Financial Independence Retire Early
FIRE is a lifestyle movement that incorporates spending less and earning more to create a high savings rate typically between 50-70% of your income and then investing that money until you achieve financial independence through creating ways to make passive income!
Financial Independence is when your passive income covers your expenses. The Retire Early (RE) bit is optional!
I think about FIRE in terms of – The Four Pillars of Life
I believe we must invest into each of these four pillars throughout our lives. If one pillar not structurally sound it jeopardises the other four pillars and the house will collapse. As humans we are constantly striving for homeostasis, our planet (mother nature) is doing the same. So it makes sense that we take this holistic approach to life within the four pillars.
At times we need to stay for extended periods in one or two of the pillars only to return to the other pillars at a later date. We must hope that we have build up enough credit in those other pillars that we can drawn down from it when needed. We are always moving between the pillars which is needed to achieve balance and growth in each area!
The book explored an alternative to the social norm of working a 9-5 job to make money for the best part of your life until at a ripe old age you eventually may have enough to retire and enjoy the golden years.
FIRE allows you to write your own story and design the life that you want based on the core DNA level values and motivations that matter to you. For some people the catalyst is the notion of escaping the corporate rat race that we find ourselves caught up in.
Some simply want the confidence of being financially independent and the peace of mind it brings them and their families in the event of (job loss, illness, pandemic, etc) knowing they have the means to support themselves with multiple streams of income or perhaps the chance to create their own business or passion project, and focus energy on meaningful work.
Solving the money problem first is a good strategy as you are buying back time to explore the things you really want to do at a later date!
For others the idea of an early retirement is appealing and cannot be ignored.
Very few people who have fired, will simply be able to decompress and then sit on the beach and sip cocktails under a palm tree for the rest of their lives. Sure this would be fun for about a month maximum and then what happens.
We all need purpose, meaning, creativity, play and a form of work as humans; so planning is key!
Advantages of early retirement – being Financially Independent offers some tremendous advantages.
These advantages include:
- Enjoy more flexibility
- Take a sabbatical
- Start a business
- Spend more time with the family
- To engage in activities that don’t make money (volunteer)
- Have fun on your own terms
- Start new hobbies and interests
- Travel for extended periods of time
- Make use of off peak offers and schedules (typically cheaper and less busy)
- Focus on Health & Fitness goals without outside demands
- Move to a lower cost of living location
- Relax on the beach with cocktails
Can anyone FIRE?
There are many strategies on the FIRE path which are individual for each person and different factors such as physical location, tax rules, debts, core beliefs about money, assets, financial literacy etc.
There are a million reasons why you cannot Fire and why should never start. If you want an exhaustive list of reasons just ask your friends, colleagues and people you know. They will give you that information for free and readily outline the many reasons you cannot Fire and never start.
If you’re stubborn, sick of touching the fire and getting burnt every time and finally come to the realization that your own plan may have not worked (and if it had you probably wouldn’t be reading this page). Then you need to become teachable and open minded .
Ok, this is easier said than done, if this was just a quantum shift and a case of calculating the math and everything will fall into place more people would do it.
You may be thinking Dave I have been living pay check to pay check and doing self sabotaging behaviour for years, where do I begin?
Well there are different levels of FIRE so which one do you want to strive for?
This is the purest form of FIRE where all basic expenses are covered and nothing much else, but you have the independence and time that you do not have to work. There are no extras or luxuries here and the number required is the lowest. This level requires a master of managing and tracking expenses and a minimalist lifestyle.
This is usually the middle point on the spectrum where all basic needs and expenses are met with allowance for extras and comfort, such as (travel abroad, upgrading the car periodically, entertainment, eating out, etc)
This is the highest form of FIRE that you can hit, where all expenses are covered and you can continue to live out your freedom at the same spending rate you enjoyed at your highest income levels when working. There is a lot of high income and you can really buy and spend on whatever you want. It is the 5* Rolls Royce of FIRE types!
This option allows for a slow path to financial independence and usually you still need a job to one day live the FIRE lifestyle. By opting for this path, the job usually is very low-stress job and flexible, allowing you extended time off, remote working or flexi-time. The extra income provides the ability to cover non-essential living expenses whilst living the FIRE lifestyle by design now.
A hybrid strategy that uses three different retirement lifestyles including; semi-retirement, early retirement and the good old traditional retirement. First of all you accumulate enough money that hit half of your FI number goal and then enter a state of semi-retirement allowing for the effects of compound interest to take effect. You essentially know that you will FIRE in time and can start to live some of the benefits of FIRE earlier.
To date there have not been any record of successful human brain transplant, although they did trial this successfully on a corpse. Unless you want to be part of a live trial, you need to get to work on the one that you have and start the reprogramming process.
In every situation whatever action you choose; either takes you towards or away from your goal!
Next, I will show you How to start FIRE?