Frugal Village Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,746 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
  • Like
Reactions: marthamfi

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,965 Posts
I was part of the FIRE community in reddit for a little bit. One point of discussion was the skewed way the media portrays the FIRE movement. They tend to pick the most extreme examples. These are not representative of the movement as a whole.

Most are a normal level of frugality, not extreme frugality. And many do allow themselves some spending money for hobbies, entertainment, etc.

The main thing is living below your means and investing a significant portion of your income. This is easier to do on a higher income, so people on the higher income level are over represented in the movement. For example, you have a couple whose combined earnings are $150,000 a year. They can save half their money and still have $75,000 a year to live on.

When the media cherry pick stories, it tries to discourage the very fundamental ideas behind them. And in a way it can discourage even more modest goals that are inspired by them.

For example, my husband and I on track to retire at 60. We are investing around 25% of our pre tax income. It is not early enough to be part of the fire movement. But it is inspired by some of the same ideals.

And my mother has told be before that I can't retire that early because it is before I qualify for social security. So there are people out there that feel like retirement is some fixed age and even a few years early is not allowed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,965 Posts
I also notice that the original post puts down things that many people hear may think of as normal.

For example, buying clothes at thrift store is shunned as some kind of horrible thing. Like the person doesn't want to retire early if it means doing something like thrift store shopping.

One of the issues around saving money and being frugal is that people are encouraged to think that perfectly normal things should be avoided because some people portray them negatively.

Not going out to eat is another thing that is portrayed as too extreme. Ummm...I hardly ever go out to eat and I don't see it as extreme. I eat good food every day. It is not a hardship to me not going out to eat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,746 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for sharing your experience with FIRE. It's not for everybody, and I think the writer of that piece was young and still in the acquisition phase of life, more interested in having stuff and doing things that cost money. As you say, two people with good income and a plan can theoretically make this work.
 
  • Like
Reactions: marthamfi

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,833 Posts
I think one of the biggest deterrents to early middle class retirement is health insurance premiums. Seems like no one discusses that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,746 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, insurance is one of the reasons DH is still working. I expect that the quality of my health care will decrease significantly when he retires.
 
  • Like
Reactions: marthamfi

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,787 Posts
Yes insurance etc all helps. Though not everyone following it is young making $$$ I have followed this lady just cus she is fun and she used the fact housing went nuts there to fund her retirement. She has 2 blogs. dancing with frogs and this one. and she had to raise 4 boys on her own no real help etc. she gardens etc lots of good info from someone who understands. frugal tips etc. but also had fun too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,965 Posts
In the articles that talk about the FIRE movement, insurance is not usually mentioned. However, in forums and sites where it is discussed more in depth, insurance does come up as a topic.

It is one more item to budget for. So you have to save up more money, harder but still doable.

The shortcut method of FIRE is the goal of making your passive income (investments and sometimes rental property) equal how much you are currently spending a year. When that happens, you can retire. The more accurate way is to calculate out what your retirement spending will be because it could be different from what it is currently.

Within the FIRE community there are those who are somewhat niave and ignore the fact that old age often brings expensive health problems. But there are also pragmatic people who budget extra money for it.

There are lots of different ways FIRE can look. Some people are content to lead simple, frugal lives. They willing live on a fairly low income in exchange for being able to retire early. This is generally called lean FIRE. Others aspire to have a very large amount of savings so they can live an upper middle class or wealthy lifestyle. This is called fat FIRE. Of course, many people are in between these two.

I feel like even though my target retirement age places me above what FIRE would consider early retirement, I feel a strong connection to many of their ideas.

One item that is often not talked about is accounting for inflation. If you are retiring in your 40s inflation is potentially much more of an issue than if you are retiring in your 60s.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top