Should You Play With FI/Re

     

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Breaking down the movement which has been buzzing a lot, lately, F.I.R.E is an acronym for Financial Independence and Retire Early. Hence, below are some points which will not only inform you in detail about the concept but also help you to plan your retirement.


Rationale

I’ll leave up to you to decide whether this ubiquitous rationale is even concrete enough or not. F.I.R.E is perceived as a way to escape from discontented jobs & unfulfilling career.

Straightforward answer to not finding your job worthy enough, retire! You should rather find your calling, than to leave working. Very few people do ‘nothing’ after they retire.


Acronym Says What!

Made up by two components: 

1. Financial Independence

2. Early Retirement

Yes, you are right, financial independence means, not stressing about money & bills, being free from debt & part time jobs, to make money. Simply, doing what you love!

Whereas early retirement means, retiring at your 30’s or 40’s. There’s no need to work, you’ve garnered enough money, now you can! Now, it’s palpable that both the concepts both are positioned as entirely different, yet conflated as one.


Wrong Perspective

Honestly, whosoever is following FIRE movement blindly, has a very wrong perspective. The concept is based on early retirement not on financial retirement, which is the reason behind its criticism.

Financial retirement is a genuine means to attain happy & peaceful life, if you retire early there are many factors which are needed to be contemplated.

 

Life

The title cannot be more apt, what’s an unpredictable roller coaster, takes you anywhere out of nowhere. The very nature of life is that it’s precarious. Anything which is out of your imagination at this given point can fall upon you, the next moment.

Any tragedy, any catastrophe can burn you alive. Therefore, retiring early cannot be a prudent option. As a consequence, our focus should be on financial independence.


Ramifications of FIRE

Let’s say you want to FIRE, to retire at 30’s, you have to have a massive corpus to suffice you & your family. In order to do that, you need to save up to 70% of your income. Either, you make obscene money or spend your entire life frugally, these are the options.

A society, where spending has become a norm, people are so social. Living frugally is easier said than done! Sacrificing a get-together, a drive, trip to abroad just to save for retirement? Don’t you think this is irrational as you’re delaying your gratification to live comfortably in the future?

You’re simply compromising your present to create a better future, which is okay, but intense savings result in mental imbalance, considering man is a social animal!


Distinction Between Fire & Traditional System

Earlier, people used to retire in their 60’s, living life comfortably both in the present & the future. There lie’s the stark difference, retiring in 30’s, thereby living your life as a miser!

The second one is an extension of the above, FIRE is based on the premise that you don’t need to upgrade your lifestyle, in the present. It has positioned retirement as a nirvana!


Prefer Financial Independence

Strive to become fully independent financially, rather than to retire early. By pursuing that you can live a life, you always wanted to. Do what your passion is, as you don’t have any obligations or costs constraining your budget.  

You’ll eventually achieve everything that you yearn through the channel of early retirement. Retirement is not a destination, everything is not happily after. However, financial independence can ensure happiness and peace.

When you want to achieve independence financially, you save, you don’t scrimp. There lies the difference. You might save a lot but after years, you forget how to spend! You focus on things you need & discard the ones that you don’t. Isn’t it a way, wealthy follows?


4% Rule

To derive the number, you need to retire i.e. FIRE number. People use the 4% rule, which states that one needs to track his annual expenses & save the amount which is 25 times the expenses, given a withdrawal rate of 4% p.a. for retirement.

This sounds sensible, you can invest your money in avenues, which offer you more than 4% returns, therefore, compounding can take place & make you wealthy!


Real Pain

All of it sounds good! But, you’re unique, you need to make a right goal, don’t fall prey to a dejected life, saving so much can also be excruciating, considering today’s day & age.

You need utmost clarity on what you’re retiring from & what you’re retiring to. Any haste on that front can be costly!

As Suze Orman says ”things happen, when you grow old”. According to her, one needs around 5-10 million dollars to sustain retirement life along with unforeseen events.


Be Cognizant & Daring

1.You would go through identity crisis, once you retire early, you realize you might have understated your job.

2.High likelihood of depression, you become unproductive & have ample time, then your brain messes with you!

3.Prime time, retiring at 30’s or 40’s can be forgoing your potential of earning the most. When you enter your 30’s, you just begin to get a decent paycheck.

4.Arduous making networks, no wonders your network would be hit, if you leave your job, your colleagues might not remember you long enough.

5.Life might become mundane.


Your Choice

Yes, it’s your life. It’s completely up to your discretion whether to retire or not. But you would need to upgrade yourself consistently as you don’t have any safety net, you can’t leave working forever!

Consult a professional, before taking such a drastic step. You might be inclined towards it, but you’ll get a sense, what you’re falling for. Being old & broke is terrible!


Conclusion

Everything depends on how well you plan well, save & live life. You don’t need to live, king size, if you don’t earn enough. That doesn’t justify you becoming thrifty. In my view, you need to prioritize financial independence over any & everything.

Pursue your passion, don’t try to squeeze life & work, it’s neither healthy nor exciting. You need to appreciate the journey towards financial independence & attainment of it.

Inculcate the habit of savings, better be it minuscule initially, you will gear up gradually. Have a right goal, live a good life. Financial independence is the biggest gift, you can offer to yourself.

Written by – Manvinder Arora

Edited by – Adrija Saha


Should You Play With FI/Re Should You Play With FI/Re Reviewed by Adrija Saha on June 30, 2020 Rating: 5

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