Author Topic: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?  (Read 5321 times)

ardrum

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While I definitely find the idea of 25+ times living expenses in net worth/invested assets great and well supported with historical data for full FI (more or less), I am increasingly intrigued by the idea of purposely shooting for a lesser figure if it means better work-life balance sooner, coasting at a slower pace after that point.  I have read some about this ("fully funded lifestyle change"), but I'm curious if there are any typical targets for amount saved before making this leap.

I like the idea of freedom to make decisions not driven by financial motives, which is what I like about FI.  I suppose though that the first 50-90% of that financial dependence on income is the worst chunk (often requiring work-life imbalance), and that part-time work (even if it's unpleasant) would be significantly more tolerable while freeing up more time for other activities. 

What I'm a bit torn on, however, is what a good investing target might be to make such a leap to part-time work.  20x living expenses? Only 15x? I know there isn't a "right" answer per se, but I would hate to target too low of a figure and then start to feel like I don't have the choice but to continue on working for 10-20 more years after making the shift to part-time. 

I figured asking the Post-FIRE group might offer some interesting perspectives.  I'm currently (very tentatively, open to changing mind) thinking of targeting 20x my current living expenses (at 6x currently, saving 2x/year) before considering this change, pushing up until then to save as much as possible.  I believe this would mean I'd only need to cover roughly 20-30% of my living expenses at that point with part-time work, but could potentially earn more and cover 100% of my living expenses depending on hours/pay/flexibility.  I'm currently saving about 2/3 of my after-tax income with my full-time job (45-50 hours/week), so 1-2 work days/week at current pay would cover my current living expenses.

Any input/suggestions/considerations about balancing saving enough to feel mostly financially free while prioritizing an expedited liberation from full-time work? I want out of the full-time hamster wheel, but I might not mind a little bit of the hamster wheel if I can get out of the full time environment sooner!  Thanks!

diapasoun

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2018, 11:59:42 AM »
PTF because this is something I've contemplated, too.

Zacharias

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2018, 12:04:34 PM »
My first thought is that this would be almost entirely dependent on the amount you expect to make from your part-time work. After that it would just be 25 x the difference between your expenses and your earnings.

Easy formula but harder to decide on what that income variable might be.

ardrum

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2018, 12:27:16 PM »
My first thought is that this would be almost entirely dependent on the amount you expect to make from your part-time work. After that it would just be 25 x the difference between your expenses and your earnings.

Easy formula but harder to decide on what that income variable might be.

Yes, and that reminds me of an article on Millennial Revolution that highlighted the same calculation of 25x the difference you aren't making in a new work set-up.

I suppose that income variability would be the main consideration though.  I think by living my relatively frugal lifestyle, it would be easier to overshoot the part-time income required rather than undershoot it if I were to save 20x my living expenses.  I work in the medical field as a physical therapist, and one 13-week contract job for instance would cover 90-100%+ of my current living expenses!  I wouldn't necessarily be comfortable switching right this moment to that though even though I could technically probably do it if I'm at 6x now.  I wouldn't like knowing I need to "forever" do contract work, even if I were to really enjoy it now.

Another idea I've had is to imagine how long a stash would take to grow to 25x if untouched (and also not contributed to).  Based on 5% real return estimate, 15x living expenses would take about a decade to reach 25x while 20x living expenses would take about 5 years to reach 25x.  Then it would be knowing that even at a part-time level, I'd only "need" to cover my living expenses for another 5-10 years even if that might be the work-life balance I want to maintain indefinitely!


Life in Balance

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2018, 12:34:09 PM »
PTF as I've been thinking about this too.  That's an interesting observation about the 5-10 year timeline for PT work if you've accumulated 15-20x expenses.  My concern is how long might I want to do PT work?  What if it is not the relaxing haven I think it might be?  Ideally, I'd like to figure out the target for how much I need to just work PT 2-3 years, but then I wonder if I wouldn't be better off just working to finish it out.... 

ontheway2

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2018, 12:42:53 PM »
It sounds like you intend to pull from your savings once working part time since you said the income would only need to cover 20-30% of your expenses.  That isn't really feasible unless you plan to work until you die or expect a large influx of money later on.  Once you start pulling 4%, you cannot later increase that amount to cover the then non-existent part time income.

I do not have a multiplier goal before part time, but I intend for the part time work to fully cover living expenses with my savings continuing to grow. Once the savings hits 25x, PT is optional. Another idea is to have PT also include savings contributions and start it sooner.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2018, 12:56:58 PM »
On the surface, 20x seems very conservative. If I was at 20x, and it would only take me 2 years or less to get fully FI, I would probably stick it out. It's when you're earlier in your savings that going PT can make a big impact. If you really wanted to, you could do it now. The earlier you go PT, the more work your investments end up doing, since they can grow undisturbed for longer. That's less income you need to earn. I would still plan to make enough to cover your expenses and save some.

Do you have a plan? Do you know what kind of work you would do PT? Is your current occupation compatible with consulting so you can keep a higher hourly rate? Are there vesting/pension timelines that make it worth sticking it out FT? Can you examine your spending to get it even lower?

Quote
What I'm a bit torn on, however, is what a good investing target might be to make such a leap to part-time work.  20x living expenses? Only 15x? I know there isn't a "right" answer per se, but I would hate to target too low of a figure and then start to feel like I don't have the choice but to continue on working for 10-20 more years after making the shift to part-time.

You are not required to remain PT forever if you don't like it. You can try it out and see how it goes, then return to the 9-5 grind or ramp up consulting hours if you simply hate the extra free time. :P

JohnGalt

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2018, 04:41:19 PM »
17x

If you dig into the 4%/trinity study stuff, you'll find that to get to a 95% success rate you end up with a lot of scenarios that have runaway growth.  It also doesn't assume any variation in withdrawal based on market conditions.  Most of the failure scenarios are also pretty evident early on that they are in trouble.

My goal isn't really to never earn an income again.  I just want to be able to choose how much and under what conditions I work. 

Go on cfiresim.com and play around with the variable spending models. 

My preference is to just leave the default settings except for the spending plan.  The "Variable Spending" option let's you set a floor (I use 2.4%) spending level and z value (default is .5 which is where I leave it) which controls how much your spending changes with market returns.  This sets you up so that you withdraw less when the market is down and more when it is up.  With this variation, a 5.5% WR has about a 95% success rate.  6% WR has about an 85% success rate. 

