Discovering the FIRE Movement in Australia
FIRE stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early (or as some people like to call it, FIOR — Financial Independence, Optional Retirement).
It’s as much of a mindset as it is a way of life or an aspirational goal. Over the last year, I discovered this movement in Australia (which is already quite large in the US), and have dived deep into learning as much as I can.
FIRE is all about increasing your savings rate, consuming less, pursuing happiness and having the financial freedom and flexibility to choose if, how and when you work. FIRE is not necessarily about frugality (although some pursue it that way) and retiring to do nothing all day. The retirement part is optional, but by being financially independent you have more opportunities to direct your life, and make decisions out from a position of strength.
When you achieve Financial Independence you gain the ability to live off of your personal finances, without the requirement of a salary to maintain your lifestyle. A common aim within the FIRE movement is to have 25x your annual cost of living invested in a diversified portfolio, with a safe annual withdrawal rate of 4%.
I guess the big attraction of financial independence for me, is the feeling of empowerment and self-sufficiency it can give you. For me it’s not necessarily about early retirement (although I may choose that), but the ability to make choices from a position of strength and give back to the world.
My discovery of FIRE came from reading through copious amounts of online content and clicking from site to site. To get you started I have listed below some of my favourite FIRE resources from around the web (which I will add to regularly).
Here are some of the best FIRE resources from around the web:
- Mr. Money Mustache — the original FIRE guru
- Four Pillar Freedom — another great visual FIRE site
- Frugalwoods — if you’re interested in a more frugal FIRE perspective
- Millennial Boss — a younger perspective
- Our Next Life — an American couple who have recently achieved FI
And some more resources that are specifically Australian:
- Pat the Shuffler — an Australian FIRE blogger
- Aussie Firebug — an Australian FIRE blogger
- Miss Money Box — a strong focus on financial education
And of course some Podcasts (via iTunes):
- FIRE Drill Podcast
- Radical Personal Finance
- The Mad Fientist
- Afford Anything
- Listen Money Matters — a greater focus on American personal finance topics
And some of my favourite financial independence themed books at the moment:
- The Simple Path to Wealth — J L Collins
- Meet the Frugalwoods — Elizabeth Thames
- The Year of Less — Cait Flanders
- The $1000 Dollar Project — Canna Campbell
- Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Live — Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus
- Side Hustle: Chris Guillebeau
- Unf*ck Your Finances — Melissa Browne
As I continue on my FIRE journey I plan to share what I learn and discover here, as a record of my discoveries and growth. Please feel free to share your FI questions or stories with me, I’d love to hear from you!
And as I read in the April 2018 edition of Money Magazine Australia — ‘Don’t make your life about money. Money is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Don’t get lost along the way.’
Until next time,