Poll

Do you know your FI number?

Yes, 100% positive and have a specific goal
54 (27.8%)
Mostly, 75% positive but have a lot of unknown factors
90 (46.4%)
Sort of, 50% positive
26 (13.4%)
A little, 25% positive but tons of unknown facts
16 (8.2%)
No, I couldnít give a ballpark within $500k of what I think my FI number will be
8 (4.1%)

Total Members Voted: 194

Author Topic: Do you know your FI(RE) number?  (Read 3380 times)

use2betrix

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Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« on: October 08, 2019, 07:40:18 PM »
I regularly see comments here of.. ďFIRE Cohert 2019,Ē or, ďFIRE Cohert 2027...Ē

I am an extremely goal oriented person. I set goals and I bust my ass to achieve them. One thing that has been incredibly challenging for me in my quest for FIRE is all of the unknowns. I keep saving and having my goals and know that Iím on my right path, but itíd be really helpful for me if I could better define my long term goals.

As the wonderful @Malkynn so eloquently stated a while back.. ď I have a policy of not trying to make decisions for my future self, because I guarantee my future self knows better than I do what he/she needs.Ē

With that in mind, hereís a few of my unknowns..

1. I have absolutely no idea where I will live in FIRE. My wife and I have lived in 7-8 states in the last 7 years, and probably 15+ cities. None of these are locations we would want to live. This is just due to the nature of my work. We could could potentially see ourselves living in, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, or similar states.

2. We donít have kids, but will likely have 1 or 2. Lots of unknown costs there. Could impact where we live, cost of living, etc.

3. My work as a contractor is all over the place. Right now I have a great position that will likely last until mid 2021, with enough income to save around $150k or so. Should the economy change or other factors, my income could be cut in half, or I could prefer to take long sabbaticals while looking for the right job.

4. Iím 31 and torn between just working my ass off for 5-6 more years or after this job ends or doing a coast FI where I work 3-4 months a year for 10-15 years to cover living expenses while the stache grows. My work is very stressful, very hard, very busy, and a lot of hour. In my 10 year career, probably 80% of my weeks have been 60 hours are more. Working a 40 hour week is often not an option, and often (to me) not worth the cut in pay. At my current rate, thatíd cut me back about $85k/yr.



Does anyone else feel they are a bit lost of what they will need for FIRE? Fortunately the solution is to always just keep saving, it just makes it extra hard without that specific goal in mind.

Zikoris

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2019, 08:28:38 PM »
We have a fairly rough estimate, but honestly retirement will probably be more dependent on other things in our lives than hitting a specific number. Basically, the reason for that is we base our highest-possible FIRE goal on our current spending, which is literally 50% fluff (I did the math), so there's just a huge range for what we can do there. Our current stash covers all our non-travel spending, so we're basically just building up our lifetime travel fund, which is up to us how big we make it.

We will probably pull the plug somewhere between 600-750K.

desert_phoenix

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2019, 08:33:18 PM »
The biggest thing for me is that I want to stay working through the next recession whether it begins within a year or isn't for another half decade.  Since I earned so very little prior to the Great Recession, the next setback will be the first time I really get to test my mettle on if I can handle my asset allocation.  I think I can, but I figure the time to be certain is while I am still drawing a paycheck and not once I have kicked my feet up to call it a career, haha.

Beyond that, I noticed that trying to get too into the weeds on my # was negatively impacting my work performance.  So I now instead aim to just have healthy habits (max out my 401K option, never carry a credit card balance, etc...) and only do a general check in on numbers when I am doing my taxes or when I was planning to buy a house, etc..

I'd rather sort of stumble upon FI and realize it happens one day than make every day counting down to it a big deal.  That feels like a recipe for hurt feelings if there is ever a huge drop in the market.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2019, 01:58:13 AM »
We have just checked how much we spent in the past 2 years and defined a (much larger) sum as our yearly FIRE budget. This sum has room for doing big purchases every couple of years, which didn't show in our last 2 year's expenses.

We also don't know where we will end up living. We only know that we should be able to find a house to live in that costs only half of what we live in now. The unknown factor is: what will our current home sell for. We made a big effort making it look presentable and hopefully we will soon sell it. But in worst case, it can also not sell before the end of the year and we will need to try again in spring. If, in the mean time, the housing bubble bursts, we might need to sit it out several more years.

