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Playing with FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early): How Far Would You Go for Financial Freedom? Kindle Edition
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— Vicki Robin, coauthor of Your Money or Your Life and author of Blessing the Hands That Feed Us
“Having seen [Scott and Taylor’s] success, I now have even higher hopes that more people can reap the benefits of more financially independent lives everywhere. And I think you will feel that same hope creep into your own outlook on life as you read it.”
— from the foreword by Pete Adeney a.k.a. Mr. Money Mustache
“The path to FIRE is not linear, and this book perfectly captures the ups and downs many people face along the way. It’s rare, however, to get such an intimate view into a family’s journey from the very beginning. This book gives you that and is a fantastic behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming documentary. It contains interesting backstory, endearing personal moments, and actionable advice to help you achieve your own financial goals sooner.”
— Brandon Ganch, Mad Fientist
“Readers will benefit from the wisdom of saving today in the hope of a brighter tomorrow.”
— Library Journal
“To the uninitiated, pursuing financial independence seems exotic, impossible, and/or daunting. But in fact, it is simple and has roots deep in the American psyche. If you wonder what this path is like in real life and in real time, Scott and Taylor will take you along on their journey: not yet finished, a work in progress, and a very engaging tale.”
— JL Collins, author of The Simple Path to Wealth
“What if you could change your life 180 degrees, break free of the paycheck-to-paycheck grind, and pursue financial independence? Scott and Taylor Rieckens chronicle their incredible turnaround in Playing with FIRE, and their brilliantly simple advice is applicable to anyone: Spend less than you earn, invest the difference, and create the space in your life to pursue true happiness and lifelong relationships.”
— Brad Barrett and Jonathan Mendonsa, cohosts of the ChooseFI podcast
“In Playing with FIRE, Scott Rieckens shares the essence of the FIRE movement. And he does it with deeply personal, honest, and captivating stories that keep the pages turning. If you’re at all interested in financial independence, retiring early, or just putting happiness ahead of money, you will enjoy this book.”
— Chad Carson, creator of the blog Coach Carson and author of Retire Early with Real Estate
“Scott Rieckens has done a phenomenal job of embracing the FIRE movement and making the hard choices necessary to radically alter his family’s financial future. His book should be an inspiration to anyone starting in a similar life position. If you feel stuck or feel that you are not able to flex your creative talents and live a life where you are in control, then Playing with FIRE might be just the book you need.”
— Scott Trench, author of Set for Life and host of the BiggerPockets Money podcast
“This is a fascinating, relatable, and heartfelt story about a couple’s transition from ultra-consumers to people who discovered that time is more valuable than belongings. It weaves together their personal journey with actionable information, and features examples of dozens of others who are leaving the rat race in search of meaning. You won’t be able to put this book down.”
— Paula Pant, founder of affordanything.com
“A truly inspirational story that proves saving is not a sacrifice. It’s a path to a life you love.”
— Grant Sabatier, author of Financial Freedom and creator of millennialmoney.com --This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
- File Size : 1586 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 226 pages
- Publisher : New World Library - New World Library - New World Library (January 1, 2019)
- Publication Date : January 1, 2019
- ASIN : B07JVC5F7N
- Language: : English
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Not enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #194,983 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This book is supposed to be for people of all income levels. There are few good examples of lower-income FIRE people (p. 45, p.69) and the author does address: "Is Fire Only For Rich People?" (p. 6). But I just personally couldn't relate to the author at all.
At the beginning of his journey, he and his wife are in their mid-thirties, making $142,000 annually AFTER taxes (p. 8), they have gone to college, left school with minimal debt, and avoided credit card debt (p. 9), and already had $190,000 in savings (p. 54). They leased two cars, including a BMW, and belonged to a boat club. Even after they "cut back" and are on their journey to FIRE, they are still living a kind of life that I could only dream about!
In their journey to FIRE, they also seem to have a ridiculous amount of freedom. For example, they leave home and go on a yearlong trip to "see family and friends, explore new cities, and have fun" which includes stops at Spokane, Seattle, Boise, Bend, Fort Collins, and Hawaii (p. 83) They also go to Ecuador and spend $5,000 to go to a FIRE conference (p. 121)
Frankly, I can't relate to this at all. I'm not sure how many other people can, either. And the funny thing, is I'm not that different from the author. I'm in late-30's, which is comparable to, if not a little older than, the author. I live in a very similar HCOL area, also in California, like the author.
But that's where the similarities end. The author had an amazing job - "my job consisted of being flown around the West Coast to support events like the NBA and MLB All-Star games, the Sundance Film Festival, music festivals, and so on." (p. 13) On the other hand, I have a Master's degree and I am working in my chosen field, which mostly involves sitting at a desk all day behind a computer and doing a lot of paperwork. I earn 7 hours of vacation a month and I don't have the option to telework; there's no way I could just take off for a year like the author did. My after-tax income is $37,000 a year. My rent and utilities for a standard (not a luxury) one-bedroom apartment are $22,000 a year. Then there's my car payment, student loan payment, and all the usual cost of living expenses.
I love the FIRE movement, but I'm not sure it works for most people. When you can only save, at best, a few thousand dollars a year, it's hard not to get resentful at books like these. For those who are of more modest means, I recommend "How to Retire Early: Your Guide to Getting Rich Slowly and Retiring on Less" by Robert and Robin Charlton. Their book lays out some 15 and 20-year plans for retirement.
Coming from my own background as someone feverishly paying down debt after struggling in a daze for years, I found it the perfect mix of story and facts, and more than anything, both encouraging and hopeful. I don’t know where I’ll end up on my own journey, but Scott’s words definitely gave me the boost I needed as I climb out of my own financial hole to work towards something bigger, more secure, and life-giving.
Needless to say, I cannot wait for the documentary.
(From Frugal Fuyanger on IG)