Goldilocks & The Three $$ Tiers

As some of you know, I have been struggling with the moment to moment aspect of  FI.  I recently wrote a post in regards to my Month of Financial Celibacy.  From the comments I received on that post, most people assumed it would be the markets I couldn’t wait to check but really that has little impact on me.  It is my spending and tracking of said spending that really gets me going.  I am only a week in (actually, 9 looooong days), but I am still doing pretty good.  Instead of focusing on the day to day numbers I am shifting my focus to the number one factor in the overall equation – how much is ENOUGH??

The idea of enough is one that haunts many of us FI seekers.  What if we quit our jobs too soon?  What if the market falls?  What if we get sick?  What if we forget to prepare for one of the other millions of little things that can go wrong???  It is all too much to ponder.  For this, we need a strategy.  My strategy comes straight from a childhood favorite…

Goldilocks and The Three Bears Tiers

For those of you unfamiliar with Goldilocks, let me sum up her story.  Goldilocks is a trespassing brat who not only enters into The Bears home without permission but then proceeds to spread her germs to all of their bowls of porridge before settling on one that was neither hot nor cold but just right.  After she eats The Bears food, she decides she is quite tired from her jaunt in the forest.  Instead of going home, which is what a normal criminal might do, she decides to wander into The Bears living room to rest in a chair.  Naturally, 2 of the chairs were too big and the smallest (though being just the right size) falls to pieces when she sits down.  Ugh…  Goldilocks doesn’t bother to think that perhaps karma is trying to send her a message so she pushes the envelope further by going upstairs to test out The Bears beds.  When The Bears arrive home to find their porridge was eaten and the chair broken they decide to do a thorough search of the home.  Sure enough, Goldilocks has tested all of the beds (one was too firm, one was too soft) and is still sleeping in the one she deemed just right.  Upon their growls, Goldilocks wakes with a scream, runs down the stairs and out the door.  The Bears never see or hear from her again…not even a thank you note!

So what does this fable have to do with my story??  Well, I am Goldilocks.  Not the thieving, vandalizing, lice spreading version…but the one who is always looking for the FI number that is just right…

Image result for goldilocks just right
~via~

I have mentioned my tiers of FI in other posts (and in various comments on numerous bloggers sites), but I have yet to dig into it and spell it out.  So here we go:

TIER ONE:

The first tier is based on my current financial situation:

 $1500/month (expenses)  x 12 = $18,000/year x 25 = $450,000

Based on that number and using the 4% rule (aka The Safe Withdrawal Rate), I need $450,000 to retire.  Knowing my current Net Worth and using the Mad Fientist’s Lab* to input my numbers, I will be able to retire in 1 year and 2 months – June 2018!!!

But, let’s face it, my current spending is not necessarily my future spending.  This is the type of budget that might cause me to break into some poor Bears house and eat all of their porridge!!!  This budget is bare bones, too small, and leaves little room for error.  In fact, last month I went over my $1500 benchmark by a couple of hundred bucks (though for a very good reason…CUBA!!).  I want to have more flexibility in my future numbers…which brings me to my next tier.

TIER TWO:

My second tier is akin to loosening your belt a few notches after a fabulous meal of porridge.  It gives me room to breath…and after only spending $1500/month for the past two years I NEED THAT ROOM.  I have heard (and mentioned) several of my favorite PF bloggers that have gone through a sort of depression phase on their way to FI (and some once they hit it).  Part of that depression is because we have a tendency to frugal ourselves into a corner.  We are tracking our spending constantly in an effort to spread the gap between income and savings.  The only way to spread that gap is by spending less or earning more.  This kind of microscopic scrutiny takes all the joy out of the process.  In an effort to not EVER have to do that once I am FI, I added a bit of wiggle room to my budget…wiggle room in the form of a $1000 buffer.

