What if a happier life was only a few
simple choices away?
A successful entrepreneur living in Southern California, Scott Rieckens had built a “dream life”: a happy marriage, a two-year-old daughter, a membership to a boat club, and a BMW in the driveway. But underneath the surface, Scott was creatively stifled, depressed, and overworked trying to help pay for his family’s beach-town lifestyle. Then one day, Scott listened to a podcast interview that changed his life. Five months later, he had quit his job, convinced his family to leave their home, and cut their expenses in half. Follow Scott and his family as they devote everything to FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early), a subculture obsessed with maximizing wealth and happiness. Filled with inspiring case studies and powerful advice, Playing with FIRE is one family’s journey to acquire the one thing money can’t buy: a simpler — and happier — life.
“With the enthusiasm of a convert and a filmmaker’s feel for storytelling, Scott recounts his own and others’ journeys in pursuit of FIRE so that readers can try it on for themselves to see if it fits. You’ll love meeting the bloggers and writers who’ve stoked the ‘fire’ and the ordinary people who’ve been transformed by it.”
— Vicki Robin, coauthor of Your Money or Your Life and author of Blessing the Hands That Feed Us
“Having seen [Scott and Taylor’s] success, I now have even higher hopes that more people can reap the benefits of more financially independent lives everywhere. And I think you will feel that same hope creep into your own outlook on life as you read it.”
— from the foreword by Pete Adeney a.k.a. Mr. Money Mustache
“The path to FIRE is not linear, and this book perfectly captures the ups and downs many people face along the way. It’s rare, however, to get such an intimate view into a family’s journey from the very beginning. This book gives you that and is a fantastic behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming documentary. It contains interesting backstory, endearing personal moments, and actionable advice to help you achieve your own financial goals sooner.”
— Brandon Ganch, Mad Fientist
“To the uninitiated, pursuing financial independence seems exotic, impossible, and/or daunting. But in fact, it is simple and has roots deep in the American psyche. If you wonder what this path is like in real life and in real time, Scott and Taylor will take you along on their journey: not yet finished, a work in progress, and a very engaging tale.”
— JL Collins, author of The Simple Path to Wealth
“What if you could change your life 180 degrees, break free of the paycheck-to-paycheck grind, and pursue financial independence? Scott and Taylor Rieckens chronicle their incredible turnaround in Playing with FIRE, and their brilliantly simple advice is applicable to anyone: Spend less than you earn, invest the difference, and create the space in your life to pursue true happiness and lifelong relationships.”
— Brad Barrett and Jonathan Mendonsa, cohosts of the ChooseFI podcast
“In Playing with FIRE, Scott Rieckens shares the essence of the FIRE movement. And he does it with deeply personal, honest, and captivating stories that keep the pages turning. If you’re at all interested in financial independence, retiring early, or just putting happiness ahead of money, you will enjoy this book.”
— Chad Carson, creator of the blog Coach Carson and author of Retire Early with Real Estate
“Scott Rieckens has done a phenomenal job of embracing the FIRE movement and making the hard choices necessary to radically alter his family’s financial future. His book should be an inspiration to anyone starting in a similar life position. If you feel stuck or feel that you are not able to flex your creative talents and live a life where you are in control, then Playing with FIRE might be just the book you need.”
— Scott Trench, author of Set for Life and host of the BiggerPockets Money podcast
“This is a fascinating, relatable, and heartfelt story about a couple’s transition from ultra-consumers to people who discovered that time is more valuable than belongings. It weaves together their personal journey with actionable information, and features examples of dozens of others who are leaving the rat race in search of meaning. You won’t be able to put this book down.”
— Paula Pant, founder of affordanything.com
“A truly inspirational story that proves saving is not a sacrifice. It’s a path to a life you love.”
— Grant Sabatier, author of Financial Freedom and creator of millennialmoney.com
Based on the documentary
Playing with FIRE is the first ever documentary about the Financial Independence Retire Early movement, and quite possibly the first and only movie ever made about personal finance.