I can easily do some combination of working and spending cuts to offset normal market downturns (they don't even have to be during the downturn necessarily, just enough to make up for them over time).  If early on it looks like I'm in a sequence of return tailspin scenario, I can just go back to work full time for a few years.

ardrum

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2018, 07:32:52 PM »
That's some great planning, JohnGalt!  I like how much flexibility you've built into your plan to respond to various conditions. That 15-20x range does seem to be the "sweet spot" for balancing financial security with a flexible plan that involves continued earnings.  I suppose in the worst scenarios, going back to a full-time schedule for a few years wouldn't be the end of the world too.

Monkey, I'm a physical therapist, and luckily there are a lot of options to work prn (as needed), part-time, or otherwise take on short-term contract work.  Fortunately, in most cases this format involves a higher hourly rate than full-time work!  So long as those options are still around in 4-5 years, I could take any of them.  I'm a renter and am willing to continue that status to enhance the flexibility of work scenarios as well as for adventuring purposes of exploring new areas.

ontheway2, yes I see how I worded that makes it look like I'd plan to withdraw at a level in which I'd never be FI.  I suppose I just meant to "break even" over time that's all I'd need to do, but the intention would be to continue to gain in net worth to the 25x+ level, just at a slower rate that allows me to enjoy younger years with more free time.  I like your idea of shooting for total coverage of living expenses with part-time work, and in reality there might even still be a little spillover earnings that could further lubricate the growth of the money-making machine.


JohnGalt

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2018, 05:34:28 AM »
I'm not sure how old you are but I'm assuming you're in you are somewhere younger than me (at 33) and this would be applicable to anyone in that age range.

If you hit your goal of having 6.25x expenses at the end of this year, even conservative real growth estimates should put you at 25x before you hit traditional retirement age without any additional savings.  So, if you're okay with working just enough part time to cover your expenses for the long term, you're in pretty good shape to pull that trigger next year.  Anything you save above covering your expenses just adds to that cusion / brings the 25x (or whatever other x you end up going with) closer. 


ardrum

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2018, 05:51:41 AM »
I'm actually turning 35 in June.  I had a slow start thanks to a career change and a ridiculous number of years of school, haha.

Malkynn

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2018, 06:59:26 AM »
Personally, I dropped down to part time while still in debt ~-100K in net worth.
Iím still not quite at $0 net worth (still over 100K in debt, but nearly 100K saved) and Iím already contemplating cutting back my hours even more to get closer to my ideal lifestyle. Iím also in a healthcare field where I can work part time with no damage to my career.

I only started working at 31 (yay school!) and after 11 gruelling years of university, I simply refuse to compromise my lifestyle in any way shape or form. Thankfully, the cost of my ideal lifestyle is pretty damn cheap (thanks MMM), but itís VERY expensive in terms of how much non-day-job time I need to be happy and healthy.

Now, that said, I have 3 side hustles that eat up most of that non-day-job time, but they arenít as punishing as my day job. Thanks to me being part time, Iíve been able to build a lot of skills, knowledge, and networking in order to develop some amazing projects that may end up highly profitable. Weíll see.

Had I stayed full time, I would have had ZERO side hustles and absolutely no time or energy to devote to skills, knowledge, and networking beyond what was necessary for my main career. I would have just stuck it out, run myself into the ground, and retired at 40 with a fat Ďstache, which I would need because I would likely end up divorced (being burnt out doesnít make me a great spouse), and then I would be retired young, with a worn out body, a burnt psyche, a failed marriage, and nothing to show for it but a lump of cash. Lifestyle wise, I would be starting from zero.

Instead, my outside of work life is my current top priority, my part time day job is highly challenging and engaging, and doesnít grind me down, and my incredible side hustle projects are things I had planned for retirement, but opportunities just keep popping up, so theyíve been fast tracked to current day realities.

Itís up to me to decide exactly what balance I want my life to have. I actually donít even really give a fuck about the financial targets. The day job produces more than enough, and Iíll let the side hustles displace it only when they become profitable enough to do so.
Beyond ďmake a lot, save a lotĒ I donít really have targets or timelines, and I definitely donít let my arbitrary savings targets dictate my life choices. I have guidelines, and rough estimates, but I prefer to be flexible. If some amazing opportunity comes up, I donít want to reject it because it doesnít fit with my FIRE target.

If some humanitarian group offers to pay me half of what I make now to travel the world and develop public health initiatives with NGOs for 5 years, Iím taking the offer. No question. Fuck the timeline.

If you can work part time and be happy, why not try it?
My downshift was supposed to be temporary, then I realized I loved it and would need go back to full time.

I had no idea what I actually wanted to do with my free time until I had free time to figure it out. For the first 6 months I just relaxed on my days off and noodled around the house and became a very very good cook. I listened to podcasts and read a ton. I had no aim, no direction, no particular ambition. I just enjoyed liking my life.

Quickly though, I started connecting with interesting people. I was able to take meetings during regular business hours, I shot the shit with some cool people with a lot of cool ideas. I read even more, and soon some of those ideas started being projects, and a year after downshifting, multiple projects were born purely out of passion and interest and ending up in the right rooms with the right people and being bold enough to say ďwhat about this idea? I know itís kind of nuts, but why not try?Ē

It took me taking a breath, taking a step back, and getting out of my own way to figure out what I actually wanted my life to look like, not what I had planned my life to look like. It turns out past me was fucking clueless about what present me needed/wanted. Which makes sense, she was really young. I anticipate that future me will have similar opinions about current-meís view of the future. My theory is that if you donít think your past self is a bit naive or stupid, something is wrong. That means that past selves arenít the best custodians of future selveís life plans. Let present self worry about present life, thatís what theyíre best qualified to plan. Sure, set future self up for success, but donít try to decide life for them, they know better than you.

Life happens when you stop planning and start doing.
Plans are just guidelines. Life is what actually happens.

limeandpepper

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2018, 07:29:47 AM »
I've been working part-time for a few years already. It wasn't intentional at the beginning - at that time, I took whatever job I could get and it happened to be part-time. Then I enjoyed the lifestyle so much that when I looked for a new job, I specifically looked for part-time ones. I figured that if I work about 3 days or 20 hours a week, I can still make enough to save because I don't need to spend much. Anyway, I think when I did this a few years ago originally I had about 12x expenses in savings and investments, and I was renting. Now I have my own place, so my savings took a hit (Australian property prices la la la) but the way it panned out, I still have about 12x expenses in addition to my home.

