Poll

What's your CURRENT % of your Target Passive Income as of now?

< 0%: I'm Bleeding Money
1 (1.4%)
0 to 5%
12 (16.4%)
5.01 to 10%
5 (6.8%)
10.01 to 20%
2 (2.7%)
20.01 to 30%
5 (6.8%)
30.01 to 40%
6 (8.2%)
40.01 to 50%
4 (5.5%)
50.01 to 60%
4 (5.5%)
60.01 to 70%
1 (1.4%)
70.01 to 80%
3 (4.1%)
80.01 to 90% and FIRED
1 (1.4%)
80.01 to 90% and NOT FIRED
0 (0%)
90.01 to 100% and FIRED
1 (1.4%)
90.01 to 100% and NOT FIRED
1 (1.4%)
100.01 to 110% and FIRED
0 (0%)
100.01 to 110% and NOT FIRED
0 (0%)
110.01 and up, and FIRED
2 (2.7%)
110.01 and up, and NOT FIRED
1 (1.4%)
FIRED, other %
2 (2.7%)
Not applicable to me, I just want to see the results!
17 (23.3%)
Used to qualify for this poll, but MMM-style concepts helped up my income
5 (6.8%)

Total Members Voted: 73

Author Topic: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)  (Read 5598 times)

SwordGuy

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Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« on: October 03, 2019, 01:23:46 PM »
To participate in this thread your employed income needs to be (or if already FIRED, was) at or below Median Family Income for your country.

(The attached thread at https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/race-to-100-fi! is intended for everyone to use, so go there and mark your progress also.)

I'm doing this thread because I want to point to a place where I can show people making below median family income who are making measurable progress towards financial stability, financial unf*ckwithability, and financial independence.

So, all that said, here's how this poll works!

PS - If you say, "Oh, I'm a stay at home spouse and only work part time (but my spouse is a doctor and makes oodles of money); but we have separate finances, so I qualify as having less than median family income...   Maybe you do in some contexts, but this poll is not for you.  
********************************************

For the last 3 years, I've been hosting a poll on the forum that asks how close people are to FI.

There are lots of "Race to $X Net Worth" threads but, honestly, that doesn't tell anyone how close someone is to being FI in terms of passive income already achieved.

If you're aiming for a given amount of passive income, via whatever plan you're using, how close are you?

For example, if you're aiming for a passive income of $40,000 using a 4% SWR via a 100% stocks and bonds portfolio, and your portfolio is now worth $500,000, you're at 50%.

If you're planning on $20,000 in rental profits and $20,000 in stock/bond profits at a 5% withdrawal rate, then if your current rental profits are $12,000 and your stock/bond portfolio is $160,000, you're at 50%, too.

If you're going to sell your $500,000 paid for house with a realtor and buy a $200,000 house and invest the rest at in stocks and bonds with a 4% SWR, then you can count the equity as $300,000 * .094 (less realtor costs) as $282,000, which would shed off $11280.   Technically you have zero passive income, from this source, but, heck, the purpose is to figure out how close you are, and you're a lot closer than someone who doesn't have $300,000 in house equity that they can (and will) convert to stocks!

Oh, if you've got a $500,000 paid for house but you're not going to sell it when you FIRE, it counts as $0 towards your target income.

If you have stock options or a pension that you aren't vested in yet, technically, you may not have anything (unless the pension has some kind of cash out option for early terminations).   But again, if you will be vesting in 5 years and feel relatively sure you'll get there, you could pro-rate it to get an idea of how well your plan is working.  (But if it was me, I would calculate two numbers, one if things go according to plan and one where they don't and they never vest to full value, and track both of them. I would do the same if I was counting on student loan forgiveness programs, just in case the government cancels them and screws people over.)

If you have the info, show us your FI percentage over the last few years.

I'm curious!  Enquiring minds want to know!  :)

You can see last few year's polls here if you're interested in comparing results:

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/what's-your-current-of-your-target-passive-income-as-of-eoy-2018/

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/what's-your-current-eoy-2017-of-your-target-passive-income/


https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/how-close-to-fi-are-you-what's-your-current-of-your-target-passive-income


« Last Edit: October 10, 2019, 09:46:19 PM by SwordGuy »

SwordGuy

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« Last Edit: October 12, 2019, 04:36:30 PM by SwordGuy »

APowers

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2019, 10:08:21 PM »
Am I the first to vote in this poll? Yay, me!

