Why should you be interested to be Financially Independent and Retire Early (F.I.R.E)? When my husband first introduced this concept to me I asked him the same question. why should I miss out on fun now for later?
I was in my late 20s and the future seemed rosy and under control. I did not immediately see the need for us to talk about our finances and investments so early on in our courtship. Also, statements like “save for a rainy day” or “save now for future” were something I was used to only hearing from my grandmother. I thought “Saving” is not a subject to discuss for us cool young people. No one was talking about saving, instead EVERYONE I knew was buying things on debt, banking on their future earning potential without any hesitation.
To me, debt and EMIs seemed a natural solution to all the future problems that Naren was talking about.
So you must think what changed so drastically that only after couple of years from our first conversation I am writing this blog post? trying to convince you how Financial Independence and early retirement can improve your life.
Actually, nothing drastic- I just had to scratch the surface of my life to see how in-spite of doing well in my job I could not see myself keeping the same pace at work forever, plus I missed the freedom and autonomy: I could not experiment much with my life, my bucket list was growing longer. How much can you do in 2 weeks holiday per year( not all of us are lucky enough to even take that).
For the first time in my adult life I could see that I can do something about most of these issues. And that is how slowly and gradually I became a FIRE convert :-). So, today I will share with you some compelling reasons to consider F.I.R.E as a solution to your problems as well:
TOP 5 REASONS TO BE FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT AND RETIRE EARLY (F.I.R.E)
#1 Because why not
Resist the herd mentality. There are 1000’s of people who have done it and they share how they did it on their blogs just like us. Financial Independence and early retirement may not have been possible in India 30 years back because people did not have such high-paying private jobs, investing in the equity markets was not easy or trustworthy and F.I.R.E role models were almost nil. All that has changed now. The secret to achieving F.I.R.E in 10-20 years is very well-known now to anyone who wants it:
- Save and invest atleast 50% of your income
- Spend smart: saving a ton each month forces you to optimize your spending
- Stay Debt-free : Save and buy even big-ticket items instead of taking a loan
- Earn more if you are not able to save more
- Don’t feel pressured to follow the wasteful spending habits of your peers
I like being my own BOSS. Freedom is a very basic human need. In our personal life also we crave freedom in our work, in how we spend our personal time and in having freedom of speech. I personally wanted to just explore who I was and what made me happy when I quit my job. F.I.R.E gives an opportunity to be your own BOSS, to claim your freedom to explore your life and interests with confidence and security. It did for me! Take a few minutes, and imagine all the things you will do if you had freedom and time
#3 Courage and Peace of mind
Personally I perform really well in crisis and stressful work environments. But I also love peace and tranquility in my day-to-day life. Knowing that we have no debt + 1 year emergency fund stashed away and that we are on the road to F.I.R.E gives me a peace of mind in this ever chaotic and changing world. I feel prepared to handle any life crisis that life may throw our way with confidence. I know I have something solid to fall back on and it gives me tremendous courage and peace of mind. Should all of us not strive for it?
#4 Family Harmony
The fact is through out our lifecycle the ability to work (no: of hours) keeps changing. It is highest in 20s, as one usually has single-minded focus on career, has time and energy to pull overnighters and long working hours. But that gradually changes once you get married and you want to spend quality time with your spouse and fulfill other household and social obligations.
The biggest change in your ability to work (no of hours) happens after you have a baby. You need considerable amount of time, physical and mental energy to raise a baby. Then again you get your time back in your 40s when your kids are grown up and are independent and you again have more time to focus on your work.
Naren and I saw considerable decline in our work hours starting from the early days of our pregnancy: doctor’s appointments, health issues, prepping the house for baby, making big purchases and life decisions took considerable amount of time. Most of us live in a nuclear family and most often both the partners are working and also share equal responsibility towards household work and parenting. Our current work culture does not accommodate this fact of life. Especially in highly competitive careers where most of us are ambitious to do better in life.
In middle of big life changes such as Marriage and having a baby add in time crunch, massive EMIs, other debt, no emergency fund and you have a perfect recipe for personal stress and marital disharmony.
Knowing all this in your early 20s would you not like to plan your life so that you can avoid these pitfalls and be in a position of strength so that you can enjoy the most beautiful transitions in your life.
#5 F.I.R.E helps your money to work for you
Just making more and more money to fulfill your financial goals is not the smart answer. You may convince yourself that you deserve it, you work hard. But you also deserve stress-free life, quality time with you family, flexibility to take care of your aging parents and pursue your dreams. If you only depend on your income to meet all you financial goals you are missing out on maximizing on your hard earned money. Through FIRE we plan to create enough financial assets that they act like a third person earning for us 24X7. Money never stops working, never sleeps. So take advantage of this fact.
Through FIRE we plan to create enough financial assets that they act like a third person earning for us 24X7
#6 (Bonus) Environmental reasons
This is a BONUS reason. Last but not the least and a major motivator for me to retire early. Being a millennial I enjoy the countless consumer choices that life offers us in the 21st century. However I also feel a knot in my stomach to see how much we waste. When I compared my life to our parents generation I knew that I was consuming much more than I needed and I was not any happier for it. Our incessant need to upgrade our lifestyle, to treat ourselves to feel worth-it and keeping up with Jones’s makes us spend way more then we actually need to be happy in life.
F.I.R.E not only gives you freedom to live your life but also helps you live a more conscious and environmentally friendly life.
So, what are you waiting for! Share with us in comments what is your top most reason to be Financially Independent and Retire Early.
I have read about you on various forums. I am curious about one thing, do you ever miss the socializing, camraderie and peer-group interactions that happen at a workplace? That is one thing I cannot imagine leaving, so I was curious.
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Retired at 48 and free lancing as a project consultant. But the thought of how much money will be required till our end bothers a lot. How did you people decide on the corpus required for tension free retired life?
I can empathize with you. It took us a lot of time to come up with a retirement corpus +retirement strategy that we feel comfortable with. We have shared all our knowledge on this in two of our blog posts, if you read these it will help you:
How much money do I need to retire early in India
Safe Withdrawal Rate- How long will your money last in retirement
feel free to ask us questions through comments if you have any after reading these two posts. I agree we should make sure we have tension free retired life!
I think Naren’s mentioned it another post but a big reason nowadays is uncertainty in jobs. I’m sure all of us have seen high earning seemingly successful executives suddenly without jobs. The trend of a more flexible workforce is only going to accelarata. I think everyone would be stupid not to prepare for such an eventuality in today’s work environment.
You are correct Anil. Job uncertainty is a very worthy reason to be financially independent. I have seen few such examples myself where successful and talented executives in their 50’s were not able to find suitable jobs and they resorted to freelancing or starting their own business with capital investment. It does get tougher and more competitive as you move up the ladder. It is wiser to be prepared for layoffs and such scenario.
I have been following your write-ups of late. I am an IT professional in my 40s and have considered taking up up early retirement at some point. I am glad to see that this is picking up in India.
Hi Hema! Great to know you are interested in early retirement. Good luck to you! We wanted more freedom in our lives and FIRE seemed like a reasonable solution to us.I feel many more people in India will see its advantage in times to come.
Great article!! Details the “Why” of “FI ” very nicely. Please continue to post more freqently.
Glad you enjoyed reading it pprabhu2. We do have a lot to share, we will try to increase the frequency of our posts.