February 23rd, 2024

Cody Ward |

First, a joke:


As a CFP® practitioner, I usually dislike the idea of negative numbers…





That’s why I’ll stop at NOTHING to avoid them.


And now, a plea:


Can we PLEASE start turning down the noise around FIRE?


In case you aren't already privy, FIRE is an acronym for one of personal finance's hottest trends — it stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early.

Being financially independent and retiring early sound like noble goals at first, but when I take a closer looks at the key tenets of this movement, I just can’t seem to keep the torch lit.

First, this path requires extreme frugality and saving. To me, the only way to accomplish this means sacrificing the short term for the future (which is uncertain, anyway).

Why would you welcome such an imbalance when there is room for joy in your life today?

Then there is the way FIRE seems to paint the concept of “retirement” with a negative brush — as if work is something to avoid as quickly as possible.

It’s far more uplifting to consider what you want to retire to rather than being weighed down by focusing on what you want to retire from, yet FIRE seems to mainly emphasize the latter.

While the Investopedia article referenced above does include some variations of the movement, Jonathon Clements offers a far better way to think about we should use our capital in Fire Meets Ice.

Besides, “I’ll continue” has a pretty nice ring to it.


Anyway, please feel welcome to share your thoughts by sending a brief note to hello@leewayplanning.com.

Thanks for your time and have a swell rest of the day.



Cody L. Ward