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FIRE - Redefined

Updated: Aug 27, 2023


The world of personal finance is consumed by the concept of FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early). The idea is to invest enough money so that you can leave your career well before the traditional retirement age and live off your investments. It’s a great concept and has lots of passionate followers, but I prefer a slight variation of it!

Backyard firepit

FIRE - Redefined

I want to redefine it as Financial Independence, Retire Eventually (FIRE).

So, why am I in no rush to retire? The reason is that I enjoy living. Let’s look at a few quick stats below from different studies on the correlation between working longer and longevity:

  • A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that men who worked past the age of 65 were 20% less likely to die prematurely than those who retired at 65.

  • A study by the University of California, San Diego found that women who worked past the age of 65 were 15% less likely to die prematurely than those who retired at 65.

  • A study by the University of Chicago found that people who worked longer hours were happier than those who worked shorter hours.

Before you dismiss the data points above and the new definition of FIRE, perhaps because you hate your job (which I can relate to from previous employment), let me explain what this means and doesn’t mean to me.

What does it NOT mean?

According to a happiness survey, the least happy activity was being sick in bed and the second lowest was working. So why on earth would I want to continue working, even if it meant living longer? The reason is that I’m not talking about working in the traditional sense. After achieving financial independence, there will be no two hour commutes, soul-sucking work, travel, and living on someone else’s schedule; however, I do want to work on something meaningful. I want to have some purpose!

What does it mean?

Financial Independence, Retire Eventually means working in some capacity that keeps me intellectually challenged and where I find some joy. For example, I enjoy writing, teaching, and helping others build wealth. I plan on continuing my business, Walk You To Wealth, for as long as I’m passionate about it and people still need my support. As I write this, I’m also going through a training program to teach college courses online. I’m not sure if I’ll enjoy it, but if I do, it will be another good example of a “job” that I might keep well into my 70s or older.

Most Important Element

The most important takeaway, whether you want to continue working or lay on a hammock all day, is to pursue the common element in both definitions, Financial Independence (FI). Ultimately, financial independence will provide you with wealth, which equals choice, so that you can pursue as much “work,” or as little as you desire. If you don’t know how to start your walk to financial independence, feel free to schedule time with me!

Disclaimer: The information in this post is provided for your convenience only and is not intended to be treated as financial, investment, tax, or other advice. The information is intended to be educational and is not tailored to the investment needs of any specific individual.  It is also not intended to be relied upon as a forecast and is not an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy.  The opinions expressed are those of the author.  Reliance upon the guidance and information in this presentation is at the sole discretion of the individual.


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