It’s Monday morning, and the thought of heading to the office feels you with dread. But you go anyway. After all, you don’t have anyone to bequeath you with a great fortune. And there are bills to be paid. Who would have thought adulthood will be this hard?
It doesn’t have to be so, though.
The FIRE Movement: What is FIRE Finance and How Does it Work?
It is like a crash course for early retirement. The article explains the term and what it stands for. It goes further to talk about the simple calculations at the core of the burning FIRE movement.
I have curated a list of informative and fun retirement blogs whose primary purpose is to spring you out of the 9 – 5 earlier than you ever thought was possible. According to these resourceful bloggers, you don’t need to be born into wealth to retire young.
The secret to FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) is a potent blend of smart savings, frugal living, and wise investments.
Is the idea of living financially independent and free to roam the earth while on an endless vacation appeals to you?
Pay Close Attention to These 16 Early Retirement Blogs (FIRE):
Financial Samurai by Sam was born in the middle of the financial chaos of 2009. Although he had worked in finance for 10 years and saved and invested, he was also hit. So he created the blog to “help myself and others make sense of chaos.” After a successful career in wall street, Sam retired early still in his 30’s.
The site has seen over 30 million visitors since the financial crisis who stopped by to learn, share and grow.
The blog tackles with conviction, retirement planning, real estate, money philosophy and more to help you achieve financial independence faster. As a veteran, each article is written from the front lines and therefore packs a whole lot of helpful punch.
On one of his most commented on articles – Scraping By On $500,000 A Year: Why It’s So Hard For High-Income Earners To Escape The Rat Race, he ponders the perplexing question of the inability of many high earners to keep some of their earnings. Using a real-life couple as a case study, Sam breaks down their income and expenditure to get at the root of their financial problems.
If you can properly forecast your misery, you will be happier because you’ll do things before such misery comes to change. – Sam of FinancialSamurai.com
At 25, Michael co-founded an IT support outfit serving as CFO and then President. Their service company had modest success and expanded nationally. After 10 years, they sold it to a larger IT service company.
Michael spent another one and a half years working a corporate job. But he soon realized the 9-5 didn’t appeal much to him. So, in 2013, at the ripe age of 36, he negotiated a “generous severance package” and ventured into early retirement.
Early retirement, he realized, was not a walk in the park. Michael started the FinanciallyAlert.com blog to “help others to break free from the stress and anxiety of finances.”
From saving tips to advanced financial knowledge to investment advice, he details his financial journey so far and shows others how it can be done. His blog is a treasure trove of resources for those who aspire to FIRE – Financial Independence, Retire Early.
One of the best early retirement blogs in my opinion.
If you are new to the early retirement movement, his viral blog post – The Ultimate FIRE Guide: Unlocking the Secrets of the Modern Financial Independence, Retire Early Movement is the go-to resource. A veritable early retirement 101, the article introduces the concept in the simplest of ways and shows you how to take the first baby steps.
Financial Independence is the tipping point when your annual passive income exceeds your annual expenses — indefinitely. – Michael of FinanciallyAlert.com
Any list of early retirement blogs will scarcely be complete without mention of Mr.MoneyMustache.com. The blog has been around since 2011. Mr.Money Mustache is a self-described forty-something family man. He, alongside his wife, worked in the tech industry through the 90s and early 2000s retiring in 2005.
To achieve their early retirement dreams, the couple lived below their means and channeled their savings into Vanguard Index funds and real estate investments. Mr. Money Mustache tells the full story in his words in his early blog and shows you how you can do the same too.
His blog covers all aspects of early retirement from the practical to the philosophical. If you want to learn to save and invest and get motivated while doing so, Mr. Money Mustache got you covered.
Getting Rich: from Zero to Hero in One Blog Post pretty much summarizes the idea of MrMoneyMustache.com. This blog post covers the basics as well as give you a simple yet effective formula for hitting your early retirement goals – “spending much less money than you bring in is the way to get rich. The ONLY way.”
