I was chatting with friends Jonathan and Brad of ChooseFI just before we started recording a podcast on what was, at the time, an endeavor they had started just a few months earlier. They asked if I had been listening to their shows, and I really, really wanted to answer in the affirmative, but the truth was I hadn’t listened to a single episode.
I later rectified that situation, first listening to my own interview, and subsequently listening to dozens of additional episodes. I haven’t been much of a podcast guy in the past, but with the amount of driving back and forth I was doing to spend time with my family at our cabin over the summer, I had plenty of listening time. I’ve also learned to enjoy a podcast while running and mowing the lawn, and I have to admit, I’ve become a a true podcast fan.
The ChooseFI duo does a great job introducing and dissecting an all-encompassing spectrum of topics related to financial independence. I am pretty familiar with most of the life and money matters in the smörgåsbord of goodies they serve up, but they introduced me to an idea I hadn’t much considered before: second generation FIRE.
We are First Generation FIRE
It would be unfair and untrue to say that no one retired early before Generation X came along. But the concept wasn’t popularized, acronymized, or celebrated until roughly the last decade. For a thorough history of FIRE, or as the Early Retirement Dude calls it, FI/ER check out The History of the FI/ER Movement.
When I reflect on my path to financial independence, I realize it was a meandering path that was poorly defined, and I stumbled off the trail more than a few times.
I learned next to nothing about money and personal finance from formal schooling. In high school, we had a full year of macroeconomics, watching videos starring Richard T. Gill, but scarcely touched on investing and personal finance.
In college, I loaded up on science and math and the closest thing to money management was me memorizing the weekly drink special calendars at all the neighborhood watering holes.
In medical school, any mention of money was followed by an uncomfortable silence and sideways glances. How dare someone come up with a plan to avoid or pay down that six-figure debt!
My parents helped fill some gaps, with my Dad teaching me about compound interest and the Rule of 72 early on. When I was in medical school, I was gifted The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need.
They also led by example, spending intentionally on the things that mattered to them, and looking for value with many frugal thrift store and garage sale purchases.
My parents’ guidance kept me from making big mistakes and gave me a good financial foundation, but it wasn’t until I had a sizable portfolio of my own until I really focused on optimizing my own finances.
When I finally encountered the term FIRE at age 39, I realized I was essentially FI and RE was an option there for the taking. That was over two and a half years ago, and I’m just now getting comfortable with the idea that I might be about ready to make early retirement a reality for my family and me.
Second Generation FIRE
Many of us who have achieved or opted to pursue financial independence are parents. In fact, I think the presence of kids in the home, and the rate at which they grow up (**so fast** in case you haven’t heard) is a major motivator for Moms and Dads to strive for financial independence.
We learned about this ultimate life hack in our twenties, thirties, or forties. That means we have the opportunity to teach our kids about this amazing loophole decades before FI entered our own lexicon.
Giving our offspring the knowledge and tools to achieve FI on their own terms and timeline is the essence of second generation FIRE.
Why Second Generation FIRE?
Yes, your kids can be excruciatingly loud, unreasonable, messy, stubborn little tyrants (mine can, anyway), but you do love them, don’t you? If you answered yes — to the love them part, not the tyrant part — wouldn’t you want to show them how they can become obtain financial freedom themselves?
I won’t rehash all the benefits of financial independence here. I’ve done that here and the White Coat Investor shared more here. If you’re reading this, I doubt you need convincing, and I don’t imagine your kids will need much, as well.
Our sons and daughters will witness the benefits of financial independence firsthand. From their perspective, they will see their parents possess some or all of the following:
- More time for family fun
- Greater flexibility to travel and participate in daytime activities
- Both parents home routinely before and after school
- A lack of work stress
- Few, if any, fights about money
I’m not saying working parents can’t achieve some or all of the above, but financial independence makes it all much easier and more likely. I recall my 8-year old, in front of his aunt and uncle, telling me he couldn’t wait until I retire so I wouldn’t have to leave the family in the summertime to go back to my job. That garnered a few chuckles around the table (I hadn’t yet revealed my FIRE plans) and a sly smile from me.
