FIRE stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early (or as some people like to call it, FIOR - Financial Independence, Optional Retirement).
It’s as much of a mindset as it is a way of life or an aspirational goal. Over the last year, I discovered this movement in Australia (which is already quite large in the US), and have dived deep into learning as much as I can.
FIRE is all about increasing your savings rate, consuming less, pursuing happiness and having the financial freedom and flexibility to choose if, how and when you work. FIRE is not necessarily about frugality (although some pursue it that way) and retiring to do nothing all day. The retirement part is optional, but by being financially independent you have more opportunities to direct your life and make decisions out from a position of strength.
When you achieve Financial Independence you gain the ability to live off of your personal finances, without the requirement of a salary to maintain your lifestyle. A common aim of the FIRE movement is to have 25x your annual cost of living invested in a diversified portfolio, with a safe annual withdrawal rate of 4%.
I guess the big attraction of financial independence for me, is the feeling of empowerment and self-sufficiency it can give you. For me, it’s not necessarily about early retirement (although I may choose that), but the ability to make choices from a position of strength and give back to the world.
My discovery of FIRE came from reading through copious amounts of online content and clicking from site to site. To get you started I have listed below some of my favourite FIRE resources from around the web (which I will add to regularly).
Here are some of the best FIRE resources from around the web:
Mr. Money Mustache - the original FIRE guru
Four Pillar Freedom - another great visual FIRE site
Frugalwoods - if you’re interested in a more frugal FIRE perspective
Millennial Boss - a younger perspective
Our Next Life - an American couple who have recently achieved FI
And some more resources that are specifically Australian:
Pat the Shuffler - an Australian FIRE blogger
Aussie Firebug - an Australian FIRE blogger
Miss Money Box - a strong focus on financial education
And of course some Podcasts (via iTunes):
Listen Money Matters - a focus on American personal finance topics
And (coming soon) my top FI book recommendations…
As I continue on my FIRE journey I plan to share what I learn and discover here, as a record of my discoveries and growth. Please feel free to share your FI questions or stories with me, I’d love to hear from you!
And as I read in the April 2018 edition of Money Magazine Australia - ‘Don’t make your life about money. Money is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Don’t get lost along the way.’
Until next time,