Move Over FIRE, Welcome DIRE: Delay, Inherit, Retire, Expire￼
When you ask most people, they’ll tell you that they never expected the FIRE movement to get so popular. Foregoing the pleasures of life and saving 50%+ of one’s income in order to retire at 30 or 40 is not an easy thing to do.
In 2020, the FIRE movement is at its peak. Unfortunately, that means there’s no more rising—the only way to go is down.
Increasing Anxiety Against Financial Independence
Every day, you see a story of someone who retired early and how they achieved that. This is how you know that FIRE is at its peak.
Any investor knows that when you see the news in print, you can’t invest because it is too late. But it is usually a great time to sell.
Investors try to forecast the future. And many will tell you that the FIRE movement is about to face a rude awakening.
Faithful FIRE believers realize that it is not what they imagined once they leave their good jobs with amazing benefits.
The Birth of the DIRE Movement
FIRE followers may have to go back to their regular jobs if a downturn comes (thanks to the corona pandemic). In a recession, FIRE is a stupid idea.
DIRE (Delay, Inherit, Retire, Expire) is now the new kid on the block.
D for Delay
Delaying retirement is the best option for most people. It could be due to increased costs of education, healthcare and housing.
For the past decade, the median household income in America has remained stagnant and the house price has risen to $222,000 from $177,000. Some residents have even lost hope of becoming homeowners.
The cost of healthcare is another story. Without an employer to subsidize the monthly premium, the burden is just too much to bear.
College tuition is also out of control. If you have kids, retirement ends up being nothing but a fantasy.
I for Inherit
Since early retirement seems to be too far out of reach, many Americans think that inheritance could be their retirement strategy. Parents in the ‘70s had kids while young (about 25 years) and people are now living longer.
Because of this, the average American won’t inherit anything until they are around 55 years. Future generations will wait even longer.
R for Retire
With DIRE, the retirement age has been pushed to 70+. Since people are living longer, it is only logical that they work for as long as they can to support themselves.
You may not be able to play golf with a bad back—but at least you can binge watch tons of shows and order takeout every day.
E for Expire
DIRE followers won’t be very happy at the end of their lives. They had to work most of their lives because they didn’t have much of an option.
But they also know that the early retirement dream is just that—a dream. So they did what they had to do to survive.