8 Lessons We Can All Learn From FIRE – An Infographic

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Today, the final post in my FIRE series.  Over the past few weeks, I’ve written two posts about FIRE:

Below are the 8 Lessons we can learn from FIRE, as outlined in those posts.  These lessons apply whether you’re in the FIRE community or pursuing a more traditional path to retirement. I decided the lessons were worthy of an infographic (besides, it’s been a long time since I’ve built one for you!).  Enjoy!

Both the “FIRE” and “Traditional” retirement communities can learn a lot from each other, and I view my role as a bridge between the two communities.  If you’re on a more “traditional” path to retirement, I hope you’ve found something in this series that you can apply on your journey.  I trust the “lessons we can learn from FIRE” have been helpful, and that your retirement will benefit as a result.

Helping People Achieve A Great Retirement.

19 comments

  1. Cool! I love this infographic. I am 45 and two months ago I opened a Roth IRA. I don’t know how far it will get me but I figure something is better than nothing. I am using this account solely for medical expenses. I have a 401k for retirement that I have had for 20 years.

  2. Dealing with my kids in their 20’s, making sacrifices is something they’re not really interested in doing. It really frosts my knickers.

    It’s a key piece: balancing lifestyle and savings rate to shoot for the longterm goal.

  3. I think bridging the gap between FIRE and traditional retirement is really important. I try to do that for people I know since we retired in our early 50’s. It is sad the number of people in our age group and have very little saved and are mainly asking whether they should take Social Security at age 62 or try to keep working. Even people who have earned a substantial salary will ask us that.

    It is always tricky because we don’t tell them our net worth and they just know we managed to retire early…somehow. It’s only in this FI community that people are open to talking more about money. That’s why blogs like yours are so important and give resources and ideas for them when they get to a point of looking for help.

    1. I share your concern about the number of folks who are our age and haven’t saved, and that concern has been a driver behind my FIRE series this past few weeks. No doubt about it, the same techniques used by FIRE to retire in 15 years can be used by a 50-year-old with $0 saved, allowing them to retire comfortably by Age 65.

  4. Hey Fritz- I’ve been reading your blog for sometime now and have been enjoying it emensly especially as we are very close to retiring.

    My husband and I are proof that you don’t necessarily have to start saving early to retire early. By the time we found each other and decided to get married we had both been married before; neither of us had significant savings. I was particularly bothered by lack of savings and worried for our future. The economy had turned sour and my husbands business was suffering.

    The same year we wed, I graduated with my Bachelors degree and with that had accumulated student loan debt. I also moved into a sales role which was the best job I could have taken. In the past 10 years we have managed to pay off our primary residence, buy 2 beach condos which we rent (both are paid off), paid off my student loans, contributed to paying for a wedding and put 2 children through college. We still drive older cars that are paid for.

    I turn 54 in February and will retire the same month. My husband, who will be 58, is selling his business and will retire at the end of April. I could comfortably retire today, but due to a loophole in my current 401K will wait to be 100% vested. I’m not leaving any money on the table when I leave the company.

    For us it was all about the sacrificing, saving, and diversifying our assets over the past 10 years. The process paid off. We can retire comfortably and be FREE. Free to choose what we want out of each day and where we want to physically be each day. Part of our plan is to travel by 5th wheel to National Parks and visit family and friends along the way. We are both incredibly excited for the shift in our lives.

    In simplistic terms early retirement is possible due to spending much less than what we earned every day for the past 10 years. We do not plan on changing the way we live so much as having the freedom to live life on our terms and having the time and energy to enjoy our lives.

    1. Susan, what an incredible story that proves it’s possible to retire early, even with a late start. Your story hits all of the key points:

      1) Self awareness, and willingness to take control of your situation.
      2) Increasing earnings.
      3) Focus on paying off debt.
      4) Spending (much) less than you earn.
      5) Being patient.

      I’m honored to have you as a reader, and congratulate you on your success!

      1. Fritz:

        Like the couple who started at 50 and retired successfully, you should make this lady’s story a separate blog post. Because there are more of us who did it wrong than of people like you who did it right.

        Just a suggestion. Love your blog and your infographics!

        1. I’m one step ahead of your, RfA! Susan and I are deep into an email exchange on her story, watch for a Case Study in the coming months!! The working title is “Starting Late, But Retiring Early. A Case Study” – watch for it here!

  5. Hi Fritz,
    I love the infographic, it’s a nice summary of the FIRE. No matter the route to retirement, you need to have a plan and the discipline to follow it. And the idea of balance is key as well as you do want to be able to live you life along the way but be careful about it so retirement is comfortable.
    And remember that you may need to make mid-course corrections!

  6. Hey Fritz,

    I love your point about sacrifices and it ultimately coming down to choosing when to make them. A bit of prudence along the way toward retirement can go a long way with the benefit of compounding, not to mention the discipline that grows from it.

    Take care and looking forward to continue following in the New Year!

    Ryan

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