I’ve noticed quite a lot of articles lately about the FIRE community. I don’t know how much of it is the idea catching on or if it’s just shown up in a couple of major news sources and so other outlets are riffing on it.
Some of the buzz has also been generated by this upcoming documentary.
I’ve noticed that a lot of the articles focus on the extreme end of the movement, the people in their twenties and early thirties who are looking to retire in their mid thirties, people who live on a sofa in a flat share so they can save 75% of their salary. Also the people who are at the highly frugal end, those living on twenty or thirty thousand dollars a year. Like anything FIRE is a spectrum. While to the outside world people like us retiring in their mid forties seems extreme, in the FIRE world we are very much at the less extreme end. We also live a comfortable life, and spend more than the average family in the US spends. Of course we have been very lucky in our careers.
So here are some recent news reports talking about early retirement and FIRE.
The Guardian. This article is only from today and covers people both in the US and UK. It’s actually quite rare in that it also talks to people in their 40s and 50s. It’s reasonably even handed and seems quite objective.
Washington Post. An article from last week that was essentially a Q&A with a podcaster refuting some of Suze Orman’s recent claims. There was no real new information in the article, although the claims there were only about a dozen bloggers in the FIRE community was a bit odd.
The BBC had an article earlier in the month which included a lot of the same British people as the later Guardian article. This is one of the few articles that really delved into the history of the movement. A lot of the news articles seem to think that Mr Money Mustache was the first person who ever retired early.
This Forbes article approaches the movement from the perspective of a money manager. How would you talk to a client interested in retiring early?
PBS spent some time interviewing families and retirees. Their focus seems to be very much on the do what you want part, rather than the retiring part.
Finally for some colour, here is the South African perspective.
FIRE is becoming more mainstream, as more people understand it and become aware of the movement then there is more chance of the younger generation following its tenets.