Money Lessons from the Wildly Popular FatFIRE Movement on Reddit (2023)

The FIRE movement needs to die.

Perhaps you’ve heard of it.

FIRE stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early. It’s the dumbest movement in history because it involves becoming a selfish tightarse for several decades until you’ve hit your retirement number.

The problem is living on peanuts kills the small pleasures in life.

You may as well go off to the funeral parlor now and have a dirt nap instead of adopting this FIRE movement gospel. The other challenge is the money you need to retire constantly changes.

One of my friends got brainwashed by the FIRE movement. He set his number at $2M. 5 years later that number is now closer to $10M. It’s a hamster wheel. We always want more money. Human nature.

So some genius on Reddit created FatFIRE.

What is this mysterious FatFIRE movement?

FatFIRE is about retiring early while maintaining a decent standard of living. Reddit user thebusinessbastard created it because he got tired of:

  1. Cutting expenses and being selfish towards others
  2. The cliche advice “buy the stock market index fund”

I, too, am sick of both of these FIRE movement messages. Not being able to spend money to save for some future fantasy sounds like torture.

In 2016 I had a near-miss with cancer. If I’d followed this dumbass FIRE movement and died from cancer, I’d never have got to enjoy the sacrifice I gave to earn my savings. That’s what’s missed: tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.

Index funds piss me off too.

The preachers of this financial gospel forget:

  • The 2008 financial crisis that nearly permanently damaged the global financial system
  • The Lost Decade in Japan that permanently changed their innovative, futuristic economy for the worse.
  • The concept of money created out of thin air which contributes to inflation. Returns measured in dollars almost never account for the dilution of any currency issued by governments.
  • Tax is forgotten too. You make loads of cash on Index funds and then pay 50% in tax. The FIRE movement celebrates the pre-tax returns. Stupid.

FatFIRE is about not retiring with barely enough — but retiring with a fat stash of cash.

(Video) 'FatFire' Movement Encourages People To Acquire Wealth And Retire Early

It’s the belief there’s endless money to be made online. It’s the idea you can always make more money if you have an abundance mindset.

Interesting fact: through my research, many of the FatFIRE community are software engineers that have earned enormous salaries.

Here are the lessons you can learn from FatFIRE (whether you agree with it or not, it can reshape your money beliefs):

Earning $2M per year doesn’t make your partnerhorny

Reddit user FatFIREworks says he remembers the day he made $2M in one year. He ran to tell his wife. He thought she’d be horny and want to make love to him on the spot.

Her response…

“That’s nice. Can you make me some breakfast?”

Not exactly what he was hoping. All she wanted was his time, and for him to make a simple bacon and eggs breakfast on sourdough bread.

Not too much to ask.

My wife is the same. The few times I’ve had some big paydays she doesn’t show an ounce of emotion. She just wants a loving husband and a strong man to raise our unborn daughter. Can’t blame her.

Stop thinking people care how much you earn a year. They don’t.

Oh, and marry someone who makes you humble. Humility equals enormous success in life. Ego equals massive failure.

The secret of the FatFIREmovement

I saw this lesson many times in my research.

Reddit user Snoo68013 says after a certain level of financial wealth, there’s no difference in quality of life between you and Jeff Bezos. Here’s what you share with billionaire rocket man:

  • Limited time alive
  • The same taste of oxygen
  • A cheeseburger is still a cheeseburger
  • Food to eat, internet, and basic shelter to stay dry

He says, money is nothing but a number in a phone app. His advice for the good life is simple:

(Video) Fat FIRE 🔥 | Financial Independence Retire Early

  • Workout
  • Sleep good
  • Call your parents
  • Enjoy friendships
  • Earn enough to eat good food
  • Have some hanky panky time with a sexual partner

Time is the currency of life. Money is not.

Free things have more value after you retireearly

Reddit user Lightxd says when he was busy making money there was no time for free stuff.

After he retired early, free things such as chess, going for a swim in the ocean, long hikes, walking the cute puppy dog, and cooking at home became some of his favorite things.

Turns out the thrill of chasing money is what he liked. Once that was over money felt completely overrated.

