GOLDEN RULES

Waitaki Herald - - YOUR HEALTH -

The FIRE way of life has been get­ting a lot more no­tice lately in main­stream me­dia.

FIRE stands for ‘‘fi­nan­cially In­de­pen­dent, re­tire early’’.

It’s a life phi­los­o­phy of smart, en­tre­pre­neur­ial, in­de­pen­dent­ly­minded folk, of­ten younger folk, who de­cide to live ex­tremely fru­gally in or­der to save the bulk of their in­come to in­vest.

Their aim is to achieve fi­nan­cial free­dom as early as they can by amass­ing suf­fi­cient wealth to pro­vide them with a sus­tain­able, and live­able pas­sive in­come for the rest of their lives.

They refuse to take the tra­di­tional slow and steady route to amass­ing enough wealth to re­tire de­cently.

They do not aspire to own ‘‘stuff’’. They aspire to own wealth.

There are some pro­found les­sons most of us could learn from FIRE devo­tees.

FIRE peo­ple set big, am­bi­tious goals and set strate­gies to get to them.

FIRE peo­ple set their brains to work on the task of amass­ing the re­sources to live an au­then­tic life that suits their na­tures.

They pride them­selves in not be­ing pas­sive con­sumers liv­ing tra­di­tional live, and amass con­sid­er­able ❚ Learn from the FIRE phi­los­o­phy ❚ Set money goals ❚ Don’t be lim­ited by so­ci­ety’s pat­terns of liv­ing

fi­nan­cial sur­vival skills from their life­styles.

All th­ese things make them worth know­ing about.

And they want their life­style to be known.

There are lots of FIRE blogs, so any­one want­ing to em­u­late them, does not need to work hard in get­ting the tem­plate.

Like any way of life, it is not for ev­ery­one.

The ques­tion of what would hap­pen to the world econ­omy if ev­ery­one turned su­per-fru­gal overnight some­times gets de­bated.

It’s a moot ques­tion be­cause it won’t hap­pen.

The FIRE phi­los­o­phy saves in­di­vid­u­als, not whole peo­ples.

FIRE life­styles trans­form in­di­vid­ual money lives, but only the clever and ab­stemious few who can live that way.

It’s also a phi­los­o­phy that’s as­so­ci­ated in my mind with the pas­sion of youth. That’s great too. Get­ting ahead in your 20s makes it a heck of a lot eas­ier later should you choose to cou­ple up, and have chil­dren.

Mold­ing a wife/hus­band/ cher­ished loved one, not to men­tion the chil­dren, to live a FIRE life is a topic I’d love to know more about.

Some crit­ics query the ap­par­ent FIRE as­sump­tion that early re­tire­ment is good, but hey, if FIRE peo­ple can find a way of liv­ing that works for them, that’s their busi­ness.

I don’t even find my­self both­ered by the tinge of re­li­gious fer­vour about the FIRE move­ment, and its faint sense of dis­dain for all those liv­ing tra­di­tional lives.

Many so­cial move­ments have sought to de­fine them­selves in op­po­si­tion to the main­stream. A lit­tle ‘‘them and us’’ is un­der­stand­able.

Hav­ing a real FIRE friend in your life is a bless­ing.

It keeps you hon­est when ap­prais­ing your own spend­ing habits, and leads you to ques­tion the as­sump­tions you have around what you can achieve.

I worked with one for years. Fiercely bright. Fan­tas­ti­cally self­led. Huge con­vic­tion.

A FIRE friend opens your eyes to what is pos­si­ble, which can help you to light a fire un­der your own sav­ings, and take a match to waste­ful spend­ing.

The FIRE phi­los­o­phy is amass­ing wealth, not ‘‘stuff’’.

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