Leaves Me Cold
Richard Quinn | September 5, 2019
ALTHOUGH it’s only been a few months since I first heard the term, I’m already tired of all the chatter about the “financial independence/retire early” (FIRE) movement. This so-called movement is so irrelevant that I don’t know why anybody, including me, writes about it—and yet my curmudgeonly instincts compel me to do so.
Don’t characterize me as a movement hater. To each his own. But consider a recent story in MarketWatch about a couple—he’s age 44, she’s 33, plus they have a small child—who plan to retire next year. My reaction: Simply being frugal for the next 45 years isn’t enough. There’s a lot more you need to think about. For instance, if you’re truly retired, what are you going to do, sit on a beach for eight hours a day?
I’m all for frugality. But then I read about FIRE devotees giving up luxury items and it all seems a bit pompous to me. Let me get this straight: You give up stuff to live on a tiny percentage of what you make—but that tiny percentage turns out to be pretty close to what the average American earns in total…
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