Do you want to learn how to retire early? Today, I’m sharing the best early retirement books to motivate you and help you start planning for your future.
Early retirement is very popular right now, and you may be wondering if it’s possible for you and how to make it happen.
If early retirement is something you’re dreaming about, then I highly recommend reading the books I’m sharing with you today.
Many of the best early retirement books focus on FIRE, which stands for financial independence, retire early. FIRE can mean many different things, but books about FIRE are some of my favorites to read because they are very informative and give me lots of motivation.
The books below can help you learn more about FIRE, as well as dive deeper into the many different ways to become financially independent and retire early.
Reading books about early retirement can be a great way to learn specific actions steps that you need to take to reach early retirement.
What I like so much about reading early retirement books is that you will hear so many different kinds of personal stories (kind of like reading personal finance blogs!). But, the authors have the space to go even deeper than they can online. This allows them to give you much more detail, which is so helpful when you are trying to figure out your plans for the future.
The best financial independence, early retirement books will motivate you with personal early retirement stories as well as teach strategies to help you reach early retirement.
Also, if you are looking to save money, I recommend checking your local library for any of the books you are interested in reading. Many libraries will have these books on their shelves, and this can be a great way to save money and reduce waste. Finding free books on early retirement is a no brainer!
There are many different money books listed below, so you will be sure to find at least one or two that meet your needs.
Related content to best books on financial independence, retire early:
- 21 Best Early Retirement Tips To Help You Retire Early
- What Is Financial Independence, Retire Early? Answers To FAQs About FIRE
- 14 Smart Money Moves To Make This Year
Here are 13 of the best early retirement books:
1. Work Optional: Retire Early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way
This is one of the best books on early retirement, and it was written by one of my favorite writers, Tanja Hester.
Work Optional is a personal finance book that will teach you how to reach financial independence so that you can live the life you want.
This book discusses how early retirement may be a possibility for you, even if you are young.
I found this book very easy to read, meaning you don’t need to understand complex financial topics. It covers so many helpful topics, such as accounting for variables like health insurance. The book also helps you create a personalized early retirement plan. The strategies listed in this book are extremely helpful for anyone who is interested in learning how to retire early.
I have read Work Optional twice now, and I recommend it to anyone who wants to reach FIRE. I have lent this book out to many different people who have told me they were interested in pursuing early retirement, and they’ve all really enjoyed reading it.
Please click here to learn more about Work Optional: Retire Early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way.
2. Retire Early With Real Estate
Retire Early With Real Estate: How Smart Investing Can Help You Escape the 9-5 Grind and Do More of What Matters is a valuable book to read if you are interested in getting into rental real estate.
Chad Carson, the author of this book, is an experienced real estate investor, and he has also reached early retirement.
This book will teach you how to use rental properties as part of a strategy to retire in just 10 to 15 years. Carson also shares 20 case studies of real estate investors and early retirees so that you can see what is personally working for people.
I found the case studies especially helpful because you can read how people in different situations are using real estate investing as part of their early retirement plan.
Please click here to learn more about Retire Early With Real Estate.
3. Quit Like a Millionaire: No Gimmicks, Luck, or Trust Fund Required
Quit Like a Millionaire: No Gimmicks, Luck, or Trust Fund Required was written by Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung, who are well-known people in the FIRE community. They’ve been featured in many well-known publications for their early retirement story.
Kristy retired early at the age of 31 with $1 million, and she has a very inspirational story. In Quit Like a Millionaire, she explains how she was able to save $1 million and how it can be a reality for you too.
In this book, you’ll read their actionable steps to retiring at any age. It’s one of the best FIRE movement books out there.
Please click here to learn more about Quit Like A Millionaire.
4. The Simple Path To Wealth
The Simple Path To Wealth was written by J.L. Collins, and it’s one of the most popular and best early retirement books ever!
In this book, you will learn topics such as how to best invest in the stock market, wealth building strategies, the 4% rule to early retirement, and more.
Many people have said that J.L. Collins is the reason why they were able to retire early.
Collins started writing this book as a series of letters to his daughter. He wanted to simplify important financial topics, and that turned into a book that clearly explains how to implement many of the most important ideas and strategies regarding money.
Please click here to learn more about The Simple Path To Wealth.
5. The Millionaire Next Door
The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy, written by Thomas J. Stanley, is another classic money book, making it one of the best books on retiring early.
In this book, you will learn that many millionaires live fairly frugal lifestyles, the difference in how they allocate their time, and even how they raise their children. It’s a surprising look at what it means to be rich, and how people who appear rich may actually be in a lot of debt.
This is a popular early retirement book because it shows readers that anyone can retire with wealth, not just your traditional multi-millionaires living in huge mansions with airplanes.
You never know — even your neighbor may be an early retiree.
Please click here to learn more about The Millionaire Next Door.
6. The 4-Hour Workweek
The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich is popular with early retirees because this book teaches you how to reclaim your life instead of working long hours each and every week.
Tim Ferris is the author of this book, and he teaches you how to live more and work less. The purpose behind this book is to help you live a more satisfying life that doesn’t revolve around constantly working.
I’ve personally heard from many people who travel full-time and early retirees who say that this book and the strategies taught are what made them change their life for the better.
Please click here to learn more about The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss.
7. Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence
Choose FI is one of the top personal finance books in the FIRE movement. It’s written by Chris Mamula, Brad Barrett, and Jonathan Mendonsa — the hosts of the award-winning podcast of the same name. They are also the creators of the very popular Choose FI Facebook community group.
This book gives you the framework for reaching early retirement, and it brings in experiences from many people who have actually reached FIRE. This is a blueprint that you can follow with actionable steps and strategies.
Please click here to learn more about Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence.
