Author Topic: What are some of the best more recent FIRE books you've heard of?  (Read 3206 times)

Fire enthusiast

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I've been looking for good FIRE books and so far it seems like it's all about personal finance and investing. There are books that kind of talk about ideas similar to FIRE but they're not really a good modern guide to achieving FIRE. I've read Your Money or Your Life before by Joseph R. Dominguez and Vicki Robin and something like that would be really good, but adapted to 2023.

BTW, I've written a review for Your Money or Your Life a while ago - here's a link if you're curious: https://gdurl.com/xFp1t

Bartlebooth

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Re: What are some of the best more recent FIRE books you've heard of?
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2023, 07:04:36 AM »
A link shortener URL posted by a 1-post new forum member with a generic name is sketchy, but I can report that it seems legit.  A well thought out review can be found at the link.  I thought for sure it would be a blogger trying to dredge up new traffic, but it is just a Google Doc with no apparent attempt at self promotion.  A welcome surprise!

Fire enthusiast

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Re: What are some of the best more recent FIRE books you've heard of?
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2023, 09:07:15 PM »
Thanks for taking a chance haha. I know I look sketch, I'm just very new here and I was maybe too excited to share. Honestly though, I do want more FIRE book recommendations. I've been looking but they all seem really generic with uninteresting summaries. Any thoughts?

Louise

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Re: What are some of the best more recent FIRE books you've heard of?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2023, 07:42:30 AM »
Since you're in the Mini Mustache forum- is this something you want your kids to read? I personally would hesitate to have my kid read a FIRE book. I'd rather just give them the tools to live a successful life (education, making saving a priority, thrift, living by your values, etc.).

Fire enthusiast

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Re: What are some of the best more recent FIRE books you've heard of?
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2023, 08:40:25 PM »
Since you're in the Mini Mustache forum- is this something you want your kids to read? I personally would hesitate to have my kid read a FIRE book. I'd rather just give them the tools to live a successful life (education, making saving a priority, thrift, living by your values, etc.).
Sorry I think I posted it in the wrong section. Haven't got fully understanding of how to use this web lol.

Louise

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Re: What are some of the best more recent FIRE books you've heard of?
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2023, 06:25:53 AM »
Since you're in the Mini Mustache forum- is this something you want your kids to read? I personally would hesitate to have my kid read a FIRE book. I'd rather just give them the tools to live a successful life (education, making saving a priority, thrift, living by your values, etc.).
Sorry I think I posted it in the wrong section. Haven't got fully understanding of how to use this web lol.

I still have my copy of YMOYL from the 1990s. I loved it. Back then I read this and a bunch of books on voluntary simplicity that I still have on my bookshelf. It is a little dated. We hold very little in bonds. I kind of agree with the inflation bit, if you don't need to buy something. We already have a paid for house and transportation, so our personal inflation hasn't been too bad, although I still get some sticker shock at the grocery store.

I can't remember which book it was, but there was an anecdote about a single mom who wanted more time at home, so took a PT job doing data entry at a college. I remember thinking that those kinds of decent wage PT jobs were never easy to find or get. In the book, it was just a matter of cutting back on discretionary things. IME, it was always difficult to get a higher paying PT job. Maybe it's better now, but not back then.

FireLane

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Re: What are some of the best more recent FIRE books you've heard of?
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2023, 09:12:46 AM »
FIRE isn't all that complicated, honestly. If you're seeking books about the math of finance and investing, The Index Card by Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack, or If You Can by William Bernstein (available free online) are both good introductions to the basics.

I haven't read JL Collins' The Simple Path to Wealth, but I've read the series of blog posts it's based on. That's also a good "stock investing for dummies"-type guide:
https://jlcollinsnh.com/category/stock-investing-series/

If you're looking for books about the mindset of FIRE, have you read Walden? It's not new, but it's a classic for a reason. A lot of the insights Thoreau had are still applicable.

Chris Pascale

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Re: What are some of the best more recent FIRE books you've heard of?
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2023, 04:07:05 PM »
Quit Like a Millionaire

For a good laugh, I'd say to read The Latte Factor, but I'll just post the review I tried getting published on various FIRE sites. It was rejected mostly due to not fitting the theme of their sites, and possibly because FIRE is generally a positive environment, and people don't want to be dicks to each other.