Anyway-- I'm at 70-80% of my target passive income (~$1.6k/month out of ~$2-2.5k/month).

Age 30. Started my first "real job" at the local Kroger store in late 2009. Average income over the last 10 years has been just under $30k/yr (lowest year was '10 at ~$15k, highest year was '14 at ~$39k).

I've gotten here by being more frugal than Jacob from ERE, saving every penny, and investing my savings in my first house (fixer-upper bought cheap) which is now a rental, and my current house (also fixer-upper, bought less cheaply), of which I rent out the basement on airbnb. One more rental, or completing the remodel of the upstairs and landscaping of this house so that it can net more as an airbnb, and I should be at my target income.

SwordGuy

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2019, 10:33:19 PM »
Am I the first to vote in this poll? Yay, me!

Anyway-- I'm at 70-80% of my target passive income (~$1.6k/month out of ~$2-2.5k/month).

Age 30. Started my first "real job" at the local Kroger store in late 2009. Average income over the last 10 years has been just under $30k/yr (lowest year was '10 at ~$15k, highest year was '14 at ~$39k).

I've gotten here by being more frugal than Jacob from ERE, saving every penny, and investing my savings in my first house (fixer-upper bought cheap) which is now a rental, and my current house (also fixer-upper, bought less cheaply), of which I rent out the basement on airbnb. One more rental, or completing the remodel of the upstairs and landscaping of this house so that it can net more as an airbnb, and I should be at my target income.

You're my hero!   Yeah, you!

Zikoris

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2019, 11:12:00 PM »
I don't know about the country, but we make right around average income for our city. It's hard to nail down exactly the FI % though, since we don't necessarily have a fixed amount at which we've decided to pull the plug. But 700K would replicate our current (fairly luxurious) 28K spending level, and we're at 430K, which is about 61%, so that's what I put.

But technically, the 430K basically already covers everything we spend outside of travel - so at this point, it's just a matter of deciding how big an annual travel budget we want in retirement.

SwordGuy

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2019, 12:20:00 PM »
I don't know about the country, but we make right around average income for our city. It's hard to nail down exactly the FI % though, since we don't necessarily have a fixed amount at which we've decided to pull the plug. But 700K would replicate our current (fairly luxurious) 28K spending level, and we're at 430K, which is about 61%, so that's what I put.

But technically, the 430K basically already covers everything we spend outside of travel - so at this point, it's just a matter of deciding how big an annual travel budget we want in retirement.

You're doing great!  Bravo!




SwordGuy

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2019, 12:26:52 PM »
This comment, from someone on facebook, was what motivated me to set up this particular race thread and poll.

"There is nowhere in this country where a family of four can live beyond subsistence on 63K a year. It would always be a struggle, and the loss of one income, any kind of emergency (like a car breaking down), would send that family into a crisis. There's no savings, no emergency fund, no way to go on vacation. That family is just paying their bills, living paycheck to paycheck."

Now, I know that to be absolutely, ludicrously wrong.

I know it because my wife and I lived for a number of years on about 1/3rd median family income and paid child support.   When I got my first decent job we were making median family income for that year.    We felt like we were pigs in clover!   And that's AFTER we increased our lifestyle expenses by a 2nd car and a house of our own!   We were able to save and invest.  Had we had a clue about what we learned from MMM back then we could have easily tripled our savings rate from 6% to 18% without much effort.  With the 401K match that would have put us at 21%.

Even at 6% we were doing way better than other folks we knew, even folks who had been well paid for a decade or more before we got into the middle class.

This thread, aside from being a fun "race thread" and poll, will be useful to show to people that it's possible to get ahead if you learn how and then act on that knowledge.


APowers

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2019, 05:01:15 PM »
This comment, from someone on facebook, was what motivated me to set up this particular race thread and poll.

"There is nowhere in this country where a family of four can live beyond subsistence on 63K a year. It would always be a struggle, and the loss of one income, any kind of emergency (like a car breaking down), would send that family into a crisis. There's no savings, no emergency fund, no way to go on vacation. That family is just paying their bills, living paycheck to paycheck."

Now, I know that to be absolutely, ludicrously wrong.

I know it because my wife and I lived for a number of years on about 1/3rd median family income and paid child support.   When I got my first decent job we were making median family income for that year.    We felt like we were pigs in clover!   And that's AFTER we increased our lifestyle expenses by a 2nd car and a house of our own!   We were able to save and invest.  Had we had a clue about what we learned from MMM back then we could have easily tripled our savings rate from 6% to 18% without much effort.  With the 401K match that would have put us at 21%.

