Interview: Michael Houghton – Irish Fire Podcast


I ma Fire Dave and in this blog post I interview Michael Houghton of the Irish Fire Podcast, who is also a good friend of mine.

Michael is a true entrepreneur and we have discussed everything F.I.R.E at this stage (Financial Independence and Retire Early) at length. We regularly share  tactics, tips and tricks and I have watched Michael dive into many projects over the past few years FIRE, business and voluntary related! We both Co-host the Limerick FI Meetup group and Michael has attended a number of the Fire Dave Live Events as a speaker. You can watch back some of the past FIRE events here

Whether you are saving on your take away coffee, sipping a large cappuccino or making a good old cup of tea, lets dive into these questions and find out who Michael is, what is the backbone fo his FIRE stratehy and what he plans to do when hits hits FI. I asked the exact same 3 key interview questions to Michael and the full Q & A is here:

Who are you and how did you discover fire?

My name is Michael Houghton, I am originally from New Zealand and now live in Ireland, I am happily married and a father of three boys!

In 2017 I made the decision to start to journey towards financial freedom. I was sick of selling my time for money and realised that through the power of compounding interest, I could work towards financial independence.

In a three year period from 2018 to 2020 I grew my portfolio to over €140,000.

I discovered FIRE after getting frustrated with the feeling of spinning on a wheel. I was working hard every year, but never really getting ahead.

When I explored what was out there, I discovered a community of people who thought the same as I did. From there, I was hooked.



What is the backbone of your fire strategy?

I’m looking to produce a portfolio that will give me an income of 24,000 euro per year. Based on the 4% rule, to do this, I need 600,000 euro. I’m a quarter of the way now, and am around 5.5 years away from hitting that goal. I currently save 4,500 euro per month – around 3,000 euro of that goes straight into a pension (which I can access at 50 – 55) and around 1,500 a month into person saving

Around half of current portfolio is in our rental property, with another 50k in Index funds, and the remainder in start up investments, forestry and cash.

How do you plan to spend time when you are FI, and any plans?

I like the idea of being able to get up when I want too! Most of us are ruled by alarm clocks and its a horrible way to live. I’m a hard worker naturally, but I get so much joy on working on passion projects rather than helping fuel someone else’s dream.

I have already set up several hockey clubs and have set up a Native Woodland Co-op (, and I would love to spend more time on those projects and others like it.

If you want to see Michaels portfolio, check out his podcast or connect to find out more,

just head over to his website here

I asked Michael a set of follow up questions to see how he was getting on since this interview and to track his progress. Michael looks at how increasing income can help expediate your FIRE journey and you can read the second round by clicking here


Thank you for sharing this!

If you want to hear when the tables were turned and Mike interviewed me on the Irish Fire Podcast

Listen by clicking here

Check out my other unique Interviews | FIRE Dave

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Alison K

    I listened to you on the Irish Fire podcast and it was a fresh look at financial independence from the top down and great to hear your message Dave – I will be checking back for more, Alison

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