I’m likely not alone in often trying to imagine how I will spend the first day after becoming financially independent. If you haven’t, try it. I contemplate reaching a goal that I will have been working towards for a considerable number of years. Will I book an around-the-world trip? Or should I hire a barbershop quartet to come into work and announce my resignation?
Ill be honest, neither of those things are going to happen on my Day Zero. Assuming it happens on a weekday (markets are closed at weekends so I’m more likely to cross the threshold on a weekday), I’m probably going to go back into work as I always do, earn my payslip, and keep quiet but ever so inwardly smug about the whole damn thing. I might open a bottle of wine to celebrate after work. But really, that’s it!
An anticlimax, you say?
Sure! I’ve read enough reflections of others who have reached financial independence to know that there won’t be any fanfare on Day Zero. It’s just a day where a number on a spreadsheet just gets a little bit higher than it was the month before. I also don’t plan on quitting my job, because my personal journey to FIRE isn’t as a means to escape my day job. I like my work, and hope that I still do by the time I reach financial independence. However, that’s not to say I plan on carrying on working full time until my government-decided retirement age, currently aged 69 at the earliest!
Post-FIRE, and quite possibly even before, I plan on going part time with my primary employment so that I can spend more time with those close to me, to travel and enjoy the outdoors, and to do some non-profit work in the UK or abroad. While I can obviously do these things without financial independence, once I no longer “need” to work to provide enough income to live on, I will be more free to choose how to spend my time without the worry of the income/expenditure associated with said choices.
Everyone who works towards financial independence does it for a different set of reasons. Common ones include spending time with family and/or friends, travel, to pursue a passion, start a business, and yes, in some cases to be able to give your boss the middle finger and walk out of the office for the last time. None of these reasons are right or wrong, though in the case of the last example I’d recommend having something to look forwards to after you’ve quit your job, otherwise you may be at a bit of a loss if your only reason for FIRE was to escape your day job!
What what would your Day Zero look like? Or more importantly, every other day after it?