Being a “Financial Independence Retire Early” People or an “Anti-Ageism”?
I was amazed by the innovation of a start-up in Indonesia that runs a business through financial literacy. Okay, I don’t wanna mention that name, but I guess most of you guys recognize it though. In this article, I’d like to explain the pros and cons that might be dangerous for most people who seem “too fanatic” about Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE), cause sadly, our beloved country, Indonesia, is a place where you can’t live without ageism.
Before we jumped in, let me explain the reason why I choose this topic to be highlighted in my medium title. I know that there’s no “free lunch” in this world, those businesses are trying to hustle and make a living too. They said that they wanna impacting generations through financial literacy, yeah, it’s understandable but impacting people through business is shit. So, I’m gonna explain the importance of both of them, FIRE and Anti-Ageism.
No judging, after realizing that people’s thinking in my country is so backward from other developed countries, I cringe every time I’m interrupted by their tagline or somehow like a YouTube clip with paid ads. Because, I, myself know that their jargon is just bullshit, while people out there don’t necessarily understand that “they’re running a business in the name of impacting people” *Taylor Swift’s song ON, lmao. FIRE is a great movement, but it doesn’t mean that your life will be secure after being in FIRE.
Okay, I’ll make the 2 parts to explain both of them.
#1) Financial Independence Retire Early
Most of Indonesia’s Gen-Z is gonna agree with this FIRE movement. That’s good. Really good. That’s the sign of an analytical mindset from our young generations to stay aware of what we need the most. A rest, most of the time. But, wait. So are we?
The dream they sell is simple: Pay some fees. Learn to invest. Become a full-time investor.
After all, it would be much more profitable for them to keep the secret to themselves rather than teach you if they truly had a technique that enabled them to constantly outperform the market. Are you still planning to invest in them to get knowledge from them? Is it useful over the long term? 20 years from now or shortly 10 years, will you still require it? You already know the solution.
While there’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting the finer things in life, these types of ads have a tendency to attract people desperately looking for a quick path to wealth. Kinda like going from zero to hero, if you will.
However, what the “zero to hero” folk often said, is not the knowledge of picking stocks, but really, getting the basics of personal finance settled first. This involves:
- Improving earning power and hence investment capital
- Creating an emergency fund
- Paying off high-interest debt
- Reducing spending to live within their means
According to me, marketing a $5000 course with the full knowledge that their student has an incredible possibility of success seems like they’re more concerned about enriching themselves, rather than genuinely providing help.
This is rubbish, just because people have different talents, and they’re often best served to do what they’re good at.
So yes, Warren Buffet is a master at investing.
But Michael Jordan is good at basketball.
Mel Smith is good at making movies.
Taylor Swift is good at songwriting.
Harry Styles is good at being a singer and actress.
Please note that early retirement doesn’t mean not working, it just means you don’t need to work for money again.
Wait a second. Take a deep breath. And repeat after me, “When you retired, you don’t need to be busy all day long, attend meetings in a day like a robot, debate with clients, or many more. You just need the peace of mind to do what you love the most.”
“To do what you like the most” might be sleeping all day long, farming, spending time with family, living in the village, being a digital nomad, and many fuckin more. Yes, that’s it, it’s up to you, dude! If you read this article patiently, I conclude that you’ll get it. There’s no basic standard of those fuckin FIRE movements.
FIRE will happen to your life when you have a growth mindset. Not just a fuckin financial mindset. But it’s also happened when you’re able to choose your own manageable troubles you wanna deal with (this point is inspired by Mark Manson’s book titled A Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck).
I don’t think life is as easy with FIRE as just having the desire to sit around doing nothing.
The best investment you can make is often yourself. So, the real question to ask yourself now is this: What are you good at? Do you wanna explore more about yourself?
Here’s how I like to think about it:
Investing is like running.
I think most people will agree that running is good for our body.
However, not everyone needs, nor should aspire to be a professional runner to stay healthy.
In short, most people can’t save money enough, many of the ones who can don’t wanna retire early, and many people find fulfillment in the day-to-day work that they do.
Look! It’s Howard Schultz again! He served as both chairman and CEO of Starbucks from 1986 to 2000, and then again from 2008 to 2017. This 1952-born man is successfully proof that age doesn’t matter in being productive. We can conclude that Schultz is an elder. He is an elder, isn’t he? 70 years old! Man, it’s kinda unbelievable that he did it.
But why did he comes back again as Starbucks’s CEO?
Long short story, there’s a “challenge” that must be handled by him as a leader of Starbucks Corporation. But in this article, I wouldn’t mention the reason why he came back again. Seeing the fact that he isn’t young enough to lead a company like Starbucks makes me realize that there’s no limit to being whatever you are.
If you are Indonesian, let’s take a look at another example of a spectacular statement from a popular Motion Graphic Designer named Mr. Pinot.
A couple of days ago, I saw these tweets from a thread by Mr. Pinot pop up on my home. “This is Neverland. You never grow old.” is my favorite part. Cause yeah, here I’m now, working in a place that I often call my Neverland.
Wait, let’s back to the topic. Indonesia is commonly known as a country where the netizen has a backward mindset. Sorry to say it twice in this article, but yeah I can’t lie about this. First of all, the culture of ageism in Indonesia starts with job vacancies. This culture is a part of the scope of workers in Indonesia because I’ve seen certain companies that limit the minimum and maximum age for new workers.
I absolutely support that there is a good side to the application of this ageism. For example, companies will find it easier to distinguish between those who are experienced and those who are inexperienced.
However, the bad side of ageism itself is a highlighted assumption that the young are better and more energetic than the old ones. Vice versa. This discrimination can limit those who wanna prove their capabilities even more.
“Start running a business at 30 is super late! It’s better to find a settled job rather than build a business that might doesn’t work at the market.” Do you often hear this fuckin’ stereotype?
Human beings are unique creatures that are often unpredictable as well as dynamic. Therefore, I’m sorry if my recent statement seems controversial. I feel like the application of this ageism makes humans look like products, I mean fuckin’ seasonal products! New products that are old will look outdated and then be thrown away if they are considered no longer usable.
That’s why, as an Indonesian, I barely recognize people like Colonel Sanders (a man who succeeded in establishing KFC at the age of 65, especially long before that, Colonel Sanders had many jobs and professions) in my current society.
It’s very unfortunate because many young generations prefer to be a part of FIRE rather than fight for anti-ageism in Indonesia. When in fact, the concept of FIRE is often misused by various businesses to attract young people to grow into “lazy” individuals in old age.
What’s on your mind after reading this article? Please give me your thoughts to discuss more!