Money Lessons from the Wildly Popular FatFIRE Movement onReddit (1)

Photo by Mikhail Odintsov onUnsplash

The age you retire is the most important part

Cubicle workers often brag about their eventual retirement at 65.

The problem is much of our youth and energy is destroyed by that age. Climbing Mt Everest in your elderly years just isn’t the same.

Reddit user just_say_n says having money when you’re young enough to enjoy it is far more important than slaving away at a desk job to acquire as much money as possible.

I think back to my 20s. If I’d made 6-figures back then I would have lived like a King. I may not have been considered filthy rich, but I would have had a lot more options.

Value youth over net worth.

No surprise here about one of the greatest sources ofwealth

I read through plenty of FatFire stories.

Another trend I saw is normies like Duck_Biglaw making stacks of cash from crypto and the Web3 revolution. No surprise here. People who invest in obvious future trends before they become mainstream make money.

(Video) S3E4 - Financial Independence, Retire Early movement (FIRE), and How to Achieve It?

People who call new innovation scams are broke. No surprise there either.

Early retirement can accidentally do this painful thing toyou

Reddit user Galun got FatFIRED.

It’s where you lose your job and decide, screw it, I got enough money. With all the free time Galun ended up buying and running three businesses. His kind side led him to start a non-profit too.

Quickly, he says, he became busier in early retirement than he was when he had a dead-end job. To get out of retirement jail he hired managers to run his three businesses.

Hiring people made him less profit but it bought his time back.

Optimize for free time, not more money or business prestige. Nobody gives a crap if you run three businesses.

How to use FatFIRE to get an instant payrise

Galun can teach us another kickass lesson.

His wife kept working her corporate job after he got FatFIRED. He did the math to see what would happen if they both were retired. The numbers worked in their favor.

Galun came up with a sneaky plan.

“Share this FatFIRE plan with your boss. Do it.”

When her boss saw the math and could see she no longer needed her dead-end cubicle job anymore, he instantly promoted her. She then got promoted a second time a year later. Badass.

When leaders or colleagues at work find out you don’t need the money from your job anymore, it changes everything. And you act different. You speak your mind — and leaders love it.

This expression is toxic: “If you have to ask you can’t affordit”

I went to buy a car a few years ago.

I asked a lot of questions about the maintenance costs of the car. Despite my high salary at the time, I wanted the car to be economical and cost-efficient. I wasn’t buying the car to be a Hollywood Boulevard show pony.

(Video) Mark Cuban on the FIRE Movement: Financial Independence, Retire Early

The car salesman said, “If you have to ask you can’t afford it.”

I regrettably flexed my ego and bank account. He got under my skin.

Reddit user notonmywatch178 had a similar experience to me. When he bought an exotic car people kept telling him not to ask about running costs. When he bought a new home he asked the previous owner to supply insurance costs and utility bills.

People said he was crazy. “Stop asking. It doesn’t matter.”

Knowing the cost of everything does matter. It stops lifestyle creep. It stops major expenses from taking you by surprise and wiping out your hard-earned money unnecessarily.

The people telling you “If you have to ask you can’t afford it” have dark secrets to hide. They don’t want you to know the true cost because that’s their advantage that gives them a hidden financial benefit.

Always ask the cost of things no matter how rich you are.

The real reason the retiring early movement has spread likewildfire

Let’s finish with what the FatFIRE movement is really trying to say.

Whether you follow FatFIRE, FIRE, or LeanFIRE philosophy it doesn’t matter much. These retire early movements seem to be about money or the pursuit of wealth or the false belief money can make us happier.

They’re not. Reddit user readsmathforfun summed it up nicely.

People are retiring away from a job.

This movement is about a rebellion against jobs and the chains they place on our arms and legs. We’re tired of being told what to do. We want freedom to do whatever we want more so than money.

That’s the biggest lesson you can learn from the FatFIRE movement.

Bottom line: learn more about the retire early movement. It’ll change how you think about money and life forever.

(Video) What is The FIRE Movement? | 4 Types of Financial Freedom

FAQs

What is Reddit FatFIRE? ›

FatFIRE refers to the abundance (“fat”) bundle of money someone needs to gain Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE).

