Author Topic: FITE vs FIRE?  (Read 3350 times)

sailingTowardsFI

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FITE vs FIRE?
« on: May 24, 2019, 07:36:22 PM »
Hi, all - I listened to Paula Pant's Afford Anything episode with David Bach today.  He talked about the concept of FITE vs FIRE - Financial Independence Transition Early vs the standard FIRE idea.  It really hit home with me, since I think my husband and I are ready to "TE" but maybe not "RE".  We certainly will be in another year or two, and I have many ideas for paying work I would like to do that have nothing to do with my current job.  I am curious how many out there have "RE" in their early 40s or before, and found that a transition to fulfilling but lower-paying work helped you along on your journey?  Or maybe it was the point of the journey from the beginning? 

The "FITE" idea plus the details at the end of the podcast episode about his grandmother's biggest regrets have gotten me thinking...  what am I doing?  Should I take a leap into what would initially be a much lower-paying field, but something which would pay the bills and be more fulfilling for me?  The FIRE calculators say that we are ready, even without any post-'retirement' pay.  I don't want to make a stupid choice, but I also do not want to make it to the end of my life having never experienced life outside a cubicle, like my father.  He passed away at 59 having never retired...  I am only 41, I believe my husband and I are FI, but I worry about health insurance, a big market crash, etc.  I think that if we shifted our mindset to "transition" instead of "retirement", we would feel differently. 

Anyone else have similar thoughts?

Freedomin5

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2019, 08:36:03 PM »
It's the first time I've heard of it called FITE, but I like the idea. It sounds similar to "barista FIRE" or "coast FIRE". Being barebones FI has given me the freedom and courage to get off the fast-moving but well-paying treadmill and take a position that requires just as many hours but overall looks to provide a better quality of life. I'm making the transition this summer.

It also allows us to have options, like dropping down to one salary, should the need arise.

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2019, 08:48:58 PM »
I am about 6.5 years into FIRE after leaving the corporate grind at the age of 40.  At 46, I'm looking at taking on part time work for non-profits after a vacation to CO this summer.  The beauty of FI is you decide for yourself what is fulfilling and how to spend your time.  FITE is a completely valid idea. If it appeals to you, adopt it for fuck's sake!

You DO NOT NEED ANYONE'S PERMISSION.  You are FI and your decisions are now your own.  Live your best life.

smoghat

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2019, 09:16:35 PM »
I tried FITE and hated it. It took 1/2 the time for 1/4 the money. A lot of people fall for this trap and Iíve seen a lot of that on this forum (posts like Iím a software engineer making $180k, is there something wrong with working at Walmart 20 hours a week for $8 an hour?). Going 100% FIRE is entirely different, its freedom. Scary, but worthwhile.                                                     

Dicey

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2019, 06:22:23 AM »
David Bach is kind of a sound bite guy. Credit him for the "Latte Factor". Call it whatever you want. Being FI gives you freedom, but not everybody knows what to do with it.

Weird facts: Towards the beginning of my FIRE journey, I was the subject of a Money Makeover feature, back in the days when newspapers wrote original local content. The financial advisor the paper paired me with was DB's sister. Years later, (post-FIRE), I joined a new philanthropic group that was forming. DB's mom is in the same group. I got a kick out of telling her how I'd met her daughter years before. Neat that her advice helped me get to FIRE and that I'm able to give back in my community as an indirect result. This was long before the existence of financial blogs.

FIREstache

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2019, 06:29:36 AM »
I am only 41, I believe my husband and I are FI, but I worry about health insurance, a big market crash, etc.  I think that if we shifted our mindset to "transition" instead of "retirement", we would feel differently. 

If you're worried about a big market crash, you might want to take a look at your asset allocation and adjust it so that you don't worry so much about it.

Many people FIRE and still work part time or side gigs.  We still just call that FIRE around here.  I might even do that myself, not that I need to.

It could be another year or longer before the ACA lawsuit gets sorted out if it goes to the SCOTUS.