My partner's been freelancing for many years so he's been living a similar lifestyle for a long time now, long before he had lots saved up, and also he's not really into FIRE, he's not on these forums, doesn't read the blog. He's just a laid-back person and this is what suits him. Interestingly, he also fell into freelancing unintentionally at the beginning, and he ended up liking it so much that it would take a very generous offer to reel him back in to typical full time work.

At the end of the day it seems to be more of a mindset+frugality thing. I mean, technically someone could work part-time right from the beginning of their working life and never work full-time ever and still get by fine.

Freedomin5

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2018, 07:37:12 AM »
I just saved up our retirement ďnest eggĒ of $200K ó basically the amount that was needed to fund our retirement at typical retirement age, if left untouched. That took  us three years to save up.

Then I dropped to (permanent) part-time, with the minimum goal to make enough to cover expenses. Interestingly, I now make more working part time than I did five years ago working full time, because people are willing to pay me more because of my experience and the fact that Iíve built up a reputation in the industry. So I just keep socking away money and moving towards full FIRE. When we reach full FIRE, we can then move from mandatory permanent part time to optional permanent part time, which will be nice.

ardrum

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2018, 07:41:26 AM »
Thanks for that perspective, Malkynn.  It seems you've found a good balance that's opened up perhaps some unexpected opportunities!  It's very interesting how often I hear that shifting the work-life balance toward life ends up opening up all sorts of other opportunities, some of which end up producing additional income while being enjoyable/rewarding.  It's a good point too not to lose sight of the present in getting too wrapped up in planning on the future, especially when like you said, the present self can better deal with present quality of life. 

I started working in my current field at 32.  At 35 (as of next month), I don't think I want to hammer out full-time work beyond another 5 years.  While that gives me time to figure out what sorts of ways I could earn additional income at that point (hopefully that "required" component being minimal), either through part-time work or something else entirely, I need to remind myself not to write off too much time and keep enjoying the journey.

The stuff that really makes me go "hell yeah!" usually involves running, especially taking on training for trail ultramarathon events.  It's just so engaging, challenging, and features getting to be around some extremely positive/confident/strong-willed individuals who lift each other up.  I jokingly call it my second job, even if it provides me with zero income.  It's hard to imagine money-making activities that could give me that much joy.  If only I could have had elite speed, then I would be sponsored haha!


Reader

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2018, 07:57:55 AM »
when i was playing around with my FIRE numbers, it turns out that renting a room out and when social security (or equivalent) kicks in makes a huge different in the stache level needed to FIRE.

If you need 25,000 a year, renting a room out at 500 would reduce your need to 19,000. This reduces 25x expenses from 625k to 475k. SS of say $300 a month will reduce 25x expenses from 475k to 385k.

Small, steady residual income streams (and low expenses) are amazingly useful in making PT/partial-FIRE work i think.

Gray Matter

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2018, 08:01:46 AM »
Another idea I've had is to imagine how long a stash would take to grow to 25x if untouched (and also not contributed to).  Based on 5% real return estimate, 15x living expenses would take about a decade to reach 25x while 20x living expenses would take about 5 years to reach 25x.  Then it would be knowing that even at a part-time level, I'd only "need" to cover my living expenses for another 5-10 years even if that might be the work-life balance I want to maintain indefinitely!

This is the approach that I am taking.  I made a career decision four years ago along these lines.  I left a relatively cushy corporate job, took a 50% pay cut to move to the non-profit world, where I thought I would find more meaningful work.  I did find more meaningful work, but in the process, honed in on what I really want to do and am now back in school, retraining for that.  (And, I'm happier than I've ever been.)  My plan is that between the two of us (DH and I) we only have to earn enough to live on and can leave our stache untouched for the next 10 years, by which time it will (hopefully) have grown to the point where we could both retire if we want to.  I envision continuing to work after that, but even more part-time, and only if I find my new career as rewarding as I hope I do.

Malkynn

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2018, 08:11:39 AM »
The stuff that really makes me go "hell yeah!" usually involves running, especially taking on training for trail ultramarathon events.  It's just so engaging, challenging, and features getting to be around some extremely positive/confident/strong-willed individuals who lift each other up.  I jokingly call it my second job, even if it provides me with zero income.  It's hard to imagine money-making activities that could give me that much joy.  If only I could have had elite speed, then I would be sponsored haha!

Coaching/training, get involved in the actual business of organizing ultra marathons, equipment/gear development/design, blogging about running/training, motivational speaking with a theme of the challenge and reward of ultramarathons, etc, etc, etc, if people love doing it, there are a million ways to monetize it, just keep yourself open to the potential idea if/when in pops up.

Even if you never specifically monetize ultramarathons, you will build character, networks, and skills that will open other doors. I would imagine a lot of highly effective and driven people tend to run these insane things. Those are good connections to make.

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2018, 12:10:11 PM »
My plan is to get to 16x (~2/3) of my estimated retirement spending and then reframe my life to focus primarily on only earning enough to pay the current bills, while my stash grows to 25x.  That may involve dropping to part-time, or it may mean a change of careers and the massive salary cut that comes with.    There's two of us, so that offers a lot more flexibility.

ardrum

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2018, 08:35:44 PM »
I ran the following multiples of annual living expenses (100% equities) in cfiresim for 40 year simulations to get some historical success rates (inflation adjusted spending, assumes no social security or other income/windfalls, kept fees at default 0.18 which seem high but whatever).  Obviously this unrealistically assumes zero flexibility, and I and others often plan to earn income in this "flex FI" state of being. So these figures are pessimistic.

Personally, I find these figures extremely encouraging though.  Suggesting that odds are better than a coin flip that all the part-time income, which could easily more than cover living expenses and lead to additional surplus saving, is unnecessary.  Seeing figures like this make the power of side hustles and part-time work all the more thrilling and empowering to me, as reality of being a flexible human being makes the actual success rates with the ability to earn additional income significantly better.  Even if someone didn't want to risk cutting their main accumulation phase income out at these levels of savings, it has to be encouraging to know that the greater risk increasingly becomes working too long/hard as the success rate continues upward.  I tend to think OMY syndrome is by far the greater risk than somehow losing everything, especially since we've been hard-wired over years to save/accumulate rather than chill out and recognize success when we've achieved it.