Even at 6% we were doing way better than other folks we knew, even folks who had been well paid for a decade or more before we got into the middle class.

This thread, aside from being a fun "race thread" and poll, will be useful to show to people that it's possible to get ahead if you learn how and then act on that knowledge.

Yeah, comments like that really really bother me. $63k/yr is literally about DOUBLE my current income. If I had had a median income, I'd have been FIRE years ago! Our expenses are about $25k/yr now as a family of four, and our lives are full of luxury-- we have three vehicles, bikes we can ride, a 4 bedroom house with a big yard (could garden if we wanted), healthy food with more than enough to spare*, the ability to take time off work to visit extended family....the list goes on.

*you know that <$200/month food budget thread? That's us, and even in that low budget, there is room to cut back significantly. We could live in a smaller place for less than our relatively large ~$1,200/mo mortgage. We could sell a vehicle and save on insurance/license costs. There are a bunch of ways we could reduce our expenses from where we are now, without being "in crisis" or even close to "survival mode".

Loren Ver

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2019, 06:50:04 PM »
I don't fit this income anymore so I didn't vote, but I really enjoy reading other peoples responses. 
Thank you for posting this. 

SwordGuy

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2019, 08:14:57 PM »
I don't fit this income anymore so I didn't vote, but I really enjoy reading other peoples responses. 
Thank you for posting this.

You're very welcome!

SwordGuy

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2019, 08:19:59 PM »
If you know of a member of the forum who has a household income at or below median wage (either they've made comments that revealed that in a post or they have a blog that discusses it, would you be kind enough to send me a private message with their username?

I'll update this post with the names of people I've contacted so you'll know whether to contact me or not.

(I'm suggesting it this way so I'm the only person bothered by 10 messages about the same person, instead of the person you're telling me about.)

Have already tagged these people:

beached , dsmexpat , Tenormadness , nereo , SilveradoBojangles, PhotoBrandon , violetfern , Wess , APowers , MommyStache , Cezil , StacheyStache ,  mohawkbrah , joonifloofeefloo , jaysg7, Erica , TacheTastic , EverCurious , elementz_m , mrnovember09 , mV3Orl , kelvin , Anti-ComplainyPants , allie280 , Adge , La Bibliotecaria Feroz, limeandpepper , Johnez , drp , scrubbyfish , badasswizard , memorytoast , WhiteTrashCash , catccc, JanetJackson , LittleWanderer, AnnaGrowsAMustache , Freedomin5 , FruGal Lizard, ElleFiji, Bicycle_B, 2Birds1Stone, coolistdude , Moonwaves , biotechgirl , Fire2025 , Unique User, MVal ,Double Yu, teen persuasion , Kyle Schuant farfromfire Anydaynow BobTheBuilder Dicey , Channel-Z monstermonster Timothymaxy MoonLiteNite SailorGirl, Lmoot ministashy JenniOG2004 21runner gggggg FIREdancer athiker10 GuitarBrian Lunasol
« Last Edit: October 10, 2019, 08:39:48 PM by SwordGuy »

Imma

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2019, 05:31:15 AM »
That's me! I'm at about 2,5%. I make about €20k in taxable income and that's the highest income I've ever had. I have a partner, but we keep our income separate (he's not into FIRE but naturally frugal) and as he makes less than me even together we're still below median - median personal income is €27k for a woman and €43k for a man. I can't find median family income stats for my country.

I have to add I don't work fulltime due to health reasons. If I did I would make about the median male income, but my partner would still make less than the average woman. So I guess even together we're below median.

When we had really low incomes it was quite difficult (10-15k each) but these days I feel pretty rich. The best financial decision we ever made was to buy a cheap home back in the days when we were still poor, not long after a housing market crash. Since then, house prices and rents have gone up so much that we probably would have difficulty making ends meet if we still had to pay rent.

I'm very far from FI but I'm in my late 20s so I've got plenty of time. Right now I'm going to grad school next to my job so hopefully next year when I graduate I'll earn more and have lower costs. I'm also enrolled in a pension plan through work + state pension so my needs in old age are covered. The stash is for early retirement.

