Canadian FIRE movement advocates and young retirees Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung catch attention of the Guardian

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      Legendary B.C. winemaker Harry McWatters once told the Straight that his long-term career goal was never to retire.

      But that dream is not shared by millennials in the so-called FIRE movement.

      FIRE is an acronym for "financial independence, retire early".

      Two of its leading advocates are the husband and wife team of Bryce Leung and Kristy Shen, coauthors of How to Quit Like a Millionaire: No Gimmicks, Luck, or Trust Fund Required.

      They're often billed as Canada's youngest retirees because they quit their Toronto jobs at the ages of 32 and 31, respectively.

      It wasn't by design. They actually stumbled upon this possibility through trial and error.

      Like many young couples, they were saving for a home, but the price kept moving further out of reach.

      In the meantime, they also found that they were becoming increasingly wealthy by curbing their expenses and maximizing their incomes.

      Watch this 2016 CBC news story showing how they saved up a fortune.

      Eventually, they accumulated enough financial assets to live off their investment portfolio.

      This occurred thanks to passive income generated by rising stock markets and spurning homeownership.

      "The biggest thing we learned here is if you figure out money, life is incredibly easy," Leung told CBC News in 2016.

      Today, the Guardian took their story global, reporting that when Shen was a child in rural China, her family sometimes only earned 44 cents per day.

      Writer Miranda Bryant revealed that as a teenager, Shen decided to become a computer engineer, rather than pursuing a dream of being a writer.

      This was "based on a formula she devised to rank the best value university courses based on tuition fees versus future pay."

      The couple showed up on the home page of the Guardian today, though Leung didn't actually retire until after his 32nd birthday.

      So what's the couple's secret to financial freedom?

      It's the "four percent rule".

      This means that they can withdraw four percent of their investment income each year—$40,000 for every $1 million in assets—and rely on this to enjoy the rest of their lives.

      Video: Kristy Shen, coauthor of Quit Like a Millionaire, retired at the age of 31.

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