Still, we have already quit our jobs, but with an opening that we can return in a year's time if we need to. We are pretty optimistic that the house will sell. The minimum price that we need to sell it for to FIRE well is 12% below what the broker thinks we can get for it. So we might end up getting 12% more funding our original FIRE number. But if we don't get it, we need to make some new plans.

Some other insecurities for us are:
- Will we still be able to take up our pension at age 67, or will that be delayed to 75 by that time?
- When will we inherit and will there be anything/a lot left? This amount in not included in our FIRE plans, so it is a potential bonus.
- We will be healthy enough to do lots of things in a house ourselves, like we do today. Or will we need to in-source lots or work.
- Will living out in the country make our lives unexpectedly much more expensive, even though the house is cheaper?
- Will society collapse because of climate changes within 1-2 decades and tank the stock market and break down society?

Still, I think we just need to take a chance. Our FIRE budget is high enough that we adjust to a lower standard of living if we have to. And we can live off 0% SWR is we have to.

markbike528CBX

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2019, 06:13:11 AM »
We are FIREd,in a stable living arrangement.  The initial goal has been exceeded by 30%, our actual spending is under the initial goal by 10%.   I think we know our number pretty well :-)

PhilB

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2019, 07:26:30 AM »
We are FIREd,in a stable living arrangement.  The initial goal has been exceeded by 30%, our actual spending is under the initial goal by 10%.   I think we know our number pretty well :-)
Very similar here - FIREd with actual spending well below what the numbers say we could spend.  For us there was no single FIRE number, there was a broad range.  We kept working after crossing the bottom of that range until we reached a point where the perceived 'costs' of continuing to work definitely exceeded the perceived benefits of quitting.

Malkynn

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2019, 07:31:04 AM »
I actually chuckled out loud at "I'm an extremely goal oriented person" as I used to say the exact same thing until a brilliant psychologist called me out for it. Framing behaviours and habits as personal identity is a great way to become inflexible and narrow visioned. Speaking from experience, I don't recommend it.

First things first though, the most important part of planning is to actually understand it's purpose and power.
To plan effectively, you must accept that your plan has no power over predicting the future, so don't try; it's futile, and unnecessarily stressful and scary. It's why there's so much angst over the 4% rule.

Plans aren't for tomorrow, they're for determining what to do today.
You don't decide how much to save because you are making conclusions for your future self, you are using your hopes for your future self to guide how much you shouldn't spend today.

Remember, a plan only unfolds as expected if, and only if nothing particularly interesting or significant happens in the meantime.
Your plans may go exactly as you expect, or they may not and that may be due to good or bad reasons, but regardless, predicting the future isn't within your skill set, and controlling it definitely isn't. Just because you set a savings goal doesn't mean that you know what you will do if/when you reach it. The future you who has that money will be able to decide at that point what their priorities are and if it's time to retire. It's literal crazy talk to even think that you can make that decision now. Please tell me you get how ridiculous that is.

So go ahead, make a savings goal, but always keep in mind that the purpose of the goal is to decide how you behave financially NOW, not in the future. Imagined futures should inspire your plans for today, but they aren't the purpose of making a plan.

Lastly, since the purpose of the plan is to guide decisions and behaviours today, and only today, then a plan that fails to make you happy today is a bad plan, so you should put a lot more energy into examining how your plan is affecting current you...because being "extremely goal oriented" is often just a fancy way of saying "I'm comfortable neglecting my current well being for an imagined future that may not happen".

PhilB

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2019, 09:02:55 AM »
Whilst recognising Malkynn's excellent and, as always, well argued points, I have to say that some 'goal oriented' people are at their happiest when throwing everything at achieving a goal.  They may not be neglecting their current well being at all as they drive towards their current future - they may be as happy as a terrier worrying a cushion.  That kind of person may be extremely badly prepared to cope when they get there of course, but that's a different matter...

PoutineLover

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2019, 09:45:47 AM »
I have a pretty good idea of what my FIRE number would be if I lived the life I'm living right now, but that is very different from where I hope to be. I want to move out of my apartment, live in a place where I can garden, and start a family. For now, I'll just save as much as possible and keep track of future potential costs as I get an idea of what they might be, and adjust the plan as needed. It's very likely that my income will change as my career progresses and as I take time off for parental leave. I don't really know what my housing costs will be since I'd like to own a multifamily and live in one unit, but it'll most likely be more expensive than my currently very cheap rent. Best I can do at the moment is track expenses, save and invest for the future, and learn skills that will serve me well.

