By definition, a cult is a relatively small group of people who have beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.
There is this group of people I know that fit that description.
- First – They don’t work. Many stopped working in their 30s.
- Second – They secretly have a lot of money and people are suspicious of where it came from.
- Third – They may talk about the benefits of their cult and try to aggressively persuade people into it. Although most of the time, they are hiding their participation in the cult from friends and family.
- Fourth – They have a leader with a strange name and he is eccentric, opinionated, and charismatic like many other cult leaders.
Based on these characteristics, you may be wondering what this cult is all about and who exactly belongs in it. In this post, I’ll provide answers to those questions.
What is this secret cult?
The cult is called FIRE and I was indoctrinated into the cult last October.
I went to a resort in the jungle of Ecuador where the cult leader promised me a lifetime of freedom should I choose to accept the invitation into the cult.
I accepted and haven’t looked back.
Yes, this sounds crazy but it’s real life.
What does FIRE stand for?
FIRE stands for Financial Independence Retire Early.
Those words mean nothing to the average person but to the secret cult – they are everything.
FIRE means saving up a ton of money (AKA achieving financial independence), so you can quit your job at a young age (retire early), and pursue a lifestyle of your choice.
What would you do in retirement?
You can pursue any lifestyle you want once you reach FI. (FI is a term used to describe the moment you have enough money to retire).
Some FIRE members have chosen the following lifestyles once they retired.
- This couple retired in their 30s and now travel the world with their young son.
- This man retired in his 30s and lives a relatively normal laid back life.
- This man retired in his 30s and chooses to travel while still having a home base.
What if you like working?
Contrary to popular belief, achieving financial independence doesn’t necessarily mean that you stop working, are lazy, or stop earning money.
The early retired folks I mentioned above are still pursuing some type of work in retirement.
They are continuing to earn money and flex their brain power.
The difference between us and them is that they’re working because they want to and not because they have to.
They’re choosing their work and it’s on their terms.
The most ironic part about FIRE is that the people who are most likely to achieve financial independence and/or early retirement are exactly the people who are driven, focused, and goal-oriented. This is the opposite of the type of person who might want to sit on the couch all day and do nothing.
For this reason, many people who achieve early retirement don’t actually retire, at least not in the traditional sense.
These people tend to quit jobs that consume their time without rewarding them with a sense of fulfillment. Then, these people either join organizations where they do get fulfillment from their work or they simply work on their own projects that they find to be interesting.
This is the real gift of F.I. – to work as little or as much as you want on exactly the things that you enjoy and find to be meaningful.
FIRE is like the best build-your-own burger
Although there are some common trends in FIRE (such as people choosing to travel once retired), FIRE is very personal and will be different for everyone.
The path of getting to FIRE, the amount of money needed for FIRE, and the lifestyle pursued once FIRE is achieved will differ from person to person.
It’s all about building YOUR personal dream life with the resources available TO YOU.
Some FIRE lifestyles will be more expensive than others, and that’s fine.
For those who want to live a luxurious lifestyle after they achieve financial independence, they can save more money. For those who want to live a simple life and don’t need to spend much to be happy, they can choose to retire with less money in the bank and enjoy the simply lifestyle that their savings provide.
Why does FIRE sound like miserable frugality?
I used to think FIRE was all about frugality (especially since many of the big names in the FIRE movement are pretty frugal) but it’s not.
FIRE is about controlling your money so you can live your dream life.
Now, the cheaper you can make your life, the more quickly you can achieve FIRE.
That’s some serious motivation.
A reduction in spending can have a significant decrease on the timeline to FI.
Many people pursuing FI choose to live a more frugal lifestyle for that reason.
They can give up a few luxuries now to shave some years off their working life.
FIRE makes you realize that your stuff isn’t making you any happier
The realization that I could speed up my timeline to FI hit me and I made some significant changes.
I realized that my big house and new car were not making me happier and contributing to my stress.
I sold my car and downsized to a small apartment, selling $4,500 worth of stuff on Craigslist.
I also got rid of 90% of my clothes.
The decoupling of stuff and happiness is a common realization among FIRE members but to outsiders, it appears a little nuts.
How does early retirement work financially?
There are four concepts you must understand in order to fund an early retirement.
1. If you can save 70% of your income, you can retire in 8 years.
I picked that number for effect but check out this handy dandy chart which shows the numbers of years to retirement at different savings rates.
