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A documentary about financial independence and early retirement?  Really?  Can you make a feature-length documentary about money and retirement and make it interesting? 

Yes.  You really can!  It has even ended up in the top 10 best finance movies of the decade!!!  I went to the London Premiere and then saw it in Los Angeles a month later and was lucky enough to meet Scott and Taylor, the stars, and the executive producer of the doc in Portugal this year at Chautauqua.

Read on for the full review of the documentary……….

Financial Independence Documentary

The documentary uses the journey of Scott and Taylor to illustrate the principles of financial independence and to meet the different people who have built this global movement. Watch the trailer here:

The beginning – Mr Money Mustache

Scott’s journey begins as he hears Mr Money Mustache on the Tim Ferriss Podcast, learning about the FIRE movement and how to set up your life for freedom.   That episode inspired Scott to study FIRE and make huge changes to his life.  He came to a Chautauqua, learnt from The Mad Fientist, JL Collins and more.

​Scott was already in the film industry, and learning about FIRE himself led him to have the idea to create a documentary to inspire others to learn more about finance.

Whilst Scott and Taylor’s starting position and lifestyles aren’t going to be representative of everyone who watches the documentary, it gives the FIRE experts a great platform to teach and share their wisdom.  The whole point is to be able to soak up the ideas and thoughts from the experts. 

What I learnt from the documentary

There were some powerful messages in the documentary.  Here are some of my key takeaways:

  • I was shocked as Brandon the Mad Fientist revealed that removing one luxury car from the family budget shaved 5 years off Scott and Taylor’s retirement date!  That sent me off thinking, “I wonder what I could remove from my life that I don’t value that will help me make more progress?”
  • There are so many different elements to the FIRE movement.  The finances, the numbers, minimalism, increasing income, working out what is important to you, and more! It is a big subject to explore and this is a cool introduction. 
  • There are incredible people out there in the world that have achieved fInancial independence and are living life on their own terms.  If it is possible for them, it is possible for you and for me.  

My one worry with the documentary is that it paints the FIRE movement as deprivation.  You have to give up all these nice things to be able to get FI.  This is not true. 

The FIRE movement is all about spending in line with your values.  Spend lavishly on what is important to you and spend nothing on what doesn’t matter.  It is all about buying freedom rather than depriving yourself from other things.

If you choose to watch then I would urge you to have the saying “buy your freedom first” in your head as you watch.

Alan Donegan, Plaing with FIRE Premier in London, THe UK Financial Independence Movement

Alan at the Playing with FIRE premiere in London

Watch it!  It really is worth it!

I think the documentary is great to watch as a family, couple, or with friends.  It is something that you can use to introduce your partner or family to the ideas without the hard sell.  I think it is a fantastic tool for sharing some of the financial ideas in a way that can help other people to understand.   

At the very least it is going to spark some lively debate and get people thinking!  The movie will get you starting to ask questions and having more of a conversation about finance, the future, and money.

The documentary is beautifully filmed, and fun.  Some things to look out for!

  • The Mad Fientist Brandon has the most AMAZING blue eyes ever
  • Katie (my wife) is in the foreground of the movie!
  • I am in the background of the movie quite a bit.  They were filming at my 40th birthday party, which happened at Mr Money Mustache Headquarters!  See if you can spot me!
  • Jack and Henry from Rebel are in the movie too!

​The Amazon link is an affiliate link.  You won’t pay any more but it gives me a few pence towards running the blog.  None of the other links are affiliate ones!

You can find the documentary for rent here:

And I know in America Ally Bank is giving it away for free to their customers.  

Thanks for reading the blog and let me know your thoughts on FIRE.  If you are interested in the FIRE movement in the UK you can find out more here. 

​Learning more about finance can only help you be more successful in life!

Of course you could always just stick your head in the sand instead!??

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