Many millennials and members of Generation X aren’t waiting until their 65 to retire and live the way they want. Aiming to ditch the nine-to-five grind well before their parents and grandparents did, younger adults are saving more and spending less. Living off very little, a new generation of Americans are bucking tradition.

The crisis

Many young adults lived through the financial crisis of 2008. Seeing their parents struggle, lose jobs and worry about their retirement has sparked a movement towards financial independence. Having more control over your future is an idea that is defying how a traditional retirement looks.

With social security dwindling and markets fluctuating, a new generation of Americans has taken matters into their own hands. By living on less, retirement can be achieved much sooner than you think.

The FIRE movement

The recent movement called, Financial Independence, Retire Early or FIRE as it is often referred to has redefined what it means to work, save and grow your own wealth. Adherents to the FIRE lifestyle are typically college-educated millennials and members of Generation X earning high incomes. This group is highly disciplined in their saving, often stashing away or investing three-quarters of their incomes.

The FIRE movement has sparked podcasts, blogs, books, and numerous online forums all aimed to educate and inspire young adults to take their finances into their own hands.

Small sacrifices earn big payoffs

When looking to retire at 40, these young adults have completely shifted from the, “keeping up with the Joneses,” mentality of the past. Many FIRE adherents don’t own cars or drive used cars, they live in smaller homes, own and invest in real estate, have side hustles in addition to high paying jobs and live as frugally as possible. This doesn’t mean you’ll find them all living on noodles and never going anywhere. The idea of FIRE is to live a full life while still enjoying entertainment, travel and creature comforts. To do this, however, you budget carefully, share costs whenever possible, use rewards points and take advantage of free events or membership deals.

While there are always risks and bumps in the road, the payoff to living on less can lead to financial independence, early retirement and the freedom to pursue a fulfilling career of your choice rather than obligation.