The Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) movement is hot! With a bull market since 2009, many people in America and around the world have gotten wealthy by owning stocks, real estate, and other risk assets.
As a result of our massive increase in wealth during a relatively short period, many people are warming up to the FIRE movement where they retire in their 30s, 40s, or 50s to live the good life supported by their investments.
I define being financially independent as having enough investment income to cover your desired life’s living expenses.
Some people go the Lean FIRE route by living relatively frugally. While others strive to go the Fat FIRE route because of their desire to live it up. Only you can decide whether you’re truly comfortable with your finances.
For us, we’re still about $50,000 a year short in passive income to feel completely independent financially. That’s what happens when you have kids. Therefore, our FIRE journey continues.
Instead of glorifying financial independence and those who are financially independent, let’s have a more difficult conversation. I’m sure some of you find it nauseating to read about some FIRE folk’s fabulous lives.
Not all is sunshine and samurai swords in the land of FIRE. In fact, one could argue that most FIRE folks are maladjusted misfits who’ve never been able to fit in.
The Not So Obvious Reasons People Want To Achieve FIRE
Here are my 10 not so obvious reasons why people want to become financially independent. The truth hurts. But the truth also sets us free.
1) Can’t find the right job. Nobody quits a job they love. But only truly fortunate people can find such jobs. Most of us are not smart enough, talented enough, connected enough, or attractive enough to work at a dream job. Instead, we toil around doing something we dislike simply for the money, aching to escape reality.
2) An easier way out. Instead of grinding for decades at a job we hate, it’s easier to just give up and quit. Why keep on going as a cancer research scientist after not coming remotely close to finding a cure after 15 years? We might even love our jobs, but after working for years with no recognition, eventually the love wears out. Early retirement is like the coward’s solution to not having to try our best anymore.
3) The desire for instant gratification. Instead of putting in our dues to get to the corner office, we want to be the big boss now….