What is Barista FIRE? A Blend of Early Retirement and Part-Time Work

3 min readUpdated Mar 15, 2024

Explore Barista FIRE, a modern retirement strategy that blends part-time work with early retirement, offering a unique approach to financial independence and lifestyle flexibility.

Illustration of coffee cup representing barista fire

Barista FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) or BaristaFI is a retirement strategy where individuals aim to achieve financial independence early but continue to work part-time jobs. This approach allows them to cover living expenses, often including health insurance, without depleting their retirement savings.

Embracing Barista FIRE: A Balanced Early Retirement Strategy

Barista FIRE combines the stability of part-time work with the freedom of semi-retirement, transitioning from full-time to a lower-stress, part-time job. This method supports maintaining health benefits and managing living expenses, offering a balanced lifestyle. It’s particularly appealing for those seeking early retirement but wary about the long-term sustainability of their savings and healthcare costs, providing a practical solution for financial security and personal well-being, enabling a smoother transition to full retirement.

Benefits and Considerations

  • Financial Flexibility: Assists in budgeting and managing expenses without heavily drawing on savings.
  • Employee Benefits: Part-time work can offer access to essential benefits like health insurance.
  • Lifestyle Balance: Provides a blend of work and leisure, reducing the stress of a full-time job.
  • Savings Preservation: Enables growth of retirement savings, supporting your investment strategy.

Calculating Your Barista FIRE Number

To plan effectively for Barista FIRE, calculating your financial target using a FIRE calculator is helpful:

  1. Estimate Your Annual Expenses: Let’s say your expenses are $60,000 per year.
  2. Deduct Your Part-Time Income: If you plan to earn $25,000 from part-time work, your adjusted expenses would be $35,000 ($60,000 - $25,000).
  3. Apply the FIRE Formula: Your Barista FIRE number, following the 4% Rule, is $875,000 ($35,000 x 25).

This calculation helps set a clear financial goal, factoring in both your savings and part-time income.

What is the Difference Between Coast FIRE and Barista FIRE?

Coast FIRE and Barista FIRE are two unique strategies within the FIRE movement. While Coast FIRE focuses on building enough savings early on to let your investments grow over time without further contributions, Barista FIRE involves retiring partially and supplementing income with a part-time job. This distinction is key: Coast FIRE relies on past savings for future growth, while Barista FIRE combines ongoing part-time income with savings to cover current living expenses.

Planning for Barista FIRE with ProjectionLab

ProjectionLab can assist in planning for a Barista FIRE lifestyle, helping you understand how part-time income and reduced expenses can impact your retirement strategy. By analyzing various scenarios, ProjectionLab enables you to plan for a balanced and financially secure semi-retirement. Explore the possibilities of Barista FIRE for a fulfilling retirement journey at ProjectionLab.

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