At $2500/month my new FI number throws me a few years down the road but it is still very much attainable:

$2500/month x 12 = 30,000/year x 25 = $750,000

Welp…  According to the calculator, I won’t be retiring until November 2020 – 3 years and 7 months from now.  WHAT?!  That is impossible….in a good way.  For a girl making 80k a year, how is it possible my nest egg will grow to that amount in a little under 4 years??  Even at my current savings rate of 75%, minus taxes and monthly expenses, the most I could possibly save is approximately 50k/year + my side hustle (average 10k/year) = 60k x 4 years = 240k.  Add that to my current 330k and I wind up with 540k – about 200k short.   Hmmmm… I guess that is the value of compound interest and, like, math.  But don’t worry, chin up!!  You see, even if I don’t hit that number, I have no plans to retire (or slow down) before my next and last tier.  Tier 2 is my just right number, but it isn’t the just right time.

TIER THREE:

This entire blog started with the premise of me wanting to retire early.  Well, in order to do so, I needed a reason.  Without a reason, I would hit my goal and wonder what came next but this way I am working towards something concrete.  I wrote about my reasons in The How and Why in FI and, when doing so, I realized that I don’t even HAVE to quit when I get there!  It turns out I happen to have THE PERFECT JOB to still work even after I meet my FI financial goals.  But because I operate well with numbers and goals, I set my FI date to coincide with my work retirement date anyway.  For those who don’t know, my retirement date is based off a formula calculated by my employer:

Years of service + age must = 65.  That date is November 2022.

In November 2022 (5 years & 7 months from now), should things continue on track, I will have blown past both my tier one and two numbers and onto one that I can barely manage to fathom…1 million dollars.  To get to this number I went backward:

$1,000,000 divided by 25 = 40k per year / 12 = $3333.33/month

With expenses of $3333.33/month, I will be FI in August 2022, still 3 months earlier than my work retirement date.  How’s that for planning??  But, again, I have NO grand illusions that these numbers are even possible (even though it would be AWESOME to be in the Million Dollar Club!).  I am a complete nonbeliever that my money will grow to such a ridiculous amount…I’m pretty sure that is why they call compound interest the 8th wonder of the world.  It’s just so unfuckingbelievable!!!  The number is TOO BIG but the timing is just right.  I would rather have too much than not ENOUGH.  With greater wealth comes the opportunity for greater generosity. 🙂

As I said earlier,  regardless of whether I hit that number it won’t really matter.  The purpose of Tier 3 is the date, not the money (though the money helps so I can sleep peacefully in my own bed and not have to take up with The Bears).  My plan is to slow down work once I hit FI – not to quit.  With healthcare up in the air, I am best to take that one factor out of my equation for as long as I can.  I will instead focus on working trips with nice overnights in cities where my friends and family live.  After all, I DO love my job.  But how much more will I love it when it is my choice to be there and not my necessity??  Just a guess but… So much more!!!

Now for the $64,000 Question…what does one do with a million dollars??  I can’t even imagine but I can’t wait to find out!!

***Are you guys tracking your FIRE date?  Anyone using the Mad Fientist’s Lab or another resource??  Feel free to share in the comments below… for someone without math skills I love testing out every FIRE calculator I can get my hands on!***

Until next time…

*My assumptions in the Mad Fientist’s Lab are based on a 4% withdrawal rate and a 7% growth rate.  Neither of these is set in stone and will fluctuate during the life of a FIRE master.  I have listened to multiple podcasts and read various bloggers that say they have used around 3% for their withdrawal rate and their nest egg has grown far more than the 7% growth rate (in fact, I used 3% withdrawal rate for earlier calculations HERE).  Again, these numbers are all suggestions based on YEARS of input and data that my non-math-oriented mind can’t work itself around.  I am trusting the kind folks ahead of me in the FI game to lead the way.  🙂

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38 thoughts on “Goldilocks & The Three $$ Tiers

  1. TheRetirementManifesto

    Amazing minds, Cuz. I’m 70% done with next week’s post, titled “How To Know When You’re Financial Independent”! I’m sharing a cheat sheet we’ve been using to determine our FI status by using our Net Worth statement. It’ll be out next week. Funny that we’re writing on the same topic, we must be related! 🙂

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    1. Oh my goodness – I went to the library with a completely different though in mind but when I got there I happened upon another bloggers post with the EXACT same title I was about to write. Totally threw me for a loop! Our ideas were different but the title was THE SAME!! I will have to give her a shout out when/if I ever post it. I don’t do well with starting a post and coming back to it (as obvious by my 48 drafts). If I don’t sit, write, and publish all at once it never gets seen!

