Why I FI - Bro

My wife and I were out with some friends when the topic of FIRE came up. We are open with these friends and we informed them that we hope to be FI in 5 years or less. You could almost see their minds blow. They simply could not wrap their head around the fact it was possible much less why you would want to be FI. (It did not help matters that I referred to it as retiring early instead of financially independent)

After this conversation it got me thinking about why I want to be FI. The first and foremost reason for FI is the security. My job is our family’s only source of income. If for some reason I lose my job then my family needs something they can fall back on. As our investments grow they become the equivalent of someone working full time at Colorado’s minimum wage*. Instead of being a one income family we are now a two income family with the second income is continually growing.

The second reason for FI is optionality. Having a large amount of savings simply allows us to make choices that would might not normally be open to us. An example of this is when I bought my new Nissan Leaf. We found a great deal on one and because we were financially strong we could drive a hard bargain. Another example of optimality would be if a dream job came up but paid less. By having investments I could take a job that pays less and not have it impact our quality of life.

The third reason for FI is generosity. If someone we care about gets sick we have the strength to be able help them out. This could be as simple as taking them out to dinner or as complex as quitting work in order to take care of them. My grandmother is getting up there in years (but is quite active). As she ages she requires more care. My mother had the financial security to buy my grandma a place near her so she could keep an eye on her mom. On top of that my mother chooses to take care of my grandma and nana (other grandma). If she needed to work a job this would not be an option.

For me FI is not about being able to tell my boss he is number one (with my middle finger)**. It is about security, optionality, and generosity. I am quite lucky to financially strong but this luck has been earned. Why do you FI?

*$10.20/hour * 2080 hours / 3% safe withdrawal rate
** I actually like my boss so this is hypothetical

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