I’m in my (very) late 20s and most of my friends are early in their careers/relationships/retirement planning stage of life, and most aren’t really thinking about quitting working. I’ve been at my job for 7 years now and I’m still very much in the learning and growing phase of things. Most of the time, I’m pretty content heading into work, and I don’t dread Monday showing up (though it definitely helps that I cut my hours to 80% time and leave the office by 2 or 3 every day to go hang out with my favorite little man).
So why care so much about FIRE? Because of the people I work with. The company I’m at consists mostly of people in their late 40s to early 60s. And none of them are financially able to retire. While some of them seem to genuinely enjoy their jobs, most are really there only because they have no other choice. They may have once been excited about their career and their work, but that time has long past. And many of them are clearly unhappy about sticking it out, and that bleeds into every part of their work. I don’t ever want to be stuck working a job well past the “I like it most of the time” phase just because I don’t have enough to survive.
What would you do if you won the lottery?
If your answer isn’t to continue working, then financial independence is probably pretty dang important. I want to be able to make decisions based on what I most want to do and what will make the greatest impact, not just because it pays the bills.
Once you hit financial independence and you decide to continue working, the perspective changes. You are no longer beholden to your job, and you can make decisions on what is best for you. And that seems like a pretty great place to be.