How One Teacher Lives the FIRE Life, and You Can Too!

Ok, when my wife and set out to help teachers with their money, one name kept coming up, everywhere I looked.  Ed Mills, the Millionaire Educator.  Ed (not his real name…that would be a really cool name though) and his wife are career educators and have accomplished exactly what I knew was possible for teachers.

Teacher Lives FIRE LifeHe’s My Poster Boy

I knew early on that Ed was a guy that would be my poster boy for what’s possible for teachers.  But not JUST teachers only.  Ed is actually a living, breathing example of what the FIRE movement is all about.  And what the Financial Independence Retire Early theory actually looks like in practice.


Although, I may have to agree with the MadMoneyMonster gang when it comes to FIRE.  They say FIOR – Financial Independence Optional Retirement is another option and I honestly think it sounds better to me.  Most people that work their whole life, really like to work!  It’s just a matter of working on your own terms and doing what you enjoy doing.  To that end, I’m a FIOR fan.
Teacher Lives FIRE Life

Teachers Taking Vows of Poverty?

The days of thinking about teachers as professionals who have taken a “vow of poverty” is no longer acceptable.  Ed and his wife are examples that can be easily duplicated.  And the most encouraging news is, Ed and his wife didn’t get up to zero until their mid-thirties!  All their wealth has been built since then.

Just What the Dr. Ordered

The recipe that Ed has used to take gap years and time off, is the recipe that I’m preparing for new teachers.  I think this is just the medicine that teachers need to combat teacher burnout.  Ed talks about the numerous investment advantages and privileges that are afforded to educators.  These can easily be used to fund mini-retirements throughout your working career.

Listen to the Podcast

Here my interview with Ed and check out the list of bullet points below.

Topics Discussed on the Podcast

  • Taught school in Saudi Arabia. Paid off his student loans and was able to get back to ground 0 and came back to the US $110k in the black in 2001.
  • You can build wealth, regardless of your occupation
  • Books he read: Eric tyson personal finance for dummies & Cashing in on the american dream
  • Public school teacher in GA, 2002-03 Stayed there 7 years, built wealth up to 450k
    1. Invested in 403b, 457 and IRA’s
    2. Went to Brazil for a month
    3. During that time, he realized teachers get paid a decent salary and the retirement plans are among the best anywhere. 
  •  Key Advice: Debt avoidance is the key to building wealth, along with hardcore savings
  • Moved to south GA and saved $250k in 3 years.  Went into hard core savings mode (2013)
  • 2013-14 took the year off
  • 2014-16, saved $243k in 2 years, passed 1 million mark in 2016
  • Took last 2 years off.  Spent the last year in Mexico
  • 2018- Going back to work in the states as teachers
  • Ed’s Tips For Teachers:
    • Must have spouse on board to make this happen.
    • Get rid of student loans.
    • Educators have essentially two 401k type plans.  The 403b & the 457.
    • The 457 is the key to funding your gap years.
  • Ed Says: People can do this…he didn’t get to 0 until age 35

Find Ed on the web at

Teacher Lives FIRE Life