For those of you not familiar with F.I.R.E., it is a movement and way of living that stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE). For me personally, I have no plans to retire, but I do have a plan to reach Financial Independence by 45 or 50 😀. Here is a plan for the next 5-10 years:
STRATEGY #1, RESIST THE DEATH STAR OF RAMPANT CONSUMERISM
We are surrounded by the illusion of wealth. People driving fancy cars they do not own, living in fancy houses they do not own, wearing clothes they do not own, etc. etc. It goes on and on. In fact all this stuff owns people. It owns their actions and their time. For some this is ok for them and I am not judging. It is not ok with me for my life. So, I am going to fight back with my Viking Battle-ax the constant siren call of rampant materialism on a daily basis. I will resist and fight this. This strategy takes shape in many ways. A few ideas:
a. Limit TV and media consumption. The media (including social media) is a money hungry brainwashing machine that is working it’s dark magic over literally billions of people. It strips away your assets, your time and your potential.
b. Practice self control and live a healthy life. By practicing things they become habits and eventually the gravitational pull of habits (good or bad) is hard to escape.
STRATEGY #2, LOAD UP ON ASSETS, LIMIT LIABILITIES
Bit by bit obtain a broad spectrum of asset classes: stocks, bonds, real estate, savings, etc. Utilizing platforms like Robinhood and Stash to make no cost transactions and purchases of shares, slowly building. Focusing on dividend producing stocks that add to the number of share through dividend reinvestment programs, etc.
Part II here is to limit further liabilities. This includes paying extra on the home mortgage to shave off years of interest and making sure we are debt free when it comes to vehicles, clothes, vacations, electronics, etc. Pay for this stuff up front whenever possible.
STRATEGY #3, DEFINE MY OWN “TRUE WEALTH” IN CONJUNCTION WITH MY FAMILY
I do not buy into the conventional cartoon image of wealth. A guy that lives in a huge mansion, has a bunch of trophy wives, wears a big suit, goes to the bathroom on a gold toilet. I think that is lame and boring, not very original.
Instead I will define my own version of wealth. Sure, there is a financial part of the puzzle. The financial piece will be enough assets to generate enough income to support our lifestyle. And the vision is that this can be sustained through part time work on my own terms.
STRATEGY #4, ALWAYS WORK, SHIFT TO PART TIME OR PASSION PROJECTS
I really have no plans to not work, I enjoy working. There is an inherent joy in accomplishing things, solving problems, adding value, making things that one does just for the sake of doing them. But it would be great to work more on my own terms and be able to have more autonomy over the work I do.
STRATEGY #5, HEALTHCARE & HOUSING
Healthcare is a wild card. I am curious to understand what F.I. folks that are on the younger side do for healthcare. With the future of the Affordable Care Act in jeopardy, I think this is a major risk factor for folks seeking FIRE.
STRATEGY #6, ENJOY THE JOURNEY!
Life is lived now and in the present. Do the best I can to be a good person, add value, take care of myself and my families health, etc.
I may or may not reach my goal, but what is truly important is giving it your all every day!
* This is not advice to anyone regarding their personal finance situation.