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10 best FIRE books of 2021

Get inspired to map your own path to financial independence and early retirement.

One of the best ways to learn about the financial independence, retire early (FIRE) movement is by snuggling up with a good book. Read along for inspiration, insight and eye-opening tricks on all things financial wellness — and find out what it takes to achieve FIRE.

10 best FIRE books

How we chose these FIRE books

When compiling our list of the best FIRE books, we considered factors like range of topics, popularity, audience reach and whether these books offered readers a wealthy amount of insight for their buck. Some were selected because they covered a range of financial independence topics, while others were chosen because they zeroed in on one particular theme.

Best for tips and tricks: The Cash Machine

  • Why we like it: In their novel, Dave and Chana Mason take readers on a wild ride that follows fictional protagonists Amber and Dylan, who apply the strategies of the FIRE movement in their lives.

The book follows Amber and her love interest, Dylan, as they navigate the various strategies to reduce major expenses, create additional income streams and invest the difference to build up assets, which the book frequently and often lovingly refers to as a Cash Machine. It illustrates the core principles of FIRE in a fun tale of adventure, love and self discovery.

Buy The Cash Machine on Amazon

Best for learning by example: Rich Dad Poor Dad

  • Why we like it: Robert Kiyosaki has a perspective about gaining financial freedom that often contradicts conventional wisdom. He is a straight-shooter who has earned a reputation for boldness, courage and getting to the point.

A great foundational book about learning to improve your financial intelligence by exploring the myth that you need to take home a top-tier salary to become rich, what you should be teaching your kids about wealth and more. This enhanced reprint of the original has additional study questions for discussion added at the end of every chapter.

Buy Rich Dad, Poor Dad on Amazon

Best for investing: The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing

  • Why we like it: Witty yet informative, this DIY handbook lets readers get inside the mind of John Bogle as he offers practical advice for getting financially independent.

The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing gives readers the useful advice they need to get started on the road to investment success by showing you how relying on the “common sense” guidelines often advocated by Wall Street can leave you poorer instead of financially independent. Bogle doesn’t give you a step-by-step formula. But instead, realizing that no two people are in the same place, offers suggestions and ideas to follow on your journey.

Buy The Bogleheads Guide to Investing on Amazon

Best for not putting all your eggs in one basket: The New Coffee House Investor

  • Why we like it: Bill Schultheis gives hands-on advice that’s easy to understand, even if you’re not an investment wiz.

In his book, Schultheis teaches that by remembering these three simple principles — there’s no such thing as a free lunch, save for a rainy day and don’t put all your eggs in one basket — you can actually ignore Wall Street, build more wealth and improve the quality of your life.

Buy The New Coffee House Investor on Amazon

Best for insights on FIRE: Playing with FIRE

  • Why we like it: Personable and engaging, Scott Rieckens gives an inside look at how he turned around his often overworked and stressful life by learning and implementing the principles of FIRE.

Follow Rieckens as he quits his job, convinces his family to uproot their life and cuts their expenses in half. Filled with powerful advice and inspiring case studies, Playing with FIRE brings us along a real-life family’s journey to achieving financial freedom and a fulfilling existence.

Buy Playing with FIRE on Amazon

Best for putting FIRE into practice: The Simple Path to Wealth

  • Why we like it: JL Collins is compassionate and caring as he helps readers understand that money, which he describes as the “single most powerful tool for navigating this complex world we’ve created,” can help us stay out of debt, earn more from investing wisely and live happily.

The Simple Path to Wealth was written based on a series of letters to Collins’ daughter concerning money and investing. In an easy-to-understand format, the book includes topics ranging from how to invest in a bull or bear market, how to avoid debt and how to understand the puzzling world of 401(k), 403(b), IRA, Roth and TSP accounts.

Buy The Simple Path to Wealth on Amazon

Best for retiring at any age: Quit Like a Millionaire

  • Why we like it: It’s a no-nonsense, candid guide to retiring early, or at whatever stage in life you happen to be in right now — written by Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung, two leaders of the FIRE movement.

The book is based on the mathematically proven approach to retire early by Shen, who retired at the age of 31 with a million dollars in her bank account. You’ll learn how she did it by sticking to a budget, spending less and building a $1 million portfolio. Then, you too can quit the rat race and start living.

Buy Quit Like a Millionaire on Amazon

Best for practical instruction: Financial Independence Retire Early Workbook

  • Why we like it: Filled with optimism and a “you can do it” attitude, this step-by-step handbook will take you from simply thinking about FIRE to living it.

After eight years, Amon and Christina Browning reached financial independence and retired early. They made a plan and turned that plan into action by setting up seven retirement accounts, saving money and paying off debt. Now, they share it all in this step-by-step workbook designed to help anyone at any stage in life.

Buy Financial Independence Retire Early Workbook on Amazon

Best for building wealth: Building Wealth and Being Happy

  • Why we like it: This practical, quick-witted guide leads you through the life-long journey of financial independence — from becoming free of money-related stress to empowering you to live life the way you want.

This book is for anyone who’s ever felt the squeeze of just getting by. It’s a practical guide that helps you become financially independent and happy — and stay that way through retirement. You’ll learn how to develop a positive relationship with money, how to trust the stock market, how to decide if you should buy or rent, and more.

Buy Building Wealth And Being Happy on Amazon

Best for gaining control of your money: The Millionaire Next Door

  • Why we like it: This book throws out everything you ever thought you knew about getting rich — and outlines how you too, can have it all.

This bestselling book points out seven common traits that show up again and again among anyone who has ever gotten rich. William Danko and Thomas Stanley teach the tenets of wealth accumulation, and that the ultra-wealthy might actually live right next door.

Buy The Millionaire Next Door on Amazon

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Want to learn more about the FIRE movement? Read our guide to achieving financial independence for more hot tips.

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