Latte Factor Book Review

Fans of David Bach know that he keeps it simple. By making automatic contributions, you can set and forget your retirement. I first heard Bach while listening to the Afford Anything podcast during the release of The Latte Factor. It piqued my interest and I read it with 2 of my daughters.

First, we’ll discuss what the book is, what happens, and then bash – I mean, thoughtfully discuss – it mercilessly. Throughout it all, I hope you have a good time for both my accurate claims and the secondary bonus that maybe I’m kind of a jealous jerk.
Enjoy!

What is the Latte Factor?

This book is a novel about a young, dim, completely sexless woman named Zoey. Zoey works for a print magazine in New York City (in 2019) and has a lot of debt, low pay, and is good friends with a boss who values her in all the ways an employee can be valued save for paying them enough.

Zoey also has a favorite coffee spot near her home where she takes book-ended refuge in the morning and evening from all of her hard work.

One day while out for lunch (she never brown-bags) with her underpaying-boss-frenemy, Zoey is guilt-ridden by an opportunity to get a promotion and pay raise at another company. She hasn’t told anyone, and doesn’t know what to do – save herself, or stay under the friendly boot of her boss.

As fate would have it, her boss, perhaps having been called as a reference, tells her to talk to the man at the coffee shop – Henry.

Now, after listening to the “Afford Anything” interview, I was worried that Henry would be a white guy with dreadlocks. Thankfully, he’s not. We don’t actually know what he looks like, or what anyone looks like, but I would like to think there’d be an obligation to point this out. Henry’s older – we know that much – but he could be 45 or 85; there’s really no telling. I don’t think he’s Polynesian, and I’m pretty sure he isn’t morbidly obese, nor does he have acne scarring, but that’s all just speculation.

What isn’t speculation is that Henry knows the 3 secrets of becoming wealthy:

1.   Pay yourself first
2.   Make it automatic
3.   Live rich now


How 1 and 2 aren’t a single secret, I’m not sure. And Live Rich Now is never accurately defined, and barely really alluded to in the 160 page barrel of horse apples into which Bach wants us to bite.
At one point, Zoey realizes out loud to Henry that maybe she’s blowing all her dough on retail lattes, to which, rather than say, “yeah, dude, I’m making bank here! You could have fully funded a Roth last year” Henry, who Zoey doesn’t yet know owns the place, including the entire giant building, doubles back harder than this dude escaping a furry stampede, and states in no uncertain terms that she does not have to stop buying lattes and scones. He says it repeatedly, like his life depends on it.

I’ll get back to that point later, because I do agree to some extent.

At the end of the book, Zoey makes some positive changes, but also a humongous mistake. She not only doesn’t take the pay raise and promotion, but doesn’t even present it to her boss – who is surely evil-incarnate – to match. She just keeps her low-paying job, but somehow magically can afford a nice camera and vacations, and buys a long-desired photograph from the coffee shop she always admired.
Zoey gets swindled at work and play, and we’re left standing by to watch the trainwreck.

Positive Notes on This Book

I read this with my older daughters, and we had a laugh-riot-good-time. Because the use of language is so sophomoric, we occasionally threw in our own twists, and would sometimes accurately call each other out, like the time I said that Zoey’s financial situation “hit her like a truck full of chickens,” and when my daughter had Zoey tell Henry to “draw me like your French girls, Henry.”

Just like watching a bad movie, we came to love the book.

The lessons, though, of pay yourself first and make it automatic weren’t worth 160 pages. I still don’t know what live richly now means, though I do live richly now when I’m sitting on my balcony with a friend on a nice night with a cigar and glass of bourbon. But if I was the main character a book called The Bourbon Factor the drug pusher would convince me I could stay buzzed all day and it would be fine – as though I wasn’t an embarrassment to my family and betrayer of my personal dreams and goals, not to mention my liver, just so long as I help get him from little liquor shop to major wine warehouse.

Why I Agree with Henry about Going to the Café

I mostly make my own coffee, and rarely get lattes out of the house.

However, our pals at Millennial Revolution pointed out in their wonderful book (BUY NOW!!!) Quit Like a Millionaire that only a true dope would honestly think that the cup of coffee that gives them legit daily satisfaction would be worth trading away in exchange for $106,000 a lifetime later.

