When I created this blog over seven years ago, the sole purpose was to chronicle our journey for financial independence and joyful life. I wanted to share my knowledge with like-minded people. I could have just focused on writing articles about money and personal finance.

But I didn’t.

Right from the start, I put a strong emphasis on the joyful life aspect, because I realized that having all the money in the world does not automatically make one happy. Happiness needs to come from within and finding this internal happiness is a daily practice. I realized, that writing about money gets old quickly; I wanted to write about more than just the money.

Being the sole income earner of the family (for now), early retirement was never really a goal I had in mind. My focus has always been on financial independence. I want to reach financial independence so Mrs. T and I can have more options in life and have the freedom to work because we want to, rather than working because we have to.

Perhaps the reason that early retirement isn’t on my radar is because I enjoy what I do at work. Having been with the same company for 15 years, over a third of my life, I feel fortunate that I am still working at the same company that I started my engineering career.

To me, early retirement has always been just one of the nice things that we would have in life one day. It does not mean I must retire early in my 30s or 40s to make myself happy. Or that I must hit a specific FI number or hit a specific FI date.

Perhaps I am unique compared to most people, as I grew up in a family where multiple family members either retired in their early 40’s or became financially independent but continued to work. Money has never been a tabooed subject in my family, which has had a very positive impact on my life.

Another unique thing about our family is that we technically are financially independent, but we choose to prolong our financial independence journey. We wanted more flexibility, so we set the goal to create a dividend portfolio that’d enough dividend income to cover our annual expenses. We set a goal of becoming “financially independent” by 2025 or earlier, but we aren’t too worried about whether we hit the goal by 2025 or not.

One of the distinctive benefits of having a dad who retired early and a stay-at-home mom is that my parents were always there when I needed them. Unlike many of my school friends, both my dad and mom could attend many of my school functions, like sports games, band concerts, and field trips.

Now I am a dad of two young kids, I am even more appreciative of what my parents could do for me and my brother when we were growing up. Always available and present at my kids’ important life and school events is something I want to achieve. I am practicing it right now as best as I can with a full-time job.

Growing up, we went on extended road trips because both my parents were free during school summer break. When I was in high school, every summer we would go on road trips that usually lasted over a month.

One year, we flew to Toronto and drove around Eastern Canada and the Eastern United States. Another year we drove from Vancouver to Alaska and back. Another time we drove from Vancouver to New Orleans and back. Then once to Prince Edward Island to drive around the Maritimes and Maine. Throughout high school, we also drove to Banff and Alberta multiple times.

My extensive travels growing up is the exact reason why I want travelling to be part of my family’s life in the future. I want Baby T1.0 and Baby T2.0 to learn invaluable lessons that can only be learned from travelling and seeing the world with their own eyes. There are so many things that you simply cannot learn from reading books or sitting in a classroom. You must see them and experience them yourself.

We have been very fortunate to have travelled quite a bit with both kids already. We went to Denmark multiple times, we visited Japan and Taiwan, and various parts of Canada and the US.

We plan to travel around the world for a year and live abroad for an extended period of time in the near future. We can live off dividends via geo-arbitrage already but building up our portfolio will provide even more possibilities.

FIRE the end

Although I am involved in the FIRE community, shamefully I didn’t know the acronym until a few years after I started this blog. For a while, I was confused whenever people used this acronym.

For a while, FIRE was the only acronym, then folks started coming up with different acronyms to categorize FIRE. There’s lean FIRE, fat FIRE, barista FIRE, and the list goes on.

FIRE has been getting more and more mainstream coverage lately. Almost every other day I would come across articles on so-on retired at age 38, or someone who retired at age 27 to travel around the world, or someone who retired after saving extremely aggressively for 5 years, or someone who retired by saving up one million dollars in less 5 years.

To me, FIRE is flawed in these articles.

They don’t provide the general public with what FIRE really means.

Almost all of these articles only focus on the early retirement aspect and provide a false image of relaxed and luxurious life in retirement – travelling around the world, leaving the 9-5 rat race, saying FU to the employers, and sipping piña colada on the beach. Early retirement is all fun and games. There are no drawbacks and no negatives to early retirement.

But it is a lie, because no matter where you go, you will always bring yourself. So if you are not in a happy place while pursuing FIRE, you sure won’t be happy once you reach it.

Many of these articles also fail to acknowledge that many of these early retirees are not really “retired” in the traditional sense. In fact, many of these early retirees are still earning money through side hustles or even part-time jobs.

These articles are click baits. They are there to get the average Joes and Janes to click on them, read, and feel more miserable about their lives.

Because most of them cannot fathom the idea of financial independence or early retirement. A small minority even gets so fed up with the idea of early retirement, they become trolls and leave very negative comments on these articles. 

The fundamental problem with FIRE

The root of the problem is that too many people hate their jobs.

They despise what they do at work, they don’t like their bosses, they don’t like their co-workers. Through media, these people have been told that owning expensive things will make them happy. Purchasing things will solve all of their problems.

So, they mindlessly spend money on things they don’t need, only to find out that they need to somehow make more money to sustain their expensive-never-ending-purchasing-spree. They work simply because they need the money to pay for the new things that would supposedly make them happier in life.

Therefore, they continue to clock in and clock out every day despite hating their jobs. Due to how they feel about their jobs, they are constantly looking forward to the weekend or their next vacation, because that’s when they can be completely free from their jobs. And so, the Monday blues sets in whenever they are back to work from weekends or their vacations.

To them, FIRE is an escape. The happy ending. The escape route. The finish line.

They tell themselves that they will only be happy once they are retired. Before they get there, they will never be happy. They constantly remind themselves how miserable their life is and how wonderful their life will be once they are free from their 9-5 job. So, they constantly look forward to that retirement day so they can give their employers the middle finger and tell their coworkers to get lost.

This video is a perfect example of this endless vicious cycle of going nowhere and believing that buying things will lead to happiness.

Connecting life problems to not having money, financial independence, or retire early is simply incorrect and fallacious.

Reaching financial independence and retire early does not automatically mean that you have crossed the finish line and that automatically makes you happy. If you are in a bad relationship with your partner or spouse, do you really think everything will be rosy when you have more money? Most divorces are caused by money issues!

If there are marital problems, FIRE certainly won’t solve them. Over the last few years, we have seen some prominent figures in the FIRE community ending their marriages…

If you are not happy and content with your life right at this moment, what makes you think that you will suddenly become happy when you are financially independent and/or retired early?