2. Yes, you have to live on that remaining 30% for the rest of your life in order for the math to work.
If you have a problem with that, increase your income. That’s what I did. I paid off $89k of debt and increased my income 600% over the past 5 years.
3. Alternatively, you can calculate your annual spending and multiply that by 25 to get your target number.
For example, if you spend $40,000 per year, your target number for retirement will be $1,000,000.
4. Or, you can achieve FI by building a stream of passive income.
Some people purchase rental properties with enough cash flow to cover their monthly spending, others build online businesses, or maintain successful blogs. There are many ways to get to the same end point.
Do you need to be a highly paid, male engineer to retire early ?
When you start looking around at various early retirement blogs, you’ll probably notice a trend.
There seem to be a lot of frugal, male engineers who have retired early.
Sigh. What about everyone else?
Don’t be discouraged.
Male engineers are not the only people who have retired early!
You can retire early without making 6 figures.
Here is a list of folks who retired early (or are on the path to retire early) and ARE NOT male engineers.
- Fiery Millennials
- The Frugalwoods
- Emma Lincoln
- Afford Anything
- Making Sense of Cents
- Our Next Life
- Dividend Mantra
- Jim Collins
- Mike and Lauren
- Reach Financial Independence
- Wallet Hacks
- Abandoned Cubicle
- Incoming Assets
- Cash Cow Couple
- Debt Free Climb
- Moonshine Penguin
- A Purple Life
- Miss Mazuma
- Fetching Financial Freedom
- Financial Samurai
- Guy on Fire
- Planting Dollars
- The Retirement Manifesto
- Get Rich Quickish
- Waffles On Wednesday
- My Money Wizard
- Mindful Cents
- FIRE Millennial
- The Frugal Mermaid
- Get Money Wise
- Tall Investing
- Adventure Rich
- Millennial Money
(PS – Are you early retired or pursuing early retirement and are NOT a male engineer? I’d love to add you to this list! Please leave a comment below. Showcasing diversity in the FIRE community is important. Also, here is a list of 100+ women in the FIRE movement).
How does one join the FIRE movement?
I went to Ecuador for fun and I’m joking about FIRE being a cult.
The truth is – you don’t need an invitation to join us.
Most people are either lucky enough to stumble upon the concept of FIRE on the internet somewhere or someone else tells them about it.
If FIRE appeals to you, then you’re in.
The best thing about this community is that it is open and welcoming to everyone.
This group is willing to share any information with you to help you achieve your FI goals.
It’s not a competitive group at all. It’s supportive.
Walk before you run
I received this advice from someone who is early retired and I think it’s the most important piece of advice for newbie FIRE-ees.
Don’t get ahead of yourself or overwhelmed reading and learning about complicated financial strategies from the beginning.
Start with the basics.
1. Are you willing to cut your spending and where can you cut it?
I track my spending and my net worth with the free mobile app Personal Capital. Turns out I had a Chipotle problem so I stopped going there. Good timing.
2. Are you saving as much as you can?
If you need help on this topic, check out my post How to Become a Millionaire the Boring Way that breaks down saving in various retirement and non-retirement accounts.
Or, if you’re looking to earn more money by advancing quicker in your career, check out this post.
3. Can you make more money?
I’ve changed jobs and negotiated my salary each time in order to increase my income and speed up my timeline to FI. Others have started side hustles and invested in real estate. Figure out a way to create multiple streams of income.
It takes awhile to warm up to the idea of FIRE (no pun intended)
If the concept of FIRE seems nuts, don’t worry.
Some lucky people learn about FIRE and are motivated right away.
But for many of us, the process takes a bit longer.
I learned about the concept of FIRE in 2012 but didn’t start rapidly pursuing FIRE until 2015.
I thought FIRE was crazy at first and I didn’t want to deprive myself of things I enjoy.
If you’re reacting to this concept in a negative way, that’s extremely normal.
Over time, you might start to warm up to the idea (that could eventually change your life if you act on it).
I know that because I’ve been there.
Related: Craziest Ways Millennials Are Saving to Retire Early
Learn More with FIRE Drill Podcast
If you want to learn more about financial independence & early retirement, I launched FIRE Drill podcast with a good friend of mine.
We interview inspiring guests about side hustles, real estate, and all other paths they’re using to achieve FIRE.