OurFirstFire

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2019, 09:07:59 AM »
I tried FITE and hated it. It took 1/2 the time for 1/4 the money. A lot of people fall for this trap and Iíve seen a lot of that on this forum (posts like Iím a software engineer making $180k, is there something wrong with working at Walmart 20 hours a week for $8 an hour?). Going 100% FIRE is entirely different, its freedom. Scary, but worthwhile.                                                     

I think the key for transitioning is to focus on how you want to spend your time rather than what is the dullest way to earn the minimum money you need.  So for most people Walmart is certainly a bad idea.  But we all have 24 hours a day and we have to do something during them, and a big chunk of the most fulfilling ways to spend your time also correlate to possibilities for income.  Like writing a blog for MMM, and countless other less successful bloggers that still cover a significant portion of their monthly expenses from this revenue.   So yes, realizing that things you like to do when you have more time will likely earn money is a great way to kickstart FIRE / leaving a soul-crushing corporate job. 

FWIW, I still have worries about the 4% rule, so instead I justified leaving my job by saying "Well, we have 25x yearly expenses in investments, and even if the market crashes and it becomes 12.5x expenses, or health care blows up and requires another corporate job, that's still a huge runway to figure out how to transition my new FIRE skills into a meaningful income / stable job."

Mr. Green

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2019, 05:20:39 PM »
Honestly, it would be such an easier pill to swallow if people simply forgot about the "retirement" part. FI is really all it is. Beyond that you have the choice for it to be whatever you want. I think this has probably been said a million times but people get really hung up on that retirement part. It would be nice if instead the focused on the empowerment the FI part gives them.

Once FI, if everyone simply realized they were FI and the it allowed them absolute choice, what comes after would just work itself out, whether it was an idle retirement, a second career, volunteering, etc.

Malkynn

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2019, 06:45:37 PM »
Honestly, it would be such an easier pill to swallow if people simply forgot about the "retirement" part. FI is really all it is. Beyond that you have the choice for it to be whatever you want. I think this has probably been said a million times but people get really hung up on that retirement part. It would be nice if instead the focused on the empowerment the FI part gives them.

Once FI, if everyone simply realized they were FI and the it allowed them absolute choice, what comes after would just work itself out, whether it was an idle retirement, a second career, volunteering, etc.

It's a little more nuanced though.

For some of us, part time work is infinitely more fun than full time work, and we don't really want to leave our profession. In that case, waiting until FI in order to start living life to the fullest is a huge waste.

FI isn't necessary to live freely and fully, it just happens to make it a lot easier to do so.

Mr. Green

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2019, 09:34:16 PM »
Honestly, it would be such an easier pill to swallow if people simply forgot about the "retirement" part. FI is really all it is. Beyond that you have the choice for it to be whatever you want. I think this has probably been said a million times but people get really hung up on that retirement part. It would be nice if instead the focused on the empowerment the FI part gives them.

Once FI, if everyone simply realized they were FI and the it allowed them absolute choice, what comes after would just work itself out, whether it was an idle retirement, a second career, volunteering, etc.

It's a little more nuanced though.

For some of us, part time work is infinitely more fun than full time work, and we don't really want to leave our profession. In that case, waiting until FI in order to start living life to the fullest is a huge waste.

FI isn't necessary to live freely and fully, it just happens to make it a lot easier to do so.
Absolutely! I was really referring to the folks on the FI, then something else (TE, ER, whatever) train. That's the part I think has been oversold, the feeling like there has to be a defined after.

mandy_2002

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2019, 10:26:25 PM »
I retired at 32 and went to the Peace Corps. The work was very fulfilling and much less stressful than engineering, and I was able to do engineering outreach in my country. There was a very small living stipend, so my basic expenses were covered but nothing more.