      I am looking forward to reading your post and learning from your Jedi ways… you are so close to FI I bet you can taste it!!

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  2. It is great to see somebody focusing on their “why” of FI, and working out how much they need to live comfortably from a cash flow perspective (after all it is cash flow that pays for the groceries!).

    For what it is worth make sure you’re factoring in taxes and brokerage costs (where appropriate) in your draw down amounts, $2500 gross per month is much potential less comfortable than $2500 net per month.

    Also don’t forget to factor inflation into your cash flow number, that $2500 will buy a lot more in 2022 than it would in 2052!

    Good luck executing your plan, with only 5 years to go you can almost see the finishing line from where you are!

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    1. Yes, the cash flow is such a touchy thing I can’t help but be focused on it. I realize my current financials are far different from my future ones…I mean, I don’t think I’ll live in my studio forever. At some point my housing expense will change and I want to be prepared for that. That being said, inflation is pretty much calculated into the Safe Withdrawal Rate (which is why it is safe ;)). That $2500 will may go up but so will my nest egg. Either way, from the case studies I have read, most FI peeps use far less than what they thought they would. My favorite example of this was on Paula Pants podcast episode #60 with Andrew Hallam where he discusses a couple and their experience with FI. Even with them retiring in 1992, selling everything and living off 4%, they often used less than what they were withdrawing. They retired with 500k in 1992 (with all money in the S&P 500), had they continued to take 4% out (even with the dot com bust and the great recession), they would have taken out 1.3 million dollars from the original portfolio…and they would still have money left. 1.8 million dollars LEFT!!! It’s insanity. And that is why I can’t wrap my brain around it – the growth is insane. If you want to check out that episode the story starts around 45 minutes in. 🙂

      As for the taxes, I was a bit skeptical on this as well…in fact, so much so that I wrote a post about it at the beginning of the year when I switched my 401k traditional to a 401k Roth. Well, I have since switched back!! I never understand how I could move my traditional to my Roth without getting taxed on it until I listened to Brandon (Mad Fientist’s) and Jeremy (Go Curry Cracker) talk on the Choose FI podcast (episode 17 & 18). I have read 100 posts about it but, for some reason, I had to hear it be said to me out loud. It finally clicked!! I am now maxing my 401k traditional and when I finally stop working I will start rolling those funds to my Roth with little to no tax implications. I intend to be in the 10% or no % tax bracket while doing this. Of course, I do plan to work some, but I also plan to volunteer a lot of my time therefor leaving me more cushion to use my rollover amounts as income but hopefully be wiped out by deductions. THen, when I go to withdraw the money, it will be able to be taken out tax free provided it sat in the account for 5 years. If you do this continually, every year you can take out what you put in 5 years prior tax and penalty free! When I turn 59.5, that rule goes out the window and I can freely withdraw without penalty. I hope I am explaining that clearly…again, taxes and equations aren’t my thing! I will listen to these podcast a few more times before doing ANYTHING!! Oh, and of course, all these tax things may be changed by then given our current economic state. 😉

      Sorry this reply turned into such a long one! I have plenty of free time on my hands now that I’m not continually crunching spreadsheet numbers!

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    2. Agreed – too many gloss over expenses like taxes and health care. One thing where I’m a bit fuzzy on is how to factor in inflation.

      Inflation is accounted for in the SWR, is it not? If the market grows at 7% annually and we’re only pulling out 4% of that growth, the remaining 3% of that annual growth rate is untouched so as to keep up with inflation (which grows, on average, at 3% per year). Right?