You still need to work on those problems in your life regardless of you are FIRE’d or not. Instead of using FIRE as an excuse not to work on these problems right now, start taking steps to resolve these problems. Stop ignoring problems in your life thinking they will disappear once you are financially independent or retired.

Practice gratitude every day and be appreciative that you are still alive at this very moment. Enjoy the present moment, because you can’t be certain that you will be alive tomorrow. Stop worrying about things in the past because they are already done.

Stress is just an imaginary thing that we invented. The things you are stressing out about, you don’t have control over. So why stress over them?

We can’t fight the human nature…but we can learn from it

We are wired to believe that we need to have something first in order to do what we want to do, so we can be who we want to be (happy). So, we teach our brains that we must attain retirement before we can enjoy our lives. It’s only when we attain early retirement, then we can do what we want to do with our lives. Once we can do what we want to do with our lives, we can finally be happy.

Unfortunately, it is easy to get stuck in this endless loop of chasing that next new shiny thing and never be satisfied with our life. We are constantly comparing ourselves with our neighbours, friends, family members, or even strangers.

We envy someone who has a brand new car, we envy someone who got promoted, we envy someone who has a big job title, we envy someone who is retired in their early 30s, we envy people who became millionaires in 5 years, etc.

It is human nature to compare with our peers. But don’t let comparisons create a negative effect where we become hateful or envious of someone else. Instead of comparisons, think of other people as positive motivators and inspirations and allow them to drive us and improve ourselves in every aspect of our life, every single day.

Rather than focus on early retirement, the mainstream media articles should focus on financial independence instead. Become financially independent so one has the option to decide whether to continue to work or to do something that they are truly passionate about, whether that brings in income or not.

In fact, many of these early retirees featured in the mainstream media articles are still “working” in some ways. Many of them have a blog that is generating side income, some have turned their hobbies into a second career, and some are providing consulting services.

They are doing things that they enjoy doing and making an income. They no longer see these things as work. The term “work” has taken on a completely different meaning after they become financially independent.

FIRE. RIP. It’s time to retire FIRE!

I think the term “FIRE” is very misleading and it is a terrible term. There is simply too much focus on the retire early aspect, which creates a false image of what FIRE really is.

Don’t even get me started about those individuals who claim that they are rich or have retired early and want to sell you eBooks and courses to teach you how to be FIRE’d just like them.

Be careful with these people!

Are they really rich or retired early? Or are they trying to your money so they can create a semi-passive income then retire early?

The time has come to say RIP to FIRE.

Over the last few years, more and more people have started to focus more on the financial independence aspect of FIRE and some have come up with different terms and acronyms.

Coast FI and Slow FI have both picked up steam.

Chrissy and Money Mechanic came up with the term Spouse FI.

Fellow long time Canadian blogger Mark came up with the term FIWOOT (Financial Independence Work on Own Term).

Jay coined the term FFFLC (Fully Funded Lifestyle Change).

Craig developed FIBRE (Financial Independence Before Early Retirement).

Recently Tanja also announced out that it’s time to retire the FIRE movement.

The time has come to stop putting FIRE on the pedestal. FIRE is not the magic solution. It is time for us to focus on the core message – become financially independent so you can empower yourself. You can continue to work if you choose to, not because you have to.

A work optional life.

A life that you don’t have to worry about the paycheque every two weeks.

A life that you can do things that you enjoy doing, regardless of whether they produce money or not.

An empowered life. A life with meaning, fulfillment, and purpose.

What is success?

How do you define success? Success has different definitions for each person. Why do we always tie success to how much money someone has, someone’s job title, someone’s social status, or accomplishments, or popularity?

Why can’t we define being successful as being happy and provide value to the community? Are celebrities and professional athletes really more successful than someone who volunteers at the homeless shelter every single week?

Every single job is an honourable job!

FIRE is just one of the many possibilities in life. One important thing I have learned and constantly remind myself of is that there is no need to compare myself with other people.

I am successful in my own ways.

The way I define success is to be content and at peace with myself and improve the world. There is no need to compare myself with other people. It’s about holding myself to a higher standard every single day, and practice gratitude. Be humble, be appreciative, that is the way life should be.

Now it is easy to write and talk about this idea of success. It is much harder to practice this daily.

That is why we should all aim to be a better version of ourselves every single day. That’s the only way we can improve as human beings. Treat each day as the best day of our lives, because it is. Tell yourself every morning: “Today is the greatest day of my life” and then look for reasons to feel good.

At the end of the day, it’s not about how much money you make, it’s not about how big your house is, it’s not about what kind of car you drive, it’s about the relationships that you build and the impacts you’ve made on other people’s lives.

This was a final speech that was given at my high school music teacher’s retirement party a few years ago. I absolutely loved the core message.

“Retire early” doesn’t magically make you a successful person. For me, success is defined by how many people you have helped and made an impact on in their lives.

I am eternally grateful that I can use this little blog of mine to connect with like minded people, to share our financial independence journey, and to empower people by improving their financial lives, and even start their own financial independence journey.

Again, it’s time to retire the term FIRE. Let’s focus on financial independence instead.

So what exactly is financial independence (FI)?

FI is a lifestyle rather than a key life milestone. FI means not having to worry about cash flow, being able to dictate what I do with my everyday life, being my own boss, determining my own schedule, having more flexibility in life, helping the community, and improving the world that I live in.

There is no right way to achieve FI. There are multiple paths to FI. There is no set formula, no trick, no shortcut, no magic. FI is more than having enough money to sustain your entire lifetime. It is a mentality, a lifestyle of self-improvement and sustainability. 

Being grateful

I’ll end this post with this life advice from Holly Butcher, who passed away at the tender age of 27 on Jan 4, 2018. She wrote the following heartbreaking letter a few days before her passing. I have reflected on life a lot since reading it.

What exactly is my purpose in life?

Should I be more grateful and more appreciative of the privileged life I have? To have a loving wife, to be a dad of two precious kids, to have a job that I enjoy doing, and to have travelled in many different countries already in my 39 years on earth. I have been super fortunate in life. Financial independent or not, I am already successful and have a great life.

It’s a strange thing to realise and accept your mortality at 26 years young. It’s just one of those things you ignore. The days tick by and you just expect they will keep on coming; Until the unexpected happens. I always imagined myself growing old, wrinkled and grey- most likely caused by the beautiful family (lots of kiddies) I planned on building with the love of my life. I want that so bad it hurts.

That’s the thing about life; It is fragile, precious and unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right.

I’m 27 now. I don’t want to go. I love my life. I am happy.. I owe that to my loved ones. But the control is out of my hands.