It’s pretty entertaining and we have so much fun every episode with our guests.
We interview some pretty amazing members of the FIRE community.
I highly recommend you check it out because these guests are awesome. I have so many ideas just from interviewing them.
- Subscribe on Apple Podcasts here: FIRE Drill Podcast
- Check it out on Google Play here: FIRE Drill Podcast
- Listen directly on our website: firedrillpodcast.com
What do you think about the FIRE movement? Is this something you would want to pursue?
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Gwen @ Fiery Millennials says
I read one FIRE blog in college that changed the course of my entire life for the better. I’m so grateful to have found this amazing community! Thanks for the mention!
Lucky girl to find FIRE in college! Starting out right from the beginning!
Financial Mechanic says
What was the blog? (She asked, 2 years later)
I’m certainly not a software engineer! 😉
Neither is Justin/RootOfGood by the way. Justin’s wife is actually retired now too BTW! Good for them.
I’m jealous of the 600% income increase, that’s certainly not something I’ve been able to achieve – or ever expect to achieve.
I was on the path to FIRE before I even knew what FIRE was. I just was not an inherently materialistic person and I credit my parents for that. I went back through my spreadsheets – back when I used to do spreadsheets and I saved 37% of after tax in 2010 and 43% in 2011…I didn’t discover Mr. Money Mustache until 2012.
But when I came to the conclusion, as most of us did, that stuff generally doesn’t bring additional happiness, it basically changed the path I already was on to one that was on steroids.
It’s not a secret cult for me though. My name is shamelessly out there. We’ll see if that’s something I soon regret. 😀
[email protected] says
I’m right there with TJ. I was basically at FI when I figured all this out. We have pensions which are not talked about much in the FIRE community. I agree with abandoned cubicle below too that the FIRE community sometimes is way too obsessed with spreadsheets, etc. It is my lifestyle and habits that got me to where I am. Great post and love that you went to Ecuador!
I don’t think everyone in the FIRE community is obsessed with spreadsheets – that idea probably persists because some of the big name FIRE bloggers are spreadsheet people. My point of writing this article is to showcase the diversity in the FIRE community. Adding you to the list! Thank you!
Pretty amazing that you just saved that amount naturally before finding MMM. I can’t say the same! I will add you and Justin for sure. Thanks for the tip!
FIRED Teacher says
Justin at Root of Good may not have been a software engineer, but he was not only an engineer, he taught engineering at the age of 19. So I think he would be categorized as a “male engineer.” I suspect that the reasons there are so many engineers among the FIRE community are because they are trained problem solvers, very good at math, are usually able to analyze a problem detached from emotion, are very good at understanding systems quickly (they often thrive on coming up with better solutions), and are often not as deterred by failures as the general population.
Millennial Boss says
Whoops! I’ll have to update that. While I agree engineers have those skills, I think another contributing factor is that engineering is a stable job with good pay. Sometimes the people most interested in investing are the people who have the money to actually invest.
The post was originally about males software engineers. Justin was in civil engineering. He worked for city governments. He wasn’t rolling in IT dough. 😀
Gary @debtfreeclimb says
Good stuff Julie, congrats on all your success so far!
I didn’t stumble across FIRE until earlier this year so I’m a bit late to the game. I think I’ve done decent at optimizing my spending and living below my means. Now my focus is increasing my income and creating new income streams (600% increase is crazy!).
For 2016 I’ll finish around a 45-46% savings rate (most going toward student loans :/) but I’m excited for 2017 when I can actually save that money start building for FI.
Hope to go on one of those Ecuador trips one day. Sounds like a blast!
Ugh student loans are the WORST! I just wanted to get started saving for FI right away but student loans held me back for a few year. Good luck!
No software engineers of either gender here at Incoming Assets! One administrative assistant and one office clerk, though we’ve got another six years until FIRE at around ages 36 and 34.
Woot Woot! Adding you! Congrats – 6 years will go by quickly!
abandoned cubicle says
Ecuador is fitting. Imagine a life where you live on minimal wants and have to work a bit of manual labor to satisfy your needs? Some live in utter poverty, but also complete freedom. Meanwhile our FIRE tribe is overly obsessed with net worth and spreadsheets, and where to find the best “deals”. Might be more we can learn from the Blue Zone populations. I’m going to start today by taking a nap. 🙂 Nice post, Julie!
