Smooth Sailing With Options

FIRE, the phenomena that arrived on the scene somewhere about 2010-2012, after the 2008-2009 recession, is of course the idea that one can, through being cognizant of the financial bleeding/waste inherent to our society and then living in such a way to limit it to reasonable levels, build up enough savings that the savings itself can generate enough income to live on for a year. At that point, in the new definition, you’re retired, whether you keep working or not. I had the desire for this FIRE lifestyle when I was about 24, but it didn’t have a name or a philosophy back then so I didn’t have any framework to start with.  I remember asking my dad how much a person needed to live on the rest of their life, and he, a full-pension with health care for life man, didn’t really get what I was talking about.  I had to just try to do it by trial and error.  Had pretty good success, I think. Today, of course, we have gurus who have analyzed FIRE to excruciating detail, who can tell you how to calculate how many slices of bread you need to last a year and what bread to buy. Like anything, I think it’s reached the point where it’s over the top and has become a cult-like philosophy. It’s not for everyone, nor is retiring at 30 or reaching full FIRE. If the practice allows you to retire at 40 or 50 or merely gives you a financial cushion over the years, that’s success. I only reached partial FIRE a few times in life and used that to avoid an entire lifetime of wage slavery. Not sure I would have wanted to do otherwise. However, that being said, there are some very good approaches to FIRE and the philosophy of building a nest egg so that you can have a life, not a work history. Here’s one I enjoyed: