A lot of people do not like to work, not just stressful work but work at all. So some people find out the F.I.R.E. movement aka Financial Independence, Retire Early. People who do not like or want to work want to find out how not to work at all or all of their life.
In that case they have worse and worse or from their perspectives better and better ideas how not to work forever, but these are not always the best ideas.
However, in this article I will enlighten some people Why Financial Independence Retire Early is not sustainable?
The history of F.I.R.E.
However, it can be traced back to several sources:
- Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez: co-authored the book “Your Money or Your Life” which was first published in 1992. This book introduced many of the concepts that later became associated with the F.I.R.E. movement e.g.: the idea of financial independence, frugal living, tracking and reducing expenses.
- Mr. Money Mustache (Peter Adeney): the popular personal finance blogger, whose real name is Peter Adeney, started the “Mr. Money Mustache” blog in 2011. He shared his own journey to financial independence, early retirement and offered advice on how others could achieve similar goals.
- Early Retirement Extreme (Jacob Lund Fisker): Jacob Lund Fisker wrote a book and maintained a blog called “Early Retirement Extreme.” His philosophy was to achieve financial independence through extreme frugality and savings. His ideas had a significant influence on the F.I.R.E. community.
Internet and Online Communities
There are a lot of online communities where you can find fanatics of F.I.R.E., but that does not mean people there achieved financial independence the way they are stating.
Theses online F.I.R.E. (Financial Independence Retire Early) movements gained momentum through
- online forums,
- social media, and
- communities where people shared their stories, strategies, and support for achieving financial independence and retiring early. These communities provided a platform for people to connect, learn, and exchange ideas.
So as we can see there are a lot of supporters and fans of these kind of ideas where you can “be rich and then early retire” then later you just need to enjoy life (whatever that means for you).
BUT for most people this will means they need to manage their things forever. Obviously a lot of people would love this, but not for everyone.
Try to imagine you work a lot to have a lot, then you need to manage (this) LOT forever, it is STILL like WORKING. You just convince yourself you need to only enjoy life, but is that what you really want?
Moreover, you do not know how people in these communities achieved their goals. It might be through inheritence, luck or any other good or bad way. Do not trust in them immediately,
Key ideas to achieve F.I.R.E.
This means having enough savings and investments to cover your living expenses, travel etc. without needing to work for a traditional job. Many F.I.R.E. enthusiasts aim for a withdrawal rate of 3-4% from their investments to sustain their lifestyle.
F.I.R.E. proponents seek to retire early, often in their 30s or 40s, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they stop working altogether. It’s more about having the freedom to choose how they spend their time and pursue work they are passionate about.
Aggressive Saving and Investing
F.I.R.E. (Financial Independence Retire Early) followers
- save a large portion of their income, often 50% or more, and
- invest it in assets like stocks, real estate, and income-generating investments.
Many F.I.R.E. adherents
- embrace a frugal lifestyle for years,
- focusing on reducing expenses,
- cutting unnecessary spending, and
- living well below their means to save as much as possible.
While F.I.R.E. pursuers aim to retire early, they often have
- side hustles (stores, shops etc.) or
- income-generating activities they’re passionate about to supplement their finances during retirement.
F.I.R.E. requires a strong understanding of
- personal finance,
- investing, and
- wealth-building strategies.
As we all see you need to have to be very fanatic to achieve these goals, very commited and very hard-working at first. It is not for everyone obviously.
A lot of people like this like to think they will be lucky just because they know the F.I.R.E basics aka 101, they just need to follow some steps and they will be financially independent later, but this is unfortunately not the case.
Yes try to sell your body, a lot of people are doing this. I would not recommend this option only if that what you really want and not other good ideas for you, but it is your life.
Not a strategy, but some people do this, or try however that might not end in a way they want, because of prenups e.g.: Britney Spears had recently similar kind of bad marriage with a person who might just wanted her, because of her wealth, so maybe not the best idea ever that you sell your body and possibly end in a divorce.
Other not legal ideas
A lot of people want to achieve things through not legal ways fast and retire early, they usually end up in jail. Look at the last year’s Forbes 30 under 30 at least 5 people from there ended up in jail and some other top names going there soon probably e.g.: FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, and some other colleagues of him.
It is possible that in some aspects of this living is attractive, but certainly not all and people forgot some very important things. It is not that easy to achieve and your physical and mental health can be destroyed in that long project which might means then that you can not enjoy the hard-earned financial independence.
Some aspects what people forgot regarding F.I.R.E (Financial Independence Retire Early) concepts.
It’s crucial not to sacrifice all aspects of life for financial goals. Some individuals pursuing F.I.R.E. can become so focused on saving and investing that
- they neglect other areas of their life, e.g.: relationships, health, and personal growth. Achieving a balance between financial goals and overall well-being is essential.
This means you might that focused on the F.I.R.E end goal that you forgot to LIVE.
Enjoying the present
Living life and enjoying the PRESENT moments can be just as much important for some people than just focusing on a long end goal.
For example some people think we have the NOW, and we need to LIVE in the present.
Totally agree with this because no one knows whether we will reach that age or not when we can just enjoy life.
The goal achieveable for some people and in some country, but not for everyone.
