The FIRE Movement Explained

Normally when people hear the word fire, they either run in the opposite direction or hear Donald Trump’s voice!

But now, people are running after FIRE. Well, the FIRE Movement at least.

FIRE Movement?

Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE). This movement is basically summed up as an insane saving technique in order to retire early. Early retirement seems like a good idea especially when you remember that millennials, Gen Z, and the next generations’ retirement age is 65!!! So, no wonder many are embracing the FIRE movement. But, are you up for the challenge?

The FIRE movement is not for everyone. It’s the financial equivalent of the juice diet – absolutely eliminating more than 95% of your finances. But some people work around that depending on how much you’re willing to give up. So, we’ve got three FIRE personalities:

1. Fat Fire: This is not for the average man; it mainly works with those who earn way above the average income. It requires having a high salary, investment strategies, and of course brutal saving skills. If you want to live a comfortable modest life post-retirement, this plan is for you

2. LeanFire: This is for the one who wants to retire early, quickly, and live in luxury. It requires extreme saving skills and it’s heavily influenced by the minimalist approach. So, you will not find any “bought it because it’s cute” kind of items in this person’s house.

3. Barista Fire: This is the more reasonable choice for the majority of us. It does require you to quit your full-time job and work part-time or as a freelancer. It doesn’t necessarily grant you early retirement, but it does grant you a more flexible lifestyle. It’s like retirement but with income.

Pros & cons

While the idea of retiring early seems favourable among the majority, the FIRE strategies are not as loved. There are several pros obviously like being financially independent, retirement, mindful spending, and getting more time for your hobbies instead of wilting your youth away from working.

On the other hand, the cons are not easy to get over or even avoid them. Looking at the Fat Fire and LeanFire strategies, it’d be hard to create any type of work-life balance. You will definitely wilt and wither. Since the FIRE movement heavily relies on investments, risks become part of the equation. Lastly, the FIRE movement seems to be directed towards a specific social class. The movement is more accessible to those with higher incomes as they have more opportunities to save and invest without it fundamentally altering their lives.