The Playing with FIRE documentary movie premiere in South Florida earlier this week was great! I was introduced to the concept of FIRE (Financial Independence / Retire Early) by a wise friend just 2 years ago, so the night was also special to celebrate my FIREversary and introduce family and friends to the power of the FIRE movement at a SOLD OUT crowd.
So how do you explain FIRE in a short amount of time to others? A story of course! In this case, Scott Riekens the Executive Producer dives deep into it with his family, moving out of their expensive California home to sacrifice for a better life long-term. Don’t expect an action blockbuster, but all the big names in FIRE are there and the video quality from Director Travis Shakespeare is superb. Just to see Vicki Robin and Mr. Money Mustache on the big screen was perfect for me.
Before the movie we were able to meet up for happy hour with food and drinks. I was expecting the crowd to all be retired 30 somethings, but it was a great group with over 20 of us from all walks of life. It was great to hear from others and their stories, including the events they gather at such as CampFI.
After the movie we also stayed for a special surprise giveaways of books and other prizes from those in the community. We also heard from a couple enjoying their post-FI freedom while living in the Florida Keys. The prizes even included two tickets for FinCon, one of the biggest yearly events that the FIRE community meets for. I didn’t win those, but I did win a toy set for the kids and a FIRE bumper sticker for me that I proudly placed on my 12 year old Toyota Prius. Also my friend Ronald who is currently ranked #1 in the Florida Ninja League joined in and even took a couple pics of the fun. My mom, sister, and wife joined in on the fun as well, and my brother-in-law who was in town even made it to the happy hour beforehand.
One of the challenges coordinating this event was that the movie is not available streaming at this time, and playing the movie at a theater required that we had at least 60 tickets minimum sold on a weekday. Steven from Even Steven Money was kind enough to setup the event, so I set a goal to tell everyone I know about it and invite them. We knew the event was also a great excuse to get together before-hand for a happy hour. Sharing with our local FI group from the ChooseFI podcast definitely helped, and I also had 5 others join me.
You can attend or host your own screening in your town by visiting their events page at https://www.playingwithfire.co/events. If you need to find people to join in on the fun there are usually local FIRE groups in most areas – e.g. Meetup, Facebook, etc. You can also find an e-mail template that Scott sends his friends to help explain FIRE, or you can point them to other helpful resources to get them started.
I definitely will take advantage of opportunities like this so we can spread the power of FIRE to others. Maybe we can even create a Global Financial Independence Day? Sometime close to July 4 may work well for my American friends 🙂