While there are a ton of money books, and I’ve read hundreds of personal finance books over the years, there really aren’t that many FIRE (financial independence retire early) books, but more are starting to be released.
I’ve had the opportunity to read literally all of them and here are what I think are the Best FIRE books.
Best FIRE Books for 2023
I’ll continue to add to this list as more make the cut. If you’re interested in pursuing FIRE, then this list of books is not only an incredible place to start, it will literally give you the exact blueprint that you can customize to accelerate your own financial independence journey.
- Financial Freedom
- Your Money or Your Life
- The Simple Path to Wealth
- Set for Life
- Quit Like A Millionaire
- The 4-Hour Workweek
- I Will Teach You To Be Rich
- Playing with FIRE
- Retire Early with Real Estate
- The Art of Living
- The Bogleheads Guide to Investing
1. Financial Freedom: A Proven Path To All The Money You Will Ever Need by Grant Sabatier
This is my book, so it’s a shameless plug, and I’m not putting it first because I think it’s the best. I simply put it first because this is my blog and I’m extremely proud of it, but I worked hard to make Financial Freedom as comprehensive as possible and the perfect starting point for anyone interested in FIRE and financial freedom.
Many readers agree, with The Ladders recently voting Financial Freedom one of the top 10 personal finance books of all time, Lifehacker saying “Financial Freedom blew my mind…,” and over 100 Amazon reviewers have called it “life-changing”.
The book is a step-by-step guide in 14 chapters to help you make more money in less time and create more freedom in your life.
I held nothing back when writing this book and go deep on all the key topics you need to know to reach FIRE, including:
- How much money do you need
- How to maximize your happiness per dollar
- How to change your relationship with money
- How to get a raise
- How to start a side hustle
- How to invest in stocks, bonds, and real estate
- The best money habits to help you fast-track financial independence
It’s definitely worth checking out and don’t forget to let me know what you think.
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2. Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin & Joe Dominguez
This book completely changed how I think about money. In fact, it changed my life. Updated in 2018, Your Money or Your Life is an absolute classic for a reason.
My favorite chapters are the mindset ones, the discussion about the four pillars of financial independence, frugality, and the step-by-step strategy for how to calculate how much money you’re actually making per hour.
If you want to calculate your real hourly wage check out the real hourly wage calculator. No matter where you are in your own financial journey it’s worth reading the classic book that’s sold over 1 million copies and started the FIRE movement.
You can also check out Vicki and me chatting about the FIRE movement and a whole lot more in the financial freedom podcast episode, The Space of Freedom w/ Vicki Robin, or below.
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3. The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins
While I didn’t read JL Collins investing masterpiece until after I’d already reached financial independence, this book is definitely one of the best to help you reach financial independence.
While the book largely focuses on investing, the book is so popular because JL’s writing and steps are laid out simply and are easy to follow.
A Simple Path to Wealth is largely based on a series of blog posts JL wrote on his website about stock investing intended for his college-bound daughter.
So while most of this information is available completely for free in JLs stock series there is some additional high-value content that makes it worth reading the book.
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4. Set for Life by Scott Trench
Scott Trench is the CEO of Bigger Pockets, the popular real estate investing community, and one of the smartest people I know when it comes to money.
In his book Set For Life, he walks you through a three phases approach to accelerating your financial independence.
With a large focus on house hacking and real estate, Scott lays out a step-by-step plan for anyone to strategically use real estate to make work optional.
While the book is largely geared towards people who are single and in their 20s or early 30s, I think the creative ways he thinks about money make this a must-read for anyone starting their financial independence journey.
5. Quit Like A Millionaire by Kristy Shen & Brice Leung
Kristy and Bryce are the creators of the popular Millennial Revolution blog and my good friends. Here’s an excerpt from my Quit Like A Millionaire review.
I loved this book so much. It is so full of life and color and beautifully written. I expected a lot but was blown away. This is unlike any other money book I’ve ever read and will inspire a ton of people.
Quit Like A Millionaire is the perfect balance of story, tactics, and motivation.
It’s without a doubt the most entertaining money book I’ve ever read, simply because Kristy’s story is so engaging.
I read the entire book on a 6-hour plane ride and literally laughed out loud. I can’t ever remember laughing that hard reading any book, let alone a personal finance book.
Another thing I like was the incredible amount of detail in the book, with many charts and graphs to illustrate the most important points and key takeaways. Here are Kristy and Bryce on my financial freedom podcast.
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6. The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
This is the book that started it all for digital nomads and while it’s not a money book, its focus on entrepreneurship and making money from anywhere makes it indisputably a FIRE book.
