How to Retire Happy with Lots of Money

What is the secret to a happy retirement with lots of money? Here are a few who actually did it.

What is the secret to a happy retirement with lots of money? Here are a few who actually did it.

When I started this blog a primary goal was to share the worldview from my side of the desk. Over the years I’ve seen things I would never have seen if I were not in the profession I am in. And now I’ve seen things in the early retirement community I can no longer keep secret.

Many secrets have been shared over the last few years while new secrets have emerged as I sit smack-dab in the middle of the FIRE (financial independence/retire early) community. In many regards I represent an anti-FIRE philosophy. I espouse frugality while venting disdain for travel and anything that echoes of retirement.

As an odd apologist for the FIRE community I watched on as Suze Orman set the community on fire when she exclaimed she HATED! the FIRE movement. While card-carrying members were up in arms I muttered under my breath, “I know what you mean.”

Yes, you heard that right. I actually agreed with Orman on something, a rare occurrence. Orman’s insistence you need $5 million to retire is absolute rubbish. But there is something deeply disturbing about the FIRE community and it has the power to rip it apart.

To make matters worse, I may be the only one in the community who understands what is happening under the surface. And how I know this is due to my unique position in the community.

As readers may know (and they will now if they didn’t), I prepare taxes or advise a number of A-list bloggers within the FIRE community. I also consult with several people each week from this blog. And a concerning pattern has taken shape.




Feelings of Failure

It didn’t exactly start with Mr. Money Mustache, but the FIRE community solidified around Pete and his work. Pete retired at the ripe old age of 30 and set a new standard in early retirement.

News feeds have a litany of stories of 30-somethings living the good life as they travel abroad. Coupled with the stories of people paying off a gazillion dollars in debt in four and a half minutes and it starts to look easy.

Except it isn’t that easy! It’s actually damn hard. Personal circumstances play a vital role. Where you live, your health and education opportunities determine at least a part of the outcome.

I’ve been consulting with members of the FIRE community for close to 5 years now. At every personal finance (PF) conference I’ve attended I conducted consulting sessions. Tuesdays and Thursdays are consulting days at the office and I’m usually booked months in advance. (Okay! Sometimes I get caught up because I say “no” for a few months to every request.)

You would think consulting sessions with a “wealthy accountant” would focus on taxes. Au contraire. Personal finance issues and retirement are front and center as well.

People pay a lot of money for what frequently turns into a therapy session. Fully half of all consulting sessions start with an apology that sounds something like this: “I’m 37, but I haven’t retired yet.”

WHAT!

Your 37 and and haven’t retired? The inhumanity. But I have to take their words seriously! The words come out as contrition. These people feel like complete failures because they were still gainfully employed the day after their 30th birthday.

The steady stories of early retirees living the good life, traveling the world and loaded with cash has warped the worldview of many young people.

Another 15% or so of consulting clients already reached financial independence and partook of early retirement. Traveling grew old or they didn’t care for running around any more. They need guidance to get back into life.

Which leaves at best a third of my consulting clients who ask what I would consider normal questions of a tax guy.




Tears in Heaven

On more than one occasion it came to tears. Earlier this year a young man needed a consulting session bad. He started the session with an apology; he was 32 and still was working out of necessity. His voice broke and then the tears came.

This is why I felt somewhat the same as Suze Orman said she HATED! the FIRE community idea of frugality and early retirement. There is more to it than that. Some people take it to heart and experience depression when the extraordinary doesn’t come to pass.

Orman is wrong on many levels. She is too much of a self-promoter for me. But she does get it right often enough. That is why she reached the position she has as a trusted (by many) financial resource.

Orman is also right on a few things. A singular goal of early retirement smacks of narrow-mindedness. Exactly what do you plan on doing with all that time if not engaged in creating value? (Now you know why I’m an outlier of the FIRE community. Many stay far away due to my opinions concerned they may rub off. A recent visit to the doctor confirms I’m contagious.)

But if a community causes depression in some people it might be time to rethink the mantra. I’m only one guy and I have only so many therapy session time slots. There has to be a better way.

 

Publicly Speaking

A few weeks ago I was talking with Pete (Mr. Money Mustache) when I shared these facts with him. He was aghast. He had no idea people were experiencing these kinds of negative emotions due to the FIRE movement and his work.

Family, friends and loved ones are the true meaning of a happy and joyful life. Money and wealth don't make for an incredible retirement; you do.

Family, friends and loved ones are the true meaning of a happy and joyful life. Money and wealth don’t make for an incredible retirement; you do.

