Financial Independence is a fantastic concept and a very worthwhile goal. But not everyone discovers FIRE in their early 20s, not everyone is willing or able to spend the next 10-15 years working full-time while saving and investing as much as possible.
Maybe you are in you have young kids and want to spend more time with them. Maybe you are simply tired of the 9 to 5. Maybe it just seems like your FIRE date is too far away, and you are looking for a shortcut. And if you are like most people, you don’t even want to fully retire, you just want a bit more time and less stress in your life.
The good news is that there are strategies that allow you to reclaim your freedom much sooner and that make your path to FIRE a lot more enjoyable. The list below is a great place to start if you want to learn more and find an alternative FIRE strategy that works for you.
(Early) Semi-Retirement allows you to work part-time in a job you enjoy. You can leave your full-time job behind when you are semi-retired and take on projects you enjoy. Semi-retirement also allows you enough time to pursue hobbies, spend time with friends and family and look after your health. The best thing is that you can still reach Financial Independence while you are semi-retired. Two common approaches to achieving FIRE while working part-time are Coast FIRE and Flamingo FI (see below).
To learn more about the benefits of semi-retirement, start with this article: The Ultimate Guide to Semi-Retirement
Coast FI is the point at which you have saved enough to get to FI by the time you reach the traditional retirement age without having to make any further contributions to your nest egg. Once you reach this point, you can stop saving altogether and semi-retire. As long as you don’t touch your nest egg, it will generate enough income in retirement – thanks to the magic of compound interest.
If you want to learn more about this concept, start with this article: Coast FI Explained
This approach combines the best parts of three different retirement lifestyles – Semi-Retirement, Early Retirement (FIRE) and Traditional Retirement. Flamingo FI is essentially a version of Coast FIRE geared towards those who want to semi-retire but also be able to get to FIRE in the next 10-15 years.
Start with this article to find out more about Flamingo FI: Flamingo FIRE – The Best Path To Financial Independence?
A common misconception is that Barista FIRE and Coast FIRE are the same things. They are not. While Coast FI will allow you to eventually retire (and live completely off your investments), Barista FIRE will not lead to full retirement in most cases. With Barista FI, you accumulate a nest egg that allows you to draw an income to cover part of your expenses. You can then semi-retire indefinitely and work part-time to cover the gap.
You can find out more about Barista FI in this extensive article: Barista FIRE Explained.
Mini-Retirements are exactly that: small retirements. They come in all shapes and sizes – thing sabbaticals, career breaks and gap years. Mini-retirements allow you to take extended periods off before you reach Financial Independence and retire permanently. They are a great option for anyone who wants to break up their long journey to FIRE. A mini-retirement could be three months or two years long – it’s completely up to you.
You can read all about mini-retirements and sabbaticals here: How to Take a Life-Changing Mini-Retirement