We collected the most informative blogs about the Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) movement for 2019 for your reading pleasure. (If you're looking for retirement resources for baby boomers, check out this page instead). The path to FIRE is simple but not easy. It involves a combination of aggressive saving (70% of your salary is the holy grail), lean living and letting your investments compound in your sleep. Luckily, we have the wisdom of those who've successfully attained FIRE to help guide us.
The Many Paths to FIRE
Within the FIRE movement, there are two subgroups: leanFIRE and fatFIRE. Whereas leanFIRE focuses on extreme cost-cutting, fatFIRE focuses on achieving financial independence without compromising on lifestyle. (There's also the youngest FIRE sibling: semi-FIRE). Whether you are interested in index funds and tax optimization, getting out of debt, or entrepreneurial side-hustles, chances are, there's a FIRE blogger for your niche. Without further ado, here are our top 20 picks for 2019.
20. Mr.Free at 33
Jason had $7,000 in his checking account in 2010. Fast forward seven years, he retired, moving to Chiang Mai, Thailand and living off his dividends. He writes about geolocation arbitrage and the expat lifestyle.
19. Early Retirement Dude
One of the first bloggers on the scene, Early Retirement Dude FIRE'd at thirty-six after a thirteen-year career. His blog offers a no-nonsense take how anyone can live financially free. Extra points because he is very honest about his affiliate relationships.
- Early Retirement's Magic Bullet "Work towards having something to sell besides your time. That’s it. That’s all there is."
- The 401k Is a Scam
- I Won't be Advertising for Personal Capital Anymore and I Apologize for Doing So
18. The Escape Artist
"This is not a normal personal finance site, it’s a site about how to get rich. One problem with boring traditional personal finance advice is that it tells you what to do with what’s left over at the end of the month. The problem is that for most people there’s not much left over at the end."
17. Our Next Life
Tanja and her husband retired at the end of 2017 at 38 and 41, respectively. Their blog offers glimpses into their personal journey to FI, chronicling the emotional highs and lows of leaving the job force and moving to a small ski town.
16. Retire by 40
Burnt out from his tech career (notice a pattern?), Joe started his blog Retire By 40 in 2010 to document his journey. Spreadsheet warriors will appreciate Joe's numbers-driven approach, as he meticulously tracks his monthly cash flow. By accruing a net worth that is 25 times your annual expenses, you’ll have enough money to live off the rest of your life (so says the 4% rule, the cornerstone of the FIRE movement).
15. Can I Retire Yet
14. Root of Good
One of the younger retirees in the bunch, Root of Good gave up the working life at the ripe old age of 33. Impressively, he and his wife did this without high flying tech salaries or stock options.
13. JL Collins
Author of the book The Simple Path to Wealth, JL Collins is mostly known for his Stock Series. There's a lot of noise out there regarding how to invest, Collins does a great job demystifying that.
Unlike the other blogs in this list, Tawcan hasn't hit FIRE, but he is well on his way. Tawcan is a Canadian blogger with a goal of reaching financial independence in 2025. His strategy is using his dividend income to cover his annual living expenses.
11. Think Save Retire
10. Millennial Revolution
Get a job. Buy a house. Retire at 60. If that's not your vision of the ideal life, join the Millenial Revolution. Written by a couple who decided to invest their money in the stock market instead of buying a house in Toronto, Millenial Revolution makes a compelling case for forsaking the (debt-ladden) white picket fence.
9. Early Retirement Extreme
Even for a community of savers, this blog is extreme. The author manages to only spend $7,000 a year while living in the most expensive city in San Francisco.
8. ESI Money
ESI Money is a 50-something retiree who places his net worth at the top 5%. The angle? Learn how to accumulate wealth from someone who's successfully done it. ESI Money regularly features interviews with millionaires who share how they got there. Unlike most FIRE blogs, the focus is on entrepreneurialism rather than frugality.
- How a Side Hustle Business Can Get You to Financial Independence in 10 Years "There are two main ways to hit FI. The first take at least a few decades for most people, while the latter is doable for many people in 10 years or so."
- How to Get to a $50k Retirement
7. Mr. Tako Escapes
- The Obvious Mistakes "Succeeding in life isn’t so much about consistently making 'winning moves' but it’s actually about avoiding the big blunders. The obvious mistakes."
- Wealth Building is Mostly Invisible "This is what I call weak thrift. That individual isn’t actually saving anything. They’re just deferring spending for a few months, (or even a year or two) until a major spending event happens."
6. My Wife Quit Her Job
Want to retire early? You can save more or you can make more. Steve is very much in the second camp. You won't find lessons on frugality or minimalism here. Instead, Steve provides an actionable blueprint for starting an e-commerce business. He left his six-figure job in tech after his e-commerce company, which sells cloth napkins, brought in eight times more money than his salary.
- Every Millionaire Has This Mindset. Do You? "In 2012, I broke 6 figures for the first time. In 2013, I made $171,000. In 2014, I broke $350,000. In 2015, I hit $712,000. In 2016, I hit over $1,000,000 In 2017, I broke $1.4M When I finally quit my engineering career in 2016, my businesses were making 8X more than my job. Not only that but they required only a fraction of the number of hours I was spending at work."
5. Financial Samurai
A high-income earner in San Francisco, Sam started his blog after the 2008 recession wiped out 35% of his net worth. There's definitely a greater focus towards wealth accumulation for people in HCOL (high cost of living). After all, he does live in the most expensive city in the world.
- How Much Savings Should I Accumulate By Age? "How many years (or months) of expenses can your savings cover in case your income goes to zero?"
- The Return on Rent is Always -100%: Here’s How to Live for Free
4. Mr. Money Mustache
For many, Mr.MoneyMustache (MMM) is their gateway drug to the FIRE Movement. An ex-engineer who now runs a coworking community space in Colorado, MMM serves up opinionated thought pieces on sustainability, minimalism and long commutes.
3. The Money Habit
New Yorker JP Livingston retired at 28 with a cool $2 million in the bank. Her blog focuses on educating readers about investing, which is appropriate, given her background working in finance.
2. 1500 Days
- When the author started his blog in 2013, his goal was to retire in 1500 days at 43. Sure enough, he retired February of 2017, just in time to celebrate his 15th wedding anniversary.
- The Math Behind Early Retirement with Rentals Aggressive investing doesn’t have to mean high-risk. It means pursuing high-return, income-producing investments. And it means carefully leveraging other people’s money to help you make the most of what cash you’ve managed to save."
- My Death March to Financial Independence "I should have sat back and smelled the roses instead of the sawdust every once in a while. It would have taken a little longer, but what fun is life if you’re not living?"
1. Mad Fientist
- Guinea Pig Experiment "Welcome to the Guinea Pig experiment, the experiment where we watch the entire journey of someone going from $0 to financial independence! In this experiment, we follow two different scenarios – one baseline scenario and one optimized scenario."
- The Incredible Tax Benefits of Real Estate Investing
- Shortest Path to Financial Independence
UPDATE: Hankering for more? Our directory tracks over 1,200 personal finance blogs. Check it out: Rockstar Directory