F.I.R.E. Retiree? How To Survive Your First Stock Market Crash.

Much of an early retiree’s retirement strategy is based on the continual meteoric stock market climb. Many F.I.R.E.   (Financial Independence Retire Early) participants are in their late 20’s, 30’s or early 40s and many of them have never been through a financial crisis. I was just wondering, now that the stock market is down over 4,000 points and clearly in a correction, what are these early retirees going to do for income, now that the supposed good times may be over?

The simple solution may be to go back to work and get a job.  But this stock market crash is global. That means that many companies around the world are going to be affected by the current crisis. Already Bed, Bath & Beyond just announced they’re laying off 10% of their staff internationally.
Airport selfie

Whatever they decide to do, odds are fairly good that many of these early retirees don’t have a back up plan.  For the first time, many of them will have to decide between global experiences or eating rice and beans. Stock market corrections are painful.  Sometimes, even sacrifice is involved. Many of these 30 year olds never had to go without a thing. Sure they swapped their Porches for a backpacking lifestyle, but that was voluntary. They may be facing their first mandatory decline. And if history proves anything, this first decline maybe one of many.

I’m interested to see how it all turns out.



  1. The key is not to panic.

    Most people I know have three(or more) buckets. First is a year living expenses in cash- money market stuff. Second is five years in long CDs and preferred stocks/REITS- we are totally in CDs. Last bucket is over six years and more in stocks depending on your risk. My mom’s (89) last bucket is Kimberly Clark/ Bristol Meyer/ and Tesla (bought at $100).
    Saying that, my dh bought in on this last rise. That puts that money into our third bucket, which has been empty for a while. It may take a few years for it to come back. I am always optimistic about the next generation.


    • Janette, you are the most optimistic person I know. Kudos. Does your DH have a lowest set price for individual stocks? In other words if it goes too low it automatically is sold? So your losses are minimal? My thought is suppose the stocks go bust and never come back? Just a thought. I heard about this method last night on one of the business shows.
      So far, nobody is saying anything.
      Curious to see what happens. This time.


  2. I believe most FIRE participants work for themselves and are still earning money. I doubt very many of them have ‘retired’, instead have secured the fact that they can ‘work for themselves’.

    We are not panicking. We’ve been through several of these crashes and have come out WAY ahead. You haven’t lost anything in the Stockmarket until you sell. I, too, agree that there should be various cash buckets to ride out a storm in retirement. I plan on having four myself, one of them being social security. I plan to have 5 years living expenses in cash, 5 more years in conservative investments, social security and the rest in longterm investments.We also have a home that is worth $$$$, which we could sell and buy another for $$$ (and bank the rest). We are fortunate there. We do not need to spend a lot to live well. I believe it’s all about attitude.

    One of my favorite you tubers is Coffee with Kate.(I know you are familiar with her). She lives well on a very tiny income (at least by Northern California standards) and has recently purchased her second real estate property. If she can live well on that little in such an expensive state, I believe we can spend less and ride out the storms.


    • I’m not fond of Coffee With Kate Financially she’s a ticking time bomb. WhAt would Dave Ramsey day to a couple. One of whom
      Is an immigrant who has been seized by ICE, thrown into jail and now currently can de deported in a moments notice, now between the two of them earn $40,000 a year, have now bought a second home, are carrying over $300,000 in mortgage debt, couldn’t sell the first house and rented it out instead at only $300 a month profit and they only have $7,000 in savings? Dave would call it madness and so do I. If Kate loses her husband she only makes $500 a month.
      Be careful who you believe on the internet and YouTube. IMHO Kate is a nut.
      All your other plans are terrific!!!


      • I don’t agree about Kate. I think she’s incredibly transparent. And she did talk about an immigration issue with her husband. Her low income is due to the fact she wants to home school her kids and be with them full time. I don’t think she’s financially stable, per se, but I think she did show how she can save and live on a small income.


      • Exactly. Do people with small incomes take on massive amounts of debt? That’s the question. Not too smart. God forbid something happens to her husband. He may be gone for years. She’ll have to take on a full time job, put her kids in school, and be burdened with an extraordinary amount of debt. Not a good formula. She may have to move back to home#1 but she may not be able to evict the tenant so fast. Plus most tenants destroy properties. She also may not be able to sell house #2 or rent it quickly either should the other shoe drop. Kate is not charging enough rent. She even states she won’t raise the rent if the tenant is a good tenant. Not a good business statement. Lastly she thinks prepaying off her first mortgage with the measly $3600 yearly profit will make the $120,000 mortgage disappear fast is another business faux pas. Dreaming.
        My family have been landlords for over 60 years. It’s a nightmare.
        If Kate has to work full time she’ll have no time for frugality. Hope the homes don’t have her husbAnds name on the deeds because if he’s deported who knows if the government will seize his assets. There are just too many things that cAn and probably will go wrong.
        Have you read any of her books or read her reviews on Amazon? Repetitive is a keyword.
        I love Kate. She is to be admired for her tenacity but she’s just an accident waiting to happen.


  3. There are different ways of doing things. There are different risks. Some open stores, others take out mortgages, some play the market, some sit in CDs, some travel, some RV, some stay at home and do smaller trips. I tend to be very conservative.
    Kate may not look great to you, but she will either sink or swim. Who knows? She is willing to take on the risk. Hers to take on.
    As far as ICE stealing property—look anywhere in the world. If you buy something illegally, it does not belong to you. That is why the FBI hires more accountants then law enforcement people.

    Sharon- Never thought about four buckets.For us it would be pensions and Social Security. Hummm- back to the bucket balance. I once read that a military pension is worth the same as a million dollar annuity. I know several people who travel on that and their SS quite nicely- while letting their nest eggs grow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janette, I agree. Kate is free to lo as she wishes. Just don’t get in front of a camera and boast hey! Look at what I accomplished on $40k and you can too. Seasoned people know better. Others don’t.


  4. I have followed the FIRE movement for a long time now, like you, Cindi. I will be interested to see what happens also. Like you said, some of them haven’t seen a downturn in the market, only the past 11 years of it going up. I am glad we don’t have any debt now that our house is paid off.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I admire Kate and enjoy her YouTube chat, although I only listen to part of it as it tends to be too long for me. I enjoy seeing how she is living in Northern California. The fact she can grow things all year around, I envy. She is so hardworking and has so much energy, but then she is much younger than me. She is intelligent and creative. My experiences has lead my choices in life, as have hers and yours, as well. Her journey of trying to make a go of this will be an interesting tale.

    It is good to be home from Florida. I missed my kitchen and my washing machine. I bet you are going to like have a dishwasher back in your life. Your husband will like having his shed back. Now, we will go see our friends and family, although we saw several in Florida. Spring flower shoots are poking up. Our next vacation will be after my knee replacement surgery in mid March. We want to visit family in MO. In May we will be up north enjoying our cabin.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it sure will be interesting seeing how Kate’s new life unfolds.
      The number one thing I missed the most while in Florida was my bathtub. Ugh. I’m not too happy to be back in the colder weather. Next year we will stay in Florida just a bit longer.
      Thank you for your comments. Enjoy.


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