15x: 50.43% (6.67% SWR)
16x: 58.97% (6.25% SWR)
17x: 63.25% (5.88% SWR)
18x: 69.23% (5.56% SWR)
19x: 71.79% (5.26% SWR)
20x: 77.78% (5% SWR)

lhamo

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2018, 09:45:02 PM »
If you are in the US, keep in mind that extra years of PT work will also add to your total credits/number of years being averaged for SS purposes -- and proportionately speaking, you will get a better return on those PT dollars than you did for higher-paid FT work.  Yes, it is likely that they will increase the taxes on SS benefits for those of us with large stashes (I actually hope they do), but still it is an extra safety net if the market or unforeseen health challenges, etc. hit the rest of your stash hard.

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2018, 07:50:25 AM »
Would you be able to find employer sponsored healthcare in a part time scenario?  I think this is a huge 'gotcha' element.

ardrum

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2018, 08:01:01 AM »
Would you be able to find employer sponsored healthcare in a part time scenario?  I think this is a huge 'gotcha' element.

Some do, some don't.  My current employer offers it down to 32 hours/week.  Contract-based employers will extend out your healthcare between contracts up to various lengths of time depending on the company.  It's possible though that I could eventually work exclusively to cover healthcare premiums/deductible as an annual goal.  I am single with no kids (no plan to change that), so I would aim to insure myself alone, primarily from catastrophic cost.  I'm hoping by keeping taxable income low, I could take advantage of potentially cheaper healthcare coverage.

ardrum

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2018, 09:27:02 AM »
If you are in the US, keep in mind that extra years of PT work will also add to your total credits/number of years being averaged for SS purposes -- and proportionately speaking, you will get a better return on those PT dollars than you did for higher-paid FT work.  Yes, it is likely that they will increase the taxes on SS benefits for those of us with large stashes (I actually hope they do), but still it is an extra safety net if the market or unforeseen health challenges, etc. hit the rest of your stash hard.

I did superficially think about that SS benefit effect too (prolonging working career in a more sustainable, part-time manner), though I'll admit I've never calculated in expected SS benefits into my plans.  Perhaps I should, even if it's a conservative estimate, but I think I won't for now since ~30 years from now is difficult for me to imagine/account for.  I've had a rather disjointed working career thus far due to a career change, but I know I've already hit the 40+ SS credit level. I tend to simply assume I will have no SS benefits, considering it instead a hopefully unnecessary safety net that perhaps will be a surprise additional source of income.

I think over time I've simply increasingly questioned my initial mindset of "must escape ALL required work" and instead shifted toward thinking about either rewarding work or at the very least limited time (PT) work that is only minimally "required."  It seems very appealing since this mindset shift expedites the timeline to a change (motivating!), allows for easing into a different lifestyle (more leisure time available), and still allows for a sense of productivity and the rewarding contrast between experiencing work vs. play time.  I think for me, working a minimal/part-time level might be the most rewarding mix I'd maintain even if I had 30+ x my annual expenses invested already.  The fact that a single 13-week contract could cover up to a year's worth of my living expenses is just icing on the cake.

SpareChange

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2018, 10:13:27 AM »
I'm in healthcare as well, and plan to something similar. In my case I plan on taking the permanent PT route. My hospital system allows participation in most benefits down to 16hrs/wk, which is what I hope to downshift to next year. I can pick up extra shifts here and there easily. I'll also have a full pto bank by then for extra flexibility. I should have around 16x expenses invested by that time. I should be able to live easily on the 16/wk income alone and still contribute to the 403b. I'm already past the first SS bend point, so meh.

The 13 week contract gigs are interesting. Not nearly as common in my field I don't think, but I've always wondered what those were like haha.


Fireinthebelly

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #25 on: May 31, 2018, 11:13:53 AM »
I moved to PT work recently as a consultant.  I'm lucky in that since my hourly rate is higher than as an employee, it hasn't slowed down my saving a lot.   But it is not as freeing as I hoped.   Even as I mostly have 4 day weekends, there is still always work hanging over me, and sometimes it bleeds into my days off and weekends.   So I have thoughts about just going full throttle instead to shorten time to FIRE... but then I think that it's crazy to work more to hopefully some day work less.  All in all, i'm fortunate and recommended going PT if you can, but I still pine for full FIRE, and don't think PT is comparable to full FIRE unless you are truly FI and just doing PT work you love.

Bird In Hand

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #26 on: May 31, 2018, 11:27:23 AM »
My wife and I are in our low 40's and on the cusp of FI, and we've frequently discussed a semi-permanent shift to PT work.  I usually call it early semi-retirement, or ESR.  SWAMI -- Satisfied Working Advanced Mustachian Individual -- is another variant I've seen discussed in the MMM forums.

OP, I understand where you're coming from in ignoring potential SS income since it's so far away.  My own view is that SS (or something like it) will be around for a long time.  Will it one day be altered by some combination of reduced benefits, later eligibility, means testing, etc.?  Probably.  But I think SS simply "going away" is only likely in the event of a complete collapse of the US (and probably the world economy).  In that case we're all going to be screwed anyway, so I say go ahead and include it in your modelling to some degree -- perhaps 50%.  You can visit ss.gov and use your actual earning record to see what your expected benefits would be if you kept working, stopped working at a certain age, had reduced income over the next N years, etc.

In our case, FIRECalc has us achieving a 95% success rate some 5 years earlier when we take 75% of our expected SS benefit starting at age 62 (versus no SS at all).  YMMV depending on your retirement income requirements and expected SS income, but my point is it can have a fairly large impact on your projections.

limeandpepper

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2018, 11:30:16 AM »
I moved to PT work recently as a consultant.  I'm lucky in that since my hourly rate is higher than as an employee, it hasn't slowed down my saving a lot.   But it is not as freeing as I hoped.   Even as I mostly have 4 day weekends, there is still always work hanging over me, and sometimes it bleeds into my days off and weekends.   So I have thoughts about just going full throttle instead to shorten time to FIRE... but then I think that it's crazy to work more to hopefully some day work less.  All in all, i'm fortunate and recommended going PT if you can, but I still pine for full FIRE, and don't think PT is comparable to full FIRE unless you are truly FI and just doing PT work you love.

