The Pandemic Solid New FIRE Followers, With a Distinction

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More attractive than ever is the stock market, which made a quick comeback after its early pandemic slump and flourished despite the further collapse of the economy. All of a sudden, investing your money seemed like the smartest (and safest) thing to do, even if you didn’t have a lot. And with the rising popularity of retail investment platforms like Robinhood, many new investors have become curious.

“A lot of people started inquiring about cryptocurrencies and I was like, ‘Okay, we can talk about it, but let’s talk about index funds first,'” Ms. Souffrant said. “I think you should understand the basics first before diving into things like crypto. Do you know what a Roth IRA is? Are you investing your 401 (k)? “

For Kayla Marshall, a 28-year-old finance manager at a private Florida university, the past year brought a new series of daunting tasks when she moved out of her mother’s home and bought her first home in Brevard County, Florida.

“I had to feel like if it all fell out from under me, I would be fine,” Ms. Marshall said. As a single mother of a 5 year old, she also had certain financial needs that were often not addressed in many traditional personal finance blogs or books. Eventually she got some responses by joining Facebook groups with women discussing FIRE and financial independence.

A year on, she may not be on track to early retirement, but she is in better financial shape than ever.

“I’ve learned to find the joys in life more humble,” she said. “I still love to travel, but now we’re going camping instead of spending money on a hotel room or an amusement park. I’ve noticed that my son enjoys walking on the beach as much as he does at Disney World. ”The reduction in travel and other volunteer expenses has allowed her to settle about $ 10,000 in debt since 2020.

Financial preparation didn’t fully vaccinate anyone from the processes of the pandemic – but it certainly helped. Jess Fickett, 34, who lives in Denver and co-runs Bitches Get Riches personal finance website, was fired from her book publishing job in mid-2020.