This week we have a guest blog post from Fire Dave, founder of his eponymous FireDave.com site and resource. Dave helps people on the Financial Independence Retire Early lifestyle journey.
I had a burning desire to escape the corporate rate race, carve out time freedom for my family and myself whilst building financial independence... before I knew what any of that meant!
Like many people out there, I sick and tired of exchanging my time for money, living for the next pay check, and having very little to show for my hard work after the weekend becomes a distant memory. I had become extremely good at fear budgeting my last €50 as I waited anxiously for Friday to roll around again. Student and consumer debt were piling up and managing all my outgoings was extremely challenging. Surely there had to be more to life. I was consumed with an obsession to seek out a higher meaning and purpose for my life and find a solution to this problem, I felt like a cog in the system that I did not buy into and I wanted more from life.
I started to wake up really early every day and use the quiet time to consume anything to do with personal self-development, from YouTube, podcasts, audio books, or speaking to people who were further ahead in any area of life I could potentially develop in.
If I was driving my car or cutting the grass, I was also listening to a podcast, slowly educating myself about financial literacy and working on building a workable skill set that could move me forward to a position of confidence and financial security.
I was having one of those phone calls a number of years ago one evening where I was discussing compound interest and how we had created a very high savings rate by only spending on needs and looking for value from every euro we spent on wants and seeing if I could find any new tips.
It was during that phone call that I first heard about the F.I.R.E movement, "Financial Independence, Retire Early" and how people were renting out their cars at weekends to generate extra income, building tiny homes they could rent out and exchanging liabilities for assets to create passive income all whilst travelling the world, living in lower cost of living locations or retiring early (sometimes in their 30's) and essentially reverse engineering the classic retirement model and timeframe to suit them.
I was hooked. After that phone call, I started to seek out FIRE content and mostly found US related information. There was very little Irish or European FIRE content, so I just consumed the international FIRE message, and the more I dug deeper, I felt like this was exactly what I was looking for, and the more I worked out various scenarios, I could not fault it, I was all in!
Financial independence is when your passive income covers your expenses. The Retire Early (RE) bit is optional!
FIRE in the US often works off the 4% Trinity Study model, which looks at determining a "safe withdrawal" amount over a 30 year period from various retirement portfolios with the lowest probability of the portfolio running out.
The formula is 4% safe withdrawal (25 x yearly expense).
So if your expense is 40,000 x 25 = 1,000,000 requirement.
From an Irish perspective, I decided pensions and stock market investing were not the optimal asset classes for me to invest in. I started to focus on building a property portfolio and felt as if the Irish taxation system was less favourable here and our desire to cash flow immediately would put us in a position to FIRE and retire at a date we could control anytime we wanted with property.
Equally, the high rental yield available compared to other countries was another major advantage. Property was something I understood, was tangible in comparison to crypto ETFs, and I could directly influence this asset class.
I got to work on the F.I.R.E concepts and made property our baby. You know the old saying, "Property is as safe as houses"
FireDave & Live Events
Naturally, as I continued on my own personal journey to financial freedom, I was regularly invited onto podcasts, social media and invited to present on various FIRE topics, including my own life journey at many Financial Independence meet ups. The most frequent question I used to get asked was "Dave, where can people find you online?". I have always had a deep passion and vision to "inspire others through my own inspiration".
Since I did not have any website or online presence yet, I got to work on www.Firedave.com in 2019 and launched the website in 2020 during the pandemic when people needed it most. I have built up a decent following and a unique collection of over 60 world wide FIRE interviews where I have collaborated with various members of the FIRE community and asked them the same set of questions to consistently help my readers by sharing pro tips, FI strategies, and retirement ideas.
As I started to create a lifestyle by design and the interviews started building up interest, I decided to launch Fire Dave Live, Live.Firedave.com, where I have hosted a good number of Financial Independence, Retire Early Live Events with worldwide speakers and even had JL Collins on in January this year fireside from Chicago.
I cannot believe how fast the FIRE events have grown and the feedback is so inspiring. I have reduced the count to 4 speakers per event. Each speaker presents for around 30 minutes on a fire topic or their own journey, and there is interactive Q & A and giveaways such as free 121 consultations and signed books. For anyone looking to get started with FIRE have a pile of debt, sharpen their skills, or look into the early repayment phase, there is something for everyone at the events.
I realised that rather than simply taking my word for it, what is better than bringing together some of the best people in the community every quarter to help others FIRE and RETIRE faster by delivering the 'clear', 'consistent' and 'concise' information everyone needs. Upcoming Fire event
The next Live FIRE event is on April 2nd, 2022.
The speaker profiles can be viewed at:
Readers can use the promo code SMART25 for 25% off the ticket price.
Live Events: Live.firedave.com