When your kids grow up with the benefits of FI, I expect they will want it for themselves. If they achieve it, there’s a good chance it will happen during your active lifetime, perhaps when their own kids (a.k.a. your grandkids) are young, giving them more freedom to visit Grandma & Grandpa. That’s when we start working on third-generation FIRE.
OK, I think we may be getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s dial it back a generation.
How to Enable Second Generation FIRE
Early retirement should not be a primary goal for kids who haven’t yet tasted the sweet sweat of hard work, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t help shape their futures to give them the option of pursuing financial independence.
What can we do to keep that door open so they can enjoy a future like ours?
Talk About Money
Every day presents numerous opportunities to talk with your children about money. There’s no need for the topic to be hush hush. Talk frankly and openly about the cost of things — not just the things you buy for them, but the cost of keeping a roof over their heads, the electricity on, and the substantial portion of your earnings set aside to appease the taxman.
Talk about your earnings and savings, and how the fact that you keep a lot of the money you earn will allow you to choose whether or not you want to keep working at some point. Let them know that money itself can earn money. These are not complex subjects, no matter how poorly your friends and neighbors seem to grasp them.
Lead By Example
As I mentioned in bullet points above, you will be their FI mentor. By showing them how good life can be when your family has the freedom to live well without relying on a biweekly paycheck, you will be a great role model.
Depending on how old your children are or were when you take full advantage of your FI status, you may need to remind them regularly that hard work and diligent saving in the past were key pre-requisites to the life you all enjoy in the present. You know, money doesn’t grow on trees and that whole spiel.
Teach Them How
When they’re old enough to start earning their own money, educate them. Perhaps you can afford to give them a parent match, helping to start an IRA if they’re willing to save some of their earnings from their first McJob.
Give them articles to read. Select a few of your favorite posts from your favorite FIRE bloggers and discuss them together. Listen to some podcasts. Watch a FIRE documentary.
Be a sounding board. I wouldn’t try to dictate their future career, but if your son is choosing between a lengthy Ph.D. program in a field with scant job prospects outside academia or a masters in engineering, you might point out the obvious.
How Not to Enable Second Generation FIRE
Don’t Push It
My kids aren’t quite at that age and stage yet, but I hear some kids like to rebel. It seems the more a parent tries to influence an outcome, particularly when done in an overbearing way, the opposite outcome becomes more likely.
Don’t assume FIRE is the best option for your kids, or that they’ll be interested in FI early on. Frankly, finding a job you never want to retire from is an outstanding outcome. It’s just that the prospect of that happening seems a lot more plausible when you’re 20, and the chances of continuing to feel that way about said job becomes less likely with each passing decade.
Nevertheless, you shouldn’t try to make an astrophysicist out of a music major.
Economic Outpatient Care
Borrowing a concept from The Millionaire Next Door, funding your children’s lifestyle and/or retirement is not doing them any favors. They need to earn and save their own money.
When adult children learn they can rely on a gift or bailout from the Bank of Mom & Dad, they may begin to jeopardize your own FI status, and will have a much harder time ever achieving it on their own merit.
Reliance on Inheritance
If you’ve achieved FI at a relatively early age, and, as I’ve suggested, talked about money with your kids along the way, your wealth will be a poorly kept secret.
If your next generation has followed your lead and read all about FIRE and safe withdrawal rates, they will have a good idea that there’s a very real chance you’ll be spending down that money in retirement. If the kids haven’t done their homework, they might simply know you’re worth millions and figure someday, those millions will be theirs. You don’t want that situation.
True financial independence should be obtained independently. And early FI by your children should be obtained long before you start knocking on heaven’s door. Generations in my family tend to come along about every 30 years, but I fully expect my parents to have a minimum of a decade or two left on this earth with us after I retire.