Zikoris

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2019, 10:12:17 AM »
We definitely have a few things working in our favor for estimating needs - namely, there are no "looming black hole mystery expenses". We don't and won't have kids. Any housing choices would be similar to what we currently have. We know what our style of travel costs. And best of all, we currently live in the most expensive city in Canada, so we are theoretically at peak cost now - and use our current spending as a baseline.

Trying to live as close to your ideal lifestyle as you can while still working is really a solid way to figure out what it costs.

Malkynn

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2019, 10:35:46 AM »
Whilst recognising Malkynn's excellent and, as always, well argued points, I have to say that some 'goal oriented' people are at their happiest when throwing everything at achieving a goal.  They may not be neglecting their current well being at all as they drive towards their current future - they may be as happy as a terrier worrying a cushion.  That kind of person may be extremely badly prepared to cope when they get there of course, but that's a different matter...

In my experience, yes, many people are highly driven in very healthy ways, but what they don't tend to do is internalize their drive as a core part of their identity.

It's not about achieving a goal, it's about *being* a person who achieves goals.

FireHiker

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2019, 10:44:40 AM »
We have n approximate FIRE number, and a "worst case" number of working years left number. When we will actually pull the trigger, well, I'm not sure yet. We downsized our house recently and as a result of re-running the numbers I did move down from the 2030 cohort, which was our "absolute worst case" number of working years left, to 2025 which is when we will likely hit our FI number but may not RE. Our FI number has a fair bit of discretionary spending in the budget, so whether we are willing to scale back and retire earlier is certainly on the table depending on circumstances. I have tracked our spending for several years so I have a pretty good sense for the levers we can pull and how much buffer is in our number.

tipster350

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2019, 10:48:30 AM »
I had a hard time choosing between 100% and 75%. I'm 58 and expect to FIRE in 2-3 years, so am very close, and have a pretty solid figure in mind. There are a number of variables outside of my control and, as in all plans, I will adjust according to changing conditions. If, for example, we have a major downturn*, or the elections don't go our way and the ACA is destroyed, that could change everything and force me to, potentially, work until 65 just to have medical insurance. This is provided I have employment and am able to work, which is another big "if". Odds for continued health and employment change drastically at my age.

I'm as sure as I can be, given the uncertainty we live with in life and in the USA.

*I will have several years' expenses in cash at FIRE, so could retire during a downturn, but would evaluate based on the circumstances around the downturn.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2019, 10:51:38 AM by tipster350 »

Aelias

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2019, 11:03:45 AM »
We have a number.  It is based on some suuuuuuuper conservative assumptions, meaning that if we manage to hit that number, there's no reason to work for pay for another day, full stop.  Best estimate is that that number is roughly 7-8 years away. 

But, a lot can happen in 7-8 years, so I think it's wise to maintain some flexibility in your outlook and not get too married to any one number or timeline.  For example, the OP mentioned that they're not sure where they want to live or how many kids they want to have.  Those are the kind of big life decisions that can ratchet up or down a number significantly.  In my case, I think the things that might make a difference are 1) an unexpected job loss, 2) an unexpected diagnosis (particularly if one of our kids had special needs or a chronic illness), and 3) an early inheritance.  Items 1 and 2 could potentially push our FIRE number up; Item 3 could get us there faster than we expected.  Our suuuuuuuuper conservative number is such that, even if we had a very significant lifestyle disruption, I think we'd be fine.

In other words, work on building the skills and habits that will help you build a happy, prosperous life.  Once some of the big life things lock in, you'll have a clearer view of what your FIRE number is.

35andFI

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2019, 11:49:24 AM »
I said that I am 50% sure.

The reasoning:
- I am 28, healthy, single, and renting the cheapest possible room ($650/mo) as close as possible to work (2.5 miles).
- I am currently only spending an average of $1,000/mo not including health insurance or taxes but I know that there are certain things that I will eventually want to increase the quality of (such as my housing and other things that I am passionate about). This allows me to have an average savings rate of 70/79% (Gross/Net).

I just kind of threw out $40,000/yr even though I can't even imagine spending that much.
So that puts my NW goal at $1m based on the 4% rule.

