The FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement is, in my estimation, one of the best people-driven efforts to gain traction over the last decade. FIRE adherents reject the idea that they should sit helplessly in traffic to spend at least eight hours a day in an office for the next 30 years. Instead they find ways to earn, save, and invest as much of their income as soon as possible in an effort to become financially independent. The end goal is to have the financial ability to focus on the truly meaningful things in life and perhaps even retire early. Along the way, however, it’s worthwhile to think about how this idea can go wrong.
Say your money needs are permanently covered. Have you really thought about how you will spend all your free time? If you became financially independent at age 40, you’ll have, on average, another 350,000 hours to live. It’s likely that most of your peers won’t be on the same schedule, and you might find yourself isolated most of the time. This is most definitely not an argument to avoid financial independence, but it’s definitely a good plan to really think about how you’ll spend your time once you no longer have the need for full-time work.