How the FIRE Movement Started


Who started the FIRE? Not a true fire – but the FIRE movement, financial independence, retire early. 

It’s a wildly popular concept many are catching onto – retiring or planning to retire in their 30s and 40s. The average retirement age of 65 no longer exists, now it’s about how early can you retire and still be financially independent.

But who did start the FIRE?

Who Started the FIRE Movement

The FIRE movement dates back to 1992 in a book by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin titled ‘Your Money, Your Life.’ This was the true FIRE ‘discovery.’ In this book, the authors talked about topics we all know, but never truly understood.

It all comes down to living simpler, getting out debt (and staying there), and aggressively saving so you can step out of the labor market and live off your hard-earned money.

Not long after they introduced the movement, it was handed off to a few other influencers in the industry, including Mr. Money Mustache who has helped millions of people from all walks of life see that they too can be financially independent and retire early.

Adding to the FIRE Movement

While the FIRE movement focuses on retiring early, Mr. Money Mustache makes it very clear that it is about more than ‘not working.’ It’s about finding what you love to do and making money doing it rather than relying on the 9 to 5 grind and doing something you don’t enjoy. 

Today, the FIRE movement is about finding side hustles that bring in the money you need so you can retire early. When combined with the necessary frugality and no credit card debt, anyone can achieve their dreams of becoming financially free. 

Who Should use FIRE?

The FIRE movement isn’t for everyone and it’s definitely not just a way to get out of a job you hate. With only 30 percent of Americans engaged in their jobs, it’s easy to say that FIRE is a way to get away from the 70 percent that just don’t love what they do, but it’s not. 

In fact, only 35 percent of those polled in a Harris Poll stated that leaving a full-time job was their incentive for FIRE. Additionally, 43 percent of the financially independent and non-financially independent respondents stated that they’ll still work once retired, that it’s not about the job itself, but rather the freedom they’ll have in life. That freedom could mean spending more time with friends and family, traveling the world, or starting a business doing something they love and not worrying that they won’t be able to pay the bills because of it. 

Should you FIRE?

You should do what feels right to you. If you love working – that doesn’t mean you can’t make yourself financially independent. Who wouldn’t love that? Who knows, it may alleviate some of your job stress, and make you love your job more. 

If you have big plans – you don’t want that early morning alarm clock or the stress of the boss breathing down your neck, check out the ‘Your Money, Your Life’ book or catch up on Mr. Money Mustache’s thoughts and see how it resonates with you. Maybe you’ll be the next FIRE proponent and successful early retiree.

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