As a financial planner, I work with families from all sorts of backgrounds. However, there is one common value that ties all these families together: the desire to have the financial freedom to live the life they want.


I’ve seen so much being written about early retirement on the internet and social media recently. You might have even come across the FIRE (Financial Independence/Retire Early) movement. This is something I’m going to be exploring a lot more in the coming weeks and months. But for today I’m just going to focus on one very important aspect of the conversation: What is the difference between “Early Retirement” and “Financial Independence”?.


Early Retirement

Early retirement purely focuses on one specific goal – leaving the workforce. It’s not a statement of what you want to do with your life. It’s a statement of something you no longer want to do: “I don’t want to go to work anymore”. Early Retirement is surprisingly easy to achieve.


Spend cautiously, save, invest the bulk of your income in Global Equities, and don’t get into short-term debt. Sure, there is a bit more to it than that, but with even just a basic understanding of Excel you should be able to map things out pretty well.


Financial Independence

Financial independence, on the other hand, is a broader concept that does encompass early retirement, but also includes other aspects of financial freedom. It’s about having enough resources saved and invested to live off without having to rely on traditional sources of income, such as a job or a pension. This means that families who have achieved financial independence have a level of freedom and flexibility that allows them to pursue their passions, whether that be travelling, starting a business, or simply enjoying a better work/life balance with the ones they love.


Live The Life You Want

Both early retirement and financial independence are important goals, but they should not be viewed solely as a means to an end. To truly live the life you want, it’s important to consider your values, lifestyle, and what makes you truly happy. For example, if you have a passion for helping others, you may choose to continue working in a fulfilling career, even if you have reached financial independence.


Very few of the families we work with end up retiring early. In fact, the entire concept of retirement has changed dramatically in the last generation. People want to be challenged and inspired. They want to have a purpose in everything they do.


Ultimately, the key to achieving early retirement or financial independence is to have a clear understanding of what you value in life. Then, make your financial decisions based on those values. By setting goals that align with your values and lifestyle, we can work with you towards a future that truly makes you happy.


As a financial planner, my job is so much more than, cashflow modelling, investing pension assets and giving financial advice. It’s about helping families find out what most important to them and then holding them accountable to their own best intentions so they have the peace of mind to go live the life they want.


Cian Callaghan
Private Client Manager



Metis Ireland Financial Planning Ltd t/a Metis Ireland is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

All content provided in these blog posts is intended for information purposes only and should not be interpreted as financial advice. You should always engage the services of a fully qualified financial adviser before entering any financial contract. Metis Ireland Financial Planning Ltd t/a Metis Ireland will not be held responsible for any actions taken as a result of reading these blog posts.