Great points! Although, IDK that those living in utter poverty working manual labor have complete freedom! You’re dead on – I do love my deals! Guilty as charged. 🙂
Jessica @ Lifefamilyetc.com says
Love this! My husband and I are big believers in this! I am currently reading “retire young retire rich” by Robert kiyosaki, I recommend checking it out if you haven’t already 🙂 We believe in making cash flow through income properties, and it’s been a game changer for us!
Thanks for the tip! I really liked Rich Dad, Poor Dad so I’ll have to check this one out!
Cash Cow Couple says
I can’t believe we’ve never met. I found you on Instagram. My husband and I have been blogging about personal finance for almost 4 years now over at Cash Cow Couple. We are definitely part of the cult! We’re about halfway to our goal of FI, and we think it is by far the best way to live life.
It’s nice to meet you. See you around in the PF and FI world.
Congrats on being halfway there! That’s amazing! Nice to “meet” you as well! I’m sure we’ll see each other around!
Our Next Life says
Ooooh, I’ve never thought of myself as a cult member before. How mysterious! 🙂
I love your focus on making it clear how inclusive a “cult” it is — we’re basically nothing like the “normal” FIRE person, and we’ve been welcomed with open arms from day one. (Not that you need to engage with the community to achieve FIRE — it’s just icing on the cake.) But neither of us are in any aspect of tech, we’re not super frugal, we don’t like in a cheap place, and yet we’ll still retire about six years after we started really focusing on that goal. Big things are possible! (And thank you for the shout-out!)
You’re welcome! Great point that you don’t have to engage with the community if you don’t want to. I know there are many people out there reading the blogs but not interacting beyond that. I can’t imagine not engaging with this group though because everyone has been so awesome and helpful!
Financial Panther says
Gosh I hope I can join this cult one day! Increasing your income by so much, and then importantly, not spending it all, is a great way to really up that savings rate. It’s really why you see a lot of high income professionals such as doctors and lawyers struggling to get by. They are totally living fine, earning plenty of money to pay their bills, but they’ll never be able to join this cult. And they’ll never have the choice to just stop working.
So true – income and consumption go hand in hand. Hope to have you join one day too!
Amber from Red Two Green says
Haha loved this. We are not trying to retire early, but we are trying to use basically all the same principles to get out of our $600k in debt. And totally agree– the FIRE community (cult) is the best, ever.
When you pay that off, that will be an AMAZING accomplishment and will feel like FIRE/freedom in itself I bet! Thanks for commenting!
Francesca - From Pennies to Pounds says
I have to admit that the photo of the man drew me in to this post, lol!
I LOVE this. I’m in the UK and I find it much, much less common here. At first glance at your list they all look like US people (nothing wrong with that!) but it’s just not something that’s done here for some reason.
Watch this space though, you could see me in this cult in the future 😉
Come join us!! Haha and yeah it’s a great picture. I’ve had the photo for awhile but haven’t found the right use for it until now!
Nice post! This is my first visit to your blog. I am an R&D Manager (Server Hardware Development), not a software engineer. We have been saving at a pretty good rate, not at 70% though.
Congrats on your FI journey! Seems like you’re doing great!
Susie - Quit Work for Life says
Proud cult member checking in! I really relate to what you say about taking a while to warm up to FIRE. I haven’t had to much luck increasing my main income so its been all about lifestyle deflation and reduced spending on crap to get the net worth gains. In the last 18 months we branched out into realestate and we’ve been ramping up investing in shares. It’s taking time but every year we optimise our lifestyle our little more. Oh and I’m a Laboratory technician and I’m married to a teacher, definitely not on big salaries here!
That’s awesome! I’m interested in real estate too! Hoping to acquire our first property soon!
The Vigilante says
Hi Julie! Love this post, it’s a great summary to show my friends who just don’t see why I haven’t upgraded to a Mercedes yet 🙂
Also, I’d be happy to represent the “soon-to-be-FIRE-after-paying-off-massive-millennial-student-loan-debt-because-lawyers-pay-too-much-for-too-little-return-in-school-but-hey-I’ll-show-it’s-possible-and-actually-easy-to-recover” crowd, if you want to add I, Vigilante to the list! (You can shorten that explanation if you like, I guess, but I like it just the way it is.) For just a bit of background, I can relate to your story…I have about $360k in debt between mortgage and student loans, more than half of which is student loans. But my net worth is growing FAST these days, and only getting faster!