It turns out I didn’t need all that money, because my needs and wants will never be more than I earn from my natural desire to do useful work. – MrMoneyMustache.com
Jeremy and Winnie retired in 2012 in their 30’s. Now a family of 3, they have been roving the earth while showing you how to do so too with this blog.
Right after paying off his student loan debt, Jeremy decided to be free financially and live an unfettered life. Together with partner Winnie, they learned all they could about early retirement. They made changes in their lifestyle embracing frugality: residing in cheaper accommodation, forsaking owning a car for walking or biking, and preparing their own meals.
They taught themselves how to invest and invested the money saved from their frugality. Now, their investments yield a reasonable income.
On GoCurryCracker.com, the couple shares practical tips on investing, money management, credit cards, travel, and frugal living.
On one of their most popular blog posts, How We Saved Multi-Millions, Jeremy gives an inspiring account of how overcoming a challenging childhood spurred them on never to be poor. He talked about how they were able to save, as he put it, ‘like crazy’ for 10 years before achieving their nomadic lifestyle dreams.
Retire By 40 or RB40 is an early retirement blog by Joe Udo, a former Intel employee. Joe got fed up with the rat race and quit in his late 30’s to be a blogger and a stay-at-home dad. Joe has been blogging since 2010, chronicling his journey even before he retired.
Joe has been able to add to his family’s cash flow with income from his blog and an impressive investment portfolio which includes real estate. Joe blogs about early retirement, financial independence, saving, investing, and passive income.
In Why I Gave Up My Engineering Career, Joe recounts his years as an engineer with Intel. He narrates the challenges and wins of working in a big corporation and the reasons why he quit.
Starting a business takes a lot of time and energy. There is no guarantee that you’ll succeed, but the payoff could be much better than working a side job. – Joe of RetireBy40.com
Not all the bloggers on our list were retired before they started. Like the husband and wife team who run EarlyRetirementNow.com. Mr. Karsten or “big Ern” and his wife have been blogging since 2016, but just recently retired. All in good time; they, from their own admission, have amassed a sizable nest egg.
Big Ern worked as an asset manager in a large Bank, and so has deep insight into the mechanics of investing. Financial planning is their forte, and the site treats the subject thoroughly in several blog posts.
In a series of FIRE retirement blog posts, they wrote extensively on safe withdrawal rates for early retirees. This is key. Upon retirement, you should carefully monitor depletion and capital preservation. This is to ensure you can live off your investments without having ever to work again.
I can’t remember a single day I woke up and thought “Oh, boy, I wish I could go back to work again today. – Big Ern of EarlyRetirementNow.com
PhysicianOnFIRE.com – known in the early retirement online community as PoF, is a practicing anesthesiologist, family man, and FIRE blogger. POF set out with his blog to assist his fellow physicians and their patients.
Physicians are notoriously bad with money despite being one of the highest paid professionals. Unfortunately, most of them are not financially savvy, having focused attention on other areas. PoF bridges that knowledge gap and gives them early retirement options that they had never considered.
Although relatively new to the FIRE blogosphere, he’s become very popular. He’s also very generous and had donated $100k to charity as well as gives away all his online income. A wholly inspirational character.
Should you try to spend less or earn more? Deals with the age-long question of whether to seek financial freedom by maximizing income or saving like crazy. He goes through the comparisons with pros and cons for each.
Jim started RouteToRetire.com to help you “learn how to take control and gain your financial independence.” He started out as an engineer in a tech company and found himself in middle management. Though not yet retired, he’s well on his way and documents his journey to financial freedom on his blog.
Jim loves his tech job but doesn’t like having to go to work every day. He feels work should be something to be done when one feels like, and not because your survival depends on it.
The paths to financial freedom which has helped him and which he advocates include: saving aggressively, living frugally, and investing in rental properties. Together with his wife, they have hit the $1million net worth mark which continues to grow.
