The F.I.R.E Planner is a step-by-step workbook designed to guide you towards your financial independence goals. Michael Quan takes you through a step-by-step journey on your way to achieving financial independence.
Since Quan has achieved FIRE himself, the book is rooted in real-life experiences. You’ll find practical advice to help you map out a practical approach to achieve your financial independence dreams. In this review, we'll take a closer look at what the book covers and who should consider reading it.
- Understand the different types of FIRE
- Design your personal plan to financial independence
- Prepare for your transition to "post-FIRE" life
What’s The F.I.R.E Planner All About?
You may have encountered the concept of FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) at some point in your financial literacy journey. Perhaps you've even have found a few resources that are meant to help you roughly estimate your FI number.
Still, you may be at a loss when it comes to figuring out the nitty-gritty details of what should be included in your plan. Micheal Quan offers a practical guide (with probing questions along the way) to help you more confidently guide your journey to FIRE.
Overall, The F.I.R.E. Planner is a book filled with resources and tips to help you create a plan that will help you move the needle towards financial independence. Below, you'll find a sneak peek of what each chapter covers.
Introduction To FIRE
The book kicks off with an explanation of what FIRE is. Quan explains that FI means that you're financially independent. Essentially, you have enough passive income to cover your expenses.
Once you’ve achieved FI, then you have the option to RE or retire early. Quan makes it clear that you have the choice to do whatever you want to once you hit FI. With that, you might decide to stay at a job you love. But you’ll always have the option to leave and know that your expenses are taken care of.
You’ll learn more about the common characteristics of someone on the path to FI. A few include saving and investing a large percentage of their income, living a simpler lifestyle, and focusing on experiences instead of consumerism. As with everything in personal finance, FIRE is not one-size-fits-all. Quan will walk you through the different types of FIRE that you may want to pursue.
In this introduction to the world of FIRE, you’ll also explore case studies of people who have successfully attained their FI goal. Plus, a quick look at why so many FIRE chasers choose to invest in the stock market.
The FIRE Mindset
Now that you have a baseline understanding of FIRE, Quan will help you dive into the mindset shifts that will mark the beginning of your journey. Although it can be tempting to skip straight to the numbers of FIRE, you’ll appreciate the straightforward advice offered in this chapter.
As you make your way through, there are several points where you’ll be prompted to assess your own limiting beliefs. With Quan’s help, you’ll find ways to shift your beliefs into empowering thoughts that will propel you forward in your journey.
Your FIRE Numbers
As you might expect, understanding the numbers behind your plan for financial independence is critical. In this chapter, you’ll get the full breakdown of the numbers you need to be familiar with in order to track your progress towards FI.
You’ll walk through a number of exercises to help you nail down your current income and expenses. Plus, the book explores different scenarios that could affect your FIRE number.
By the end of this chapter, you should walk away with the resources you need to track your income and expenses. Additionally, you’ll have a number in mind for the FIRE lifestyle you envision.
Ways To Achieve FIRE
In this chapter, you’ll really dive into the nuts and bolts of making your FIRE dreams come true. Quan kicks things off by discussing the importance of compound interest and why smart money habits are critical.
After that, you’ll learn about different ways to increase your income and increase your savings. The goal is to strike a balance that works for your lifestyle. Although you’ll have to decide which strategy is best for yourself, Quan outlines many useful ideas to get you started.
Designing Your FIRE Plan
Now that you have all of the information you need, Quan walks you through the process of designing your FIRE plan. You’ll get started with a vision board and work through several other exercises to create a plan that works for you.
At this point in the book, Quan’s knowledge should help you take things to the next level. After all, the idea of pursuing FIRE is exciting. But actually creating a plan to make your FIRE dreams a reality is where the magic of this book really lies.
You’re On FIRE -- Now What?
In the final chapter, Quan offers some practical guidance on making the transition into RE. Although you may believe that achieving FIRE is quite enough, many struggle with the transition into their post-FI lives.
After all, many of us spend at least 40 hours of our weeks working. Quan outlines some options to continue filling your time with meaningful activities -- including continuing a job you love if that’s what makes you happy.
About Michael Quan
Michael Quan achieved FIRE at the age of 36. Since then, he's become a financial blogger, financial coach, and podcaster and has been quoted in several national publications.
Quan is based in San Diego, California, where he seeks to spread the message of financial literacy. With the experience of someone that has walked the journey, Quan provides useful insight into the path to FIRE.
You can read more of his story and his work at Financially Alert.
Who Should Read The F.I.R.E Planner?
If you're interested in the idea of financial independence, then this book can help you solidify your plans. Even if you have an idea of how you plan to achieve FIRE, the thoughtful questions posed in this book can help you chart the most efficient plan that aligns with your goals.
Additionally, this book talks about the post-FIRE moment. It may prompt you to consider more carefully your "why" of achieving financial independence and provide the motivation you need to stick to the plan. The introspection that the book inspires could provide useful insights into your FIRE journey.
The F.I.R.E. Planner has a total of 192 pages and is packed with knowledge along the way. Not only will you learn valuable information surrounding the idea of FIRE, but you'll also gain a more personalized understanding of what your FIRE journey will require. Anyone considering FIRE or already pursuing it could benefit from this thoughtfully-presented resource.
The F.I.R.E. Planner Book Review
Easy to Read
The F.I.R.E. Planner explores the path to financial independence and offers practical steps to help you achieve your F.I.R.E. goals.
Sarah Sharkey is a personal finance writer covering credit cards, mortgages and student loans. She has written for numerous finance publications, including MagnifyMoney, Business Insider and ChooseFI. Her blog, Adventurous Adulting, helps young adults get a handle on their finances.