Similarly, I would love to see my own boys live a life of freedom while I’m still reasonably spry, and if I’m lucky, see the next generation grow up with great prospects for a happy, fulfilled life before I move on to greener pastures.
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Do you desire financial independence for your own children? Are you taking any steps to enable next generation FIRE? Or do you want your kids to forge their own path, wherever it may lead?
63 thoughts on “Second Generation FIRE”
That’s definitely the tricky part – balancing between being open enough to encourage that second gen FIRE without setting them up with too much cash / have them decided they’d rather just blow all their money and live a completely different life.
Right — we don’t want to just gift them money, but give them the tools and knowledge to help them achieve FI on their own. We will help quite a bit with college costs, though.
Do I desire financial independence for my own children? Absolutely – although I don’t have any children yet – but will soon come April! My biggest concern is spoiling them – providing “economic outpatient care” as the Millionaire Next Door puts it. I want them to appreciate what they have and not take it for granted.
My thoughts, exactly. Congrats on the bundle of joy on the way!
I agree that second generation FIRE needs to figure it out on their own. I actually have been uncomfortable with all of the discussion around second generation FIRE on ChooseFI because of my own experiences. I don’t like the idea of handing my future kids these concepts on a plate so they never have to learn to think for themselves, which I think is the greatest gift you can give someone.
Great thoughts. It’s a blessing that your parents gave you a little bit of financial tips to help jumpstart your FIRE trajectory. My folks had the right idea in mind but the wrong way to tackle it–work hard but fortune only comes to those who are very lucky like lottery winners.
I hope to do the same for my heirs. Going to get into the 0th generation FIRE and onward!
Far more FIRE people will die with double their original nest egg than will spend it down according to the majority of the monte carlo simulations. So if your kids really understand the math they will know that there is well over a 50% chance that they will indeed inherit a lot of money. However with longevity being what it is it is very likely that they will be sixty or older before they get any of it and young people they will discount any money received that late as being worthless. Later they’ll enjoy the padding it gives their retirement but it won’t rob any ambition or urgency from them because when you are twenty or thirty you can’t really comprehend that at sixty you’ll still have energy and dreams. So I think it isn’t really an issue, if you tell them you’ll spend it all or give it to them when they are “old” in their minds it will be the same. I’m 61 and recently inherited half of my folks nest egg. It never crossed my mind it would impact my life and in fact it hasn’t because I’ve been FI for many years and previous to that it seemed a distant and useless future benefit that I didn’t want nearly as badly as I wanted my living parents.
I think a big issue is dealing with the shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generation curse. Even if you’re not planning on leaving a big chunk of change to your kids for an inheritance, growing up around money changes things.
I think most people focus on the money issues exclusively, but it’s much bigger than that. Ensuring that our kids have the character, drive, and self discipline is key, and much more challenging to teach then the financial part, if it’s even possible. Starting with a basic personal finance education is important and will put your kids ahead of most, but we need to go beyond. Personal finance should be thought of as more holistic, and not just limited to money and investing topics.
I can’t stop smiling at the image of my son achieving financial independence. He’s not even in pre-school yet but I’ve started to try to teach him some of the basics of personal finance. He’s already a diligent saver with a long term goal! One thing I plan make clear to my son as he reaches adulthood is that he will not be receiving any handouts. In the meantime, I’m still a number of years away from fi myself so that’s the primary focus.
Place your own oxygen mask on your face before attending to your children, or something along those lines. But there should be plenty of time for you both to get all the oxygen you need.
