Author Topic: Financially Independent as a single  (Read 3793 times)

qwerty8675309

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Financially Independent as a single
« on: April 02, 2015, 05:33:12 PM »
Does anybody here have experiences as being financially independent while they are still single? A lot of the articles on the web I've read about seem to be from married or couples who have achieved financial independence.

Prairie Stash

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Re: Financially Independent as a single
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2015, 09:06:56 PM »
the greatest advantage a single person can use is cheap housing. Either rent out empty rooms or be the renter.

Another great benefit is no need to compromise.

Noodle

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Re: Financially Independent as a single
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2015, 09:40:33 AM »
I think the single person is in the middle of the spectrum in terms of ability to get to FI. On the one hand, a truly aligned married couple can make progress faster, especially pre-/without children; you have two incomes but can share one bedroom, one car, one computer and many of the other "infrastructure" costs of modern life. You can also moderate each other's spendy influences; for instance, if you have someone at home to give you a hug and fix you a nice dinner, you might be less tempted to treat yourself after a bad day at work.

On the flip side, though, an unaligned marriage (see many, many threads here) can be very expensive, whether it's different values about spending, bad financial behaviors (secret spending or debt), or, if it doesn't work out, the cost of divorce. Thinking more positively, a one-income family with multiple household members (kids or non-working adults) can mean a longer road to FI, even if everyone is very happy with the arrangement.

A single childless person has less household income and higher per-person costs, but also a simpler time making frugal decisions. You can live wherever you want, work wherever you want, and make spending decisions that might not be palatable to others to balance the budget (I will eat beans and rice for a month since I just bought an expensive computer). You can also put in more work hours during the money-accumulation years and take jobs that are not family or spouse-friendly. With a child, I think it would really depend on circumstances (ie, does the other parent contribute or is there other income).

As another person asked, do you mean RE, or just FI? Even with a modest income by Mustachian standards, I have usually been FI (a year+ of living expenses in the bank, aside from retirement savings) for the last 10 years although I just tapped that to buy a home; my first priority will be to build that fund back up and I do not anticipate it taking all that long. RE would be a bit harder, but I could do it if I were willing to tighten up spending, or if I had one of the higher Mustachian incomes. Retired military mustachians, for instance seem to be able to manage ER fairly often as singletons.

seamer

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Re: Financially Independent as a single
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2015, 03:01:13 PM »
As a single person, I also reach higher tax brackets more quickly, meaning my capital gains and dividends will be taxed. My deductions and exemptions to employ the Roth Conversion Ladder are also smaller.

Retired To Win

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Re: Financially Independent as a single
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2015, 03:14:54 PM »
As a single person, I also reach higher tax brackets more quickly, meaning my capital gains and dividends will be taxed. My deductions and exemptions to employ the Roth Conversion Ladder are also smaller.

Especially for a couple renting instead of owning a home/condo, there's a federal tax advantage with regards to standard deduction, etc.  If my wife and I were renting, our standard deductions and exemptions combined would add to $21,500.  That could certainly be enough to knock one down a tax bracket!
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qwerty8675309

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Re: Financially Independent as a single
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2015, 07:47:03 PM »
ETA: Are you interested in FI AND early retirement? They can be very different if you are single I think.

Thanks for the replies! They've been great. I suppose it is a combination of both. If I had the choice, I would prefer not to work, but I'm just worried how that would affect me socially and emotionally, particularly going it alone. The prospect of not being forced to work sounds great, but I'm not sure how I'd fill all the free hours during the day.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2015, 07:52:46 PM by qwerty8675309 »

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Re: Financially Independent as a single
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2015, 03:28:26 PM »
ETA: Are you interested in FI AND early retirement? They can be very different if you are single I think.

Thanks for the replies! They've been great. I suppose it is a combination of both. If I had the choice, I would prefer not to work, but I'm just worried how that would affect me socially and emotionally, particularly going it alone. The prospect of not being forced to work sounds great, but I'm not sure how I'd fill all the free hours during the day.
A lot of people here seem to struggle with this as well but many (most?) of us who have  actually ER'd don't seem to have that problem and have very active lives - as well as active social and dating lives if we're single.  Look at some of the Post-FI threads or other threads here that deal with that, and think about all the awesome things you've always wanted to do if you only had the time.

Plus one on that.  Figuring out what you will do with your free time is not something you start thinking about after you have FIRE'd.  You think about it beforehand and you set yourself up to hit the retirement ground running with loads of plans and fun stuff to do.
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Hank Sinatra

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Re: Financially Independent as a single
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2015, 07:24:45 PM »
Does anybody here have experiences as being financially independent while they are still single? A lot of the articles on the web I've read about seem to be from married or couples who have achieved financial independence.

Yes. That is my personal experience. Single. F.I.