Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Generation FI

The church of FIRE is a broad one. Adherents believe that it’s a good thing that everyone, no matter what age, has a little spare cash to weather unplanned periods of unemployment or meet unforeseen expenses.

When you delve a bit further into this particular area of personal finance it seems that the majority of people are in or around their 30’s… this is obvious in some respects, we are earning quite well, a rung or two up the ladder from graduate in charge of tea and coffee duties, but also facing the prospect of another thirty plus years in an office. Faced with this we are thinking, acting and doing when it comes to escaping this reality more than other generations either side of us.

I don’t think it’s any coincidence really. Generation FI, newly coined patent pending, are sandwiched between Generation X – supposedly cynical but hard working in a more varied careers and creative and Generation Y, the millennials – supposedly lazy, “snowflake” hipsters who think they will never own a home and consider spending money on experiences as more important than buying things and will never have what their parents had asset wise.

If you take the best of these two you have Generation FI! A little cynical (hate The Man etc) but hard working and creative enough to seek and find the way out of the rat race to allow us to have more fulfilling experiences in the future, released from the yoke of enforced employment. We’re able to look beyond all the marketing noise to not covet things too much, but understand how money, assets, investments and compound interest work for us and that having it gives you precious options.

I am lucky to be born in a stable, capitalist, democratic economy, able to take advantage of the benefits of virtually universally available technology driving down costs but perhaps we hit a bit of a sweet spot in generational timing and traits to make us better suited to going for it?!

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