You wake up one day and you realise you have done it. You have achieved FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early). The Holy Grail. Life is certainly going to be different from now on. But What Next?
I achieved FIRE aged 55. Pretty old by today’s standards, but as no-one had ever told me about FIRE then, I hadn’t realised it was a competition, or even a goal in itself. Today, I read with amazement about those who have achieved FIRE at 30 or even earlier. When I was that age, I was too busy having kids and wondering how to make ends meet on one salary. Personal Computers were in their infancy. There was no internet, cellphone, ipads etc. I had no concept of frugality as such, although I did practice it regularly without realising it. I had to! The ideas in my posts on Frugal February and Miserly March started then….
To have achieved FIRE, particularly at an early age, you must be a fairly goal driven person. You will have gone without things, saved and invested wisely. A few will have been blessed with sporting ability, or musical / media skills and got a few good breaks, saved hard when the money was good (think sports personality, music star), but mostly I suspect you will be a planner, a big thinker.
Your immediate goals might be something along the lines of
- travel – maybe take a RV and go on the road for a while, or climb on a plane and explore further afield, even keep your own helicopter
- family – maybe your FIRE was driven by wanting to spend time with your family, and you now have the time to indulge
- relax – this is what you wanted to do, climb off the hamster wheel, stop, look around and enjoy the scenery
- take up some voluntary work, give back
- learn a new skill, a new language
- take some time to see your home area in a new light. I’ve started, but hardly cracked the surface Edinburgh – Tourist in my own Town
- just because – you just wanted to achieve it because you could, you are not planning on stopping work just now. FI was the aim, rather than FIRE.
Then you wake up one morning a few years in and start taking stock
- This life of freedom to choose what you want to do is great, but you can see the years stretching in front of you. It feels a little hedonistic to have so little challenge. In the meantime, you might have started a few side hustles, maybe some blogging. You’ve progressed a few hobbies.
- You’re possibly healthier than you have ever been, or maybe you were for a year or two, and you have started letting things slide (I did!)
- You realise you need something more in your life
So what do you do? In my case, 5 years in, I realised I was 60 (now 61). I had a good chance of 30 years ahead of me. For those who retire in their 30’s, there could be 60 or even 70 years ahead. You realise you need a few more goals, targets, something to aim for. I started this journey last year, and set off into 2017 with Dream Big
So what happens next?
When you achieve a major goal, particularly earlier than expected, to start with it’s – yeah, way to go, Then you take time to think about it, and realise you wanted time off the treadmill, but you didn’t necessarily want to stop entirely. You wanted to do things differently, or do different things.
So time to take stock. Time to look to the future. I have spent a fair bit of the last few days & weeks, reading books, listening to YouTube videos on Goal Setting. I feel more energised, just having taken time to build some 1 year, 3 year, 5 year and 10 year goals. I spent last Saturday at a talk by a Motivational Speaker, Jack Black, on the power of the mind ‘Whispering with Giants’. He is a great supporter of Carnegie and also Napoleon Hill who wrote Think and Grow Rich. The suggestion is that you use the power of your subconscious to help you achieve your dreams. Many years ago, I attended one of Jack’s Mindstore sessions which he no longer runs. I did the workbook, put it away in a cupboard and forgot about it. Ten years later when I was clearing out, I found the workbook. I had achieved every one of my 1 year, 3 year and 5 year goals. Spooky.
You might enjoy this video on Jack’s view of Monday mornings. I’m not sure how the Glaswegian humour works in the U.S. It’s only 3 minutes. I hope it makes you smile.
By chance, I bought a second-hand book on Sunday ‘The Woman’s book of Creativity‘ published nearly 20 years ago, but it is saying much the same thing. The power of thought. Note – I haven’t finished yet, so still early days, I’m not advising buying it…
This morning’s You Tube were 2 audio sessions listening to Jim Rohn on Goal Setting. I’ll use a couple of quotes from these sessions, which I thought were very apt.
‘Aim High – Don’t join an easy crowd. Go where the expectations are high. It’s the challenge that builds the muscle’
‘Personal Development shouldn’t stop’
‘At the end of your life you should be climbing a new mountain, not sliding down an old one’
So the challenge to all you FIRE people out there, whether you are still on the journey or you have achieved it – What are you going to do next? If I’m right, it will prove to just be one step on a most interesting journey.
I’m certainly hoping it will be for me!
If you want to Pin It, click on the red button. Please do, I’m trying to increase my Pinterest profile