His $1million Net Worth… Now What? blog article celebrates as well as it motivates. There you can see how they made that possible. Sorry, what was your excuse again?
The point is that you can’t change where and when you were born, but you can change your circumstances in life. – Jim of RouteToRetire.com
Tanja is the author of OurNextLife.com blog. Tonja alongside her husband, always knew that being desk-bound wasn’t the life for them. “We wanted to climb big mountains, see parts of the world most Americans never venture to, and have time for major creative and service ventures.” She blogs. The blog is suffused with this sense of adventure that beckons you to join in.
The couple retired early in 2017 with Tanja 38 years old and Mark 41. They hope to create an online community of early retirement enthusiasts collaborating to save up for retirement, get out of debt, or just try a different lifestyle.
The blog gets into the nitty-gritty of financial planning, investments, and savings while not neglecting the emotions and philosophies involved in the lifestyle.
In The Importance of Pacing Yourself on the Road to Financial Independence, Tonja emphasizes the need to take it nice and slow.
People who retire early are not financially perfect. They’ve just found ways to build on their strengths and deal with their weaknesses. – Tanja of OurNextLife.com
According to the anonymous authors of CampFireFinance.com, the blog was created to improve lives by improving finances and connecting personal finance bloggers to new readers.
They strongly believe that life is better when you know how to get and manage your money. That people suffer financially because they are broken financially -they lack financial knowledge. This keeps them living from paycheck to paycheck without any hope of getting making progress on their finances.
The blog curates the best articles from other FIRE blogs to help you reach financial independence sooner.
While we agree that not everyone should retire early, we firmly believe that everyone should pursue financial independence. – CampFireFinance.com
Financial Freedom Countdown
Starting Financial Freedom Countdown was inspired by a distinct memory in John’s working career. His VP who was in her 70s one day mentioned that her sister was not keeping well. However, she did not want to take time off given that they had a huge product launch coming up. Two weeks later, she received a phone call. Her sister had passed away The fact that although she was a VP, earning at least 3X more than John; and yet was a “wage slave” hit him like a tidal wave.
John came from a third-world country to the US with only $1,000 not knowing anyone; guided only by an immigrant dream. It was definitely challenging to not just survive; but also thrive in one of the most expensive parts of the world. Accumulated a net worth of $2.3M in 12 years to be financially independent; while continuing to enjoy each day.
Financial Freedom Countdown is focused on individuals living in a high cost of living area. The website covers a myriad of topics related to increasing income while thriving in a high cost of living location, investment options outside of stocks, bonds and real estate, life optimization strategies, protection against disaster, travel and anything related to smart financial planning.
The goal is to live an abundant and purposeful life; not constrained by financial challenges.
John lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and loves to travel, hike and weightlift in his spare time.
The goal for all of us should be that you are no longer trading time for money. Financial Freedom lets you take back control of your life.
The Financially Independent Millennial
The Financially Independent Millennial by Rick Orford is a resource for those looking to save money, invest, and one day, become financially independent and retire early. Despite making pretty much every financial mistake possible, Rick learned how to budget, save, and invest before it was too late.
He discovered the FIRE movement, and he too learned how to become financially independent, and eventually retired at age 35.
Today, Rick has a best-selling book with the same title, The Financially Independent Millennial, and started a YouTube channel, and together with the blog, offers what he knows about finance, to the masses.
It doesn’t matter if you make $50,000 a year, or $150,000 a year; unless you spend less than you earn, you’ll never get ahead. – Rick Orfor
Marjolein created RadicalFIRE.com, a personal finance blog that is dedicated to sharing her path to financial independence. When she started to work her first corporate job in 2018, she knew this wasn’t forever. Marjolein wanted to explore and travel the world, so she pursues financial independence to get freedom over her time back.
Marjolein wants to inspire others and show that financial independence is possible when you’re not making six figures a year (she’s currently making under $50,000). She is two years into her FIRE journey and expects to be financially free before 30!
