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Outside the Box: Why everyone should save like they’re going to retire early

The growing movement among some millennials and members of Generation X to aim for an extremely early retirement in their 40s, 30s, even 20s, which goes by the acronym “FIRE” (financial independence, retire early), is getting a lot of attention right now.

To some, early retirees are an inspiration, showing what’s possible when you opt out of society’s consumer narrative. But too often, stories on early retirees focus on intense money-saving tactics and present those in the movement as oddities. Highlighting the novelty of the movement, and the extreme lifestyle choices of a few adherents, distracts from the more important reality: For far too many Americans, early retirement is not a novelty, but an inevitability.

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