True story! I was considering law school at one time too. Shows that life is not over despite massive student loan debt!
Fiscally Free says
I’m hoping my wife and I can join the cult. My wife stopped working last year to raise our daughter and I will be retiring on my 30th birthday at the end of the year. I’m not a male software engineer, but I am a (very frugal) male mechanical engineer. I hope that doesn’t disqualify me.
Glad you liked it! Great job and amazing you were able to get to FI so quickly!
Miss Mazuma says
Great post! I joined the movement a year ago and am so happy to find other non engineers here!! I’m a flight attendant which means I am already traveling while working so that part rocks! I was a bit discouraged at first knowing my income is way less than some others (wink wink) but I quickly got over it knowing that my path is my own..regardless of my background I will make it happen. I’ve set my FI date for 6 years from now… Fingers crossed! ?
Woot woot! You’re killing it! There is a place in FI-land for everyone! Thanks for stopping by.
Claudia @ Two Cup House says
I’m in marketing, but Garrett is a mechanical engineer. We don’t make the cut. 🙁
But I love this post. I def thought the “E” in FIRE was for Engineer for a sec.
AHA F-I-R-E (Financial Independence for Rich Engineers )
Mrs Chedda says
Love this post! I’m actually a millennial woman who is not an engineer and that didn’t stop me from getting to $300k net worth and being on my way to retire early!
I think that one reason people are skeptical of FIRE when they’re first introduced to it is that it really does look like a cult in some ways. It’s healthy to be skeptical, but I think your post does a good job of laying out the basics and I’m definitely going to forward it to a few friends.
Get it girl! You’re killing it! Thanks – yeah, it does seem totally cultish from the outside but it starts to make sense once you’re in it!
Felicity (@FelicityFFF) says
Fun post – and I’m only slightly concerned at learning I’m part of a cult!
I am not a male engineer and am planning on “retiring” before 30 😀
But I am an engineer and basically married to one as well…so…yeah XD
Adding you to the list! Don’t be concerned about the cult. If you’re going to be part of a cult, at least it’s this one.
Financial Samurai says
Nice list! I retired in 2012 at the age of 34 and I was not an engineer. I’m way too stupid in math and science.
I started my website and 2009 and have been writing about financial independence and early retirement sense. I’m a big advocate of everybody engineering their layoff in order to negotiate a severance package I started my website and 2009 and have been writing about financial independence and early retirement sense. I’m a big advocate of everybody engineering there layoff in order to negotiate a severance package before leaving corporate America for good!
I worked in the financial services industry.
Thanks, Sam, for the comment! Adding you to the list! I am a fan of the blog and had assumed at first you were an engineer! Hope this list inspires everyone to pursue FI.
LOVE this post! I absolutely love the FIRE movement.
Thank you! Me too! I can’t wait until I reach FI!
I think FIRE is more than just retiring early – part of it is finding yourself and figuring out what you really want out of life. It’s giving yourself the opportunity to do something else than just work until you’re 65 and that’s what first got me into it. Not everyone wants to retire early but having the option to take a break or change course is a nice option to have.
Yeah I love the ability to change course. I want the freedom to choose a lower paying job (although as I’m typing this – I’m thinking I could just spend less..)
Your posts are great! I’m happy to find some blogs featuring younger millennials who are working towards FI. I just started my own blog to keep track of my progress and help those on the younger side of the spectrum have something to follow. I’m also surprised to find how open you are about your goals and identifying yourself on your blog. My largest concern is my employer discovering my blog and deciding they don’t want to invest any more time in my employment if I plan to leave in 6-7 years. How did you handle this? Or are you not concerned?
A blog post about that would be great!
Thanks for the positive feedback! I was worried at the beginning about being found out and my blog was anonymous for a long time. I have since started using my first name, using pictures, and providing a bit more detail – but never about my employer. I think as long as you don’t discuss your employer you’ll be fine. IMO, blogs that provide more detail are more interesting so I think there is value in not being anonymous. As far as your employer being worried you are a flight risk – that isn’t a concern of mine anymore. Everyone job hops, everyone is a flight risk.
Ariel @ Frugal Mermaid says
So happy to be a die-hard member of this cult! My husband and I are on track to retire in 10 years, at the ages of 35 and 37. With the amazing advice from your blog and the others listed here, I’m hoping we can cut that timeline down!