I have always been low income and have been on my own financially since I turned 18 and can't stand people who say you can't possibly live a decent life on my income (or even more). I've never been this rich in my life and I don't miss out on anything - well maybe sportscars and weekend trips to NYC, but I don't miss out on any necessities and there's plenty of money for discretionary spending and savings.

SwordGuy

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2019, 08:17:24 PM »
Mods, can this poll be modified to allow people to change their votes?  Thanks!!!!

MOD EDIT: Done. Thanks for using the "Report to Moderator" Button so this was seen!
« Last Edit: October 15, 2019, 10:18:00 AM by arebelspy »

SwordGuy

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2019, 08:31:32 PM »
Hi All,

Let us know how your FI journey is going! 

(DO NOT COPY THIS POST!!!    This means you!!!   There's no need to poke people with a "mention" over and over again by copying this post.

I've tagged folks whose comments on some low income threads makes me believe they might be interested in this thread. 


@beached , @dsmexpat , @Tenormadness , @nereo , @SilveradoBojangles, @PhotoBrandon , @violetfern , @Wess , @APowers , @MommyStache , @Cezil , @StacheyStache ,  @mohawkbrah , @joonifloofeefloo , @jaysg7, @Erica , @TacheTastic , @EverCurious , @elementz_m , @mrnovember09 , @mV3Orl , @kelvin , @Anti-ComplainyPants , @allie280 , @Adge , @La Bibliotecaria Feroz, @limeandpepper , @Johnez , @drp , @scrubbyfish , @badasswizard , @memorytoast , @WhiteTrashCash , @catccc, @JanetJackson , @LittleWanderer, @AnnaGrowsAMustache , @Freedomin5 , @FruGal Lizard, @ElleFiji, @Bicycle_B, @2Birds1Stone, @coolistdude , @Moonwaves , @biotechgirl , @Fire2025 , @Unique User, @MVal ,@Double Yu, @teen persuasion , @Kyle Schuant @farfromfire @Anydaynow @BobTheBuilder @Dicey , @Channel-Z @monstermonster @Timothymaxy @MoonLiteNite @SailorGirl, @Lmoot @ministashy @JenniOG2004 @21runner @gggggg @FIREdancer @athiker10 @GuitarBrian @Lunasol

SwordGuy

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2019, 08:49:05 PM »
Added an additional option to the poll that might be useful:

"Used to qualify for this poll, but MMM-style concepts helped up my income"

Also asked the moderators to change the poll so people can change their vote.


Dicey

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2019, 01:46:30 AM »
According to the most recent date on your chart, the Dec, 2016, median household income for the US is $59,039.

In CA, it is $66,529 during the five-year period comprising years 2010 through 2014.

In my county, it's about $80k, per the same Wikipedia chart.

Miriam Webster says, "A median household income refers to the income level earned by a given household where half of the homes in the area earn more and half earn less. It's used instead of the average or mean household income because it can give a more accurate picture of an area's actual economic status."

I have no idea how to answer the survey. Frankly, I don't care that much what the median income is, because median income is just comparing myself to others. As a mustachian, I know I can do more with less income than the average bear. I care about what our projected expenses will be to support our quality of life and how big our nut needs to be to sustain our choices in perpetuity. We are there, because this shit works. Not sure if this answers your question.

Also scrubbyfish became @joonifloofeefloo, and she's been gone since December, 2018. Hopefully she's only on hiatus, because I miss her.

limeandpepper

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2019, 04:30:59 AM »
I earned about $31k (in AUD) in the most recent financial year in Australia. I used to earn maybe around $45k full-time, but now I work part-time, which I like! I picked the 40-50% option, but to be honest I don't really have a very clear idea of my target passive income yet. But what I'm getting in passive income now will cover about 40-50% of my current living expenses, so that's what I chose. I'm in my 30s.

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2019, 09:36:17 AM »
Wonder how future job(s) might affect my ability to participate.  For the last five years our average salary has been in the low $30ks. This year it's jumped to around $48k (won't know precisely until December).  Should I get and accept the job I recently applied for my spouse and I will (for the first time ever) be above the median household income... to the tune of ~$100k (two jobs each paying $50k with benefits).

Anyhow, just throwing that disclaimer out there.  We've moved to a LOCL area and are plowing money into greening our existence.  Once completed we'll be squirreling money away as quickly as we can.  We are closing in on 15x future expenses, so markets move our target a LOT more than monthly contributions ever can.  I'm putting "Full FI" now at somewhere between 2022 and 2024 (again depending largely on market returns).

