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Old 03-03-2021, 04:22 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by USGrant1962 View Post
The sites that use the terms fat FIRE and lean FIRE generally say spending >$100K/year is fat and <$30-40K/year is lean.
I assume they mean discretionary spending...$100k/year total in a HCOL might be mostly required spending.

E.g. look at Financial Samurai who claims his family can't live comfortably in San Francisco on $250k/year!
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Old 03-03-2021, 04:31 PM   #22
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I made a chart to track my progress.

Lean FIRE = base budget
FIRE = base + $15k blow that dough (BTD)
Fat FIRE = base + $30k BTD
Obese FIRE = base + $50k BTD
Morbidly Obese FIRE = base + $75k BTD

I put in my notice expecting to be fat FIRE. A generous severance package has pushed us closer to obese FIRE. Life is good.

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Old 03-03-2021, 04:39 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by ncbill View Post
I assume they mean discretionary spending...$100k/year total in a HCOL might be mostly required spending.

E.g. look at Financial Samurai who claims his family can't live comfortably in San Francisco on $250k/year!
Nope. They are looking at the average household income of ~$60K. Approaching half is lean, approaching double is fat. No more complicated than that. I understand the terms were first popularized on reddit among the wannabe under 40-year old FIRE community.

And yes, they also use barista FIRE - but I think that means you still need some income (baristas wages) but consider yourself FIRE anyway
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Old 03-03-2021, 05:32 PM   #24
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I have also seen over 100k spending as Fat fire, but I would think it probably is higher than that number.
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Old 03-03-2021, 07:48 PM   #25
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So for people who retired with Fat FIRE. Did you work longer and get stuck with OMY? How did you decide you have enough? Is it ridiculous to think about needing 6 figures to retire?
Well, you need to pay for your lifestyle, whatever that is. fat, lean, barista, coastal, obese... who cares. FIRE is about stopping when you've saved enough to support YOUR desired lifestyle. If you cross a threshold I guess you get a catchy title! I suppose mine is fistFIRE! It involves a lot of golf, hiking, tacos, pizza and BBQ.
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Old 03-03-2021, 07:50 PM   #26
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I agree, fat fire is a step up from your working expenditures. You define the percent above, 10, 20 percent?
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It is relative to your spending while working.

Say your last year of w*rk you spent $120k.

Fat FIRE would imply spending $120k-$150k+. You spend the same or more than when w*rking.

One More Year is real. One less year taking from your portfolio, paying for health insurance. One year closer to Medicare/SS.
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Old 03-03-2021, 07:58 PM   #27
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I have also seen over 100k spending as Fat fire, but I would think it probably is higher than that number.
Well, you could live in a HCOL area, have a house and 2 kids, and that $100K wouldn't go far, and you wouldn't be eating caviar or drinking Dom.
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Old 03-03-2021, 08:19 PM   #28
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Well, you could live in a HCOL area, have a house and 2 kids, and that $100K wouldn't go far, and you wouldn't be eating caviar or drinking Dom.
The census says the median household income (presumably higher than spending) in the US is ~$66K. Living in HCOL a choice on how you spend your fatness...

FWIW, Cali median income (not spending) is ~$80K and the top ~40% make over $100K. So even there, spending >$100K (not income) is above average.

https://www.census.gov/library/visua...ld-income.html
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Old 03-03-2021, 08:22 PM   #29
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I have also seen over 100k spending as Fat fire, but I would think it probably is higher than that number.
I agree. My budget is $100K and I certainly donít feel like Iím living Fat. I see Fat FIRE as having things like two residences (snow birding) one them on a lake or close, if not on the beach. Upper Middle Class for sure. I donít know where the line is, but I think over 100K and probably closer to $200K.

However, I like the definition based on your working status. If I was living on $X while working and I live on more than that in retirement, thatís Fat. By that standard, I guess Iím lean. I was living on much more as I was working. But, when I realized that I could live very well on less, I was happy to do so and call myself retired. Heck, Iím so effing grateful for what I have and the life it gives me. Fat or not, $100K provides a very comfortable life. All I need to do is not screw it up.
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Old 03-03-2021, 08:31 PM   #30
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I agree. My budget is $100K and I certainly don’t feel like I’m living Fat. I see Fat FIRE as having things like two residences (snow birding) one them on a lake or close, if not on the beach. Upper Middle Class for sure. I don’t know where the line is, but I think over 100K and probably closer to $200K.

