Happy Birthday, USA

Every year around this time, when Americans celebrate Independence Day we gather with friends and family, get the BBQ going and watch fireworks at night. We celebrate Independence Day on July 4, but of course every single day of the year we celebrate independence. Just like we celebrate diversity, tolerance, hard work, innovation,… you name it. But Independence has always been particularly dear to our hearts. All of us in the FIRE (Financial Independence/Retire Early) community must have that Independence bug in us, too. We think outside the box, we are nonconformist and declare Independence from paychecks, rush hour traffic and out-of-control consumerism. While we don’t want to draw any parallels between Mr. ERN’s boss and King George III, we will certainly not miss leaving behind all the nonsense of work life, least of which the excessive taxation.

Incidentally, excessive taxation was one of the sparks that set off the American Revolution. Moving to a state with no income tax and getting into a much lower federal income tax bracket, hopefully within the next two years, will be our way of sticking it to the tax-man. It’s a little bit like one mini Boston Tea Party for everyone of us achieving FIRE. Obviously not as violent and risky as facing his majesty’s well-armed and trained soldiers centuries ago but nevertheless quite revolutionary.

Talking about revolutions, not all revolutions worked out this well. History has many examples of the new leaders being even more oppressive, ruthless and murderous than the regime they just replaced. What incredible foresight these brave men had to preserve the newfound freedom for many generations to come. Declaring Independence, writing the Constitution (1787) and the Bill of Rights (1791), all set in motion an unprecedented and unparalleled streak of prosperity and liberty. When we retire early and face a 50-60 year retirement horizon, knowing that the country that protects us and the economy that feeds us have been around for this long, is very comforting. Happy 240th birthday, USA! And of course, we wish all of the readers out there a very happy Independence Day, safe travels, tasty BBQs and a pretty fireworks display. Stay independent, everybody!

PS: We will be traveling with potentially limited access to the Internet and will be slow to respond to inquiries and comments before July 10.

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