Could You Join the FIRE Movement and Retire Early?
I hate to be one of those people who looks back and says, “I wish I knew then what I know now.” But when it comes to retirement planning, I really do, especially after discovering the FIRE movement. FIRE stands for Financial Independence Retire Early, and it’s a way Millennials have figured out how to rebel against the traditional path toward retirement. They created their own rules for financial independence, instead of being dependent on income from an employer over decades of their life to save enough for retirement. And, they found a way to build their wealth without having to learn complex investment strategies.
FIRE starters are all about early retirement through just plain saving their money (a significant portion of it) and working like crazy to make more of it that they can stash away. Then they invest it in a basic, low-cost ETF and use compound interest to their advantage to reach their retirement goals in a few years instead of over a lifetime. That way, they have the rest of their lives to do whatever they want. They completely disrupt the materialistic, consumerism mindset by buying as little as possible, and getting their living expenses down low. By having an inexpensive lifestyle, they don’t have to save as much for retirement to maintain it.
Now I don’t know if I could be a total FIRE devotee — I have been known to bend my budget for a nice pair of stylish shoes. But, I do wish I’d acquired some of these smart saving skills years ago when I had more time to make compound interest my long-time friend.
In researching the FIRE movement, which you can read about in more detail in our article on KP, I’ve learned a lot about how to be a better saver to build my retirement wealth a little faster.
Alas, I wish I knew then what I know now!
What about you? Could you be disciplined enough to join the FIRE movement? What are some ways you found to save money?