I think it depends on the type of job. There are plenty of jobs where you just clock in and do your tasks and then it's done and each day is a new day so there isn't anything hanging over you.

SpareChange

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2018, 12:21:39 PM »
I moved to PT work recently as a consultant.  I'm lucky in that since my hourly rate is higher than as an employee, it hasn't slowed down my saving a lot.   But it is not as freeing as I hoped.   Even as I mostly have 4 day weekends, there is still always work hanging over me, and sometimes it bleeds into my days off and weekends.   So I have thoughts about just going full throttle instead to shorten time to FIRE... but then I think that it's crazy to work more to hopefully some day work less.  All in all, i'm fortunate and recommended going PT if you can, but I still pine for full FIRE, and don't think PT is comparable to full FIRE unless you are truly FI and just doing PT work you love.

How many hours do you generally pull during a week?

Fireinthebelly

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #29 on: May 31, 2018, 12:28:05 PM »
I moved to PT work recently as a consultant.  I'm lucky in that since my hourly rate is higher than as an employee, it hasn't slowed down my saving a lot.   But it is not as freeing as I hoped.   Even as I mostly have 4 day weekends, there is still always work hanging over me, and sometimes it bleeds into my days off and weekends.   So I have thoughts about just going full throttle instead to shorten time to FIRE... but then I think that it's crazy to work more to hopefully some day work less.  All in all, i'm fortunate and recommended going PT if you can, but I still pine for full FIRE, and don't think PT is comparable to full FIRE unless you are truly FI and just doing PT work you love.

How many hours do you generally pull during a week?

it varies by week but about 25 on average

Malkynn

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #30 on: May 31, 2018, 04:43:01 PM »
If you are in the US, keep in mind that extra years of PT work will also add to your total credits/number of years being averaged for SS purposes -- and proportionately speaking, you will get a better return on those PT dollars than you did for higher-paid FT work.  Yes, it is likely that they will increase the taxes on SS benefits for those of us with large stashes (I actually hope they do), but still it is an extra safety net if the market or unforeseen health challenges, etc. hit the rest of your stash hard.

I did superficially think about that SS benefit effect too (prolonging working career in a more sustainable, part-time manner), though I'll admit I've never calculated in expected SS benefits into my plans.  Perhaps I should, even if it's a conservative estimate, but I think I won't for now since ~30 years from now is difficult for me to imagine/account for.  I've had a rather disjointed working career thus far due to a career change, but I know I've already hit the 40+ SS credit level. I tend to simply assume I will have no SS benefits, considering it instead a hopefully unnecessary safety net that perhaps will be a surprise additional source of income.

I think over time I've simply increasingly questioned my initial mindset of "must escape ALL required work" and instead shifted toward thinking about either rewarding work or at the very least limited time (PT) work that is only minimally "required."  It seems very appealing since this mindset shift expedites the timeline to a change (motivating!), allows for easing into a different lifestyle (more leisure time available), and still allows for a sense of productivity and the rewarding contrast between experiencing work vs. play time.  I think for me, working a minimal/part-time level might be the most rewarding mix I'd maintain even if I had 30+ x my annual expenses invested already.  The fact that a single 13-week contract could cover up to a year's worth of my living expenses is just icing on the cake.

Well yeah...I mean, you have to do *something* in life, even if you donít have to work.

Iíve learned here that it depends on your personality, but I seriously canít fathom an early retirement where I just stop doing anything profitable forever, that sounds incredibly empty and boring to me. So yeah, if you think that youíre the type who would use early retirement to do projects and fun work, then why not just downshift several years earlier?

Some people hate the idea of *having* to work at all, but some of us love the idea of getting to a point faster where we can just do the work we want to do.

Personally, the highs of my healthcare job are too high for me to walk away from completely any time soon. On a good day, I love it so much, but itís a hell of a lot easier to have mostly good days when Iím only working the hours I want to and not driving myself into the ground. Difficult patients are only so stressful when you only work 2 or 3 days a week.

But yeah, donít get too fixated on the *need* to be completely FI if it could hold you back from enjoying your life fully while still doing your job. Sometimes your best life includes work. Mine does, MMMís does, many peopleís do, and thereís nothing wrong with that.


syoung1700

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #31 on: May 31, 2018, 06:09:21 PM »
Hey, another Physical Therapist here with a similar idea! I love that about our profession that it gives us the flexibility to entertain many different employment options. My wife and I recently moved from Boston to a LCOL area in the midwest and when we first got here, i decided to take a per diem job that paid a much better hourly but no benefits. It was really the best of both worlds. I was able to work 2-3 days a week as a PT and the other days I would do construction work with my buddies. I felt it was the perfect amount of time for both types of work that I didn't get burned out doing either. I am passionate about both jobs but doing either one exclusively can lead to physical and mental fatigue. I have recently switched to a full time physical therapy position and I am already scheming my way back to my previous scenario!

kpd905

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #32 on: May 31, 2018, 07:20:33 PM »
  I work in the medical field as a physical therapist, and one 13-week contract job for instance would cover 90-100%+ of my current living expenses! 

I am also in the medical field and have looked at travel gigs that would pay our yearly expenses for a 13 week contract, especially if you go out to California/Bay Area.  Oddly enough, we are also at around 6-8x expenses right now.  It is a little too early for me, since we now have a 7 month old.  I think in a couple years when we hit half-FI (~12x expenses) I would be more willing to make the jump.  At that point, with solid market returns we would hit FI in 10-15 years. 

I am trying to get my employer to let me drop down to about 80-90% FTE, which would be a lot more relaxing and I'd easily get all the work done anyway.  At 80% FTE we could probably still max out tax advantaged accounts even if my wife stopped working.

My side hustle income is growing recently too, which is also tempting me to drop to part time sooner.  This year between bank account bonuses, credit cards, and selling tradelines I am trying to hit $20k of extra income.  This would be roughly half of our FI budget.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2018, 03:53:15 AM by kpd905 »

ardrum

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #33 on: June 01, 2018, 06:54:22 AM »
kpd905, I think with continued "annual living expenses saved" it will become increasingly attractive to make that switch for myself.  It just seems there is way more incentive to go all-out with maximizing saving when you're at 0-5x vs. 20x+.  I see it as risky, in fact, to work extremely hard (if it feels like sacrifice) at 20x+ in that it becomes increasingly likely that full-time work isn't necessary but might be preventing you from other life options that open up with more free time, particularly at relatively younger ages.

