Four Walls of FIRE followers are different. We established that a couple weeks ago. We discovered how the FIRE Community spends money differently than our peers. I’m talking about people who drive their 2020 Ford Raptors to the bar every weekend and consume their retirement savings in the form of $5 Bud Lights.
We’re just not like that. It can be challenging to stay focused on your FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) goals when everyone around you is so different. People who are chasing lofty goals need support just like everyone else. So, where do you get support from when your closest friends and family believe that everyone works until 65?
It’s hard doing this FI thing alone. We’re a group of people aiming to save 50% or more of our income, but that’s not all. Financial Independence is about more than saving money. It’s about freedom. It’s about living a life that brings joy, paying up for things that we truly love, and spending time with people we care about the most.
The problem is that most of the people we care about the most don’t care about FI, so it’s difficult finding people to talk about money with. It’s also difficult finding people to connect with about a topic that we’re so passionate about. But, that’s not all…
Eventually you’re going to reach the RE (Retire Early) part of FIRE. You’ll be so excited to spend more time with your friends and family, and you will be able to! There’s just one issue. Unless they’ve also joined the FIRE Community, your friends and family are going to be at work. All. The. Time.
Find a local Financial Independence group in your area.
Over the past week the Choose FI Greater Baltimore group has hosted three events. We had our Library FI monthly meetup. Then, booked an entire theater and watched the Playing With FIRE documentary. Lastly, we held a FI of July cookout.
Having been lucky enough to attend all three of these events, I learned something truly amazing. Gina and I aren’t alone in this journey for FIRE. Sometimes it feels like we are alone, but these events were a wonderful reminder that there are others out there who are just like us.
Of course, we don’t all love doing the same things. We have differing opinions. Different political views. Different religious beliefs. However, we all have one thing in common. We’re all looking to live the fullest life possible while saving and investing enough to buy back our freedom.
So, we get together. We spend time telling our stories, sharing our “life hacks”, drinking a beer, meeting each others’ families, and simply enjoying life. FI Veterans give advice to those who are new to the Community and in return they receive fresh ideas and perspectives from those who have recently joined us.
If it weren’t for local groups or simply finding people to spend time with who have similar goals, the FIRE Community wouldn’t be much of a community at all. It would be quite lonely, actually.
The FIRE Movement has been slowly gaining steam over the past few years. The concept has been around for ages, but lately, it seems like the FIRE has been spreading rapidly.
Think about this with me.
10 Years from now dozens or even hundreds of members from your Choose FI Local Group have retired. You’re one of them.
You wake up on a Tuesday morning, make your coffee, and head out for a walk with your family. It’s a summer day and the sun is rising. Your kids are out of school, so they join along on the walk.
Upon returning from the walk, you receive a text message informing you that a few of your retired friends and their families are getting together for lunch and a trip to the beach.
You don’t have any other obligations, so you and your family decide to join your FIRE family at the beach, where it’s quiet because the rest of the world is working.
You spend the day with your family and friends at the beach, enjoying the weather, watching all of your children play together and building sand castles.
All you can think of is how thankful you are to have this FIRE Family to walk through life with. They were with you when you began your journey for FIRE, and now you have the freedom to continue developing those deep relationships.
This may not be what every single day after retirement looks like. Even when work goes away we all still have responsibilities. However, spending quality time with your closest friends any day of the week is an opportunity that will be afforded to everyone who pursues and reaches early retirement.
Making The Vision a Reality
True success is found by making small deposits of time and energy towards reaching a goal over a long period of time. Just like reaching Financial Independence, a FIRE Family is built from the ground up, one block at a time.
Write a post introducing yourself. Reply to someone. Add a friend from the group and chat with them. Attend a local meetup. Invite someone over for coffee and share your stories and experiences.
If you feel alone on your path to FIRE or would simply like to surround yourself with like-minded people, start with a local Facebook group. You don’t have to join a Choose FI Local Group, specifically, but they are certainly a great place to start.
Little by little you will realize that your FIRE Family is growing, and before you know it, you’ll be sitting on the beach with them… On a Tuesday.