I had something to retire to, but I didn't really think through what would happen after I finished the 27 month commitment. My suggestion is to think past 2 years. I traveled for 5 months then went home for a bit. Then I got bored. I just started a new engineering gig to give my mind something to do. I may retire again in a few years :). Like Paula says, retire early and often.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2019, 10:57:42 PM »
Another perspective I've been thinking about (I'm fatFI but not ER), on my flight back to the US from Paris I watched a feature about young folks that were fatFI and they could care less about earned income.  Once your income makes little or no difference to your FI status, then it's up to you if you pursue making ER work or if you are in the game to see what the 'stache can ultimately grow to.  But it's just a game, FI can be made to work once you crunch the numbers, and especially if you spend most of your time doing things like posting online and learning from other ER's :)

sailingTowardsFI

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2019, 08:26:39 AM »
I tried FITE and hated it. It took 1/2 the time for 1/4 the money. A lot of people fall for this trap and Iíve seen a lot of that on this forum (posts like Iím a software engineer making $180k, is there something wrong with working at Walmart 20 hours a week for $8 an hour?). Going 100% FIRE is entirely different, its freedom. Scary, but worthwhile.                                                     

This is what I was thinking about - could I really drop down to making 10-15% of my current salary?  I think* we're in a spot now where we could conservatively cover all of our basic expenses via investments, but if we each made just a little money each year, that would give us extra security and also provide for the fun parts of life (and the whole point of ER, for us!), such as our boat and a little travel.  Where I am today is thinking I'll work partway into 2020, ~February, then pull the plug.  My husband already has a well-established one-man business that he does not plan to give up as he enjoys it.  And the type of work I would want to do in "FITE" is summer-season, so leaving in Feb would give me a month or two to decompress, then I could try out something new.  I get so excited everytime I think about this, and I can't keep myself from daydreaming about the possibilities.

The only reason I don't say we could definitely cover all of our basic expenses via investments is because of the uncertainties of the US health care system.  I'm currently budgeting for ACA payments using current rates, but who knows what is down the road for the ACA?

Mr. Green

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2019, 10:43:54 AM »
I had a FITE experience I loved so I think a lot of it comes down to your individual situation. I retired in June 2017 and took a part-time job as a stock clerk at a grocery store in November 2017. I went from making $110/hour to $10/hour  I gave no thought to the money. I wanted to get out of the house a bit (everyone else was still working) and the exercise component of the job appealed to me. Plus I got to learn all the inner workings of a grocery store. I LOVED it. It was balls to the wall, nonstop movement from the moment I clocked in until I clocked out. The intensity of the physical work was exactly opposite the total lack of importance. I loved the fact that I had no real responsibility. If I screwed up the worst case scenario was something didn't make it onto the shelves. I loved that the job forced me to talk to people, which in turn honed my conversation skills. In the end the store was giving me too many hours and didn't want to cut me back so I had to quit. I wanted the job to fit into my FIRE lifestyle and they weren't getting that. If I ever needed a part-time job I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I'm sure others would feel differently but that's why I say it depends on the individual.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2019, 10:48:59 AM by Mr. Green »

clifp

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2019, 04:18:58 PM »
I had a FITE experience I loved so I think a lot of it comes down to your individual situation. I retired in June 2017 and took a part-time job as a stock clerk at a grocery store in November 2017. I went from making $110/hour to $10/hour  I gave no thought to the money. I wanted to get out of the house a bit (everyone else was still working) and the exercise component of the job appealed to me. Plus I got to learn all the inner workings of a grocery store. I LOVED it. It was balls to the wall, nonstop movement from the moment I clocked in until I clocked out. The intensity of the physical work was exactly opposite the total lack of importance. I loved the fact that I had no real responsibility. If I screwed up the worst case scenario was something didn't make it onto the shelves. I loved that the job forced me to talk to people, which in turn honed my conversation skills. In the end the store was giving me too many hours and didn't want to cut me back so I had to quit. I wanted the job to fit into my FIRE lifestyle and they weren't getting that. If I ever needed a part-time job I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I'm sure others would feel differently but that's why I say it depends on the individual.

