What is the F.I.R.E movement?

I’m more interested in a soft glow than an actual fire.

In our Facebook group, RN 2 Wealthy many comments have included FI goals. Many nurses haven’t heard of Financial Independence or the Financial Independence Retire Early movement. So here’s a little insight.

The Basics of FIRE

  • “Spend less than you make and invest the rest.”
  • The ultimate goal is to invest enough money that eventually money earns enough money that you can quit your job.
  • The common equation is to save 25 times your annual expenses and voila, quit your job, this is also known as the 4% rule. (If you spend $100,000 a year, you would need 2.5 million invested.)
  • Most of the FIRE followers encourage low cost index funds.
  • Setting up your lifestyle to have the highest savings rate possible gets you there sooner.

Choose FI does a phenomenal job going through the details.

Once you set up, you can go on autopilot

I’m still trying to figure out how to enjoy autopilot

I have a friend who’s child said, “why are you reading more about this “FIRE” stuff when you know to invest what you don’t spend into low-cost index funds? What more can you learn about it?” He then canceled his plans for a White Coat Investor seminar, because he said, “she’s right, I’m on cruise control.”


I believe there are many more nuances to the conventional “save a lot of money and retire ASAP.” The first year I learned about FIRE, I was dead set on optimizing, saving, making more money and getting out of the workforce. Once I felt that we skimmed down all of our wasteful and frivolous expenses and there was nothing left to optimize I stalled out. It’s a sad day when you have nothing left to frugalize for a miser. Now what, sit and wait? I didn’t like the way that felt at all. You can start to feel disillusioned by the whole idea of being employed on someone else’s schedule. The whole thrill of retiring for me was waking up when I wanted to, not because there is a 7 am meeting. This made every 7 am meeting intolerable. I use to skip into work happily because I loved what I did every day but then the FIRE slog set in and I needed out. Now, I’m back to my happy place and I’m excited to take care of patients and their families.

Here’s my Mindset Shift

Consider your job volunteer Work. I’ve heard many folks say, I want to retire so I can volunteer more. Isn’t the nursing professional the most skilled volunteerism you can do? When I think about what I would volunteer to do in retirement, it’s basically what I’m doing now only with less stringent hours. Nothing makes more of an impact on your community than caring for the sick.

Design you happy life now. If you need $60,000 a year to live you will need to save $1.5 million. Work hard at the beginning of your career, save $200,000 and then never save another penny and chances are good that you can retire in 25 years. Imagine working part time in a clinic you are passionate about for the next 25 years.

There’s more than one equation. There are many ways to calculate a financial goal to execute your personalized plan. Maybe saving 50% of your income isn’t your goal, maybe working part-time is or working in a lower-paid position that more fulfilling.

Stop racing to the finish line and enjoy the journey. I have young kids and I want to enjoy them NOW and I want to enjoy them LATER. I want it all people. The best way to accomplish this is reduced hours now and reduced hours later. We saved hard enough in the front end that this is possible while still making progress.

So many unknowns. Many still work after reaching Financial Independence because of unknowns. So basically they worked themselves to death to save 50% of their income to reach a goal and then they continued to work. Continuing to work part-time as a nurse means, access to health insurance, learning something new every day and a recession-proof stream of income. Why push so hard in the front end to be on edge every time the stock market takes a dip? Work more on your terms now for a longer period of time. This is my personal feelings on the FI movement.

The reason I feel so passionately about slowing down our journey to FI is because of days like today. I volunteered at my kids’ school, drove around town to pick up Craigslist furniture for our new rental, prepared a homemade dinner, and I logged in to work for a few hours to building some teaching sheets. I didn’t need to log in but I knew I didn’t want to stretch myself thin tomorrow during clinic. Tomorrow I will get to see patients, work with friends and learn something new. This is my idea of a nurse’s dream.

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