Financial independence optional retirement (FIOR) is an alternative to financial independence and early retirement (FIRE). When I tell people that I plan to reach FIRE, people commonly tell me that this is a boring goal. They ask me why I would want to stay at home and watch TV all day.
For me, I already have enough plans for my retirement to fill out the rest of my life and then some. However, just because you cannot picture yourself being retired, does not mean financial independence is not for you. People who choose FIOR over FIRE work because they want to.
Financial independence optional retirement (FIOR)
When you think of retirement, what image comes to your mind? Elderly people, watching TV, loneliness, boredom, lack of purpose, are commonly associated with retirement.
It is unsurprising given that this is what many people see when they are looking at their retired family members, typically their grandparents or parents. Older generations had fewer opportunities as they grew up without the internet. Therefore, they are unaware of their options and the numerous possibilities retirement brings.
What retirement should like
Retirement means you are free of work and still get paid regularly through your pension. But in truth, it means much more than that. You can do whatever you like, travel the world on a budget, write a novel, sleep all day long, learn a new language or explore new hobbies. You are no longer limited by time, only by money and your health.
Retiring early opens up even more opportunities. This is why I do not understand how people could perceive it as boring. FIRE does not mean you suddenly age by 30 years and need a rollator. It also does not mean you are put in shackles in front of the TV.
Instead, FIRE means that you are no longer a nine-to-five slave and can start travelling the world
Financial independence optional retirement (FIOR)
However, some of us have never been slaves of their employer and instead enjoy working. A job allowing you to pursue your passions can be as fullfilling as a hobby. For some, work is linked to their identity and others like to progress their career. And that is fine.
Financial independence gives you the opportunity to take some risks such as setting up your own company or do work and travel (working for the experience, not as a need). This falls under the umbrella of FIOR. FIOR is a relatively new term, first appearing in 2017.
For me, I want to try and work lots of different jobs after reaching financial independence, for example as a cleaner or a waitress. I also want to write a novel and continue working on Monethalia. Therefore, also I often say I am for FIRE, it is actually FIOR that I am working towards.
Why to choose FIOR
- the freedom of being financial independent
- to explore new career areas
- work on your own projects
- to reduce your working hours
- to socialise with your work colleagues
You do not want to
- pursue your non-money making hobbies full time
- travel the world (without working)
- spend all your time with your family
FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE OPTIONAL RETIREMENT (FIOR) summary
FIRE allows you to retire early, in your 30s or 40s and enjoy the rest of your life. With FIOR, you also get to enjoy the rest of your life but through meaningful and fullfilling work. Many people may feel that financial independence is not an attractive goal for them as they like to work. For these people, FIOR would be more desirable and encourage them to work towards financial independence.
Personally, I think FIOR is a great concept. Sadly, it is still relatively unknown. However, once established, I can see FIOR becoming more popular than FIRE as work still gives purpose to many people’s lives.
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