10 Provocative Early Retirement & FIRE Blogs You MUST Read

MichaelEducation, FIRE, Misc59 Comments

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FIRE Blogs

Look no further. I’m bringing you the 10 best and most provocative FIRE blogs and Early Retirement Sites the Internet has to offer.

These sites will challenge your beliefs about traditional retirement and inspire you with possibilities you may have never imagined.

FIRE it Up!

For the uninitiated, F.I.R.E., or simply FIRE stands for Financial Independence, Retirement Early.  If you are unfamiliar with those terms, check out my post – 8 Terms You Need to Know When Reading Personal Finance Blogs.

There are some really fantastic FIRE bloggers that have taught me a ton and helped me to better understand my own story of early retirement.  As FIRE bloggers, we all have our own take on “things”, and this is beautiful for readers just like you.

Whether you are a newbie, an experienced professional, or a fellow PF blogger, you get to pick and choose the best information and/or learn from those you naturally resonate with.

Today I’d like to share some of my favorite sites in this FIRE category.  These provocative FIRE blogs are the real deal.  These bloggers are living proof of early retirement or have found financial independence early on.  Although not all of them publicly state their net worths, a good chunk of them are millionaires and/or multi-millionaires.

FIRE and Early Retirement Blogs

Financial Samurai

Financial Samurai – There’s a good chance you already know of FS because Sam is a veteran blogger who writes tirelessly, with conviction, and is also entertaining.  Sam retired early in his 30’s after a successful career on Wall Street and is truly on FIRE (Financially Independent, and Retired Early!).

He has a work ethic that most of us can only aspire to but is very humble.  He’s willing to help out bloggers just starting out (like I was back in 2015).  I’ve had the good fortune of meeting Sam in person at FinCon and providing a guest post (the one I’m most proud of) to his savvy community.

Retire By 40

Retire By 40 – RB40 is by Joe Udo, a former Intel engineer, who had enough of the rat race.  He retired in his late 30’s so he could become a stay-at-home Dad (SAHD) and blogger… just like me!  Like FS, Joe has been around for a while (2010) which is a long time in the PF blogging community.  In fact, he chronicled his journey even before he quit.

Today he’s able to supplement his family’s cash flow with online income from his blog.  He’s amassed an impressive portfolio and well diversified into real estate also.  Joe’s a great guy and another blogger I was lucky enough to meet last year at FinCon.

1500 Days

1500 Days – Mr. 1500 (Carl) is newly FIRE’d!  Yup, he just pulled the trigger and I’m pretty sure he’s loving it.  (I will say it takes a little getting used to, but he’s going to settle in just fine.)  I first met Carl a year and a half ago when he came to San Diego for a vacation with the family.  Dom from Gen Y Finance Guy had set up a time to meet up with Carl and invited me along.  It was Christmas time, so I brought along some homemade chocolate chip cookies for him, and we’ve been friends ever since!

Carl’s writing is witty and fun.  His original premise of the blog was to track his journey to FIRE over the course of 1500 days.  Of course, you already know the spoiler (he made it, and then some!), but it’s really eye-opening to read his journey back before it actually happened.  If you see him at FinCon and want to catch his attention, just start asking him about his favorite pale ale.

Check out his Financially Alert interview here.

Think Save Retire

Think Save Retire – Steve is an active early retirement blogger that recently stepped off the rat race himself.  He doesn’t consider himself rich, but he’s saved diligently and amassed enough to FIRE with his wife.  He’s done a full 180 degree turn when it comes to pursuing the “finer” things in life and lives a frugal, but complete life with his wife.  They recently purchased an Airstream which they live and travel in now that he’s retired (btw, he’s only 35).

You’ll also find him as an active participant and moderator at Rockstar Finance Forums.  He’s helping J$ to consolidate the best PF blogs out there.  Steve is also an avid photographer.

Physician on FIRE

Physician on FIRE – PoF, as we like to call him online, is a practicing anesthesiologist and FIRE blogger who’s exploded into the PF community with a friendly and informative presence.  He’s out to help his fellow physicians who are some of the highest paid professionals out there.  Unfortunately, many physicians aren’t financial savvy because they’ve focused their efforts elsewhere and they are taxed like crazy!  PoF is here to help bridge that gap and give them FIRE options they may never have considered.

