There’s been a huge amount of PF blogs that have cropped up recently with the goal of FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early), people don’t want to be working 9-5 until age 65 anymore and want to live their lives on their own terms. Many people are realizing that free time (time to do what you want) is more important than consumer goods, such as the newest iPad or the newest iPhone.
FIRE is a great movement, and I must say it’s very inspiring to read all the motivation out there to live a work optional life.
I’m Not that FiRE-Y but do want a work optional lifestyle
To be honest, I’m not that FIRE-Y. I don’t want to completely retire at age 38, live a nomadic, minimalist, lifestyle off the grid, and hope the $1,000,000 nest egg is going to last until I am 95, through cycle upturns and downturns. I don’t mind working at my job (actually I kind of enjoy it), but I just don’t want to be doing it full-time or having to rely on it. I want the option to work to be flexible and on my terms.
The reason I want the option to work and be flexible is because of…
ageing parents and young children= difficult combination
Once people hit their 80’s health issues usually start to occur and frailty, hospital admissions, decreased independence, and decreased mobility begins to creep in. My mom has 14 more years until she hits the big 8-0 and my mother in law and father have 11 more years until they hit the big 8-0. Of course, being in your 80’s and frail is a generalization, there is a lot of heterogeneity with older adults and frailty can hit earlier in late 70’s or even early 70’s or later in mid-80’s, depending on health conditions that crop up.
It’s kind of a crap shoot to know what kind of health one might be in, and of course dependent on the fitness lifestyle of the individual.
For example, my great aunt is in her mid-80’s and she’s very fit, plays badminton three times a week and I’m pretty sure has more muscle mass than my mom who’s in her 60’s, doesn’t exercise, and thinks walking 5 metres from her car to the grocery store is considered exercise.
Once frailty hits, there will be medical appointments, follow up with specialists, helping with banking and grocery shopping if they aren’t able to do it anymore, and encouraging them to use a walker when they don’t want to give up their independence or ‘look old’ and unfortunately having to see them fall when because they don’t want to use the aforementioned walker.
To top it all off, there is the issue of family dynamics and siblings- who is going to do what? People are different and have different perspectives, even when they are raised by the same parents. One person might think the ageing parent should go into a home, the other thinks they are too busy with their job to help out, and often the entire responsibility of caring for a frail parent falls on just one sibling. It will be never ending and if it is a difficult situation, can have the potential to tear families apart.
Now to address young children. In 11 or 14 years my eldest child (hopefully I’ll have more than one!) will be 11 or 14. Still school age, preteen, or adolescent. They will probably be in the throes of extracurricular activities, will need to be chauffeured to soccer games, hockey practices, music lessons etc.
Life with ageing parents and young children is going to be BUSY.
i don’t want to be be sandwiched
The above scenario is described as the sandwich generation. According to Wikipedia, the sandwich generation is caught between caring for ageing parents and their young children. People in this demographic will be in their 40’s to 60’s.
So for me, I don’t want to be completely sandwiched. I don’t want the stress of not being able to take my aging parent to a medical appointment because of a full-time job. I don’t want to be exhausted at the end of the work day and have little reserve and energy to watch my child at his or her soccer game. Of course one could say that I don’t need to be taking care of my aging parents but for me, I plan to help out since they helped me for the first, what, 18 years of my life.
my plan for financial independence
Hence, the timeline for my financial independence is around 10-15 years, and I hope to have a net worth of $1,000,000 by age 40 (that’s less than 10 years to go without disclosing my exact age). I have over $350,000 to go to achieve a $1,000,000 net worth. I plan to sell my condo in a few years and use the home equity to add to my investment portfolio. With a $1,000,000 portfolio invested in dividend paying stocks, my passive income generated could be around $40,000 annually provided my average annual dividend yield is 4%.
Anyone care for a grilled or burnt sandwich? Should that be my new logo? A sandwich being torched?
Readers, how about you? What is your reason for FIRE?