Hey everyone, I have a theory. Here goes – FatFIRE is boring! For anyone unfamiliar with the term, FatFIRE means having an income of more than $100,000 per year after retirement. You’d need about $2.5 million in investment to generate that much income. That’s based on the 4% safe withdrawal rate.
However, that definition is probably outdated. $100,000 of income doesn’t go very far these days. You’ll have to pay income tax and the cost of living is increasing every year. It’ll fund a comfortable lifestyle, but it won’t be luxurious.
It might not even fund a comfortable lifestyle if you have kids, health problems, parents with no retirement savings, or various other issues. I think you’d need $5 million to FatFIRE these days.
Anyway, the threshold for FatFIRE is increasing. I’m sure people with $5 million think that isn’t enough to retire. But let’s put that aside for now and focus on my theory. Why do I say FatFIRE is boring? Isn’t more money better? Well, not necessarily.
Too much money
I read about some FatFIRE retirees who are bored out of their minds after a few years. Cue the world’s smallest violin. Come on! You have plenty of money to spend. You shouldn’t be bored. That isn’t a problem. It’s a privilege.
IMO, life is too easy for FatFIRE retirees. They don’t have to struggle at all. That makes life boring. Sure, travel and getting new hobbies are on every retiree’s to-do list. However, those will only keep you interested for so long. There is no challenge. You need challenging goals to keep life interesting. People are happiest when they’re pursuing happiness, right?
FatFIRE retirees are high achievers. They won’t be happy with a relaxing lifestyle.
Busy days at the RB40 household
You know what? I haven’t been bored at all since I retired from my engineering career in 2012. But I don’t have that FatFIRE mentality (or investment.) Life is still hectic for me. I’m working on my blog, being a stay-at-home dad, driving for Uber, dealing with the rentals, fixing up our 133-year-old house, and more.
I barely finished this short blog post because our dryer broke down. The back is full of lint and the motor doesn’t spin. I’ll try to fix it this week, but I’m not hopeful. This dryer is probably over 30 years old. We probably should get a new set of washer and dryer.
I have a ton of stuff on my to-do list. It’s endless. Every FIRE people I know are in a similar position. They have side hustles and their lives are pretty busy.
As for hobbies, I haven’t picked up any new hobbies. That can wait until our son goes off to college. Being a dad takes a lot of time. We did try stand-up paddle boarding this summer. It was a lot of fun. I’ll get two for us next summer. That can be my new hobby. The cold rainy season is long in the Pacific Northwest, though. I need an active hobby for the rest of the year. Going paddling a few times per year probably isn’t enough to be a hobby…
Meaningful early retirement
So my theory is you need to struggle a bit to have a happy retirement. You need meaningful goals. For me, it’s shoring up our finances and raising our son. Once we have $5 million in investment, I’ll figure out a new goal. Although, I suspect the goalpost will keep moving up. In 10 years, you’ll need $10 million to FatFIRE. That’s good, though. Life shouldn’t be too easy.
What do you think? Is boredom a problem for FatFIRE? I’d love to hear from someone who has been living the FatFIRE lifestyle for a few years.
Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is investing in commercial real estate with CrowdStreet. They have many projects across the USA so check them out!
Joe also highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. They have many useful tools that will help you reach financial independence.