If you ask someone how they are doing and they respond, “I’m fine”, do you think they’re really fine? That friend that really means, “Please ask me again!” It’s likely that they’re hiding something right beneath the surface. They’re just waiting for you to scratch the skin. They say it, of course, to appease you.
Well, I sure as hell don’t want to be just FINE… I want to be on FIRE!
What is FINE? Financial Independence Near Extinction!
Do you want to be financially independent and nearly extinct!? Am I being extreme? Maybe, but wouldn’t you rather be financially free as early as possible? If your’e going by U.S. standards, you’re going to retire when you’re 65 year old. The number 65 was originally created by a man in Germany when the average lifespan of people in the U.S. was only 62. At those times you weren’t even expected to make it to retirement!
The average life expectancy in the US is 78.6 and dropping! A male in the US today is expected to live to about 76 years old. Women are a bit more fortunate in that they’ll get almost an additional 5 years at 81. That leaves me with the thought that I may only have 11 years left after the standard retirement age. While it’s not a short amount of time by any means, I also don’t want to wait and take my chances on my health by then.
On a positive note, the average retirement age is lowering. People in the U.S. now retire on average at 62-63 years old. Does that really mean their financially independent though? No… unfortunately, it doesn’t. It just means they’ve given up working.
Once you hit 62, you are able to actually start pulling your social security benefits. Also, there are ways to get money such as reverse mortgages to supplement your income if you don’t have enough to cover your expenses. That means you’re still at the mercy of banks even into your retirement.
Will I even be in good health to enjoy my years of retirement?
I mean honestly, am I going to even be mobile? What if something terrible happens? I’d hedge my bets on getting back some time rather than hoping for the future. I’m betting on FIRE. No plans here of waiting until the ripe age of 65. I’d rather reach my independence much earlier.
Why do I care so much about my financial independence?
The sooner I’m financially independent, the less stress and burden I put on myself and others. I don’t want to have anyone else have to worry about my finances given that something bad happens. Also, if I’m less stressed I’m less likely to have health issues. Have you ever had a panic attack? Stress manifests in weird ways in the body!
This also lends itself for me to do some good. I now have funds in my pocket to help those close to me that may need it financially. There are tons of reasons that I can give for why I’d rather be financially independent earlier than later, but none for waiting until I’m closer to the reaper.
Would you rather be FIREd up? Or are you just…FINE…