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Thread: FIRE movement article - retire at 30?

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    FIRE movement article - retire at 30?

    I subscribe to J.D. Roth's blog, Get Rich Slowly. He posted a link to this article, "Why Retire Early? Because Death is Coming". https://apurplelife.com/2019/07/30/w...ath-is-coming/

    I was intrigued and discovered it was written by a young woman who plans to retire at 30!

    The FIRE movement is moot for me because I retired at 57. It was a combination of planning and luck. I have a modest pension, some annuities and no debt, but still, I have to remain frugal if I want the money to last for life.

    My financial planner gave me hell about the early retirement, all sorts of warnings, work til you're 65 or 70, blah, blah, blah. I get why people want to retire early, but age 30? How will that pan out?

    And if one retires at 30 or 40 and gets part time work, is that still retirement? What about health care? Or Social Security down the line?

    Thoughts?

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    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    I'm assuming someone savvy enough to be able to be financially independent by 30 is not likely to be the rocking-chair-retired of old. She'll likely do /something/ awesome.

    I wish I had been more aggressive in my youth- I was good on the saving money side but I didn't put the oomph into my career, as I didn't know what was possible and didn't see myself as someone who made a lot of money. I grew up lower middle class, where you learned to say yes boss, and not be too demanding. It wasn't until the last few years that I was even able to work from home (only because pretty much everyone else at my company did including managers). It never occurred to me that I could have location flexibility or anything like that.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Molly View Post
    And if one retires at 30 or 40 and gets part time work, is that still retirement? What about health care? Or Social Security down the line?

    Thoughts?
    Jacob Lund Fisker, who wrote Early Retirement Extreme, always pushes back at criticisms that he retired early but still works from time to time. He said, the idea of early retirement isn't the armchair type, as herbgeek said, but it's more about the financial independence part. You retire from the need to make money and/or the need to work at a traditional job that you don't enjoy. Being FI opens up a world of possibilities, and work is one of those possibilities--maybe part time work, or maybe low-paying but more fulfilling work--whatever it may be.

    Here is his answer to a question about retiring "too early":

    Q: I think 30 is way too young to be retired!
    A: Could it be that you’re stuck in the conventional “school-career-retire-die” way of thinking about life? If so, you need to read a bit more of this site because that’s NOT the kind of retirement ERE is about. Here retirement is used in the “becoming financially independent and using that freedom to pursue other interests”-sense. Incidentally, this is not a new idea. Rather it is an old and somewhat forgotten idea. If you read biographies of people like Ben Franklin or Joseph Conrad, you will often see that they “retired” from one profession to take up another interest. Being financially independent and also well-rounded and possessing more than one skill made that possible.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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    I think retiring at 30 is possible under certain extraordinary circumstances, but probably unrealistic for most people. You would need to produce an awful lot of excess income over 8-10 years to build enough capital to sustain the next 60 or 70. Especially if you wanted a reasonable reserve for the kind of shocks that could emerge over the better part of a century. Illness, divorce, recession, inflation or new taxes. Big hits you can’t necessarily frugal yourself out of.

    I suspect a lot of young people (and my definition of “young” keeps expanding as I age) retiring now will be back at work at some point. I think a more reasonable approach might be to gradually work toward financial independence to make working less of a high-stakes proposition over time. That way you have the option of choosing work for reasons other than maximizing income while still meeting the obligations we accumulate over time.

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    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    I retired at 56 on a small pension plus some savings. I actually would like to have retire a little earlier if finances would have allowed. The term "retire" can be a little bit of a misnomer, like when it's bedtime and a person says they are going to retire. Leaving the traditional 40 or more hour per week workforce in an energy sucking job does not have to mean a person will no longer work. It opens up a number of new possibilities that are not necessarily dependent on a wage.

    I do understand folks like maybe physicians or professors who have no desire to retire. They may worked hard in academia into their late 20's or longer and then provide a valuable or redeeming service. I have family members who have been like that and have my respect in their judgement.

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    I think one of the big issues in early retirement is how to pay for health care. When you're young, this may not be a concern. Before age 45, I rarely saw a doctor. After that, it was one thing after another. Even with a good health care plan, there were costly deductibles and co-pays.

    One FIRE person said her plan was to live healthy so she wouldn't get sick. Good luck with that. I lead a very healthy lifestyle, yet that did not prevent age related issues.

    Another person said they would crowd fund if they had a large medical bill. Sorry. If I'm going to finance anyone's medical expenses, it will be my own.

    I was very, very fortunate to retire from a government job that offered low cost premiums that held me over until I went on Medicare.

    I don't know how other extreme early retirees deal with the issue of health care. It would be interesting to know.

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    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar View Post
    Leaving the traditional 40 or more hour per week workforce in an energy sucking job does not have to mean a person will no longer work. It opens up a number of new possibilities that are not necessarily dependent on a wage.
    When I left my 40+ hour per week job it was for another job, freelancing. Financially speaking, it ended up being a side hustle more than anything. But if you take that income and add what we would have paid someone for my other job -- keeping the house clean, cooking, running errands, making repairs around the house, etc., well, it's not comparable to what I made at MegaCorp, but it sure wasn't "retirement" in the traditional sense. And now that DW is planning on retiring from her 40+ hour per week job next year, there are even more possibilities (for both of us), at 61.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar View Post
    I do understand folks like maybe physicians or professors who have no desire to retire. They may worked hard in academia into their late 20's or longer and then provide a valuable or redeeming service. I have family members who have been like that and have my respect in their judgement.
    I always envied the people who knew "all their lives" who they wanted to be -- and did it. While I had some jobs I truly enjoyed, I never had a job of the "if-you-love-what-you-do-it's-not-work" persuasion. I could understand not wanting to retire from that, either.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

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    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Molly View Post
    I don't know how other extreme early retirees deal with the issue of health care. It would be interesting to know.
    I don't have a solid answer, especially when health care cost seem to go up so much each year, but I had the impression that Obamacare would help to relieve the golden handcuffs of employer provided health insurance. One might assume that early retirees have lower or even spartan incomes, so they would qualify for some government subsidies for insurance. Plus, there are the lower levels of coverage that tend to more catastrophic coverage that would be more appropriate for younger people with fewer health problems. Maybe that would open some early retirement doors for some.

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    In the case of the blogger of A Purple Life, she appears to be driven by thoughts of an early death. It's a crapshoot isn't it? I told my financial planner, who was trying to talk me out of retiring at 57, that I could die tomorrow or live to be 100. I just didn't know. All I knew is I couldn't imagine one more day in a cubicle.

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    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    Molly, you might explore the Mister Money Mustache forums. The participants are generally a younger bunch that has ideas about an ambitious or extreme retirement age. I'm sure there is more, but I came up with this is short order.

    https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/as...arly-retirees/

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