When I read articles like this one on marketwatch or on cheatsheet.com (wow so dramatic) or on inc.com. I’m struck by the defensiveness and negativity of the articles. These articles are vastly different from the articles by real FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) people, like this one on financial samurai which do talk about some of the issues that you get from being “retired” early.
I think that a main issue with the articles, is that they don’t really understand the point of “retiring” early. They don’t understand that the reason that people like me want to retire early, isn’t so that they can go lie on a beach somewhere. (although there are probably plenty of people like that) But rather to actually work on things that we are passionate about and do while we still have the time and the energy.
A main difference in “retiring” early and “retiring” late is that retiring early is a choice. I think that the most successful people in retiring early, retire early because they want to do something else. Or maybe they just want the freedom to do explore and find the next thing.
But let’s get into the real issues, and why I feel like it’s a lot of fear and jealousy about the FIRE community portrayed in those articles. So all the articles talk about having no form of active income. Well….. yeah that’s true, that’s the goal for people who want to retire early. “But you are losing the max earning years by retiring early.” Perhaps, but on the one hand, if you have enough money do you really need that much more? If i already have 30x my income with 50 years left of life do i really need 50x with only 30 years? But okay I get it, so lets say you have a down turn in the economy after you retire at 30. It’s really a false comparison, you are saying that because your money runs out, you shouldn’t do it. Guess what, if you weren’t early retired, you’d be out of a job with no savings…. I know which I’d rather pick.
The other problem I have about people saying that you’d have to work again, is that they are forgetting the “early” part of early retirement. If you retire at 62 and then you run out of money, that’s a disaster. Because who really wants to work when they are 85. But if you retire at 35 and you notice that your money won’t last until 85, guess what, there are tons of different options you can do. You can go work part-time for 10 years until the market picks back up, you can work full-time for a few years, you can cut your expenses more. You just have so many options because frankly, you have the most valuable resource, time.