As you say others would feel differently. See I would hate this with a passion.  I was a boxboy in high school, I thought it was a pretty good job, beat the hell out of working fast food from what I could tell.  But as an adult I'd hate it.  I can see the benefits of physical work, probably better than going to a gym, but the lack of control would drive me nuts.

I've had serial volunteer jobs after retiring and I've enjoyed all of them to various degrees, but the keyword for me has been volunteer. Since I live in Honolulu most have involved tourist destination, basically being a docent.  Most of the places have had paid positions doing similar jobs.  A couple of times I've been asked if I would like to the paid job which would involve increasing the number of hours from 4 hours a week to ~16/week. I won't have minded having to come into 2-3x times a week. I've turned them down.  What I hate is not having the freedom from saying, I have friends in town, I want to watch a SpaceX launch, and call in the night before and say sorry I'm not going to make my scheduled volunteer shift.  You simply can't do that when they are paying you and not make people mad.

I think all jobs have good, ok, and bad tasks associated with them.  I've been able to simply tell the volunteer coordinator, sorry but I don't think this activity is worth my time.  A freedom you don't enjoy when you are collecting a salary. I see no reason not to work an extra few months at $110/hour to avoid the BS associated with a paying job.

Buffalo Chip

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2019, 01:46:09 PM »
Honestly, it would be such an easier pill to swallow if people simply forgot about the "retirement" part. FI is really all it is. Beyond that you have the choice for it to be whatever you want. I think this has probably been said a million times but people get really hung up on that retirement part. It would be nice if instead the focused on the empowerment the FI part gives them.

Once FI, if everyone simply realized they were FI and the it allowed them absolute choice, what comes after would just work itself out, whether it was an idle retirement, a second career, volunteering, etc.

^^^^This^^^^

happy

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2019, 11:13:05 PM »
Downshifting as a concept has been around since last century +/- FI. Call it FITE/ barista FIRE/coast FIRE, whatever you want. I downshifted for 24 years before retiring but stayed in the same career. I went part-time, lived on a lower salary without hardship and never went back to full-time work. I didn't know about FIRE until the last 7 years, but it worked for me.

We are so lucky to have the option of lifestyle design.

jim555

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2019, 04:49:47 AM »
Makes no sense to me.  Trade high pay "real" job for low pay PT job.  Net result, you spend more hours working.

MasterStache

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2019, 06:25:11 AM »
Makes no sense to me.  Trade high pay "real" job for low pay PT job.  Net result, you spend more hours working.

Possibly. I would rather spend the next several years taking on carpentry side projects at my own free will than spend another second being a corporate cubicle shill.

Sustainable Happiness

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2019, 06:28:44 AM »
Makes no sense to me.  Trade high pay "real" job for low pay PT job.  Net result, you spend more hours working.

Makes no sense to me. Why is "you spend more hours working" a bad thing if you're happy and enjoying it? False dichotomy set-up, implies there is nothing else in the trade but high pay vs low pay.

jim555

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2019, 09:21:40 AM »
Makes no sense to me.  Trade high pay "real" job for low pay PT job.  Net result, you spend more hours working.

Makes no sense to me. Why is "you spend more hours working" a bad thing if you're happy and enjoying it? False dichotomy set-up, implies there is nothing else in the trade but high pay vs low pay.
I worked for money, not because I enjoyed it.  My view is the obligation of work always sucks. 

MasterStache

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2019, 10:38:54 AM »
Makes no sense to me.  Trade high pay "real" job for low pay PT job.  Net result, you spend more hours working.

Makes no sense to me. Why is "you spend more hours working" a bad thing if you're happy and enjoying it? False dichotomy set-up, implies there is nothing else in the trade but high pay vs low pay.
I worked for money, not because I enjoyed it.  My view is the obligation of work always sucks.

Should I take a leap into what would initially be a much lower-paying field, but something which would pay the bills and be more fulfilling for me?

