Guess what? The Washington Post published an interview with me about the Financial Independence, Retire Early movement (the FIRE movement).
They asked if it’s possible to save half of your income. They asked about the accuracy of Suze Orman’s statement that you’ll need $5 million to retire early. (Spoiler alert: No. You don’t.) And they asked if everyone who reaches financial independence then spends their time blogging about said topic, because if that’s true, then what’s the point?
(I answered a similar question in this week’s podcast episode, as well.)
Here’s a snippet from the Washington Post interview:
Q: What appeals to you about FIRE?
When I graduated from college in 2005, I accepted a job as a newspaper reporter with a starting salary of $21,000. I worked at this newspaper until 2008, and my salary at the time I resigned was $31,000. That’s the highest income I’ve ever earned working for someone else.
I freelanced during the evenings and weekends, and my best-paying clients at the time offered 50 cents per word. This amounted to an hourly rate of $50 to $75.
It became clear to me that I could earn much more money as a freelancer than I could as a newspaper staffer, so I quit my job and dedicated my time to building a full-time income as a self-employed freelance writer.
But I knew that this path would create income volatility. As a “solopreneur,” there would be periods of feast and famine. I started aggressively saving and investing so that I could “self-insure” against the risk of needing to find another low-paying job.
Ironically, I didn’t come to FIRE because I wanted to retire. I came to FIRE because I wanted to work, and FIRE allowed me to build a safety net — through my investments — that would allow me to remain self-employed, even if I had a few rocky months.
You can read the full interview here: Can you save half your income so you can retire early? FIRE advocates say it’s possible.