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Playing with FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) summary

Scott Rieckens

How Far Would You Go for Financial Freedom?

4.2 (466 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

Playing with FIRE by Scott Rieckens is a personal finance book that explores the Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) movement. It provides insights into how to simplify spending, maximize savings, and invest aggressively to achieve financial freedom and retire early.

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    Playing with FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early)
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    Scott Rieckens felt trapped by his unsustainable lifestyle, until he discovered FIRE.

    Most people work until their mid-sixties. They see it as the normal thing to do, because without the security of a full pension, early retirement may be an inconceivable notion. But when you take a look at what people are working for, something doesn’t add up.

    Whereas consumer culture demands that people overwork themselves for unnecessary luxuries, FIRE advocates a frugal lifestyle, freeing up valuable time for focusing on the important things in life.

    In 2016, the author, Scott Rieckens, took a job as a creative director to bolster his family’s “perfect” beachtown lifestyle in Coronado, California. At the same time, he and his wife Taylor felt they needed luxuries like their expensive Vitamix blender or eating out on a nightly basis.

    With a combined annual income of $142,000 after taxes, the couple felt that they were doing well enough financially that they could afford these luxuries. And besides, weren’t they contributing to their 401k retirement accounts all the while as well?

    However, there were other major expenses looming in their future. The couple wanted to buy a house and start saving for their newborn daughter’s college fund. As the author realized how insufficient their $10,000 in annual savings really was, he began to despair. Would he have to stick to his new salaried position for the rest of his career just to afford these necessities? This would also mean foregoing his entrepreneurial dreams. With no plan, he and his wife would need a big break if they wanted to change their situation.

    Driving to work one February morning in 2017, Rieckens heard an interview with Mr. Money Mustache on his favorite podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show. Mr. Money Mustache, a Canadian blogger whose real name is Pete Adeney, retired near Boulder, Colorado when he was just thirty. Since then, he has developed a cult following of people looking to make financially savvy lifestyle choices so they too could retire decades early.

    These “Mustachians” are part of a growing movement called FIRE, which stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early. Using a simple online retirement calculator, Scott Rieckens found that if he and his wife cut their expenses in half and invested their savings, they would actually be able to retire in just 10 years.

    That day, he realized that he didn’t need a big break; he needed to change his lifestyle.

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    What is Playing with FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) about?

    Playing with FIRE (2019) takes a look at the growing movement known as FIRE, or Financial Independence, Retire Early. With a detailed account of the author’s own life-changing journey and examples of diverse FIRE devotees, it reveals ways in which you can change your spending and investing habits to pursue your passions and live a more meaningful life.

    Playing with FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) Review

    Playing with FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) (2019) is a captivating exploration of the financial independence movement and its potential to transform our lives. Here's why this book deserves a spot on your reading list:

    • With real-life stories and relatable examples, it brings the concept of financial freedom to life, making it highly practical and relatable.
    • The book provides step-by-step strategies for achieving financial independence, offering readers a clear roadmap to follow on their own journey.
    • By delving into the psychological aspects of money and happiness, it goes beyond mere financial advice to offer a holistic perspective on personal fulfillment.

    Best quote from Playing with FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early)

    As long as youre saving, youre making progress, but the key to FIRE is saving money at a high or accelerated rate.

    —Scott Rieckens
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    Who should read Playing with FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early)?

    • Anyone interested in early retirement
    • Finance buffs
    • Amazon addicts living from paycheck to paycheck

    About the Author

    Scott Rieckens is an Emmy-nominated producer, author, and entrepreneur. Before pursuing FIRE, he produced films and videos for the likes of WIRED, Facebook, and NBC. He recently completed a documentary about his experience in the FIRE movement called Playing with FIRE.

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    Playing with FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) FAQs 

    What is the main message of Playing with FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early)?

    The main message of Playing with FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) is how to achieve financial independence and retire early.

    How long does it take to read Playing with FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early)?

    The reading time for Playing with FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in 15 minutes.

    Is Playing with FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Playing with FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) is worth reading because it provides valuable insights on achieving financial independence and retiring early.

    Who is the author of Playing with FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early)?

    The author of Playing with FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) is Scott Rieckens.

    What to read after Playing with FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early)?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Playing with FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early), here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • How I Invest My Money by Edited by Joshua Brown and Brian Portnoy
    • Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter
    • Millennial Money by Patrick O’Shaughnessy
    • The New Retirement Savings Time Bomb by Ed Slott
    • The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel
    • Second Chance by Robert T. Kiyosaki