After all, why stop at coffee when you can save:

•   $1.00 for each condom you don’t use by remaining celibate
•   Extra savings on unused gas by not seeing your Nana on her deathbed
•   $10.00 someone gave you for a toll when you used an EZ-Pass that doesn’t belong to you


{Readers, feel free to add more examples into the comments section!}

On a last note, I’d like to point out that some reporters on the book never read it, but others got it on a meta level. For example this CNBC article states that “giving up coffee can make you rich,” proving they didn’t read it, while Janet Authorine calls the devious swindler, Henry, a “barista” in quotes, showing that she really gets it.

Regarding the now-shamed-faced CNBC, let’s get past the fact that the novel literally says the opposite in dialogue between poor Zoey and the duplicitous Henry, who, by the way, never comps her one time! and let me repeat, instead, that the book is completely hilarious – so much so I feel compelled to encourage the general public that they, too, must check it out.

erp

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Re: What are some of the best more recent FIRE books you've heard of?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2023, 09:13:51 AM »
I thought it was in this thread, but it must be somewhere else - Walden is kind of a proto-FIRE book that's absolutely worth reading.

I'd echo the suggestion of JLCollins for something that's literally about FIRE, and Jacob Fisker's Early Retirement Extreme is ... interesting (it's got a lot of opinions, and but don't expect to agree with 100% of it). I enjoyed the Wealthy Barber, even though it's not specifically about FIRE. I also loved reading Poor Man Charlie's Almanac, even though it's very much not about FIRE (it is about money though).

I find most FIRE books end up pretty same-y after a while. Spend less than you earn, invest the difference, do something meaningful. The details absolutely matter, but each person's details are different.

The 'do something meaningful' is a pretty deep literary subject, but I think out of scope for this question.

secondcor521

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Re: What are some of the best more recent FIRE books you've heard of?
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2023, 06:24:02 PM »
On the investing side, I'd recommend "The Little Book of Common Sense Investing" by Bogle.  Or watch any YouTube short which shows Warren Buffett talking about investing.

You should also learn about how income taxes work.  They went from being my #1 expense and greater than everything else I was spending combined before FIRE to essentially zero after FIRE.  No book recommendation here, but if you understand the mechanics of how a tax return works and how various tax rules apply, you can often take advantage.

Fire enthusiast

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Re: What are some of the best more recent FIRE books you've heard of?
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2023, 08:24:30 AM »
On the investing side, I'd recommend "The Little Book of Common Sense Investing" by Bogle.  Or watch any YouTube short which shows Warren Buffett talking about investing.

You should also learn about how income taxes work.  They went from being my #1 expense and greater than everything else I was spending combined before FIRE to essentially zero after FIRE.  No book recommendation here, but if you understand the mechanics of how a tax return works and how various tax rules apply, you can often take advantage.
Thank you for your recommendation! Yes I know that tax plays an important role in life. Do you find yourself easy to manage tax on your own? Do you have any recommendation for tax return works?

secondcor521

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Re: What are some of the best more recent FIRE books you've heard of?
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2023, 08:34:43 AM »
On the investing side, I'd recommend "The Little Book of Common Sense Investing" by Bogle.  Or watch any YouTube short which shows Warren Buffett talking about investing.

You should also learn about how income taxes work.  They went from being my #1 expense and greater than everything else I was spending combined before FIRE to essentially zero after FIRE.  No book recommendation here, but if you understand the mechanics of how a tax return works and how various tax rules apply, you can often take advantage.
Thank you for your recommendation! Yes I know that tax plays an important role in life. Do you find yourself easy to manage tax on your own? Do you have any recommendation for tax return works?

I find it easy in principle, although in practice I have a lot of moving parts that I keep track of, so keeping track of those mechanics takes a bit of time.  I manage things throughout the year by making notes in a text document about anything tax related and filing receipts in a tax folder.  Then in December I sit down and do a pro forma tax return for myself and do any final optimizations such as additional Roth conversions and HSA contributions.