The goal can make you think you are much better than you are, this can lead to
- serial disappointments or
- mental health problems or
- physical health problems as well,
but in the same time it can lead to personal development and growth when you realize achieving financial independence early is maybe not for you.
Moreover, it can be so lonely, most people say they want to go back to work after they have achieved financial independence, because it was so LONELY.
You can try it out if you can
- work, and
- live frugal for some years and then if possible going back to your parents and not working for a few months or years.
However, it can be very
- BORING and
so obviously this type of living is not for everyone.
It can be addictive as well, aka you might get addicted to work and even if you achieve your goals, you go back to work, however you might loose your original personality forever.
So this is a kind of personal development, but you might realize after some months, or years that living in the NOW and ENJOYING the PRESENT is BETTER, than working for something which might you never achieve or YOU MIGHT NOT EVEN ENJOY.
F.I.R.E. strategies often involve
- aggressive saving and
which can carry risks, especially during
- economic downturns,
- crisis etc. etc.
People need to have a realistic understanding of their risk tolerance and be prepared for potential financial setbacks in their investment portfolio.
(Furthermore, people from the (higher ground aka wealthy ones) can move world economy that much that you might never achieve your goals because they do not want you to have wealth. They just want to play with you, and watch your strategies and how you suffer to achieve your goals.
Which is why I would highly recommend ENJOY THE NOW.
Risk on the market
Working and fighting for something which you might never achieve maybe have no sense. I would not trust in the world economy because there can be a pandemic, crisis, war etc. and anything else which will cause that you lose your investments, which means achieving financial independence might never come.
Sorry from everyone who already started their plan to achieve F.I.R.E but highly unlikely people can achieve these goals, because of that much financial RISKS on the markets.
I would recommend everyone find out how to enjoy the now, instead of preparing enjoying the bright future, which might never come…
In many countries, healthcare costs can be a significant financial burden, and these costs are often underestimated in F.I.R.E. plans.
People need to (re)consider how they will manage healthcare expenses in early retirement, especially before they are eligible for government healthcare programs like Medicare in the United States.
Healthcare insurances are good ideas e.g.: there are insurances which pay if you can not work. People usually
- overrate their health and
- underrate the risk of an injury, illness and the contingency of an accident.
It is no sense to work and achieve F.I.R.E if you can not enjoy it, because you are that sick or die earlier.
F.I.R.E. plans often rely on
- consistent and
- relatively high investment returns to sustain early retirement.
- financial markets can be volatile, and
- historical performance is not guaranteed to continue.
Individuals should have contingency plans for market downturns.
F.I.R.E. followers might not consider market volatility risks. This means if a lot of people working for the same goals then that goal might be never achievable…
Life circumstances and personal goals can change over time.
What someone wants in their 20s may be different from what they desire in their 40s or 50s.
Being open to adapting financial plans and retirement goals is important. This means working hard for something might close out
- other opportunities and
- other resources of happiness from your life.
You can be happy working for a F.I.R.E. goal but how do you know working for other goals would not make you happier?
Family and Dependents
F.I.R.E. strategies often designed for individuals or couples without dependents.
If you have children or other family members to support, it can significantly impact your financial plan.
Social Safety Nets
F.I.R.E. strategies sometimes assume that individuals won’t rely on social safety nets like
- Social Security,
- unemployment benefits, or
- disability insurance.
However, these programs can be important in times of need, and it’s wise to understand the implications of not having these safety nets as a part of your financial plan.
Sustainability and Environmental Impact
F.I.R.E. strategies not always align with
It’s worth considering how financial decisions impact the planet and future generations.
The pursuit of F.I.R.E. can be
- stressful and
- require significant sacrifices.
Mental health should be a priority, and it’s essential to find ways to
- manage stress,
- enjoy life and
- maintain well-being while pursuing financial goals.
Studies and books
Some studies in F.I.R.E. topic:
- Various academic studies explore the impacts of early retirement on happiness, health, and well-being. Researchers like Dr. Michael Finke, Dr. Joseph Coughlin, and Dr. Sarah Harper have published work in this field.
- Academic research on personal finance and investing, often published in journals like the Journal of Finance or the Journal of Financial Economics.
- Research in behavioral economics and decision-making, such as the work of Richard H. Thaler and Daniel Kahneman, can shed light on the psychological aspects of saving, investing, and financial decision-making.
- The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel.
- The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less by Barry Schwartz,
- Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spendin by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton,
- The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.
Sustainable ways of living
Finding a sustainable ways of living is better for your own
opportunities to other options
than constantly trying achieving unrealistic goals. Sometimes normal career growth gives you a better, maybe more boring but better life than being constantly busy and having a stressful life.
In some cases you need to protect yourself with strong boundaries from people who have these goals and they want to use you for their goals or want you to think this is what you want too. These are highly competitive people and not always good for your mental health and well-being.
They usually do not understand your way of living and want to convince you to follow their ideas. It is better for your mental health if you leave them to find those people who need them and help them and let yourself to live in peace.
REMEMBER, world is much bigger than just following ONE goal endlessly.
New experiences and interests much more important (according to the writer of the blog) than just following one goal. 🙂