Hey there. My name is Bob Haegele and I'm an expert at frugal living and saving money. I’m also an EV enthusiast and have recently become mostly-vegetarian. Another thing I started doing recently? Dog walking. I’m working toward financial independence making money via my own ventures. Interested in starting a blog of your own? Check out my post on starting a blog.
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I agree. True definition of FIRE is different for everyone. “FIRE is what you make of it.”
Well put. Everything we do we do for our own reasons, and as long as we are intentional and goal-oriented in our decisions then we are doing what is right for us at that time. Also, did she mention a private island and plane? I only remember hearing that 2 or 3 times, plus a few more in her interview with Stacking Benjamins, and I’m guessing a few more times with other podcasts. Way to stay connected with your audience, Suze.
Haha, totally didn’t sense the sarcasm at first. It is what it is. I will keep spreading the message of a broad definition of FIRE.
I love this post! For me, retiring early means the freedom and flexibility to live my life on my own terms. It really helps to know what you treasure most. I’m not interested in a private jet or a private island either.
I’m glad you liked it! And I don’t expect to ever have a private jet, but I dunno…it wouldn’t be so bad not having to deal with airports anymore. Hah!
Fire for us means freedom. The freedom to decide if we want to work or not or if we just want to take the opportunity to completely change the course of our lives. Our goal of being financially independent is purely to have the money to buy ourselves time. Time with our families, travelling or just time to spend to doing what makes us happy.
Definitely. That is the Vicki Robin philosophy which I feel is much more sensible than anything Suze says.
I think we need to stop looking at it as retiring early (as acronym-handy as that may be) and start looking at it as changing courses mid-life. Just about every FIRE blogger seems to keep going (some even start podcasts) after “retiring” so clearly they’re still doing a fair amount of work.
I agree completely! I would certainly get bored, even though I do want to travel quite a bit. But I also want the flexibility to be able to set my own schedule. The traditional work life is just not conducive to that.
My husband is “retiring early” from his current employer. He is burned out, having worked there for 25 years, and is eligible for his pension. We now have the opportunity to make some life changes, such as moving 1000 miles south. It would be nice to be financially independent, unfortunately, rising healthcare costs ensure that one or both of us will need to continue working, in some capacity, for another 10-15 years.
Ugh, sorry to hear that. It’s a huge issue in my opinion. Healthcare should not be a barrier. I am hopeful that our country will start to address that (rather large) problem soon.
I thought FIRE was all about quitting your job, retiring early to a beach and balling out, blowing all your money before running out of cash at age 60, to ultimately depend on social security. Isn’t this what FIRE is about? Lol
Suze Orman is a character.
A character indeed! Yet she has backtracked a bit since then. I honestly think the initial thing was a PR move, but oh well. She still has her private island and jet.
This is a great read. I feel like it really explained FIRE well and how it is going to be different for everyone. There should be no cookie-cutter model for fire, life or anything else. We need to make it our own so that it works for us.
Personal finance is personal!
If I am going to be honest, I don’t really want to “RE”. All I want is FI so that I can focus on the things that make me feel accomplished. Helping people through their financial journeys. If I were to retire early, I think I would just wither away. Gotta stay sharp!
I agree. Everyone is different and has different goals. And that’s kind of the point – we don’t have to all be the same. That seems to be an idea that too many people believe, and I definitely want to push back against it. Thanks for stopping by.
I think the FIRE community is so interesting, and people really get hung up on what it means to be retired. In fact, it’s funny because the post we put out a month or so ago ruffled some feathers because we didn’t feel like someone making a full-time income from blogging is retired, just changed jobs. Whatever people consider retired, the point of pursuing financial independence is to have more FREEDOM to CHOOSE what you want to do in your life. However, I think it’s also important that FIRE people understand their privilege in striving for FIRE. A large portion of the population must keep working whether they feel fulfilled or not. Appreciate you emphasizing the options aspect.
I remember you saying that at FinCon. Slightly different on my take, I suppose. But we can all have out own take. Personally your take does not upset me. 🙂
THANK YOU!! I loved this article! RE like life is what we make of it. I love the examples and insights you give here. It’s also interesting as you mention Suze that she assumes an RE has no passion – that’s because her passion is obviously making money and since that is her passion there must be no other passion in this world, lol
Thanks again for detailing out the differences. It seems as of late those of us who REed have been under “fire” (I had to) One result I like is articles like this that are supportive of different lifestyles.
Thanks Bonnie! I appreciate it. For sure, the most important thing that I always try to say is that there is no one-size-fits-all. Or, personal finance is personal, as they say. 🙂
I have achieved FI, but looking at RE in about five years when I will be 54 yo. I look at RE from the main source of income(job). I have no interest in working in my current field after 54. That being said, I wouldn’t mind working somewhere else part time. Trader Joe’s maybe. Not that I would need to, but because I have an interest in learning another type of job. If I tell someone that I retired early, but working at TJ and they raise a stink about that I am not really RE, I don’t care. If it makes them feel better about themselves, fine. I am happy, that all that matters.
First time on your site, I like it.