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My dad has been semi-retired since 10 years after he started working. I used to think he was lazy. Then I graduated from residency and he was diagnosed with melanoma within a few years. I see FIRE = options. I may not retire early, but having that option is what matters. I can spend time with my family if I want because of options. Now I see that my dad had it figured out all along with his semi-retirement. He was the only one of his 6 siblings to spend time with his parents before they died, and I benefited by knowing my grandparents. He was at all our our events, graduations, sports etc and was always home to help with homework, take me hunting, watch football, cook or whatever. When he was diagnosed, it was nothing to cut back work because he always was cut back. Again FIRE=options, He realized the power of FIRE (errrrr….. FI/ER whatev) back in the 1970s and I’m very happy for that. I am emulating him, but I didn’t even realize I was doing it until writing this comment, which is why I love blogging! I guess he isn’t lazy after all. Great post PoF.
Your dad is a wise man. My Dad never worked more than 4 days a week once he finished his military service. He didn’t retire early, but for most of the last decade, he worked 20 hours a week, and enjoyed his time off immensely. FI indeed means options.
Very well crafted piece, good Doctor! We too, hope to impress upon our 4 year old twins the importance of sound money habits. It isn’t easy at this stage, with Legos dominating their imagination. I agree with you though, you can’t push it – it’s best to lead by example and surround them with the right “clues”. I’m not saying they’ll pick up my copy of the “Millionaire Next Door” tomorrow or the next day, but that handy bookshelf I hope will be tapped here and there as they mature.
Thanks, Cubert — I just dropped a few hundred dollars on Legos today, so I may not be the role model I thought I was.
But they were 50% off! And we’ve got birthday and Christmas for our boys and their friends for a few years now.
To be honest, I actually hadn’t thought about the future generations of FIRE, but it makes sense since I do not have kids of my own. Some great points here. I would love to hear what current kids in the FIRE system think about it and how it morphs/changes as they get older and start to understand it more.
It will be very interesting to see if the kids of FIRE bloggers and the FIRE community follow in our footsteps. My guess is you’ll see a much higher proportion of FIRE minded youngsters compared to the general population. But, of course, the lifestyle is not for everyone.
Just listened to the podcast and enjoyed it immensely. Do you have any other physician specific podcast recommendations? I seem to do a lot of driving in between hospitals and want to be more productive with my drive time.
The ChooseFI podcast has dozens of episodes now, so check out some of the others. Specifically for physicians, I’m a big fan of Docs Outside the Box and The White Coat Investor. You might also enjoy the Freedom Formula for Physicians, which recently featured me, as well. I’ve got a handful of others listed on my blogroll here.
The best thing I can do for my daughter is expose her to the topic of personal finance. As you mentioned, POF, finding articles from my favorite bloggers and reading those together with my daughter is one way I plan to introduce personal finance. I’ve seen other cool ideas like matching any allowance that your child saves to incentivize them to save over spending. I have a few years to iron out my thoughts and learn from folks like yourself because my daughter is only 10 months old!
10 months is a good age to tie a dollar to a stick and dangle it just out of reach. Kinda like the carrot trick 🙂
I agree that you should start teaching your kids from a young age. As long as they have the tools in place by the time they start working they will be off to a good start.
In hindsight, I was FI/part time working 15 years ago, but since there was no network of blogs available, I struggled to come to terms with my choice since most of my peers could not understand my decisions. Finally I am realizing there are professionals out there who feel the same. I heard a couple recent stories about M.D.’s being fired for not meeting the expectations/demands of the groups that took over their practices. Probably a topic for a future time, as healthcare will suffer, I fear.
On 2nd gen, my son was struggling to decide between two colleges, in part from pressure by Mrs Bob to pick the cheaper option. I decided to show him the balance of the account I had set aside for college–his eyes bulged, and the relief was visible. He ended up choosing the cheaper option (and from all appearances better option) but I think he benefited by having the cost stress removed from his decision making.
Doesn’t it feel good to see your plan validated, Bob? It was just a few years ago that I learned about FI and realized why I had been saving so much for the last decade.
Glad to hear your son made a wise choice with schools. I plan to have plenty of money in my boys’ 529 plans, but I like the idea of it being a finite amount of money so they have some skin in the game.