Love these millennial women blogs, and I would be honored to be mentioned among them! 🙂
Go millennial girl bosses! =)
I’m one of you now, and I’ll be in Ecuador this year for the first time. Really, really excited about it.
I’m neither male or an engineer. Mid 40s female with a healthcare background.
Have a great time! I think you’ll love it!
Really enjoyed this article! We retired 2 years ago and neither one of us were engineers! Just a average couple who didn’t fall into the trap of keeping up with the joneses..
CONGRATS!!! That’s awesome!
Millennial Money says
YESSSSS. This is awesome. Just shared with my parents who are like WTF is a FIRE blogger haha. Thanks for summarizing it so well! I’m not an engineer – I am in marketing! Can I join the fun list? Bookmarking this fo sho.
You can!! Want to hear something crazy? I told my Dad who is 66 about FIRE and he said that was a thing back in his twenties. He and his friends used to say “financial independence by 30.” Whaattt?
Millennial Money says
Super creepy! Lifecycles. I think FIRE really started in the 1960s with Your Money or Your Life and it’s been a pretty underground sub-culture since. But clearly growing now!
I first heard about FIRE on the money habit blog. I’ve been reading quite a bit about starting side hustles to help increase your income for saving purposes. I’ve increased my 401k contributions and started working on a blog recently. Also helping out my husband work on his hobby for his retirement as well. Motivating post. I am glad we are all on this journey together. I am interested in knowing what FIRE people think about purchasing a house or a condo? We still don’t know a home and the market where we live is pretty inflated. I was listening to Automatic Millionaire and he is an advocate for purchasing a home.
It seems the FIRE community leans towards renting. Although, Paula Pant is a popular fire blogger who advocates for purchasing rental properties. Check out her blog which is called Afford Anything.
Mrs. Adventure Rich says
Want another blog for your list??? We are not male engineers and are pursuing FIRE 🙂
Mrs. Adventure Rich = business lady
Me. Adventure Rich = maintenance man
Well, I’m not one of these youngin’ in my 30s who retired, but FIRE principles allowed me to retire beginning of this year at a young 51 closing in on $3 million in assets. Most people who live normal lives don’t even need this much. And yes, I belong to some FIRE communities (online), which are a wealth of secret information…often better than most financial professionals.
Tall Investing says
Hi, I am a 30 something (and NOT a male engineer haha). You can find my journey towards passive income by way of dividend growth investing at www.tallinvesting.com
Appreciate if you’d add me!
Hi Julie! I heard your interview in the MadFIentist podcast and wanted to say hi. I’m very impressed with your journey so far and I am so happy about how your blog and website are adding to diversity in the FIRE community.
I am a 35 year old lady who FIREd last year and I’ve been thinking of starting a blog as it would be easier to get involved in the community, but at the moment it feels too much like “work” (also – 5 month old baby to take care of). Still decompressing that corporate life, but I will get there at some point. 😉
My strategy was to maximize earnings (and travel!) before pregnancy, and so far you are the only one I have seen who is really addressing that aspect in concrete steps. Well done! I’ll stay in touch.
Millennial Boss says
Thanks, Anna! Really appreciate the support! Congrats on the new baby and FIRE-ing!!
We are a family of 4 on the journey to FIRE. My husband is it IT so we aren’t that diverse. I’m actually toying with starting a blog myself about our journey. It’s goal would be to encourage wives/moms along the way. I want my husband to be freed up from job stress during our boys formative teenage years. Any advice for me on starting a blog?
Millennial Boss says
Attend blogging events to get to know other bloggers. That has been my favorite part of blogging. For advice on how to actually create the website, start here with my blog tutorial. I look forward to seeing you out in the blogiverse.
Cath @ Get Money Wise says
Fashionably late to the party with this one. But luckily not late to the FIRE movement.
Most definitely not a male engineer. I am a mum and marketer.
I promise I am in no way, shape, or form an enigineer, software or otherwise. I blog and I pursue FIRE at http://othalafehu.com
Hi, I’m a producer at NowThis and I run the money page. I would love to interview you and know our young millennial audience would love to hear your story. If interested, please send me an email so we can set up a Skype interview or talk more details. Thanks!
Physician on FIRE says
While I do identify as male, I haven’t taken so much as a single engineering class. And I took a lot of classes.
