Best Books for FIRE Financial Independence Retire Early text over a picture of a family celebrating and having fun at the beach by running through the ankle deep water

Best Books for FIRE: Financial Independence Retired Early

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What are the best books for FIRE? F.I.R.E. or FIRE stands for Financial Independence Retired Early.

This is the basic concept that if you can save 40% – 80% of your income now you can retire early and do whatever you want. It isn’t an easy method to retire but one that has a lot of great principles to follow.

How does one even be able to live off of only 20% of their income? Well, it means making lots of money and not living like you have lots of money. This can be done by finding and climbing the corporate ladder into a high-paying (6-figure) salary. It can be done through real estate holdings, but that requires some upfront cash and specializing in a specific strategy (many to choose from). Or it can be done while starting a business and figuring out how to make as much of that business run without needing your time sooner rather than later. Finally, you can do a mix of all of the above but try to focus on one of them at a time.

To that end, I have curated a list of my favorite books that focus more on the concepts around real estate but most of these books deal with the passive income from a business model. If you want real estate books, read my article on the best books for real estate investing here.

This post may contain affiliate links which means that I may receive compensation at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase from a link found on my site. Please review my privacy policy for further details.

These ideas are based on my personal experience and opinion and should not be considered professional financial investment advice. Furthermore, the ideas and strategies should never be used without first assessing your own personal and financial situation, or without consulting a financial professional.

Best Books for FIRE Financial Independence Retire Early text over a picture of a family celebrating and having fun at the beach by running through the ankle deep water

What is Financial Independence Retire Early (F.I.R.E)

There are two steps in FIRE (I will use FIRE and F.I.R.E. interchangeably for the Google Algorithm Gods). The first is how to achieve financial freedom or independence. This is where you are making enough from your investments (either in the stock market, real estate, or starting a business). It can also be a combination of all three and it is eventually what the ultra-rich will do.

First, they invest in themselves to learn new skills and apply those skills.

Second, they build a business (potentially on the side of their main career). If you know that 9 out of 10 small businesses fail and you have the mentality that you will build at least 10 businesses to see what actually works then you can see failure as a learning curve. To be honest with you this blog is business number 4 for me. The other 3 have failed. The way I figure it I will go after this business hard for the next 2 years to see what happens.

Different types of F.I.R.E.

There are three types of FIRE:

  • FIRE – Figure out what your expenses are and how to invest enough money to have cash flow coming in that is greater than your expenses.
  • Lean FIRE – Do the above, but then work on cutting down your expenses to the bare minimum to retire early.
  • Fat FIRE – Figure out the number you want to live on to live how you would like. This would include vacations and such and then invest enough to have your cash flow equal or exceed that number.

The fastest way to retirement would be Lean FIRE, but personally, I see Lean FIRE too constricting. I am on the Fat FIRE path and so mine will take longer.

Why You should consider F.I.R.E.

The concepts around FIRE are to save / invest as much as you possibly can for a specific goal.

So many people just put in 5% of their money in retirement to get their 10% matching not knowing how much they need or maybe even what they are invested in. The main advantage of FIRE is that you get a tangible goal and can work backward to see how to achieve that.

If you focus on how to make more money, then you will put your greatest asset (YOU) to work to figure out how to brainstorm ideas and start working. To me, this is the greatest advantage of the FIRE movement. People now thinking outside of the box and making money outside of their career.

Disadvantages of pursuing F.I.R.E.

The main disadvantage of FIRE is that many will go overboard on this concept and live like they make $10k a year.

I see people turn the heat down to 50 degrees. Eat horrible food that will have health impacts in the next 10 years and beyond.

I don’t find doing FIRE to that degree to be worth it. I think most focus on removing expenses instead of figuring out how to expand their income outside of a career.

Which version of F.I.R.E. is the best for you?

It all depends on what you want to do in life. Some, may look at the concepts of FIRE and think that they don’t want to save that much that quickly. Instead, they will at least have their retirement number and hopefully a plan to achieve it by 67 years of age.

I would steer you clear of lean FIRE unless you are building a business on the side that can move you to regular FIRE. If you are in a dead-end job or in a stressful job I would suggest looking for different work and at least picking up a new skill that can be monetized. INSERT 1 Strategy

Best Books for FIRE Financial Independence Retire Early

The Millionaire Fastlane book cover

The Millionaire Fastlane” by MJ DeMarco: This book provides a roadmap for achieving financial independence and retiring early. It covers the importance of entrepreneurship and how to build passive income streams.

