Is the FIRE movement going to disappear or to thrive?

The Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) movement has been extremely popular in the last few years in the US and the UK.

Grant Sabatier, a leading voice in the FIRE community in America had a strong opinion about the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the movement:

I think the whole idea of retiring early … will disappear because of this

What do you think?

I believe that learning about financial independence is a very important skill, especially during an economic crisis.

While I think a degree of Financial Independence is a valuable goal worth pursuing, I do wonder about the motivations of completely exiting the workplace at a young-ish age.

For most, I suspect early retirement is unachievable. See: https://simplelivingsomerset.wordpress.com/2019/07/24/fire-is-for-the-few-not-the-many/

Is a complete work-place exit desirable or would a better work/life balance actually be a healthier middle-ground? Even Jacob Lund Fisker of Early Retirement Extreme fame returned to some form of work after achieving independence.

Maybe a more achievable and worthwhile set of goals are: (1) build up your financial independence/resilience with savings and investments and (2) use this as a foundation to give you the freedom to make some life choices that are more congruent to your inner values and the work/life balance that makes you happiest.

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I enjoyed reading this 3-way debate of FIRE from someone who is pro-FIRE, someone who is a FIRE sceptic and someone who has already achieved FIRE.

Round 1: https://monevator.com/debating-fire-the-believer-vs-the-sceptic-vs-the-drop-out-round-1/

Round 2: https://monevator.com/debating-fire-the-struggle-for-the-soul-of-fire-round-2/

Round 3: https://monevator.com/debating-fire-the-elephants-revenge-round-3/

Round 4: https://monevator.com/debating-fire-breathing-fire-round-4/

Round 5: https://monevator.com/debating-fire-the-final-conflagration-round-5/

My favourite quote was:
"Giving up 20 of your very best years to a job you dislike or hate, to bring forward what I suspect will be an unsatisfying ‘early retirement’ for most, is a steep price to pay."

What do you like about the FIRE movement? Do you have issues with any aspects?

I like the FIRE Movement because it is teaching you to take ownership of you money and to think deeply about what you want in your life.

I think that having a plan, living below your means, budgeting and investing (as long as you truly understand the risks/rewards) are very important skills (under the Financial Independence umbrella).

For the “Retire Early” aspect, I don’t know. People do what they want.

But I do think that if you are really that unhappy in your job, you should probably act on your career choices as well (instead of staying in a job just for the money in order to retire faster). Just my 2 cents.

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