He’s just been blogging a little over a year, but is quite literally EVERYWHERE!  I’m not sure quite how he does it all, but it’s certainly inspiring.  He’s also super generous, donating all of his online proceeds.  Oh and if that wasn’t enough, he gave away $100k to charity!  Respect.

Mr. Tako Escapes

Mr. Tako Escapes – Mr. Tako is a financially independent father of 2, savvy dividend equities investor, and fellow early retiree.  He blogs about early retirement, FIRE, and fun related hobbies that expose his naturally frugal personality.  He amassed over $2M in net worth by the time he was 38 years old and did it without real estate, businesses, nor an inheritance.

He also loves cooking and eating good food, but doesn’t spend a ton on it (like some other frivolous blogger I know personally).

Mr. Tako definitely marches to the beat of his own drum and I respect him for that.  Check out his Financially Alert interview he did with me here.

Early Retirement Now

Early Retirement Now – Mr. ERN and wife are on a solid trajectory to retire early in 2018.  They’ve already saved up a sizable nest-egg (as they’ve recently disclosed).

I actually only stumbled upon ERN recently but was super impressed with the detailed paper written about safe withdrawal rates for early retirees.  You see, once you actually retire, capital preservation and depletion should be a metric you are watching closely to ensure you can live indefinitely without needing to go back to work.  Mr. ERN took over 6.5 million samples to generate results that help early retirees like me to see the need to stay conservative with withdrawal rates and to NOT simply accept the commonly accepted 4% rule.

Root of Good

Root of Good – Justin retired early at the age of 33.  The great thing about his story is that he’s an example of a hardcore saver who has created wealth at a young age but without a huge salary.  His monthly expenses are truly a piece of art and subject to high levels of scrutiny and doubt (since most people can’t believe what he’s been able to do!).

Justin also publishes monthly financial reports similar to mine which allow you to follow along in full detail.  His NW has been very close to mine and you’ll see our numbers often duking it out!

The Green Swan

The Green Swan – JW is just a young buck at 31 but is already executing an effective FIRE campaign.  In addition to building a fat portfolio, he also is a small business owner.  JW is naturally frugal and values experiences of things.  He’s already written a book, The Green Swan, which is perfect for the young professional just out of college and looking to grow their asset base.

I love his tagline – Work Harder, Work Smarter, Retire Earlier and Find Your Beach

Mustard Seed Money

Mustard Seed Money – MSM’s site isn’t a typical FIRE site, but that’s why it’s great.  He asks a ton of questions that really get you to think!  He also publishes content quite regularly.  MSM is an accountant by profession with the Fed and will actually get a pension one day when he retires.

He is a self-proclaimed “regular guy” that’s just doing his best to share his personal finance goals and wisdom he’s garnered over the years.  I don’t know how “regular” that is, but it’s impressive!

Just Scratching the Surface

I should iterate that I’ve only scratched the surface here.  There are a ton of other great PF blogs out there that each brings a unique voice with their individual story.

Readers, what other FIRE blogs should I be reading?  Which of these FIRE blogs will you be (or already are) reading?

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Hi, I have been blessed to take an early retirement in my mid-30's so I can focus on becoming a better father, blogger, and investor.

My goal is to help you find your personal path to financial freedom, and to enjoy the entire journey.

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59 Comments on “10 Provocative Early Retirement & FIRE Blogs You MUST Read”

  1. Nice list! Obviously, I’d put in a pitch for my own website as a “must read”. 😉 I think what I’ve come to realize in my situation is that it does take time to carve out the entries, network, and build an audience. I probably clock in about 70+ hrs a week on my current full-time practice as I am building my net worth. This doesn’t include the time I spend outside of work dealing with work related issues. Perhaps I can make an active plan to cut back over the next 1-2 years.

    1. Thanks for the comment, SMMD. Blogging definitely takes a lot more time than I ever guessed from the beginning. Kuddos to you for being able to do that plus work a 70+ hour week in your practice!

  2. Thanks for the inclusion in such a prestigious group of FIRE bloggers! It’s a great list and I’m proud to say I follow each of the blogs closely myself. As well as your blog of course! Thanks!

  3. Wonderful list, Michael. I enjoying reading all of these as well as your site too. I agree there are so many great blogs out there – I read a bunch – and I like them all for different reasons. Our Next Life is one I always enjoy, Ms. ONL writes very well and makes me think.