Our (one and only) daughter (21) knows we’re wealthy. Had a sit down talk with her when we were estate planning to ask what she’d do if her mom and I died and she had $5m dropped into her lap.
That said, we’ve told her not to count on anything. The way our planning works we have a range from dying almost broke at 100 to having tens of millions left depending on how the market treats us.
She knows its our money and we have every intention of spending it. Of course she’s good with it (what choice does she really have?? :>) and said she plans to make her own wealth. Good answer kiddo! 🙂
Good for her. I hope my kids are as wise at that age!
Actually, it’s not always true that children imitate their elders. My parents earned a good middle to upper middle class income, but they always spent more than they earned, were always stressed about money, and never paid back relatives they had borrowed from. They had no idea when or if they could afford to retire. I decided early on that I didn’t want to live like that. Without consciously striving for (or even knowing about the concept of) FI, I saved as much as I could early in my career, and always knew where I stood financially, even when I didn’t have much.
So I think the real message is that children often imitate their elders, but can also learn important lessons about what doesn’t work.
(Interesting anecdote: I’m a software techie. For several years, I worked a regular job, and earned extra money through outside consulting. After I had a comfortable savings cushion, I told my dad that I had quit the consulting work, because I wanted more time and no longer needed the extra money. He just shook his head; his comments indicated he couldn’t fathom the concept of ever being in a comfortable financial position.)
I had good role models, but it’s also true that we can learn from others’ mistakes. It’s painful when those mistakes are made time and time again by your own parents, but at least you’ve learned what not to do.
Ah it is so nice to dream. I joke with my wife about this everyday. Teach my son to live off of half his income so that he can pursue puppetry or classical arts or whatever else his heart desires. We were not given that teaching in our youth and so now work to buy that time later.
Great post PoF. My fear is that our families kids (more the nieces and nephews) will grow up privileged and not worried about making their own money.
Agreed! My fear is raising privileged snotty kids.
If one of them one day asks me to buy them a new BMW I will smack the snot right out of their brains.
Yes, as long as classical puppetry comes after FI.
To achieve FI as a puppeteer, you’d really have to pull some strings.
We talk about the benefits of FI a lot around our home. Partly because we don’t want them to take for granted how nice it is to have both of us here all the time, or be able to travel so much. We always try to bring one along whenever we go take care of a project and talk about how they could own rentals in the future or that they are learning skills so they could buy a fixer upper house. And we play with compound interest calculators….because we are geeky like that. But mostly we encourage work. And always tie earnings back to work. Most youth I work with now seem to lack any basic motivation for work. It’s awefully hard to hit FI if a person has no desire to work hard!
Sounds like you’re making all the right moves. Motivation to work for it is a big one. Working on rehab projects is a great way to show them the value of hard work.
I fully agree with your point of not pushing it. Like not pushing a particular sport or hobby, kids will naturally gravitate to things that peek their interest. We have noticed that just general parent conversations about money and investing has them picking things up naturally and asking some questions in return. Which is generally a good thing. Although too much money talk can tip the balance the wrong way.
Our kids have a shared account at Vanguard and have been fascinated to see the opening balance grow over last couple of years. Things like this and the occasional kids money book here and there from the library has them taking way more interest in money than I can ever remember as a kid.
So far, so good. But we are careful not to push it too far and bore them…
Your kids are in Vanguard, already? You really are lining them up for 2nd Generation FIRE. You might want to show them what’s happening today, though.
I recently asked my 3 year old, “Why does daddy go to work?” She said, “So you can buy us things.” Looks like I’ve got some teaching to do…
I never got a financial education from my parents. I know they were just trying to shield me from thinking about money and I appreciate that. However, I ended up opening 3-4 credit cards the first week of college for the free t-shirts and that started a 10 year struggle with consumer debt. Thankfully, I’ve learned a lot along the way and I hope to at least share that with my kids, as much as they’ll listen haha.