After writing all of that out, maybe I am less than 50% sure. $40,000/yr in passive income seems so high...

DeniseNJ

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2019, 11:51:13 AM »
I'm retiring on Aug. 4, 2028, no matter what, even if I have to move to Costa Rica--which sounds great actually. I'll be 57. That's when I get my full pension.  I should have about 1.5M then.  My husband will retire a year before and he will be getting a pension.  Then a year later he will be 62 have SS.  My pension has an SS supplement until I'm 62 when I'll start taking mine.  Two pensions, two SS, and 1.5M in retirement accounts should cover us.  Kids will be launched by then, ready or not.

But really, I could live on practically nothing.  If I didn't have kids I'd be working in a cafe living in a studio apt or WOOFing around the world.

use2betrix

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2019, 11:55:29 AM »
I actually chuckled out loud at "I'm an extremely goal oriented person" as I used to say the exact same thing until a brilliant psychologist called me out for it. Framing behaviours and habits as personal identity is a great way to become inflexible and narrow visioned. Speaking from experience, I don't recommend it.

First things first though, the most important part of planning is to actually understand it's purpose and power.
To plan effectively, you must accept that your plan has no power over predicting the future, so don't try; it's futile, and unnecessarily stressful and scary. It's why there's so much angst over the 4% rule.

Plans aren't for tomorrow, they're for determining what to do today.
You don't decide how much to save because you are making conclusions for your future self, you are using your hopes for your future self to guide how much you shouldn't spend today.

Remember, a plan only unfolds as expected if, and only if nothing particularly interesting or significant happens in the meantime.
Your plans may go exactly as you expect, or they may not and that may be due to good or bad reasons, but regardless, predicting the future isn't within your skill set, and controlling it definitely isn't. Just because you set a savings goal doesn't mean that you know what you will do if/when you reach it. The future you who has that money will be able to decide at that point what their priorities are and if it's time to retire. It's literal crazy talk to even think that you can make that decision now. Please tell me you get how ridiculous that is.

So go ahead, make a savings goal, but always keep in mind that the purpose of the goal is to decide how you behave financially NOW, not in the future. Imagined futures should inspire your plans for today, but they aren't the purpose of making a plan.

Lastly, since the purpose of the plan is to guide decisions and behaviours today, and only today, then a plan that fails to make you happy today is a bad plan, so you should put a lot more energy into examining how your plan is affecting current you...because being "extremely goal oriented" is often just a fancy way of saying "I'm comfortable neglecting my current well being for an imagined future that may not happen".

I sincerely appreciate this feedback, and there is a lot of information here that I really needed to hear. Your entire last paragraph really resonates with me. I do a LOT to make myself immediately happy, but could probably cut back on my work a bit more than I do and enjoy some more time off. Fortunately, I exercise vigorously, eat healthy, and spend a lot of time with my wife. I certainly can appreciate that I have a very fortunate lifestyle, but I think there are some sacrifices I can make today to increase my happiness today that will really have minimal impacts on the long term future.

Definitely need more time to digest all the comments in this thread so far.

ontheway2

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2019, 11:58:29 AM »
Yes and No. I know my FIRE number in today's dollars. I have a plan to get there in future dollars, but I have a few different paths I could take. I will let future self determine when to make any deviations to the plan and go a different route whether that be FI as fast as possible, coast fire after a certain number for ease earlier but 62 full retirement, minimal savings at some point for something in the middle, etc. I already have kids and don't plan on hitting FI before they are out of the house, I don't intend to move far away but am open to it if COL is similar, etc.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2019, 12:09:51 PM »
I'm a planner like you, but eh, you do the best you can with the info you have at the time.  That's all you can do.

We have a rough monthly target expense, and from that, a rough total sum we target.  But it's likely to change - a lot - as the years go on.  But it gives me a short-term goal to shoot for, and a way to mark progress year over year.  The closer we get, the more we'll nail down details. 

I have changed it some before, but I try to make changes rarely (every few years?) so that we're able to see lots of progress as we go. 

The closer you get, the less the differences matter: then you're only talking a few years' savings or a few years' accumulated gains, hit or miss, either way -- you have a lot more options at that point.  (If you expect the stache to double every ten years or so, the margin for error becomes less important: retiring at 55 v. 58, etc.) 