    1. It certainly feels that way, Sam! Without the Internet, we’d all be tiny needles in a haystack. Together, we can inspire those that know in their “gut” that there is more to life than a regular paycheck. Thanks for leading the charge.

    1. Awesome, it’s not an everyday occurrence when I can make Mr. Tako’s day! 😉

      I bet you probably made that “drum” out of re-purposed wood you found in the back of Home Depot.

  4. I’m new to the FIRE blogger scene, mostly focusing on Real Estate. There are several on this list I had not heard of and am excited to look around on. All these blogs have me feeling like less of a sore thumb in life, I didn’t realize how many people were on the path!

    1. Jessica, I’m glad you found some new ones on this list! Real estate FIRE bloggers are also awesome, perhaps I’ll do a round-up of some of those in the future.

  5. Thanks for the list Michael. Some great blogs you’ve included. Financialsamurai and MMM were the blogs that have had the most impact on my life. I can literally indicate when I started reading these blogs on my net worth curve. I’ve turned my finances around thanks to those blogs.

  6. Not really a FIRE blog, but I really like Philosophical Economics, which is a blog about finance. I have no idea who writes it because there’s no About page, but the guy is ridiculously smart. He analyzes the financial markets in ways that I’ve never seen anyone do before.

  7. Some New names like Physician on FIRE and old names like FS,keep those lists coming up yearly,maybe do upcoming blogs also.

  8. And also financially alert! but i guess it wouldn’t be right to include your own blog in the list!

  9. Great list, Michael! I can’t argue with any of those, because they are all interesting bloggers. I would add jlcollinsnh.com and madfientist.com. I think they have contributed a lot to the FIRE community.

    1. I should have made a top 20 list! Thanks for mentioning Jim and Brandon. They are definitely on the forefront of the FIRE movement.

      You’re coming up too, Chad! But, I thought I’d do a separate REI list in the future. 🙂

      1. Ha, Ha. Thanks Michael! I like the idea for top 20 list. But then you’ll have requests for the top 50, 100, etc:)

        And can’t wait to see the REI list!

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  11. Great list Michael. Some of them have become good blogger friends for me. Obviously, I would like my site to be included as well but I understand the hard time you face in curating this list. I am happy to see some of my favorite blogs on this list. Like you, I also wonder how POF does it. With a full time senior management job involving global travel, I find it difficult to keep up with my weekly posting schedule and keep reading and commenting on many excellent blogs.

    1. To be honest, Mr. TFR, I just came across yours recently. But, really love what you’re doing there. I’m definitely gonna need to create another list since I left out so many other awesome blogs. 🙂

      And I really wish I could multitask like PoF! Amazing.

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  13. Very excited to learn about this F.I.R.E. Society and/or like minded group of individuals. Look forward to reading and learning more.

    New Convert

    1. Thanks, FT. I love that the Internet is bringing this FIRE knowledge around the globe. Technology is the great equalizer and we’ve never had so many choices. I’m happy to live during these time! 🙂

  14. No MoneyHax? J/k. It’s a list I’ve grown to read myself, InvestmentZen is another good one, and don’t worry it’s apart of your Finance collective at AOL!

    1. Yup, the guys at InvestmentZen are great. I didn’t include them since it’s more of an aggregation site, vs. a personal FIRE site. But, there are so many FIRE sites out there now, I’m gonna have to do another 10 soon!

  15. I just wanted to say it’s really interesting that all of the top blogs you’ve chosen are written by men. Do you think this is because women do not blog as much about personal finance? Or is it because less women are likely to FIRE? Is this because of the wage gap or career choices? What’s your experience with the male/female ratio in this FIRE world?

    1. Eugenia, this is an interesting observation for sure. I think you are correct that more men tend to blog about FIRE currently, although there are some. Perhaps I need a new list featuring those. Statistically speaking, I do believe less women FIRE than men because of career paths, wage gaps, and even child bearing responsibilities. Something for us all to consider, so thank you for the thought provoking question!

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  17. A cool list, they are all great FIRE blogs, all living life a bit differently.

    Yet all written by men….at least they are not all white men.

    1. Do you know of any good PF blogs by females who have already FIRE’d? I’d love to create a new list that represents women who have FIRE’d!

      1. I think you may have hit the nail on the head there – loads of woman working towards it, but not many really FIRE’d. Would you count The Frugalwoods are FIRE’d?

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