What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
DC3509
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:25 am

What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]

Post by DC3509 » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:01 pm

I have a philosophical question that I have been thinking about a lot lately.

I enjoy these forums, and have learned a lot here and through the recommended books. But I also have a very strong sense that most of the FI movement, at its heart, involves people who do not like their jobs and want out, and look at things like travel, hobbies, etc. as a better way to spend their time. I am not knocking that viewpoint -- if I didn't like my job, I would probably feel the same way.

But what if you have your dream job and you're not looking to escape anything? I know I do. I have worked very hard to get to this place at a relatively young age (mid 30s). Getting here involved taking some major career risks, including two career decisions in about a 6-month span. The bottom line -- both decisions worked out. I grew up in a lower middle class household -- my income now far surpasses anything I ever dreamed that it would. Most importantly, I am working at a job that I love with wonderful co-workers as well. The job can be very demanding and stressful, at times, but I also enjoy the challenges it presents on a daily basis.

I honestly don't know what I would do if I didn't have my job. I like to travel, a bit, but even on my first major international trip this past year -- a part of me missed the work back home. I actually remember thinking on the trip that I wouldn't want to do this (i.e. travel) full-time. I missed my bed and my dog and my daily routine. The same thing is true of my hobbies. I have some hobbies I really enjoy, but would I like doing nothing but my hobbies? Probably not. I actually thought recently about well, what if I retire in say 10-15 years and can devote myself completely to this hobby -- but then I realized there could be all sorts of downsides to the hobby, some of which might even be worse than work, especially when I would give up a job that I truly love.

I understand that there can be major comfort in being FI just in case there is some horrible life event -- job loss, disability, etc. But I think that runs up against the impulse to just try enjoying life more in the present. How much do you plan for the rainy day? And at what expense? I have everything I want right now -- amazing job, great co-workers, terrific supportive significant other, a house with her, all of our significant family members are still alive. I am not FI yet, but if I keep on the same plan for the next 10 years, it will be more than enough by that point. Yet, despite all of these wonderful things, I find myself worrying about saving money sometimes, worrying about FI and what I will do if I reach that, worrying about reading people here who have $10 million saved by age 40 and feeling like I am far behind the curve or something, still being frugal even when I probably don't need to be, at least on some stuff....

Am I the only one with these concerns? Should I just relax? Hope there is someone else out there!

livesoft
Posts: 56391
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

Post by livesoft » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:05 pm

Yes, you should just relax. I loved my job and I still do some of what I used to get paid for.

But with age will come more maturity and you will answer these questions for yourself just as most people do.
This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

Ron Ronnerson
Posts: 736
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:53 pm
Location: Bay Area

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:15 pm

I greatly enjoy my job and would continue to work even if I didn't need the money. I save because I know that there will come a point where I may either not be able to work or no longer feel like I do currently. Once I have reached FI, I'll assess how I'm feeling about my job. If I continue to love it and feel like I'm still making a positive contribution, I'll probably keep at it. I'm 42 and hoping to reach FI in another 15 years or so. I'm also hoping I get to continue to work beyond that point, though. FI, even if you love your job, offers peace of mind. It may also offer a lifestyle upgrade later on. So it's still totally worth it.

KlangFool
Posts: 6758
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

Post by KlangFool » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:19 pm

OP,

1) Are you FI yet? How would you know that you will feel the same way when more money does not make any difference in your life? The first million feels great! The second million does not feel as great. The third million may not matter.

2) Would you feel the way 5 years from now? 10 years from now?

FI gives you the freedom to choose. You may or may not continue to work. Or, you may work more or less. But, you get to choose.

KlangFool

DC3509
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:25 am

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

Post by DC3509 » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:25 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:19 pm
OP,

1) Are you FI yet? How would you know that you will feel the same way when more money does not make any difference in your life? The first million feels great! The second million does not feel as great. The third million may not matter.

2) Would you feel the way 5 years from now? 10 years from now?

FI gives you the freedom to choose. You may or may not continue to work. Or, you may work more or less. But, you get to choose.

KlangFool
I agree but being very strict about FI can involve a lot of significant tradeoffs in the present, and I worry that I might regret those in the years to come, especially if I am still doing what I love to do anyway and haven't really "retired" to anything.

I feel like a lot of the FI stuff I read presents this black and white world -- scrimp and save lots of money right now, and feel guilty if you are partaking in any indulgences, or you'll end up eating cat food in retirement. But there seems like there can be more of a middle ground.

aristotelian
Posts: 2829
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:05 pm

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

Post by aristotelian » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:25 pm

DC3509 wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:01 pm
But what if you have your dream job and you're not looking to escape anything? I know I do. I have worked very hard to get to this place at a relatively young age (mid 30s).
Try doing your job for another 25 years and see how your feel. Back pain? Carpal tunnel? Vitamin D deficiency?

Have kids? Do you know how it feels to see them for only 3 hours a day in the prime of their childhood?

There are lots of reasons why you might start to burn out of a career that you loved at one time. Saving for FI is a hedge so give you the option of quitting early if you choose.

DC3509
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:25 am

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

Post by DC3509 » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:27 pm

Ron Ronnerson wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:15 pm
I greatly enjoy my job and would continue to work even if I didn't need the money. I save because I know that there will come a point where I may either not be able to work or no longer feel like I do currently. Once I have reached FI, I'll assess how I'm feeling about my job. If I continue to love it and feel like I'm still making a positive contribution, I'll probably keep at it. I'm 42 and hoping to reach FI in another 15 years or so. I'm also hoping I get to continue to work beyond that point, though. FI, even if you love your job, offers peace of mind. It may also offer a lifestyle upgrade later on. So it's still totally worth it.
But what if something happens between now and then and there is no lifestyle upgrade later on? Was life better spent not enjoying the present for a future that never arrives?

KlangFool
Posts: 6758
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

Post by KlangFool » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:32 pm

DC3509 wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:25 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:19 pm
OP,

1) Are you FI yet? How would you know that you will feel the same way when more money does not make any difference in your life? The first million feels great! The second million does not feel as great. The third million may not matter.

2) Would you feel the way 5 years from now? 10 years from now?

FI gives you the freedom to choose. You may or may not continue to work. Or, you may work more or less. But, you get to choose.