I think the bolded is an important distinction. Some folks enjoy working, just perhaps not in their current full time "cubicle" capacity. I semi-retired a couple years ago because I couldn't fathom another day as a cubicle shill. Sure I could have stayed 2 more years and not had to worry about earning a single penny the rest of my life. However, the stress and anxiety was too much for me to bear. I also have skills as a carpenter that have ended up earning me a good deal of money doing side work. "Work" is not an obligation anymore. By utilizing my skills in a money-making fashion I was able to escape my own cubicle prison much sooner. Hell had I known it was going to be this easy, I would have left even sooner. Work was not fun, now it is.

This is why I agree with a previous poster about the importance of the FI part of FIRE. We all chart our own course.

jim555

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2019, 11:01:42 AM »
Once you are FI work becomes an option, not an obligation.  I see nothing wrong if you are FI and want to do some PT job, since you can always just quit and not endanger your FI position.  But I see trend where people are clearly not FI and want a PT job, that bothers me a lot as a concept.  Seems like the worst of all worlds.

Sustainable Happiness

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2019, 11:58:55 AM »
@jim555, I see better now where our perspectives diverge.

1) I don't view obligation as an always bad type of thing. In fact I feel better when I have some defined obligation to fulfill in a week or day.
2) I also view FI as a mindset, that is, "I am free from financial worries". Yes, I realize most definitions are geared towards having passive income greater than expenses. But if I don't worry about money and don't feel like my obligations are too much or I enjoy them then...meh. Moving to a different role at a significant paycut was enabled by losing my financial worries even though I wasn't fully FI.

So, getting some money made me confident enough to realize I didn't need all the moneys to do what I wanted to do when I had all the moneys. Which was, find a job I enjoy that allowed more time spent at home with a growing famjam. Very different in tactics than becoming a shelfstocker or bartender, but conceptually similar.

jfer_rose

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2019, 12:27:50 PM »
Are you my alter ego? I am 41 and am in the process of trying to quit my current job to go back to school and learn woodworking. I am bare bones FI and would like to earn maybe 10K per year as a buffer to have more flexibility with my spending.

Malkynn

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #25 on: June 15, 2019, 05:33:38 AM »
Once you are FI work becomes an option, not an obligation.  I see nothing wrong if you are FI and want to do some PT job, since you can always just quit and not endanger your FI position.  But I see trend where people are clearly not FI and want a PT job, that bothers me a lot as a concept.  Seems like the worst of all worlds.

I'm one of those clearly not FI people who absolutely loves working only part time, and it truly is the best option for me.
Why on bloody earth would that bother you???

To me, grinding it out for a decade doing work that makes you miserable sounds like the worst possible option, especially for people who already have a substantial amount saved. It actually sounds insane to me.

There is no black and white, there is no correct answer for everyone. Each person needs to find their own formula for happiness and it's not easy for anyone.

If I explained the details of my personal case, you would 100% understand why I've cut back as early in my career as I have. Its actually something I'm well known for in my profession and openly respected and admired for.
I don't need your approval though, so I won't get into it further.

I've always said that FI is not a prerequisite to living your best life. It's a security blanket, and not everyone needs a security blanket.

If someone finds happiness working part time, or seasonally and they're living their best life and their financial plans are sound, then I applaud them. The same goes for people who take sabbaticals, or take pay cuts to work better jobs, or take time away from work to raise kids, or to dedicate some time to volunteering, or whatever various decisions people make that delay FI, but improve their lives.

Not everyone has the same needs, not everyone has the same capacity, and not everyone has the same feelings about obligations. I'm a medical professional, obligation runs in my veins, and it's not for the paycheck.

Fuck, you should see the crazy volunteer shit I have lined up for after I retire. That's going to make my work look like a vacation.

jim555

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #26 on: June 15, 2019, 07:42:34 AM »
Once you are FI work becomes an option, not an obligation.  I see nothing wrong if you are FI and want to do some PT job, since you can always just quit and not endanger your FI position.  But I see trend where people are clearly not FI and want a PT job, that bothers me a lot as a concept.  Seems like the worst of all worlds.

