Just A Few More Types of FI… Or Maybe A Lot More

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Back to The Beginning – The Original “FILESTONES”

Let’s start with the basics. There were only a few types of FI or milestones when I first started my journey. FatFI (or FatFIRE) and LeanFI or (LeanFIRE).

LeanFI, as I first learned (contrary to the new popular definition of roughly $40k per year spend or less), was when your expenses were covered by investments and/or other passive income. On the other end, FatFI was 30 times your expenses (rather than $100K or more per year spending). I first heard these terms from FI180.

Why All These Different Types of FI?

Before we get into what are the different types, we need to know the why. Know The Why of FI, before introducing others to the pillars or “levers” of FI. We have to help them find their “why.” Everyone’s Why of FI is what leads to a million different types of FI that no one can keep up with.

The Why varies for everyone. Some want to start their own business. Some just want to create. Others want to sit on a beach and relax. Everyone has a different idea of retirement and what they want to do rather than working for money. Since we all have different risk tolerances and different paths to FI we theoretically all could have our own type of FI.

The Different Types of FI

Perhaps you’ve heard of them. CoastFI, BaristaFI, SlowFI, FatFI, LeanFI, and a few others have created. For a quick rundown, I’ve mentioned the types of FatFI and LeanFI.

CoastFI is when you reach the point in your investments/passive income that if you stop contributing to retirement accounts you can reach your FI (financial independence) number (25 or 30 times your annual expenses).

BaristaFI is generally taking on a part-time job that offers health insurance in the US. Perhaps to cover some of your expenses or all of them without the need to contribute for retirement (in combination with CoastFI). Perhaps you take a part-time (or reduced hours of a full-time job) to keep health insurance coverage because in the US health insurance is generally tied to an employer and discounted due to scale.

SlowFI is the idea of creating your ideal FI life while still working towards FI. It could be incorporating more travel into your life. It could be switching to full-time business ownership or content creation. It’s taking whatever steps you want toward your ideal life.  

Slow FI: When someone utilizes the incremental financial freedom they gain along the journey to financial independence to live happier and healthier lives, do better work, and build strong relationships. “

The Fioneers

More Fun “FILESTONES”

We Want Guac created a wonderful post on some new milestones of FI. I enjoyed them because there are many of them rather than the huge milestones we usually see. There are fun ones that make you laugh and some you would probably never think of.

Superhero FI

My friend Miranda on Twitter claims she wants to reach Superhero FI. Her Why of FI is creating a huge “Batcave” style mansion and becoming a multimillionaire non-profit owning philanthropist. She wants to give on a huge level. A FI-LANTHROPY level if you well.

Just 1 More Type of FI

I call it UniqueFI. Because it’s unique to your goals. And because I’m cheesy and some people like that. UniqueFI is just that. It’s the combination of your FI journey, income level, value and belief system, risk tolerance, and plans for your FI journey. Whether you want to retire early, on time, late, or work to the grave doing what you love. There are an infinite number of paths, so why not an infinite number of different types of FI? Sure, it’s difficult to keep up with the many different types of FI. It’s also a fun way to create your own path and not compare yourself to others.

My Types of FI

If I had to claim a certain type of FI (at the moment at least), I probably lean toward SlowFI. In my previous post about J Money, I mention how I may or may not become a millionaire when I reach FI. I talk about how extraordinary life is my goal.

“Millionaire status isn’t my FI goal. An extraordinary life is.”

1 comment

Wow, this is such a great overview of the nuances to FI! And an excellent summary for anyone feeling a little overwhelmed at these different acronyms. This should be one of the basic reference guides for explaining your options as you begin the climb to wealth. Awesome work.

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