what is fatFIRE?

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FatFIRE is a term used in the Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) community to describe the pursuit of financial independence and/or early retirement while maintaining an upper-middle-class lifestyle or higher2. Unlike the traditional FIRE approach, which often focuses on minimalism and extreme frugality, FatFIRE is typically achieved through high incomes7. There isn't a strict definition or specific amount of money required to be considered FatFIRE, as it can vary depending on individual circumstances and lifestyle choices. However, some discussions suggest that FatFIRE might start with a portfolio of over $5 million, generating a passive income of around $212,110 per year, which places the individual in the top 10% of households by income6. It's important to note that these numbers are not definitive, and the actual amounts required for FatFIRE can differ based on personal preferences and financial goals.
What is the difference between fatFIRE and regular FIRE?
Answer
The main difference between FatFIRE and regular FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) lies in the lifestyle and financial goals associated with each approach. Here's a comparison of the two: FatFIRE:
  • Focuses on achieving financial independence and early retirement while maintaining an upper-middle-class lifestyle or higher2.
  • Typically requires a larger portfolio, often starting at over $5 million, generating a passive income of around $212,110 per year, placing the individual in the top 10% of households by income5.
  • Allows for more luxuries and a higher quality of life during retirement, as well as during the journey to financial independence3.
Regular FIRE:
  • Aims for financial independence and early retirement with a more modest lifestyle, often focusing on minimalism and frugality2.
  • Requires a smaller portfolio, with the goal of generating a passive income that covers basic needs and some discretionary expenses5.
  • May involve more trade-offs and sacrifices in terms of lifestyle and spending habits to achieve financial independence earlier1.
In summary, FatFIRE is about achieving financial independence and early retirement while maintaining a higher standard of living, whereas regular FIRE focuses on a more modest lifestyle with an emphasis on frugality and minimalism. The choice between the two approaches depends on individual preferences, financial goals, and lifestyle aspirations.
Related
What are some examples of luxuries that fatFIRE people can afford?
How does the journey to fatFIRE differ from the journey to regular FIRE?
Are there any downsides to aiming for fatFIRE instead of regular FIRE?