Why We Disagree with the FIRE Movement

In this video, Jamison Smith and Matt Blocki of EWA discuss their stance on the Fire movement (Financial Independence and Retire Early). They argue against the idea of retiring early without a clear plan for how to spend one’s time, especially for individuals with high-stress jobs. They emphasize the importance of aligning financial planning with a purpose-driven life and suggest that retiring should be a thoughtful and intentional decision rather than simply retiring for the sake of it. They also mention studies showing that transitioning to a phased retirement can lead to greater happiness compared to abruptly stopping work altogether.

Video Transcript

Jamison Smith with EWA. Matt Blocki with EWA. In this video, we’re going to address the Fire movement, which stands for Financial independence and retire early, which is a big movement that we’ve seen lately and why we are adamantly against it.

So, very strong words, but couldn’t agree with you more. So, you know, typically with our clientele who work high stress jobs, such know, physicians or business owners or executives, negatives, one of the questions we ask is how do you spend your time?

So 24 hours a day, maybe there’s 8 hours of sleep, 10 hours of work, 6 hours of free time. What do you do with your free time? And then if you were not able to work tomorrow but were still healthy and had all the financial capacity in the world, what would you do with those 16 hours?

And often we get blank stares. And after thinking it through, a lot of clients end up realizing that they drive a lot of purpose, a lot of meaning and have a lot of impact through the job that they do.

So then the financial plan becomes more about aligning the current state of the union, also making sure the future stays on track, but making sure good decisions are being made today to keep the impact, keep the purpose.

But realizing that if they were to suddenly have enough money to retire, that most likely they would not just end working. Because then the question becomes, how do you spend your time? And most people, we found, have not been able to adequately answer that question.

Further studies have been shown that a lot of clients that do retire without an intentional design of how they’re going to spend their time end up living a shorter amount of time than expected. So although the financial independence part of fire we love, I think, getting to a point where you’re able to work because you want to, not because you have to.

So then it can be purpose driven and you can start to work away at the stressful part of your jobs and you delegate those or get rid of those if the money clearly doesn’t matter. But the retire early is the part where we don’t really like.

All of our clients want to become financially independent. But most of them don’t end up wanting to retire just for the sake of retiring. They want to retire to something in the retiring early. Typically when your intellectual capacity is at its highest, let’s say in your thirty s, forty s, or fifty s, a lot of people will find that it’s actually the funnest time of their career.

Maybe if their kids are. Out of. The house at that point and they have the greatest impact with all the knowledge they’ve obtained over their career. So again, love the concept and encourage and plan around the concept of becoming financially independent.

We just believe further, there should be a lot of thought process put into retiring. For the sake of retiring. It has to be for a very intentional design of your life. Awesome. Thanks, Matt. Well, there’s also been a lot of studies that show that people that completely stop working and go from working all the time to not working at all generally end up being unhappier.

And what we’ve seen is clients that go from a phased retirement, so maybe they scale back 50% more free time versus just stopping completely. And now you have 100% of your time that you’re trying to fill.

We’ve seen clients end up being a lot happier that way. Thanks for watching and we’ll catch you in our next video.

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