8. Your Money Or Your Life
Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence was written by Vicki Robin, and it has sold more than one million copies. It’s considered one of the most popular money books ever written.
It was written 25 years ago, but it’s been completely revised and updated for a new generation of people who want to retire early. This book includes topics such as side hustles, new investment securities, tracking your money online, and more. The newest edition of this book also includes an intro from popular personal finance blogger, Mr. Money Mustache.
Your Money or Your Life will help you to get out of debt, save money through mindfulness and good habits, create wealth, save the planet, and more.
Many early retirees say that this was one of their favorite books that helped them reach early retirement, so it is a must-read for anyone who wants to do the same.
Please click here to learn more about Your Money Or Your Life by Vicki Robin.
9. The Boglehead’s Guide to Investing
Many early retirees are completely in love with this book, and it’s for a good reason. This book teaches you the financial wisdom of John C. Bogle, who is the founder of Vanguard Investing and has been credited with creating the first index fund.
If you’re interested in early retirement, you will quickly learn that Vanguard and index funds are extremely popular in the early retirement crowd.
The Boglehead’s Guide to Investing is considered one of the best books on investing because you learn more about how the stock market works as well as stock market advice.
Please click here to learn about The Boglehead’s Guide to Investing.
10. Financial Freedom
Financial Freedom: A Proven Path to All the Money You Will Ever Need was written by Grant Sabatier, who reached financial independence by age 30 with a net worth of over $1,250,000.
In Financial Freedom, Sabatier covers topics such as how to build a money making side hustle, how to save money without sacrificing your life, how to negotiate a higher salary with your employer, how to travel the world for less money, and more.
Please click here to learn more about Financial Freedom.
11. Meet the Frugalwoods
Meet the Frugalwoods was written by Elizabeth Willard Thames. She has an amazing and unexpected story that includes reaching FIRE at 32 and then moving to a homestead in Vermont.
If you are interested in homesteading as part of your early retirement plan, or if you want to move out to the country and have more land, this is a great read. You’ll learn how to slow down and live a simpler and sustainable life through early retirement.
Please click here to learn more about Meet the Frugalwoods.
12. I Will Teach You to Be Rich
Written by Ramit Sethi, I Will Teach You to Be Rich is another extremely popular money book. The book focuses on teaching you a 6-week strategy for building wealth, and it’s full of tips you can implement in your daily life.
He covers topics that will help you change how you think about money, how to pay down your debt, automating your finances, a set-it-and-forget-it investing strategy, and so much more.
Sethi’s book was recently updated for its 10th anniversary, and it now includes stories from real people who used the book to change their lives.
Please click here to learn more about I Will Teach You to Be Rich.
13. Playing With FIRE
Playing With FIRE: How Far Would You Go for Financial Freedom was written by Scott Rieckens. It follows Rieckens story of how he had built his “dream life,” including a BMW and a beach house, but inside he was depressed and overworked.
This book explains how Rieckens got into the FIRE movement, and it’s more about introducing you to the idea and what’s possible when you consider that there are other paths to happiness.
This is one of the best early retirement books if you’re wondering what early financial independence and early retirement is really about, and it’s written in a way that feels very accessible.
Please click here to learn more about Playing With FIRE.
What are the best early retirement books?
I hope you enjoyed this list of the best early retirement books.
Whether you read one or all of them, I think you will find them enjoyable, and they will help you reach early retirement.
They all cover early retirement differently, and every author has a different early retirement story and strategy to share.
Here’s an easy list of all of the best books on money that I talked about above:
- Work Optional: Retire Early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way
- Retire Early With Real Estate
- Your Money Or Your Life
- Quit Like A Millionaire
- Financial Freedom
- The Simple Path To Wealth
- The Millionaire Next Door
- The 4-Hour Workweek
- Choose FI
- The Boglehead’s Guide to Investing
- Meet the Frugalwoods
- I Will Teach You to Be Rich
- Playing With FIRE
What do you think are the best early retirement books to read?
Elizabeth Okon says
Thank you for sharing this with us.
David @ Filled With Money says
The retire early with real estate book sounds like a great book that i want to read! Real estate is an asset class that I’ve been neglecting and I really want to get on it..
But then again, I’ve been saying that for the past 3 years so what do I know, ha.
John Ravi says
Michelle, you absolutely crushed it! I only read one book on the list. Your short summary is really helpful in choosing what to read next. I didn’t know there are these many good books. I totally agree with you – saving and earning more are the recipe for financial success. Thanks for putting it together.
Thank you, Michelle, for your great article. I found it very interesting and informative. Best regards.
Bruno Ewayu says
Thanks for the insightful article Michelle. Well I believe that “I Will Teach You to Be Rich” is the best book out there for anyone looking to learn about money. I have read it twice and each time it feels new. I can’t seem to get enough of it.
Wow, thanks for the comprehensive list! I’ve only read a few of this in the list. Of the few ones I’ve read, I really enjoyed 4 hour workweek and I Will Teach You To Be Rich.
Huge takeaway from I Will Teach You To Be Rich is to basically save on categories that you don’t genuinely want to spend on and be OK with splurging on categories you’d like to spend on as long as you’ve planned it out rationally ahead of time.
All the other ones I’ve yet to read – will be picking up a few books!
Dawid Lisowski says
This is the best sentence from the whole blog post – “The best financial independence, early retirement books will motivate you with personal early retirement stories as well as teach strategies to help you reach early retirement.”
Jasper Walker says
Hi There, This is a great list. Are you aware of any books that help AFTER you retire early? To generate cash flow until age 59.5 I’d like to better understand “the Rule of 55”, SEPP, and other considerations like roth conversions while not working, pulling from 401(K)s etc. Seems to me nobody has done this, but wonder if anyone has seen a book like that?