The aspiration to retire early while sustaining or enhancing one’s lifestyle is the bedrock of Fat FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early). Unlike its leaner counterpart, Lean FIRE, which is about minimizing expenses to achieve early retirement, Fat FIRE is about amassing a sizable nest egg to retire early without compromising on the quality of life. Here’s an exploration of it and how it’s altering the retirement landscape:
- Understanding Fat FIRE:
- It is a subset of the broader FIRE movement. It hinges on saving and investing aggressively to accumulate many assets that permit a comfortable, if not luxurious, lifestyle post-retirement.
- The Financial Benchmark of Fat FIRE:
- Typically, this approach requires an individual to have enough assets to sustain an annual expenditure of at least $100,000. According to the standard 4% rule, this translates to having around $2.5 million in investments.
- The Lifestyle Promise of Fat FIRE:
- The allure lies in its promise of a plush lifestyle post-retirement, without the need to cut down on spending. It’s about living it up in retirement, with your investment income more than covering your desired standard of living.
- The Road to Fat FIRE:
- Achieving it necessitates a meticulous savings and investment plan. It’s about making money work for you, ensuring that your investments yield a sufficient income to cover your expenses and then some. It’s a path that requires disciplined financial management, astute investment strategies, and, often, an above-average income1.
Fat FIRE presents a more affluent version of early retirement, where financial independence doesn’t translate to a life of frugality. It’s a route for those who aspire to retain or elevate their living standards even as they step away from the 9-5 grind, embracing the freedom and luxuries of financial affluence.
Embarking on this journey is about charting a course toward a richly rewarding retirement, both financially and experientially. It underscores the possibilities that open up with diligent financial planning and wealth accumulation, offering a lush landscape for those ready to venture beyond the traditional retirement paradigm.