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      1. That’s what I thought and tried to explain in my looooong comment back. 😂 But maybe there is another angle I’m not seeing…that’s been known to happen! Well, if all else fails I’ll build a tiny house in your backyard and offer to be a nanny so you and your wife can go out. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that your working as much from dates and what you want to do as from a number. We currently track via excel, but my date is far beyond my number currently because of my why. Number wise I would be suprised if we hit it in the next 9 years. Retirement date wise I’m shooting for another 19.

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    1. I feel like this is something that doesn’t get talked about enough. Things jangle so much on the journey to FI that you have to be somewhat flexible with the dates and numbers. Though I don’t know what year I will actually retire, it is nice to know when I will be able to. Isn’t that what this is all about? Having choice?? Good luck on your journey!! Isn’t the road a bit more lovely when you have people to share it with?

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  4. Since you plan on working even after reaching FI, I would look at another calculation, the amount of money it would take to generate your part time salary. So if you’re earning $20K, that’s an invisible extra $500k in your portfolio using the 4% rule. When you stop working altogether, the $500k goes away, so it really is invisible. But this is just an exercise to show you how much of a buffer you’ll have while you continue to work fewer hours.

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    1. True, true. I still want to be FI (in every sense of the word) before I quit work which would make me able to live off that part time income (especially if it was 20k+) or just use it as an extra added bonus. That being said, one thing I think about often is the day I hit FI and am no longer saving. Like…what does that feel like?? Right now I make on average 6k a month and I am used to depositing a certain amount for savings. I can’t imaging not doing that!! I’ll have to start another celibacy month to help me from going crazy!! No more saving?? Weird.

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      1. We’re in that position. We’re no longer adding to our investments plus we no longer have two direct deposit checks! Although we receive one pension check by mail, which is less than 50% of what usually went into our checking. I thought it would be very weird but actually, it’s not. (6 months of checks and NY State still can’t calculate how to do direct deposit.)

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        1. Are you taking requests?? If so, PLEASE WRITE A POST ABOUT THAT!! I want to hear the mental side of what happens when you stop wealth building and start wealth spending. How do you switch over? Im worried I will be afraid to lose the safety net and get caught up in the “one more year” syndrome. Please shed some light to us perpetual savers!!

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  5. Like a lot of things that I’ve stopped spending my (bleep) bucks on (see today’s post), I’ve given up on that target date. It pushes my mind way too far out in the future and not living at ALL in the present, and what matters most is my day to day spending, or more importantly, SAVING. I can only control what I do TO-DAY. Besides, I can’t predict what will happen job-wise, where I’m living-wise, who I may or may not be dating/married-wise. Yes, I want goals, but this one? Just too much for me to wrap my head around! 🙂 Who knows though…I might change my mind about that tomorrow!

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    1. Haha! I totally get it!! I read your post early this morning but wasn’t quite awake enough to write an intelligent response. 🙂

      This FI thing is like a roller coaster. One day I’m up and feel good about it and another I feel down and think there is NO WAY I will make it that long…but then I remember that there is no other option for me. I KNOW I don’t want to work for the next 30 years of my life but that doesn’t make the next 5 go any faster. What I can control is today. If I feel up or down, it’s ok. The end of this road will come and then I’ll move on to the next. And you are sooooo right – we have no idea what is around the corner. You know how I feel about the zombie apocalypse…it is coming!! What the heck is money going to do for me then? Nothing. Ill make my way to California so we can forage on your garden kale together. Until then, TODAY is the only day that matters. Until tomorrow…. 😉

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  6. Oh my days! I love this analogy and the fact that you’re linking your “enough” to both time and money. If it’s OK with you, I’d love to borrow this methodology and write out an analysis of my tiers too.

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  7. As an IT guy, I must say that I love your site, you have a very clean and professional looking design!

