Friday 14 September 2018

FIRE in your 30s?

Many of my friends who have not entered the working world or have just started work always talk about retiring and how they hope to be able to retire at a certain age. I am very surprised by the proportion of people around my age who think about retiring because for my parent's generation, retirement wasn't an option until we (kids!) became adults. The environment that surrounds us and the environment that we, millennials grow up in really changes our mindset of working.

Read more: Retiring Early and comfortably?- What is FIRE?

I came across an article recently about FIRE which I have written about before. I found certain snippets of the article very interesting.
"Millennials have embraced this so-called FIRE movement — the acronym stands for financial independence, retire early — seeing it as a way out of soul-sucking, time-stealing work and an economy fueled by consumerism."

 This is really interesting in that a huge number of millenials have embraced FIRE and I think it is partly due to the expansion of technology and accessibility of the world. Travelling was never a frequent thing in my mum's generation but to millenials, travelling is a way of gaining knowledge and relaxing.

I remember when I was young, I was lucky enough to be able to travel to the US, Korea and at least one country each year. My first trip without my parents was when I was in Primary School where a exchange was given to students to travel to China, Shanghai.

After which, graduating from polytechnic made me travel much more with my friends. This I think is one point that makes millennials want to retire early, to be able to explore.

But even though millenials have embraced FIRE, not all of us are aware or are striving for it. A particular group of people especially are aiming towards this and they are mostly engineers and guys who work in the technology sector. I have seen a few engineer who have been able to achieve FIRE.

One example would be BeatTheBush who post videos on Youtube about his life after retirement and how he managed to retire.
"Followers of FIRE tend to be male and work in the tech industry, left-brained engineer-types who geek out on calculating compound interest over 40 years, or the return on investment on low-fee index funds versus real estate rentals."
Of course, many people of the older generation or even of the same age would some times not be able to understand why you would quit a job when you are so young.
"Mr Jason Long, a pharmacist in rural Tennessee who retired last year at the ripe old age of 38, said his father had a hard time understanding why Mr Long couldn’t continue to work and collect his US$150,000 salary. But Mr Long said he was deeply unhappy in his job."

I guess being stress up and having that burden taken off your shoulders is a great feeling and every so often, many people do not enjoy the work that they are doing or that their bosses are not treating them well. Being able to retire and quit is a liberation and even more so, having control over your life and time.

My mum buys TOTO often and she tells me that one day if she ever strikes the big prize, she would resign straight away. For my mum, I know she wants to enjoy the time she has left and that weekdays for her are all burned out at work. So, I guess FIRE is attractive to all but how many can actually achieve it at a young age?

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