Why we ditched the Financial Independence/Retire Early (FIRE) movement -Marketwatch
"Early retirement is something most people write off as a pipe dream. For me, I didn't even know it was possible until I read some articles online about people my age throwing in the corporate towel forever. Turns out, what it takes to retire early was way more than my husband and I bargained for - and not worth our happiness....If you're not familiar with it, FIRE stands for Financial Independence/Retire Early, and it totally blew my mind.
FIRE adherents are typically folks in their 20s, 30s, and 40s who are saving upward of 70% of their incomes in an effort to stash away 25x their annual living expenses. During early retirement they're pulling roughly 4% out of their nest eggs each year to live on...Once they hit their magic number, they're ditching their fluorescent-lit corporate cubicles for lives of adventure, travel, and, oftentimes, side hustles to support their flexible lifestyles and subsidize downturns in investment returns. After watching my parents struggle with their finances in retirement...the idea of FIRE was appealing...Before I knew it, I was down a virtual rabbit hole reading every single FIRE blog I could find and fantasizing about stepping away from my own corporate cubicle to live a life of freedom....Our extremely frugal lifestyle took shape by cutting out almost everything we ever enjoyed....But then something unexpected happened. As we watched our net worth climb higher and higher, we realized that our happiness level seemed to be in free fall....Time dragged on and after about two years of extreme frugality, my husband and I just couldn't shake the feeling of self-imposed deprivation....We decided the risk of retiring early, considering life's unexpected curveballs, simply wasn't worth the reward. ....Our balanced financial approach and overall smart money moves are creating a life of options and the life we want to live both now and later and we couldn't be happier."