I haven’t started this ‘note before I die’ so that death is feared – I like the fact that we are mostly ignorant to it’s inevitability.. Except when I want to talk about it and it is treated like a ‘taboo’ topic that will never happen to any of us.. That’s been a bit tough. I just want people to stop worrying so much about the small, meaningless stresses in life and try to remember that we all have the same fate after it all so do what you can to make your time feel worthy and great, minus the bullshit.

I have dropped lots of my thoughts below as I have had a lot of time to ponder life these last few months. Of course it’s the middle of the night when these random things pop in my head most!

Those times you are whining about ridiculous things (something I have noticed so much these past few months), just think about someone who is really facing a problem. Be grateful for your minor issue and get over it. It’s okay to acknowledge that something is annoying but try not to carry on about it and negatively effect other people’s days.

Once you do that, get out there and take a freaking big breath of that fresh Aussie air deep in your lungs, look at how blue the sky is and how green the trees are; It is so beautiful. Think how lucky you are to be able to do just that – breathe.

You might have got caught in bad traffic today, or had a bad sleep because your beautiful babies kept you awake, or your hairdresser cut your hair too short. Your new fake nails might have got a chip, your boobs are too small, or you have cellulite on your arse and your belly is wobbling.

Let all that shit go.. I swear you will not be thinking of those things when it is your turn to go. It is all SO insignificant when you look at life as a whole. I’m watching my body waste away right before my eyes with nothing I can do about it and all I wish for now is that I could have just one more Birthday or Christmas with my family, or just one more day with my partner and dog. Just one more.

I hear people complaining about how terrible work is or about how hard it is to exercise – Be grateful you are physically able to. Work and exercise may seem like such trivial things … until your body doesn’t allow you to do either of them.

I tried to live a healthy life, in fact, that was probably my major passion. Appreciate your good health and functioning body- even if it isn’t your ideal size. Look after it and embrace how amazing it is. Move it and nourish it with fresh food. Don’t obsess over it.

Remember there are more aspects to good health than the physical body.. work just as hard on finding your mental, emotional and spiritual happiness too. That way you might realise just how insignificant and unimportant having this stupidly portrayed perfect social media body really is.. While on this topic, delete any account that pops up on your news feeds that gives you any sense of feeling shit about yourself. Friend or not.. Be ruthless for your own well-being.

Be grateful for each day you don’t have pain and even the days where you are unwell with man flu, a sore back or a sprained ankle, accept it is shit but be thankful it isn’t life threatening and will go away.

Whinge less, people! .. And help each other more.

Give, give, give. It is true that you gain more happiness doing things for others than doing them for yourself. I wish I did this more. Since I have been sick, I have met the most incredibly giving and kind people and been the receiver of the most thoughtful and loving words and support from my family, friends and strangers; More than I could I ever give in return. I will never forget this and will be forever grateful to all of these people.

It is a weird thing having money to spend at the end.. when you’re dying. It’s not a time you go out and buy material things that you usually would, like a new dress. It makes you think how silly it is that we think it is worth spending so much money on new clothes and ‘things’ in our lives.

Buy your friend something kind instead of another dress, beauty product or jewellery for that next wedding. 1. No-one cares if you wear the same thing twice 2. It feels good. Take them out for a meal, or better yet, cook them a meal. Shout their coffee. Give/ buy them a plant, a massage or a candle and tell them you love them when you give it to them.

Value other people’s time. Don’t keep them waiting because you are shit at being on time. Get ready earlier if you are one of those people and appreciate that your friends want to share their time with you, not sit by themselves, waiting on a mate. You will gain respect too! Amen sister.

This year, our family agreed to do no presents and despite the tree looking rather sad and empty (I nearly cracked Christmas Eve!), it was so nice because people didn’t have the pressure of shopping and the effort went into writing a nice card for each other. Plus imagine my family trying to buy me a present knowing they would probably end up with it themselves.. strange! It might seem lame but those cards mean more to me than any impulse purchase could. Mind you, it was also easier to do in our house because we had no little kiddies there. Anyway, moral of the story- presents are not needed for a meaningful Christmas. Moving on.

Use your money on experiences.. Or at least don’t miss out on experiences because you spent all your money on material shit.

Put in the effort to do that day trip to the beach you keep putting off. Dip your feet in the water and dig your toes in the sand. Wet your face with salt water.

Get amongst nature.

Try just enjoying and being in moments rather than capturing them through the screen of your phone. Life isn’t meant to be lived through a screen nor is it about getting the perfect photo.. enjoy the bloody moment, people! Stop trying to capture it for everyone else.

Random rhetorical question. Are those several hours you spend doing your hair and make up each day or to go out for one night really worth it? I’ve never understood this about females 🤔.

Get up early sometimes and listen to the birds while you watch the beautiful colours the sun makes as it rises.

Listen to music.. really listen. Music is therapy. Old is best.

Cuddle your dog. Far out, I will miss that.

Talk to your friends. Put down your phone. Are they doing okay?

Travel if it’s your desire, don’t if it’s not.

Work to live, don’t live to work.

Seriously, do what makes your heart feel happy.

Eat the cake. Zero guilt.

Say no to things you really don’t want to do.

Don’t feel pressured to do what other people might think is a fulfilling life.. you might want a mediocre life and that is so okay.

Tell your loved ones you love them every time you get the chance and love them with everything you have.

Also, remember if something is making you miserable, you do have the power to change it – in work or love or whatever it may be. Have the guts to change. You don’t know how much time you’ve got on this earth so don’t waste it being miserable. I know that is said all the time but it couldn’t be more true.

Anyway, that’s just this one young gals life advice. Take it or leave it, I don’t mind!

Oh and one last thing, if you can, do a good deed for humanity (and myself) and start regularly donating blood. It will make you feel good with the added bonus of saving lives. I feel like it is something that is so overlooked considering every donation can save 3 lives! That is a massive impact each person can have and the process really is so simple.

Blood donation (more bags than I could keep up with counting) helped keep me alive for an extra year – a year I will be forever grateful that I got to spend it here on Earth with my family, friends and dog. A year I had some of the greatest times of my life.

..’Til we meet again

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142 thoughts on “FIRE. RIP.”

  1. Awesome post Bob! Beautiful and very true message. Touching mostly and extremely wise.

    “I will only be happy when I retire” is not a way to live, and as you pointed out, it does not work that way.

    Money is a tool, investing is a game but life is the end goal that needs to be validated every single day.

    Being truly happy with your loved ones, being a good compass for your family and a friend who your close friends can rely on. Liking what you do for a living, or liking that you do nothing right now and being at peace with it.