Kids are a massive unknown (which we have as well), especially if they're not even all here yet.  So is health care.  So, we do what we can now, and then we'll adjust as we get closer to pulling the trigger.

You have a firm handle on your expenses, so just run with it for now and save as much as humanly possible before kids (which are wonderful, but which cost time + money). 

Your inner planner resents the uncertainty, but that's just part of life.  The longer you do this, the more comfortable you'll become with your planning and your overall progress. 

diapasoun

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2019, 12:16:55 PM »
I put 25% positive, at least in part because I don't really have a set number so much as a range of numbers. It's really hard to know what my life will look like in the future.

  • I live in a VHCOLA (one of the worst in the US). There's the possibility I live here for the rest of my life... or that I move elsewhere.
  • I'm pretty sure I don't want kids but I'm not 100% set on that, and my partner is a bit wishywashy about it too sometimes.
  • I'm in a long-term and stable relationship, but we're not married and even marriages aren't set in stone forever.
  • I have no idea what healthcare and the like will look like when I'm much older (I'm 33 right now).
  • I don't know what kind of person I'll be in 25 years -- what my interests will be, what I'll want to pursue, what I'll be able to physically pursue or otherwise have access to. Right now I have a lot of cheap interests like going on local hikes, but what if I can't walk well in 25 years? Who knows.
  • Etc etc.

I'm perfectly happy with it, though. FI is a long way off for me -- I started later, around 30. I've got years to go, and so I'm just focusing on having good habits and enjoying the time I have here on this beautiful green earth.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2019, 12:18:42 PM by diapasoun »

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2019, 01:10:27 PM »
I'm FIRE now, and I don't even really know my FIRE number. I know my current spending is well below 4%, but I don't know how much rent will increase in this city, or whether I'll even stay in this city long-term. Health insurance is also a huge unknown, like others have mentioned. If certain elements of the ACA are overturned, I may be uninsurable privately and need to go back to work. I'll be working cyclically to try to keep the ACA intact even before that.

BTDretire

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2019, 01:27:30 PM »
I never had a goal or thoughts of early retirement until I started reading MMM just over 4 years ago. I took me a while and lots of FIRECALC runs until I decided we have plenty. Plus we are older and SS was not that far away. At that time, 6-2015 we had about $1.6M. Then I needed to convince my wife. She wasn't ready to quit, I mostly retired 1-1-18 while she continued working until the hurricane came on 10-10-18 and blew away the business. At that point we were officially retired.
If I was younger and had $1M, I would not feel comfortable, I think more is needed for a comfortable lifestyle. We don't have an expensive spending habits, but $40k would not be enough.
And remember that proverbial $40k becomes $46,370 after 5 years
of reading MMM (@ 3% inflation), but I never see the $1M jump to $1,159,250.

duyen

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #22 on: October 09, 2019, 01:41:19 PM »
For us, an important criteria is how much we pass on to the kids. We are around 40 and at 900K networth right now (no house). we can call it done once we reach 1.3m and do a lean FIRE in a LCOLA. Our expected expenses with kids at home will be 55k / year and with kids gone 40k / year. We will still be able to pay for kids college and then have 750k networth left by the time social security starts. With social security being at ~20k / year and our investments returning 30k / year, we will be safe.

But in this scenario we won't be able to leave anything to kids. Any networth higher will be left to kids. So let's say we shoot for 1.7m, we will have 1.8m when SS starts and can give the 2 kids 500k each. If we shoot for 2.3m then we will have 3m and kids get 1m each.

So my fire number is pretty loose right now anywhere between 1.3m to 2.3m

Buffalo Chip

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #23 on: October 09, 2019, 04:56:58 PM »
There should be a not applicable/ already FIREd/ other button as well. I would fit in that group. I donít have a number or really need one. I will be fortunate to draw a fairly generous pension in a few years. So even if my NW was only $100, Iíd still be able to retire. Iím blessed to be in that scenario. Any investments at this point are more for lifestyle enhancement and paying it forward to our descendants.


middo

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #24 on: October 09, 2019, 07:22:24 PM »
Mine is not so much a number as a life situation.  When my youngest gets to 22 then she becomes reliant on social security rather than parental handouts for her university housing.  That frees us up a fair bit financially, but also removes concerns about what happens if we need to pull in our belts for a bit.