    Anyways, thanks for making the math as easy to follow as possible. I’ve never thought about FI in terms of tiers before, but it’s definitely important to consider the amount of money you’ll have vs. the time it takes to reach it. I just graduated college and will start my full time job in a few weeks, so I’ll be tracking my FI date once things get “normal” again with a steady paycheck and regular expenses.

    Also, 75% is an incredible savings rate, good job keeping it so high!

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    1. Thanks, Matt! That means a lot coming from an IT guy. When I first started this blog I was completely lost. I had used the blogger platform 7 years ago and so much has changed since then…or so it felt. I guess I was just a bit rusty. I am now getting used to word press but still used a theme for my page. I couldn’t even begin to imagine having to create and customize one on my own. I like the clean feel of it but I would love to have a bit more flexibility on my header font and color which this theme doesn’t allow (nor does it load properly). I suppose if this blog ever makes a bit of money I could pay someone to do the hard work for me. 😉

      Congrats on graduating, your new job, AND for finding FI at such a young age!! I often say that I am happy I found it when I did (35ish) because I wouldn’t give up my ignorant blissful youth for anything…but…had I learned earlier I would have been FI by now! Haha – you never can win!! Based on those ideas , two words of caution… HAVE FUN!! You know what it takes to get FI but don’t get caught up in the end date just yet. It sounds stupid and cliche but there are so many factors ahead of you that you can’t even begin to build a plan around such as marriage, kids, and all the crazy that comes with those!! And if you choose not to go those routes (divorced no kids for me!), there will be other things instead. So, keep your eye on the prize but have fun playing the game.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I hope to see you back here again! 🙂

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  8. zeejaythorne

    I love that you are focusing on the date you’d like to FI more than the money without ignoring the important money portion of the equation.

    Goldilocks is a darn thief and destroyer of property, and your tiers analogy is spot-on!

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    1. The date is so important to me…so much more so than the money. It signifies a career well done. I mean, I know I’m a good employee but this is like the gold watch equivalent (to be fair, I received a watch for my 15 year anniversary). I know I will be FI before then but when I KNOW I have free flight benefits for life?! That is icing on the cake. Perhaps my next career should be in the hotel industry so I can also get discounted room rates for life? If it’s only 20 years that makes me 65 when I retire for the second time! Hmmm… things to ponder…

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      1. zeejaythorne

        Hotel discounts would be lovely. I have no longevity anywhere. But I worked at an independent toy store for a year and get a discount there for life.

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        1. What?! That’s amazing…after only one year?? I’m definitely looking for a discount for life situation. Other options that may interest me? Free ice cream, potato chips, or wine for life. Perhaps I’ll work at Ben & Jerry’s, Lays, then a winery!! 😜

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          1. zeejaythorne

            Yep! 40% while an employee. 20% for life. It was one of my favorite jobs ever. I would take wine for life and ice cream. I’ll leave the potato chips to others. Maybe guacamole?

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  9. I love the three tier approach. I am like you in that tier I doesn’t feel that great. I feel like it’s a bit tight. Tier 3 may be way too much but Tier 2 may work out really well for me. Just need to play around with the numbers and see how close I am 🙂 But I’m still at least four years away.

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    1. I think when we first picture our FI lives our brain automatically goes to Tier 1 or Tier 3. We either think we need more than we do or we think we need less than we actually need. After reading SO MUCH over the past 2 years and calculating my numbers a trillion times, I settle on meeting half way. My first assumptions were way too low for a life if FI. But, as your plans have changed, mine surely will too. I need a bigger buffer for my what ifs!

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    1. Thank you, Julie!! I used to love this story as a kid and it’s funny how useful it is in our day to day lives. We are always looking for “perfect” whether it be a mate, house, car, or weather. My perfect is always changing!! I am happy to be able to fluctuate between tiers and know that any of these plans work as long as I remain flexible. Thanks for reading and for sharing!!

