Where do you start? They say to start at the beginning, but I think we’ll have to get to that in time. Lets start at now and where now is. And now is my journey to FIRE.
What is FIRE?
Financial Independence and Retire Early.
This can mean many things to many people so lets break it down.
Financial Independence means having enough money that you never need to work again. Sort of. There are many stages and work is only part of it. At a basic level, you have enough income so that you never have to work again for money.
Retire Early is the fun part in the financial world. For most people, the retiring part of retire early never actually happens if we are really strict about it. Usually it just means giving up the day job and following the fun. What is fun? Once you are FI you get to decide that!
What does it mean to me?
To me it means having Fuck You Money, enough money, that if I wanted to, I could just walk out of my job and never work another day in my life. While just a step of the full path to financial independence, it is my main goal for the next few years and has been for the last few.
What about me?
I’ve been on this journey since last 2010, although I only really got serious in 2013. All going well, I intend on reaching my walk away point before I’m 40 or sometime before 2025 (also because its a round number). Will I actually walk away on that day? Hopefully not.
“Wooahhhh, hold on” I hear you say. So let me explain.
I work in tech and I really enjoy what I do. Yes it can be stressful but I enjoy that. I’m someone who comes home from work and then does the same stuff I was doing in work during my down time. If I reach the minimum day and walk away, something has gone wrong somewhere.
Part of the reason for this journey is that I know my career has a lifespan shorter than the age of normal retirement. Ask anyone in tech, the average age is young. Odds on me doing what I’m doing in my late 40s are close to zero. Following the normal path, most people seem to end up in management, a different career, or just unemployed. There are only so many managers in the world and I’m not one of them, which only leaves another career. I’d rather have options.
What do you mean options?
At the heart of financial independence that is what it is. Options to do what you choose. Maybe you choose to work until the day you drop, or maybe you choose to live on a beach, or maybe you travel the world. If you have to work to pay the bills, that choice is made for you.
The further along the path of financial independence you get, the more options you get. The more options you have, the more you can pick what your life will be.