But also we have loans on rental properties, and will probably not be ready to quit until those are paid off.  Again, it is not so much about the $, but about the security.  An empty property is much easier to manage if it isn't costing us repayments at the same time.

But ultimately, about 1.75M AUD will do us.  That gives us $60000 per year at 3.5%.  Currently at 1.3M

Bateaux

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #25 on: October 09, 2019, 10:10:20 PM »
Long since surpassed the original goal and then the second goal.  The second goal was 500K larger than the first.  The third and final goal is 1 million higher than the first and 500K larger than the 2nd. 

mspym

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #26 on: October 09, 2019, 11:44:11 PM »
We are hitting a date instead of a number because that is when the last boy leaves high school. It will just coincide with us hitting a rough financial target (~1M each) and some familial milestones that mean leaving this insanely HCOL location for somewhere a lot more reasonable. And I have faith that we will be able to be more flexible with expenses even if we haven't quite hit our target amount.

SpareChange

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2019, 11:24:19 AM »
Pretty comfortable with calculating my FI number. I just estimate the next 12 months living expenses. RE number, not so much. Too much depends on what I might get myself into. 

fattest_foot

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2019, 02:08:49 PM »
Mostly comfortable with the number. The uncertainty that still remains is in regards to healthcare, as well as market conditions prior to FIRE (won't likely retire in the midst of a market meltdown).

I'm hoping we're about 2 years out, and each passing month it becomes more clear that the target number should be accurate enough.

chasesfish

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2019, 05:39:18 PM »
@use2betrix - You sound a lot like the version of myself six years ago.

I chose to grind it out and build this massive number, it was not without sacrifices.  Now that I'm FI I realize just how easy it is to make $25,000 to $40,000/year.

My big question I ask people is what is the monetary difference between the "grind it out" job and the "coast" job.  If its six figures and you are setup to save all of that incremental money, its tough to turn down that kind of spread in income.

Two other comments:  We also didn't know where we were going to live.  That's okay.  We moved somewhere in FI and may move again, but already know where we live today is better than other places.

Don't necessarily wait on the kids if they are in the plans.  My wife got some major health complications at 34 and that sidelined our family plans.  Still working on that, but it becomes an "if" vs a "when" now that we are on the other side of 37.

jlcnuke

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #30 on: October 11, 2019, 05:39:58 AM »
My planned spending is budgeted at ~20% higher than I actually anticipate actually spending based on my current spending habits and research into costs associated with my change of environments after retiring. As such, it seems a very conservative number, especially considering I based it on the Trinity Study etc so reality will likely be that I end up having plenty of "extra"  to deal with after just a few years into retirement.

thesis

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #31 on: October 11, 2019, 11:23:37 AM »
This is a tough one. I know my current spending and I know I could easily retire on just under $600k, but the goal is to get married and have kids at some point. What will those expenses look like? I suspect that 1.2 million in a LCOL would be almost certain to cover a family, but I have no idea. Right now, since it's just me saving away, reaching that would take a long time. How long do I want to be a code monkey?

Really my attitude is, "Save what you can, reevaluate in 5 years". I'm far enough away from FI that there isn't much to worry about now, just keeping at it and keeping the stache growing. What I like about programming is that once you're experienced, you can shift in several directions. I believe in improving as a programmer, but I don't know whether the stress of the higher-paying jobs is necessarily worth the higher pay. Basically, as long as you stay relatively up-to-date, somebody will hire you. I would not be opposed to working part-time (but very strictly part-time) after FIRE, and I see people in tech jobs do this quite a lot. I'm also reminded of Jacob Fisker's note that if you don't need to make a high salary, you have a much greater variety of jobs to choose from. Regardless, future self is not going to be disappointed in what past self accumulated, as long as I'm not skimping on the things that make me happy (and only a few of those things really require money).

yyc-phil

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #32 on: October 11, 2019, 11:44:04 AM »
I am almost 62, so well past FIRE. All things considered, I could and maybe should have LeanFIRED (current and post-FIRE expenses well under $40K) before 55, especially that at the time I was in a soul-sucking job that I used to love but became too political as I moved up the ladder. But my personal and professional circumstances have changed: I now have a couple of great part-time gigs that I not only love but that allow me to work remotely (with a couple of week-long trips every year for board meetings) and still draw a decent income, to be honest for very little work, so I don't need to touch my stash for now. I am reluctant to quit because I am having fun, but I have a personal project I want to undertake in 2020, which will mean to say goodbye for good to my part-time gigs.

