Ignite FIRE in the Age of Disruptive Technology
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I recently received an email by a writer, Thea Grace, who was hoping to share some insight regarding how technological advances are set to disrupt our workplace and possibly our finances in the future.
As I have previously written on one possible such disruption in the medical field, artificial intelligence, I thought it would be beneficial to get another person’s perspective on the subject as well.
Everyone would love to be financially independent and be able to retire early.
That’s what FIRE is all about.
As the acronym suggests, the goal is to have Financial Independence and Retire Early.
This can be achieved by being extremely frugal, and saving aggressively so you can retire before hitting your mid-40s.
While FIRE has been around for a while, it has only recently reached the mainstream media.
It has sparked numerous debates and attracted a lot of proponents as well as detractors.
The movement was first started in the early 2000s by bloggers and entrepreneurs who came up with a way to help encourage financial stability among young people.
Much like a Spider Patronus Charm, FIRE encourages people to set up multiple sources of income while building their retirement nest.
Today, we live in the age of disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet of Things to name a few.
These have changed the nature and future of work, lifestyle, and even retirement.
So how do you ignite your own FIRE and gain the benefits of this particular movement in this ever-changing environment:
Lean vs. Fat FIRE.
Ultimately, there are two methods you can use to achieve FIRE:
Lean FIRE means going into retirement as lean as possible.
This means no luxurious vacations or huge property investments.
People who choose this path usually go into retirement as soon as they hit their minimum nest egg and are able to maintain a simple lifestyle.
Those who want Fat FIRE, on the other hand, rack up more savings well beyond the margins of safety.
This means putting more money into their nest eggs in order to be able to splurge on the things they want when they retire.
Lean FIRE techniques range from clearing your debt to trying to get into Ivy League Schools on a scholarship.
Instead, it’s about having complete control and freedom over your finances.
“Complete freedom [is] the best, most powerful, energetic, happiest and most generous version of You that you can possibly be.” -Mr. Money Mustache.
So, how can you do that today?
Gain in-demand skills.
You can’t possibly save enough money working a minimum wage job.
In fact, this is probably the main criticism the movement receives — as it’s not for every worker.
This is truer today as automation and disruptive technologies are threatening to replace jobs in sales, the service industry, and even mid-level management.
On the other hand, a New York Times article suggests that those who achieve FIRE tend to be working in the tech industry and are left-brained engineer-types.
It’s not surprising that IT-related jobs are the greatest beneficiaries of today’s disruptive technologies.
Achieving FIRE in this disruptive age of tech means reskilling towards these in-demand and high-paying tech jobs.
Luckily, technology also provides the means to do just that.
One way to pick which online courses can help teach you the most marketable tech skills is by looking at Apple Distinguished Schools, a designation that Maryville University explains is awarded to programs and institutions with a track record of technological leadership in education.
Having skills in machine learning, software engineering, data science, and financial tech are just some of the best in-demand skills you can learn to get that FIRE fatter.
Know where to invest.
While increasing your savings through your income and clearing all your debt is a good start to attain FIRE, investing can accelerate it.
Having multiple sources of income is a great way to stay financially independent.
Investing has become even more complicated with a potential financial crisis on the way.
The constant disruption in industries has made it harder to hold onto stocks.
But this isn’t really a problem according to self-made billionaire and FIRE proponent James Daily.
In fact, he made his millions riding the tech and real estate bubbles.
Looking towards the future, it will be beneficial to see which technology trends are taking a stronghold in the world economy and start positioning our investments in companies that look to excel in those areas.
Companies that do not keep up with the times can soon find themselves going the way of the dodo bird and join the ranks of fallen giants such as Kodak, Blockbuster, and K-mart, to name a few.
These are the companies you want to avoid investing in like the plague.
Instead you need to direct your precious capital into those companies/sectors that show forward thinking and initiative.
The goal is to be smart and mindful when investing.
In today’s disruptive markets and industries, FIRE means getting with the program—collecting those disruptive tech checks and investing in burgeoning technologies.
If you are smart with your finances, you should be able to take advantage of FIRE as early as in your 30s.
Article exclusively written for Xrayvsn.com
By Thea Grace
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