The Loneliness of FI

I continue to dive deeper into the universe of financial independence.  As I continue to pursue this goal and lifestyle, I continue to encounter a certain feeling.  This is a feeling of loneliness.  I have often heard folks in this space talk about the loneliness of FI, but it is always in reference to that first year of early retirement where you no longer have the daily interactions that the workplace provides.  What I am experiencing is something very different.  This brand of loneliness is occurring during the journey, not once the destination is reached.

Admittedly, this is a different path than the norm for someone my age and station in life.  That alone creates a situation where I almost feel that other people don’t “get” me.  I watch friends purchase new luxury cars while I decide to continue to drive my 125,000-mile scratched-up truckster.  I see friends move into larger and larger houses, while I work hard to pay off the mortgage on my current house.  I have even considered moving into a smaller, cheaper house but can’t even broach that subject with my wife, who is definitely not on the FI bandwagon.  I pretend I don’t hear the comments or “jokes” made at my expense about being cheap or when my kids make comments such as “… I know, we can’t afford it…”  All these things together combine to make this a very lonely road.  

I truly believe that the path I am on is what is best for me and my family but that doesn’t mean it is an easy road to trek.  I will continue to keep my head down and plug away, but it is really tough at times.  With the explosion of social media, there are more and more narrow communities taking root.  There are local FI-inspired user groups.  I might seek those out and find myself a pool of like-minded folks that might help to reinforce my choices and decisions.  However, I tend to be very introverted and putting myself out there in those types of settings are tough for me.  But, if it helps quell the alone feeling, it is probably worth pushing through that discomfort.

2 thoughts on “The Loneliness of FI

  • August 1, 2019 at 5:18 pm

    It is definitely a tough one, especially because the “payoff” (so to speak) won’t be for years. At some point, you’re going to be in a comfortable (and/or early??) retirement while some of these people are working part time jobs to supplement their social security checks.

    You probably should push yourself to get social with some of those local groups. I bet they probably have the same complaints.

    As for the family, that’s to be expected. The truth is, not being able to afford something has less to do with income and more to do with priorities and it seems like yours are in the right place.

    I hate to be so cliche as to quote Dave Ramsey, but you’ve gotta “Live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else.” To me, it sounds like you’re doing exactly that. Keep it up.

    • August 5, 2019 at 11:02 am

      Thanks for the positive words and thanks for continuing to read.

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