I'm one of those clearly not FI people who absolutely loves working only part time, and it truly is the best option for me.
Why on bloody earth would that bother you???

To me, grinding it out for a decade doing work that makes you miserable sounds like the worst possible option, especially for people who already have a substantial amount saved. It actually sounds insane to me.

There is no black and white, there is no correct answer for everyone. Each person needs to find their own formula for happiness and it's not easy for anyone.
Why does it bother me?  I hate to see people make stupid decisions.  I read about stories like a 28 year old has $200k and is "retiring" to work odd jobs.  Yikes, recipe for fail.

Malkynn

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #27 on: June 15, 2019, 08:32:55 AM »
Once you are FI work becomes an option, not an obligation.  I see nothing wrong if you are FI and want to do some PT job, since you can always just quit and not endanger your FI position.  But I see trend where people are clearly not FI and want a PT job, that bothers me a lot as a concept.  Seems like the worst of all worlds.

I'm one of those clearly not FI people who absolutely loves working only part time, and it truly is the best option for me.
Why on bloody earth would that bother you???

To me, grinding it out for a decade doing work that makes you miserable sounds like the worst possible option, especially for people who already have a substantial amount saved. It actually sounds insane to me.

There is no black and white, there is no correct answer for everyone. Each person needs to find their own formula for happiness and it's not easy for anyone.
Why does it bother me?  I hate to see people make stupid decisions.  I read about stories like a 28 year old has $200k and is "retiring" to work odd jobs.  Yikes, recipe for fail.

What actually bothers you?

Is it people who want to drop to full time and therefore being "obligated" to work longer or people with unrealistic financial plans?

Because if it's people with unrealistic financial plans that are at high risk of failure, that's a totally separate issue from people who choose a longer work obligation.

However, people like me who have a solid grasp on their finances, but choose to work fewer hours per week and are totally comfortable with the trade off, we shouldn't bother you at all.

Does your opinion change if the person working full time still makes 6 figures?

Or let's look at the young person who has saved a decent chunk of money. Say they absolutely hate their career and are suffering from serious burnout, and they're not in a good place to figure out their life. So what they work part time for awhile? So what if the plan to do so indefinitely is unrealistic. They'll probably mature and figure that out themselves, and maybe end up in a better place to decide what career they really want.

You don't know what's actually behind people's motivations, you only know what they choose to share with you.

Personally, I prefer to assume that people know better for themselves than I do, whether it's true or not, because I've been shocked enough times to find out how utterly wrong I've been about my presumptions about other people's choices.

Overall, I'm legit not worried about a young person with a substantial chunk of money, choosing to dramatically change their life if they're not happy with it, even if they don't have a particular goal yet.

Sometimes you need an ounce of freedom before you can figure out what you really need.

I know I had NO CLUE how to be happy until I drastically cut back my hours and had the breathing room to learn that what I thought I wanted from life was completely wrong.

I'm so SO happy I didn't power through until FI, it would have been a terrible path for me. Literally everyone in my life agrees with that sentiment, including my financial advisor.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2019, 09:04:30 AM by Malkynn »

jim555

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #28 on: June 15, 2019, 09:51:20 AM »
I don't mean anything personal to you. 
If people want to make unwise choices the school of life tends to hit them upside the head to correct the situation.  I don't go around lecturing people on their life, but I will be thinking quietly wow what a foolish thing to retire at 28 with only $200k.

chevy1956

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #29 on: June 15, 2019, 02:34:40 PM »
I don't mean anything personal to you. 
If people want to make unwise choices the school of life tends to hit them upside the head to correct the situation.  I don't go around lecturing people on their life, but I will be thinking quietly wow what a foolish thing to retire at 28 with only $200k.