While I have some issues with the book, mainly that Tim makes it seems a lot easier than it actually is to be location-dependent, the book is incredibly useful for the mindset that instills in the reader.
I remember reading The 4-Hour Workweek when I was 24 and it completely blew my mind. The best parts of the book focus on automating your business and building a passive income lifestyle business, which I expand on greatly in my book.
Tim also created the idea of the “mini-retirement” and viewing your earning years as a series of phases, instead of one long 9 to 5 grind.
The 4-Hour Workweek is definitely worth a read if you’re interested in entrepreneurship, which is one of the fastest paths to financial independence.
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7. I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
If you’re interested in making more money (remember you can only cut back so much), then you should check out I Will Teach You to Be Rich, a true personal finance classic.
Ramit also recently released a fully updated version in honor of the 10th anniversary of the book. I first read Ramit’s book when I was 25 and it not only left a huge impression on me, I was actually able to implement a number of the strategies immediately.
Ramit has a great way of making money very simple and with a large focus on income optimization and launching your own business this is an exceptional book for entrepreneurs.
In the book, he presents a number of different mindsets that will change how you think about money and its role in your life. He’s also a deep thinker and presents a compelling case for how to best spend money to maximize happiness in your life.
It’s a worthy addition to any FIRE movement bookshelf and well worth buying a copy.
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8. Playing with FIRE by Scott Rieckens
In addition to putting out the incredible Playing with FIRE documentary, which I was honored to be included in, Scott Rieckens also wrote a great starter book about him and his wife’s discovering and the first year following the FIRE movement.
It’s an incredibly moving story and the perfect entry point to FIRE, especially if you want to get one of your friends or your partner on board. Sometimes books full of charts and numbers can feel a little like homework and be too daunting.
While this book lacks detailed charts and steps to follow if you want to pursue FIRE, that’s not the point of the book. The point is to intimately introduce you to what it feels like to change your financial life and start prioritizing happiness in your life.
I loved Scott’s down-to-earth and accessible writing style, as well as his overview of the FIRE movement that’s spreading the world.
If you’re looking for a book to get your friend on board with the movement or a human story about how it feels to discover and follow the FIRE movement then this is definitely worth a read.
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9. Retire Early with Real Estate by Chad Carson
Real estate investing, in my opinion, is the fastest path to financial independence, and Retire Early with Real Estate is an exceptional blueprint for making it happen.
I’ve known Chad for a number of years and he’s the real deal, having invested in hundreds of properties and reaching financial independence in his 30s.
While I would by no means call myself an advanced real estate investor, I’ve read quite a few real estate investing books and this is by far my favorite.
Not only because of the simple steps that get more complicated as the book builds, but because the focus, like in Your Money or Your Life, is on how much is enough?
So many real estate books focus on building insanely large portfolios or helping you build a real estate empire, Chad’s book’s explicit focus is on helping you retire early using real estate.
There’s a big difference in both mindset and strategies. I learned a lot from this book and it even changed how I’m thinking about buying my next investment property.
If you are even remotely interested in real estate investing you should read Retire Early with Real Estate.
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10. The Art of Living by Thich Nhat Hanh
Money only matters if it helps you live a life you love. While this is by no means a “money” book, it’s an absolutely extraordinary “life” book and one of my favorite books of all time.
One of the biggest challenges of following FIRE isn’t the tactics, it’s choosing to live differently than those around you. It’s choosing to live your own life and not the life that anyone else is living.
The FIRE movement is all about living life on your own terms and so is this book.
On my own financial independence path, I found the work of Thich Nhat Hanh incredibly helpful in guiding my own journey and life.
While Thich Nhat Hanh has written many books and I’ve read dozens of them, The Art of Living is by far my favorite and will likely be his last book given his stroke a few years ago.
No matter where you are in your own financial journey I strongly recommend this book, which has also been helping in my life after reaching financial independence.
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11. The Bogleheads Guide to Investing by Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, and Michael LeBoeuf
While many of the best FIRE books include sections on investing, The Bogleheads Guide to Investing is by far the best investing book I’ve read and is a great place to dive deeper into the FIRE investing strategy.
Following the principles established by the late Founder of Vanguard, Jack Bogle I found this book even better than Jack’s own books and the perfect starting point for anyone interested in investing.
With a large focus on index fund investing, this guide gives you not only the steps but also a comprehensive behind-the-scenes look at how and why investing in index funds works.
There are also detailed instructions on how to build and manage your own two or three funds investing portfolio without needing any help or a financial advisor.
I’ve come back to this book on my own journey many times, especially for the tax-efficient investing recommendations, and it’s worth reading for anyone interested in making the most of their money.
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What are your favorite FIRE books?
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