A Response Suze Orman’s recent MarketWatch article about FIRE

Most of the successful FIRE bloggers that I see are folk who end up earning in retirement. They also tend to live on less in lower cost areas. This seems to be the way to do it, and it seems to be what Suzie Orman is ignoring.

The way I describe my goal is the downshift and the lowering of stress. I don’t think that I will will truly stop working until my 60s. I hope to down shift in my mid 50s. If all goes well, by then we will have saved 25x our current income.

I can promise that being sucked into this community, that I will make better and more informed financial decisions. I will also be in better shape if the calamity happens.

I will say that I think she is right about the $5 million number. I would feel more safe if I had that much. I also may extend my working years to get to that number. I certainly will continue to look for a side hustle to get me to my number, or $5 million that much sooner.

There is also the uncertainty of the stock market. I have this idea of working out a program that you could use to see how a 4% withdrawal rate would do against the actual market; getting in and out in certain years.

Ultimately, though, I don’t see how the goal is bad. Why is that a bad goal? Its not. I think many people could do it, if they figure out how to save enough. They should also be willing to downshift, and keep working a lower job after they leave the high stress one.

At worst, we end up with a nation of savers, and that is a good thing.

I also think that there has to be some realism. There are people who make more and have higher paying jobs. FIRE is easier for us. We have more to work with. It is still possible for anyone else, but it will remain much harder. I grew up with a single earner parent for a good portion of my childhood; union job for him. Mom worked clerical jobs after we kids were old enough for school. Early retirement was not an option. After 33 years at one company, dad was paid to retire early. He then took another job that took him to 65. Then my parents retired. My goal is to beat him by a few years. If the market is kind, it will be more than a few years.

For those who want to, or can, retire at 30, 35, 40 or whatever, so much the better. They will still have their professional skills, and they will still be able to work again if they have to.

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