The FIRE Movement: A growing trend in US & UK (SG & MY?)


  • Community Manager

    FI,RE:

    Financial Independence, Retire Early

    What even is this movement (driven and apparently popularised by Millennials) all about and why is it such a ball of fire in the US, which later spread to the UK?

    The movement, as explained by multiple sources:

    • It brings "new breed of supersavers who have no intention of waiting that long. They intend to quit before the age of 40 and live a free life." - The Guardian
    • These "proponents live as frugally as possible, saving half their income or more during their 20s or 30s". - BBC
    • One such proponent recommends "cutting back unnecessary expenditure to the point that feels uncomfortable, then settle just above that level." - BBC
       

    Nicely put by the owner of one of the blogs dedicated to this movement, Fly to FI:

    • "These astronomical savings rates are achieved through controlled spending and intentionality."
    • "The FIRE movement has shifted their value system to focus on the things that truly matter, instead of the mad pursuit of money recognized in traditional western society. These new values include happiness, relationships, personal development, self-fulfillment, growth, connection, contentment, and so much more!"
    • "The beauty of FIRE is that each person finds his or her own path. There is no “right” way to do anything, but it all starts with increasing the gap between your income and expenses."

    Do you think it's possible to retire before 40, within Southeast Asia (SG, MY, or wherever you're based)?



  • @kaeley-wn In my personal opinion, "FI,RE" (Financial Independence, Retire Early) is a growing trend in the US and UK partly due to private financial education companies such as the Rich Dad Company (founded by Robert Kiyosaki), who has been teaching the public on how to accumulate cashflow (passive income), and retire by the age of 45 .

    He also designed a financial education game called "Ca$hflow", which is a board game that trains your mind to have a "Rich Dad" mentality, that is to learn how to own businesses and learn how to invest, to accumulate cashflow.
    Product video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJXB9esrq_U

    I personally have bought a "Ca$hflow" board game in the past, and it has been recently used in 2 Ca$hflow game sessions held at Seedly's office. I was involved as one of the game facilitators in the 1st one, and as a game host in the 2nd one. Refer to the following link for details:
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/seedlyfinance/permalink/1991863024438387/

    Seedly has also written an article on how to plan your Cashflow 101:
    https://blog.seedly.sg/financial-independence-framework/

    In short, it's possible to retire before 45, rather than 40, in Singapore.



  • Good luck to them all the best.



  • Depending on how they define retirement.

    For me, I define retirement as doing what I want to do without the need to worry about income.

    Put that into perspective,

    I can go and write novels, painting or sculpture full time without the fear of not meeting my income.

    One must have a way to sustain incomes while retired instead of sitting on a lump sum drawdown.

    Even if I can retire, it is not likely that I will sit down and watch drama every day for the rest of my life and wait to die.



  • One important thing to take note of is once you've attained a certain level of income, focus more on your cpf, srs and any available tax relief to reduce income tax.



  • Seems like the hype over the movement is focused more on the investing side of things. How about spending? Mindful daily spending e.g. cutting down on RM3 kopi every day (for office coffee) would also work wonders. Or making it a point to choose the cheaper (which also tastes good and doesn't jeopardize our need for tasty food) (also, tasty food wouldn't be a need but that involves another topic altogether lol) option when dining out.

    Case 1:
    We buy kopi every day (RM3). And pay no attention towards choosing a less pricey food option.

    Case 2:
    We now switch to having office kopi every day. (0). And manage to save RM1 every day from our mindful food choice (which could definitely be more depending on how far we want to go). This amounts to an extra RM4 every day.

    Accumulating this daily RM4 for a year, we'd retain RM4 * 365 = RM1,460.

    Since there're many p2p investors on this forum who've gotten ~11% p.a. from their p2p investments, assuming we managed to participate in 14 crowdfunds (RM100 investments) for this RM1,400

    We'd retain 1,400 * 110% + 60 = 1,600 per year from daily simple habits.



  • @maybewei But we like to earn to sustain our luxurious lifestyle. If we are ok with skimping on expenses, then investment is less needed.



  • @jomni Agreed that money is to be spent on things we love. But if from saving just a little (painlessly of course), coupled with investing can earn me that OSIM chair I wanted e.g. a year or even just 6 months earlier, I would!



  • I feel that another perspective we could take towards this is to not see retiring early as a fixed benchmark e.g. 45. Even if we work out the numbers and conclude that it's impossible to do so, for whatever reasons, but we'd still be able to retire at 59 instead of 61 for example through painless habits, it's still a worthy pursuit ?



  • 4 Things Singaporeans Need To Think About Before Joining The “Financial Independence, Retire Early” (FIRE) Movement: article link



  • "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Each time I purchase something now, I ask myself if it's a frivolous choice. Am I buying it for that rush / hype I get when buying it? Can the happiness be carried over across an extended period?



  • @maybewei said in The FIRE Movement: A growing trend in US & UK (SG & MY?):

    "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Each time I purchase something now, I ask myself if it's a frivolous choice. Am I buying it for that rush / hype I get when buying it? Can the happiness be carried over across an extended period?

    Usually anything that I buy that is not vital to living, I will pause it for 24 hours to see if I have the urge within the 24 hours.

    If yes, I will do a research then I will go ahead and pause the purchase for 30 days, if the desires strike multiple time within the month, I will go ahead and make the purchase.



  • Think it will be quite difficult as a singaporean.. there's a lot of expenses to consider. when you have a family, all the expenses start coming in and savings on a $3-4k salary will be quite difficult. Doubt can retire early.

    If you have more income it's possible. Also, I believe the age you graduate university also plays a part in deciding your retirement age. Singaporeans graduate around 23-25... merely 15 years of working may not be able to make enough savings.


  • Community Manager

    @bendahara wow! that's certainly a very mindful and structured approach to purchasing :)


  • Community Manager

    @limjimmy Thank you for sharing this! Having interacted personally with many fervent FIRE "practitioners" in Singapore, were they from a certain age group? Any interesting characteristics they share?


  • Community Manager

    One must have a way to sustain incomes while retired instead of sitting on a lump sum drawdown.

    Even if I can retire, it is not likely that I will sit down and watch drama every day for the rest of my life and wait to die.

    Firmly agree!



  • FIRE is still in its early stages in Malaysia. I'm all for it but the FI component should be the main focus for us (imo).
    Retiring early or continuing to enjoy your work is an added bonus. A big bonus.

    The Edge Malaysia covered this in their article hERE.



  • @dividendmagic Hi Leigh! Follower of yours here, big fan :) Fully agree with what you said, can't stand sitting down doing nothing for the rest of my life.



  • @adrian-sim

    Hey!! Thank you =D

    And yea, although there isn't anything wrong with sitting down and idling for the rest of our lives after achieving FI.
    Just my personal preference not to. ;)


 

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