I was going to post a similar reply about selection bias. I am early retired in my 40s. I live in Southeast Asia and I am acquainted with a fair number of people younger than me (i.e. in their 30s) who have no desire or plans to earn an income. Probably over 2 dozen people. Maybe more, I've never really sat down and counted. A half dozen or so who were part of a successful tech company IPO a few years ago. One of them just updated Facebook with pictures the latest stop on their current 6-month roadtrip around Europe with their 2 young sons. Any number of "rich kids" (i.e. their parents were very successful in business) who don't do anything except go on vacations every month & post pictures of the latest trendy restaurant every night. Trophy wives & mistresses who are at the pool every day while the nanny looks after the kids. A retired model or two who gave a half-hearted effort at post-modelling entrepreneurialism before throwing in the towel. Two or three burned out ex-lawyers who hit partner young, divorced, and I guess decided moving to Southeast Asia was the next step in their life.terran wrote: ↑Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:13 amThis is a common trope in the early retirement community, but I think there's some serious selection bias going on. How many happily retired people who have no interest in working or starting businesses are going on Paula Pant's podcast or walking up to her at conferences? The early retirees who make themselves visible are starting businesses, etc. We have no idea what the early retirees who don't make themselves visible are up to.willthrill81 wrote: ↑Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:18 pmIt depends on several factors, but if you're as disenchanted with your career as you seem to be, I'd say that a one or two year long sabbatical might be a good idea. Yes, with 2% withdrawals covering your essential spending, history says that you would be fine to retire now. However, Paula Pant, one of the key figures in the FIRE community, has personally met hundreds of people who have FIREd, most of them around your age, yet only knows one who literally retired (i.e. stopped earning any income at all beyond portfolio withdrawals). People in their 30s almost universally seem to feel the strong need to do something productive, and that 'something' almost invariably turns into an income of some sort. But if you wanted to go do pro bono work for a charity for the rest of your life, you could.
Not to mention any number of regular old stay-at-home parents. (I guess raising kids is "productive" but certainly doesn't turn into an income of any sort.)
One friend is big into climbing and tells that "dirtbag climbers" are a pretty well-known thing. People who just spend their entire lives doing nothing but climbing. Another friend is big into surfing and tells me "dirtbag surfer" is a thing, too. All those US government statistics about millions of young men becoming detached from the work force. Japan has their generation of NEETs, parasite singles, and hikikomori.
I'm pretty none of the people I talked about above have any idea what FIRE even is. Most people don't call themselves "retired" because there's a weird social -- I don't even know what to call it -- attached to the word. All you have to do is peruse FIRE forums and you'll see almost daily posts from people asking "What do you tell people you do once you FIRE?" and the overwhelming majority of people suggest flat-out lying to any one (even family) who isn't your spouse. "I tell my parents I do consulting now." "I tell people I'm an investment manager." "I tell my neighbors I work from home."