What do I need to know about FatFIRE? ›

Fat FIRE is the same as regular FIRE, but the numbers are bigger across the board. You want a lifestyle that will require higher monthly expenses, which means your FIRE number and annual investment income will need to be higher and may take longer to achieve.

How is reddit hot calculated? ›

Reddit's hot ranking uses the logarithm function to weight the first votes higher than the rest. Generally this applies: The first 10 upvotes have the same weight as the next 100 upvotes which have the same weight as the next 1000 etc…

What does Fatfire stand for? ›

Fat FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) is being able to live it up in retirement without having to sacrifice your spending. If you are Fat FIRE, you can easily survive without a job because your investment income more than covers your best life's living expenses.

What is the 4 rule in FIRE? ›

To achieve early retirement, F.I.R.E. investors cut costs aggressively and save large percentages of their income. Their milestone for financial independence is a portfolio large enough to sustain their spending with inflation- adjusted withdrawals equal to 4% of the portfolio's initial value—the so-called 4% rule.

What is the 4 percent rule? ›

One frequently used rule of thumb for retirement spending is known as the 4% rule. It's relatively simple: You add up all of your investments, and withdraw 4% of that total during your first year of retirement.

How much is enough for FatFIRE? ›

“A common rule of thumb is that you should aim to save at least 50% of your income if you want to achieve FatFIRE.” Many people set the figure of $2.5 million saved for FatFIRE, and then withdraw 3% or 4% from their investments each year.

How do you beat Reddit algorithm? ›

Engage Instead of Only Posting: Have a plan to engage with a certain audience before you post on Reddit. Ask open questions or answer some yourself by looking at unique information opportunities to keep it interesting. Otherwise, users may move to other profiles.

Why do I have 1 karma on Reddit? ›

A low or negative karma score means the user's interactions upset people, and usually point toward the user being a bot, spammer, or troll.

Who has the most karma on Reddit? ›

#1 Apostolate. The king. Apostolate claims to be a law student in New York. A redditor since January 2012, he has 1,374,900 comment karma.

What's the opposite of FatFIRE? ›

LeanFIRE is the opposite approach to FatFIRE. Instead of indulging, LeanFIRE followers slash their spending to the bone, eliminating non-essentials and reducing their necessary expenses.

What is your FIRE number? ›

Your FIRE number is a sum of invested assets and other savings. It's the number you need to reach for your investments' annual return to sufficiently cover your expenses. If you plan to withdraw 4% of your portfolio each year, an equation that lets you calculate your FIRE number is to multiply annual expenses by 25.

What does fat Fi mean? ›

In simple words Fat FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) is being able to live it up in retirement without having to sacrifice your spending. The amount of money you need to do this is on you only.

How much money do I need to retire at 60? ›

How much retirement should I have at 60? A general rule for retirement savings by age 60 is to aim to have about seven to eight times your current salary saved up. This means someone earning $75,000 a year would ideally have between $525,000 to $600,000 in retirement savings at that age.

What are the 2 golden rules when fighting a fire? ›

Only tackle a fire when it is in its very early stages. Give consideration to your own safety and the safety of other people and make sure you can escape from the fire if you need to. Never let a fire block your exit.

How much money do you need to retire? ›

The Final Multiple: 10-12 times your annual income at retirement age. If you plan to retire at 67, for instance, and your income is $150,000 per year, then you should have between $1.5 and $1.8 million set aside for retirement.

What is the 25x rule? ›

The 25x Rule is simply an estimate of how much you'll need to have saved for retirement. You take the amount you want to spend each year in retirement and multiply it by 25. Generally, you can look at your current salary to get an idea of how much you might be able to comfortably live off in retirement.

How much should a 55 year old have in retirement savings? ›

Experts say to have at least seven times your salary saved at age 55. That means if you make $55,000 a year, you should have at least $385,000 saved for retirement. Keep in mind that life is unpredictable–economic factors, medical care, and how long you live will also impact your retirement expenses.

How much money do I need to retire at 62? ›

Experts typically recommend having at least $500,000 saved up before you retire. Of course, everyone's retirement goals are different. Some people are content with a more modest lifestyle, while others want to continue living the lifestyle they did before they retired. So it all depends on your circumstances.

How much should I give for FIRE? ›

Most Fire savers put aside 25% to 50% of their income every month.

