Is the FIRE Movement BS?

What is FIRE?

  • Save 40%-70% of your after-tax income (we saved 70%).
  • Quit your full-time job after ten years or so, usually in your 30’s or 40’s. Few have achieved this in their 20's.
  • Learning to avoid revolving credit card debt.
  • The focus is on the short-term sacrifice to achieve the goal as fast as possible, which usually means being frugal and reducing expenses.
  • Pay off your mortgage, or end up downsizing to a smaller/cheaper house.
  • Invest in low-fee investments, like index funds.
  • Drive used cars, and if possible, downsize to one or zero cars.
  • Many use the 4% rule to determine when they can retire. The idea is that pulling out 4% per year from your investment “should” mean your investments continue to grow, and you don’t need to live off of the principle. So having $1,000,000 invested, you could live off of $40,000/year.
  • Many blogs are trying to re-wire the standard definition of FIRE by focusing on financial independence.
  • Having financial independence is usually defined as having a net worth of 25x your expenses.
  • The definition of “retirement” is used loosely. The goal is not necessarily to quit your job but to have the flexibility in how/when you work.
  • Increasing income helps to achieve financial independence faster.
  • It is about hacking life to pursue your goals.

What I Like About FIRE

Frugality doesn’t equal deprivation.

Financial independence is color blind.

Thinking about the Future

Debt is Evil

Most of us can save more money than we think.

Focus on Happiness

What I Don’t Like About FIRE

Some of Us Can’t Relate.

A lot of popular FIRE blogs are making tons of money.

Who sincerely wants to live off of $40k per year?

What if you don’t hate your job?

Summary

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