This is a fair point. Our expenses have increased by about 50% over the past 5 years. I think we were too tight or everything went well plus inflation plus our kids have gotten older and cost more. My point is that if we quit on the lower expense basis with a reduced asset base we wouldn't be in a good position.

I'd love to work in a different job but I'm going to earn a lot less and it's going to take a lot longer to become FI. I want to be able to retire and not have to work again within reasonable risk parameters. FITE doesn't really seem smart to me however there are always going to be areas where it could work.

JoJoP

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #30 on: June 16, 2019, 01:59:55 PM »
Honestly, it would be such an easier pill to swallow if people simply forgot about the "retirement" part. FI is really all it is. Beyond that you have the choice for it to be whatever you want. I think this has probably been said a million times but people get really hung up on that retirement part. It would be nice if instead the focused on the empowerment the FI part gives them.

Once FI, if everyone simply realized they were FI and the it allowed them absolute choice, what comes after would just work itself out, whether it was an idle retirement, a second career, volunteering, etc.

Exactly!  Make of your life what you will, because now you don't have to work for a living.

Gray Matter

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #31 on: June 16, 2019, 06:31:35 PM »
I had not heard the term FITE before, but it probably describes me.  I could have hung in there with a high-paying corporate job for another 3-5 years and been good and retired before 50, but I just couldn't do it anymore.  It was a good job, a good fit with my skillset, a good company, with good colleagues and...I felt like I was dying a little bit more inside every day.  I decided I'd rather commit to working longer in more rewarding work, so I left and went to run a non-profit, taking a 50% pay cut. 

It was the best decision I ever made.  The work was so rewarding, I felt like I'd found my peeps, I loved my new field, and for the first time, I could be my "real" self at work.  After 3 years, I decided I didn't want all of the responsibility of being in charge, and I wanted to be on the front lines doing the work, so I've gone back to grad school, meaning no income from me (DH is still working) for six years, plus a massive outlay of cash for tuition, and I'll earn even less when I'm done than I did at the non-profit.  And I'm also happier than I've ever been.

Five years ago, I was obsessed with FIRE, but looking back, it was because I was desperately seeking an escape from my current life and thought early retirement would be that.  Once I shifted my goal to building a life worth living RIGHT NOW, and made decisions based on that, my life improved drastically.  (Note:  We had a solid foundation of savings, were already close to FI, so I felt like I had the freedom and flexibility to take some risks.)

I'm still four years away from getting my degree and have no plans to retire, although part-time work is appealing.  If I love new my profession as much as I think I will, I will work for many years, although I will likely taper over time.  If I don't love it or am not good at it, I'll work long enough to pay back what I took from the family coffers to pay for school, and then call it quits. 

Sustainable Happiness

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Re: FITE vs FIRE?
« Reply #32 on: June 17, 2019, 07:37:48 AM »
I don't mean anything personal to you. 
If people want to make unwise choices the school of life tends to hit them upside the head to correct the situation.  I don't go around lecturing people on their life, but I will be thinking quietly wow what a foolish thing to retire at 28 with only $200k.

Again you put a concrete tactic on an abstract concept and call it foolish. What about the 30 y/o who has 500K accumulated? The 40 y/o with 1.5m but has a high expense rate and therefore isn't fully FIRE and working a less stressful job would actually allow for a lower expense rate and then 6 months in to FITE BOOM, they realize they are actually FI, they just needed to not look at it through the stressed out lens of their head up their ass.

Oh wait...all of those are bad examples because they don't talk to the complex system that is the reality of a human life. Hell, they don't even really take into account expense rate, which in terms of pure financial foolishness of the decision makes a massive difference.

Working PT making $25K a year and having $200k saved makes a big difference if your expenses are only $20k a year!

Paraphrasing here:
"Call no man happy until he is dead" - Herodotus

That is, with happiness and foolish decisions it is difficult to label success until the end of the plan (or in life's case, death). That includes your life and mine.

Caveat: I have never read Herodotus...but I did recently read American Gods by Neil Gaiman for the first time and learned about that quote.