The thought of (FIRE – Financial Independence and Retire Early), while entering into everyday lexicon of several people, is still probably a niche thought. Some of the possible reasons are that most of us are yet to have a financial independence mindset. Some of us are too busy chasing our lifestyles, while many of us probably don’t have enough raw materials – in form of decent income (and savings) to begin with. Here I’ll be sharing the reasons why I think aiming for FIRE may make sense.
While you are aiming for FIRE, it may well happen that you may not achieve it or may achieve just partial financial Independence. But the financial independence mindset may align you towards the possibility of this happening, if situation be.
5 reasons why aiming for FIRE makes sense.
1 You may be redundant in your current job
Job security, for most of the workforce is a myth. Given the pace of technology changes and inter-connected nature of the world, lot of us face the risk of becoming irrelevant or redundant. Emergency fund may help tide through the initial period of this job loss, But what if employability becomes an issue altogether? This can be due to many reasons reasons like age and skills which may not have much demand in the market.
If you are close to financial independence and have investments which can take care of your day to day needs, you may be able to tide through the tough times. Hopefully for decades, and maybe rest of your life!
2 Your health may not permit you to work
Working till your scheduled retirement – say well into your 50s or 60s, assumes that you will be in relatively good health till then. But it may not always be true. While minor health issues, which many of us pick up on the way can be managed, it may not always be possible. What if you pick up a health condition which makes it difficult to engage in full time work? Or some condition which may prohibit you from working altogether?
If you are close to financial independence it may be manageable with only spouse working (assuming a working spouse), or even without it, depending upon your FIRE status!
3 Some family responsibilities may prohibit you from working
As you move into your 30s and 40s, usually family responsibilities increase. And some of them may require a good deal of your time and commitment. It can be about, say paying attention to your child(ren) or taking care of ageing parent(s) or any other responsibilities. And if you want to devote your full time and energy for this, if need be, then your financial condition should permit this. Being close to or having achieved FIRE can be a great enabler. You may be able to care for your family without worrying too much about finances.
4 You may just get demotivated to work
Not all jobs are interesting. Not all people are motivated to work in something that is uninteresting for a prolonged period of time. But many don’t have an option because there are bills to pay and responsibilities to fulfill.
What if you have achieved financial independence?
Will you still continue working in something uninteresting and un-motivating?
Or will you want to do something that makes you happy and keeps you motivated?
5 You may want to pursue your passion, but are limited by financial obligations.
You may be passionate about say – writing, or cooking, or volunteering, or gardening – possibilities are endless. But then, most of them come with uncertain pay. Or maybe no pay at all. And you can’t probably take them because you have bill to pay and hence can’t quit your job to pursue your passions. But if you have achieved financial independence, you probably can. Even with partial financial independence, you can do what you are passionate about if a part of your bills are taken care of by your passion!
Even if you achieve financial independence, you may choose not to retire early, but the thought of financial independence itself is quite empowering. It provides your freedom and choice – to work on your own terms and do things you really enjoy.
For most, the pursuit of FIRE is not easy. It usually takes long time, probably couple of decades! But it is worth it. Isn’t it?
What are your thoughts?