The way to financial freedom doesn’t have to be without any fun. Marjolein advocates spending money on the things you value, investing in index funds, and taking mini-retirements along the way. There’s no point in postponing joy until you’ve reached financial freedom!
If we know some truths about money, we know that money gives you options. Make the small changes today to get a significant impact on the long term. Compounding doesn’t only apply to investing, but also to your daily habits!
Invested Wallet is a personal finance and investing website for beginners and beyond. The goal of the site is to provide insights on financial independence, investing, budgeting, retiring early, and ways to make money that can help anyone improve their financial situation.
The site was founded by Todd Kunsman, who found himself in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and stuck in a career rut back in 2014. Then while he started teaching himself about money and investing in that same year, he was laid off from his job just a few weeks before Christmas. This set the foundation to improve his career and ensure his finances were more secure in the future.
Since then, he has gone from a $35k salary to $100k+ income, has become completely debt-free, and built a six-figure savings and investment portfolio without the help of anyone or inheriting money.
While Todd is not retired early and has no plans in the near future (which he talked about in the popular article, Instead of Pursuing FIRE, I’m Choosing EWYD [Enjoy What You Do], he is still in the trenches to building wealth and living a more financially free life. He has been featured and quoted in numerous publications about money like CNBC, MarketWatch, Fox Business, Forbes, and more.
How To FIRE
How To FIRE is a website that discusses financial independence and early retirement for beginners to experts. The goal of the site is to give a broad overview of the FIRE movement, saving money, making money, managing money, budgeting, and investing.
They have been featured and quoted in publications such as Forbes, Grow, Fox Business, Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money, GoBankingRates, Debt.com, and more.
John and Samantha Hawrylack founded the site on the principle that getting control of your finances is the key to reaching the freedom you want in your life. In college, the co-founders found themselves stuck in the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle and didn’t want that to be the path they continued down. So, after getting out of school, they paid off over $60,000 in debt and reached CoastFI from saving more than half their income.
Due to these strides in their finances, Samantha (Sam) was able to quit her toxic job in the financial services industry to pursue their businesses full-time (and even 2.5X her previous income in the first year!). In addition to blogs, they run a client-facing business called SJ Digital Solutions, which is based around freelance writing and SEO consulting.
They are also about to launch a new course called Fire Up Freelance to help others escape their 9-5 jobs, go freelance, and achieve freedom.
The Hawrylacks are continuing to increase their incomes and savings rate each year. Their goal is to retire by 40 and continue helping others improve their finances through incremental changes each day.
Banker On FIRE
Damian Ashburn (a.k.a. Banker On FIRE) is far from retired.
On the contrary, he is right in the middle of an intense career as an M&A investment banker.
There are a couple of unique aspects to the Banker On FIRE blog. While Damian was raised stateside, he now lives in London with his wife and two young children. As such, he offers a refreshing perspective that bridges the traditional UK-US divide in the personal finance community.
In addition, while Damian is financially independent (at least by any conventional measure), he isn’t planning on retiring anytime soon. Thus, his blog is primarily focused on building wealth – and designing your life in such a way that the journey to financial independence doesn’t feel like a slog.
Hint: expect to see a lot of practical advice on both the stock market and real estate investing.
Finally, it’s the fact that Damian is a first-generation immigrant who has gone through every single job and income bracket before scaling the investment banking hierarchy.
In Dare To Dream: A Decade At A Time, Damian recounts the journey that took him to where he is today.
If you are looking for practical advice on designing and living your best life (financially and otherwise), this blog may well be for you
Is it Too Early for You to Retire?
Perhaps you’re wondering if you should take that early retirement package from work, or you have been saving all these years and can now manage your retirement expenses?
Early retirement is not for everybody. There are consequences and you must prepare for the worst. Weigh your options and decide if an early retirement lifestyle is for you.