Regarding depression, I believe that working towards a goal, such as retiring early, would actually help combat depression because it gives purpose to work otherwise meaningless or monotonous. Also, I don't think early retirement planning is correlated to depression, i.e. they are orthogonal.
Regarding fat, the same argument, planning to retire early is not going to cause you to become fat. It is more of a lifestyle choice unrelated to when you want to retire.
Curious on why you would think they are linked to early retirement.
Regarding hobby, I have specifically talked about this in the website. If you already have a hobby, you shouldn't give it up just to retire early. However, if your current work is interfering your capacity on practicing your hobby, then maybe early retirement offers a "faster track" to be able to go back to your hobby than the traditional retirement route.
I've had a very volatile career, but I'm actually quite thankful that I've been forced to work at least 2 or 3 years less then your average person, even though I have no money to show for it. In retrospect, while it would be nice to have that money, I have memories of aimlessly travelling, hanging out with friends for hours a day in summer, and if I were to have waited till my late 30s, I'd have worked those memories away. I'm also im great shape and have a good relationship with staying in great shape, such that work will always be secondary. I also have some good friends that I've spent a lot of time with already. I know that won't always be possible, but I've established them and am decent at establishing new ones. These are things that careerist people end up losing out on entirely, a lot of the time.
By contrast, if I were to not only have worked regular hours for those missing years, but probably worked extra by even oke more hour every day, a bit on weekends, and saved a higher proportion than I already was, all I'd have to show for it is money, and that's pretty hollow. Thinking about retirement doesn't make you fat, lack of spending $ and time on physical hobbies does. Spending most of your time in a chair and eating cheap/quick food does too, none of this is a stretch to reach depression.
Early retirement requires doing things a little differently than the average. Luck is always a factor, but you want to stack the cards in your favor.
I didn't take the FIRE route, but I don't recognize this picture in friends I know who did. Some have kids, most have multiple hobbies, plenty of friends, and take regular vacations.
They mainly did two things early and consistently:
1. Were incredibly intentional about their careers. They always maximized for both pay and potential career growth and were absolutely ruthless about leaving a job if they began to stagnate on either metric.
2. Identified expenses that didn't make them happy enough per dollar and cut them. No fancy car, decent but not incredible living space, adequate furniture, vacations that aren't $1000+ a day (camping is great for this if you're into it).
Remember that if you're a knowledge worker putting in 60 hour weeks into your career is almost certainly an anti-pattern. The best data available says you're probably going to be do way better somewhere in the 30-50 hour a week range. That leaves an awful lot of time for the rest of life.
Once you hit financial independence it's not like you stop working, you just no longer have to ask the question "will my work let me pay the bills?" You can find the exact balance you find most fulfilling.
In contrast to what you describe, I find that with the intention to do this sort of thing, you end up predicating your interests based on the price of them entirely, rather than being frugal within them. Camping requires a tent, but if you're not willing to buy one and maybe a backpack and some shoes, you're just dull. I did do this for a period of time, and I look back on it largely with thanks that I didn't continue.
Sometimes this is sensible, sometimes it's not. Getting into car racing or mountaineering is just inherently very very costly, so I'd not blame someone for avoiding them even if they did have the cash. There is just a certain amount of unpleasentness involved in not excessively not spending coupled with excessively working.
I'm on track to be able to retire early. To be able to do that, it requires a deep personal understanding of what I want. Sure, there are SV engineers who could retire early and do it only to flounder because they haven't answered those questions, but I'm also sure there are many many people who learn very quickly that the question of what do I want is the only one that needs to be answered.
personal curiosity: are you <35 or >35? I've been curious as I drafted this.
That said, of course you don't need to spend your whole paycheck, but for the vast majority of people, I think you would have to spend so little that you'd really be sacrificing too much.
It's people who make the least money and can't retire who work the most hours.
at 33 i bought a farm. and this year at 35 i started a framing business. using skills i acquired in the interim. i couldve never made the transition if i hadnt the interim period. i still code for fun, and leverage my engineering skills to write software and build hardware to automate my farm.
It would be deeply naive to think that starting to invest today, at historically high valuations will yield the same annual returns in the next decade. Stocks are very expensive, bonds are super-crazy expensive (given that you have a contractual guarantee that upside is impossible and that real yields are negative). Extrapolating from the recent past is a dangerous game. Reversion to the mean is a law of the universe and we cannot keep going like this.