However, I like the definition based on your working status. If I was living on $X while working and I live on more than that in retirement, that’s Fat. By that standard, I guess I’m lean. I was living on much more as I was working. But, when I realized that I could live very well on less, I was happy to do so and call myself retired. Heck, I’m so effing grateful for what I have and the life it gives me. Fat or not, $100K provides a very comfortable life. All I need to do is not screw it up.
Fat FIRE and "upper middle class FIRE" are probably the same thing.

Fat and lean FIRE are regularly used terms in certain other forums. The definition you describe, comparing it to your work spending (I think, or was that work income?) was apparently just made up by Bloom2708. If not I would like to see references.

EDIT - and FWIW, the younger folks that use those terms on reddit would consider most of the members on ER.org to be fatFIRE.
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Old 03-03-2021, 09:30 PM   #31
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DW and I didn't w*rk most of my life to live my retirement on a budget less than what we made when we were working. Wasn't going to happen. When all is said and done, looks like we could have retired earlier, but there was so many variables 2009-2010, and we never even thought about retiring. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Still no regrets.
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Old 03-03-2021, 10:27 PM   #32
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My goal was always that our standard of living would stay the same or improve after we retired. So far, that has been the case. A label will not change things.
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Old 03-04-2021, 04:42 AM   #33
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My goal was always that our standard of living would stay the same or improve after we retired. So far, that has been the case. A label will not change things.
True, but "Fat Fire" just sounds so cool. I don't seem to spend a lot, but I could, so I'll claim "Fat Fire" status if only for the Cool of it.
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Old 03-04-2021, 05:56 AM   #34
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My goal was always that our standard of living would stay the same or improve after we retired. So far, that has been the case. A label will not change things.
+1 Well said.
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Old 03-04-2021, 06:21 AM   #35
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Well, you could live in a HCOL area, have a house and 2 kids, and that $100K wouldn't go far, and you wouldn't be eating caviar or drinking Dom.
Agree and thus my comment. I used to live in a HCOL while working and 100k spending would have never cut it for us.
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Old 03-04-2021, 06:25 AM   #36
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My goal was always that our standard of living would stay the same or improve after we retired. So far, that has been the case. A label will not change things.
Interesting.
As for us, there was no way we were going to retire with the same spending as when we were working. It was close to 200k.
We changed our spending habits one year before retiring quite a bit and lessened it more upon retirement and don't feel like we are missing anything.
The work lifestyle just wouldn't fit us now anyways.
As one simple example, we never cooked and had a 40k food budget. It is still 14k yearly, but works great for us cooking 4x weekly.
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Old 03-04-2021, 06:27 AM   #37
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I agree. My budget is $100K and I certainly donít feel like Iím living Fat. I see Fat FIRE as having things like two residences (snow birding) one them on a lake or close, if not on the beach. Upper Middle Class for sure. I donít know where the line is, but I think over 100K and probably closer to $200K.

However, I like the definition based on your working status. If I was living on $X while working and I live on more than that in retirement, thatís Fat. By that standard, I guess Iím lean. I was living on much more as I was working. But, when I realized that I could live very well on less, I was happy to do so and call myself retired. Heck, Iím so effing grateful for what I have and the life it gives me. Fat or not, $100K provides a very comfortable life. All I need to do is not screw it up.
Agree 100%. See my relative post #36.
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Old 03-04-2021, 08:37 AM   #38
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I fat fired but then I lost 40 pounds in 2020
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Old 03-04-2021, 10:06 AM   #39
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Fire status is based on BMI (Body Mass Index).

Lean Fire - BMI under 25
Moderate Fire - BMI from 26-29
Fat Fire - BMI over 30

It's a joke. It's just a joke.
Currently in Fat Fire, working hard to get to Moderate Fire with a dream of Lean Fire someday!
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Old 03-04-2021, 10:44 AM   #40
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I believe Fat Fire goes well with a Low Carb diet.

While some level of Fat Fire spending might not feel that extravagant for people living in HCOL areas I would still argue that it is a Fat Fire. Since if their spending were cut down then they would not have been able to live in a HCOL area at all. And they still have the option of moving somewhere with a lower COL and spend a lot on ie travel or other hobbies.
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