By Eviart @

The financial industry is full of anecdotes and stories by writers (myself included) providing their own perspective on events. The FIRE (financial independence, retire early) movement is blessed with many blogs and podcasts discussing the early retirement journeys.

But anecdotes never tell the whole story, so I want to give you some numbers on the FIRE movement. These numbers were assembled by a Harris Poll conducted for TD Ameritrade.

How Many People Are Aware of the FIRE Movement?

  • 11% Know about FIRE
  • 26% Are familiar with the concept but not the term
  • 63% Are not familiar with the idea of FIRE at all

That’s a pretty small portion of the population that knows about FIRE, but it appears to be increasing quickly. Over the last five years, there has been a 94% jump in the number of Google searches for “Financial Independence Retire Early.”

What Are The Most Important Steps in Order to Achieve FIRE?

According to financially independent people interviewed for the Harris Poll, these are the most important steps in achieving FIRE.

  1. Avoiding high interest debt
  2. Sticking to a budget
  3. Investing in the stock market
  4. Maxing out retirement savings
  5. Downsizing my lifestyle
  6. Pursuing side career/secondary income
  7. Living in a cheaper state
  8. Buying only used cars
  9. Pursuing a higher income career
  10. Limiting cont. to my children’s education
  11. Living in a cheaper country
  12. Limiting financial support for my parents

How Much Do You Need to Save for FIRE?

Not everyone shares the same view of how much money they need for financial independence. The poll ranked various net wealth targets by dollar value and found the percentage of people who felt that was the appropriate amount necessary to achieve FIRE.

  • 8% chose Less than $500,000
  • 23% chose $500,000-$999,999
  • 33% chose $1,000,000-$1,999,999
  • 18% chose $2,000,000-$2,999,999
  • 7% chose $3,000,000-$3,999,999
  • 4% chose $4,000,000-$4,999,999
  • 8% chose $5,000,000+

The study is a valuable tool for understanding the FIRE movement. Read more about the FIRE movement in my series by clicking here.

Originally posted on Your Survival Guy