KlangFool
I agree but being very strict about FI can involve a lot of significant tradeoffs in the present, ando anyway and haven't really "retired" to anything. I worry that I might regret those in the years to come, especially if I am still doing what I love to d

I feel like a lot of the FI stuff I read presents this black and white world -- scrimp and save lots of money right now, and feel guilty if you are partaking in any indulgences, or you'll end up eating cat food in retirement. But there seems like there can be more of a middle ground.
DC3509.

1) I save 30+% of my gross income and spend the rest.

2) I do not feel like I scrimp on anything.

3) You will change your mind after going through a recession and a few rounds of laid off. You assume that you will not be affected by any recessions. That is not realistic.

4) After 30+, for most people, their career will go downhill. You can only fit so many people at the top of the pyramid. You may not get there. If you get there, you may not stay there.

KlangFool
Last edited by KlangFool on Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

KlangFool
Posts: 6758
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

Post by KlangFool » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:36 pm

DC3509 wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:27 pm
Ron Ronnerson wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:15 pm
I greatly enjoy my job and would continue to work even if I didn't need the money. I save because I know that there will come a point where I may either not be able to work or no longer feel like I do currently. Once I have reached FI, I'll assess how I'm feeling about my job. If I continue to love it and feel like I'm still making a positive contribution, I'll probably keep at it. I'm 42 and hoping to reach FI in another 15 years or so. I'm also hoping I get to continue to work beyond that point, though. FI, even if you love your job, offers peace of mind. It may also offer a lifestyle upgrade later on. So it's still totally worth it.
But what if something happens between now and then and there is no lifestyle upgrade later on? Was life better spent not enjoying the present for a future that never arrives?
DC3509,

What if something happens between now and then and you could not sustain your current lifestyle with your salary income? Aka, your income went down.

For most people, their income stays stagnant or goes down after 40 years old.

KlangFool

Pinotage
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:02 am

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

Post by Pinotage » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:44 pm

Paging "The TimeLord" lol...

A few things to consider:

- Being FI doesn't have to mean you stop working
- Once you are FI, you may have a different perspective
- Older versions of ourselves often have different interests, tolerances, and skills

I joke about The TimeLord b/c he routinely fights the good fight for those that still enjoy work. Being FI and having work you love is the best of both worlds. If you find yourself in that position, revel in it! Work (and earnings) beyond FI are gravy for the pocketbook, the mind, and the soul.

Your last paragraph got a little sideways though. Who cares what other people are doing/saving if you are on track and love your work.

User avatar
Toons
Posts: 11921
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:20 am
Location: Hills of Tennessee

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

Post by Toons » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:55 pm

Mid thirties?
Revisit your question ,,
15 years from now. :happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

Ron Ronnerson
Posts: 736
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:53 pm
Location: Bay Area

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:03 pm

DC3509 wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:27 pm
Ron Ronnerson wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:15 pm
I greatly enjoy my job and would continue to work even if I didn't need the money. I save because I know that there will come a point where I may either not be able to work or no longer feel like I do currently. Once I have reached FI, I'll assess how I'm feeling about my job. If I continue to love it and feel like I'm still making a positive contribution, I'll probably keep at it. I'm 42 and hoping to reach FI in another 15 years or so. I'm also hoping I get to continue to work beyond that point, though. FI, even if you love your job, offers peace of mind. It may also offer a lifestyle upgrade later on. So it's still totally worth it.
But what if something happens between now and then and there is no lifestyle upgrade later on? Was life better spent not enjoying the present for a future that never arrives?
I do enjoy the present. I love my job and would do it even if I didn't need the money. As for spending the money I earn from the job, I do that too. I save a certain amount and spend the rest. The amount I spend feels very comfortable. I have everything I want materially and am also able to save for a future that very likely will come. I suppose I could spend everything since the future is not 100% guaranteed. However, according to actuarial chars, the chances of a 42 year old being alive in 15 years are way higher than that person not being alive. While there are no guarantees, prudence would dictate that saving some is a good idea. It's a balancing act, though. I could work more and/or cut expenses in order to reach FI earlier, but I choose not to since the present is important also.

User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 1773
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii😀 Northern AZ.😳

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:11 pm

FI is relative to lifestyle needs, health, age, maturity, et al, at any one point in time.
IE: age 30. . . 40. . 50. . 60. . 70. . . offspring demands, loss of employment, health care bills, back surgery, dental surgery, more back surgery. . like that

Financial Independence is relative to lifestyle demands, unforeseen expenses and/or loss of income, et al, at any one point in time.
IE: age 30. . 40. . . 50. . 60. . . 70. . . divorce, alimony/child support, litigation. . like that.

One can be debt free with 2 million in assets at age 30, yet there's no calculation, no graph, no projection table, to predict life events.
So evaluate every so many years, or decades, and adjust accordingly, while enjoying the journey.

Actionably, (per forum guidelines) I have been FI for a long time but continue to "work", though at my own pace and leisure, because I love what I do. (R/E Investment/Development). However, I do not have a boss except DW so that may be different than others that are employed or other circumstances. YMMV, everyone's different.

Good luck and congratulations on a successful journey thus far.
:sharebeer
Shared experiences to benefit all -- not an exspurt -- per forum guidelines :) Golf score allocation 50/50 swings vs putts.

User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 1773
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii😀 Northern AZ.😳

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:14 pm

Toons wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:55 pm
Mid thirties?
Revisit your question ,,
15 years from now. :happy
+1
then every 5 years, then every 3 years, then when you remember. . . .
:sharebeer
Shared experiences to benefit all -- not an exspurt -- per forum guidelines :) Golf score allocation 50/50 swings vs putts.

sambb
Posts: 1707
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:31 pm

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

Post by sambb » Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:16 pm

I've discovered that there are people here really dont like their job (or perhaps any job), based on several threads. I like my job, so i feel less pressure to retire. Its nice. Nevertheless, i understand that not everyone has jobs they like, and that may drive more savings perhaps. I wonder.

BanquetBeer
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:57 pm

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

Post by BanquetBeer » Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:18 pm

It seems like you need to address your dissatisfaction with your current spending/savings ratio. I save roughly 50% and pay taxes/live on the other 50%. I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything and actually I often feel like life is overly comfortable (miss having to work for things to some extent).

But also I don't care about possessions or status symbols. My outfit today is 100% costco and probably $40 bought 2-3 years ago. If I wore designer clothes I would worry more about ripping them than enjoy the aesthetics.

