What is the F.I.R.E. movement? F.I.R.E. stands for “Financial Independence, Retire Early,” the main goal of the movement is to get young people thinking more about becoming financially free and how to go about doing so.
If you join the FIRE movement, you will be on the path towards being able to live out life on your own terms. This movement gets you saving, investing, and budgeting your money wisely and you will inevitably have these disciplines down to a science.
This leads to a young person in their 20’s being retired by their 30’s and they have the rest of their life to pursue their own interests.
What’s great about the movement is that it’s somewhat flexible on how much you want to save, invest, or spend. You just need to have the fundamentals down.
In order for the F.I.R.E. movement to work for you, you must save at least 50–75% of your income, yes this is a very high number but if it was easy, everyone would do it.
You also need to be frugal with your spending and seek every opportunity to save money whenever you can, you basically need to be penny pinching the whole way through your 20’s.
Lastly, you can’t just sit on the money you’ve been saving this whole time, it needs to be put to work, so you must learn how to invest your money wisely.
If you are saving most of your money, barely spending the rest and investing everything you can, then by your 30’s you should have enough to retire early. But it is quite a grind.
Lean FIRE is for people making relatively low income, you will have to give up certain things in your lifestyle to save money, you will become a financial genius when it comes to saving money on expenses and you will also need to maximize your investing prowess.
The goal here is to bring your spending very low, then calculate how much you will be spending a year. After that, save 25 times your yearly spending amount, and then invest to the point where you can finally live off the interest gained from your investments.
This is how to retire early on a lowish to middling income, it’s uncomfortable, but still doable.
Vanilla F.I.R.E. is the standard version of the FIRE movement, this for people who have their careers and don’t want to wait until they are in their 60’s to retire.
The rules are the same as above but you don’t need to decrease your spending as intensely and save down to the penny.
Notice that I said you don’t need to, if you decide you go lean F.I.R.E. while making a respectable amount of money you will reach your goal faster.
Fat F.I.R.E. this variant of the FIRE movement is for entrepreneurs and people making a large amount of money, it seems counter intuitive for a person making so much money to want to retire early but the whole point of the movement is to be free.
Even if you weren’t struggling for your money, you still wouldn’t want to be so dependent on your job for your lifestyle.
It’s called Fat F.I.R.E. because the entrepreneurs and big money makers aren’t going to be struggling so hard to save up enough money (they can still be fat) to be financially independent.
The Pros obviously you get to retire early, you don’t need to worry about having a boss deciding whether or not you’re gonna get fired today, you are in full control of your destiny.
If you want to just settle down and relax for the rest of your life you could, or conversely if you wanted to pursue a big dream like becoming an artist or musician, you could do that too.
What the F.I.R.E. movement provides is time to contemplate and decide for yourself what you want out of life, without having to make a choice between the safety of a job or the high risk / high reward of pursuing great things.
The Cons nothing worth having is free so you will need to grind and hustle without any tangible reward for a long time, if you are doing Fat FIRE then there’s basically no downside besides not having every luxury you want.
You also lose out on your 20’s experience because you will need to stay at home and spend time educating yourself on investing and creative ways to save money.
It will be hard to hang out with friends especially if they are the type to go out a lot.
You will also feel very poor the whole time and people will probably think you are poor if you don’t explain to them what you are doing.
But all this in my opinion is negated by the fact that you will be totally free by the time you are in your 30’s, and there are not many people in the world who will be like you.
Start thinking about early retirement and decide if the sacrifices are worth it.
If you decide that they are not worth it, then it’s okay, there is another way to do the FIRE movement without being so uncomfortable, you can become an entrepreneur first and once you have a sizable income, you can do Fat FIRE.
If that’s still not appealing to you then why are you still reading this article, go back to your job and do it until you’re old and brittle!