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As we discussed in our article “The Blueprint to Early Retirement”, retirement is a financial number, not an age. That means that 65 year olds who may not be able to retire because they do not have enough money. But, the opposite is also true and this means that a 30 year old with enough money saved can retire. Which scenario would you prefer?
This is not a new idea or concept, leaving work early has been a goal and a dream for tens to hundreds of years. People have always been seeking to have complete control of their time. This is where the FIRE (financial independence – retire early) movement comes in.
In recent years, the FIRE movement has been gaining traction and is growing fast. But where did it all begin and where did the idea come from? In this article, we will be diving into the history of the FIRE movement and looking at how far it has come.
Where It All Began
While the concept of retiring early goes back a long time, the first main ideas behind the FIRE movement were first brought to public attention in Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez’s 1992 book Your Money or Your Life (Affiliate Link). In this book, Joe and Vicki discuss your relationship with money and how that affects everything you do. Unlike most personal finance books, Your Money or Your Life focuses on your financial picture as a part of yourself, rather than separating you and your finances into two categories.
“Money is something you trade your life energy for. You sell your time for money. It doesn’t matter that Ned over there sells his time for a hundred dollars and you sell yours for twenty dollars an hour. Ned’s money is irrelevant to you. The only real asset you have is your time. The hours of your life.”– Vicki Robin
Despite the book’s popularity and new teachings, it did not immediately boost the FIRE movement to mainstream popularity. But, it did plant the seeds for a movement that would day change thousands of peoples lives.
The Digital Renaissance
A little more than 25 years after the release of Your Money or Your Life introduced the mentality and lifestyle required to retire early, the FIRE movement began to take shape. Soon after the 2008-2009 recession, many people started to re-examine their lives and their relationship with money, their jobs, and work in general.
These people wanted to take control of their own lives and their own futures and they flocked to the, then, fast growing and relatively new social media sites. Here, early retirement communities began to take shape and grow as the FIRE movement was becoming a household name.
Also during this time, FIRE influencers, bloggers, and authors sprung on to the scene as well. Some of the most notable names and books that started in the 2010s include Mr. Money Mustache, Financial Freedom by Grant Sabatier (Amazon), and Quit Like a Millionaire by Bryce Leung and Kristy Shen (Amazon). This list is just a pick of some of our favorites and is far from exhaustive. FIRE content and resources are everywhere.
Today, the FIRE movement is alive and well. Large, active communities exist on websites such as Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit (r/FIRE) and across the Internet. New community members, influencers, blogs, podcasts, and books are popping up almost everyday. If you are interested in retiring early or just want to learn more, there are thousands of community members waiting to help you out and answer questions, such as us.
The FIRE movement, while still relatively young, is growing fast and has come a long day. Thanks to the groundwork that Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez laid, lives are being changed everyday. Today, large communities are interacting everyday, generational wealth is being built, and people are taking back control of their own lives.
If you are looking to take control of your life, your time, and your money and want to learn more about the FIRE movement, reach out to us anytime at ContactUsWHRE@gmail.com. Our only goal is to help you build wealth and retire early.