If, however you feel like you're missing out on life, evaluate what is important to you. I like to maximize enjoyment for my money, to me every $ is allocated to maximize value in my life. If you value a vacation more than savings - do it. I think the difference that defines savers vs spenders is what timeframe do you base your decision on? I enjoy saving for my kids and future but others may not consider past the week ('everything will just work out')


As to the FI part - having large savings releases a lot of stress. Car wreck? Layoffs? Hospital bills? Unexpected disaster or expense? Yea it sucks but you can write a check, move on, and not really impact your life. I'm expecting 2-3k in medical bills in the coming month (dr were closed due to hurricane) but you know what? We can afford it because we save and live below our means.

User avatar
Meg77
Posts: 2062
Joined: Fri May 22, 2009 1:09 pm
Location: Dallas, TX
Contact:

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

Post by Meg77 » Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:27 pm

DC3509 wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:25 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:19 pm
OP,

1) Are you FI yet? How would you know that you will feel the same way when more money does not make any difference in your life? The first million feels great! The second million does not feel as great. The third million may not matter.

2) Would you feel the way 5 years from now? 10 years from now?

FI gives you the freedom to choose. You may or may not continue to work. Or, you may work more or less. But, you get to choose.

KlangFool
I agree but being very strict about FI can involve a lot of significant tradeoffs in the present, and I worry that I might regret those in the years to come, especially if I am still doing what I love to do anyway and haven't really "retired" to anything.

I feel like a lot of the FI stuff I read presents this black and white world -- scrimp and save lots of money right now, and feel guilty if you are partaking in any indulgences, or you'll end up eating cat food in retirement. But there seems like there can be more of a middle ground.
Yes, it's all about having options! Your great job situation may not last forever, after all. There is a lot of middle ground though when it comes to prioritizing investing and retirement - and it's OK to take the middle ground, especially if you really like your job and life now.

A lot of the FIRE blogs out there stress what many would consider extreme frugality; the consensus seems to be that you really only need about $30k a year to live a great life - so you can retire when your portfolio hits $750k give or take. That's true - lots of people live just fine on $30K a year even working full time. It's even easier if you don't have to work, live in a LCOLA and have plenty of time to travel hack, coupon, make most meals from scratch, and relish challenges like learning to DIY everything.

I read FIRE blogs eagerly and track my finances obsessively. We save 40% of our gross income and I project out how long it will take us to get to where we can retire on our current spending (end of 2023 as of this month). I also track how much we'd have to live on if we/I retired "today" each month. If I could never work again, and if my husband left me and we split everything, I'd have a little over 7 figures to my name. I could travel the world taking advantage of the international cost of living arbitrage, collecting adventures and blogging all about it. I could move into a little cabin on a mountain somewhere and write a book and go on long hikes and raise animals. I could build a tiny house in a hippie enclave somewhere. I could live on $30,000 a year and be happy. I enjoy knowing that I COULD retire right now if I wanted or needed to. But I don't want to. I'm not even frugal, which may sound surprising given the above.

Sure we like the challenges, sense of contribution to society and social network that our jobs provide. But we aren't the type of ppl who would keep working if we hit the lottery or are so driven that we'll never be finished a la Bill Gates, Oprah, and plenty of other people who could easily retire but haven't. We look forward to not having to work. But we also like the security and flexibility that our incomes provide. We like living in our half a million dollar urban home. We consciously chose to work an extra 2-3 years each in order to pay it off and save enough to afford the ongoing cost indefinitely (25x the tax/hoa/ins/maintenance). We like fancy hotels and frequent travel: that's another year of working to save 25x our desired travel budget. We like expensive hobbies like golf, pets, organic food and being generous with others. I also like being able to provide others employment (house cleaners, dog groomers, handymen, yoga instructors). Sure I could do all that by myself - and I will if I ever need to cut my budget or want to retire sooner. But I like my current life and - like you - don't have a vision of retirement that is so much more appealing that it motivates me to cut back more to get there even faster.
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin

freebeer
Posts: 1887
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 8:30 am
Location: Seattle area USA

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

Post by freebeer » Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:04 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:36 pm
For most people, their income stays stagnant or goes down after 40 years old...
Do you have data to support this? I could find Payscale.com data that women's real income peaks at 39 and then matches inflation, and men's real income doesn't peak until 48. Nominal incomes grow for both genders well after the real income peaks. So this seems to contradict your assertion.

HIinvestor
Posts: 1196
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:23 am

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

Post by HIinvestor » Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:26 pm

My H loved his job for most of the 45 years he held it until he didn't because of conditions beyond his control. Because we had saved and his income had grown so much in the last few years of his career, he was able to walk away from his career when he wanted to with no regrets and no second-guessing about whether to become a consultant or work part time.

Even when you love your job and co-workers,it can change when co-workers retire, switch careers, things about your job or office just get more time sensitive or create more pressure, etc.

Because we lived happily below our means, we were able to have no debt and pay all our kids college tuition and expenses and absorb lots of unexpected expenses with no problems. We never really thought much about FI but realized gradually that even tho H retired we no longer needed any income from me either and will likely leave our kids and grandkids a nice financial legacy.

I continue to work part time at what I love--a nonprofit I created to help patients. It provides me great satisfaction and I've met folks all over the US due to my nonprofit. We are definitely enjoying the journey. :)

KlangFool
Posts: 6758
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

Post by KlangFool » Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:39 pm

freebeer wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:04 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:36 pm
For most people, their income stays stagnant or goes down after 40 years old...
Do you have data to support this? I could find Payscale.com data that women's real income peaks at 39 and then matches inflation, and men's real income doesn't peak until 48. Nominal incomes grow for both genders well after the real income peaks. So this seems to contradict your assertion.
freebeer,

This is a personal finance forum. So, you could look at your own situation and ask whether that is true for your situation. Are all people in the 40s and 50s for your area make enough money to keep up with the inflation? Or their pay stay stagnant? Please note that as people climb the career ladder, more people did not make the climb.

<< Do you have data to support this? I could find Payscale.com data that women's real income peaks at 39 and then matches inflation, and men's real income doesn't peak until 48.>>

You should use your own first-hand observation to check this out.

In my area, most people peak around 120K to 150K per year.

