Seems that everyone has an opinion about F.I.R.E. (Financial Independence Retire Early). I know I do. While I do life the idea, I do have an argument against F.I.R.E.
Here is Kevin O’Leary’s (from Shark Tank), opinion about F.I.R.E. and why he thinks it doesn’t work.
I actually share his concern. If you retire early… then what are you going to do?
I think the F.I.R.E. Movement is suffering from the very name of the movement, a little like Global Warming. People are giving too much importance on the name. The name is too rigid and does not accurately reflect everything that is going on.
For example, Global Warming for me is really about climate change. And more specifically, human involvement and responsibility for the environment. But if the climate change is not specifically about the climate getting hotter, naysayers say Global Warming is a hoax.
I personally think they are missing the point and are putting too much emphasis on the name.
I think the F.I.R.E. Movement is suffering from the same thing. A lot of people think if you mention F.I.R.E. you are planning to retire early and DO NOTHING. And in my opinion, it is not necessarily the point to stop working altogether.
If you adhere rigidly to what the name suggests, I think you are not getting the whole story.
I also don’t plan to “retire”. But I might be looking at retirement a lot different than most people.
My life experience is probably a lot different than others. I moved to Chile from the U.S. when I was 25 years old. I quickly learned I had to figure out how to make a living. And what I came up with had nothing to do with trading my time for money getting a “real job”.
To make a long story short, I started working on the Internet. And when I say “working”, I am not talking about having a boss and collecting a paycheck. I have been my own boss for the last 25 years.
This is exactly what I talk about on this site.
But my goal has never been to save enough money so I could stop “working” altogether and do nothing all day long. I look to create multiple streams of income so I have income coming in forever and saving enough money so IF I WANTED TO STOP WORKING ALTOGETHER, I could.
Think of the freedom you would have if you have multiple income streams coming in that you control. And think of the financial security you would feel with a lot of money saved you could use IF YOU HAD TO.
So I think the F.I.R.E. Movement has a lot to teach people. But don’t get caught up with the rigidness of the “retire” part. For me, it is more about taking control of your financial future than it is about quitting your day job.
The point is to be financially aware, responsible, independent and secure so you can CHOOSE what you want with your life. And I’m not sure what the argument would be against that.