This is the most common response I get when casually discussing the concept of financial independence (FI) with friends. You're excited about the work you do! Your coworkers are a fun bunch, every day is full of new challenges, you're valued and appreciated for your contributions at work.
Here are 5 reasons you should work towards FI even if you love your job.
You don't have to quit
A common misconception about FI is that you have to quit your job once you reach financial independence. Remember, you don't have to do anything you don't want to do, especially when you're financially independent. Most of corporate North America is filled with Monday-haters and Friday-lovers who have annoying coworkers and are stuck at desk jobs. What do you think these people do the day they hit FI? Quit their stupid job. But if you're happy to spend 40+ hours of your week at your workplace, by all means, keep doing it when you get there!
Build up your retirement fund, now
As Mr. Frugal Hacker says in this post, Financial Independence isn't Optional. You just cannot go into retirement age relying on social security or your employer to send you free money. How does it make sense to put your family's future into a strangers' hands?
No job is permanent
Employers are not legally obligated to keep you in employment. It seems obvious when you say it like that, but just think how many people are completely distraught when their employer of 20 years suddenly lets them go. You don't have control over the economy, the CEO, the Board of Directors, your customers, your manager, or your team. The only thing you have control over is yourself. Keep your skills sharp so that you can find another job easily. Build up your FI fund so that your financial safety is not at your employer's mercy.
Love is not forever
You may love your job today, but there's no guarantee that you will continue to love the same job 5 years from now. Maybe you get married, or you decide you want to raise a kid or two. What if your priorities in life change, and you want to get out of a fast paced environment? Sometimes a simple change like a manager or coworker leaving the company can affect your happiness at work. I was in a job that I absolutely loved two years ago. I worked with an amazingly supportive manager who mentored and motivated me to do extremely well. One day, she announced that she was leaving the company. My happiness at work took a nosedive in the months that followed, and it got so bad that I started interviewing elsewhere for different roles. Even if nothing changes at work or at home, plain old boredom from being in the same job in the same role for years can easily strike anytime. Building your FI fund is the only way to provide a economic cushion against life changes.
One word: Robots
Okay, this one is close to home for me. Go to https://willrobotstakemyjob.com/ and check your automation risk level. I'm a CPA with 7 years of audit and accounting experience, and my profession is at a whopping 94% probability of being completely annihilated by artificial intelligence. I sure hope I'm FI by the time this doomsday arrives.
Okay, okay. How do I make my own FI plan?
Glad you asked! Thankfully, building up a plan to financial independence is not rocket science. Reaching financial independence is not trivial by any measure, but with discipline and strong internal motivation, there's nothing to stop you. Here's some recommended reading to get you started:
Do you love your job? Do you still feel working towards FI is a necessary part of life? Let us know in the comments.