Hey, another Physical Therapist here with a similar idea! I love that about our profession that it gives us the flexibility to entertain many different employment options. My wife and I recently moved from Boston to a LCOL area in the midwest and when we first got here, i decided to take a per diem job that paid a much better hourly but no benefits. It was really the best of both worlds. I was able to work 2-3 days a week as a PT and the other days I would do construction work with my buddies. I felt it was the perfect amount of time for both types of work that I didn't get burned out doing either. I am passionate about both jobs but doing either one exclusively can lead to physical and mental fatigue. I have recently switched to a full time physical therapy position and I am already scheming my way back to my previous scenario!

That's pretty awesome! The varying jobs would offer a nice contrast in experiences too.  Like you said, that mix would help prevent burnout in both settings while reducing overuse issues as well.  Sometimes I wish there was an "every other week" work option!  Did your per diem job offer fairly flexible hours?

mtnman125

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #34 on: June 01, 2018, 11:53:35 AM »
PTF- this is our plan as well.

I'm shooting for 85% success with Firecalc sims, with the thought that any SS income and/or spending flexibility in down markets would close the gap.  In those sims, 20x expenses saved gives 85%+ success, while relying only on 3 years PT work.  Obviously the longer we're willing to work part time, the less the starting stash needs to be.  Targeting 3-4 years, when our daughter starts school.

My wife is lucky that she is able to keep full health benefits down to 24hrs, so that's a huge safety net with my chronic health issues.  I'd love to stay with my employer (15y+), in a remote work/PT role- but not ready yet to let the cat out of the bag to discuss it.  Currently at ~12.5x savings.


Bird In Hand

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #35 on: June 01, 2018, 01:17:51 PM »
I'm shooting for 85% success with Firecalc sims, with the thought that any SS income and/or spending flexibility in down markets would close the gap.  In those sims, 20x expenses saved gives 85%+ success, while relying only on 3 years PT work.  Obviously the longer we're willing to work part time, the less the starting stash needs to be.  Targeting 3-4 years, when our daughter starts school.

Have you tested various SS amounts (and/or or other income) with FIRECalc to see the actual effect on success rates?  As I mentioned above, including 75% of our expected SS benefits at age 62 resulted in a 5 year shift in 95% success rate.  You might be surprised at how much of a difference it makes in your situation.  Though getting to 85% is pretty good, and the success rate curves flatten out considerably after ~95% (which is the sweet spot I personally aim for...anything beyond that has a very poor payoff IMO).

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My wife is lucky that she is able to keep full health benefits down to 24hrs, so that's a huge safety net with my chronic health issues.  I'd love to stay with my employer (15y+), in a remote work/PT role- but not ready yet to let the cat out of the bag to discuss it.  Currently at ~12.5x savings.

Full health benefits down to 24hrs/week is great -- you are fortunate that your wife has that!  Same deal with my employer, and it's one of the many reasons why I plan on working (eventually PT) indefinitely.  Great job on the 12.5x savings!

Tiff

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #36 on: June 01, 2018, 01:19:40 PM »
Another idea I've had is to imagine how long a stash would take to grow to 25x if untouched (and also not contributed to).  Based on 5% real return estimate, 15x living expenses would take about a decade to reach 25x while 20x living expenses would take about 5 years to reach 25x.  Then it would be knowing that even at a part-time level, I'd only "need" to cover my living expenses for another 5-10 years even if that might be the work-life balance I want to maintain indefinitely!

I have also had this plan all along. Save up enough "old women money" that can can grow over a 15 year period and have a separate pile of money that I am working on growing that will get me from age 45-60. That way if by chance the pile of money to get me to old age runs out, I can go back to work and never jeopardize my senior years when earning high income may not be as feasible.

LateToTheParty

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #37 on: June 01, 2018, 07:35:05 PM »
Healthcare worker here too, and this is also my plan.   I am currently working full time, but plan to downshift to part time in 2-3 years when DH FIREs. I plan to work 8 total more years, hopefully part time, mainly for health insurance and also to achieve full retirement benefits (golden handcuffs would be much more tolerable at 24 hours per week).   Employer offers full benefits at 20 hrs per week.

startingsmall

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #38 on: June 02, 2018, 07:22:30 PM »
This was my plan.

We have enough saved up right now that we can both retire when I'm 60 yrs old (husband will be 55). We're currently 39/34 years old. Husband is still working FT and happy to do so forever (he's in ministry) but I cut down to PT two weeks ago. I'm a veterinarian, so I can work 15 hrs/wk and still make a decent salary. (No benefits, though... using COBRA and then probably an ACA plan.) His FT salary and my PT salary are approximately equal... and will more than pay all of our monthly expenses if we stopped saving.

I also do freelance writing on the side, though, so that money will go towards travel/savings and accelerate our progress towards FIRE. Really, though, knowing that I no longer "need" to save is what let me take this leap. Interestingly, since making myself more available, the freelance work has increased like crazy and I've also had offers to do relief veterinary work. So I'm still working 40+ hrs/wk at the moment, but it's on my terms... I turn down anything that doesn't sound both fun and lucrative.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2018, 06:22:19 AM by startingsmall »

ardrum

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #39 on: June 02, 2018, 09:34:55 PM »
That's great, startingsmall.  I'm always impressed with how surprising new avenues open up once more free time is available.

Paul der Krake

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #40 on: June 02, 2018, 09:48:32 PM »
Would you be able to find employer sponsored healthcare in a part time scenario?  I think this is a huge 'gotcha' element.
Mostly irrelevant with the ACA. Earn 50k or less part time, max out the usual retirement accounts to bring it down to the sweet spot, or tax-gain harvest to bring income up, and voila you qualify for free or nearly free coverage.

That's the state of things in 2018, anyway. Who knows what the future will bring.

BookLoverL

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #41 on: June 03, 2018, 01:51:04 PM »
The couple of different income sources I have add up to give me effectively only part-time hours (probably around 30 hours a week I guess between them), and I like it that way. I only worked proper full time hours for about 3 months ever before deciding that that was unsustainable for me personally if I wanted to avoid becoming a ball of resentment and stress.

As to how much you will need to save to go part time, it depends on how much the part time work pays compared to your yearly spending, and how long you are willing to work part time for.

