What’s The Fire Movement?

Here’s my segment I did with Carly Henderson, host of The Jam Morning Show, WCIU-Chicago, hope you enjoy.

Carly Henderson: What’s the FIRE movement, exactly? What does it stand for?

Matt: It’s an acronym, FIRE stands for – Financial, Independence, Retire, Early. Often times, people say, “You know what? I don’t want to work a 9 to 5 anymore, I don’t want to work 40 hours a week. I want to live my best life now”. I totally understand where they’re coming from, I also like the idea of being able to actually enjoy retirement while your body’s still working, while you’re still feeling good, while you still have the energy to travel.

Carly Henderson: Okay, but there’s different ways to do the FIRE Movement as well, right? Tell us about each of those ways.

Matt: Sure. The Regular FIRE Movement, says, “You know what? I want to tuck some money away, but I still want to go out every once in a while”. So in other words you’re still saving money, but you’re living a decent life.

Carly Henderson: So you’re not having to do everything yourself. You’re still living like a pretty good life.

Matt: Exactly.

Matt: The second way is the Barista FIRE, where you pick up a side-job, so therefore at least your benefits are taken care of, health benefits.

Matt: Third one is a Frugal FIRE, where you’re really minimizing everything. You’ve got your shacking with the folks, you got roommates, you may not have a car, but you’re taking credit cards and converting it to points, so therefore, things that you’d normally buy with with cash, you buy with points.

Matt: Fourth one is Fat FIRE, especially in a city like Chicago, you need that large savings, so therefore you can meet the cost of living here in this big city.

Carly Henderson: Okay. So do you suggest that people go to this extreme?

Matt: 100%! This is something I was thinking about in my mid-twenties. I got out the Marine Corps, I fought for freedom, and wanted to get a peace for myself, so yes I 100% advocate for people to do this.

Carly Henderson: Okay, so it’s all about stashing away as much money as you can right now. So what are the easiest strategies that people can do this right now?

Matt: So number one would be to minimize expenses and then maximize your savings-

Carly Henderson: So save a lot right and then you’ll get the rewards later. What else?

Matt: Another one is to consider communicating this to friends and family, but at the same time, friends and family aren’t necessarily going to support you, because you’re probably reminding them what they should be doing too as well, and sometimes people say, “You know what? This is too crazy. You’re too extreme”. So therefore, communicate and communicate often. People that are doing it, they have the same conversational language as you.

Carly Henderson: Yeah, and letting them know, like, “I can’t spend money on this because I have other financial goals”, right?

Matt: That’s right.

Carly Henderson: Okay. What else?

Matt: Third one is to start a business. This is something I did when I was in military. I started side-business and after a while, it started meeting and exceeding my full-time income on a part-time basis, and I got involved. I’ve been doing this now for 20 years. I’ve been in the insurance industry for 20 years. My wife and I, we took $500, and now today, we’re making seven figures a year doing it.

Carly Henderson: Oh my gosh.

Matt: Yeah.

Carly Henderson: That’s inspiring. Okay, what else?

Matt: The other would be to consider finding a mentor, and find a way to keep a mentor. So finding a mentor that’s doing it, that’s implementing it and living the life. Not just online, but in person.

Carly Henderson: Cool anything else?

Matt: Last but not least, you’ve got to invest in conferences and invest in workshops, because life changing moments don’t happen on your couch, life changing moments don’t happen on your existing environment. By investing in conferences and surrounding yourself with like-minded people, they’ll give you strategies and ideas to make this a reality.

Carly Henderson: So, when you’re stashing away all this money, are you just putting it onto a regular savings account? Do you suggest investing in another way? Like, even if we have an extra couple hundred dollars, where do we put it?

Matt: Yeah, it’s got to be outside of your existing pension or outside of your existing 401K, because those plans are only used when full retirement, when you’re 60, 65 years old, or after 59 and a half years old. Putting money aside in a business, investing in a business or investing in side liquid account, that earns higher rate of return than what the banks are giving you, is going to be your best option.

Carly Henderson: Okay, so like an index fund or something like that?

Matt: Correct.

Carly Henderson: Okay, cool. And where do people go to find those?

Matt: They can go online, and it’s a very simple search.

Carly Henderson: Very cool. Well, thanks for breaking this all down for us. FIRE Movement, guys. And if you want more info on Matt and tips to get your finances in order, be sure to follow his YouTube channel at MoneySmartGuy, and visit his Oakbrook office for some free workshops.