    Finding the balance between “carpe diem” and “what happens in 10 years?” is challenging. But while you can plan for the future – it’s a fun mental game – your energy is better spent in the moment of the day.

    Happiness does indeed come from within. Enjoy the little pleasures of your daily life, and you will never be richer.

  2. Great post and thought Bob.
    I will honestly admit I didnt read the above post fully to the end. I agree with the thoughts though.
    But anyway I understand one should not get fixated to something like FIRE rather do their own due diligence and see what works best for them.
    The underlying issue is everyone wants to use a formula to get from A to S (Success). If you look back 1000s of years go the great personalities were known for varlour, kindness, art, talent, compassion, etc (it was not just about wealth or money or just assets or things they had). I wont take names you know the most generous people gave all their life for service, or for building a community, country, etc.
    Now the definition of Success seems to be like a race or like an asset/things accumulation. A guru was trying to further break this say that all one needs is Happiness/Contentment. To get that someone wants the highest grade in school, someone wants more assets, someone wants a big salary, someone wants luxury car, etc. However, one the other side of spectrum there is a poor family of 7 living in a 2-bedroom dwelling, where everyone is playing, chatting and enjoying their evening. Now how did happiness bypass success. Thats because you have programmed yourself that you cannot be happy without achieving a target. And once you hit the target, then that target will keep moving higher. So its a never ending problem.

      • I think found the power quote.
        I believe you are referring to the quote “I will only be happy when I retire” is not a way to live, and as you pointed out, it does not work that way.
        I agree with this 100%. IMO regardless of ones circumstances or level of success, one has to start with a positive thought or initiative. One must be truly committed to a craft. A doctor who is passionate to study medicine, to treat and heal people will be a great success even if he/she makes zero income but pursues passion. However, a doctor who is equally passionate but more focussed on getting in to guiness book of records (wont be happy until they get a record) for highest number of treatments could be putting too much pressure on himself/herself. So basically one is saying past skills, achievements and current work is of no value and I want to reach that future dream moon and retire. Why not enjoy the journey itself while the destination is 1000s of miles away?

  3. Hi!!! This is a very well written blog and matches very close to what we are pursuing. It is good to be reminded of the “why”(FI).
    You have a new fan for your blog 🙂

  4. Bob! This is such a great article. One thing I think about when I see the word FIRE is Financially Independent and Retire Eventually. I saw Rick Ferri allude to this at one point. If you love your job and life is good there is nothing wrong with continuing to work or working on many different projects. My goal is to hit financial independence. Having the money to say FU to a boss if I need to is more powerful than leaving.

    Having happiness goes a long way. I see both my father and father-in-law continue to work at their respective jobs not because they need the money, but they love what they do. It brings them happiness and joy. I have always felt that life should not be a miserable feeling, but should be a joy. That is one reason I love to travel. It is for the adventures and the experiences. Great post!!

    • Thank you Steve, I appreciate it. Even if you love your job, it’s great to be FI so you have more options to decide what you want to do with your life rather than having to rely on the paycheque.

  5. Great post, Bob. Not everyone stops working just because they reach financial independence. The glory is in having choices to do whatever floats your boat.

  6. I was surprise to see so many comments already! this must be a repost then? it is nice article nonetheless.

    I appreciate the balanced approach you have, living the life to the fullest now and also working to be financially stable

    I too also focus more on FI than RE of “FIRE” movement. I like my job and I am actually a bit critical of the idea of retiring early… if everyone retires, how would our society run? Automation has its limits and I think work is a valuable contribution we make to the world in our own small ways, whatever occupation it may be. I personally would like to work until 65.. or 70… haha I just want Financial Independence so that I can have the option to change industry I work in (through continued education when/if I an financially set) and be able to donate more without compromising my daily expense needs (gotta eat those Costco snacks yum!)

    Thanks Bob for putting things in perspective and also somewhat validating my stance! it’s nice to enjoy the job and life I have now and still work diligently towards FI.

    • It’s not about quitting your job as quickly as you can. It’s about finding something that you enjoy doing regardless whether you’re making money or not. FI just gives you more options. 🙂

  7. Very well said. Thanks for sharing this Article, Bob. I am fortunate that I found your blog. I am one of the average Joe in town chasing FIRE. I guess, Life is not all about money although it plays important part of our life. You’re right, It’s what you enjoy doing in making a living and your deeds that create impact in others lives. More power to you!

  8. I’ve been reading your posts for awhile now and realised that I have never thanked you for all the unselfish advice and careful thought you put into every post. This post is particularly touching and brings perspective into what life is really all about. Thank you!

  9. I found this post because we are up against each other in the Rockstar rumble. And I am really glad I read it!
    I agree with everything you said, what a beautiful post!

    We really need to value the time we have now.
    We rarely think about the end, and we always imagine it will happen when we are old. We don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring us, and we shouldn’t spend years pursuing a goal, and be miserable while doing it. We need to find happiness today, living every day in a meaningful way. That’s why I much prefer the term “Financial Freedom” to FIRE: it’s about having choices and be free to do what you really love.

    Voted for you 🙂

  10. I couldn’t agree more with your vision on life in general. Have been employed for 7 years, and never felt ‘trapped’ in a job. Would be nice when I start something new I don’t have to worry about cashflow, but that’s about it. So that’s why my husband and I are adopting this new lifestyle; which I think comes down to smart decisions that make sense on the long term instead. In the Netherlands (where I’m from) FIRE is not well known yet… So it’s a bit difficult finding good quality information and inspiration. I’m here for the first time, but will definetly come back. Thanks for posting and the inspiration!

  11. Well said and often missed by many. I just discovered your website, but know that I will be back. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and knowledge with all of us. I, for one, want you to know that it is appreciated and much enjoyed.

  12. Money is a tool. Nothing more. My goal was always to live on less enjoyably and easily. I prefer efficiency and effectiveness rather than busyness and clutter. FI was inevitable for my lifestyle no matter what career I would have chosen. It’s simply my habits that dictate that.

    Everyone needs to decide what FI means to them. There is certainly no one size fits all. That is what makes each individual’s journey interesting.

    No matter the end game after FI, being a master of your finances rather than being a slave to money can only be a good thing.

    • Exactly, money is one of the tools that can help you in life. FI has different meanings to each person and we need to figure out that meaning ourselves.

  13. This post hits at the heart of the true goals of FI and not just to be able to sit around and do nothing for the rest of one’s life. I would like to reach FI so that I can be freer to give of my time and energy to causes I believe in. Thank you for the good reminder of the “why” and not just the “what” of my goals.

