a compelling reason for all of this, you probably won’t make it very far. It’s a long and tough journey. You should have a very precise ”why” for all of the saving, investing, and lifestyle choices. You should have strong convictions.
You’ve had to go through some resentment from your family. What’s your advice for someone going through a similar situation?
It comes down to a fundamental question: Do you want people in your life who will resent you for becoming successful? For me, the answer is a clear no. Just because I came out of the same birth canal as someone else, it doesn’t invalidate my belief system or convictions. If someone is trying to bring me down, I’m very quick to eliminate them from my life. I don’t want negativity in my life. If you’re willing to let family members slide on this, just be aware that it will probably limit your possible success in life. That’s okay, but you should be cognizant of the choice.
How’s your life like after achieving FIRE and what are the biggest positives on living in Thailand? What would you consider the negatives?
Life is a dream. It really is. I consider myself incredibly fortunate. The biggest positive of my lifestyle is setting my own schedule. I love doing what I want, when I want, where I want, why I want, with whom I want. I have total control over everything I do. That makes me very happy. As for negatives, I’d say the biggest issue with FIRE in general is just the isolation. Most people can’t understand this lifestyle, and they don’t know how to relate to it. Likewise, it’s hard for me to relate to people who make poor financial choices in life when money isn’t really that difficult to master. In addition, most people are in a bubble. The job/house/car/debt bubble. Most people lack the time and freedom I have. So it’s difficult to have meaningful and like-minded relationships.
What would you hope to do in the future? Can you imagine yourself 10 years from now?
My future dreams mostly relate around philanthropy. I’m already a philanthropist, but it’s pretty small-scale stuff. I hope that I’m doing bigger work in this area 10 years from now, but I plan to scale things up much more 20-30 years down the road. In addition, I’d like to see more places around the world. I’d love to see places like Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Prague before I die. I’d be sad if I died without seeing a good chunk of the world. My long-term plan is to live a more mobile life. Perhaps have 2-3 cities that I live in over the course of each year.
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