Following is a quote from the blog linked to below. The author documents their lives on 66 acres in Vermont with their two young children. You may find it interesting.
My focus is the entire concept of financial independence retire early (FIRE). As you see this man “retired” at age 37 – fourteen years working because it was “time to bow out.”
Is it any wonder why someone like me who worked in a formal job from age 14 to age 67 has a hard time grasping this? Well, I do. I started as a mail boy, the lowest paid person out of 15,000 and retired nearly fifty years later and today 14 years is enough.
Companies are different, employees are different, the relationship between the two is different, worker attitude is different. For many doing what one wants to do comes first, it must be nice.
Too bad I won’t be around in the future when all the consequences of this are known.
Mr. FW’s Early Retirement Ok enough about the mortgage. The second profound life change this spring was Mr. FW’s early retirement! With that, we’re now officially FIRE’d (financially independent and retired early), with the caveat that I continue to work part-time as a freelancer. Mr. FW loved his job as a software engineer and was with the same company for 14 years. He started on the ground floor as the fourth employee and one of his duties was to empty the office trash cans (although “office” is a strong word for the damp, carpeted room above a bar they initially worked out of). He’s proud of the work he did there and feels a strong sense of commitment to the organization. But after 14 years, he decided it was time to bow out and let others take the helm. We began working toward FIRE in April 2014 and, synchronistically, he retired seven years later in April 2021 at age 37.
Source: Mr. FW Retired and We Paid off Our Mortgage: Frugalwoods FIRE is Complete – Frugalwoods
Slogging away for 30 or 40 years or more at the same outfit is a largely a thing of the past. Reorganizations and closures occur frequently now and job descriptions change as well. Flexibility is a good thing and the willingness to go on your own is a good thing also. I say this as someone who labored for years at the same outfit and saw the handwriting on the wall. I was too far along so I took the pension route but I do admire the folks who strike out on their own.
The world has changed and will continue to change. Or has it?
I’m certain there were people who were doing this long before the Internet made it possible to buy a website and domain for a few bucks a year, install WordPress, and tell the world about it. Have you ever read The Mother Earth News, which got its start in 1970 and has been documenting alternative ways of living since its start?
If anything, the Internet has simply made it easier to tell your story to others – and this particular story resonates with people (yes, I’m familiar with FW and MMM and lots of others in the FIRE movement). Why slave away for some corporation for 40 years, especially when all they offer nowadays in the way of retirement funds is a paltry 401(k) match? What’s a pension?
And insofar as ACA subsidies go, if the government makes it available, people will find a way to take advantage of it. It’s not illegal and I’m not about to judge them (lest I have to be judged by the same standards – not that I’ll be taking ACA subsidies anytime soon). There’s zero incentive to take the high road and “do the right thing” when everybody else just lines up to get the free government money. Since most of it is borrowed anyway and created from thin air, why not take it?
Put whatever label you want on it. FIRE, early retirement, whatever. It’s just a label; the fact is that some people are tired of spending their life making somebody else rich. Bless the FW family and may more families follow in their footsteps. It’s better to thrive than merely survive.
Sounds like he didn’t retire but changed career fields to farmer and she is still working part-time. Also, the family is planning to become government dependents on the ACA. It was a lifestyle change, not a retirement sitting on some beach collecting a check.
What is not talked about in the linked article is some of the tax credits that they may qualify for with so little income, on a maple tree farm with business expenses and with two kids. These are things most that suburban and city workers don’t get if they don’t own a business except for the child tax credits.
I am not putting them down for taking advantage of ACA no more than I would not blame anybody for taking full advantage on legal tax deductions. If they can pull it off, then good for them. But I blame politicians for making easy for them to get government handle outs.
The real questions is if he goes back to work part time for extra cash programing from home before he turns 65. We will never know.