Mmm_Donuts

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #33 on: October 12, 2019, 10:52:47 AM »
This is an excellent thread. THanks Malkynn for another brilliant post.

I struggle with the balance between being goal oriented and living in the present. I do believe it's a balance vs an either / or situation. For me, at least. And I get that the future takes some planning for and that this planning feeds into how I'm living now. Or rather, how I'm living now determines my future to a great extent, so it's a good idea to live intentionally with these paths of possibilities in mind.

I answered 75% sure of our number. There are many factors that will determine our FIRE dates.

- We plan to downsize and sell the house, and probably move to a slightly lower COLA. Much is up in the air with this move. Proceeds from downsizing could range from $1M+ to $0. My goal (at this moment) is to liquidate ~$200-300k. When this happens, where this happens is TBD.

- There's a probability of large inheritance that is mostly ignored in terms of goal strategy, but it's there. It means I am less enthusiastic about hanging in and suffering more than I have to to reach some outer limit super safe number.

- We sort of enjoy our jobs? On good days. I will probably quit before my SO as I have a clearer picture of life without work than he does. My job is actually pretty good and comfortable, people are friendly and work itself is somewhat fulfilling but I would just rather be doing other things.

- Uncertain financial markets -- will there be a recession soon? I'll likely work a bit longer if so.

- Thinking about long term care and self funding this. Lots of friends are going through very expensive care situations with their parents at the moment. I'd like to plan for spending quite a bit in the end years so we have those sorts of choices. (No kids = nobody to help out for free.)

Given these unknowns the number is a rough guideline. I think we'll know when we're ready. Best estimate for timeline is in ~1.5 years. That's the compromise we've come up with anyway (SO wants more time in our current location, I'm 90% ready to quit now.)

Ynari

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #34 on: October 12, 2019, 09:49:52 PM »
I don't know that I'd quantify my certainty as a percentage, but I know that I have huuuuuge error bars. We have known life changes with unknown consequences (we plan on moving next year, but don't know where - might even be another country. We plan on having kids, but how many? What are the costs if we adopt?). I mostly just don't even bother trying to pin down a number, but I'll take 12 month rolling expenditures and add huge bars (i.e. my number is "somewhere between 1.5 and 2.5 mil") I'm fairly certain my number is somewhere in there, but if you told me to bet on 2mil exactly I'd be really, really uncertain.

muskie

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #35 on: October 12, 2019, 11:08:49 PM »
No idea right now. 23yr old and sitting around $3m - $4m largely trust-related. I don't have any plans to stop working anytime soon. We'll see where I end up.

nancyfrank232

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Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #36 on: October 13, 2019, 12:26:13 AM »
I no longer like setting goals

I used to set lots of goals, but I found that:

1. Goals are always set too low (if I can achieve a goal, itís too low)

2. Complacency arrives quickly after a goal is achieved

Goals also hamper creativity. Letís say a person has a $1m goal. First, itís too low. Second, once you hit $1m youíll immediately get complacent. In fact, you may even get complacent well before you hit $1m. Third, because the goal is low, your creativity will be low - youíll just grind unhappily for X hours at an hourly rate of Y dollars per hour and behave like a mindless drone, wasting years of your life

I no longer set goals. I set a direction and enjoy the process

But if youíre going to set a goal, at least set something that you think is impossible to achieve by working X hours at an hourly rate of Y dollars per hour

The thinking should be more akin to something like this:


https://youtu.be/Iq4qASI1Fok
« Last Edit: October 13, 2019, 12:36:22 AM by nancyfrank232 »

PhilB

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #37 on: October 14, 2019, 05:49:21 AM »
I no longer like setting goals

I used to set lots of goals, but I found that:

1. Goals are always set too low (if I can achieve a goal, itís too low)

2. Complacency arrives quickly after a goal is achieved

Goals also hamper creativity. Letís say a person has a $1m goal. First, itís too low. Second, once you hit $1m youíll immediately get complacent. In fact, you may even get complacent well before you hit $1m. Third, because the goal is low, your creativity will be low - youíll just grind unhappily for X hours at an hourly rate of Y dollars per hour and behave like a mindless drone, wasting years of your life

