A few weeks ago, I wrote that the most common question we’ve been getting lately, now that nearly everyone in our lives knows that we’ve retired early, is whether we own Bitcoin. But we’ve also been getting a very different kind of question, a lot:
Aren’t you scared?
It’s a reasonable question. We were high earners who walked away from all that (and maybe closed the door on going back to something similar, because it’s often not easy to “just go back to work”), and instead decided to roll the dice that future market returns will look at least a little like past market returns. We’re also gambling on future health care expenses, future food and gas prices, and nearly everything else that costs money. We can analyze inflation projections and read expert opinions all we want, but the truth is that none of us knows what will happen in the future.
Very smart, rational, brave people would be forgiven for finding this kinda scary.
In some ways, I’m fearless. I’m not easily intimidated, I can speak in front of hundreds of people without cracking a sweat, and I’ve climbed up and skied down some things that my parents would not be so happy to know about. But when it comes to money, fear is an intimate companion.
Part of my motivation in starting this blog, in fact, was the idea that I could master my fear of giving up a steady income forever by analyzing every aspect of early retirement. That by having to come up with things to write, I’d be forced to scrutinize our plan so thoroughly that it would become airtight, waterproof and impervious to failure.
And then my fear would dissipate.
But what I learned along the way was quite different.