Australian millennials are getting into the FIRE movement, which is all about planning to retire early with millions in the bank

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  • Australian millennials are joining the Financially Independent, Retire Early (FIRE) movement.
  • And they want to retire by 50 years old with $2 million to $5 million saved.
  • To get there they are investing in ASX-listed companies, property and cryptocurrency.

The Financially Independent, Retire Early (FIRE) movement, strong among millennials in the US, has reached Australia.

The goal of an early retirement is becoming popular among younger people who don’t like what they see in the future with healthcare and state-funded pensions crumbling, and aren’t that keen on the idea of a career for life.

Many say that becoming financial independent is more about time, which becomes more valuable as we age because we have less of it, than money itself.

However, some experts say retiring early is unrealistic and most people don’t effectively plan for rising costs in retirement.

Typically, FIRE plans include a strict budget, doing everything to bring down regular overheads, including cutting down on eating out, walking to work, buying clothes at thrift shops and looking for side hustles to supplement the main job.

More than 446,000 are members of a Reddit page dedicated to FIRE. In Australia, blogger Aussie Firebug writes about the movement and has a calculator which tells you how many more years you need to work to reach financial independence.

Stories about those who retire before 30 are devoured. One woman stepped off the work wheel at age 28 with $US2 million in the bank.

The latest survey in Australia indicates that millennials are increasing joining the FIRE movement but are realistic about the amount of cash needed.

Nearly half (49%) aged 18-34 say they’d like to retire before 50, according to a survey of 506 Australians by Stake, an Australian share trading platform. The majority (83%) wanted out of work by 60.

Almost one fifth of millennials said they’d need more than $5 million to comfortably retire, while 28% indicated they consider $2 million to $5 million an OK amount.

To get ahead, more than half (53%) are investing in ASX-listed companies, a quarter are in property (27%) and cryptocurrency (27%).

Investing in US stocks was listed as the most popular (66%) way of growing wealth.

Almost half (47%) feel the tech sector is best for driving long-term wealth growth.

And almost two thirds (63%) say the biggest cash drain is rent or mortgage, and a third (32%) are still living with parents to save money.

More than 67% say they want to retire early to travel but 25% want to continue to work in retirement for their own business.

“Young Australians are redefining many industries, including investing,” says Matt Leibowitz, Stake CEO and co-founder.

“They will no longer settle for slow and steady progress to build a comfortable nest egg. They’re motivated and self-educating, finding new tools to create wealth and reach their goals.

“The FIRE movement is currently in vogue, but for many young Australians being financially savvy has been instilled in them for a long time.

“It goes way beyond being frugal. It’s about a new breed of independent and clued-up individuals who simply won’t settle for anything less than independence, choice, and autonomy to live by their own terms.”