FW 009 Later2FIRE with Project Palm Tree Shaun shares his story of why he chose to join the FIRE movement



When Shaun turned 50 he realized he was behind in saving for retirement so he joined the FIRE community to get his finances on track. Shaun believes that the principles of FIRE can help people who are Later to FIRE.

Show Notes

  • Our guest is Shaun from Project Palm Tree which is about reducing stress, replacing income and finding a life you love.
  • Shaun is an architect from Sydney Australia
  • His initial focus was on reducing stress and finding a life he loves. Mediation got his stress under control which helped him gain more appreciation of his life. His next step is to get control over his personal finances.
  • After turning 50, (he self-describes as “Later2FIRE”), Shaun put more emphasis on saving for retirement.
  • Finding the FIRE community provides a framework and support.
  • His biggest influencer is the Choose FI podcast where he finds stories of people who inspired him.
  • The first episode he listened features Becky who is one of the people we wrote about for out FIRE Starter series (Becky Heptig from Started at 50).
  • He took control of his finances, set a goal and is moving his investments into index funds.
  • In Australia employers contribute 9.5% into a deferred savings plan which is similar to a 401 (k). Employees can contribute $20,000 per year. At 55 that goes up to $25,000.
  • Shaun keeps track of his expenses and his savings on a spreadsheet.
  • He’s working on cutting expenses which his considers a challenge, not a burden. For example, he ditched his expensive personal trainer for membership in a community gym.
  • He learned to save up for something before spending from his parents.
  • His father helped him understand that he shouldn’t overspend for a car because it would affect his ability to spend on other things.
  • Shaun is targeting to retire at 60 but intends to continue to work but not in a full-time position.
  • Shaun’s relationship with the FIRE community is that he’s found like-minded people who help him improve his knowledge of finance.
  • Shaun sees himself as a ”value-ist”.
  • Being Later 2 FIRE provides some advantages such as closer to a pension (Social Security) and plenty of room to cut expenses.
  • Shaun is working through the steps of The Barefoot Investor and writing about his experience on Project Palm Tree. He also lists all the books he’s reading.
  • Shaun considered trying copywriting as a side hustle but discovered it wasn’t for him.
  • Shaun’s next step in The Barefoot Investor is to get out of several expensive insurance policies.
  • As a last word, Shaun feel that joining the FIRE community is helping him cope with the current stress from COVID 19.

For more information about Later2FIRE, check out Why It’s Not Too Late to Join the FIRE Movement

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