they are very much about community resilience and support, raising up everyone, not just an ‘I’ve got mine’ which can feel common within the stereotypical influencer and tech-bro FIRE spaces. They want to fix historical and systemic wrongs by getting people into positions of financial power (?), so they won’t continue to be exploited.
I also wonder from the employee engagement component (I don’t have snappy words here yet), how much is that there were a group of people who felt like they were on the right side of history, improving the world with tech - Google, the book, the x formerly known as, and it has all proven to be lies. Perhaps it was honest then, but at some point it became lip service, and now it isn’t even that. So now it’s hot potato, greater fool stuff (AI, crypto, especially imo)
I liked these parts of it and I thought the point about not trusting your company or the government to plan for your retirement was interesting. The traditional ways of relying on support in old age is not guaranteed. I like how they think about FIRE from the freedom perspective and that having freedom gives you the ability to reinvest in your community and building others up. It does feel like in the FIRE they focus more on the FI portion instead of the RE portion. Which also seems to be a trend I have seen.
I think I’d always expected that I would need to take care of my own retirement because my parents owned their own small business (a consulting company with my dad as the consultant and my mom as bookkeeper). My grandfather was forced into retirement (as were a few uncles), so can’t trust long term employers either. There were several high profile companies going bust and retirees losing their pensions when I was in high school. So to me those points aren’t a revelation.
In addition, in Canada our setup for government money in retirement is different than in the US, so I mostly gloss over those pieces (basically, Canada started pre-funding earlier, so we don’t have the same sort of gap that the US has been kicking the can around how much is covered with funds in hand). I do admit I ignored what the government would pay out until just a few months ago, perhaps again because of the US centric nature of the financial content I consume.
Another advantage in Canada is that we can do the equivalent of a 401k even if our employer isn’t set up for one. So I set up an RRSP at my first small job and never assumed they’d have my back. Only two jobs had good matching schemes, and I wasn’t at either for long. And the TFSA (sob!) has no income verification or back door messiness like the Roth IRA. So again, a lot more opportunity to take ownership of your own future.
I agree, the more emphasis on FI vs RE is common now, but at least they’re honest about why. They have a personal mission. It isn’t just productivity wanking, or consumption.