How much do you need saved to FIRE? ›

F.I.R.E. stands for “Financial Independence, Retire Early.” The goal is to save and invest aggressively—somewhere between 50–75% of your income—so you can retire sometime in your 30s or 40s. That's right: You need to save at least half of your income just to have a chance to make this happen.

How is FIRE cost calculated? ›

The first and most popular equation is: FIRE number = 25 x your annual expenses. This formula is based on the Trinity Study, the better-known name for a 1998 paper titled “Retirement Savings: Choosing a Withdrawal Rate that is Sustainable” published by three finance professors at Trinity University.

What is reddit flair? ›

A flair is a 'tag' that can be added to threads posted on the reddit website within a sub-reddit. They help users understand the category to which the posts belong to and help readers filter specific kind of posts based on their preferences.

What is FIRE and Yolo? ›

FIRE: The Balance Between Saving and Spending. Can YOLO (You Only Live Once) and FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) be compatible or will they forever be at odds? If you find the right balance between saving and spending, you may be able to abide by both philosophies.

What is reddit RIF? ›

rif is fun for Reddit

Welcome to the official subreddit for the rif is fun (formerly reddit is fun) Android app! Make sure that your problem isn't a reddit API issue by first checking reddit's server status page.

What is reddit community flair? ›

User flair is the icon or text that appears next to your username in a community. Each community has its own user flairs set up by the community's moderators.

Does karma on Reddit matter? ›

Karma has no value outside of the Reddit platform and is purely an internal instrument. Whilst some Reddit users view karma as a gimmick as dismiss it's value, it can and does affect your reputation and ability to post and comment on the platform.

How do I change my Reddit flair to solved? ›

Select the three-dots menu icon > Change user flair to make the change.

How do you get karma fast on Reddit? ›

You can earn Reddit karma by posting relevant content on the site. If people upvote your post, they will feel knowledgeable and have an interesting viewpoint. Make sure you read the rules of the subreddit before you post something. If you post a request for upvotes, then it is likely that you will get downvotes.

What is Yolo in body? ›

YOLO (You Only Look Once) is a method / way to do object detection. It is the algorithm /strategy behind how the code is going to detect objects in the image.

What does Yolo mindset mean? ›

However, Gen Z has flipped this burnout into a new way of thinking—a YOLO mentality. Essentially, these employees are trying to make up for lost time. The acronym “YOLO” stands for You Only Live Once. It ignites the idea that there is always more life to live because life is short.

What is Yolo FOMO? ›

YOLO, in case you don't know, stands for You Only Live Once. This acronym was even added to the dictionary! Think of it as a mindset. It's a way to say, “You know what? I'll spend the $200 on a night out with friends because I only live once!” FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out, is essentially the same thing.

Why did Reddit get rid of controversial? ›

The subreddit was banned on April 25, 2019, for violating Reddit's content policy regarding violent content.

Can you get blacklisted on Reddit? ›

Reddit will ban your account if you violate the platform's rules and guidelines.

What is Reddit actually used for? ›

Reddit is a social news website and forum where content is socially curated and promoted by site members through voting. The site name is a play on the words "I read it." Reddit member registration is free, and it is required to use the website's basic features.

What is the most popular community on Reddit? ›

What are the most popular subreddits?
SubredditNumber of subscribers
/r/AskReddit33.73 million
/r/gaming30.66 million
/r/aww29.43 million
/r/Music28.10 million
6 more rows
12 Oct 2021

What is the best Reddit community? ›

The trick is wading through all the nonsense and finding the good stuff — so we compiled a modest list of the best subreddits Reddit has to offer.
  • r/Futurology. ...
  • r/Nonononoyes. ...
  • r/ReverseAnimalRescue. ...
  • r/NatureIsFuckingLit. ...
  • r/Gifs. ...
  • r/Instant_regret. ...
  • r/PhotoshopBattles. ...
  • r/MemeEconomy.
7 May 2021

How does karma work on Reddit? ›

On Reddit, your karma is a reflection of how much your contributions mean to the community. How much karma someone has is publicly displayed on their profile. When your posts or comments get upvoted, you gain some karma—so making posts and comments that communities find valuable is the best way to gain karma.

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