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  10. Being just on the other side of walking away from the 9-5, my feelings have changed a lot. I care much less about the numbers part and much more about the life part. I thought we were walking away too soon (by 6 years), but now I feel like we almost left too late. It’s far easier to see and track the numbers, but life is big and wild and unexpected and can also compound if we let it. So our number growth has slowed, but the life part exploded since we left. (in a good way!)

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    1. The numbers are really just a guideline, aren’t they? At any point you can get thrown a curve ball. Adaptability is key to success in life. I kind of feel like I might wind up working longer than necessary. All these numbers are based on single income and living expenses. I am hopeful that my life won’t always be run as an individual! 🙂 Its nice to see that even with all your life explosions you guys are still able to manage everything that life has thrown at you. Keep it up, girl!! And if you still see me scrimping and saving in 5 years please come and knock some sense into me!

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  11. Brittany

    Hi! I love your blog and my husband is also finishing up his last few years in the airline industry. We are looking forward to benefits for the future! Quick question, in your calculations, where did the 25 come from? Is that the number of years you will be withdrawing or retired, cause that sounds like it will be a lot more than 25. Thanks for the help!

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    1. Hi Brittany! The 25 comes from the calculation in this here post: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/05/29/how-much-do-i-need-for-retirement/ and can be traced beyond that. Now, I don’t pretend to be an expert by an means, but I have read enough to convince me (almost) to rest easy and follow the advice of the smarty pants in the FI community that are already retired. I wrote a (long!) response in this thread regarding a specific episode/time of am Afford Anything podcast on this subject that you might find interesting. It talks about the 4% withdrawal rate and the longevity of it…how long could you retire before going broke? Turns out, in their case, over 20 years so far and still kicking it! I’m hopeful I can follow in those footsteps. 🙂

      Congrats to your hubby!! It’s a tough gig to be the spouse to someone in our circus so I commend you!! This job has a lot of pluses and minuses (I refuse to say ups and downs!😜) but it’s worth it in the end.

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Always appreciated. 😊

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      1. Brittany

        Thanks so much! I am new to the FIRE world, but also heard that interview on Paula’s show and it has me inspired! I found your blog from a comment you made on BudgetsAreSexy, just so you know you are making a great difference! I also recently began using YNAB (are you familiar?), and this has been helpful, so far, in getting my spending/savings heading the right direction. I have spent the evening working on my numbers in the FI Lab, and I have one more quick question. When forecasting out what amount you would have in 2022 (one milli…aahhhh!!!), did you just input the amount you think you will have in the Numbers tab for each month from now until 2022 or did you use a different compound interest calculator? Thanks again for the help!

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        1. So glad you found me through J$’s blog. It’s funny, he was the reason I started writing and posting my net worth in the first place!! I have heard of YNAB but haven’t used it. I don’t really spend a lot so I haven’t used any of the budgeting tools. That being said, I have heard it works wonders to keep on track…especially if there is more than one spender in the household. So glad you tried out Brandon’s lab. Such a cool little tool!! To get that number I kind of guessed. I know that if I need 40k a year to survive then based on the formula (x25) I need 1 million to retire. When I was playing with my numbers I realized if I divide that 40k by 12 it will tell me how much I would be withdrawing per month. I didn’t change the actual numbers in my monthly tally. I just changed the assumptions to 3333.33 as the future expenses with sale growth and withdrawal rates. Based on what I have saved already it calculates that FI date for me. Of course, anything can happen between now and then but having a tool like this kind of helps to see if you’re on track. Hope that answers your question!! Feel free to ask any others. 🙂

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  12. Hi there. Here is an article that has been wonderful in giving me confidence in the 3% rule given the high Shiller CAPE index we are in currently. Also, vs. the study William Bengen did way back to spark the 4% rule talk based off a typical 30yr retirement (http://www.antigroundhogday.com/index.php/2017/01/05/intro-to-the-4-rule-the-single-greatest-rule-for-your-retirement/), this article projects 60yr retirement withdrawal rates and has a lot of granularity: https://earlyretirementnow.com/2016/12/07/the-ultimate-guide-to-safe-withdrawal-rates-part-1-intro/

    It is an awesome study!

