Starting a FIRE – Financial Independence Retire Early

Have you ever heard the saying, “you don’t know what you don’t know“?  One of those sayings where you think, “well… duh!”…. Might be a silly saying, but “sayings” usually come from some sort of lesson in life.

Knowledge is power and if you’re missing information the reality of things can be skewed.  It’s like the movie, The Truman Show.  You understand the reality that is presented to you, but if you are truly determined you will find the answers!

Of course we can’t know everything!  When you stumble upon new information it can change your reality in profound ways!  Have you ever had a task to do at work, but your boss or coworker didn’t give you all of the information you needed?  Well it’s like that.  Once they fill you in on the rest, lightning strikes!

Maybe there’s a chance that you’re reading this and you’ll get that same spark.  For myself, it began as a tiny flame created by two sticks and has turned into an inferno.

The primitive journey to reach financial independence has now become an obsession that fuels that inner drive toward the future.

primitive journey to financial independence
“I said to take a left!”

Reading personal finance blogs such as Mr. Money Mustache and InvestmentZen opened up my eyes to the fact that you don’t need to wait until you’re 65 to be free from what many of us call the “Rat Race”.

I wish I had Caught On FIRE earlier!  I’ve always had a fascination with playing with hot things.  I don’t know why it took this long.

I’ve always had friends that had the get rich quick mentality.  The thing is that it (almost) never works…. Unless maybe you’re last name is Kardashian or you win the lotto!

Of course, with hard work and a few years, the impossible can become reality.

What exactly is FIRE?

FIRE – An acronym for Financial Independence Retire Early or some rendition of those four words.  The idea that financial freedom doesn’t have to wait until your hair is all gray or gone.

It’s less about retiring early and more about achieving financial freedom.  No more burden of worrying about the next paycheck!  But in order to do so usually comes with sacrifices, unless your’e making a fortunate amount of money.

The retiring early part might be a little more relevant to an age range that is approaching the 65 mark and is hoping to end a few years earlier.  At the end of the day it’s the goal of achieving financial freedom no matter what age.  It’s the ability to pay all of your bills without having to think about a paycheck.  Having enough of a nest egg so that you can live worry free until the rest of your days on this planet.

Everyone’s idea on the amount of money needed may differ.  Plus, there are several definitions on the levels of financial independence.  As a general rule of thumb, the amount should be enough to cover all of your personal, typical living expenses, without having to work.  Some classify two types, leanFIRE and fatFIRE.

fire financeThis is definitely a growing cult of several age groups.  Many of us growing up questioning why we have to work most of our lives.  Then they discover FIRE and the world is changed.

Some of us might feel like our job lacks true purpose.  Maybe you’re behind a screen like myself.  That hunching over and staring over years is probably going to be debilitating in it’s own right.  After all, man wasn’t made to sit all day long!

How many people do you know that work desk jobs with back problems?… I know a lot!  Or… maybe you’re just wanting the general freedom?  Doesn’t everyone just want to feel free!?  A pure lack of burden that comes with bills or debt.

The thing is you don’t really have to be rich.  Wait, what?! 

Many of us make enough money to retire much much earlier, but with the way that our current infrastructure is set up you are told to buy the next best thing.  Each time you decide to upgrade a phone or buy a bigger house you extend that timeline.  Some of the decisions are minor and others are major and put you back many years.

Check out: Our daily habits can cost us!

Ultimately, yes you have to have what I’d call “a lot of money”, but if you’re smart about what you do with your money you can make it work for you instead of against you.

Time can be your best friend or your worst enemy.  If you had the knowledge placed in front of you knowing how much earlier you could be free would you make those changes in your life?  Would they be worth it to you?

Questions you may want to ask yourself…

  • How much do I really need?
  • Am I willing to cut out anything to help reach FI early?
  • Is it better to save money or earn more?
  • Do I plan on having children (or more children)?

downsizing homeEveryone’s version of FIRE is going to be different and the sacrifices will be different.  My first glimpse started with the tiny home movement a few years back.  It made the idea of being free feasible for the first time and the wheel started to turn.

From there I stumbled upon The Minimalists.  Two guys who had enough of the rat race and decided it wasn’t worth sacrificing your values for a few dollars.

Then somewhere along the lines Mr Money Mustache came into the picture.

Finally, we’re here… where I log my journey as a way to inspire someone else while selfishly continue to keep my motivation as well!

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