Second Generation FI: A Life Without Light Bulbs and Inflection Points

One thing I love about the FI blogosphere (Podcastosphere?) are the founder stories.  Each and every blogger has a unique and enduring story about how they stumbled into this madness we affectionately call financial independence .  Usually there is a tale of profound struggle and suffering, followed by a light bulb moment.

In that moment, the meaning of life (and finances) crystallizes.  This is the mother of all inflection points.  The rise then becomes meteoric.  Debts are paid in full, salaries are optimized, and net worth soars into the stratosphere.

The writing of a blog is almost an afterthought.  The hard work has already been done.

These stories are the backbone of our community.  They are the middle finger that we flip to the everyday drudgery of the fiscally incompetent life style.  Look here world, you can do it differently!  Join us.

Our insular evolution protects us, but also shields us from the very real and hedonistic lifestyle practiced by the grand majority of our peers.  And when we become insular, the more introspective wonders, have we gone to far?  Are we megalomaniac frugalites, spurning the milk and honey of life?

Are we screwing up our kids?

An oft  asked question by the DIKs (Double income/kids) and the SIKs (Single income/kids), and the NIKs (No income/kids).  (Ok, I just wanted an excuse to type DIKs and pretend I was being serious).

The answer of course is no, you are not screwing up your kids.

How do I know? Well, I’m second generation FI.  That’s right.  I don’t have a founder story.  I grew up with two middle to upper class parents who never struggled with finances.  I wanted for nothing, had no loans, and pretty much never felt the pinch of insufficient funds.

Spoiled?  Well, not exactly.  My parents adhered to most of the principles that we espouse in our community, and I learned much about economics at a young age.  In fact, second generation FI kids look something like this:

-We learn early to maximize our salary by doing jobs we enjoy and succeeding

-We save much more than we spend

-We buy things of value

-We develop side hustles like real estate

-We own businesses

-We invest in the stock market

-We save aggressively for retirement

-We live under our means

I’m second generation FI.  I don’t have a founder story.  I don’t have a light bulb moment or an inflection point.

Or, to put it another way, my childhood was replete with countless light bulb moments and inflection points.

Doc G

A doctor who discovered the FI community but still struggling with RE.

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8 Responses

  1. I really enjoyed reading this! Congrats on being second generation fire! I wish my parents taught me the ropes early on. Unfortunately, I did all the things normal people did and got myself in a lot of financial trouble.

  2. This is really encouraging to me because my wife and I are constantly worried that our kids will grow up to be entitled jerks. Doctor dad. Teacher mom. Financially sound.

    We parent hard (and I mean really hard) to teach our kids to put others first, to be concerned for others, and to try their hardest at everything. I just hope it clicks some day and doesn’t bite us in the ass and turn them into hard core legalists.

    Thanks for letting me know it will turn out alright if they have things provided for them if we just keep it all in perspective. Seriously. Good post.

  3. My situation is rather similar. My dad quit the corporate world at age 46. I was around 12 and observed what he’s doing. I watched and learnt. Studying your family’s history can be enlightening. We don’t have to re-invent the light bulb or the wheel. Great post!

  4. Caroline says:

    My parents weren’t the best example as far as money but I did great. Sometimes I wonder if by trying to teach my kids too much, they actually won’t do as well as they could?

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