Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

Who says schools don’t teach kids about personal finance?

Clearly, when you’re writing in the FIRE pace, a post about giving your retirement speech is something everyone wants to read. Most readers ever in a single day. Gee, if I put some effort into publicising this blog, I would have stumbled across this tactic far earlier and I would’ve retired YEARS ago! This post even beat the numbers I got when I won the Rockstar Finance blog battle in 2018.

Good times…

This morning I woke up, drowsily hearing rain on the tin roof and knew I had the day off. Then I thought, ‘I didn’t ring the daily organiser to tell her I wasn’t coming in!’ and I sat bolt upright in bed before I realised.

It’s a funny thing, being a teacher and retiring at the beginning of the school holidays. For the whole of my working life, I’ve had 5 or 6 weeks of holidays at this time of the year. So, even though I know in my head that I’m not going back to work, in the rest of my body it honestly feels like the summer holidays.

I still have my wage coming in until the end of the holidays, which also makes it seem like business as usual. However, my head, which (as I’ve already told you), knows that I’m retired, made me go to Gardenworld yesterday to buy expensive tree ferns and other plants to fill in the last garden bed in my new outdoor room. I also paid the deposit on getting my ensuite remodelled. I like paying for jobs like this while I still have money coming in.

2021 will be a year of only local travel, staying close to home and enjoying the space I’ve created.

Every year I give my sons and nieces a book on personal finance. Some have read every book, some have thrown them onto their bookshelves unopened while some have dipped in and out of them, but I figure that when it dawns on each person that they need to have a handle on this money stuff, they’ll have info right at their fingertips. Already that makes them better off than most people, right?

After Christmas, I’ll put a new page up at the top, where I’ll list what I’ve given them each year and why.

Coffee grounds and cold sausages.

After my last day, as I was literally leaving the school with the last bounty I’ll be taking from this place – a tray of cooked snags and the last of the coffee grounds from the staff room – ( I wrote about making the most of what your workplace can offer HERE) – one of the economics teachers stopped me and asked if I’d be interested in giving a talk to the year 9s in a new elective they’re offering next year about personal finance.

“It sounds like you’d be the perfect person to talk to them,” he said.

“Are you kidding?!? I’d be rapt!”

“It’d be twice,” he said. “It’s a semester subject.”

“That’s why I’m retiring,” I said. “So I can do the things I want to do. This’ll definitely be one of them.”

It’ll be interesting to see the topics they’ll be covering.


  1. Budget Life List

    Those visitation stats are fabulous! Your speech was epic, interruptions and all. I don’t know if I could have had such a tactful and funny response at the ready.

    Those kids are lucky to have you as a speaker! I would love to hear what you would say to them. What a way to pass on your FIRE knowledge to future generations.

    Cheers to more alarmless mornings!

    • FrogdancerJones

      I just have to program the dogs not to wake up at anywhere between 6 and 6:30.

  2. Jamie

    Haha your old colleagues were right when they said “you’ll be back!”

    But you knew that yourself.

    Can’t wait to read about your programming for the class.

    • FrogdancerJones

      I’ll just be coming in to give a talk, but of course I’ll have to see what the course is actually covering.
      Like I said, it’ll be interesting.

  3. Mrs. FCB

    I love hearing stories like that! Kids definitely need to hear more about money, and it’ll be particularly meaningful hearing your personal experience rather than just something out of a book! Nice job!

    • FrogdancerJones

      Yes, I think I’ll enjoy iy.
      Plus, there’s sure to be a few kids in each class that I’ve taught in year 7, so it’ll be nice to see them again.

  4. Jordan @ FIRE Your Own Way

    Great idea to give your sons and nieces personal finance books. Looking forward to hearing how the new personal finance elective turns out.

  5. Lin

    Congratulations on your recent, early retirement!
    I discovered your blog today, via Strong Money (and subscribed).
    You have inspired me to look forward to the impact of my retirement speech – more than actually retiring. To take the time and effort to craft something funny and meaningful, to be moving, memorable and savour the moment that we work so hard to achieve!
    Thank you so much for sharing your brilliant speech, I sense I felt as captivated reading it as those who heard it firsthand.

    • FrogdancerJones

      Everyone who comments for the first time has their comment held for approval first.
      How could I NOT approve this one?!?
      Thanks so much. is an excellent blog. He goes into the maths (ugh) of it all a lot more in depth than I ever will!
      I loved giving that speech. 🙂

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