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Bob Lai Discusses The Survival Of Fire Movement

The FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) Movement has exploded in the past year, gaining mainstream coverage, including a documentary, many new books, and a high-profile debate with old-school personal finance gurus.

Is the fire dead even though it’s spreading? It is not known if the “FIRE” movement will continue or if its flame has been extinguished. In this episode, I talk to Bob about his journey, what the fire movement is missing, and why happiness might not be the only logical pursuit. Bob talks about how to find a balance between living a meaningful life and pursuing financial freedom. Check it out.

Financial Freedom Podcast Episode 13: Is FIRE Already Dead?

I am very excited to have Bob on the Financial Freedom show. Bob has a wealth of knowledge about the financial markets. He is popular in Canada and one of my favorites. He is highly respected in his field and has been featured in multiple publications. He wrote a post on the Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) movement, essentially proclaiming its death to some extent. Like I do all of Bob’s writing, I loved the post. Bob can capture the essence of any subject he writes about. I wanted to chat with him. It was a pleasure to interview him, he had great insights to share.


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Episode Summary and Notes

Tell us a little bit about what inspired you to write the post FIRE. RIP. ?

Bob Lai
Bob Lai blogs at
  • The more he wrote, the more he got into it.
  • He mentioned Holly Butcher at the end of the post. Holly’s story shows us how important it is to make the most of our lives. He was connected to her message when he read it. He was moved by her words.
  • There is more fire coverage in the media. FIRE is a viable strategy for achieving financial independence, and thus early retirement, as more and more people realize. There are many articles that focus on the wrong things. This leads to conversations that are not healthy. Most of the people they cover quit their jobs but are still working. They have been able to control their workload with the switch to contract work. Mr. may still be making money from his blogs. Mr. Smith may be using various strategies to monetize his website. Money Mustache is a writer and a carpenter. It is not work for him.
  • Instead of focusing on the retire early part, focus on the financial independence part. Financial independence allows you to make decisions based on what is best for you and your family, rather than just what will increase your paycheck. It’s not going to happen for you if you think FIRE is an end destination, so try to improve yourself along the way. Keeping your eyes open and focusing on the journey will help you reach FIRE faster or make the journey even more enjoyable. It doesn’t mean that you will be happy when you get there. Even if it doesn’t lead to contentment, take the time to appreciate your journey.
  • One day we will be able to do what we love, because we are taught to defer our dreams into the future. It is difficult to think of who you will be in 20 or 30 years.
  • Fire is a money addiction that can be found in a culture where it is easy to chase money. The appeal of FIRE is that it provides the opportunity for people to take control of their financial future, secure their long-term financial stability, and ultimately live a life of freedom and abundance. It’s not that different if you’re chasing money, status, or success. The same principles of hard work and dedication apply no matter what you are trying to achieve. There is more to life than money. It’s important to remember that a healthy balance between work and leisure can bring more joy and satisfaction than financial gain.
  • The fire movement has lost some of its soul. Ensuring that the fire movement stays true to its core values is more important than ever. The fire community has become more focused on numbers and spreadsheets.
  • Money won’t make you happy. You can’t find happiness in material things. It’s not going to make you happy. It’s important to put life into perspective. Life is full of highs and lows, but it’s important to remember that there is always something to be thankful for.

Can you talk a little bit about where your relationship with money comes from?

  • Bob’s dad retired in his 40’s. He was able to enjoy his retirement years without worrying about finances because he had saved enough money. One of his cousins retired in his 40’s and the other in her 40’s. He wanted to follow in his cousins’ footsteps.
  • He doesn’t think it’s a taboo subject in his family. They can talk about how much they are getting paid and what is a good investment. By discussing these topics with each other, they can gain valuable insight on how to best manage their financial future. There is a lot that can be learned from open discussions about money. Being open and honest about finances can help strengthen the bond between two people, as well as foster a deeper understanding of one another’s values and goals. Being open and honest with each other about finances can help strengthen the bond between two people, as well as foster a deeper understanding of one


