The Financial Freedom Retire Early (FIRE) movement seems to be slowly creeping into mainstream media. Just yesterday, there was an article in the Guardian regarding this. Whilst FIRE getting more mainstream attention is good, I don’t think the world is ready for this movement just as yet. To see what I mean, just go and have a look at the comments section of the Guardian article I mentioned earlier.
It looks like the majority of readers simply can’t comprehend the idea of financial freedom. Most of the comments are negative. People want an easy fix to their problems and attaining financial freedom is hard work as you need to save a considerably high proportion of your income. This is why they shoot down the idea of FIRE.
It seems that many articles haven’t clearly articulated the benefits of Financial Independence, Retire Early. Whilst I believe that they will always be people who are sceptical of the FIRE philosophy, I am hoping that by listing the advantages, it will at least open certain peoples minds to the concepts of FIRE. So even if they don’t want to chase FIRE in itself, they are certain concepts they can pick up and implement into their lives.
So here are the benefits from being financially independent :
- Freedom – This is the obvious one and top of most peoples list. When money is no more a worry, you are free to do what you want. You plan your own schedule and live life on your own terms. It’s liberating to not follow orders, have to bend to others’ will. There is a joy in being free to think and reflect in a way, and at a time, that suits you.
- Allows You Follow Your Passion – Let’s say it like how it is; Passions don’t pay. Sure most people would like to become writers, artists or primary school teachers. But these kinds of jobs don’t pay a high enough wage for you to enjoy a decent lifestyle. By achieving financial freedom, you can choose jobs with low pay simply cause you enjoy them. You no more have to worry about finances.
- Increases Your Entrepreneurial Drive – The early days of starting a company are always the hardest. Finances are tight and getting the business of the ground is tough. Having your personal finances in order and receiving a steady stream of passive income alleviates a lot of the financial burden of running a company. It acts as a safety net should the business fail.
- Increases bargaining power for employees – Although the acronym is FIRE, not all people want to Retire Early. Some really love their jobs – or most aspects of it. By having a stash of cash, you have more leverage on negotiating your duties with your employer. You no more have the fear of getting fired (or made redundant) and so can try and negotiate a package that eliminates the stuff you are forced to do at work. When you are “offered” that extra project, unpaid overtime, a work trip over your anniversary, you can say “Thanks, but no thanks.”
- Helps people make smarter decisions – Studies have shown that people in straits of economic insecurity have a reduced cognitive ability equal to 13 IQ points. Financial Freedom provides the security people need to focus on important things like their families.
- Improves Mental Health – because it reduces conditions of scarcity, poverty, and financial insecurity, major sources of stress for millions of people.
- Allows you to follow your dream – Have you ever really wanted to do something big but couldn’t get the time off work? It could be travel, a physical challenge or creating something.When you are FI, you can take a year off. You can make space for your biggest dreams. If you want to build a home, volunteer overseas, or sail around the world, you can do that. Plus you don’t have to stress about finding a high paying job right after your time off, because your bills are covered.
- Improves relationships – It helps build healthier relationships. Studies have shown that money problems are the biggest cause for marriages ending. Being financially independent also helps you to leave abusive relationships.
- Spend more time with people that matter the most – On average, most of us spend more time with our co-workers than with our own families. Wouldn’t you want to spend more time with your family? Wouldn’t you want to watch your kids grow up? Wouldn’t you want to attend sports days, soccer acer matches and pantomimes together? Enough said.
- You choose where you live – You are no longer constricted to one location because of your work. You can pick up and move to that place you’ve always wanted to live. With FI, you get to live where you want to live.
There you have it. Some of the big advantages that come with financial independence. So if you are currently on the fence on whether to join the FIRE movement or not, I hope this post has provided you with more information. If you are currently on the FIRE journey, I hope this post gives you added motivation to keep pushing along.