The FIRE Movement Is Alive and Well

The pandemic didn’t derail the Financial Independence, Retire Early movement. In fact, it gave it new life.

White family pose for the camera near their home in Panama
Jim White retired at 43 and move to Panama with his wife, Lisa, and daughter, Faith.
(Image credit: Photograph by Rafael de Gracia)

In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, some called into question whether the Financial Independence, Retire Early movement would survive the recession and job losses that swept the country. The idea behind FIRE is to save and invest enough money that at an early age, you can live on passive income, making work optional. Joblessness and steep declines in the stock market roughen the road to early retirement.

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Lisa Gerstner
Editor, Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine

Lisa has been the editor of Kiplinger Personal Finance since June 2023. Previously, she spent more than a decade reporting and writing for the magazine on a variety of topics, including credit, banking and retirement. She has shared her expertise as a guest on the Today Show, CNN, Fox, NPR, Cheddar and many other media outlets around the nation. Lisa graduated from Ball State University and received the school’s “Graduate of the Last Decade” award in 2014. A military spouse, she has moved around the U.S. and currently lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband and two sons.