KlangFool

mrsytf
Posts: 202
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:04 pm

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

Post by mrsytf » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:09 pm

OP,

No reason you have to quit working. One of my colleagues stopped working at 84, although you would never know it because he still stops by. I do recommend saving a significant part of your salary regardless, at least 20% because life...well happens. Work could change but circumstances can change. What if you have a special needs child, your SO gets sick, you get sick. What if you decide to go out on a limb and start your own business or develop a product that you need the seed money and time to develop. Being FI provides you with more options.

lostdog
Posts: 586
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:15 pm

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

Post by lostdog » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:22 pm

FI gives you choices. If you love your job, great. If it all of a sudden sucks and you get a bad boss, you can give them the middle finger and leave. Well in reality you would find something else and put in your two weeks. ;)
"Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify." -Thoreau | Vanguard Total World Index-buy the haystack.

kjvmartin
Posts: 928
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:57 am

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

Post by kjvmartin » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:39 pm

The job will change. You can't guarantee that next year your job will be the same.

I have had a dream job where I was being groomed for promotions that went south in a way that shocked me to the core. A few people were shifted around, someone terrible got promoted, and my life was suddenly very different. Even without my promotions while maintaining a very middle class salary I could have stayed content in that job for decades. 8 years of perfect performance evaluations and then threats of dismissal on the 9th. If not for the union, I may have been jobless. As it stands, I'm slated to jump ship in the coming weeks for a major career change in my mid 30s.

bloom2708
Posts: 2670
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:08 pm
Location: Fargo, ND

Re: What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]

Post by bloom2708 » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:47 pm

Much can change between 35 and 45 or 50.

I think you should focus on priorities and hobbies outside of work over the next years.

FI is about options.
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead

AlohaJoe
Posts: 2430
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:00 pm
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

Post by AlohaJoe » Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:08 pm

Meg77 wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:27 pm
A lot of the FIRE blogs out there stress what many would consider extreme frugality
I don't think has anything to do with FIRE per se...it just reflects demographics. 83% of people make under $80,000 a year. So I'd expect that (roughly) 83% of FIRE blogs are about people retiring on under $60,000 (approximately the retirement replacement of $80,000).

Since you're into FIRE you probably already know about leanFIRE versus fatFIRE. Some people want to retire on $30,000 -- and others don't. Some examples of potential early retirees who aren't interested in $30,000 a years of retirement income....

Fire v London has a portfolio of approximately $10,000,000. One of his series of posts was about buying a $3,000,000 house.

Even more well known is Financial Samurai who frequently talks about needing $200,000/year to live his FIRE dreams in San Francisco.

There are a fair number of physicians who blog about early retirement -- Physician on Fire and White Coat Investor -- and I'm pretty they aren't planning on surviving on $30,000 a year either :)

MP173
Posts: 1797
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:03 pm

Re: What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]

Post by MP173 » Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:45 pm

I have been on both sides of the fence. The first 13 years of my adult life was in a dreadful situation, which I finally did something about and left. The last 27 years have been great. At age 62 I have reach FI, but the health insurance issue keeps me working (along with job enjoyment). However...a couple of things have caused me to pause and give consideration. First my wife took early retirement and she loves it. Second, a demanding project has brought considerable stress and added workload to my job, which dovetailed perfectly with my wife's retirement.

Thus seeing her content while I battle (with little temporary enjoyment) is an eye opener.

My near term goal is to get thru this project and assess things. If I return to enjoying my job, I will remain for many years. If the fire is extinguished, then I will start putting the plan together for the next step in my life.

The FI allows this type of freedom.

Ed

spammagnet
Posts: 680
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:42 pm

Re: What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]

Post by spammagnet » Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:08 pm

DC3509 wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:01 pm
... I have worked very hard to get to this place at a relatively young age (mid 30s). ... I am not FI yet, but if I keep on the same plan for the next 10 years, it will be more than enough by that point. ...
Unless you're spending money frivolously just because you can spend money, I wouldn't worry about it. Financial independence is about having options. Reaching that point by your mid-40s is only a dream for many people. If you can do that while still enjoying your career, great. In the meantime, enjoy life.

Is it correct to assume you have appropriate levels of emergency fund, disability insurance and term life insurance?
... I like to travel, a bit, but even on my first major international trip this past year -- a part of me missed the work back home.
You need to fix this. While it's not healthy to hate your job and be desperate to get away, it's important to separate yourself mentally on occasion and to have non-work interests. If not, you may burn out before you reach FI. Better to enjoy work and enjoy time away from work.

beachlover
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:44 pm

Re: What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]

Post by beachlover » Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:03 pm

OP,

FI gives you the freedom to make career and life choices based on merits other than whether or not you'll survive financially.
It's a great place from which to operate, worth achieving and worthy of some sacrifice to get there.

You may love your job and your colleagues now, and can't imagine ever being happier doing anything else. I hope that continues for you for as long as you continue to work. But things happen, not all of which are within your control. What may look like an ideal situation now could evolve, through no fault of your own, into something else entirely. Colleagues will come and go. Technology or market developments will bring new tasks, changes in policies or procedures. Reorganizations will bring new taskmasters, changes in focus or direction. And you'll change, too. Work that you find fresh, interesting or exciting now may grow routine or tiresome over time.

Financial independence let's you respond to these changes more assertively and with greater peace of mind than if rejection or failure would force major lifestyle changes.

As to whether saving for an uncertain future is robbing you of a more enjoyable present, only you can find that balance. I suspect you'll find it to be a moving target, anyway, as your situation and interests change over the years. In the meantime, just set a goal (and savings rate / investment plan to meet that goal) and then stop worrying about it day to day. Make some choices with what's left to do things you'll find fun or fulfilling - for now.

User avatar
Pajamas
Posts: 2554
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]

Post by Pajamas » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:19 am

Agree on it being all about having freedom to choose and options to choose from. You might really like your job, but you might like it even more if you know you don't have to work. You might also choose to work somewhere (location or organization) that doesn't pay as much, and you'll be able to do so without hesitation. If you need to take some time off for something important, you know that you can. And when the day comes when you only want to work part-time, you can do that, too.

downshiftme
Posts: 958
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2007 6:11 pm

Re: What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]

Post by downshiftme » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:27 am

You may love your job and your colleagues now, and can't imagine ever being happier doing anything else. I hope that continues for you for as long as you continue to work. But things happen, not all of which are within your control. What may look like an ideal situation now could evolve, through no fault of your own, into something else entirely. Colleagues will come and go. Technology or market developments will bring new tasks, changes in policies or procedures. Reorganizations will bring new taskmasters, changes in focus or direction. And you'll change, too. Work that you find fresh, interesting or exciting now may grow routine or tiresome over time.

