21 replies to “Why most of us won’t achieve Financial Independence early

  1. The problem is, what if you don’t have what it takes?

    What if you’re not capable enough to make 12k a month, or cannot tolerate the kind of lifestyle that such a job entails? For example, I see the way my managers work and I cannot give away so much of my life like that.

    Invest? How the fuck do I know what to invest other than IWDA/SWRD? Everyone and their mother wants to scam my money but taking a big cut and giving me back nothing. If my income ceiling is 7k, I’m doomed to a life of peasantry, isn’t it? 7% a year isn’t going to cut it.

    Work a job I like then? Not everyone can be lucky enough to be talented to make money from what they like to do. Successful people (maybe like yourself) like to pretend to be humble and say hard work is the key. Real life shows irrefutable evidence that if you don’t have talent you can’t make it. And you know it, everyone knows it, most successful people are just too polite to say it.

    I’m born mediocre. Doomed to work until I die. Can’t help but think I should just kill myself right now to spare myself the misery.

    This comic is a lot more depressing than you think it is, even if it is factual.

    1. The entire point of the comic is that achieving FIRE has tradeoffs. Can’t make 12k a month? Upskill. Don’t want to slave away? It’s ok, earn less, retire later. Your preference.

      If mediocrity is being “average” then that means half of the world is doing worse than you. What’s so bad about being mediocre? You can’t complain about not being rich without wanting to work towards changing that.

      If you can’t see the flaws in your own thinking, you should really reflect before leaving comments like this that may stray people from a proper path

      1. Success in life has been scientifically proven to be more reliant on luck than hard work / talent. I suggest checking out the video “Is success luck or hard work?” by Veritasium. Would open your eyes to a new perspective on what are the real ingredients behind success.

    2. You completely missed the point of the comics about defining what works for you depending on your unique circumstances. If what you consider ‘happiness’ not attainable in your lifetime, perhaps you define it wrong.

    3. You can aim to be Financially Independent at 40 instead of 30.
      And you don’t have to be 100% FI, you can be 50% or even 20%, and still be better off than zero.

      12K is really too much. I’ll retire a long time before I make that. Should be able to do it on 7K. If you don’t have children or a car. Maybe skip the wife too…

      If you have no interest in investing or trading, put your money into index funds. Read up on it. Then develop your own plan. Use a spreadsheet and see what 7% a year gives you. You need to take some responsibility for your life. Plan for it yourself. With financial products, no one gives you anything unless they’re trying to fuck you.

      You gotta change your attitude. The points you raised are things to plan around, not excuses to give up and die.

      These guys developed a pretty good plan, mostly on indexing. You won’t be exactly like them, but you gotta design your own plan:


      The book is in the library.

    4. actually to be fair to the comment, i do agree it can be depressing. even if the said salary of 12k can be attained, one cancer/stroke/hypertension etc can wipe savings and investment gains out in a short time.

      so maybe looking at finances alone can really create a lot of anxiety, but looking at the grander scheme of things, and asking the fundamentals of what a person defines as ‘life’ or the point of life might just set the purpose of the humdrum of work into a much better, healthier perspective.

      1. Well it’s true you could get stuck or disabled… Not just make sure you have the proper insurance and then go for your goals!!!

    5. Everyone’s born mediocre. You’ve just accepted it as a way of life, rather than committing to doing something to change it.

  2. If you do the math now including inflation and unexpected cost, it paints a sad reality of our lives.

    Those regular salarymen chasing Apple iPhones, Mac books, BMW/Merc, Gucci/Prada will come to the realization that they can never retire before age 65.

    How many of them have $12k salary at age 30? This is actually the level of a T10 in Singapore, thus they fill the void with expensive material things.

  3. Plus even if u don’t attain FI, if u follow principles of FI, u will be in a better financial position ready to deal with life problems

    1. 100% agree Adeline is the winner. If she is earning $12k in a software firm and has 2 kids, I’m sure she married one of her colleagues who is earning a similar amount or maybe more (where got time for social life outside tech firm job). Combined $24k++ month salary, no problem raising 2 kids and hitting FI.

  4. Enjoyed this article and think it goes hand in hand with “How Much In Life Is Really Up To You?”

    1. *F.I.R.E* is not for the average person.

      The key word here is *early*

      However, financial independence at later age (50, 60, 70) is very much possible for the average person.

  5. Wants versus Needs – Yearns versus Necessity – all the above are first world problem issues…

    1. If you only have 1.2k now, pretty sure FIRE is at the last thing on your mind and doing it necessary to survive like all the elderly janitor/cleaner, security guards we often see…

  6. I think the idea of retire early is sold too much on hype and based on the idea that a successful FIRE is to retire in 30s if not 40s.
    But like if u retire at 50s or 55 or say at the point of 60, like isnt that still early? FIRE is to get there early, but is FI at 65 not good enough?
    Consider this.. within say the ASEAN region, how many of our global peers have 1) disposable income to invest and 2) a system like CPF that aids in retirement planning?
    I dont mean this in a condescending way, but some degree of perspective would surely help in appreciating what we have and what we are able to obtain in Singapore.

  7. Thanks for this article! Validates some of my choices that I have doubts about sometimes. At the same time, gives a better perspective that could be helpful to make informed decisions. Thank you!

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