Our Life Before FIRE

This Is Getting Old

This is getting old

This e-Trade commercial pretty much sums it up our plan for RV life and driving towards F.I.R.E.  “I’m 85 and I wanna go home…”

You want to know the sad truth?  According to the Social Security Administration Our generations retirement age is 67.  67!!  Social Security Administration Born after 1960.  67 is the age at which you can receive 100% of your retirement.  In 1983, a Social Security Amendment was made by Congress due to improvements in healthcare and this amendment would allow for the retirement age to increase.  You could argue that the retirement age for our generation is significantly higher than what’s estimated now-a-days.  There’s calculator that determines your “retirement age” which allows you to select for specific decade range.  I don’t know about you, but pretty sure the retirement plans, 401k’s, and company benefits have changed significantly in their offerings since 1960, 1970, and 1980.  I don’t have the source, but a few years ago, I read that in all actuality to retire securely, we would need to work well beyond 60s and into our early 70s.  Wait, what!?!

To put it plainly, we have zero plans to work until 67 years old, much less into our 70s.  Even with advancements in healthcare, no one is guaranteed a long life.  Why does it have to be this way?  Why do we work our entire lives with the hopes that we’ll get to retirement to finally get the time to travel, adventure, enjoy life, relax, take a leisurely stroll, etc?  Why can’t we do both simultaneously?

Our generation (which we fall on the very backend of the once referred to “Generation Y” now termed “Millennials”), has witnessed our parents work their entire lives, many of which more than the standard 40 hours a week and now in retirement age without a significant amount of savings to efficiently live, travel, and enjoy their ‘later years’.  Why?  Why should we repeat this?  I’ve been told that this is to be a “contributing member of society”.  What does that mean?  I interpret this as ‘earning your dues’ and ‘we had to do it and so do you’.  Um. No.  We have a primary home with a 30 year mortgage and a 2nd home also with a 30 year mortgage, pay our taxes on time, and contribute to the economy.  What else are we supposed to do?  Our priorities have shifted.  RV life will help us to remove debt while living life to its fullest.  If it helps us remove debt like student loans, credit cards, and even mortgages for early retirement, why not?  I’ve talked to many colleagues that are older who’ve called the Generation Y entitled, not wanting to work, and my personal favorite…not being a contributing member of society.  My response?  I work to live, not live to work.

Did you know that the United States is the only country that doesn’t offer a statutory minimum for paid leave/vacation time?  This is left up entirely to the employers!  Every other country (those in comparison to the US) offers a statutory minimum of annual leave for employees.  What!?!  If you look at the United Kingdom for example, the UK offers employees 28 total days of annual leave.  That’s 20 days of paid leave plus 8 days of paid holidays.  In the US, all zeros.  According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 77% of private employers offer paid vacation time.  Essentially the same 77% offer 8 paid holidays a year as well.  To put it simply, we Americans work too much.  Because of this, much of our lives are predicated by our work.  Some Americans’ identity is representative of their work.  These necessarily aren’t bad things, but makes you think.

F.I.R.E Movement.  Our desire to work smarter, not harder.

Life is meant to be lived.  We want both.  We want to our careers, ones that we worked hard for, sacrificed for, and worse…built up large student loan debt for.  We also want financial independence where our lives are not dictated by debt and what we own.  Living life for experiences and not things.  It so easy to get caught up in having things, and there is an equal balance, but it can be hard to find.

RV Life will give us that balance.  For Meredith, it gives her the chance to own her schedule, her hours that she wants to work, no holidays, no on-call, and more consistency.  A chance to plan things outside of work that today in most cases cannot be done.  For me, it’s about time.  A chance to share life experiences with Meredith, time for ourselves, time to enjoy life, time to slow down, and a chance to escape the ‘rat race’.

Who knows what the future holds, but I can tell you one thing….our future will not be retiring at age 67+.


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