  14. This post resonates with me so much! I am walking away from my corporate life this month, and I am nowhere near that FIRE status, and I’m totally happy with it. I am joining a coding camp to pick up new skills, and pursue life at my own terms. Thanks for the focus on inner happiness and the meaning of freedom!

  15. Well said. FI = options, and options = Awesome.

    We Reached FI and celebrated one weekend. Then we woke up the next morning and life was basically the same. But I’ve got that FI card in my hand now and can play it whenever.

    That might mean harder negotiation for what we want at work, cutting back, changing careers or full on FIRE.

    I found your blog through Physician on Fire Sunday Best. I just started my own blog and really dig your message. Keep on!

  16. I liked this article, but it felt a little absolute. I feel that it can be 96% true, but maybe there’s the other 4% like Joe in the comments above that FI made all the difference. Sure, maybe he could have changed jobs, but that’s kind of what he ended up doing by being FI.

    It sounds cool to just say be happy, but sometimes it really isn’t that easy. It’s true that most of it is just sweating the small stuff, but I don’t know how to simply turn on happy switch. I’m still trying to figure it most of the time. I think if we had FI and my wife retired that would be great. The military pension kicks in next year, so maybe everything will change then.

    One thing that makes me happy is giving my kids the best education possible. Unfortunately, it’s very expensive and delays FI.

    I think it’s kind of what you said about happiness coming from the inside. Maybe I still practice with that :-).

    • I realized it’s not true for everyone, and that’s exactly what Joe pointed out. I do think FIRE will lead to higher quality of life and more happiness for most people. But the thing is, you can’t see FIRE as the end point… like you’ll not be happy until you reach FIRE. That might be the wrong approach to life. That’s like saying you won’t be happy until you get that Porsche 911. 🙂

      • I’m reading this article (and my own comment) four years later. I’m fairly sure it is updated in some ways with the mention of different FIRE types at the end.

        I had forgotten my earlier comment, and this article itself and I went to the comments to write basically what I wrote four years ago. Money can help solve problems, but usually not by buying stuff. It’s certainly helped my happiness level with some services I’ve paid for. And if money gets you to a job that you enjoy more, whether “retired” or not that boost happiness.

        So even if FIRE is a lie, I’d put it up there with the Easter Bunny. It’s a good lie that’s helpful. They’ll figure out when they get there that okay to run a blog, charge scooters (Joe), board dogs (me), or volunteer at a soup kitchen every single day (earning no money). It’s that freedom that will increase people’s happiness level. If you extinguish the spark too early, maybe they miss out on that freedom/happiness.

        Finally, personally, I’ve found that I’ve changed very little in the last four years – at least according to my earlier comment.

        • I’ve updated the article a bit to reflect on the changes. You’re absolutely correct, money can help solve problems but it’s not by buying stuff.

          I don’t think FIRE is a lie. Rather, we need to focus on the journey rather than the finish line. 🙂

  17. My parents saved well, and we’re both able to retire early (under 60). I used them as my original inspiration. JL Collins post about being able to say, fine I’ll just walk, made me realize the power of FI. I dislike long commutes, and the environmental impact. While I enjoy some of my coworkers, some of them gossip all day I wonder how they get work done, and I’m not great at office politics. I know there are ways, once I have more experience, to become an independent contractor, with remote work. That is where FI will help me negotiate on my terms.
    The ability to do more of what I want instead of squeezing it in around the job and on weekends. Lunch with friends, time with my parents & family, honoring my body’s rhythm for sleeping eating and exercise. Mrs. Groovy’s post about being boring resonated with me because it sounds like a great way to spend my time.
    But I am squeezing my ideal life in evenings and weekends for now, not delaying happiness, having a healthy dash of gratitude that I can have theses goals and a really good chance to make them happen.
    Thank you for your thoughtfullness, and sharing your insight.

    • Thank you for the comment. I don’t like long commutes and the office politics too. They are, unfortunately, the unnecessary evils.

      This post is more about learning to enjoy your life now and finding ways to improve it today, rather than waiting till FIRE until you become happy. 🙂

  18. Holy hell, thank you. I started following FIRE blogs a few years back, primarily to keep me on track for my planned early-ish retirement. I drank the Kool Aid, and soon early retirement became the end in itself. Where I had been relatively content at work in the past, I came to resent my ongoing commitments. I could tell you on any day how many days until my retirement.
    It took me a full year after I realized the trap that I had fallen into to reverse direction and reconnect with my purpose. I ask myself and my colleagues frequently, “why do you come to work?” It’s not just to make enough to retire. It can’t be.

  19. We need more thoughtful posts like this out there. I started out gunning for FIRE after my first “big person” job in 1998. There weren’t a lot of resources but there were a few obscure books and role models even then. Once I reached FI I had no interest in RE. I loved my work even more after becoming FI. I felt more empowered to shape my work around what I liked and what I was good at. I now am well-passed FI and continuing part-time. The work brings a lot of rewards, but it is great to know if things change I can renegotiate terms or simply walk away. Having options rock. Everyone should know about FI (and maybe strive for it?) but RE isn’t for everyone.

    • Thank you Wealthy Doc. That’s awesome you loved your work even before reaching FI and loved your work more after becoming FI. Being empowered is exactly what it’d be like.

  20. The article from Holly has tears in my eyes. She is such a brave, brave young lady, to be able to inspire so many of us whilst going through so much pain.

    I’m genuinely in tears as I type, such was the power of her writing.

    My heart goes out to her family. For the first time in my life, I will be donating blood tomorrow.

    Thank you Holly. God bless you.

  21. “…no matter where you go, you will always bring yourself. So if you are not in a happy place while pursuing FIRE, you sure won’t be happy once you reach it.”

    This is a great post, especially the preceding line. It should be required reading for those pursuing FI.

    I want to make my blog into a resource for introverts to better enjoy their working careers. If they are more joyful, they will also likely get to FI quicker, which may bring more joy and/or space for creativity and flexibility.

  22. Very, very true!! I never really thought of these articles as click bait but you raise a very good point! Life isn’t simply about some finish line or retirement goal. I thought I would have been one of those to retire very early too – as my husband passed away at 34, and I thought there’s no way I’m going to spend my life in a cubicle. Now that I’ve found my passion, I don’t obsess about retirement anymore. I took a sabbatical after my husband passed away and realized that its your passion that matters, not a finish line. More on the sabbatical here:

  23. Having recently lost my 27 year old daughter Jenn, I can say without equivocation that after losing a child, all that crap we thought was important really wasn’t.