SwordGuy

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2019, 05:21:23 PM »
According to the most recent date on your chart, the Dec, 2016, median household income for the US is $59,039.

In CA, it is $66,529 during the five-year period comprising years 2010 through 2014.

In my county, it's about $80k, per the same Wikipedia chart.

Miriam Webster says, "A median household income refers to the income level earned by a given household where half of the homes in the area earn more and half earn less. It's used instead of the average or mean household income because it can give a more accurate picture of an area's actual economic status."

I have no idea how to answer the survey. Frankly, I don't care that much what the median income is, because median income is just comparing myself to others. As a mustachian, I know I can do more with less income than the average bear. I care about what our projected expenses will be to support our quality of life and how big our nut needs to be to sustain our choices in perpetuity. We are there, because this shit works. Not sure if this answers your question.
Fair points.

For me, there are a couple of reasons for this poll.

First, it's a place where people who don't have a huge income can track their progress and cheer each other on without having to deal with the skewing effect of really high incomes.

Second, and for me, the primary motive, is to document that this FI stuff works for regular people with a middle class income, not just high earners.   It's a way for people faced with naysayers to say, "Well, according to the people who are actually doing it, it's not impossible.   Go look for yourself and ask them some questions!"

So, with that in mind, I would use the median income for the country, not the county. 

TacheTastic

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2019, 02:52:10 PM »
OK, I'll play. :D

I don't know for sure what the UK median income, but I feel pretty sure that I am still below it. I graduated last month (or left uni, graduation ceremony is January. Apparently I am a graduand until then.) and I am now earning just under £21k plus my side-job. I earned about 2% of my target income last year.

Edit: I would suggest this as a source for the median household income. It suggests £29,400 after direct taxes such as income tax and council tax. (Guesstimate £1k council tax and single salary of £36.5k)

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/personalandhouseholdfinances/incomeandwealth/bulletins/householddisposableincomeandinequality/financialyearending2019provisional
« Last Edit: October 12, 2019, 03:04:43 PM by TacheTastic »

SwordGuy

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2019, 08:11:05 PM »
Thanks @TacheTastic !

Luz

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #21 on: November 04, 2019, 07:14:47 PM »
I hope I'm understanding this correctly.

Family of three (with baby #2 on the way) making $35,000/year.
FI goal is loosely: $1,250,000.00 with a paid-off house and withdrawal rate of 2ish% (in order to leave an endowment).
We have $30,000 so far. So .024%? And we're in our mid-thirties.

Crazy, I know.

But I expect our combined income to increase dramatically when my husband is done with school/I return to work when our kids are school-age. And I feel kind've unstoppable with our ability to live well on $24,000/yr (though with more than 1 kid, that will probably be more like $30,000).



SwordGuy

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #22 on: November 04, 2019, 08:05:13 PM »
I hope I'm understanding this correctly.

Family of three (with baby #2 on the way) making $35,000/year.
FI goal is loosely: $1,250,000.00 with a paid-off house and withdrawal rate of 2ish% (in order to leave an endowment).
We have $30,000 so far. So .024%? And we're in our mid-thirties.

Crazy, I know.

But I expect our combined income to increase dramatically when my husband is done with school/I return to work when our kids are school-age. And I feel kind've unstoppable with our ability to live well on $24,000/yr (though with more than 1 kid, that will probably be more like $30,000).

It's not crazy at all -- unless you want to say it's crazy-smart!

Let's put your accomplishments so far in perspective.  I'm making an assumption -- that you're net worth is the same as your savings.   I.e., you have no equity in your house, cars, or anything else you owe money on, or if you do, it's offset by student loans.   

Did you know that an American family aged 33-38, with a net worth of $30,000, is in the 47.55th percentile of median net worth for that age group?   That's right, if you've got a net worth of $30,000, you have done better than almost half the American households your age.
Among Americans 18 to 100, you're at the 34.57th percentile, or better than a third.

And you've done it on a really low income, too!   Bravo!

Once you're both working at good paying jobs you'll see that balance leap upwards quickly!    Keep up the good work!



And you've done that while


Net Worth Summary Statistics for Households Aged 33 to 38
Net Worth Percentile Rank : A net worth of $30,000 for ages 33 to 38 ranks at the 47.55th percentile.
Among Americans 18 to 100, you're at the 34.57th percentile.
Median Net Worth : $36,760
Mean Net Worth : $171,332
Net Worth 25th - 75th Percentile Ranges : $3,201 to $133,700

nereo

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2019, 06:41:32 AM »
Well I got kicked in the teeth a few times this week.

