The Financial Independence, Retire Early movement (FIRE) is a lifestyle movement to achieve personal freedom and financial independence as early in life as possible. This movement became popular among millennials in the 2010’s mainly through online communities via blogs, podcasts and online discussion groups. But the main ideas behind FIRE originated in a 1992 best-selling book entitled Your Money or Your Life written by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez, as well as a 2010 book by Jacob Lund Fisker, Early Retirement Extreme.
These books created the basic concept of combining simple living with income and investments to achieve financial independence, thus being called FIRE by those attempting to attain this goal. Advocates commit to a thorough evaluation of their relationship to money and passionately believe in sustainable living. All aspects of the FIRE movement, from saving and investing strategies to actual lifestyle habits, reflect their dedication to preserve the environment and support socially responsible living. Achieving early retirement on a fast track must also be balanced with social responsibilities to the environment and future generations.
Followers of the Fire movement believe that it involves more than just earning, spending and saving, but also satisfaction and fulfillment. They seek to create and encourage independent thinking, self-sustenance and accountability for their own lives. Originally outlined, there are nine steps to create a road map for this new lifestyle, all requiring an extensive self-evaluation and extremely detailed charting and information gathering.
- Reviewing your past earning and spending activity
- Detailing how much personal time you actually spend earning your wages
- Tracking where your money goes
- Detailing how much fulfillment and satisfaction you get from the energy you put into working
- Detailing that visible life energy (in comparison to not having to work)
- Minimizing spending
- Maximizing income
- Capitalizing on money that makes money
- Making wise financial choices
Participants in the FIRE movement are self-motivated and prefer to live an active lifestyle on their own terms. Even though they want to retire, they desire the freedom to choose how they spend their “retirement”. Working full-time, part-time, on a consultation basis or not at all is their choice and their decision. It is also interesting to point out that Peter Adeney, aka Mr. Money Mustache, is an influential blogger who retired financially independent shortly after turning 30 and now writes how to live a frugal life of leisure.
Have a great weekend!