“What in the world is she thinking?!”
This is what I thought about my wife when she told me she was reading blogs and listening to podcasts about financial independence and retiring early (FIRE). I thought, “That’s not going to happen to us! And what is this early retirement idea anyway?”. Yeah, I have seen the kid who creates a website and is lucky enough to have it bought for millions of dollars. But for us…not gonna happen!
Planting the Bug
She would tell me little tidbits about saving, investing, making money on the side and living frugally. Those seemed like painful experiences all for some pie in the sky idea of being wealthy. I was satisfied where I was – living a good life while working 40 hours a week with no end in sight. The only thought of my working life coming to an end involved either winning the lottery, getting old enough to have somehow saved a bunch of cash, or dying. I could only be certain of one of those – so that’s where I put my hope.
The bug in my ear took a bite…
Finally it hit me! After a few months and about a dozen of my wife’s little prods to read a blog post or check out a
podcast, it finally clicked. Freedom! That’s what it’s all about. Financial independence and early retirement are about freedom. As a DIY American, this is naturally a very appealing thought. But, much deeper, I realized that this is appealing from a simply human standpoint. We humans should and do desire freedom FROM servitude and, in turn, the freedom TO serve according to our gifts and talents. This is how we will all find happiness and make our world a better place. By living the best versions of ourselves. This is the core of freedom that financial independence affords. Not exactly William Wallace style but it is real, serious freedom nonetheless.
This idea of freedom – financial freedom – is important! It’s not about getting enough money to chill out and live happily ever after. It’s about being a good steward of what we’ve been given. Even if we’ve earned it, we have a responsibility to use what we have for the best. For the best for ourselves, our family, community, church, country, etc. When we think about finances in this way we realize that managing finances and being frugal is not just a way to create a scenario where we’re free to do what we want, but rather, if our ambitions are properly aligned, we can truly do what we should in life. That’s fulfilling. That’s happily ever after. That’s freedom.
Seeds gotta get planted if they’re gonna grow.
In a nutshell, this is our philosophy:
Although we have been given much (for which we are entirely grateful), we seek a freedom and happiness that is unhampered by financial dependence and it is our duty to be good stewards of what we have – to sow our seed well.
Herein lies the goal and path for this stage in our lives. What say you, is this true for you also?
Your mission, should you choose to accept it.
Those of us in the FIRE community are reading, writing and taking fiscal action to win the war that we are fortunate to have been born into. We have the peace, time and potential to fight and win our personal financial battles. Our ancestors fought – and many died – so that we could have this freedom. It is now our mission to take freedom to the next level!
FIRE it up and Adventure on!
Mr. Adventure Rich