“If you retire so young, what are you going to do for the rest of your life? Won’t you be bored or run out of money?”
That’s what we often hear when we tell our close friends and family we want to retire early by achieving financial independence (FI). We are always met with some sort of skepticism as if we are from another planet. We don’t blame them. After all, we were conditioned to believe that you work hard to get a well paying stable job to only work the rest of your life until you are legally able to retire. However, part of that belief is also driven by what many think retirement is–doing nothing, not working. Let’s redefine that!
FIRE to us doesn’t mean we don’t work or have a job ever again. In fact, Mrs. Quest plans to continue teaching because she enjoys it. Obtaining FI, however, gives us the option to not work if we decide not to. For instance, if our parents all of sudden needs a caregiver, FI will afford us the option to not work and spend our days taking care of them. Or we decide to live abroad for half a year; we don’t need to worry about hacking our vacation days at work. Working a decade or so to buy us an option to never work again (if we choose to) sounds like a great bargain. Won’t you agree?