The FIRE Movement and Financial Freedom

5 MINUTE READ

By David Ashley, MD, MBA

When I first heard about the “FIRE” movement, I was intrigued.  It stands for Financial Independence Retire Early. This movement involves a growing community of people committed to extreme savings to be able to leave the workforce way before most of their peers.

There are multiple blogs, websites, and online communities that support this culture of frugal individuals. The keys to success are living a bare-bones existence, eliminating debt and saving as much money as possible. Many are trying to save up to 70% of their income.  This group of people is committed to living below their means to gain financial freedoms that most of us can only dream about.  Most will need to continue to live that minimalist life in retirement to get out of work at a younger age and make the savings last for the rest of life.

The qualities and skillset required are admirable, and many of us could benefit by emulating the will power and habits that these people must adhere to, to successfully retire early.

The FIRE movement is an extreme version of what we are teaching here at MoneyWellth.  Delayed gratification, healthy savings habits, paying down debt, are things we should all be striving to achieve. Statistics show that most of us are going in the opposite direction, taking on more debt for education, automobiles, and accumulating credit card debt.

What is FIRE-Light?

What we teach at MoneyWellth is what we call FIRE-Light. As I extinguish debt and continue to live below my means, that success feels good. The more money I put in the bank, I feel an increasing sense of freedom. I have more choices in life. I can work full time or not. I can consider a career change to something completely new, with less concern about the income. I like the idea of continuing to work part-time, so that when the economy or stock market turns south, I have several sources of income, including savings and investments, along with some work. I’m working because I want to and not because I have to. That feels great. 

With FIRE, most people have to commit to a frugal existence for the rest of their lives; I don’t. I can continue working and saving, or I can decide to stop. For me, having options is the ultimate luxury I want to have. I feel in control of my destiny, and that feels great.

FIRE-Light is not just about retirement. Instead, we teach and emphasize positive financial behaviors with the goal being to achieve financial freedom of choice. Financial freedom for you may include early retirement or not. Financial independence allows you the opportunity to take more risks. Start your own company, travel, buy a new home, or save for educational expenses.

I commend the people who have successfully retired early and have the incredible freedoms that independence from work must feel. Developing increased resilience in this way is healthy for individuals and communities. 

Achieving Your Financial Goals

What are your financial goals? Join MoneyWellth and start living a FIRE-Light lifestyle today to make your goals a reality.

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