Many people dream of stopping work and living life differently. The FIRE method proposes putting it into practice using a precise methodology. Birdee explains how.
Can you stop all professional activity by age 40 (or before!) and live on your pensions? It is a wish that each of us has secretly had at least once in our life. However, financial freedom does not fall out of the sky and it involves resorting to more daring and inventive investment strategies than traditional methods. This is what the FIRE method, an acronym for "Financial Independent Retire Early", proposes, an ideology born in the United States and which is increasingly talked about in Europe. What does it consist of? Does it really allow for decent living while you stop working? Birdee explains everything!
Frugality, the number one rule to improve your financial condition
Living without working, is that the dream? It certainly is for many people, and in any case a challenge for many investors who are beginning to develop maturity with their finances. Is it yours as well? In this case, you may already have carried out research about this and heard about the FIRE method, in which the lifestyle is inspired by "smart living" trends, that is, saving money by consuming better (recycling, second hand). The goal is to reduce consumption habits and move towards a simpler, more balanced and ecological lifestyle. In short, to adopt a frugal lifestyle!
So yes, that's all well and good, but will it allow you to live without working? No, of course not, but it's an important start. And then, how much would it take to live decently without working? To this question, everyone will place their cursor where they want: EUR 2,000, EUR 3,000, EUR 10,000… To address this question, we will nonetheless start from the figure of EUR 5,000 per month for a household comprising two people with a child, which seems to us to be an honest compromise towards relative financial security.
Proponents of the FIRE method use the rule of 25, also called the rule of 4%, because 25 corresponds to 1/4%. What does it consist of? It's a matter of multiplying the required average annual salary desired, to give you the capital you will need to live without working.
- As a practical case, in our example of EUR 5,000 net (or EUR 60,000/year), multiply by 25 to get EUR 1.5 million. Is this amount scary? It's understandable! But with an optimised strategy and investment diluted throughout the year, this goal is not unattainable! That's because the goal is not to reduce your capital by EUR 5,000 every month, but on the contrary to make it work so that it breeds more money and brings in EUR 5,000 per month.
Little by little, the investment makes it possible to increase your assets
But how do you start this strategy if you don't have money set aside at the base? Think differently, and take a less conventional approach to this question. There are currently several currents in the FIRE movement, but let's look at two:
- "Lean FIRE" is the "harder" approach, which calls for drastically reducing expenses and adopting a more frugal lifestyle.
- "Fat FIRE" is not so much a question of saving, but rather of accumulating capital thanks to a very high standard of living. This nevertheless implies having a (very) high income.
At Birdee, we believe that it is not necessary to deprive yourself too much or to be "well-born" to achieve financial independence. Investment is one of the keys to getting there! Our portfolios let you invest in high yield stocks whose performance is generally superior to traditional euro funds. Be aware that when it comes to investing, return is closely linked to risk taking. The greater the risks, the better the returns. Nonetheless, each portfolio offered by Birdee is in line with your risk profile. We talk about it in more detail in this article.
Managing your budget better – the key to success
That said, no matter how well you have the best investments in the world, you will hardly be able to achieve financial independence without adopting good wealth management habits. The following tips are essential to improve your economic outlook, regardless of your age and income, for that matter! So to regain control of your finances:
- Never buy on credit (except for real estate or a car) and flee from consumer loans! Has a Super 4K TV caught your eye? Save for one more month and buy it for cash.
- Take stock of your contracts (insurance, auto, real estate, phone, etc.) and compare prices using dedicated platforms (lelynx.fr, lesfurets.com, etc.)
- Track your expenses via dedicated apps (Bankin, Yolt, etc.) to find out how to distribute expenses properly.
- Implement the 50/30/30 strategy (50% of your income will be dedicated to your fixed needs, 30% to your leisure activities, and 20% reserved for your savings)
- Become a believer in the circular economy by selling and buying items on dedicated platforms (Leboncoin, Vinted, Onceagain, etc.). The wallet and the planet will thank you!
- Call on a wealth management advisor, whose speciality is to recommend appropriate solutions to improve your financial situation.
You will have noticed: unless you win the lottery, financial independence requires putting real discipline into practice! But this should not be scary. On the contrary, see it as an opportunity to significantly improve your standard of living, because over time, and little by little, the first changes will start to appear. With these investments that reconcile performance and ethics, Birdee is an ally that will help you achieve this goal. Everything else (cutting expenses, tracking the budget, etc.) is in your hands.