Nearly one-third of Americans fear they will never have enough money saved to be able to retire. Another 42% say they love their job so much, they don’t want to retire.
A 2019 survey of 1,000 British retirees described their retirement with three words: lonely, quiet, and boring.
While retirement from a tiresome or stressful job is a big life goal for many, without a vision for purpose without work, life can quickly become depressing.
There is a way to both retire and continue to lead a fulfilling life, and companies like Partners in Fire are leading the way.
Early Retirement is a Goal for Many Americans
Retiring before 65, the official statutory age for retirement in the U.S., is a goal for many Americans. However, for anyone born after 1960, they will have to wait until 67 years of age to access full social security benefits.
Why Are People Retiring Early?
There's a whole host of reasons why people are retiring early.
- Financial independence with adequate savings, investments, or passive income
- Health concerns that limit one's ability to continue working efficiently
- Dreams of spending more time with loved ones
- Hopes of leaving a high-stress or hated job to pursue other activities
- Wanting to spend more time pursuing hobbies and other passions
Ultimately, financial independence is the key variable that allows people to retire early. Retiring early sounds like a great solution to many of life's stress-related problems. Yet, without a vision for the future, early retirement can quickly become a lonely and tedious experience.
How the FIRE Movement is Helping People Retire Early
With an early retirement goal, many people embrace the growing movement called FIRE (financial independence, retire early). This movement promotes living frugally, reducing debt, and investing wisely to retire early. Many people are willing to make sacrifices in their spending now so that they can quit their jobs sooner rather than later.
There are several branches of the FIRE movement, including lean FIRE, where people aim to retire as soon as possible by living minimally. Others strive for Barista FIRE, where people can leave their stressful jobs and work part-time for fun and socialization. No matter the specific path, the underlying goal is to have enough money saved up so that one can work because they want to, not because they have to.
However, all of these ideals are missing a key concept. A common question people ask when they finally reach their financial goals is: Now what? How will each person transition to retirement with purpose? And what will they do once they retire?
How to Retire with Purpose: Try Passion FIRE
The daily grind in a hated job can be brutal for mental health. Yet, having a reason to set an alarm and get up each morning can provide meaningful structure. Too much free time in retirement without a sense of purpose can lead to boredom, loneliness, and depression.
It's crucial to find something meaningful to do during retirement. This is where Passion FIRE comes into play, a concept pioneered by Melanie Allen, owner of Partners in Fire. The idea is to find your passion and turn it into a source of income that allows you to retire early without sacrificing a fulfilling life.
Rather than relying on the income from your passions, the additional revenue can provide extra spending money. It offers additional financial security and allows for more spending in early retirement, all while keeping a retiree purposefully engaged in life.
How to Pursue Passion FIRE
Melanie Allen reflects on why Passion FIRE is a critical solution for the future of retirement. “Most people want to work. But they want to do things they enjoy and are proud of.”
The first and most obvious step is to determine one's passions. For some, they know exactly what they want to do in retirement. For others, they've forgotten what used to bring them joy before they got stuck in an eternal cycle of survival mode. Ultimately, it's a matter of trial and error to find the right fit.
Next, one must research ways to turn one's passions into profit. This could include freelance work, consulting, creating and selling products, or even starting a side business. The possibilities are endless with the right mindset and resources.
Finally, take action! Building a source of income from one's passions takes time and effort. It may not happen overnight, but it's essential to stay determined and focused on the end goal: early retirement with purpose. If you have enough of a nest egg, you can start dabbling after you retire. Yet, some people may need to get things rolling before they can quit their jobs.
Thriving in Retirement at Any Age
Whether the goal is to retire at 42 or 62, the key is to retire with purpose and fulfillment. Passion FIRE allows people to pursue their passions while still maintaining financial security and planning for an early retirement. It's time more people consider this option as they prepare for the future. Partners in Fire believes this is the missing puzzle piece for combating boredom in retirement.
JayDee is a mom, writer, and Doctor of Physical Therapy. She’s passionate about helping women live their best lives through community and education. Outside of her work as a health and mom blogger, she loves traveling the world and exploring the great outdoors with her family.