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To FIRE, or to YOLO; Is that Really Our Quest?

Apr 6, 2024 | Daily Trek, Futuristic

To Fire or to Yolo; Is that Really Our Quest? - Radical Trekking - Ayelet Baron

Consumer trend reports will tell you that there is a shift taking place. Younger people are adopting a Yolo (You Only Live Once) and Die with Zero approach. And this is a move away from FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early).

According to the Forerunner Annual Report, we’re no longer into saving our money and retiring early. A new trend of Die With Zero is emerging. Using your money while you’re alive to live your best life. YOLO is apparently back. Consumer experts suggest that the hospitality sector become aware that people will choose to travel more and experience life.

The question the report raises is are you spending like there’s no tomorrow—or living your life?

Both theories encourage us to always have a plan. And no where is there a holistic look at the root cause of this shift. And even a more significant questioning of what is possible when we create a new reality where these two concepts no longer exist.

What if we focus on healthy living rather than just how we manage our money. The claim is that many of us struggle with the best way to enjoy life while planning for the future.

I remember a financial analyst asking me years ago, where will you be in five years? And I said, I have no idea. And if you told me where I am now and what I am creating just a year ago, I would have told you that you were crazy. But I guess the crazy one is me.

A YOLO financial management means you spend your money to enjoy life is the way to go. Because the future isn’t guaranteed. This philosophy says it’s best to spend what you earn on things that give you joy. And let the future take care of itself. But advisors warn that if you don’t save ‘for a rainy day,’ you could get pretty wet. It also assumes everyone will retire.

No one asks what kind of world will we create if living our lives in healthy ways guide us.

Now, FIRE money management followers live as frugally as we can to retire early. We plan to live off our savings beginning long before traditional retirement age by saving a large percentage of our paychecks in early earning years.

With the state of the economy, where so many can barely make ends meet, maybe living in the moment is more of a reality than a fantasy of waiting to travel and live the good life at retirement, even if it is early. Maybe it’s a matter of no longer believing we can achieve goals that were set for us on how we are supposed to be successful.

In a world where living expenses are on the rise, being present with our choices becomes key. For those of us who no longer believe in the good retirement life some day, and simply want to live and make a difference while we are here, acronyms and theories lose their meaning.

We are in uncharted waters right now, which means we get to ask new questions, and break away from models that create fear. Because if the past few years have shown us is that no one knows much of anything when it comes to each of us. And we are the leaders we need to break free of acronyms (YOLO, FIRE, FOMO) and labels (consumers, followers).

It was not long ago that math teachers protested against calculator use in schools. To calculate or not to calculate—and when—was the question of that time. Fear, like planning, is a business.

Fear of the unknown has always been here. But so has our opportunity to step into our power and trust ourselves to be the leaders we really need, asking the questions and charing a healthy life. No longer constrained by how life should be. Maybe we visit Shakespeare and ask, To be, or not to be?

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