There is an interesting and growing movement among millennials called F.I.R.E. – an acronym for ‘financial independence, retire early’.

It’s young people planning to achieve financial independence and retire from their high stress jobs extremely early in their 30s and 40s. They aim to do this by drastically downsizing their living expenses and perhaps getting side gigs to supplement their income. The point is to trade material status and luxuries for more time and freedom. Many achieve this goal by foregoing the option to buy homes and opting to rent smaller and very affordable apartments instead.

Some individuals who’ve managed this seemingly impossible feat have done the following:

• No take away or eating out
• No gym
• Slower internet speed
• Not have children
• No air-conditioning
• Buying cheaper, lower qualify food/clothing

Here’s an example of one of their budgets.

Source: CNBC

Even as a financial advisor, this to me seems very extreme!  The main issue for me with this movement is the fact that modern science is allowing us to live much longer than our ancestors. If you manage to retire in your 30’s, what do you then do with the rest of your life (which could possibly be a further 60 to 70 years!)? Many of the people who’ve managed to retire early claim to be blogging, traveling and living their best lives. While this sounds great, it does not sound sustainable.

Successful retirement planning isn’t about you quitting your job as early as possible and doing nothing (or very little) until mortality. Retirement is no longer what it used to be. More and more people are opting to continue working beyond their retirement age. Some do this for financial reasons and others simply enjoy the work they’ve always done and continue to do so, at a less demanding pace.

Successful retirement is about the continuous effort in finding fulfilment and enjoyment in work (not necessarily quitting) however you define it, striving for the ultimate balance in work and life, giving back to those less fortunate than you and allowing yourself to indulge in a few pleasures that life has to offer. It’s not about running away from work but rather running towards your goals and dreams.
This can only be achieved through careful and deliberate retirement and life planning.

Have a good week!

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