I’m building my own FIRE burger, complete with bison, blue cheese (or is it bleu?), and avocado toast.
Hey there! I am a Male that is on the path to FI that is NOT an engineer. I’m actually an accountant (which I admit that there are several accountants in this space as well). I am just starting out and documenting my journey at CommonCentsMillennial.com to try and encourage as many as people to join this path with me! I’ve loved reading your blog as well as your guest post and podcast appearances! I’m trying to get to FinCon this year, so maybe I will see you. Thanks for all of the encouragement!
Military Dollar says
I’m a proud FIRE cult member who proselytizes every chance I can. I am also not a male engineer. And saw the comment earlier about how the FIRE world doesn’t talk about pensions too often. I definitely do, as it’s a key component of my plan.
Thanks for highlighting that FIRE doesn’t have to mean you never work another day in your life. The #1 piece of feedback I get when I describe is “but that sounds so boooooorrrrrrring! I don’t know what I’d do with myself!” Well, if work is the only thing you can think of to do with your time, then work it shall be! That doesn’t mean you can’t be FI 🙂
Millennial Boss says
Exactly. I think we have to rebrand since the current messaging is turning off mainstream people. Also, noted on the pensions. Many people do still have pensions and that’s a consideration for a FIRE number.
Angela @ Tread Lightly Retire Early says
29 years old, I work 80% time, have a 2.5YO son, and we are looking to reach FI at 45. We could definitely get there sooner by having me go back to work full time and increasing my income, but this way, I’m more or less living my FI lifestyle now 🙂
SG Budget Babe says
I’m from Singapore (yes, THAT tiny nation which is the world’s most expensive city to live in) and where you’ll need more than $100k just to buy and own a car (!!!!!). Definitely not a highly paid male engineer, been on FIRE for a few years now and absolutely can’t wait till the day I’m financially free! Funnily enough, most folks here think I live a miserable frugal life whenever I tell them about FIRE haha.
Kristin @ The Wayward Home says
This is awesome. I do think learning to live with less and living below your means are key. I don’t really want to retire early…but I don’t want to work 40 hours per week, either, to maintain an unnecessary lifestyle. I live on a sailboat where we can travel the world on $15,000 per year (FOR TWO PEOPLE), and I don’t have to make much money to afford that! Plus, it’s a dream lifestyle for me, so a win-win all around.
Millennial Boss says
I love this! It doesn’t have to be straight save until your retire (or FIRE) like many people think. That is why we like to feature cool stories like yours on our podcast.
Mrs W says
This is a great overview of FIRE for beginners. I hope you don’t mind but I linked it to the Start Here page of FIREhub.eu, the new European FI portal we’re creating (http://firehub.eu/start-here/).
Could you please add our blog to your list of non-male-engineers-who-achieved-FI? Admittedly my husband is male (a former software developer) but I’m a female former translator and that didn’t stop me from becoming FI! Here’s our story: http://whatlifecouldbe.eu/2015/12/03/financial-independence-in-9-years/
Thanks and keep up the good work!
My Money Wizard says
Hey J, I’m not an engineer, but I am on the path to FIRE. I’ve got over $200,000 saved up as a 27 year old, and I’m hoping to be out of the working world in less than 10 years. Would love to join the list of super rare non male engineer FIRE bloggers. 🙂
Raven Hill says
All I want to say is that you’ve sent me down and incredible rabbit hole. I now have focus on what I would like to pursue financially for 2018. Not only do I want to increase my income, but I want every dollar to be working for me. To think I found your blog from a review on the Making Sense of Marketing course and in about two hours I’ve read so many testimonials and have gained so much knowledge on financial freedom.
Many outlets and resources focus on the material things you can gain by pursing your passions and not necessarily things that will last long term. My new (& main) financial goal for 2018 is to live below my means while steadily increasing my means. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom!
Erin | Reaching for FI says
Hey, J, can you add me to the list? I think non-profit worker and female qualifies as not a male engineer 😉
Mrs. Kiwi says
I’m documenting our journey to FI and would love to be on the list! But I should warn you I’m a female engineer (and my partner is a male engineer, so maybe that disqualifies us 🙂 ). (Though we are the exact opposite of software engineers – environmental engineers.)
