Journey to Freedom: ep. 2 – Anonymous FIRE Blogger Enjoys Early Retirement (A Purple Life)

Today I’m chatting with A Purple Life– an anonymous blogger that has caught the attention of a lot of folks as she is radically transparent about her finances at APurpleLife.com. She started her blog in 2015 and publicly hatched a plan to retire in 10 years at age 35. In the meantime, she decreased her spending, increased her wages, and took advantage of domestic “geoarbitrage” (meaning, she moved to a less expensive city) and instead reached her goal in HALF the time and retired in 2020 at the age of 30. Her blog catalogs her journey to and through early retirement. 

If you’re wondering about the “purple” part, she does have purple hair and the only photo of her on her blog is one taken from behind–with the wind blowing her beautiful purple hair, so you can’t even see her face. 

She has been featured in Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Insider, ChooseFI podcast, Bigger Pockets podcast and so much more. Her blog, A Purple Life, even won the 2020 Plutus Award for best FIRE content & Blog of the Year. She posts a new blog every Tuesday and is very active on Twitter (@APurpleLifeBlog) and Instagram (@APurpleLife), while still protecting her identity.

We discuss how she is AirBnB-hopping with just a backpack and enjoying her stress-free nomadic lifestyle as an early retiree. We also discuss how she achieved this big milestone and how her investments are only continuing to compound and grow. 

~Meg Nordmann

Twitter, Instagram: @megnordmann

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Notes on things discussed:

  • How she turned in her notice and her boss’ reaction. Her coworker’s reactions and did any of them take notes?
  • What it was like FIRE-ing during the pandemic after a stock market crash, and why she decided to FIRE despite this period of uncertainty.
  • She had half a million invested and 2 years of expenses in cash.
  • Her investments continued to compound. $620K at end of 2020 and by last week (March 2020) was already at $667K.
  • What it’s like being FIREd.
  • Why she champions “anti-productivity” & proudly claims to be a “lazy person.”
  • “I’m finding the simple life very enjoyable in my own back yard.”
  • Exploring being 3rd-generation FI.
  • Geoarbitrage in the States and “Lifestyle Design”
  • Living expenses were $35K in Manhattan & $18K in Seattle.
  • “I’m a self-proclaimed lazy person. Library books are free and so is birdwatching. (Except for my birdseed). It doesn’t take a lot to make me happy.
  • Job-hunting to increase salary. Glassdoor, PayScale
  • The 4% drawdown and the 25x Rule
  • Recommended FI calculator: cFIRESim.com
  • 100% stocks strategy
  • Spent less than $16K last year (2020)
  • Finances are separate from partner to keep a level of independence
  • JL Collins, Jack Bogle
  • Travel Bucket-List once the pandemic is over

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