But it’s not Pete’s fault! Like many people Pete had the opportunity. Unlike many people he went for it and succeeded! His story resonated and for a reason. The MMM story provides a template for how it can be done.

Saving hard and investing gives you an advantage. If others are distressed it isn’t your fault!

I wish I had an easy answer for people struggling with FIRE community concepts. If you reached your 40th birthday, or God forbid, 50, before you retire there is no shame! Even if you retire at 70 or older there is no shame.

But the older guys are not the problem. When a 70 year old asks for a consulting session he doesn’t worry about early retirement; he wants guidance on financial issues, legacy planning, investments, taxes and medical problems. The pressure to retire early left the station long ago. And thank God for that. Pity is not a good place to begin a PF plan.

For the younger guys feeling the weight I need to convince them retirement isn’t the issue; financial independence is. Clients in their 20s want a firm game plan to reach the finish line no later than their 30th year. It’s an insane request.

Up to this point I just said what needed to be said, but the only way to get the message across is with an allegory. And I start with a joke so their minds open to options.

Here is what I say:

I’m not afraid of public speaking; I’m afraid people might actually believe what I tell them.

Public speaking is the number one fear for most people. People would prefer a root canal than to speak before a group.

Not me. I’ve never had an issue with speaking to a group of any size. I guess I’m weird that way.

What does scare the living bejesus out of me is that someone in the crowd may actually listen and take my words to heart. And that too is a bit strange. (It seems your favorite accountant is often half bubble off center.)

 

Easy Peasy

From the inception of this blog to today I’ve worked hard to outline where I failed and how I dealt with the issues. But no matter how hard I try people seem to think it was easy for me.

History seems preordained to future readers. The same applies to me. Readers know the outcome even when reading the struggles I faced and anguish I felt. There was no chance of failure. The outcome was known.

It was never easy and it certainly wasn’t a sure thing at the time. The nights I lay awake in bed in a cold sweat trying to figure out what to do did not guarantee an acceptable outcome. There were a few times when I thought I was finished for good. Business can mete out some bloody lessons.

And that is why public speaking doesn’t scare. I faced far worse deaths than dying on stage.

But what about my fear that people might take my words to heart?

That is where the real fear lies. When I accept a podcast or speak to a group (or even when speaking to a client in a consulting session) there is no guarantee my best advise will work. Like everyone else, my past is littered with good ideas that went bust!

My concern when working with any client is to prevent further harm. A victim of assault (yes, I’ve had a few sessions where personal safety was the primary issue) needs good advise, but the risks already exist and it is imperative I weigh my words carefully to prevent further harm.

Even when it comes to business, money and taxes I take great care. The mistakes I’ve made over the years are legend and a reminder of how fallible I am . Yes, a tax professional with my experience can get it wrong. (I know, it blows my mind, too!)

But it happens. The best laid plans often go awry. Standing in front of a group of people doesn’t cause the fear. The fear is later when I realize some of the attendees will take my words and use them. Using history as a guide I know some of those concepts will not work as designed.




Lots of Money

By now alert readers will point out the title of this post promised a happy retirement with money; lots and lots of cash.

I didn’t forget my promise and it wasn’t a click bait title either. Before I could deliver on the promise I had to expose you to the riptides under the surface of the FIRE community; a riptide even the fearless leaders of the community are probably not aware of.

Then I needed to share an allegory to illustrate the problem the leaders of the community face. The winners have a jilted view. They made it happen. They saved, invested and it worked. It is hard at times to see what is happening on the ground floor when sitting at the peak

There are many with serious medical issues not so lucky. Educational and business opportunities also play a key role.

Still, nearly anyone (I leave room for the possibility some have little to no chance of living the FIRE fantasy) can reach the goals espoused by the FIRE community.

Suze Orman was wrong to HATE! the FIRE community when she later admitted she didn’t fully understand the movement. (I think Suze Orman is a very smart lady and knew exactly what the FIRE community stood for. She also understands human psychology. She said exactly what she wanted and the FIRE community promoted her most recent book better than $100 million of advertising. We need to be smarter than that FIRE community and not be so easily baited.)

She did get one thing right. The FIRE community leaves many feeling empty when the bar is set so high that only a few can reach it (retire by 30 that is, not financial independence which is attainable by the vast majority).

The pursuit of financial independence and attaining said goal at any age is awesome! Feeling bad because some 30-something has his/her picture in the news feed enjoying another adventure around the world is the wrong impression to take.