  24. Very nice post Bob, resonates very strongly with me. I’m very much on your wavelength here. I see too many people obsessing over hitting FI and retiring early at the expense of everything else in life today. Easy for me to say when I enjoy what I do for work (like you), but it wasn’t always that way. I was completely obsessed about escaping life though FIRE in my earlier days, but once I actually found a great place to work, and more balance in my day-to-day life, FIRE has certainly faded to the background.

    I think everyone should still ultimately work towards FI, but if your days are miserable today you need to change something today – just as you said, FIRE won’t necessarily make life a fairytale.

  25. I’m going to respectfully disagree. Maybe it’s just me.
    Life got better the instant I quit my job. Yes, I hated it with a passion.
    The job was making me an angry unhappy depressed dude. Once I cut that out of my life, I’m back to being my happy go lucky self again. FIRE is awesome and I love it.
    My last 2 years at work was horrible, though. It would have been better if I found a better situation elsewhere. Now, I advise people to avoid being miserable for too long. You can push through one or two years, but don’t do it for too long.
    FI is better than not FI any day of the week.

    • Hi Joe,

      The entire premise of the article is that you need to be happy now, FIRE doesn’t magically make you happy. I suppose in your case it did. But sounds like your job was the root cause of you feeling miserable. What if you switched your job? Would you be happier?

      • I changed job in 2003 and felt better for a few years. By 2008, I knew I had to get out. Changing career might have been a better choice. However, I think being self employed and having that freedom really made the huge difference.

  26. You hit the nail on the head,I achieved FIRE and just keep on trucking,haven’t quit work because I love what I do.What FIRE gives me is the ability to step away from the stress of work.It is pretty hard to be stressed when my investments pay more than my gross wage.When the bosses are losing it and trying to make my life hell I just laugh,work is fun,my coworkers who live payday to payday though are stressed.There is power in FIRE and that is financial confidence which allows you to take risks.
    My bosses at work have bungled a big project and I refuse to work all the extra time to cover for their mismanagement,the threat of no promotion or bonus doesn’t work on me I just putter along and say “oh well”
    When I was younger a got a job over a lot of other more qualified guys because my new boss said”you have a wife and kids, own a house so you will show up for work for the next thirty years because of your monetary obligations “basically I bought my way into slavery.Now I am free!

  27. Excellent post. I agree FIRE has spun a little out of control – there’s an ongoing hyperbole / limbo contest (I’m banking on the hunter-gatherer lad who “retired” at the age of 10 after he learned everything he needed to know to survive), and I think you’ve raised the level of the discussion here back to where it needs to be – thank you!

  28. Too many people do indeed hate their jobs, but as much as it would be great to see that change in the future I’m not sure it can. There are just too many jobs that have to be done in our economy that suck. And many of the ones that don’t start sucking once you put a managerial structure on them and all the associated human/personality/drama-type things that come along with it.

    Great post

  29. Similarly growing up in van to Asian immigrant parents who whether by choice or not had to retire after the inability to assimilate into the western work environment at middle age I had the privilege to go home for a hot lunch when everyone else was stuck with their pb&j while a lot of parents had day jobs.
    My mom would deliver homework that I forgot at home. They totally put my success in school as the highest priority but of course there are trade offs to early retirement and full time parenting . Things like watching mortgage rates fall and not being able to qualify for a mortgage during a declining rate opportunity and watching those GIC returns shrink from those healthy risk free 6-9% to paltry 2% is just one of many. Other Chinese classmates had parents who lived in tony neigbbourboods but sat around at home all day resisting to spend and having too much daytime to worry about running out of money are also real downsides to early retirement .

    • Very interesting to hear someone that had a similar background as me. My parents certainly put my and my brother’s success in school as one of the high priorities in their lives. But don’t recall them delivering homework if we forgot them though. They definitely wanted us to be responsible for ourselves. 🙂

      Yea there are definitely tough things that immigrants face for sure.

      • Ha, my mum was an ‘Asian Tiger Mom’ and we weren’t allowed to underachieve at school! I am grateful for how hard she pushed us though. Both my folks retired early but I inexplicably didn’t follow their example and got caught in the consumer debt trap for most of my adult life, until I sorted myself out.

        Anyway, thanks for sharing this thought-provoking post. I have a 25 year career under my belt so when I reach FI, it’s highly likely that RE will follow pretty quickly, although I guess it’s not RE when compared to those ‘retiring’ in their 30s and 40s.

        Also, I’ve never hated any of the jobs I’ve had but I’ve always looked forward to the weekends and going on holiday!

        Holly’s letter was beautiful and I’m glad to say, I already practice much of what she writes and I am indeed a happier person than I used to be.

        • That’s awesome both of your parents retired early. Haha love that “Asian Tiger Mom” term, I didn’t know there’s actually a term. :p

          I think FI and RE aren’t mutually inclusive. Just because you are FI, you can decide to continue working.

  30. I agree. I’m finding in my journey that it’s all about being happy. In the end I think it’s all about connections and experiences. I’m not too focused on the RE portion of FIRE as the FI portion. I too have found myself blogging more about my growth as a person (e.g. focus, discipline, giving, etc) as opposed to the financial aspects of my FI path (though I blog about that too). Great to see others feel the same. Thanks for sharing.

    • It’s a daily practice on being happy. Some days this is an easy process, some days, this is a tougher process. That’s great you’ve been blogging more about your growth as a person. Those are the kind of posts I really enjoy reading. 🙂

  31. Bob, great post! I love the perspective in that letter at the end. You really nailed it: people have very low job satisfaction, and that drives a lot of the negative energy. And that’s something people should focus on and do something about whether they’re contemplating FIRE or nowhere near it. That’s the kind of thing I enjoy writing about and helping people with.

  32. FIRE is definitely the current buzzword in the personal finance world. I’ve been around for nine years or so now, so I’ve seen a couple of others come and go. Eventually FIRE will settle down and the next new thing will come along. I know that people are passionate about it, but it’s never something I embraced. I happen to enjoy working!

  33. I first came across the term FIRE reading the book “Work Less, Live More” in 2005. The book referenced a finance tool called FIREcalc that helped you understand if you had enough money to retire early. The book also helped address many of the issues you raise. It’s still a great read for anyone interested in the topic. Tom

  34. Good read Bob. I definitely agree that FIRE means different things for different people but the important thread we all share is that search for happiness. I think many people think that somehow things will magically change once their work life is over but it’s not often that simple. I do agree that if you’re not happy now then I think it’ll be difficult to find happiness once you’re done with work. After all, work is only a part of your life and most people have plenty of free time to find that happiness elsewhere. There are exceptions to this as some people do work in jobs that keep them there for 80 hours and are simply too tired to do anything afterwards and those people will likely do better in their post life work.

