Get FIRE’d is a personal finance blog on Financial Independence and Retiring Early. I want to promote the best ways to achieve FI through simple steps that everyone can follow do. Its important that you realise that this is NOT financial advice – I am just a dude trying to reach Financial Independence and sharing his experiences along the journey.
Hi! I am CaptainFI. I’m a 28 year old pilot and I’m based in Sydney, Australia. Despite living in one of the most expensive cities in the world, I manage an average savings rate well above 80%. I’m most of the way to leanFIRE, but I’m happy to keep flying, saving and investing towards fatFIRE – where I get a bit more disposable income in early retirement.
I do this through working hard, having a disciplined budget, and a frugal yet fulfilling lifestyle. This was initially borne from necessity, as I wasn’t always a pilot. I started my career as an Engineer, and had to cover the cost of my flight training, which added up to just over $300,000. This is possibly on the high side for pilot training – I hesitated a lot and it took me a while to get the confidence to take the bull by the horns and transition from my desk job into the flight deck. I procrastinated by undertaking a lot of flight training and endorsements such as aerobatics, low level, formation and instructor training on weekends while I worked the desk job. I really loved instructing on the weekends, and it let me gain the experience to enter my current flying role with an ATPL, and earn a little bit of beer money to offset the cost of all the training. Since my flight training expenses have dropped and my income has now increased, I haven’t allowed myself to lifestyle inflate: instead I choose to invest the difference in my future.
Other than working full time as a pilot, my side hustles include my aviation business, casual flying instructing and warbird adventure flights, investing, freelance design work, online arbitrage (i.e. eBay selling) as well as working on my website and real estate developments. I get a lot of satisfaction running Get-Fired.com, and want to share with you my ‘gouge’ (pilot slang for tips and tricks!) on how to become financially independent.
I am also a part time student and always learning. I’ve managed to use workplace educational grants to get a Bachelors and Masters degrees in Aeronautical and Space engineering completely free. I have a variety of hobbies including Cooking, playing guitar and learning to speak new languages.
Whilst I love flying, doing it professionally takes an extreme level of commitment; it is a constant learning environment where you grow and develop as an aviator, and it can be stressful at times. Ultimately it is a high stakes environment, especially considering you can regularly have over 100 souls on board, and are often flying in challenging conditions in all weather by day or night. You are flying all over the world to new (and some tricky) destinations, which can be complicated by foreign Air Traffic Controllers for whom English is a second language. You also have to accept a wide variety of cargo, some of which is dangerous goods and needs to be expertly managed to be transported safely.
As a pilot I am away from home a lot, and exploring the world has been fun and exciting in my 20’s. Realistically, I know sometime in my (mid?) 30’s I want to have the stability to begin and raise a family, so a focus on FI/RE will allow me more control over my life and working conditions.
My main goal is to cover my cost of living with passive investments. The primary objective is to amass the ‘Get FIRE’d Portfolio’ of stock index fund ETFs and LICs, and the secondary objective is to diversify this income stream through real estate developments, rental properties, web portfolios and online businesses.
This isn’t because I want to stop flying; I will never stop flying. Fair warning, aviation is a disease and on your first flight you will be hooked you can never stop. I just want flexible work options in the future (potentially fly a reduced schedule / roster), so I can do whatever I want, whenever I want – including being the father to my future kids that I never had.
From my time in aviation, especially instructing, I learned the value of teamwork. When you can help people to get what they need, you can often work together and get what you need, too. I also want to keep myself accountable to my goals. This is why I started Get-Fired.com, and hopefully it has or can help you to succeed with your goals, too. Whilst its not financial advice (which I am certainly not qualified or licensed to give), this is just the experiences of an Aussie bloke trying to make a better life through financial independence.
For more details on my journey towards FI, check out my dedicated post here: my journey towards Financial Independence