  • Bob did not have an allowance. He was always looking for new ways to make money. His parents had money in a drawer and could use it if they needed it. They didn’t have to worry about not having enough money. Bob and his brother were taught to take care of their money. They were taught to think twice before making a purchase and to save for the future.
  • Bob didn’t realize there was a He started his website. He had been following the fire movement for a long time and decided to start his own website about financial independence and early retirement. Fire is not the end goal, it is about focusing on life goals, as a result of having family members who retired early. What do you love to do? I enjoy learning new things, exploring the world around me, and taking on new challenges that will help me grow.
  • You are focused on getting a good job after high school or college. It’s important to develop your career and save for the future once you get a good job. One day you will be able to retire if you go to school, graduate, get a good job, and save. By following this path, you can ensure a more secure financial future for yourself. Many people focus on fire because they don’t like their jobs. It doesn’t feel like a job if you work at a job you love. It’s important to find something that you enjoy doing.
  • Bob, an immigrant from Taiwan, realized we need to focus more on the life aspect and try to improve his life. It’s about self-improvement, what you can do better everyday, and how you can be more content with yourself. It takes time and dedication to make the changes necessary to feel more content with yourself, and that’s the most important thing to remember. What can you do to be completely content with your life? Money is secondary.
  • The tag line for Bob’s blog is “A Taiwanese Canadian’s quest for financial independence. By learning how to save and invest wisely, Taiwanese Canadians can begin to build a path towards financial independence and find the joys of living a life free from financial stress.
  • To be human is to grow. We are the least happy when we stop pushing ourselves. We find true joy and fulfillment when we push ourselves to reach our goals.
  • Financial independence is a journey. Financial independence is a journey that requires dedication and patience. At the end of the day, you are going to get closer to financial independence if you can stop and ask yourself:
      “What kind of life do I actually want to live?”, and
      “How much money does it take to do that?”
  • What works for someone else may not work for you. You can’t compare two people because it’s a personal subject. You can save 15 percent this year and 16 percent next year. It’s definitely worth taking advantage of this opportunity, as you will be able to save more money each year. You should not throw yourself under a bridge if you are saving 15 percent and someone else is saving 50 percent. Savings rates are going to be different if you have a single-income family or a double-income family. Regardless of your family income situation, it is important to look at your budget and determine how much you can save each month.
  • The fire community is very supportive. It’s not a competition, it’s just trying to help each other get where they want to go. If you are not happy and not focused on your life, what is the point of speeding up your fire journey? To enjoy the journey of Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) as much as possible, you need to find a balance between your financial goals and personal fulfillment.
  • You have to find a balance between saving for the future and spending for today. It takes time to figure out what works best for you. You can not do one extreme. Taking a moderate approach is often the best way to balance out life. It isn’t healthy. It’s important to make sure you’re living a balanced lifestyle. You have to find something that works for you. Trust that you will find the right solution in time, and focus on the process.
  • People were saying that Bob gave up on Fire because they didn’t read his article. Bob was surprised by the responses he got from people who had not read the article.
  • Retirement is optional. You can still do something if you reach fire. You can use the money to give back to your community, start a business, or invest in something you’re passionate about. Humans are meant to work. A sense of purpose and fulfillment is created by their efforts.
  • The average American savings rate is less than $1,000. Many people may not be prepared for unforeseen expenses or retirement due to the low savings rate. If people click on the link and read it, they will see the basics. Anyone can become a millionaire if they understand and apply the basics. People don’t pay much attention to the articles about people becoming millionaires by 30. It’s hard to keep their attention for long.
  • People prefer to read things that support their own view of the world. Close-mindedness can prevent us from learning new perspectives and growing as individuals.
  • No matter how much money you have, you are enough. Your value is not dependent on your bank balance. Do you want to work in a job you don’t like for a long time or do you want to help other people? Don’t let anyone or anything stand in your way as you take steps to make it a reality once you have figured out your purpose. Fire allows you to realize your purpose in life. It is a stepping stone. The stone will help me reach my goal. Only 20 percent of the pie is fire, your life is the other 80 percent. Investing in yourself and your life will allow you to get the most out of the 80 percent.
  • How will you be remembered when you are gone?
  • Grant was addicted to saving money because he wanted to escape. Going through the process made a difference. The experience gave me a better appreciation of the journey. He wanted to help others and spend more time with his friends after he got to FI. He made sure to take advantage of all the resources available to him, such as attending seminars, joining clubs, and networking with faculty members.
  • You are forced to confront yourself when you reach FI. You can use this opportunity to make positive changes to your life. If you don’t have something to strive for, FI can make you feel empty. Financial independence isn’t the end-all-be-all of happiness; it’s just one piece of the puzzle.
  • To simplify your life, you need to ask “does it make sense to consume this?”. It’s important to remember that consumption can sometimes provide a break or distraction, so it’s okay to enjoy it in moderation.
  • After Bob read Cait Flanders’ book The Year of Less, he realized it is not just about consuming things, it is also about consuming food, beef, alcohol, etc. There are choices we can make to reduce the environmental impact. Reducing energy consumption and recycling can have a long-term positive effect on the environment. People in a poor country are often very happy. People in countries with limited resources find joyin the simple things. It is about being happy. Finding contentment can be a lifelong journey, but it is definitely worth it. It is difficult to realize until you have enough money. Having enough money can be hard to achieve, as it often takes money to make money.
  • You don’t know how a person is living when they use social media. They could be going on expensive vacations and eating nice restaurants, but they could be in debt. They could be struggling to make ends meet, even though they appear to be living the high life.
  • Kids don’t feel like they have a real experience unless they use social media. It’s important for parents to be aware of their child’s online activity and to make sure they are using social media in a responsible way. The reflection of yourself is important.
  • Financial freedom is all about you, and you need to be honest about the life you want to live. We need to be grateful for how much we have and not compare ourselves to others. Rather than focusing on what we don’t have, we should be thankful for what we do have. You are in the top one percent of the world if you make more than $32,000 a year.

Do you have any closing thoughts?

  • There is nothing wrong with the FIRE movement, but we should focus more on financial independence. Financial independence means having the freedom to choose how we want to live our lives, without being restricted by the need to work for money. Maybe it should be changed to financial independence. Individuals can retire and receive a lifetime income stream without relying on Social Security.
  • Fire is just a small part of your life and instead of focusing on the numbers, you should focus on improving your life, relationships with others, and finding what you truly love and what you could do. Maybe it could make money. The program could be offered as a service to other businesses.
  • You don’t think about money when you wake up because you are excited about what you are doing. No matter what challenges come your way, this kind of enthusiasm and energy will help you reach your goals. You no longer want to escape if you can get to that point. You want to create a better life for yourself and those around you.
  • What can we do to improve the world we live in? Setting an example of kindness and generosity in our own lives can inspire others to do the same. There are a lot of people. How can we help them? We can offer support and resources to those in need. There are little things that add up. These little things can make a big difference over time. How can we help the environment? We can inspire others to do the same by sharing knowledge about how to make more eco-friendly choices. The human race will eventually end if we don’t clean up our act. Immediate action is needed to reduce our environmental impact and protect the planet for future generations.

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