Financial independence and early retirement – known as the FIRE movement – requires devotees to relentlessly save, tirelessly work, and aggressively invest to free themselves of a full-time job by their 30s, 40s, or 50s.
Despite their best-laid plans, what happens when life happens to these FIRE adherents?
Setbacks such as divorce or an unplanned pregnancy could mean surprise expenses in the tens of thousands of dollars that may require a budget overhaul or new stream of income. An ill-timed crash in the stock market could undo years of meticulous saving and investing, extending the months or years until early retirement.
It was July 2017 when Cori Carl was separating from her wife. The pair had been working towards early retirement, but those plans came to a halt as they worked out their divorce.