UNSCRIPTED: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Entrepreneurship” by MJ DeMarco: This book provides goes more in-depth into how to move forward with entrepreneurship and being able to build something that can help you retire in less than 10 years really no matter your age.

UNSCRIPTED: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Entrepreneurship Book Cover
The Great Rat-Race Escape Book Cover

The Great Rat-Race Escape” by MJ DeMarco: This book is a story that gives a great example of how to build a business from the ground up, complete with setbacks and practical tips on how you can do the same. I think this is the best in the series even though it is the third from MJ DeMarco.

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki: This book is a personal finance classic that teaches readers about the importance of financial literacy and how to build wealth through investing. It provides practical advice on how to manage money, invest in real estate, and start a business.

5 steps to Prosperity

5 Steps to Prosperity

Learn the fasted way out of debt and into wealth with this free infographic giving you the first 5 steps out of poverty and into prosperity.

Your Money or Your Life Book Cover

Your Money or Your Life” by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez: This book focuses on financial independence and teaches readers how to manage their money in a way that aligns with their values and goals. It includes practical advice on budgeting, saving, and investing for the long term.

Early Retirement Extreme” by Jacob Lund Fisker: This book provides a comprehensive guide to achieving financial independence and retiring early. It covers a range of topics, including budgeting, saving, and investing for the long term.

Early Retirement Extreme Book Cover
The Millionaire Next Door Book Cover

The Millionaire Next Door” by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko: This book examines the characteristics of self-made millionaires and provides insights into how they built their wealth. It provides practical advice on how to develop good financial habits and make smart investment decisions.

Tools of Titans” by Tim Ferris: This book is the fastest way to read a ton of autobiographies that only focus on the tactics and habits of those that are wealthy. You can look for people that you follow or want to be like to figure out what practices made them successful. Success leaves clues and this book details these clues in plain language.

Tools of the Titans book cover
The 4-hour workweek book cover

The 4-Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferris: This book is how I was first introduced to the concept of creating a business that I could do from anywhere and finally disconnect my time from my money. This is last on the list because people remember the first and last of any list most of the time. This is the Bible on FIRE for those wanting to start a business.

Key Considerations for pursuing F.I.R.E. strategies

There are many ways to achieve financial freedom. You could decide that you want to start a small business and except that you may need to fail 9 times in a row until you succeed because that one simple success could set you up for life.

You could decide that you don’t want to start a business selling a product or service. Instead, you want to purchase real estate and work the process in the next 5 – 10 years to go from owning one property to entire apartment complexes or one of the hundreds of other real estate strategies. If you want to read more about that check out my recommended book list here to get started.

Wow, you read a lot to get here. Can you do me a favor, please? Can you leave a comment if this was helpful to you or if I missed something? Alternatively, it would help me out a lot if you shared this content with those that might need to see it. Thanks, you are the best!

If you want to get started on creating an online business and you are interested in blogging then I highly recommend Sadie Smiley’s programs. I am in her VIP coaching program and have to say her coaching is hands down the best I have seen.

If you want to do online business but are more interested in video or vlogging then I highly recommend Legendary Marketer and their programs that can teach you how to make money through affiliate marketing.

Regardless of what you choose to do, just make a plan today and start. You will fail. You will make mistakes. But you will also learn more than if you did nothing, so do something today. You owe it to yourself.

Picture of Dwight Scull sitting in his gaming chair in his office surrounded by board games and Role Playing Books.
“Marriage is hard. Divorce is hard.
Choose your hard.
Obesity is hard. Being fit is hard.
Choose your hard.
Being in debt is hard.
Being financially disciplined is hard.
Choose your hard.
Communication is hard. Not communicating is hard.
Choose your hard.
Life will never be easy. It will always be hard.
But we can choose our hard. Pick wisely.”

About Dwight Scull

I have been married to my wonderful wife, Rebecca, who puts up with me since 1999. I am a proud father to my Gen Z, son, and daughter-in-law. Grandfather to my favorite granddaughter who was born in 2021.

I lost my mom, father-in-law, and 12 others in 2013 and was DEEPLY in debt. I started reading and watching all the financial info I could find.

I chipped away at my debt and went from a negative $105k net worth having one home paid off, no credit card debt, and saving/investing 45%+ of my gross salary.

I used these daily habits to lose 100 pounds and keep it off.

I believe that you can overcome any challenge you face if you just take small daily actions and be consistent with them. It is how you will be financially successful.

Join my free Facebook group to get a ton of free resources to help you get out of debt, learn how to invest your money and work toward having the option of retiring early.

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