Planning can aid early retirement

“FIRE” movement requires aggressive saving, cost-cutting to reach goals

By Kristen Dohrmann, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System

Dec. 17, 2019 — You may have seen or heard people talking about the FIRE movement: Financial Independence, Retire Early. So, what is it? It’s a method of extreme saving, sacrificing and investing to be able to retire sooner. Folks on FIRE live frugally and save aggressively. They’re always looking for ways to keep expenses low and raise their income.

This type of extreme saving may not be realistic for most people, and in fact, there are a few downsides to retiring early. Life takes many twists and turns and so there may be events and expenses you just can’t plan for like the rising cost of health care, a down market cycle or increasing cost of education.

But there is no downside to applying the principles of the FIRE method and forming new habits that can help you become more financially secure and save more for your retirement.

  1. Start thinking about and planning for your retirement now.
  2. Keep track of your spending (OPERS has a great budgeting tool to help you identify where your money is going.)
  3. Review spending habits and question why you’re spending what you’re spending.
  4. Find ways to keep expenses low.
  5. Get in the habit of saving.
  6. Boost your income.
  7. Let OPERS help you assess your financial wellness.

Visit the Financial Wellness section of for access to webinars, online tools and information about planning and saving for your retirement.

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