Heyo! It’s my birthday! Let’s sing me a song!
Happy birthday, to me! Happy birthday to me! Happy birthday dear J. Moooooooooney, happy birthday to me! (Woo!)
Thanks – that felt good :) Unlike all this cake I’m about to shove down my throat later and then feel horrible about, haha… but hey, it’s my birthday and I can do as I please!
And another thing I very much want to do, please? Share a comment that Primal Prosperity left here on her version of “FIRE” that’s really been sticking in my head… Especially as I contemplate the meaning of life and my career, finances, and just general state of affairs as I inch closer to that unavoidable 4-0.
As most of you know, FIRE typically stands for “Financial Independence Retire Early.” Pretty explanatory, and pretty AWESOME for all those who manage to achieve it (shout out to my man Steve Adcock who just hit it at 35 last week! Baller!). But there’s a trend lately going on with the R in FIRE (“retire”), and Primal Prosperity expresses it pretty well.
I’ve never been a fan of the term ‘retirement’ at all. On my website, I refer to being FIRE’d up in a different sense: Freedom, Intellect, Resourcefulness, Enough.
Freedom: This is more than just financial freedom. This is freedom from physical attachments and emotional limitations. Freedom from societal expectations. Freedom from needing external rewards and validation. Freedom from needing titles and labels. Freedom to be authentic.
Intellect: Most people who have high intellects crave autonomy and creative freedom. Intellects never “retire”, but rather they want the option to reduce the “busy-ness” of their careers and be able to have time to amuse their curiosities and ponder… which is essential to create meaningful outcomes.
Resourcefulness: Resourceful people are creative. They get more satisfaction out of what they have done, rather than what they bought. This is not really being frugal, but rather this is being self-reliant…. resilient…. sustainable…. self-actualized.
Enough: This story sums it up… At a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island, Kurt Vonnegut tells his friend, Joseph Heller, that their host, a hedge fund manager, had made more money in a single day than Heller had earned from his wildly popular novel Catch-22 over its whole history. Heller said, “Yes, but I have something he will never have: Enough.”
It’s so true though, isn’t it? the fact that most people who have figured out how to “retire early” aren’t the same people that would then just waste away doing nothing in retirement? All the people I know who are financially free at least are always working on projects or goals/dreams of theirs. It’s just now they’re “working” out of passion vs having to do it for a paycheck.
Personally, I don’t hate the word “retirement” because it easily gets the point across as to what it means, but I do hate that people automatically assume you can’t reach it until you’re 60+ years old and therefore throw out all the excuses as to why early retirement isn’t for them.
You can probably guess the top three :)
- “Not even possible, why try?”
- “Who wants to live a boring frugal life like that??”
- And the worst of ’em which we’ve already covered, “What would you do with all that free time?”
If you don’t know how you would spend time in leisure, I think there are bigger problems at hand, haha…
Anyways, good stuff to marinate on as we bring in the new year, and we’ll get back to the “how” parts of the equation again here shortly.
In the meantime, really think about what “retirement” or “FIRE” means to you and your family, because without that purpose and drive there’s no hitting it anytime soon anyways. You really gotta WANT this stuff and know why as it’s no easy feat. But for those of us who power through, there is gold at the end of the tunnel! And then you get to have your cake and eat it too. Just like it was your own birthday, every single day :)
But today’s birthday is taken, sorry. I’ll share my cake with you tomorrow!