A round up of interesting or cool stuff I’ve read.
Following on from Finumus‘ declaration that he had found early retirement boring, there’s been plenty of introspection from other bloggers in the past week.
Michelle from FIRE and Wide talks about her own experiences of two years of early retirement – Is FIRE really the dream for you? My take away message was that (to paraphrase): “FIRE gives you more freedom. But that freedom comes with a twist. It means taking personal responsibility for your own happiness.”
Indeedably worries that he is stagnating, seemingly not helped by the fact that his wife is still working a full-time (and, by the sounds of it, very intense) job. It raises the question of what early retirement might entail if only one person in the marriage/partnership pursues it whilst the other wants to go the opposite direction.
Meanwhile, a newly retired A Purple Life is keeping herself busy. It will be interesting to follow her progress and see if she “retires from retiring!”
Finally, Sassenach Saving discusses how several of her friends and family achieved FIRE without ever hearing of the term – Did we really invent FIRE? A common theme of each of these stories is that most of them retired to something else. They didn’t simply quit a 50+ hour per week job with no plans for what comes next.
Personally, I don’t pursue financial independence with the goal to retire early. Not yet, anyway. I’m chasing that “FI number” in order to have options when I’m older, so that I don’t need to work, and so that I can provide for myself and my wife.
I can think of many examples of people in my life where either retirement came earlier than expected (due to redundancies or illness) so they don’t have as much time/money to prepare as they expected, or, at 70+ years old, they still need to work in order to fund their cost of living.
If I get my way, I hope to avoid both of those outcomes.
Barring any freak occurrences, retirement is likely to be a long way off for me yet. Despite that, reading the experiences of those that are further along the path than me is enlightening and gives me a better idea of what to expect when the time comes.
Even now, the very act of pursuing financial independence has given me options. As I wrote in an earlier post, Double down, pivot, or start over, my contract is due to come to an end in the next few months.
Rather than worrying about where my next pay cheque is going to come from, I have enough savings to cover up to a years worth of expenses. So, instead of leaping into the next job that comes along, I plan to take some time off and continue with some studying and retraining in order to facilitate a career change.
Early retirement may not be for everybody, but there is nothing to lose by taking steps towards financial independence!
Other interesting links that caught my eye this week:
- Weenie from Quietly Saving proposes another advantage to FIRE, and shares thoughts on a topic that is not commonly discussed. Menopause – another reason to FIRE?
- QuietFI relates their own experiences with the common FI cliche of “wealth is what you don’t see.” – Perception is not always the reality.
- Mr MedFI blogs about Focus, and finding the balance between being too frugal (i.e. being too focussed on the goal of FIRE) and spending for enjoyment.
- The IT Investor looks at the best performing investment trusts of 2020.
- Do the big three asset managers, BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street, need to be broken up? – Institutional Investor. Food for thought. The main reason that Vanguard et al can charge such low fees is due to their size. But monopolies are rarely a good thing, in any sector.
- An insightful look at how a freak occurrence in one part of the world can have tremendous impacts elsewhere. We have no idea what happens next – Morgan Housel.
- The Chancellor gave a spending review for the next year. The BBC covers the main points.
- As Black Friday approaches, the BBC reports that most Black Friday sales were the same price or cheaper beforehand.
- World markets are at a record high – Guardian. Crazy how much they’ve rallied since the nadir of March/April.
- UK scientists worry about a third wave after Christmas – Guardian. Is anyone else worried about this? I, of course, would love to travel to my parents’ place for Christmas and see the whole family, as usual. But that also sounds irresponsible given the ongoing pandemic., so I am giving serious consideration to having a quiet Christmas with just Mrs FIRE and myself, and postponing any family get-togethers until later next year.
- A great interview with Michael J. Fox (of Back to the Future fame) on the Guardian. Despite developing Parkinson’s disease at an early age, he remains optimistic. His outlook on life is inspiring: “If you’d told me when I was diagnosed that I’d have this life now and do the things that I do, I’d have said, ‘I’ll take it.’ I can move around – it takes some planning, but I can move. I can think, I can communicate and I can express affection. What else do you want?“
- u/reckless-saving is running a FIRE UK Survey 2020 and is hoping to get 200+ responses by the end of November. More details on the FIREUK subreddit.
- Sign up to Trading212 via this link and we both receive a free share.
Thanks for reading. Hope you’re all having a good week.