I have been very fortunate to have a job that I loved so much I would have done it even if I didn't need the money. But management changes beyond my control ruined the place and turned it into a stressful slog I couldn't wait to get out of. A few years later I was able to secure another dream job that I loved and felt the same way that I would have worked there even if I didn't need the money. Sadly, that also ended when a big tech crash killed the company's market and ultimately killed the company. No matter how much I love my job, I know I need to be prepared for an uncertain future when the things I love about that job may no longer be there. FI doesn't mean I will leave a job I love, but it does mean I am not trapped in a job I hate when my formerly ideal situation changes in ways I cannot control or stop.

heybro
Posts: 108
Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 9:17 pm

Re: What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]

Post by heybro » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:43 am

DC3509 wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:01 pm
I have a philosophical question that I have been thinking about a lot lately.

I enjoy these forums, and have learned a lot here and through the recommended books. But I also have a very strong sense that most of the FI movement, at its heart, involves people who do not like their jobs and want out, and look at things like travel, hobbies, etc. as a better way to spend their time. I am not knocking that viewpoint -- if I didn't like my job, I would probably feel the same way.

But what if you have your dream job and you're not looking to escape anything? I know I do. I have worked very hard to get to this place at a relatively young age (mid 30s). Getting here involved taking some major career risks, including two career decisions in about a 6-month span. The bottom line -- both decisions worked out. I grew up in a lower middle class household -- my income now far surpasses anything I ever dreamed that it would. Most importantly, I am working at a job that I love with wonderful co-workers as well. The job can be very demanding and stressful, at times, but I also enjoy the challenges it presents on a daily basis.

I honestly don't know what I would do if I didn't have my job. I like to travel, a bit, but even on my first major international trip this past year -- a part of me missed the work back home. I actually remember thinking on the trip that I wouldn't want to do this (i.e. travel) full-time. I missed my bed and my dog and my daily routine. The same thing is true of my hobbies. I have some hobbies I really enjoy, but would I like doing nothing but my hobbies? Probably not. I actually thought recently about well, what if I retire in say 10-15 years and can devote myself completely to this hobby -- but then I realized there could be all sorts of downsides to the hobby, some of which might even be worse than work, especially when I would give up a job that I truly love.

I understand that there can be major comfort in being FI just in case there is some horrible life event -- job loss, disability, etc. But I think that runs up against the impulse to just try enjoying life more in the present. How much do you plan for the rainy day? And at what expense? I have everything I want right now -- amazing job, great co-workers, terrific supportive significant other, a house with her, all of our significant family members are still alive. I am not FI yet, but if I keep on the same plan for the next 10 years, it will be more than enough by that point. Yet, despite all of these wonderful things, I find myself worrying about saving money sometimes, worrying about FI and what I will do if I reach that, worrying about reading people here who have $10 million saved by age 40 and feeling like I am far behind the curve or something, still being frugal even when I probably don't need to be, at least on some stuff....

Am I the only one with these concerns? Should I just relax? Hope there is someone else out there!
I love this question you have raised and it deserves great discussion and then some.

I believe even people who retire early, start working part-time, or simply transition in to 'hobbies' or something, NEED some kind of 'work' in their life. It may mean they are finally comfortable to take risks or take on a lower paying job that they enjoy more. I myself would prefer to work forever but I want it to be 4 days a week or less. I wish I could simply work 4 days a week for life. I just nee more down-time than most. I do regret that there isn't more or a support structure in place. In other words, what good is working part-time if all your friends still work full time and are mostly unavailable? There is only so much you can realistically do at home in terms of hobbies with free time. There needs to be more 'important' work that you can do without having to be at 60 hours a week or more. It seems you have to drive yourself way in to something in order to get results. I wish 'balance' was more possible. I also would not mind working 6 days a week for months on end if it meant I was able to just do 2 days a week for a few months there-after. This is all so confusing stuff!

Also, the computer is going to take over most jobs pretty soon. We will be faced with 'what to do' with ourselves if we happen to benefit from this -or- what kind of job CAN I get once people are not really needed.

There are major questions we need to answer and I suspect we won't be answering them right or giving them the attention they deserve. I don't want all gains just to go to the top and have everyone else be out of work.

What industry are you in?

User avatar
FIREchief
Posts: 1307
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:40 pm

Re: What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]

Post by FIREchief » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:08 am

In my experience, those who "love their jobs" are generally either one day away from either hating their jobs or being committed. The sane ones end up hating their jobs (like most people) and developing a smart strategy to achieve FIRE.
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

flyingaway
Posts: 1191
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:19 am

Re: What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]

Post by flyingaway » Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:25 am

Things change, you should be prepared.

mak1277
Posts: 421
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:26 pm

Re: What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]

Post by mak1277 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:35 am

I'm one of the people who is looking forward to early retirement. But at the same time, I have absolutely no desire to sacrifice my current enjoyment. We live the life we want to live, travel where we want to travel, buy the things we want to buy...and fully intend to continue to do so during retirement. I'm not very frugal, but I have avoided most of the "keeping up with the Joneses" type expenses (big house, fancy car).

So for me, I would never sacrifice current happiness for early retirement, even though early retirement is a goal.

DC3509
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:25 am

Re: What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]

Post by DC3509 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:48 am

Thanks for all of the great and very interesting replies. Just a few notes --

1.) While I have not lost my job because of a recession yet, my career path was definitely set back several years because of the Great Recession and almost didn't happen at all. So, I am acutely aware of how things can change on a dime and the need to be prepared for that.

2.) I agree that FI can give you freedom, etc. That's why I have chosen this in the first place. It's important to keep in mind -- my post was not a "should you save lots of money for FI" or not. It is something I am valuing in my own life, and trying to accomplish.

3.) My post was however about the challenges it can present when you are essentially already living your dream life. Which I am.

4.) I agree with some of the replies that my underlying problem is likely more with spending in general. I think one of the issues is -- as I have read more books on this subject, like the "Millionaire Next Door" -- while I really liked the book, the more I have pondered it, the more I think there is a black and white worldview. On one the side are the millionaires he profiles who are shopping at Wal-Mart and saving every penny carefully -- on the other side are the people splurging and with nothing in the bank account. Isn't there a healthy medium? I recently spent some time with a truly wonderful couple -- I can tell you that they never adopted a FI lifestyle, and did many of the things that Stanley would scold them about in his book -- designer clothes, second homes, etc. But they both had high paying jobs and some inheritances mixed in. They are in their 70s now and have no regrets about life, and, yes, still have plenty of money in the bank. If you have the resources, perhaps they are a better model to follow than the FIRE blogs who are trying to cut expenses to $30K and essentially live in poverty?

