Trial By F.I.R.E.
How many times have you told yourself you desperately wanted something? Like that college major you chose and now you have a career in a totally different field? Or that new piece of technology you forgot about a few years down the road in a new quest for something else bigger and better?
What makes you think FIRE will be any different? Why are you so sure that becoming financially independent is truly what you want? Do you think you’ll change your mind in a few years?
Is it sustainable?
Will you still be spending the same amount of money post-FIRE versus pre-FIRE? When you travel the world will that factor into your budget? Will you actually like traveling for more than three months? Six months? A year?
We can budget and plan for nearly every scenario that could arise but, the future is unpredictable.
Will you want it for the long haul?
This post started with the idea of “How badly do you want it?” What this really boils down to is another question: Will the FIRE lifestyle be obtainable for the rest of your life? Or will you get bored being “retired.”
Not having a purpose can be draining on the mental psyche. We believe one needs to retire to something – not from something. Figure out your “why of FI” early on. This will help you decide your true reasoning for being in it for the long haul.
Having an investment plan to FIRE is just as important as having a plan after hitting your FI number.
What if it’s not for you?
What if you decide you went down the rabbit hole of reading and consuming about the FIRE lifestyle and now you want to crawl out of the hole? That’s perfectly fine! You are more than likely in a better spot financially than when you started. Your financial literacy has improved and you have learned along the way.
More aspects of your life are probably streamlined as well. You’ve learned what makes you truly happy in life. You’ve learned discipline, not only with your money but with your mindset and lifestyle.
Try a gap year!
A gap year is when you take a year off of work. Use it to see if you’d like the FIRE lifestyle instead of grinding away and then realizing too late that you don’t actually enjoy it. Ahead of a gap year, save up enough money to go do what you’d want to do in your pre-FIRE life. Now that’s what I call “trial by FIRE!” Step into the flames and experience it firsthand.
You’ll find holes in your plan as you step away. These holes could be as simple as a social life. You might realize you need more outings with friends to live life to the fullest. Knowing early on whether the FIRE lifestyle is for you could pay dividends down the road.
Slow your progress
The path to financial independence is a marathon, not a sprint. If you are unsure if FIRE is for you, try slowing down your progress. Instead of saving more of your income, spend it on what you’d like now and keep saving for FIRE at a slower rate. This could help you enjoy the moment and not make you feel deprived.
Achieving FIRE isn’t about how quickly one can get to FI; it’s about enjoying life along the way. If delaying your FI date by a year or two would make you happier now, go for it!
Getting to FIRE at the quickest rate possible is not the goal. The goal is to be free from money and enjoying life along the way. By slowing down to reach financial independence, you could have the best of both worlds and delay your FIRE date by a year or two and enjoy the right here, right now.
Focus on what matters
Prioritize what is truly important in your life. Consistently re-evaluate why you want to be financially independent. This should help you reaffirm your desire in the first place. Maybe it’s leaving the office life grind or a desire to travel the world and experience other cultures. Take a step back and evaluate what makes you happy in life.
Build your financial independence and also your personal independence.
Follow Our Journey At
We use Personal Capital to track our net worth. We simply connect our assets and it tracks everything for us! Our net worth, cash flow, budget, investment fees, retirement planner, and more are tracked through this site. It’s completely free too! Sign up for free and receive $20 when you open an account!