Learning about and working towards financial independence is not an idea that we discovered on our own or thought about in isolation. It has been shaped by reading, researching, and meeting others that have helped us along our journey. This page has a list of things we have found useful in our journey which may or may not resonate with you and your potential situation or financial journey.
The Logic of Failure: Recognizing And Avoiding Error In Complex Situations – This book really gets at the heart of where and why people make common mistakes and set themselves up for failure in complex situations. Planning for financial independence is a complex endeavor that requires thinking systemically and not always in a linear manner. As some will point out, the math of financial independence is really easy, but the cognitive, behavioral, and psychological aspects are the ones that prove to challenge most people. This is a book that I discovered while working on my Ph.D. and I re-read this book along with studies on the topic every year or two to help strengthen my systems thinking perspective. The focus of the book is not on finance or money, but many of the ideas presented are highly relevant when you think about FI as being a highly complex and dynamic system that requires a significant amount of thinking ahead.
Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence – This was the first book I read when I really started to think differently about money and finance. Prior to this I considered myself to be fairly knowledgeable and self-aware about my relationship with money, but never thought about it in terms of the trade-offs I made in the pursuit of money or the idea that I didn’t really need to continue working until I was 65 before I “retired”. It also helped me gain some perspective about the true purpose of a job and not what we sometimes ascribe to a job such as our self-worth or accomplishments in life. This was very important in academia (my career) which is filled with people whose entire concept of self is directly related to their job and work.
Early Retirement Extreme: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Financial Independence – Jacob does a good job of presenting a different way of thinking about working and touches on some philosophical aspects of financial independence. This book appealed to my academic side, especially the aspects that focus on a systems perspective. This book is not designed to be a “how to guide” for financial independence but to get you to think about the choices you make and consider your perspective on working and money. While we don’t follow the same path as ERE, the concepts and discussion are very thought provoking. If nothing else this books helps establish a floor for the lower extreme of what is possible. For us it provided a base to build a more rich life based on what we value and want to get from our money.
The Simple Path to Wealth: Your road map to financial independence and a rich, free life – This book is perfect for anyone just getting started with investing, or those who have been investing with no real strategy. While our method of investing is slightly different than the approach recommended in this book, this is how most people should approach investing while pursuing FIRE or even just a normal retirement.
Blogs and Websites
When I first discovered the concept of financial independence I regularly read and visited a lot of different blogs and websites. Since that time a lot of these blogs either stopped publishing or now publish very infrequently. I still read a lot of blogs and websites and follow many people who inspire me on this journey. At this point, since I read and follow so many, I have stopped listing them here. If you want an idea of some blogs I read or people who inspire me, look at who I follow on Twitter.