DC3509
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:25 am

Re: What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]

Post by DC3509 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:50 am

FIREchief wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:08 am
In my experience, those who "love their jobs" are generally either one day away from either hating their jobs or being committed. The sane ones end up hating their jobs (like most people) and developing a smart strategy to achieve FIRE.
I think I have been very fortunate to be in an industry where I see people every day who love their jobs and do not fall into either category.

DC3509
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:25 am

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

Post by DC3509 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:52 am

Meg77 wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:27 pm
DC3509 wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:25 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:19 pm
OP,

1) Are you FI yet? How would you know that you will feel the same way when more money does not make any difference in your life? The first million feels great! The second million does not feel as great. The third million may not matter.

2) Would you feel the way 5 years from now? 10 years from now?

FI gives you the freedom to choose. You may or may not continue to work. Or, you may work more or less. But, you get to choose.

KlangFool
I agree but being very strict about FI can involve a lot of significant tradeoffs in the present, and I worry that I might regret those in the years to come, especially if I am still doing what I love to do anyway and haven't really "retired" to anything.

I feel like a lot of the FI stuff I read presents this black and white world -- scrimp and save lots of money right now, and feel guilty if you are partaking in any indulgences, or you'll end up eating cat food in retirement. But there seems like there can be more of a middle ground.
Yes, it's all about having options! Your great job situation may not last forever, after all. There is a lot of middle ground though when it comes to prioritizing investing and retirement - and it's OK to take the middle ground, especially if you really like your job and life now.

A lot of the FIRE blogs out there stress what many would consider extreme frugality; the consensus seems to be that you really only need about $30k a year to live a great life - so you can retire when your portfolio hits $750k give or take. That's true - lots of people live just fine on $30K a year even working full time. It's even easier if you don't have to work, live in a LCOLA and have plenty of time to travel hack, coupon, make most meals from scratch, and relish challenges like learning to DIY everything.

I read FIRE blogs eagerly and track my finances obsessively. We save 40% of our gross income and I project out how long it will take us to get to where we can retire on our current spending (end of 2023 as of this month). I also track how much we'd have to live on if we/I retired "today" each month. If I could never work again, and if my husband left me and we split everything, I'd have a little over 7 figures to my name. I could travel the world taking advantage of the international cost of living arbitrage, collecting adventures and blogging all about it. I could move into a little cabin on a mountain somewhere and write a book and go on long hikes and raise animals. I could build a tiny house in a hippie enclave somewhere. I could live on $30,000 a year and be happy. I enjoy knowing that I COULD retire right now if I wanted or needed to. But I don't want to. I'm not even frugal, which may sound surprising given the above.

Sure we like the challenges, sense of contribution to society and social network that our jobs provide. But we aren't the type of ppl who would keep working if we hit the lottery or are so driven that we'll never be finished a la Bill Gates, Oprah, and plenty of other people who could easily retire but haven't. We look forward to not having to work. But we also like the security and flexibility that our incomes provide. We like living in our half a million dollar urban home. We consciously chose to work an extra 2-3 years each in order to pay it off and save enough to afford the ongoing cost indefinitely (25x the tax/hoa/ins/maintenance). We like fancy hotels and frequent travel: that's another year of working to save 25x our desired travel budget. We like expensive hobbies like golf, pets, organic food and being generous with others. I also like being able to provide others employment (house cleaners, dog groomers, handymen, yoga instructors). Sure I could do all that by myself - and I will if I ever need to cut my budget or want to retire sooner. But I like my current life and - like you - don't have a vision of retirement that is so much more appealing that it motivates me to cut back more to get there even faster.
The bolded part is my key point, I think. If I had some grand retirement idea, I would be more motivated to do things differently. But I don't. I love my life as it is.

jlcnuke
Posts: 280
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:26 am

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

Post by jlcnuke » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:21 am

DC3509 wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:25 pm

I agree but being very strict about FI can involve a lot of significant tradeoffs in the present, and I worry that I might regret those in the years to come, especially if I am still doing what I love to do anyway and haven't really "retired" to anything.

I feel like a lot of the FI stuff I read presents this black and white world -- scrimp and save lots of money right now, and feel guilty if you are partaking in any indulgences, or you'll end up eating cat food in retirement. But there seems like there can be more of a middle ground.
There is a huge area of middle ground. How big that area is largely depends on the difference between income and "basic" expenses (meaning the necessities only). Those who have a minimum spending of $15k/year and an income of $20k/year have to save almost all of their income beyond the basics if they wish to get to FI in a "reasonable" timeframe. Those with minimum spending of $15k/year and an income of $100k/year, however, can save 40% of their income and still spend quite a bit of money on "luxury" items/experiences.

I'm in the "save ~40%" category and find that to be a comfortable spot for me as I will reach FI quite early but I still have adequate means to spend money on the things that make me happy without feeling any need to beat myself up over my savings (and what it prevents me from doing now) or my lack of savings (and thus more time I have to work before reaching FI).

Sure, I could go "full mustache" and probably get to a 70-80% savings rate, but I enjoy the things I spend money on and am comfortable with the balance between spending and saving that I have currently. How "far" to go with savings is a decision we all have to make for ourselves.

With regards to "loving your job" I'll say this - the future has a way of changing what we think will happen and you won't generally realize the change is there until it's "too late". My original FI plan was a military retirement at 39 and working for a few years afterwards (the retirement check with benefits was going to cover most of my spending, working would just be to get enough to last me until SS kicked in and covered the rest of my expenses). Then I didn't get to stay in the military to retirement age and suddenly I had a massive shortfall. That hasn't been the only "change", but for me it was probably the most eye-opening example of how "the best laid plans" can be tossed aside by life without notice. A job/career you love now can disappear without notice in the future. It's perfectly fine to plan for things to "work out", but it's prudent to plan for if they don't.

