You are sick of the 9-5. You start looking for a way out of the rat race. You finally stumble upon Mr. Money Mustache and all the other wonderful FIRE blogs out there. You get excited. You learn about the 4% rule, index funds and frugality. You make a plan. You cut expenses. You start investing. You’ve found a way out!

But after a while, you realise: Financial Independence is exactly what you want, but it will take years to get there. Years of your life that you will have to spend behind a desk, years you will never get back. You wish you had started earlier. You get impatient. You start looking for a shortcut.

Congratulations, you have come to the right place. Welcome to Money Flamingo!

The passage you just read describes the exact situation my husband and I found ourselves in a while back. At that point, we had been on the path to Financial Independence for a couple of years. Our projected FIRE date was sometime in our mid-40s. While this sounded amazing when we first embarked on this journey (and had previously assumed we’d work well into our 60s), we started to question if sacrificing another decade of our lives to reach FIRE was worth it. For a number of reasons, we decided that it just wasn’t an acceptable option for us anymore.

We got creative and came up with a plan that still gives us the freedom we want without having to sacrifice all of those years to get there. We hope to inspire others to start thinking outside the FIRE box so they can reach their goals sooner as well. Remember, life is short and should be enjoyed, not endured!

So who are we?

We are a married couple in our late 30s. We have two young children and live in Sydney. Before moving back to Australia in 2015, we lived in several different countries (mainly in Europe) for 10 years. We love the outdoors, spend a lot of time in nature and on the water and just enjoy life in general.

Flamingo FI

We found out about FIRE around 2012 but didn’t do much about it for several years. When we finally got serious about reaching FI, like most people, we started out with a 10-15 year plan. However, we soon realised that we didn’t want to spend the best years of your lives chasing the freedom carrot. We would have hit FI in our 40s – way too late for our liking! So we came up with our own approach to FI – Flamingo FI.

Long story short: We reached Flamingo FI in early 2021 – just before Mr. Flamingo’s 40th birthday and are now semi-retired. We have not reached FI in the traditional sense. It has never been our goal to “retire” from work completely. We wanted to retire from having to work in jobs we hate and with people we can’t stand – we wanted to retire from working with wankers!

Semi-retirement has come at just the right time for us. With two young kids we are busier than ever and grateful that we are able to spend so much quality time as a family.

Flamingo FI is the ultimate shortcut for us: It cut several years of our full-time careers. Our plan only took 5 years in total. We got our 40s back. We get to spend lots of time with our kids while they are young. And as an added bonus we will be able to enjoy a higher standard of living later on in life than we would otherwise. For us, this is the perfect solution!

We hope you are as excited about Flamingo FI as we are. You can read all about this FI concept here. Welcome to the blog!