How Did the Pandemic Make a Difference to New FIRE Followers?


Also, the stock market is more attractive than ever, making a rapid comeback after its early pandemic dive and thriving even as the economy continues to collapse. All of a sudden, even if you don’t have a lot of money, investing your money seemed like the smartest (and safest) thing to do with it. With the growing popularity of retail investment platforms like Robinhood, many novice investors are starting to wonder.

“A lot of people started reaching out to ask about cryptocurrency, and I said, ‘OK, we can talk about that, but let’s talk about index funds first’,” Ms Souffrant said. “I think you should have the basics before you get into things like crypto. Do you know what a Roth IRA is? Are you investing in your 401(k)?”

For Kayla Marshall, 28, a finance director at a private university in Florida, she moved out of her mother’s home last year and bought her first home in Brevard County, Fla.

“I needed to feel like I was going to be okay if everything fell out from under me,” said Ms. Marshall. As a single mom of 5, she also had a specific set of financial needs that are not usually addressed in many traditional personal finance blogs or books. Eventually, she got some answers by joining Facebook groups with women discussing FIRE and financial independence.

A year later, he may not be on track to retire early, but his finances are better than ever.

“I learned to find the pleasures in life more modest,” he said. “I still love to travel, but now instead of spending money on a hotel room or amusement park, we go camping. I noticed that my son is just as happy to go for a walk on the beach as he is at Disney World.” Reclaiming travel and other discretionary expenses has allowed him to pay off nearly $10,000 in debt since 2020.

Financial preparedness hasn’t completely overtaken anyone from the trials of the pandemic – but it has certainly helped. Jess Fickett, 34, a Denver resident and co-director of a personal finance website Bitches Get Richwas fired from the book publishing business in mid-2020.


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