If the part time work pays greater than or equal to your yearly spending, you don't need to save anything before switching unless you want to get a head start on full FIRE, and from there can calculate time to retirement as normal.

If the part time work pays less than your yearly spending, calculate how much of that yearly spending will be covered by the part time work, and calculate the time to semi-retirement by calculating time to retirement with the new lower yearly spending figure. If you aren't going to be working part time forever, make some sort of correction to account for the fact that your yearly spending will go up later once you fully retire. You could probably do that pretty easily in a spreadsheet, I think.

It's hard to give you an exact figure without knowing your exact figures, because every case is different.

WalkaboutStache

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #42 on: June 04, 2018, 11:05:40 PM »
Personally, I dropped down to part time while still in debt ~-100K in net worth.
Iím still not quite at $0 net worth (still over 100K in debt, but nearly 100K saved) and Iím already contemplating cutting back my hours even more to get closer to my ideal lifestyle. Iím also in a healthcare field where I can work part time with no damage to my career.

This is reassuring.  Some things are the same (started earning money when I was 32-33 (yay school too!!!)), accidentally saved a reasonable stache despite not really caring about expenses, but now that I realized that I can be freed from the grind I am watching said expenses with manic obsession. 

My NW is positive, but I have the following debt outstanding:

~60K left on a mortgage on a vacation rental that pays for itself
~130K on a loan that matures in 4.5 years at 0.08%/yr (I know, crazy, but true story due to foibles of HK banking which no longer exist)

My most conservative plan is to save enough this year to have money set aside cover the 130K loan (basically have 130K in liquid savings).  It used to be to have that plus to pay off the mortgage, but since the mortgage is on auto pilot, I am not in a hurry to pay it off.  Once that happens, I plan to work part of the year to cover my expenses (including loan servicing), and take the rest off. 

From there, the plan has variations where I have 75%, 50%, or other percentages of the loan set aside.  This looks more and more likely.

Why this?  The money set aside for the loan is essentially my emergency stash to ensure that I can cover the financial obligations that I canít whittle down.  I plan on keeping up with this until my stache appreciates to the point where it fully covers my living expenses.
 
I think that it is less important to have a certain percentage of your stache saved up than to make sure that if you face a work or professional storm, the expenses that you cannot avoid are covered.  You can eat a little less, live somewhere cheaper, and fiddle with all else, but when the bankman comes you need to pay (or lose your house and wreck your credit).  Cover that, and all you need to worry about how to say afloat.

Does that make sense?  I am not so secretly hoping for feedback on this idea (and hoping it helps OP too).

Malkynn

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #43 on: June 05, 2018, 04:26:10 AM »
Personally, I dropped down to part time while still in debt ~-100K in net worth.
Iím still not quite at $0 net worth (still over 100K in debt, but nearly 100K saved) and Iím already contemplating cutting back my hours even more to get closer to my ideal lifestyle. Iím also in a healthcare field where I can work part time with no damage to my career.

This is reassuring.  Some things are the same (started earning money when I was 32-33 (yay school too!!!)), accidentally saved a reasonable stache despite not really caring about expenses, but now that I realized that I can be freed from the grind I am watching said expenses with manic obsession. 

My NW is positive, but I have the following debt outstanding:

~60K left on a mortgage on a vacation rental that pays for itself
~130K on a loan that matures in 4.5 years at 0.08%/yr (I know, crazy, but true story due to foibles of HK banking which no longer exist)

My most conservative plan is to save enough this year to have money set aside cover the 130K loan (basically have 130K in liquid savings).  It used to be to have that plus to pay off the mortgage, but since the mortgage is on auto pilot, I am not in a hurry to pay it off.  Once that happens, I plan to work part of the year to cover my expenses (including loan servicing), and take the rest off. 

From there, the plan has variations where I have 75%, 50%, or other percentages of the loan set aside.  This looks more and more likely.

Why this?  The money set aside for the loan is essentially my emergency stash to ensure that I can cover the financial obligations that I canít whittle down.  I plan on keeping up with this until my stache appreciates to the point where it fully covers my living expenses.
 
I think that it is less important to have a certain percentage of your stache saved up than to make sure that if you face a work or professional storm, the expenses that you cannot avoid are covered.  You can eat a little less, live somewhere cheaper, and fiddle with all else, but when the bankman comes you need to pay (or lose your house and wreck your credit).  Cover that, and all you need to worry about how to say afloat.

Does that make sense?  I am not so secretly hoping for feedback on this idea (and hoping it helps OP too).

Yep, makes sense.
I had an extremely similar plan, I was amassing a chunk of cash to pay off my remaining 100K+ debt and the chunk acted as an emergency fund until it was big enough to just zero out the loan.

Iíve since changed the plan, not because it was a bad plan, but just because my circumstances are different from yours and a new plan made more sense. (Weíre dual income, I have a nearly 3K minimum payment on that loan as it is, and an empty LOC that now acts as an emergency fund)

I totally agree that percentage of Ďstache saved is utterly irrelevant to when you can downshift.
As I said, I downshifted while still under a mountain of debt, but we were still making more than enough money to accommodate our goals. Sure, grinding it out for a few more years would have had us reach our goals faster, but that would have been a miserable few years, and for what??

It was 2 years ago this month that I downshifted and itís been an amazing 2 years of so much professional and personal growth. I finally feel like Iím actually living my life and I canít believe that I was actually considering staying in my old life BY CHOICE! You couldnít make me go back with a gun to my head.

If the numbers work for you and you can enjoy your life and keep your work to a level that doesnít detract from your happiness, then the plan makes perfect sense, and you donít need us to tell you that. Also, if you spent your 20s in school like I did, you already put off living for long enough. Just because you can, doesnít mean you should.

WalkaboutStache

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #44 on: June 05, 2018, 07:39:26 PM »
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I totally agree that percentage of Ďstache saved is utterly irrelevant to when you can downshift.
As I said, I downshifted while still under a mountain of debt, but we were still making more than enough money to accommodate our goals. Sure, grinding it out for a few more years would have had us reach our goals faster, but that would have been a miserable few years, and for what??

Gratuitous suffering and maintenance of all and sundry anxieties, of course!

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It was 2 years ago this month that I downshifted and itís been an amazing 2 years of so much professional and personal growth. I finally feel like Iím actually living my life and I canít believe that I was actually considering staying in my old life BY CHOICE! You couldnít make me go back with a gun to my head.