If you quit your job expecting to be able to live off of your portfolio, you should have enough to still be comfortable after a 50%+ loss.
Inflation is flaring up, historically this meant raised interest rates, which in turn translates to lower asset prices.
The point of Retire 35 is therefore, not doing precise financial modelling. I am not qualified for that.
Instead, what I propose is a change of mindset and how we view retirement. It should be a more of a "mid point" in life, rather than the "last lap", if that makes sense.
Of course you can retire early while making less money but you are definitely wasting your youth if you have to keep spending to the bare minimum.
It’s not this way that it is because of “mindset” — it’s because of practicality.
And personally speaking, I enjoy my job, I never work more than 40 hours, and I have time for my hobbies. I think this is a way more practical “mindset” for most people.
The idea is to go for whatever that is currently accepted as low risk. For example, if bonds are considered risky, maybe high interest saving accounts are the next best option. And you can adjust your retirement goals accordingly.
interest saving accounts produce negative real returns, you cannot put enough money into one to generate the passive income you need to retire.
The whole retire early idea is predicated on substantial investment returns and the ability to outpace inflation. Savings accounts won't cut it.
1. Not happy with career stuff at that point anyways, so why keep doing it? My dad liked his job but didn’t like where his job was (nuclear power is bad like that), so he retired a bit early.
2. Your niche ages out (eg a mainframe programmer before they were back in demand again).
3. You simply want to do something else.
4. You are in an industry that pushes out older workers regardless of their desire to keep working.
The majority of people retire when they are forced to, not when they plan to. Everyone has a plan until life punches them in the mouth. The question is what does your life look like after that?
My definition of retirement does not mean stop working. In fact working is encouraged as long as you enjoy it.
I have actually addressed the issue of work on the website, in "What to do after retirement?" section.
Well, thankfully I like my current job.
You got me thinking. Maybe I would release a web version instead.
Bob is from Romania, he comes to America for college and gets a new grad offer at Twitter.
After 10 years he has a million in vested stock options, he sells em all to retire to the countryside of his youth.
I guess I could do the same, but I can't imagine it being easy to learn Romanian. All the English speaking countries are fairly expensive to live in.
Low cost of living and plenty of English speakers settle here for retirement.
If I get one of these magical FAANG offers, I might be able to retire by 40.
I imagine if I do try and retire in a foreign country it would be much more difficult as I'd have to get used to the culture.
The again with globalization and all that I guess I could just hang out in Starbucks no matter where I'm at
Guam is an option for Americans where Medicare will still work. Otherwise if healthcare costs aren’t an issue, I might retire to a tourist town in Yunnan.
Since I've went in to business, I've been having so much fun I hope that I never have to retire. Normies gotta dream about something though, I guess.
Huh? So as a privileged business owner, you’re calling 9-5 workers as “normies” for desiring more fulfillment?
And if you were to ever consider retirement plans, you would fit into one of scenarios that I described on the website:
> If you are already working on your passion or interest, that's even better. You can continue doing what you are doing, just with an bonus peace of mind that you have the freedom to change if things don't go the way you liked.
The advice includes lowering your expenses by spending less. You are providing less total work and you are taking the value of that work back at a slower rate. So there's no reason anyone else has to work more or less. We simply don't need the lifestyle we are buying during our working years. Personally, I think it is time to drop the standard to a 30 hour work week.
It's funny that there is usually no winning with an argument over change in work habits because either you hurt people by making them work or you hurt people by taking away their work. ( Somehow the status quo is accidentally perfect, unless of course you examine any part of it.)
What on earth is this sentence supposed to mean?
The majority are easily told what to think by authority figures in the media, and people are constantly fooled into making stupid decisions and not seeing the bigger picture of events unfolding.
Corporations will use people until they are no longer useful, and then kick them out.
You need to put number 1 first.
Regarding your concern, I actually believe that early retirement will increase the overall productivity of the society (because people can work things that they find passion and purpose in). So it wouldn't be at the expense of others (sorry if I understand your point incorrectly).
I have addressed about this issue briefly in the "Productivity and fulfillment" section on the website. However, it is clearly lacking in depth. I will try to add more explanations on why I think that way.