Tanja Hester

We believe in using our financial independence as a force for good, and that the entire community of people working toward financial independence can change the world for everyone else.

Tanja Hester and Mark Bunge retired early at the end of 2017, at the ages of 38 and 41! Tanja explores both the financial and emotional issues around financial independence (FIRE) and support others on their journeys on their blog, Our Next Life.

Tanja (pronounced like “Tonya”) is the author of the blog, a longtime communications strategist, an insatiable reader and audiophile, an obsessive searcher for the best gluten-free beers and baked goods, a one-time mathlete, a former yoga and spinning teacher, and a still-certified health coach.

She is the author of Work Optional: The Non-Pennypinching Guide to Early Retirement (Hachette Books, 2019). Tanja is also half of the podcast The Fairer Cents.

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watch playing with fire

A documentary about the FIRE movement and one families quest to achieve financial independence and retire early. Available on the following:

Get your copy of the


A perfect follow up on the film to dive deeper into the philosophies and "how-tos of the FIRE movement"
Playing the FIRE book image

Reading material

We have assembled the foundational information to get your start on the right foot down the FIRE path to financial independence.

What is a Trust and Living Will: How to Set Them Up, What's the difference?

Estate Planning is an often overlooked, yet incredibly important step in your path to Financial Independence. Let's dive into the world of Trusts and Wills, and why you need to create one as soon as you can.

How to Reach Financial Independence

Now that you know what FIRE is and why there is a growing movement of people who are aspiring to reach FIRE — or who have already succeeded — you might start wondering if this is something you could achieve.

Playing with FIRE forward

Playing with FIRE book forward written by Pete Adeney, a.k.a. Mr. Money Mustache