I sort of agree with you. I spent the first 10 years of my adult life working a job I was mostly okay with while starting a family and building a life. We were living a shared dream.

The next 10 years were mostly dedicated to raising that family and pursuing professional goals. I loved my job. She loved hers too. And we both had the family we had always wanted. Life was pretty great. Nobody worried too much about retirement.

Unfortunately, barely halfway through the last decade, my wife got sick. She passed away just before 2010. And left me with four kids to complete raising on my own. Our shared dream life was destroyed. So, I went on a pretty serious FIRE diet since I had lost all love for the professional life I had created. But I still needed to put kids through college and the job was pretty lucrative.

My entire team (~80 people) was outsourced in June. But, because I had been on a FIRE journey, I was able to retire at 55. Not exactly young, but way earlier than most people are financially independent. I’m still not done grieving but having the freedom to pursue any direction I wish to take in life makes the loss a bit easier to handle.

What I guess I’m really trying to say is FIRE gives you options. Especially when life goes sideways. Don’t sacrifice your youth to achieve it, but don’t sacrifice your later years by failing to prepare for the unexpected either.

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father, motorcyclist, old retired guy who’s just a little lost on a blue marble corkscrewing its way to oblivion

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