My grandmother passed away on Sunday night at the age of 89 and so I write this with a heavy heart. We have always been close; I spent all my school holidays with her baking scones, learning to paint and taking trips to the beach. As I grew older, she was one of biggest supporters alongside my parents, always proud of my achievements however small.
Her passing away has reminded me why I’m pursuing financial independence – life is too short to be stuck in a 9 to 5 job that takes up time that could be better lived. I’m lucky in that my employer takes bereavements seriously; I can take compassionate leave without being penalised. However, the work will still be there waiting for me and the longer I’m away the more it will pile up and become more urgent. If I was financially independent and didn’t have to work a traditional job, I would have a lot more flexibility to support my family when I need to.
My grandmother was also a good example of frugal living although in her case this was out of necessity. Never earning a good wage, after my grandfather died 25 years ago she lived in rented accommodation with only a state pension to support her subsidised from time to time by my parents. She didn’t own a car and she made a lot of her clothes. She would never be considered wealthy but the memories we made together are rich and full of laughter. Let that be the lesson – time spent with loved ones is infinitely more precious than money spent on things.
5 thoughts on “Life is too short, or the why of FI”
I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your Grandmother! I lost my grandmother in early 2016 and it caused a similar feeling about the pursuit of financial independence. I wanted to publish a post about it but I never was able to find the words. It’s great that you were able to learn from her and that your time together was full of laughter. You last line was spot on!
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Thank you for your kind words. Sorry to hear about your grandmother too, it’s such a special relationship.
Thank you for commenting and your kind words. It’s tough to keep that perspective in day to day life but it’s so important!
Hear hear.i lost my cousin last year at 51 who was your typical high earner high spender. He had less in his pension at 51 than i have at 37. More than that is the stress and bad lifestyle working 80 hour weeks brought.
Fortunately I have a high paying job that mostly isn’t too stressful but it certainly made me review my life
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Sorry to hear that, your cousin was much too young. I think we are so lucky to have good paying jobs that aren’t too stressful and that can allow a reasonable work life balance. But it would be better if we didn’t have to work at all!