Remember who I am! I consult with many of these people and speak with them periodically even if they aren’t clients. More than you think return to a “normal” job or start their own business after the shine comes off the bauble of early retirement.

So how do you reach financial independence? How do you get the loads of money I promised?

As my old friend Doug Nordman once said, “Your net worth is a product of

  1. your savings rate,
  2. investment fees and
  3. time.”

It’s as simple as that. The more you save and invest the better off you are, just give it a little time. The larger the percentage of your income you invest in low-cost index funds mixed with time determines your net worth. To reach your goals you only need to plug in the numbers and wait a bit.

If you want to retire sooner you have to increase your savings rate. The earlier you start the earlier your reach financial independence. Then you can toy with retirement until it gets old and you decide to start creating value again.

Of course your income will also plays a role. The higher your income the easier it is to save a larger percentage of your income. A good six-figure income can take you from zero to FI within 10 years. Minimum wage will take longer.




Retire Happy

The most viewed post of this blog was published years ago in April of 2016. In that post I share how I met Mrs. Accountant and how our relationship grew. I concluded the best way to have a rich, happy life (the best kept secret of early retirees, the wealthy and happy people) was to have a nurturing relationship with the one you love for life. In other words, I stayed married for over 30 years now (to the same woman, if I need to point that out!). This one fact is largely responsible for my level of wealth, happiness and contentment with life. (Every morning I wake and feel stunned by level of awesomeness my life has been. That same moment every morning I realize the relationship with the woman sleeping next to me is the most valuable asset I have.)

Early retirement gets all the press, but how you retire is what really matters. Retire to the life you will love at any age.

Early retirement gets all the press, but how you retire is what really matters. Retire to the life you will love at any age.

Money is the easy part! This blog and many others provide plenty of ideas to get rich. Even when I speak to a group and I fear someone might think I actually know something, I still utter a few golden nuggets you can use to have a better than even chance at knocking the ball out of the park.

Happy is the hard part because people don’t listen to what I say. There is no fear on my part when I explain what has made me happy in life.

And it’s more than happiness! Happiness is an event and fleeting. Winning the lottery or having a child or achieving early retirement at age 29 (eat your heart our mustachioed man) will bring happiness. Happiness creates a giddiness. And it is fleeting. Once the newness of the experience begin to fade, so does the happiness.

Instead, I encourage joy. Joy is much more than happiness and not dependent on an external event. Joy comes from in here (pointing to my head and heart) not out there. I imagine I will feel joy on my deathbed as I say goodbye to my children, family and friends. This isn’t happiness. I’ll miss the people I love and dying doesn’t sound like fun. But I will feel joy.

Joy is a more powerful emotion. In a world where people are brought to tears over a delayed retirement (delayed to some age less than 50 especially) it is important to spend less time on happiness (retiring at 30 brings happiness for a while) and more time experiencing joy. You can feel joy in any situation in any location. The choice is yours because joy is internal.

Joy is contentment, a coming to terms with oneself. Joy is gratitude for the gift of life. Even if it means a life of hardship and poverty.

Pete did a good thing when he set a goal of retiring by his 30th birthday and reaching said goal. His example can provide us with tools to achieve our own goals. (All those young people in the news feeds telling their story of early retirement provide the same material: a blueprint to help us design our own goals. Our goals; not their’s.)

If for some reason you manage to retire by the time you live 30 years on this planet I’m sure you’ll feel happiness. At least for a little while.

If you want to know the secret of happiness then you need to feel gratitude for whatever life has dealt you. Then you feel something even more powerful than happiness: JOY!

And nobody can take that away from you.

 

 

More Wealth Building Resources

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Personal Capital is an incredible tool to manage all your investments in one place. You can watch your net worth grow as you reach toward financial independence and beyond. Did I mention Personal Capital is free?

Side Hustle Selling tradelines yields a high return compared to time invested, as much as $1,000 per hour. The tradeline company I use is Tradeline Supply Company. Let Darren know you are from The Wealthy Accountant. Call 888-844-8910, email Darren@TradelineSupply.com or read my review.

Medi-Share is a low cost way to manage health care costs. As health insurance premiums continue to sky rocket, there is an alternative preserving the wealth of families all over America. Here is my review of Medi-Share and additional resources to bring health care under control in your household.

PeerSteet is an alternative way to invest in the real estate market without the hassle of management. Investing in mortgages has never been easier. 7-12% historical APRs. Here is my review of PeerStreet.