That’s a rather astute answer for a 3-year old, to be honest. We often equate my going to work with being able to afford the life we live. Our kids understand that much.
Free t-shirts. Yup, I did the same. Now, I only fill out an application for a minimum of $500 in rewards bonus.
Since I’m FIREd and a father of two adult sons, I can confirm the advice you’re giving works! We did everything you describe.
The talking and teaching about money as young as possible is very critical. We helped our sons open bank accounts when they were around 6. We also gave them an allowance so that they could learn how to manage money and delayed gratification.
The result is neither son has any debt. My eldest son is in a Phd program in Computational Biology but he still manages to contribute to an IRA. My youngest son is an Army Officer and has managed to accumulate 6 figures by the time he was 24.
Good for both of them! I imagine you are quite proud. Our kids are about 18 years younger, but I hope to see them similarly succeeding.
I’m sort of 2nd generation. Both of my parents retired by age 60, because they didn’t need to work anymore. My dad was early retired out of a position at work with a management change. My mom had enough of the political bs in teaching. My mom did stay at home with my siblings and I, and then went back to school for her teaching degree. My grandparents left her & my aunt a nice sum, which helped her pay off the house, and then she could invest more of her income. My dad worked in a good paying field, and made his way up the corporate ladder.
An off hand comment from my mom about how much I might inherit one day actually started my FI journey, looking for info on how to invest it. Instead I’ve gained the goal of earning & saving a bunch for myself now, so if my parents live really long and spend it down, that will be wonderful! I’d rather have years and years with them than the money.
My ex thought when we broke up I’d run back to mom and dad and a few years later made a comment of I’d done a really good job of proving I could stand on my own two feet. I was very surprised because while I rely on my parents for emotional support, and other advice, the whole time we were together, I paid my own bills and was saving for retirement.
Another great example of parents being good role models. If they can make it happen, so can you. And I’ll bet you’ll get there before age 60 if you want to.
Unfortunately, I didn’t know about FIRE until about 5 years ago and my kids are now in their 20’s. I do share information as often as possible now with them but they are still figuring out their own thing. We’ll see where it leads. I’ll just keep leaving markers for them in hopes they pick up the trail.
Your kids will be in great shape if they grasp these concepts in their 20s. At that age, careers and paychecks are just starting to come in.
You’re smart to leave markers and leave it to them to pick up the scent. No need to force an ideology on them.
Hi, Doc. Early Retirement Dude here. I appreciate that you referred to my take on the history of the financial independence / early retirement “movement”.
I’d say the popularization of the FI/ER movement goes back fifteen years or more, but you’re definitely right that you and I and others like Nords at http://the-military-guide.com are first generation. I don’t think what’s now a movement was even a thing until a few people started discussing it in the Motley Fool’s forums very early in the dot com boom–about as GenX a place as you could get.
Funny you mention that I call it FI/ER instead of FIRE. FIRE is a snappy acronym, true, but it grates on my ears because the underlying component structure is so asymmetrical.
“Financial Independence Retire Early” is adjective/noun verb/adverb…ouch…whereas “Financial Independence / Early Retirement” is adjective/noun adjective/noun. Hair-splitting, though…we could call this thing “wearing a calabash for a necktie” and I’d still get behind it. 🙂
You say tomato. I say tomato.
It doesn’t come across well on the screen, but I assure you I pronounced them differently in my mind.
Anyway, I love your history post, and you’ve clearly been paying attention for much longer than I have. I only discovered the concept late 2014 — I was too busy earning and saving money before then to understand why I was doing it and what it would mean for my future. I am very happy with what I have uncovered and discovered since then.
I think teaching kiddos about money has to start at a very young age. If you’re taking the time to teach them another language (which you should), then they can learn about money. It can be simple at the beginning, but eventually they need to understand the impact of their choices. Can you imagine the saving power of a child who would rather put that $20 from grandma into a retirement account for college instead of spending it? I’d be willing to buy them the toy if they had the mindset not to spend the money themselves.
