Suze Orman hates FIRE and then backtracks, clarifies she didn’t have all the information
This is a bit of a delayed reaction. In a podcast interview, Suze Orman expressed her hatred of the FIRE movement, saying that it’s too risky for a 25, 30, or 35-year old to retire. As you get older, things happen, your health deteriorates and a 4% withdrawal rate for a 50-60-year retirement horizon may not be feasible. You could run out of money!
She later backtracks, saying that she spoke under the impression that FIRE meant stopping work entirely. As FIRE means working but only doing work that you actually enjoy, it may be feasible as there will still be some form of income to supplement your retirement funds.
I moderately agree with Suze Orman
As a moderately risk averse person, I don’t have anything against Suze’s position. She advocates a cautious stance, building up a huge nest egg before making the plunge to retirement. A terminal or major illness may catch you at the most terrible time and medical treatments are not cheap, they have the ability to bankrupt anybody. This is where Suze Orman speaks from.
On the other hand, we must balance this with actual FIRE starters who are actually living it, retired early with side jobs they don’t necessarily need. FIRE is possible. If you wait too long for a huge nest egg, you’ll never be able to retire. Or you risk retiring at the ripe old age of 60 when one may be too old to enjoy retired life or too sick to live it.
But then I’m fine either way
In any event, the viability of FIRE may no longer be relevant for me. I recently discovered that my employer’s retirement policy requires retirement at age 65. This means that in order to receive a retirement pension I need to work until age 65! This just totally wrecks my FIRE plan. I do have the option of resorting to self-financing my pension as I do have an existing PERA / private retirement account which is fully funded by me alone. But then, it would be a shame to miss out on my employer’s generous and subsidized retirement plan. So there, a huge flaw in my FIRE plan.
As of right now, I feel perfectly fine with working until 65 but who knows how I’ll feel in five to 10 years?
Nevertheless, I like to keep my options open so I remain committed to working towards building my assets hoping to build enough of a nest egg that generates sufficient passive income in retirement, should I wish to suddenly throw caution to the wind!
Do you agree with Suze Orman’s feelings about FIRE?