    • Yup, search for true happiness is something every single one of us is doing every day. Rather than seeing FIRE as the ultimate way to achieve true happiness, practice being happier every single day. Work shouldn’t define who you are and dictate how you feel. Like you said, it’s only a small part of your life. 🙂

  35. Hi Bob this is such an incredible post. You are one of my favorites and I look forward to reading your blog because you take the time to provide tips on how others can achieve achieve financial independence and well being. Thanks for sharing Holly’s words

  36. This is an amazing post, Bob. I saw you post it yesterday but I didn’t read it because as soon as I started, I realized I needed to find time to really read (not skim!) it and pay attention so I saved it for this morning.

    First off, I find a lot of relatability with your situation. I am 6 years into my first job out of college, I enjoy my job and my coworkers, I am married to an amazing person with a beautiful son, and I am now the sole breadwinner in our household.

    FIRE (or at least, FI in some way) is a goal of ours, but not because we hate our life. Quite the opposite. I’d love to be able to enhance some of the areas of our life with more free time if we do hit FI, but I am also working to enhance those areas now. Today. Spending time with family, taking walks, going on adventures, being involved in our community/volunteering, etc.

    It is not always easy and the stress of life can absolutely creep up on us, but we are so blessed and lucky to be in the situation we are in. And to be honest, we are a LOOOONG way off from FIRE so it can be hard to keep motivated and on track! That is where your article comes in. What can we do today to keep improving, to enjoy life? How can we make sure our pre-FI life is a good life and not a grind? And what are we thankful for?

    Thank you for writing this and thank you for sharing Holly’s incredible words.

    • Hi Mrs. Adventure Rich,

      I really appreciate you taking the time to actually read the article rather than skimming through it. 🙂

      Yes we definitely can relate a lot with our situations, and that’s why I love the FIRE community so much – so many ppl in the same situation and we’re all helping each other. I think treating FIRE as a way to enhance different areas of your life is a great way to look at FIRE. That’s completely different approach than seeing FIRE as the escape. 🙂

      FIRE is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. For some, the definition of FIRE may change along the journey. You may think that you need $1M to reach FIRE, but maybe you’ll need less because things change in life (i.e. moving to a lower cost of living place). That’s the beautiful thing about life, nothing is static. We need to be fluid and flexible in life and adapt along the way.

  37. I was about a third of the way through this and thought ‘this is one of your best posts’ and by the end I’m convinced this is your best post.

    I agree with all your points, a lot of people are yearning for something that they can’t quite reach – even if they achieve FIRE. Being good with your money is a great choice, investing is a wonderful choice but if/when you achieve FIRE there are still many decades of life to go. It fits into the whole problem of Facebook or Instagram – you see the best pictures of the most desired lifestyles, but that isn’t most people. You can’t aim for happiness, it’s everything surrounding it that you can do.

    Anyway, if everyone works towards a life earning enough money for what they want whilst doing (not-)work they love, the desire to retire early will disappear.

    Thanks for spending so much time on this post Bob, it was really good and got me thinking.

    Mr DDU

  38. Great post Bob, as noted above, probably one of your best on this more philosophic topic.
    But to a degree I have some mixed feelings. You clearly like your job, I don’t (anymore). Despite several attempts to change jobs and careers, I don’t seem to be able to get that spark/satisfaction back.
    This does not mean that I’m not happy in life (I am), but the burden of a job to get to FIRE is getting to me.
    For me FIRE is indeed a finish line, but also a starting line when the burden of paid work disappears and I finally have the time to develop other skills and make new experiences. It’s not an easy situation to be in and I feel for the people that are in a similar situation.

    Perhaps I have my priorities wrong and need to make other decisions, but you do need to earn money to become FIRE. You also need fun in your life, finding the balance can be a challenge!

    • Hi Team CF,

      Thank you very much. I went a little philosophical overboard with this article ha.

      Yes I do like my job (for the most part) but there are things that I wish I can do more. That’s why I am pursuing FIRe just like you. I think rather than treating FIRE as a finish line, treating it as a new starting line. Work on releasing that burden of paid work and look at your life froma different perspective. 🙂

  39. This was a great read tawcan. You had me with the title and I was very interested where you were going with the article 🙂 But I think you shine light on the “problem” with FIRE. But I don’t think it is necessarily a problem, more of a misunderstanding. You highlighted it in the article after all. FIRE isn’t the sexy image the click bait articles place in front of you. To me, it just allows you to leave the job you hate and pursue something you are passionate about. Whether it is having enough cash flow or not, FIRE allows you to break free and go for it all. Sure there is still a lot of hard work involved and you are going to be hustling your tail off. But i ntheory, it should be over something you are much more excited and passionate about, which will overall make you a happier person. To me, that’s what FIRE is all about. Thanks for sharing the note about being grateful. Man that is some powerful stuff and it has given me a lot to think about over the next few months. Especially as I work in my busiest time when every small thing you do or mistake made is under a microscope.

    Take care,


    • Hi Bert,

      Haha the post title was a bit of a click bait. :p
      Yes it’s more of a misunderstanding on what FIRE is. Unfortunately, the main stream media is painting the wrong image of what FIRE is, so your average Joes and Janes will think the FIRE community & ppl in the community as a bunch of privileged snobs.

      FIRE may allow you to leave the job that you hate and pursue something you are passionate about. But ask yourself this, what’s prevent you from doing that same thing right now before you reach FIRE? 🙂

  40. This is really beautiful. For me it actually took achieving financial independence before I realized any of this. I really wanted freedom, control, options. I always felt trapped in my career, even when I wasn’t. This is why I parted ways with my business partners – I just stopped growing. FIRE to me has always been about the freedom to walk away – to follow your passion, to do something you love. Doing some you love and being around those you love is all it’s about. Hopefully, people find their way to it, FIRE or not. For me, for some reason, not having money was always a burden, a leash, a huge weight, a dark place. Once I saw a way out I just ran as fast as I could to get as far away from broke as possible – I made a few good decisions when coupled with luck made all the difference. Sure, I happened to make $1 million in 5 years (I see you reference that in here a few times), but I just wanted time. Money’s not the goal, time is. Whether you make $10 an hour or $1,000, if you don’t make the most of your time it doesn’t matter. Having to spend almost the entire year going from client to client wasn’t a life, I hated it. It was a means to an end – i’d live on as little as possible and save as much as possible and then do what I wanted. It’s definitely a flawed goal, you’re right. Fi not an endpoint, it a worldview. Thanks again for sharing.

