What is LeanFIRE, FatFIRE, BarsitaFIRE? - Read on to find out

A common question that most FIRE aspirants have and even I had when starting on my FIRE journey was to understand more about the three basic types of FIRE - LeanFIRE, FatFIRE, and BaristaFIRE. Each of these types have different goals but the core tenets of Safe Withdrawal Rate remain the same. 


Lean Fire:


You reduce your lifestyle expenses and add additional sources of passive income like investments/side hustles which can cover your living expenses. The networth that you have to hit will depend on the safe withdrawal rate that you feel comfortable with. Traditional wisdom states a safe withdrawal rate of 4%. Basis the comfort level, some may take about 2%-4% as the SWR. If you can dramatically reduce your annual living expenses, logically you would need less corpus to go ahead and retire.


Most FIRE aspirants hit this milestone first. The process of cutting down expenses doesn't mean deprivation but evaluating what each expense adds to your life in terms of value. By evaluating each expense choice whether it adds value is a great way of hitting FIRE.


Fat Fire: 

As the name suggests, it is the opposite of Lean Fire. People who choose this type of FIRE, choose both abundance and retirement. The core tenets of SWR don't change. A common misconception that most FIRE aspirants while starting have is that FATFire means a lower SWR. A lower SWR is just to give more mental comfort before retiring early. FATFire is about choosing abundance and retirement, which means a lavish lifestyle - expensive cars, houses, foreign vacations, etc. Living expenses can vary wildly. As one can imagine, the definition of luxury is different for different people. The corpus requirement is that much higher.


Barista Fire: 

This is a layer on either lean FIRE or Fat Fire, where people choose to take on a low-stress job like as the indicative name suggests - a barista. The motivations for people could be varied - having a purpose during the week which is low stress/low stakes, having employer-paid Health insurance, a Social life - either your co-workers are your friends or your friends have full-time jobs. Which means in either case your weekdays can be pretty lonely. So some choose baristaFIRE for social life.


Which of the FIRE types appeals to you more? Let me know in the comments below