Redefining Retirement with Financial Independence

Society defines retirement as that time where we can quit our 9-5 job at the good age of 62, 65 or 67.  We then can sit around on our front porch swings drinking coffee all day or hitting a few balls on the golf course.  It is time for us to change that definition.  We need to stop using the word retirement and talk about FI (Financial Independence)  We even need to drop the phrase “retire early”.

 

I have many friends, colleagues and family tell me that they can’t wait until they retire.  When I ask why, the answer varies, but mostly so they can quit working.  It isn’t often explained with what they really want out of life or hope to do in their “retirement years”.  Instead it is about what they want to quit right now.

 

So why wait?  Why not pursue your passions now?  That’s right…bills, kids, debt, responsibility.  We need money to take care of these things.  Yet, why don’t we start thinking about it differently?  Why don’t we start building wealth so that when we reach the point of having enough, we can pursue other passions or interests without the stress of where the next paycheck will come.

Why Financial Independence is different…

Financial independence means you have enough wealth to live on without working.  Wealth can be the pile of cash you have stored up or else assets that you can then draw from to help pay for the lifestyle you choose.  It is different from retirement.

  1. First of all, financial independence can happen at any time. There is no magical age one must reach. It comes down to the choices we make and how and when we decide we want to become FI. It is your choices in life that will lead you to a path of financial independence.  You may choose to invest your money in mutual funds or you may choose to build an empire in real estate or even choose to start your business.

 

  1. Financial independence does not mean you quit anything. It is simply a state of being.  You have made it to a point where you are independent from that steady paycheck.  But you can still choose to stay in your career path. It is simply the math behind the scenes.  No one will throw you a party when you are Financially Independent ( except yourself).

We can change the future…

I want my children to think differently about their future.  I want them to have control and know that their path is based on their own decisions.  If we as a society could start talking about this differently, it gives them permission to think about it from a whole new perspective.

I am changing the way that I talk about it with my children because I want them to learn more about building wealth instead of just earning a paycheck. I don’t want to continue asking, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”  Instead, I want to ask “What do you want to do in life and how can we get you there?”

Stop Saying Retirement…Speak in Financial Indepenedence.

Retirement Definition

2 comments

  1. Great post! I totally agree with this sentiment and even had been thinking that the ‘RE’ in FIRE needed to be dropped for more mass appeal. I was never on board with FIRE but I am on board with Financial Independence. Also, so many people who are retired in their 30’s still do work of some kind so the FIRE term doesn’t really apply anyways. It just gives more reasons for people to complain about it and miss teh point entirely.

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