    • Hi Grant,

      Thank you so much. I think all of us want more freedom, control, and options in life. But we all need to realize FIRE doesn’t automatically give us these things. We need to practice getting more freedom, control, and options every day. So when we get to FIRE, we know what to do with our lives.

      For the 5 years making a million reference, I wasn’t specifically targeting you lol. It just popped up in my head while writing the article. Nothing wrong with doing that. The problem is, the articles often focus on that and project a false image for ppl reading the articles.

      It’s all about how you value your time. 🙂

  41. A very interesting post. I think some people see FIRE as different things and over time it has lost it’s true meaning. To me, FIRE means being able to retire while still being able to live my life without the financial stress. I am a long way from this but one day I hope to achieve this.

    • Thank you Buy, Hold Long. I love your definition of FIRE. It’s all about being able to live your life without the financial stress. I just wish people can stop focusing on the RE part and focusing more on the FI part.

  42. Amazing post. Part that hit me most! – “You still need to work on those problems in your life regardless of you are FIRE’d or not. Instead of using FIRE as an excuse not to work on these problems right now, start taking steps to resolve these problems. Stop ignoring problems in your life thinking they will disappear once you are financially independent or retired.” Keep it up!


  43. Nice post. That womens letter was great. Im really anal about being late. While my wife says its normal sith her family. It drives me nuts i try to be on time constantly. Good on your parents for always going to sports and events. My parents split and my dad rasied me and my 2 sisters. He was always working. I learnt allt of stuff myself or with friends and sporting events he would come to finals only. I dont blame him, but its something that i look back at and dont want to emulate. I will try my hardest to every sporting or school play etc.

    • Hi Passivecanadianicome,

      I hate being late too, but since having children we occasionally get to appointments late. But that’s part of having kids and learning how to adopt to these changes.

  44. Well done Tawcan. We had our own spin as well……and it wasn’t about the ending, but the beginning of how we REALLY wanted to spend our lives. With our kids, with our families/friends, traveling, and only working on projects we really enjoyed. Next month will mark two years, and it’s been great. Funny thing though…..Mrs. IS decided to go back to work now that she found a job she loves. It’s crazy and unexpected because I have to really work on her to get her to take an extended vacation. Still, she’s doing what she loves… much or little as she likes :o)

    • Hi Bryan,

      That’s a nice spin, I love it! What you’re doing is great and I can’t believe it’s almost 2 years coming up. Working at a job that you enjoy will definitely change your perspective on “work.”

  45. Funny, we’re on the same wavelength! (

    It’s true that I view FIRE as an escape but it’s even more true that it’s not because I dislike my life. I love it! Not 100% because nothing is perfect but the vast majority of it is good and I appreciate it. I want more of what I have and having the freedom to spend more time doing the things I love while not sacrificing my health further for work is the entire reason I’m aiming for FI. But FI isn’t what’s going to make me happy. It’s just going to make it easier to stay happy for longer.

    I can appreciate the idea that we have limited time here in this life and that we should act accordingly. I do wish she hadn’t taken a jab at “females” for how they choose to spend their time though. I think the world already does plenty of that judgmental stuff. It’s much healthier to let people live, no?

    • Haha great minds think alike. 🙂

      Exactly, FI will make things easier to stay happy for longer… but we must work on being happy now, so we can be even happier at FI.

      I wouldn’t take Holly’s statement as a jab at females. It was probably something she thought about given that she wrote it before she passed away. She probably thought she could have used that “getting ready” time to do something more valuable.

  46. Probably one of the best posts I’ve read so far. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this, and couldn’t be said enough. It’s something that I have struggled with a lot now I’m getting more into touch with the whole FIRE aspect of life instead of reaching a target number. This will keep me thinking, and I hope many others as well!

    p.s. I was a bit afraid you might be stopping with blogging when I read the title. Glad that’s not the case!

    • Hi Dvinomics,

      Thank you very much, I really appreciate your kind words. It’s definitely easier said than done, that’s why we all need to make this a daily practice. 🙂

    • Hi divdidendgeek,

      It’s fine seeing FIRE as a milestone but my point of the post is that you need to work on yourself along the way rather than seeing FIRE as the solution for all of your problems now.

  47. Lovely post. My husband and I got frustrated with the term ‘FIRE’ also, for many of the same reasons as you, and have grown frustrated with all the click bait out there. We realized the term FIRE didn’t resonate to us – what we envisioned our life after being. So we ended up coming up with our own term FFLC – Fully financed lifestyle change. We thought that encapsulated our goal more.

    • I love the FFLC term myself. It was really too bad that schedule didn’t work out back in October for a dinner meetup in Houston, would have been a lot of fun to talk more about FFLC and FIRE.

  48. Lots of powerful stuff in this one Tawcan! With the title being ‘RIP’ it initially seemed like you were giving up the idea.

    It’s this whole “retire” word in “FIRE” that causes problems I think. Financially Independent is a better fit for the lifestyle, but it doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as easily.

    I’m definitely with you on the click-baity nature of some FIRE blogs. I guess that stuff ‘sells’ to mass market audiences, but it’s not my cup of tea.

    I’m pretty happy having a tiny blog where I can write about what I want, and not feel the pressure to make money.

  49. Thank you for the thoughtful post. I also have a career I enjoy and don’t plan to ever fully retire. The tagline of my blog is “Invest in Life”. It’s not about the net worth number or the final “retirement” destination. It’s about the road of life and how well it’s traveled. Pay attention to everything around you right now. Have a mindset of gratitude and thankfulness. A rich life is not about money.

    • That’s great that you have a career that you career that you enjoy. You’re so right, it’s about investing in life so you can fully enjoy your life, no matter how much money you have.

  50. You out of anyone who enjoys their work in the blogging world is someone that I believe can find the work life balance. It is great to see you have found a place of contentment and happiness which is the main importance of anything we choose to do. I like Financial Independence as the description as well, it doesn’t need the extra description.

  51. Beautiful post! Many of us don’t realize what a gift life is until we lose a loved one.
    On your FIRE comment, I am working towards FI (maybe FF now) part but not ready for the RE either:)

  52. Beautiful post, Tawcan. And happy new year! The 9 year long bull market has made many “swell” into FIRE territory and take “click-baity” risks. As Warren Buffet famously said “only when the tide goes out, you find out who’s been swimming naked”! I have post on a similar topic (but with a different twist) coming up shortly that you may like.

    • Thank you, I appreciate your kind words. I love Buffett’s quote and it’s so true. When things are going well, everyone’s smart. It will be interesting to see how the FIRE community is like when there’s a bear market eventually.


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