QuickBooks is a daily part of life in my office. Managing a business requires accurate books without wasting time. QuickBooks is an excellent tool for managing your business, rental properties, side hustle and personal finances.

cost segregation study can reduce taxes $100,000 for income property owners. Here is my review of how cost segregations studies work and how to get one yourself.

Amazon is a good way to control costs by comparison shopping. The cost of a product includes travel to the store. When you start a shopping trip to Amazon here it also supports this blog. Thank you very much!

 



Keith Taxguy

21 Comments

  1. Kenneth on November 13, 2018 at 7:07 am

    Excellent post, and thanks for bringing the undercurrents of the FIRE community to light. FIRE was way too late for me. I retired at age 65 3/4, but I found Mr. MMM’s blog in 2011, and had already reduced my expenses. His thinking made me reduce my expenses even more, and it worked! I got rid of all my debt! Today, I live in a beautiful, 2 year old paid for home worth $400,000. Doug Nord really has it right. Wealth building is a function of your savings rate and time. If you’re smart enough to know this and practice it, it goes without saying that you’ll find low fee investments like Vanguard funds.
    I have a line by line budget on software called YNAB (You Need a Budget) and use it even to this day. It helps me plan my spending, and keep it under my income, so that I get to save money, even in retirement. But every now and then we blow some of it on travel, and sorry, Keith, it feels good! We just booked 12 days at an AirBnB in Arizona in February – we live in Minnesota, and will golf for two weeks in February, that’s money well spent in my book!

    • Keith Taxguy on November 13, 2018 at 7:40 am

      There is nothing wrong with traveling, Kenneth, if that is what you want to do. I travel some, just not as much as many do. It’s about living the good life. I hope I conveyed that message.

  2. Beth on November 13, 2018 at 7:54 am

    This is a great post! You’ve taken an intimidating and stressful subject and made it approachable. Thanks for putting in the effort to share this valuable information!

  3. Andrew on November 13, 2018 at 8:04 am

    “Joy is contentment, a coming to terms with oneself. Joy is gratitude for the gift of life. Even if it means a life of hardship and poverty.”

    This statement is powerful and an awesome motto to live life by!

    Thank you for this article Keith.

  4. MB on November 13, 2018 at 8:17 am

    At this point I don’t remember which blog led me to it but this article reminds me of an article about Jimmy Buffet. How his empire is built on selling the “idea” of living on the beach.

    I believe this concept encapsulates the FIRE movement for a lot people. Selling the “idea” of early retirement and unlimited beaches. At least FIRE also provides a game plan to achieve the goal. That being said in the long run I have a feeling more will fall out than one might expect.

  5. Steveark on November 13, 2018 at 8:52 am

    Very thoughtful post. I never really stopped to think about how many people in this community feel like losers because of a different kind of comparison game. They aren’t miserable because they envy other people’s cars and houses. Instead they covet others’ progress toward financial independence which seems so much faster than their own. People like me are part of the problem. I never struggled at anything. I can check most of the boxes that this community strives for and none of it required much hard work or frugality. What kind of message have I been sending? Too bad you guys aren’t as lucky as me? That’s not helpful to anyone.

    • Keith Taxguy on November 13, 2018 at 9:15 am

      You are not the problem, Steveark! It came easy for you because you succeeded. I remind myself of this fact often. We can still be a guide.

  6. druggedzebra on November 13, 2018 at 9:04 am

    Excellent post, and I agree! We have 2 little ones, and I plan on working until the youngest finishes 4 years of college. I keep telling my wife I’m going to retire in a few years, and she just laughs in my face “you will NEVER stop working.” ‘Yes, dear, you are right.’ While, we are not yet FI, we will be WAAYYYY before our friends/peer group. There is no shame in continuing to work. I look forward to how much my job satisfaction will increase after we are FI, knowing I can tell “the man” to get lost because I am moving to the lake forever.

    Keep up the good work and thanks for taking the shame out of continuing working!