User avatar
Toons
Posts: 11921
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:20 am
Location: Hills of Tennessee

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

Post by Toons » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:51 am

Sandtrap wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:14 pm
Toons wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:55 pm
Mid thirties?
Revisit your question ,,
15 years from now. :happy
+1
then every 5 years, then every 3 years, then when you remember. . . .
:sharebeer

"Then When You Remember"
LOL,, :sharebeer
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

DC3509
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:25 am

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

Post by DC3509 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:13 am

jlcnuke wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:21 am
DC3509 wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:25 pm

I agree but being very strict about FI can involve a lot of significant tradeoffs in the present, and I worry that I might regret those in the years to come, especially if I am still doing what I love to do anyway and haven't really "retired" to anything.

I feel like a lot of the FI stuff I read presents this black and white world -- scrimp and save lots of money right now, and feel guilty if you are partaking in any indulgences, or you'll end up eating cat food in retirement. But there seems like there can be more of a middle ground.
There is a huge area of middle ground. How big that area is largely depends on the difference between income and "basic" expenses (meaning the necessities only). Those who have a minimum spending of $15k/year and an income of $20k/year have to save almost all of their income beyond the basics if they wish to get to FI in a "reasonable" timeframe. Those with minimum spending of $15k/year and an income of $100k/year, however, can save 40% of their income and still spend quite a bit of money on "luxury" items/experiences.

I'm in the "save ~40%" category and find that to be a comfortable spot for me as I will reach FI quite early but I still have adequate means to spend money on the things that make me happy without feeling any need to beat myself up over my savings (and what it prevents me from doing now) or my lack of savings (and thus more time I have to work before reaching FI).

Sure, I could go "full mustache" and probably get to a 70-80% savings rate, but I enjoy the things I spend money on and am comfortable with the balance between spending and saving that I have currently. How "far" to go with savings is a decision we all have to make for ourselves.

With regards to "loving your job" I'll say this - the future has a way of changing what we think will happen and you won't generally realize the change is there until it's "too late". My original FI plan was a military retirement at 39 and working for a few years afterwards (the retirement check with benefits was going to cover most of my spending, working would just be to get enough to last me until SS kicked in and covered the rest of my expenses). Then I didn't get to stay in the military to retirement age and suddenly I had a massive shortfall. That hasn't been the only "change", but for me it was probably the most eye-opening example of how "the best laid plans" can be tossed aside by life without notice. A job/career you love now can disappear without notice in the future. It's perfectly fine to plan for things to "work out", but it's prudent to plan for if they don't.
I've actually always been a natural "glass half empty" type and that was part of the "save save save" mentality. You never know what could happen, right? But I have tried lately to think more rationally about this issue. Yes, it could all come crashing down tomorrow, but that's probably unlikely. And even if it did -- what is the value of having saved another $10K at that point? $20K? My plans would all be thrown into chaos anyway and take a major regroup.

KlangFool
Posts: 6758
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

Post by KlangFool » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:22 am

DC3509 wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:13 am

I've actually always been a natural "glass half empty" type and that was part of the "save save save" mentality. You never know what could happen, right? But I have tried lately to think more rationally about this issue. Yes, it could all come crashing down tomorrow, but that's probably unlikely. And even if it did -- what is the value of having saved another $10K at that point? $20K? My plans would all be thrown into chaos anyway and take a major regroup.
DC3509,

Depending on your annual expense, that 10K or 20K may mean you get to live in your apartment or house for 2 more months before you are on the street. If you are unemployed, that meant you can hold out for a better job offer a bit longer as opposed taking whatever job offer.

How long could you last in a recession when you lost your job and the housing and stock market crashes? 6 to 12 months? 2 years? If the recession lasts longer than your financial reserve, you will live on the street.

I went through Houston Oil Bust, Texas Saving & Loan crisis, Asian Currency Crisis, Telecom Boom and Bust, and 2008/2009 recession. Many did not survive financially.

My financial plan is designed to survive a recession lasting 5 years. Beyond that, I do not think money will be the big problem.

KlangFool

jlcnuke
Posts: 280
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:26 am

Re: What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]

Post by jlcnuke » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:35 am

heybro wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:43 am

I love this question you have raised and it deserves great discussion and then some.

I believe even people who retire early, start working part-time, or simply transition in to 'hobbies' or something, NEED some kind of 'work' in their life. It may mean they are finally comfortable to take risks or take on a lower paying job that they enjoy more. I myself would prefer to work forever but I want it to be 4 days a week or less. I wish I could simply work 4 days a week for life. I just nee more down-time than most. I do regret that there isn't more or a support structure in place. In other words, what good is working part-time if all your friends still work full time and are mostly unavailable? There is only so much you can realistically do at home in terms of hobbies with free time. There needs to be more 'important' work that you can do without having to be at 60 hours a week or more. It seems you have to drive yourself way in to something in order to get results. I wish 'balance' was more possible. I also would not mind working 6 days a week for months on end if it meant I was able to just do 2 days a week for a few months there-after. This is all so confusing stuff!

Also, the computer is going to take over most jobs pretty soon. We will be faced with 'what to do' with ourselves if we happen to benefit from this -or- what kind of job CAN I get once people are not really needed.

There are major questions we need to answer and I suspect we won't be answering them right or giving them the attention they deserve. I don't want all gains just to go to the top and have everyone else be out of work.

What industry are you in?
I could easily spend my days diving, playing pool, gardening, gaming, reading, traveling, etc without ever working again. If I had the means to do so, I would. As it is, I find myself with not nearly enough time to do the things I "want" to be doing with my life because I'm still stuck "working" to pay for those things (now and in the future). I'm reminded of a saying that's popular among some retirees: "I don't know how I ever had the time to work".

indexonlyplease
Posts: 790
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:30 pm
Location: Pembroke Pines, FL

Re: What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]

Post by indexonlyplease » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:51 am

Enjoying your job is a great benefit to being successful in life. So just invest, become debt free, travel and enjoy a long the way. Then in about 20 plus years you can make that decision. Things change along the way. In 20 plus years you may say to yourself I am FI and want to pursue my hobbies. Or you may work until you are in your 70s like NFL coaches. Your choice, don't worry about it now, just set yourself up so that it you ever change your mind you will be ready.

I enjoyed my job for 32 years. Then because of pension changes, financially it was smart for me to retire. Now I teach part time in my career.
Last edited by indexonlyplease on Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

staythecourse
Posts: 4886
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:40 am

Re: What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]

Post by staythecourse » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:53 am

Not sure if this has been asked, but do you have a spouse or kids? If you do or want them in the future you may want to spend more time with them then working. If you have been healthy up to this point in your life you may not be in 10+ years so you may want to spend more time on your health. If you work for someone else you may end up just getting sick of BS at work or your boss. I do remember reading somewhere a large portion of folks leave a job due to not being the work of the job, but the work environment with a bad boss being no. 1 on that list.

