Why I’m Against FIRE
Why I’m against FIRE. Sounds weird doesn’t it? So many financial bloggers love the concept of fire and track and document their way towards it. I am guilty of it, yes I would love to “retire” earlier and definitely love the idea of having a passive income to support my lifestyle.
What is FIRE?
FIRE stands for Financial Independence Retire Early. Financial Independence is basically creating a passive income stream through various means to support the lifestyle you would like to live without relying on a working income. Retire Early is basically as it sounds. The average person retires between 60 and 70, in fire you would like to retire earlier. Let’s say 40-50. To do this generally you invest as much as you possibly can right now, cutting back however you can.
Now I am all for creating a fantastic passive income and working whenever I feel like it. Sure some days I don’t want to go into work, I would rather hang out with our son or go fishing with some friends. Being a landscaper for the last 19 years has gotten me into a position to be a salaried employee. We don’t do snow in the winter, the company does nothing in the winter. Its time to relax and go away on vacation and do whatever we would like. I make less in the summer for the opportunity to get paid all winter to do what I want.
Personally I love the first 2 weeks off, I get to hang out with our son, relax a bit. (lets be honest not much relaxing, he still wakes me up at 7-8am) After approximately 2 weeks I GO CRAZY! Get me out of the house, I need a purpose to get up everyday. Don’t get me wrong obviously my wife and kid are my life, but I’m not the stay at home dad type. I will find a job that let’s me go away on vacation for a week or 2 and is flexible with hours. I personally don’t think I could retire early, it’s not in my blood.
I love what I do, most days it really doesn’t feel like work. Free tan, nice workout and who doesn’t like running bobcats and excavators? If its 40 degrees plus, it sucks. That’s when Financial Independence would be key. Honestly that is not a common thing though. In my opinion landscaping is one of the most rewarding jobs I can think of. You start with a clean slate or a overrun place and can turn it into something fantastic. Ponds, Patios, Gazebos, fireplaces, night lighting its endless! The clients love what your doing generally every day and you can feel it. If you are doing a job you generally don’t like, I recommend you start making the changes towards something you really do enjoy. You work so much why not enjoy it?
I have worked for some of the same clients my whole career. Yes they remember me when I was a 15 yr old kid. It’s pretty cool having that kind of relationship. They have seen me age and I have seen them age. That’s another reason I’m against FIRE, you really need to enjoy life now! Every April I see the same people I haven’t seen for the winter, its shocking to see their health. Some have really bad dementia, One client was telling me how he had 2 strokes and the doctors tell him to not leave the country anymore. One guy sold his business last year and we were working there and he pulled up and didn’t look so good. Now he had a air tank to help him breathe. Why would you want to wait until your FIRE to go away on vacation etc etc.
My son has grown up so fast, I remember people telling me when he was a newborn – Enjoy it they grow so fast. Yeah Yeah I’d say I heard it a million times, well its true. I want to experience everything with him now. We generally go on a nice vacation every year. Cruises are my favorite, a new place everyday is fantastic. We went the 3 of us when he was 2 to Atlantis, Bahamas. At the time we went I thought he would never remember the trip but he still talks about it and recognizes the pictures. Last year we cruised the canary islands. Oh man that was awesome! One of my favorite excursion’s ever was so cheap, riding a wicker sled down the roads in Funchal, Portugal (video is not us just one I found on you tube) My smile was probably bigger then my son’s haha.
We moved into our new house on a 3/4 acre lot in the country from our small townhouse in the city. It definitely costs more, but its more of a community with the neighbor’s. I can go in my backyard and not have 20 different neighbors looking at what I’m doing. My dog can run outside in the backyard, we can play catch, work on gardens, grow our own food. Play sports on the driveway, fires in the backyard and great bbq parties. I would not of done this if we were committed to FIRE as the house mortgage costs/taxes/bills are generally twice as much as our old house.
Well there’s a couple reasons why I’m not a fan of FIRE. I think you need to live your life now, you never know what will happen tomarrow. Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, etc etc are multi billionaires and continue to work, not because they need to but because they want to.