"The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off."
I'm at my desk, crunching some numbers. It turns out my wife and I can retire in about eight years - putting us in our early 40s.
I get excited. I'm working at a job that I hate, working for someone with whom I have no values in common. If I can just suck it up for almost a decade I can call it quits.
Then, it dawns on me that I don’t want to have a miserable life for eight years. My wife doesn’t want to have to listen to me complain about my boss for 416 more weeks. Plus, I don’t want to live for 40 years with nothing to do.
I know there’s a trend for people who have high-paying jobs to hurry up and retire, but I don’t think it’s for me. I don't think it's for you, either.
If you haven’t heard of the FIRE movement, FIRE stands for Financial Independence, Retired Early. It’s a movement that aims to have people retire as early as their 30s and 40s. Some of what contributes to this is frugality and minimalism, but some of it is keeping an eye on lifestyle creep and maintaining a comfortable lifestyle and saving what’s leftover.
There are two sides to this movement - FI, or financial independence, and RE, or retire early (sometimes you’ll see the movement spelled FI/RE to make the distinction).
I strongly agree with half of the movement and disagree with the other. Financial independence is something we can all strive for. Retiring early is something you need to be careful with.