I must have been taught well, because I remember finding a $20 bill in the street when I was pushing a scooter behind a bunch of friends on bikes. They thought I should spend it on junk food for all of us. I put it in my bank account. I was probably 13 or 14.
I guess I absorbed by osmosis the habit my Dad had of saving 50% of his paycheck. You never know when kids are paying attention!
That’s impressive. You’re essentially 2nd Generation FI as a baby boomer. There are not many like you and your father.
I agree that I don’t want the kids to rebel and reject good financial stewardship. We talk a lot about the financial decisions we make and why we make them–and try very hard not to be preachy. But we do talk to our boys about how, if they’re careful savers and investors, they can work for a few years and then live off their investments. But it’s definitely a balance. My dad wanted me to go to med school so bad and I completely rebelled, even though I probably would have enjoyed it! We want our kids to be financially literate, happy, and fulfilled, so we have to keep that in the forefront of our minds as they grow up.
Maybe Dad pushed a little too hard. And maybe you’re better off for it!
I think money should be discussed in a matter-of-fact way. It’s a huge part of life, so keep it in the discussion of everyday life. That’s what we try to do, and I feel like our boys are more money-conscious than the average 6 and 8 year-old.
If I am so lucky as to bring offspring into the world, you can bet I’ll model FI for them. I plan on more of a Lean FI so I doubt there will be money in the banana stand when I’m gone. I was fortunate enough to find all this info in my early 20s so it’s very possible I’ll be done working before kids come along!
But there’s always money in the banana stand!
My father, an attorney constantly tells me how professionals “don’t retire.” Watch me rebel!!
Welcome back from the big vacation, Strider! I did something similar in the month before I started medical school.
“Retire” may not be the best word, but one can certainly move on from a medical or similar professional career to lead a less demanding and more exciting lifestyle.
I often consider what could have been had I learned the ins and outs of personal finance at age 20 (or 10) instead of around 30. My life may have taken a drastically different path, and it’s not unreasonable that I would have chosen a path other than medicine for financial reasons. I will definitely be planting that seed in the the second generation’s head so that they can make a more fully-informed decision.
As James Baldwin said: “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” Your advice to not push it is spot on. I rarely did exactly as my parents said as a teenager or twenty-something, but I know some of their advice and experiences rubbed off on me by osmosis. I’ll try the same technique with my children.
I agree with Dr. C above that more is “caught than taught”. The modeling of the FI lifestyle of living on less than you make I believe will “rub off” in the future as they grow paying long term dividends . But talking about it is also a must. Nice post.
Interesting to ponder whether or not I would have chosen medicine again knowing all that I know now. It has served me well, and I don’t regret the choice, but there are certainly easier paths that don’t result in a negative net worth at age 30.
POF: I’d love to know your conclusion after you ponder your choice of medicine vs. other options.
My easier path didn’t result in a negative net worth at age 30, but it didn’t result in FI in my 40s either. 🙂
I don’t like to dwell on the past, but I can say I’m happy with where I am, where I’ve been, and all the people I’ve met as a result of this path, so I guess I wouldn’t change a thing.
Good thoughts PoF. I think a lot about FIRE for the second generation too.
I agree that FIRE is something they have to strive for themselves. As you said — kids tend to rebel when pushed.
My plan is to not push at all. Instead, I’ll have the information ready and waiting on my blog when they’re ready. I plan to talk about FI frequently and let them become familiar with the concepts while they grow-up.
Once they’ve been out in the “real world” awhile, I suspect they’ll want it for themselves.
That was the whole reason you started the blog in the first place, am I right?
They’re young now, but eventually they’ll have questions and will figure out that you were a hard worker and a diligent saver, and may very well follow in your footsteps.