Among friends and family, I’m known for being a vocal advocate for colon health. Maybe this is TMI, but since realizing the benefits of a high-fiber diet, I feel like I know a secret that everyone should be in on.
My penchant for eating fiber was even mocked in the best man speech at my wedding.
This isn’t a diet fad. The benefits of fiber are well documented.
(Bear with me, I promise this is a money article).
Good digestive health leads to better overall health. Fiber makes your movements smoother and more timely and predictable day to day. This leads to easier and cleaner wipes, better rectal health, and less toilet paper needed (saves money, better for environment etc.).
Fiber should be a staple of financial independence!
Bacon, steak, cheese, hot sauce, white bread, cookies, and many foods we love to eat have little or no fiber. I call them anti-fiber. These foods clog the pipes and do a number on your gut… and your butt.
Many people suffer from abnormal and irregular bowels and don’t even know it. Constant diarrhea is not normal. If you’ve never paid attention to your colorectal health, eating more fiber will change your life.
Don’t bother with supplements. Add a little All-Bran Bran Buds(the reviews concur) ** to your cereal or eat some after dinner. A 1/3 cup serving is packed with 13 grams of fiber. That’s half the daily recommend amount. Try that twice a day and YOU WILL understand.
This stuff is the real-life Colon Blow.
The FIRE Movement
The term FIRE has gained popularity in the financial independence/retire early blogging community. It’s called the FIRE movement because more and more people are learning the benefits of pursuing FIRE every day. Like-minded savers congregate online and share their methods and goals for pursuing this lifestyle where happiness and free time is more important than career, social status, and possessions.
It feels like a tidal wave people are joining the FIRE movement because so many are writing about it online. I follow them all on Twitter so maybe I’m more exposed to it.
In reality, the movement is probably quite small. The big momentum is toward bigger homes and consuming more of everything.
People pursuing financial independence are the weirdos.
The terms financial independence and early retirement are often used interchangeably. But I’ve always considered the phrases to be different.
For me, early retirement means no work at all. My Dad retired early at age 56. He’s 71 now and hasn’t worked one day since. He doesn’t worry about money. He doesn’t run a side business. He does what he wants every day while his savings and pension easily cover his perfect retirement lifestyle.
Financial independence simply means your passive income, or, a safe 4% annual withdrawal rate from savings, covers your expenses. Work is optional.
Most people I know who are financially independent are still working. This is by choice, not out of necessity. They’ve retired from a career but found pleasure, fulfillment, and income from a new work activity.
I guess if someone is tenacious and disciplined enough to reach financial independence and has nerded out on money and math for the previous decade or two, they’re unlikely to sit around and play video games and eat Cheetos for the rest of their lives.
They enjoy earning and saving and probably won’t stop working until they fully retire, early or not.
For example, Troy Aikman retired from NFL football and is surely financially independent. But today he’s working as a television sportscaster. He must enjoy the work or he wouldn’t do it. Continuing to earn for his family, retirement, and favorite charities is a bonus.
The FIBER Movement
The average retirement age is about 62. My primary goal since 2002 is to retire completely at age 55.
But as I learned more about FIRE, I started to understand what it would take for me to reach financial independence sooner. So I declared a new goal and put it on the line. Now, my near-term target is to have the options to quit my full-time career in about five to seven years to free up time for other pursuits.
At that point, I should be financially independent, or close enough, to comfortably support my family with passive income, savings withdrawals, and minimal part-time work on side businesses that I enjoy.
What I’m pursuing is financial independence before early retirement.
When I realized the acronym of my financial goal matched my primary dietary intake goal, I giggled like a 3rd grader.
So I’m starting my own money movement to reach financial independence, then early retirement, and pairing it with a healthy daily intake of 35 grams of fiber.
I don’t expect the FIBER movement to unseat or dethrone the FIRE movement. Personal finance and your business is personal.
The Rear End
I named this blog Retire Before Dad instead of FI before Dad because I want to fully retire. Then travel extensively in retirement like I did in my 20’s, and play shuffleboard and video games, and take the kids to the pool, and participate in all kinds of activities that require more time.
I won’t be working at age 55. I doubt I’ll even blog about it.
If I have to work a full-time job into my 60’s I’ll be miserable and probably wake up some morning with a Dear John letter from Mrs. RBD.
Someday most of us will fully retire. Even if you reach financial independence early and continue to work, how long do you really want to work? Into your 90’s?
I see older guys like Carl Icahn and Warren Buffett on CNBC working into their 80’s and wonder what drives them. They have all that money but continue to put on a suit and somehow maintain their health to be able to work full-time.
Maintaining health and treating ailments seems like a full-time job once you hit a certain age. Fiber can certainly help.
I don’t get it. But I’m pretty lazy. The very thought of wearing a suit puts me in a bad mood.
But I don’t love my job (NSFW) like Buffett and Icahn must. Why else would they be working? Perhaps power and greed play a part, but these guys seem to love the game.
They reached financial independence long ago. But didn’t retire early. And 35 grams of fiber is a big commitment for anyone. So they aren’t part of the FIBER movement.
** Make sure to get the “Buds”. Original All-Bran is not as effective, but easier to find. Drink plenty of water.
Photo credit: stevepb via Pixabay
Craig is a former IT professional who left his 20-year career to be a full-time finance writer. A DIY investor since 1995, he started Retire Before Dad in 2013 as a creative outlet to share his investment portfolios. Craig studied Finance at Michigan State University and lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and three children. Read more HERE.
Favorite tools and investment services right now:
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