Passive income strategies for financial freedom

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leanFIRE vs fatFIRE

What if FIRE?

  • FI: Financial Independence; Not being dependent on an active income to maintain one’s lifestyle.
  • RE: Retire Early; Retire years before the official retirement date.

What is the difference between Lean Fire vs Fat fire?

FIRE is a 2 sided coin life before and life after retirement. There are some who would prefer to stay frugal after retirement and others who prefer to splurge a bit more post FIRE-Day.

  • Leanfire: Low Expense FIRE
  • Fat Fire: High expense FIRE

What are the arguments for leanFIre vs fatFire?

  • Freedom without money is no freedom.
  • Tending for other family members such as grandchildren is need not a want
  • Live a leanFIRE but have the capacity to funnel money in case of serious problems to self or family, such as medical issues.
  • With more time on one’s hands it will be more difficult to stay frugal.
  • Post FIRE, there are certain large expenses that are unavoidable. Kid’s colleges, relocation to a third country, payment of social security bills.
  • One can adopt a leanFIRE but if life brings up challenges only money can solve .. finance could be too lean to deal with such eventualities

What is the right choice a leanFIRE or a fatFIRE?

  • Your choice of FIRE type depend on your choices , your circumstances and your preferences. Some of us have a hard time getting to leanFIRE and pretty much impossible to get to fatFIRE. This could be because of things within our control or not. Accepting reality is the first step. FIRE is both a math problem and a creativity challenge.
  • The math is the numbers needed to grow your nest egg into something that makes it a viable vehicle for FIRE. The creativity part is what makes the egg grow and compound upon itself.
  • It depends on personal choice and personal circumstances. A choice is something that can be changed, a circumstance cannot. One’s IQ, willingness to work and ability to absorb and take risks is circumstance, these have a direct impact on the ability to earn a high income. Without a high income, it is  impossible to aim for a fatFIRE.

Main issues that will determine your FIRE type.

Personal choice in your control

  • Date you start
  • Amount you save
  • Ability to have fun without spending too much money
  • What are the tools you use for your FIRE?
  • Level of frugality that can be endured / enjoyed
  • Retirement lifestyles / expenses
  • Years of freedom i.e. years estimated between FIRE and death.
  • Management of fear of not having a fixed income
  • Risk preference in investing and living.
  • Cost of living
  • Ability to work hard to increase income
  • Work life Family life self balance
  • Investing style

Personal circumstances outside of your control

  • IQ
  • Age of Children / Grandchildren and their expenses
  • Income
  • Family situation
  • Remaining Debts
  • Medical conditions
  • The age at which you started FIRE
  • Inheritance / The size of parent;s pockets
  • Ability to work online / while on the move

Leanfire or FatFire, freedom is priceless and it takes all of your energy and creativity. The variables above can be tweaked and adjusted but at the the end of the day one needs to go against the grain. All the conditioning of finding a job and working all your life needs to be undone before taking onboard the leanFIRE or the fatFIRE philosophy.

Go get your fire!


Not investment advice. Not financial advice. Consult your financial advisor. Not a recommendation to buy, sell or hold. The staff of this site may own this digital asset/s mentioned on this page. Investing is risky and you may lose all your capital. See full disclaimer.

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