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Old 08-13-2020, 11:41 AM   #13  
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Joined APC: Dec 2018
Posts: 157

Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
Word of caution about FIRE...

It only works if the vast majority of people DON'T do it. The more people who expect to live off of savings/investments, the fewer folks who are actually available to produce goods and services... then you get inflation, which over time nullifies your FIRE war-chest.

If everybody on your block has $10M (except Joe who has $15M), but nobody wants to work, the neighbor's kid gets to name his price to mow your lawn... he might charge $5K. And Joe will pay it, he can afford to. Everybody else has to mow their own lawn, unless they want to get in a bidding war with Joe.

If FIRE catches on big, most of you will have to come out of "retirement" at some point. Unless you're Joe.

The only reason seniors can retire is because there's normally a lot of younger folks to provide goods and services (although that's actually problematic in some societies today). Also society is sympathetic to them being old and infirm.
The "if everyone does it" strike is a fair criticism. Also, just because returns to capital have been better than labor over the last 30 or so years doesn't mean it will keep up (which I think is motivating those who are interested in this sort of stuff to some extent).

To your point on demographics, it sure looks like the US is set to experience a European/Asian style demographic crunch if millennial birth rates keep up at depressed levels, and I think this 2nd (or 3rd, depending on how old the millennial in question is) big recession has sealed the deal on kids for a lot of folks my age. Especially those among us with biological clocks. But then again, what guy wants to have kids after their late 30s anyway? Cashing my first social security check while I'm listening to "I hate you dad, you don't understand me" doesn't appeal to me much. I mean it still doesn't appeal to me in my late forties and early fifties, but that would have sealed the deal if I hadn't have had kids by then.

I'm personally more interested in the "FI" part of FI/RE. In fact, I'd argue having the nest egg I do now, insufficient as it is for RE, is what allowed me to feel comfortable getting back in after landing on my @$$ in 2009. In that sense, flying jets is the "retirement job".
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