  7. Social Capitalist on November 13, 2018 at 11:30 am

    I have to agree with everyone here; this is a great post and really gets to the heart of what you do which is why I have learned much from going through your archives.
    The points about not knowing if you would make it and that everyone has different circumstances really ring true. I grew up in a somewhat stable but impoverished home and I feel like I have made it (good job, great wife and kids), but did not always know that I would (mostly due to my own incompetence).
    It takes some pulling up one by one’s own bootstraps, but sometimes someone needs to hand you (at least me) some boots first, and give you the opportunity. Your post about FI and what it really means gets to the heart of this journey. Being first isn’t always best, enJOYing the journey is.
    Thanks

  8. MsTJ on November 13, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    Great article, thank you for posting.

    I don’t understand how anyone does this whole “financial Independence” thing without a budget. Like Kenneth above, I use YNAB and have learned a lot from their classes. I put a little aside for “never” spending (retirement/future income), some for a car, some for a vacation, and lots of other goals, each month. For the first time in my life, I will have a bunch set aside by next spring and can actually plan a nice vacation, just wish I could get my boyfriend doing the same thing. Guess it helps with the FOMO portion of Financial Independence because I know when I will have enough to make my planned purchases. I might not make as much progress as others, and I make great progress, for me. Maybe it even saves me from the FOMO part. IF this is allowed, here is a link if you want to check out YNAB, https://ynab.com/referral/?ref=Zf7hwkn4UTINuajN&utm_source=customer_referral

    As of today, I am putting aside around 40% of my income and know I will reach “Financial Independence” eventually. Before finding this community, and budgeting, I thought I would work until I died, broke. I was a spender and am learning the errors of my ways. I know people who are savers, and they never have any money for things that come up, never give themselves permission to spend anything. With the help of YNAB, I know which dollars I don’t want to spend, ever. I also know which dollars I have planned to spend, so spend it freely when the time comes. Savers don’t seem to have that knowledge. And I’m already “retired” so figure I’m doing okay. Does that mean I have achieved “Financial Independence?” It doesn’t feel like it as I don’t have as much set aside as I would like to have.

    Anyway, this is just my take on your article. Thanks again for posting it.

  9. Kristen on November 13, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    Interesting timing on the article. I’ve been reading all about FIRE, budgeting, strategies, etc. for ~2 years, then in the last few months took a few steps back due to some health issues. I then realized that my perspective on FIRE was a lot different than many bloggers and podcasters (let’s call them FIRE starters). Whereas 99% of FIRE starters hated their jobs, I LIKE my job. I get paid to do stuff that I like doing, I’m not allowed to work more than 40 hrs a week, and my employer gives me a boatload of vacation time to enjoy non-work things. Why am I comparing my financial position to the FIRE starters who were in a totally different situation? Why am I creating my goals based on what the FIRE starters did? Aren’t false financials comparisons and non-self-originating goals the two reasons that people wanted FIRE in the first place? Hmm…interesting…

    I’m grateful to the FIRE starters for getting me to think about budgeting, retirement accounts, and ways to maximize financial productivity, but I’m happy to write my own financial path from here. Even if that means that I don’t “retire” early. It’s really ok.

  10. Katie Camel on November 13, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    Another great post, Keith! Thank you for unmasking the truth behind the FIRE movement. What people are missing about early retirement is having a purpose. It’s great to be financially independent, but if you have no purpose, yes, even traveling becomes tiresome. I know because I travel internationally several times a year and have become burned out by it. I was actually planning on writing a blog post about this topic because I see so many FIRE followers expressing their sense of failure online because they see someone is at X level while they’re struggling at Y level and wondering why they’re behind, forgetting that we’re living under different circumstances. You can’t compare apples to oranges and expect the same results. So, yes, the FIRE movement is causing some people to feel as though they’re behind. People are forgetting that it takes time and tremendous effort to accumulate wealth. I admit to feeling behind at times and I’m not even that far behind. It’s just that we’re guilty of comparing ourselves to others at times and feeling like failures. Thanks again for shedding light on this topic!

  11. Retiredcpa on November 14, 2018 at 8:45 am

    I want to reinforce the point druggedzebra mentions; being lucky enough to find a meaningful job/career that you look forward to going to every morning is to me a point the FIRE community seems to miss. Being able to serve others in a career that pays well, and that you enjoy, and allows the personal time off to enjoy the ride, seems to check off all the boxes. As someone once said, if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. Meaningful work, along with having the financial independence to walk away = joy in my book. I suspect Keith understands this as well as anyone.

  12. Not Brian on November 14, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    I hate what I do, I’m single, poor, and obese. I spread my hands out to the heavens and pray for the ability to take action to improve my life and pursue that which I know would bring me joy, but every other second of my life is spent pursuing entertainment via my video game addiction. I read books and marvel at the people who ‘finding a gem in the field sells everything and goes and buys the field.’ Yeah, wish I could change too. I reach out for help from random bloggers on the internet who all tell me the same thing…’there is no Calvary coming. I must change myself,’ as if I wouldn’t have done that this last decade if I could have. and you dare leave a post about the joy of the people in someones life, as if needing an entire movement to tell me to get my finances together by 30 is somehow not correlated with failing in other areas of life like relationships.

