The Declaration of [Financial] Independence

Happy 4th of July! Because my newsletter rotation landed on Independence Day, I wanted to take the opportunity to do something a bit different. My “curated” newsletter format will return on July 18.

Today, I wanted to share with you “The Declaration of [Financial] Independence,” something I wrote for another project that didn’t quite play out the way I’d hoped it would. However, I feel like some of the ideas I explored with RevolutionFI apply to Transformations.

This is a short read. I’d love to know what you think of it.


The Declaration of [Financial] Independence

We’ve spent our entire careers dreaming about retirement, and we deserve it. Firebrands like us have dedicated our lives to igniting and inspiring passion in our children, wives, and colleagues—selflessly putting our loved ones first. Now it’s our turn.

But our retirement portfolio is a mess. If we even own a 401k. Most of us have less than $400 saved for an emergency. We’re nervously looking ahead at our career’s sunset and confirming all of those unspoken suspicions—we ain’t gonna have enough to afford the Applebee’s early bird special, let alone a condo in Florida with that arcade cabinet version of Pac-Man.

It’s not our fault. There was no such thing as the F.I.R.E. (“financial independence retire early”) movement when we graduated from college. We followed the advice of our fathers. “Work your ass off for the man, retire, and then cash your Social Security checks at 67.” Well, that’s not gonna cut it. Add in a sucker punch from the 08 recession and an economic uppercut thrown by the ‘Rona virus, and we’re royally screwed.

The F.I. (“financial independence”) Millennial influencers? Well-meaning, but they can’t help us. We’re not 27. We don’t have 40 years to save and scrimp toward a Silver Fox Country Club membership. Those Generation Y snowflakes aren’t paying for their kid’s college tuition. They don’t have a mortgage, a car payment, a debt consolidation loan, and four years of Christmas gifts compounding 19% interest on a maxed-out credit card.

We also understand that the Fed isn’t going to bail us out unless we’re an automaker or airline. They don’t want to bring attention to the fact that the daily non-stop from Poughkeepsie to Punta Gorda is more important than we are. The first rule of Flight Club is you don’t talk about Flight Club.

But we fear not. In the words of that Twisted poet and philosopher Dee Snyder, “We’re not gonna take it.”

We will no longer sit idly by, drowning in a sea of global economic instability. Firebrands like us have decided that now is the time to take charge of our situations, finances, and lives. We’re gathering our hard-earned skills, vast experience, and life lessons and using them to teach others what we know while eliminating our debt and padding our retirement accounts. We’re doing it without the condescending AARP mailers and the depressing Social Security statements, thank you very much.

Fire it up. Our time is now, fellow Slackers. We hold these truths to be self-evident…life, liberty, and the pursuit of financial independence.

We are the Firebrands!