I no longer set goals. I set a direction and enjoy the process

But if youíre going to set a goal, at least set something that you think is impossible to achieve by working X hours at an hourly rate of Y dollars per hour

The thinking should be more akin to something like this:


https://youtu.be/Iq4qASI1Fok
This seems like a classic 'I'm like this so everyone is like this' argument.  For many people (eg me) all that unachievable goals do is depress the fuck out of me.  Achievable goals, however, can give me a buzz and motivate me to see how quickly I can achieve them and how throughly I can beat them.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #38 on: October 14, 2019, 06:33:22 AM »
I no longer like setting goals

I used to set lots of goals, but I found that:

1. Goals are always set too low (if I can achieve a goal, itís too low)

2. Complacency arrives quickly after a goal is achieved

Goals also hamper creativity. Letís say a person has a $1m goal. First, itís too low. Second, once you hit $1m youíll immediately get complacent. In fact, you may even get complacent well before you hit $1m. Third, because the goal is low, your creativity will be low - youíll just grind unhappily for X hours at an hourly rate of Y dollars per hour and behave like a mindless drone, wasting years of your life

I no longer set goals. I set a direction and enjoy the process

But if youíre going to set a goal, at least set something that you think is impossible to achieve by working X hours at an hourly rate of Y dollars per hour

The thinking should be more akin to something like this:


https://youtu.be/Iq4qASI1Fok
This seems like a classic 'I'm like this so everyone is like this' argument.  For many people (eg me) all that unachievable goals do is depress the fuck out of me.  Achievable goals, however, can give me a buzz and motivate me to see how quickly I can achieve them and how throughly I can beat them.

The general direction is good to have as you work towards your goal and your goal is far away.

But at a certain moment, you need to know when you can quit or you'll easily work work one more year while it isn't necessary. So it is a good idea to run the numbers with your expenses and your parameters, more and more refined as you come closer. And out rolls a concrete goal.

I also love to achieve goals and are motivated by them.

spartana

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #39 on: October 14, 2019, 09:27:16 PM »
I no longer like setting goals

I used to set lots of goals, but I found that:

1. Goals are always set too low (if I can achieve a goal, it’s too low)

2. Complacency arrives quickly after a goal is achieved

Goals also hamper creativity. Let’s say a person has a $1m goal. First, it’s too low. Second, once you hit $1m you’ll immediately get complacent. In fact, you may even get complacent well before you hit $1m. Third, because the goal is low, your creativity will be low - you’ll just grind unhappily for X hours at an hourly rate of Y dollars per hour and behave like a mindless drone, wasting years of your life

I no longer set goals. I set a direction and enjoy the process

But if you’re going to set a goal, at least set something that you think is impossible to achieve by working X hours at an hourly rate of Y dollars per hour

The thinking should be more akin to something like this:


https://youtu.be/Iq4qASI1Fok
What do you mean by $1 million is too low? Not everyone around here is a high.earner, or high spender, and saving even half that amount might be a huge goal as well as enough to FIRE on depending on their personal circumstances. I also have never felt complacency with achieving any goal big or small. It excites and challenges me to accomplish even the small things. I believe that most people are like that.

As to the OP mine was more based on an age (38) and I was frugal enough to save enough by 36 even on my lower income to quit then. I took 2 years off then but for personal relationship reasons (even though FI) I went back to work for 4 years at my old job. I permanently called it quit at 42. I put 100% positive even though I didn't know what exact income I'd need until I was closer. Although I knew I'd FIRE in my late 30s or early 40s if nothing happened to derail it. Even a divorce at around age 40 didn't stop me from FIREing (both of us individually FI) although the belt tightened a tiny bit.

« Last Edit: October 14, 2019, 09:50:50 PM by spartana »

WYOGO

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Re: Do you know your FI(RE) number?
« Reply #40 on: October 14, 2019, 09:29:09 PM »
My number has changed several times over the years from as low as 550K to 1.1M, but as I enter the final work year at least at this life stage (2020 Cohort), my decision came down to time being more important than money and my desire to have the entirety of my 40ís to do the physical traveling, trekking and adventuring that becomes harder beyond that. If it gets lean and challenging at times, no problem, it is truly fascinating how adversity and problems to solve actually add value to life. I welcome the new chapter...