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    1. Hey Bryce… wait, can I call you that?? I read your post the other day as did I read your recent one about your FIRE questions and also your expenses…Joylent? Really?! Haha – to each their own but I’d much prefer the lobster roll. 🙂 I will be commenting on your FIRE questions but was reading from my phone and couldn’t write the comment it deserved from this tiny device!

      For some reason even though all of the data works, I STILL can’t wrap my brain around it. Maybe because I didn’t have these FI desires until recently and I am well on my way. Perhaps in a year or two I will ease my mind into it. I am he type of person who analyzes and prepares for everything and anything but am also emotional…the practical side of me sometimes gives in to that! There is no way possible to prepare for all of the thoughts in my head! No matter how much I read it isn’t real but 60 years would probably work for me. 😉

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      1. Yes, let’s do first names Bianca. I went to Portland, ME a few months ago and had my first lobster roll…cold….never again! Just didn’t like the texture. Perhaps having a hot one would be better? No rush, you can convince me later as I sip on my Joylent shake. 😉

        I’m an eternal planner, an ENTJ. Healthcare is the only thing that is throwing me for a loop these days as I know my calculations are conservative and my nature is to “beat” my spending and come in a little lower than planned. Here’s my working budget for my different scenarios of retirement (nomadic, staying where I am, as well as moving back to my hometown.): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1_WDQxBW5dk8jsnGDSM6JuNNHhXdj5d6MzPNtOgRg7KM/edit?usp=sharing On the other hand, I somehow think one day my emotions will take over as work stress gets to me and I’ll pull the pin and manage what sort of retirement I can cobble together from the funds and withdrawal rate I am confortable with at the time. FIRE is as much an emotional choice as it is a calculated….I just need to keep those two sides balanced.

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        1. Yup, read your budget too! It cracks me up. I have to say, reading someone else’s budget is like going through their trash. It’s so intimate and extremely fascinating!

          Healthcare is main issue as well which is why I plan to keep my job after FI. I don’t have to work a minimum amount of hours to be covered so I can literally not work at all and just pay the tiny premiums. That being said, although I wont have to work I still will pick up trips from time to time. I am one of those weird people that actually loves my job. I love getting paid to stay in nice hotels in random cities. The type of hotels I am otherwise too cheap to stay at!

          But I hear you loud and clear on pulling the pin. Even though I love my job I still hate going because I HAVE to. Just last month I started thinking that I can’t do 5 more years of this!!! And then I realized I don’t have to. I don’t have to work at this pace to retire in 5 years. I can retire in 6 or 7 and work a few hours less each month…and so I did. And while the month was fabulous, yesterday I got my paycheck and cringed. What was I thinking?! This month I worked even less than last and find myself trying to catch up hour in the next few days… Payday will be brutal next month. It seems I am always trying to right the ship and find balance. Work a lot get burnt. Work too little feel like FI is too far ahead. And then I go back to the beginning and think – who the fuck cares?! I could die tomorrow and all this worry would be for nothing. Budgets be damned!!
          Ugh…sometimes we can’t save ourselves from our SELF! 🙂

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          1. Well if you see anything I am not considering in my budget, do let me know. My ex-GF always asked me to downshift and take a job that is less stressful and I’ve considered it, but like you I realized that would extend the number of working years until I am comfortable retiring. Though I appreciate most of the folks I work with, that stress isn’t going anywhere and I go back and forth with getting a job that basically just pays for healthcare (that’s quite a nice gig you have) like a hall monitor at a local school, then having my summers off to be nomadic. But I’ll likely just crank it out. When folks tell me they love their job, I ask “would you do it for free?” and 99% of them say “no no, couldn’t do that.” So I question if they are just conditioned to say they love it or who knows, but for me I won’t stop until I have ultimate freedom. Seems like you’re a 1%er. 😉

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