It happened again recently: another high-profile media piece described the financial independence/retire early (FIRE) movement as one made up primarily of 30-something men in tech. This is a story some people love to tell, but it’s just that: a story. Let’s examine the myth, talk about why it’s harmful and kill it once and for all.
It may seem like an odd thing to say, but as focused as I was on retiring early for so many years, I’m actually glad that I didn’t retire even earlier than I did. “Why’s that, you crazy person?” you might be wondering. Well read on, because there are a bunch of reasons that just might help others feel better about the work you do en route to early retirement.
I love our financial independence/early retirement blog community like crazy, but there are some things we can all be doing to serve readers better. Some of them are simple, and some aren’t. But we owe it to our readers to be more transparent and to be more in touch with what our readers are up against.
I’m taking it on, you guys! 3000 words on why we aren’t fans of Bitcoin, and don’t think you should be either, if your goal is to build stable financial security or financial independence. There’s tons of research here, so come dig in!
Contrary to popular lore, there are lots of early retirees and aspirants who are like us — NOT naturally frugal, and not naturally the most disciplined about money. But does that mean we can’t achieve financial independence and thrive in early retirement? Hell no it doesn’t! Today, a love letter to the atypical ones among us.
I’m sharing a personal story today about why the oft-used term “financial freedom” has always meant something totally different to me. (Spoiler: You’re almost certainly already financially free.) Let’s talk about freedom!
Do you think there is a meaningful difference between the terms financial independence and early retirement? Let’s dive into this distinction without a difference, and what it means for the personal finance community.
in the financial independence/early retirement space, we know we’re not alone in complaining about work. and with good reason. but we’ve made a decision: we’re done complaining about work.
we’ve both come across a seemingly frequent but also puzzling (to us) phenomenon while perusing new blogs. when aspiring early retirees are telling people in their lives about their plans to retire early, they’re getting negative responses. one of which has us utterly befuddled: the assertion that the accumulation of assets required to retire early constitutes pretty much the worst quality we can imagine: greed. here’s our response, in manifesto form.
few things in our lives have ever excited us as much as the early retirement that we’re eagerly planning for. but we also feel something that not many people talk about: the ways in which we’re letting ourselves down by retiring early.
we don’t really know what we want to do when we grow up. but we think early retirement will finally give us the time and breathing room to find out. and we know for sure that we’re about to get a lot more useful to society, not less.
once we started planning in earnest for early retirement, we quickly realized: financial calculators all take a one-size-fits all approach. but what if your finances don’t fit neatly into this one-size-fits-all box?
the word “badass” gets thrown around a lot in personal finance/financial independence circles. that’s not the full story. all of us who are working toward or have achieved financial independence have one big thing in common. we’re lucky.
we’ve noticed something: the higher up people get in their careers, they more they seem to embrace making themselves helpless. seeing that has helped cement our view that we need to act differently in our own lives.
everything in our house that needs fixing or replacing means fewer dollars into our retirement savings and is, in other words, a direct assault on our escape plan, our freedom. but now, we’re trying to think of this as a lesson in impermanence.
we feel strongly that we should all stop talking about how busy we are. that words have the power to shape how we think. but even if we stop saying how exhausted we feel, we’re still exhausted. there’s no denying this.
like in the allegory of the cave, we used to see the shadows like everyone else, this illusion that work and earning and buying and accumulating are the only option. now we’ve seen that we can choose a different path for our future. except, for now, work is still our reality.