Market Watch has come out with a new series focusing strictly on retirement. It’s called ‘Here Are The Best New Ideas In Retirement ‘ (click here) One of the articles that caught my eye is ‘Forget Retirement-Focus On Financial Freedom‘ (click here) Apparently, the Mr. Money Mustache generation has taken on the concept of retirement and turned it up on its ear. To them, the word “retirement” brings to mind a 70-year-old sitting in a rocking chair. Retirement for this generation will be different. Maybe yours will be too!
Living off investments and savings, rather than beholden to a paycheck can bring the experience of financial independence to fruition, provided you start early and save as much as possible early in life enough.
Those who aspire to early retirement live frugally. Some are known to ride bicycles instead of drive cars, live in so-called tiny homes or vans, grow their own food, make their own clothing and home products, and forgo modern conveniences such as smartphones and home Wi-Fi. Once they’ve saved a sum they estimate will enable them to live without steady work in the future, they quit their full-time jobs and settle into early retirement. To be sure, many take on part-time, seasonal or occasional work to help make ends meet.
People are looking around and saying, “I don’t need all this crap; you can really live a very pleasant life on quite a lot less.”
There’s no doubt that the FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) movement has changed the way people think about retirement today. Personally, I rather like telling people I am financially independent vs retired. The independence concept has a much nicer image to it rather than, as the movement stated ‘a 70 year old sitting in a rocking chair.’ I retired ‘young’ at age 50 thanks to a smart real estate investment I made eighteen years ago. Hubby has been working part time, at age 44, ever since. We downsized. We learned to live on less, we buy used, we DIY, we shun materialism and we enjoy life more. This was long before either one of us ever heard of Mr. Money Mustache or The FIRE Movement.
True, our own early retirement had some hiccups along the way. Word to the wise: don’t think nothing bad can happen to you over your early retirement decision. Early retirement for some may mean coming up with living expenses for 70 years instead of 30. For us, we had to develop sharp survival skills to maintain any semblance of financial freedom. In other words, I hated working for a living much more than sacrificing to remain financially free. DH, not so much. That’s why he has successfully been able to maintain part time jobs for so long which has helped our bottom line.
Mr. Money Mustache sums up Financial Independence like this:
It’s a system of living your best life in all ways rather than just the financial, based on our best understanding of human nature, with a bit of math and science behind it. Like science itself, it’s not a dogma or a religion, but more of a self-aware system that invites questions and experiments. It’s always open for modification or improvement, but like science itself, there’s nothing for a rational person to hate. Who hates learning?
The reason it has spread to millions of people is that it works. People try it, they like the results, and so they share it with their friends, and the cycle repeats. There’s no stopping an idea or a movement like that.
Live well and prosper, my friend. Live well and prosper.