I learned mostly by encountering tax situations (charitable giving, kid-related tax stuff, college related tax benefits, Social Security, IRMAA, itemized deductions, capital gains and losses, qualified dividends, Schedule C, etc.) either in my life or the life of close family members and then reading up on them in the IRS publications and instructions.  I wanted to learn how things worked so I could (a) do my taxes properly, and (b) take advantage of the rules as best I could.  I eventually ended up volunteering for AARP Foundation Tax Aide and have gone through their annual training and done a bunch of tax returns for others over the past several years.  I'm not sure that the way I did it would work for anyone else because people learn in different ways.

Cassie

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Re: What are some of the best more recent FIRE books you've heard of?
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2023, 12:13:42 PM »
A couple of people wrote books about how they changed their lives after reading your money or your life book. One was called Getting a Life by Jacqueline Blix and David Heitmiller.  One was written by a woman named Linda who’s a lawyer and she and her husband completely change their lives. He becomes a part time realtor and she an author. They house sit for free places to stay. Both books were excellent. I can’t remember the name of it.

vand

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Re: What are some of the best more recent FIRE books you've heard of?
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2023, 07:27:52 AM »
Psychology Of Money
Morgan Housel

most of it is adopted from his outstanding blog

ender

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Re: What are some of the best more recent FIRE books you've heard of?
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2023, 10:54:10 AM »
Die With Zero

bacchi

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Re: What are some of the best more recent FIRE books you've heard of?
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2023, 08:48:16 AM »
Quit Like a Millionaire

For a good laugh, I'd say to read The Latte Factor, but I'll just post the review I tried getting published on various FIRE sites. It was rejected mostly due to not fitting the theme of their sites, and possibly because FIRE is generally a positive environment, and people don't want to be dicks to each other.


Latte Factor Book Review

Fans of David Bach know that he keeps it simple. By making automatic contributions, you can set and forget your retirement. I first heard Bach while listening to the Afford Anything podcast during the release of The Latte Factor. It piqued my interest and I read it with 2 of my daughters.
<snip>
Regarding the now-shamed-faced CNBC, let’s get past the fact that the novel literally says the opposite in dialogue between poor Zoey and the duplicitous Henry, who, by the way, never comps her one time! and let me repeat, instead, that the book is completely hilarious – so much so I feel compelled to encourage the general public that they, too, must check it out.

I just read this post, @Chris Pascale, and that's a great review. It skewers the book nicely.

lhamo

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Re: What are some of the best more recent FIRE books you've heard of?
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2023, 09:10:02 AM »
Tonja Hester's Work Optional and Wallet Activism are both pretty good recent additions to the FIRE library shelf.  Work Optional is more about the nuts and bolts of getting to FIRE.  Wallet Activism argues for investing and spending in line with your values.

Back in the day I found Getting a Life by Blix and Hetmiller to be even more inspiring than YMOYL -- case studies of "this is how they did it" showed that the YMOYL system really did work.  Plus they donated all the proceeds from the book to the non-profit founded by Joe and Vicki. 

Amy D's Complete Tightwad Gazette is dated, but still has a lot of classic stuff in it.  Her systems thinking approach to things (like the master recipes for muffins and casseroles -- I still use these nearly 30 years into my frugality journey! -- the Cost Per Wow concept, and the price book) makes me think of her as the fairy godmother of MMM. 

Voluntary Simplicity is another classic I have carried around the world with me.  Should go back and read it again.

Chris Pascale

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Re: What are some of the best more recent FIRE books you've heard of?
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2023, 09:10:20 AM »
Quit Like a Millionaire

For a good laugh, I'd say to read The Latte Factor, but I'll just post the review I tried getting published on various FIRE sites. It was rejected mostly due to not fitting the theme of their sites, and possibly because FIRE is generally a positive environment, and people don't want to be dicks to each other.


Latte Factor Book Review

Fans of David Bach know that he keeps it simple. By making automatic contributions, you can set and forget your retirement. I first heard Bach while listening to the Afford Anything podcast during the release of The Latte Factor. It piqued my interest and I read it with 2 of my daughters.
<snip>
Regarding the now-shamed-faced CNBC, let’s get past the fact that the novel literally says the opposite in dialogue between poor Zoey and the duplicitous Henry, who, by the way, never comps her one time! and let me repeat, instead, that the book is completely hilarious – so much so I feel compelled to encourage the general public that they, too, must check it out.

I just read this post, @Chris Pascale, and that's a great review. It skewers the book nicely.

Thanks so much! Hope it made your Sunday a little brighter.

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!