Current gig, meet @Malkynn , your friendly neighborhood slayer.

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If the numbers work for you and you can enjoy your life and keep your work to a level that doesnít detract from your happiness, then the plan makes perfect sense, and you donít need us to tell you that.

Thanks for telling me anyway.

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Also, if you spent your 20s in school like I did, you already put off living for long enough.

Gluttons for abuse.  I tell myself it was a period of growth.  In a sense it was, but talk about the law of diminishing returns...

I have my mid-year review conversation in a couple of weeks.  I need to give my boss reasonable notice (good, decent guy and a good contact to have), but I'll remove the feeding tubes from this gig then.


MasterStache

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #45 on: June 06, 2018, 05:24:00 AM »
Maybe I can offer a bit of perspective. My spouse and I decided I could quit full time work last year around this time. She continues to work full time. I couldn't stand my job anymore and the thought of another day as a cubicle rat was depressing. She works in healthcare and enjoys her job as it is rewarding. It also mean she carries the healthcare so there are no worries on that front.

We saved up enough that we estimate in 8 years we'll both be able to enjoy full retirement based on our spending. Basically when I quit we figured a doubling of our current savings would be more than enough in 8 years to afford our lifestyle. 8 years works out perfect as well since one of our children should have left the nest and the next will be getting ready to leave. At that point we'll sell our house in a HCOL area and move, likely having enough money to outright buy a smaller place.

Currently I work carpentry side jobs to earn a bit of money. It works out great as I pick and choose when I need the money. So the decision to shift to PT for me has been fantastic.

Malkynn

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #46 on: June 06, 2018, 05:33:51 AM »
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I totally agree that percentage of Ďstache saved is utterly irrelevant to when you can downshift.
As I said, I downshifted while still under a mountain of debt, but we were still making more than enough money to accommodate our goals. Sure, grinding it out for a few more years would have had us reach our goals faster, but that would have been a miserable few years, and for what??

Gratuitous suffering and maintenance of all and sundry anxieties, of course!

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It was 2 years ago this month that I downshifted and itís been an amazing 2 years of so much professional and personal growth. I finally feel like Iím actually living my life and I canít believe that I was actually considering staying in my old life BY CHOICE! You couldnít make me go back with a gun to my head.

Current gig, meet @Malkynn , your friendly neighborhood slayer.

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If the numbers work for you and you can enjoy your life and keep your work to a level that doesnít detract from your happiness, then the plan makes perfect sense, and you donít need us to tell you that.

Thanks for telling me anyway.

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Also, if you spent your 20s in school like I did, you already put off living for long enough.

Gluttons for abuse.  I tell myself it was a period of growth.  In a sense it was, but talk about the law of diminishing returns...

I have my mid-year review conversation in a couple of weeks.  I need to give my boss reasonable notice (good, decent guy and a good contact to have), but I'll remove the feeding tubes from this gig then.

School trains you to take shit, work yourself into the ground, do what you are told, and then wait for your grades and the delayed gratification of someone else deciding youíve done a good job, while all along feeling like the whole process is worth it for the benefit it will have for your future.

Itís fine for a bit while you are young because it can actually set you up for a career and life that you want, but the habit and mentality should just be a temporary measure and not generalized to the rest of your life.

Just because youíve conditioned yourself to survive a certain way doesnít mean you should. I used to describe myself as ďan extremely outcome oriented personĒ with a mantra ďI can handle anythingĒ until someone called me out on it and said ďso because youíve dealt with so much shit in your life, you seek out more?Ē followed by ďyou know that mentally healthy people donít do that, right?Ē followed by ďwhoís job do you think it is to make your life a good one?Ē
Made me feel like a fucking moron. I needed it.

Funnily enough for me, prioritizing myself, refusing to take shit, refusing to work hours and ways that I donít want to, and putting my life before my career has ironically resulted in my career being more successful and will end up even more lucrative.

Taking shit is sometimes necessary, but there are no medals for how much shit you can take, so why not actively try to avoid it?




gerardc

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #47 on: June 07, 2018, 05:04:26 PM »
Here is how I think about it.

Divide your desired expenses into 2 categories: barebones expenses (survival) and fun money. Fun money doesn't only include entertainment but also all lifestyle improvements and related expenses that you can easily adjust yearly.

I'd say a good first milestone for FT work would be 25 x barebones expenses. After that, you can give yourself the mental permission to slack off and earn your fun money, knowing that your basic needs from Maslow's pyramid are met.

Then, how you earn your fun money is up to you. You decide if you want to adjust your fun budget up or down each year, depending on your employment opportunities and fun opportunities trade-off.

You basically have 2 options. You can decide to only earn your fun money every year you think it's worth it, and nothing more. That's fine. Or you may decide to earn a little more so that your stash covers not only baseline expenses but also a part of your fun money. If you pick this option, a good second milestone for full FIRE would be 25 x your full budget, including fun money.

In my case I'd have barebones at roughly $20k/year and fun money another $20k/year. So I could stop FT work at $500k then cruise until $1M, no pressure. That's not what I did due to high earning opportunity cost but still (see thread).
« Last Edit: June 07, 2018, 05:25:14 PM by gerardc »

Retire-Canada

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #48 on: June 20, 2018, 12:20:46 PM »
Any input/suggestions/considerations about balancing saving enough to feel mostly financially free while prioritizing an expedited liberation from full-time work? I want out of the full-time hamster wheel, but I might not mind a little bit of the hamster wheel if I can get out of the full time environment sooner!  Thanks!

Figure out how many years between the time you want to downshift and when you want to retire fully is. Let's say it's 15 years as an example. Then decide on a reasonable market rate of return after inflation over that period. Let's say 6% as an example. The see how much you'd need saved/invested to get from the downshift to full retirement. So if you wanted to hit $1M before you retire saving/investing $410K at 6% return for 15yrs gets you there. If you plan to continue saving a little while downshifted you can factor that in as well to reduce the starting amount.

Of course 6% may turn out to be too low or too high so you might get to retirement sooner or later. You can decide if you want your projection to be optimistic and potentially face a delayed retirement or optimistic and either retire early or retire on schedule with more than planned.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 06:43:54 PM by Retire-Canada »

ardrum

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Re: How much to save to go into "permanent" PT/partial-FIRE lifestyle?
« Reply #49 on: June 20, 2018, 05:10:21 PM »
Great input from everyone!