Kristine @ Frugasaurus says
Not retired yet, but totally not a male engineer. Hoping to get into the elusive cult sooner rather than later! 😉
Olivia @ Birds of a FIRE says
Would it be possible to add me to this list? I’m 25F and not an SWE :). I optimize most of my life, but am not frugal for everything and still like my luxuries. It’s a different kind of FIRE from MMM, and I’m working on explaining it better so that not everyone thinks FIRE is eating rice and beans and staying home playing video games all the time.
Neither one of us are engineers, but I am a business analyst who works with a lot of engineers!
Fire Drill podcast and Financial Mentor we’re actually my first 2 podcasts that got me interested in the “cult”. I was just searching through podcast for something to listen to while running and I loved the idea of FIRE!
I have always been into this sort of thing, but to know there’s a group of like minded people who can help share their knowledge is so exciting!
Stop by our site, we are not the typical FIRE bloggers by far!
My Early Retirement Journey says
Look for me in 10 to 20 years!
We’re a married couple in IT (although not an engineer) and project management, and we too are pursuing FIRE!
We have a blog where we document our journey of continual long-term travel, house sitting, becoming digital nomads, and pursuing financially independent/retired early (FIRE). We’ve been traveling continually for 18 months and have been fortunate to visit four continents, 25 countries, and 65 cities (and counting).
If you could add us to your list we’d really appreciate it, thank you!
My Early Retirement Journey says
PS – Are you early retired or pursuing early retirement and are NOT a male engineer? I’d love to add you to this list! Please leave a comment below.
<<< If you're still taking names, I'd love to be added to the list! I am not an engineer or male…and I'm doing it solo! currently in the pursuit stage… check out: My Early Retirement Journey
Ms. Fiology says
I’m a late gamer but I’m on the road to early retirement and I’m neither a male nor an engineer. I’d be honored to be added to this list. 🙂
Great explanation for new FIRE interests (or PNMs/potential new members as we call our interests in sororities)! Not sure if you’re still updating this but I’m a Female Engineer on the FIRE path!
As someone interested in FIRE, you must have spent way more time calculating this stuff than I have… but it worries me that you quote the 25x expense (4% SWR) rule. You are aware that 4% SWR was developed and backtested as a 30-year strategy, right? And yes, it’s a bit conservative, so during many periods it will last longer, but it was developed for people retiring in their _mid 60s_. If you want to retire in your 30s, you need to plan on 60 years of withdrawals, not 30.
Good luck with your FIRE. I found a meaningful, secure job that I enjoy instead. And we’re both incredibly lucky to have these paths. Yes, lucky. We both worked hard, but lots of people work extremely hard and are extremely frugal, and still can’t reach FIRE or an enjoyable, meaningful career.
Hi J! Thanks for creating this list! If you’re still adding fire blogs, I’d really appreciate if you included mine, it’s Labangel’s Corner: labangel.wordpress.com
TIA! <3, Labangel
Not sure if you’d call me an engineer. My wife is. I’m more of a consultant for processes and systems. I was a software engineer for the first year of my career in 2003, does that count? Pursuing a date of 55 here.
Stephen @ theFIRElane.com says
Great list. We’re a construction manager and a teacher. We hope to figure out financial indepedence as well!
Awesome post! I am 100% on board for the FIRE movement. The first time I read about it, I was into the idea. And I’m not a male engineer! I can’t wait for the freedom of choosing how I spend my time. It’s great to have a goal to help keep myself in check, too! Anyways, thanks for sharing!
I’m definitely not a male engineer 🙂 (my husband is tho) I’m a mum with a low income and I love pursuing FIRE. I started investing in 2017, but haven’t done much with it until a few months ago when I was reading more about FIRE. My husband is already working on retiring early a lot longer and he has sent me some articles a while ago and when I looked into it, I really got inspired and now I am already changing my way of thinking about money, work, life, etc.
Financial Mechanic says
I’m a female engineer! Would love to be added to the list!
I’m late to the party, but this post is 1) amazing 2) hilarious. As a cult member myself I couldn’t help but smile at that description!
My husband and I are on our way to FIRE after kind of stumbling upon it earlier this year! My husband does have an engineering degree and is a male noooooo, but I am a speech language pathologist and thanks to my traveling job, I’m the real money maker. 😉 plus he will hopefully quit soon since he does not love his job and I do!
I’d love to be added to the list :).
Again, awesome post!
New blogger, but a long time cult member. Not an engineer just a Mom on my own journey to liquid FI.