The Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) movement has been gaining steam in recent years as more Americans look for ways to take control of their money and retire well before the traditional retirement age. With FIRE, the goal is to aggressively save and invest enough to be able to quit your regular job and maintain your lifestyle much sooner than usual retirement age. FIRE gained notice when some adherents began blogging about their own journeys. Now there is a thriving community of FIRE blogs, websites and online forums. While they can provide inspiration and money-saving tips, readers should keep their specific financial circumstances in mind when planning for retirement. Partnering with a financial advisor can help ensure that you have all your FIRE bases covered.

What Is FIRE? 

FIRE stands for Financial Independence Retire Early. The basic concept is that instead of working a traditional career for 40-plus years before retiring, FIRE practitioners aim to super-save and super-invest so they have enough capital to quit regular jobs much earlier, typically in their 30s, 40s or 50s.

To make FIRE work typically requires earning above-average income while living well below your means, allowing for saving rates of 50% or more of income. The general idea is to invest this wisely so that within a relatively small number of years, the saver can use a safe withdrawal rate to cover living expenses without ever running out of money.  

Top FIRE Blogs

The FIRE movement has spawned a community of bloggers, websites and forums dedicated to the concept of Financial Independence Retire Early. These internet spaces allow FIRE hopefuls to follow the journeys of others pursuing FIRE in various ways. FIRE resources cater to diverse approaches and individual preferences, ensuring there’s something for everyone. Some top FIRE blogs include:

  • Mr. Money Moustache. Created by Pete Adeney, this seminal FIRE blog started in 2011 covers the writer’s own quest for financial independence along with plenty of tips and straight talk about smarter consumer choices. 
  • Mad Fientist. With a focus on FIRE optimization strategies, this blog by Brandon Ganch employs lots of number crunching to help readers best pursue early retirement. There’s also a podcast featuring interviews with high-profile people in the FIRE movement.
  • Chief Mom Officer. Geared to women, particularly corporate working moms, this FIRE blog provides inspiration to females aiming for financial freedom. 
  • Financial Samurai. After author Sam Dogen achieved FIRE, he began blogging to help others by “slicing through money’s mysteries.” Unlike many FIRE bloggers who move to low-cost locales, Dogen retired early without leaving high-cost San Francisco.
  • rich & REGULAR. This blog and associated podcast produced by Julien and Kiersten Saunders focus on financial challenges and opportunities facing Black Americans on the road to financial independence.

FIRE Blog Caveats

A woman following money-saving tips at home as part of the Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) movement.

While FIRE blogs can provide money-saving tips, community support, inspiration and motivation, readers should consider their specific circumstances when following financial advice. Bloggers typically write mainly about their own situations and what worked for them. Their individual solutions may not apply to anyone else. Generic FIRE strategies may need adjustments for those with dependents, health conditions or non-traditional career paths.

Additionally, most FIRE bloggers are not financial professionals. They’re typically more or less ordinary individuals on self-directed money journeys, often learning as they go. They generally don’t have extensive academic or technical training or a background in providing financial advice as a professional financial advisor would. They rarely have professional certifications, belong to professional groups that require adherence to ethical or other standards and are not subject to regulatory oversight.

Some bloggers may also earn income from blogging itself, sometimes via avenues like affiliate links, sponsorships and advertisements. So their advice may pose a conflict of interest when promoting certain financial products or services.

Bottom Line

A senior couple enjoying their retirement.

FIRE bloggers can inspire and share money-saving hacks, but they aren’t necessarily fiduciaries acting in the best interests of readers. Therefore, before you make any major money move spurred by a FIRE blog, run it by a financial advisor who can analyze how this strategy could fit into your situation.

Retirement Planning Tips

  • If you like the idea of retiring early, schedule a session with a financial advisor to draw up your personalized FIRE roadmap. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • There’s no better way to see how you’re progressing toward retirement than to run your own numbers through SmartAsset’s retirement calculator.

Photo credit: © maulana, ©, ©

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