As you can see there are several reasons to not want to work which has NOTHING to do with needing $$ or the job work itself.

Good luck.

p.s. Personally, I was gung ho FI and ER until I started my own practice (medicine) and now not sure I will ever completely retire so for me a lot of that previous drive for ER was not liking my previous work environment, i.e previous boss.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

flyingaway
Posts: 1191
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:19 am

Re: What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]

Post by flyingaway » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:08 am

You love your job, but your job may not love you (forever). With financial independence, you have a peace of mind. Nobody said you have to retire after you have financial independence.

User avatar
Earl Lemongrab
Posts: 2683
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:14 am

Re: What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:51 pm

Some of what you post falls into the categories of "strawman arguments" or "false dilemmas". However, the main thing I'd say is that trying to decide how you will like your job in 20+ years is futile. There's a good chance you won't even be doing the same thing. Times change and world goes along. In my 30s I was an electronics engineer working in testing. Now I'm a software engineer. I like what I do, but I have a lot of other interests. Full-time work eats up a lot of time. I'm slowly drifting into retirement. I can do software development in any manner I choose in the future, for fun or profit.
This week's fortune cookie: "The stock market may be your ticket to success." I sure hope so!

User avatar
PhysicianOnFIRE
Posts: 319
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2016 3:46 pm
Location: Up North
Contact:

Re: What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]

Post by PhysicianOnFIRE » Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:27 pm

DC3509 wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:48 am
Isn't there a healthy medium? I recently spent some time with a truly wonderful couple -- I can tell you that they never adopted a FI lifestyle, and did many of the things that Stanley would scold them about in his book -- designer clothes, second homes, etc. But they both had high paying jobs and some inheritances mixed in. They are in their 70s now and have no regrets about life, and, yes, still have plenty of money in the bank. If you have the resources, perhaps they are a better model to follow than the FIRE blogs who are trying to cut expenses to $30K and essentially live in poverty?
There certainly is a healthy medium, and you get to decide what that looks like for you.

We reached FI on one healthy income and no inheritance. The first 12 months of tracking spending, we were at $72,000 and that's in a low cost of living area with a paid off house. It's not a champage and caviar lifestyle, but far from ramen and Busch Light Draft.

I agree with the many wise replies above. FI gives you options, and either you, your job, or both are likely to be very different creatures in 5, 10, or 20 years.

I struggled to find a FIRE blog that spoke to the high income professional that might be comfortable spending double or quadruple what MMM might spend, so I created my own.

When you say the couple in their 70s have lived well and still have plenty of money in the bank, but never adopted a FI lifestyle, you're substituting "FI" for "frugal," which is really missing the point. If they're living the life they want to live without depleting an investment portfolio, they are, almost by definition, living a FI lifestyle.

In your case, just keep doing what you're doing, don't skip vacations, but don't upgrade your lifestyle to the extent that eventual FI becomes out of reach.

:beer
-PoF

User avatar
FIREchief
Posts: 1307
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:40 pm

Re: What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]

Post by FIREchief » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:33 am

DC3509 wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:01 pm
But what if you have your dream job and you're not looking to escape anything? I know I do. I have worked very hard to get to this place at a relatively young age (mid 30s). Getting here involved taking some major career risks, including two career decisions in about a 6-month span. The bottom line -- both decisions worked out. I grew up in a lower middle class household -- my income now far surpasses anything I ever dreamed that it would. Most importantly, I am working at a job that I love with wonderful co-workers as well. The job can be very demanding and stressful, at times, but I also enjoy the challenges it presents on a daily basis.
If I were in your situation (and maybe I was once or twice), I would soon realize or learn that achieving such a position would guarantee with 100% certainty that the world was about to change (good boss replaced by boss from Hades, new co-workers that cause insanity, take-backs in rewards/compensation, cloudy employment future due to unforeseen RIFs or just plain old mismanagement, etc.). Enjoy it while it lasts, but keep FI as at least Plan B. :beer
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

KlangFool
Posts: 6758
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]

Post by KlangFool » Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:47 am

DC3509 wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:48 am
I recently spent some time with a truly wonderful couple -- I can tell you that they never adopted a FI lifestyle, and did many of the things that Stanley would scold them about in his book -- designer clothes, second homes, etc. But they both had high paying jobs and some inheritances mixed in.
DC3509,

My older brother and older sister early retired at 49 years old. They traveled all over the world as they pleased. I have to check their facebook page in order to know where they are in the world.

No designer clothes and no second home. My sister flew in many countries and then cycle in that country. She is young enough and healthy enough. Especially my sister. She had no high paying job and no inheritance.

<<But they both had high paying jobs and some inheritances mixed in. >>

Some people are lucky. And, we would not know whether we are one of them until much later. Many people with high-paying jobs do not get to work until their retirement age. You would not know whether you are one of them until you reach that age. It is better to assume that we are average. We may be fully employed until retirement age. But, it is likely that we will be unemployed or under-employed a few times before retirement age. If you are in an industry with age discrimination, full employment until retirement age requires an above average luck. Are you that lucky?

KlangFool

flyingaway
Posts: 1191
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:19 am

Re: What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]

Post by flyingaway » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:01 am

KlangFool wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:47 am
DC3509 wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:48 am
I recently spent some time with a truly wonderful couple -- I can tell you that they never adopted a FI lifestyle, and did many of the things that Stanley would scold them about in his book -- designer clothes, second homes, etc. But they both had high paying jobs and some inheritances mixed in.
DC3509,

My older brother and older sister early retired at 49 years old. They travelled all over the world as they pleased. I have to check their facebook page in order to know where they are in the world.

No designer clothes and no second home. My sister flew in many countries and then cycle in that country. She is young enough and healthy enough. Especially my sister. She had no high paying job and no inheritance.

KlangFool
I think not everyone wants to travel around the world, or prefer to spend their money on travel. However, with FI, you will not be on the street when your job no longer loves you.
Since FI does not directly mean retirement, the opposite of FI is to live paycheck to paycheck, live to the fullest of your life at the moment. That is a life that most people here do not want to have, but many Americans do like.

Post Reply