    I just don’t know how I can be grateful for my life when I consider it a hell due to the fact that I am not strong enough to make the positive changes which I have identified as necessary for having an improved (or perhaps new) life. My sorry state is my fault and my responsibility to change, yet I do not believe that I can change it. Where is the joy supposed to come from when I hate myself and what I’ve done.

    Anywho that Suze Orman person is spot on…when you give up your compounding years you are giving up your ability to deal with unknown future events. So just work a little extra and put that money in another account invested in an index fund somewhere and bam, you retire at 31 instead of 30 and you have a self funded unknown events insurance account. I found it mind blowing that a financial person doesn’t understand to apply Dave Ramsey’s Step One emergency fund to larger future emergencies, and passed on buying any of her books that suddenly appeared at the discount book store.

    • MsTJ on November 14, 2018 at 7:59 pm

      Don’t know if this would help you, it is what helped me. I needed a budget. It took a few years, and many different choices, but I found a way to save with the help of YNAB. I came to the program from a situation similar to yours. I was broke and only saw debt in my future. I didn’t see any way to “get ahead” when I came to the program. Today I have some “extra.” You might want to check it out and see if you think it would help you.

      I’m not saying it will be an easy path. There is a lot of educational material that goes along with the program that helped me understand what my choices meant.

      I had to look at my spending and make adjustments where necessary. Slowly but surely I started making different choices. Things like, I used to spend over $250 per month on restaurant purchases, because it didn’t make any difference anyway, when I came to the program. Today I put most of that money toward necessary monthly spending, or future goals. I was also able to put money aside for things I wanted, a kind of “reward,” which helped me stick with my budget.

      YNAB gives you 34 days to check out the program for free to see if you believe it will help you. I highly recommend the program. I was a spender and am learning to be a saver. I am very grateful to the program. It has given me hope for a better future.

    • Steveark on December 6, 2018 at 9:10 am

      I don’t know you but I do know people can change things that hold them back. I was never destined for success in my mind until a friend nudged me out of my comfort zone and I found great success in what I thought was one of my weakest abilities. I found it a little ironic when you said there is no Calvary coming, there probably aren’t a bunch of soldiers on horses (cavalry) coming, but there is a guy who laid it on the line for you at a place called Calvary who definitely is all about providing people strength.

  13. OldStubbyGuy on November 15, 2018 at 10:09 am

    Great post, Keith. I like it when another old bald guy married over 30 years (I’m one too) says what he really thinks. At this point in our lives, what have we got to lose? At the risk of sounding like an old bald guy married over 30 years, I often wonder why many people in their 20s and 30s have the primary goal of not working at a job. I know many 20 and 30 somethings who have gone the route of just deciding to never get a job at all! Their enabling baby boomer parents have made this lifestyle possible. At least the youngsters pursuing FI have decided to work and save like mad early on so they later will not have to work at a job. But, I agree, you have to have something you are retiring TO. I think a person must feel useful to experience joy or happiness. Even with his immense success, Elvis used to float around in his pool at night, look up at the stars, and wonder why he was put here on this earth. What was it all about? Was what he did useful to society? What brings you contentment? Is it checking off dozens of countries so you can post how many you have visited on social media and take a selfie everywhere you go? Isn’t that just another form of the “hamster wheel” that many are trying to avoid?

    • Keith Taxguy on November 15, 2018 at 11:16 am

      Wow! That was a mouthful.

      I also agree 100%.

  14. Frogdancer Jones on November 17, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    Maybe there’s an advantage to starting this whole FIRE thing late.
    I came to it when I was around 50. I estimate I’ll retire 10 years earlier than I otherwise would have… I still think 10 years is worth celebrating!

  15. Sheau on November 20, 2018 at 5:20 am

    I am from Asia where avg income is $13k annually. I got paid 30k and watching US FIRE getting paid so much. I got really depressed and anxious and a total failure. I have a saving rate of 60% however it still feels like a joke. I wanna travel the world too. I don’t want to stuck here…

  16. Peter Horsfield on December 6, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    When most people first hear of the F.I.R.E. (Financial Independence Retire Early) movement it’s natural to assume the movement is all about money and being free, however we would be wrong.

    In truth the F.I.R.E. movement is about self-discovery, our authenticity, experiences and our journey towards personal mastery. The mastery of being able to better define, develop and live our own authenticity and to add value to others.

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