For the uninitiated, FIRE is short for Financial Independence Retire Early).
The Green Associates’ way of building a retirement fund is to structure your affairs and create an investment basket, designed to deliver you an income to support a healthy retirement. We build a diversified portfolio, consisting of various asset classes of varying risk – stocks, bonds, property, REITs, etc.
The FIRE lifestyle usually involves:
- Saving aggressively (usually between 50% – 75% of one’s income)
- Living extremely frugally
- Earning wealth quickly through side jobs/hustles
- Investing to generate ~4% returns per year (if you have $100,000, you aim to get $4,000 a year)
FIRE was never meant to be the norm:
As the FIRE movement grows in popularity, more people feel pressured into needing to reach that (sometimes) unattainable goal.
No one should feel bad if they feel that retiring before 40 is unattainable.
Here’s some context: The most passionate advocates of FIRE are often high-income earners, working fields such as tech, finance, law, or entrepreneurs.
Eg: Income is relative, and it is easier to save 50% of your income when you’re earning $100,000 as opposed to $40,000.
Let’s not encourage an unhealthy expectation for everyone to retire at 40.
We start off at different places:
Here’s a reality check. What if you have dependents such as children, siblings or elderly parents? Achieving financial independence for yourself is tough enough. Doing it for multiple people is an uphill battle.
The pursuit of FIRE depends also on your starting point in life. Some start their journey behind the starting line, so far back that living the frugal FIRE lifestyle will only allow you to lead a relatively ‘normal’ life. For example, you might be forced to have a huge sum of emergency funds instead of investing it if you have parents with medical complications.
If not FIRE, then what?
Here’s our take.
So, what if you don’t retire early? The most important bit is FI – to be financially independent first. Once you have that, you can pursue other work that may be more meaningful but lower paid.
Then, even if you have the means to FIRE, it doesn’t mean you need to.
At the end of the day, you live with your own decisions. Remember that FIRE is a life goal, not THE life goal.
People sacrifice time, relationships and enjoyment to achieve FIRE. Much of their weeknights in their twenties were spent on side hustles and not on sleep. This is time they never get back, no matter how much money they have moving forward (because money can’t buy everything).
Don’t get burned putting out a FIRE you started in the first place.
It is important to have a plan that helps you achieve your financial goals and also allows you to enjoy your life now and in the future. Speak to our team to learn more about financial independence on 1300 815 921 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
At Green Associates, all of our advisers are fully licensed and listed on the ASIC Moneysmart Financial Adviser Register. Green Associates is committed to providing the best solutions for you and your wealth-creation journey.