Financial Independence, YES! Retire early, NO!
@randomroger post. Love all his advice and I love thinking/talking about FIRE. Here are my thoughts...
1. Agree with Roger, the FI is the goal
Used to feel like the RE was the best part! Now, what would you do with yourself? I see one FIRE guy who just plays video games all day long. He seems happy, but I would get bored eventually.
2. Money gives you options
Want to take time off from work to go back to school, learn a new skill, change careers, change jobs, whatever...I recently took an entire year to learn a new skill and it's helped my quality of life tremendously. I also love learning new things and don't see my 'learning' every stopping.
3. COAST FIRE is a nice goal for anyone
Think this is basically once you acquire enough $ that will grow to an amount that you can retire fine at a normal age, you can stop contributing to your retirement accounts, continue working, but only to cover your bills. You can take a less stressful role/career/whatever. I still want to contribute and invest, but I am basically here and it's taken a lot of pressure off about the future.
4. We need hobbies or work
Think Roger made this point, the people who thrive in old age either love their work or love their hobbies. You have to know what you are doing with yourself or you may not feel the reason to keep going. In a perfect world, maybe you can have your hobbies make you money.
5. Social Security will help, but don't bank on it
My parents are now retired and taking SS and it's nice for them, but wouldn't pay all their bills. Plan to not have it and it will feel like a bonus.
6. Start at any age
If you aren't happy with some of your previous financial decisions (everyone has regrets), you can always turn the page and make good ones moving forward. We should always strive to make better decisions and there is no better time to start than now.
7. Don't overstress
See a lot of people chasing FIRE who are very stressed out. Sure, not having enough money at a later age will be stressful, but no need for all the anxiety in the present if you are healthy, making money, and enjoying life. It's not a race. And along the path you may change your mind. You do you.
8. Don't live your life in a spreadsheet
4%, 5%. Shoot for better than that. But, there is clear evidence that people spend less in retirement.
9. Die with Zero
Read this book. Helps you think about FIRE and life differently.