After two sets of interviews I didn’t get a position I applied for and thought I was well qualified for, so that will have a big impact on our bottom line (but bonus...?... I get to stay in the ‘below median household income’ group...?)

Then our new-to-us place needed $6k in repairs the previous owner had obfuscated from us.  Then car’s starter inexplicably died 2 years after replacing it (wtf?).  So some big expenses and no improvement on the income side.  Actually my current contract expires in 6 weeks so our income is likely to go down right around christmas.

Financially we are still doing ok.  We continue to live on one income but our savings rate will drop from the mid 20s to single digits this quarter, and might stay there for some time.

Just frustrated, mostly.

DadJokes

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2019, 07:06:31 AM »
I find it curious how low median household income actually is. I know that we make above median household income, since we are both college graduates, but neither of us works in a job that pays (what I consider) exceptionally well. My wife is a teacher making $44,500, and her salary alone is only $7k below the median household income for the state.

There is also pretty big disparity of median household income just within our state. Our county's median is over $18k higher than the state, which is a bit of a surprise, but we're still $30k over that.

I wonder how skewed that is by single-income households.

SwordGuy

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2019, 08:06:21 AM »
I find it curious how low median household income actually is. I know that we make above median household income, since we are both college graduates, but neither of us works in a job that pays (what I consider) exceptionally well. My wife is a teacher making $44,500, and her salary alone is only $7k below the median household income for the state.

There is also pretty big disparity of median household income just within our state. Our county's median is over $18k higher than the state, which is a bit of a surprise, but we're still $30k over that.

I wonder how skewed that is by single-income households.

It's not a perfect measurement.   There simply aren't perfect measurements. :(   Then again, not sure I want the world to know our household at that degree of detail... :)

I started this thread to show that it's possible to make solid progress for families that don't make huge amounts of money.  Any reasonable choice of median income is workable for that purpose. 

nereo

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2019, 08:28:58 AM »
I find it curious how low median household income actually is. I know that we make above median household income, since we are both college graduates, but neither of us works in a job that pays (what I consider) exceptionally well. My wife is a teacher making $44,500, and her salary alone is only $7k below the median household income for the state.

There is also pretty big disparity of median household income just within our state. Our county's median is over $18k higher than the state, which is a bit of a surprise, but we're still $30k over that.

I wonder how skewed that is by single-income households.

It’s amazing to me how much perspective and regional biases play into what’s considered a “good” income for the US.  Both my parents and sister live in areas where the median household income is slightly above $100k (HCOL cities).  Recently we moved to a state that has a median income $4500 under the national average, and in our particular county it’s almost $15k below.  A third of households here earn less than $25k.  Which makes our current income (in the high 40s plus benefits) seem like we are kings among serfs.

... but we’ve considered moving back to other places and realize how big a barrier it is for many to cover a down payment or sign a lease (requiring 1st, last & deposit) when the amount jumps from ~$600/mo to $2,000/mo (which might require $6k in cash).  Not much of an obstacle for us, but it is for many who have rarely (if ever) cut a check for more than $1k.

A comment I’ve heard over and over around here goes something along the lines of “oh I could get paid $20k more if I moved to [large HCOL city a few hours away] but I can’t afford to move”.  So they feel stuck.

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #27 on: November 05, 2019, 09:32:28 AM »
I find it curious how low median household income actually is. I know that we make above median household income, since we are both college graduates, but neither of us works in a job that pays (what I consider) exceptionally well. My wife is a teacher making $44,500, and her salary alone is only $7k below the median household income for the state.

There is also pretty big disparity of median household income just within our state. Our county's median is over $18k higher than the state, which is a bit of a surprise, but we're still $30k over that.

I wonder how skewed that is by single-income households.

It’s amazing to me how much perspective and regional biases play into what’s considered a “good” income for the US.  Both my parents and sister live in areas where the median household income is slightly above $100k (HCOL cities).  Recently we moved to a state that has a median income $4500 under the national average, and in our particular county it’s almost $15k below.  A third of households here earn less than $25k.  Which makes our current income (in the high 40s plus benefits) seem like we are kings among serfs.

... but we’ve considered moving back to other places and realize how big a barrier it is for many to cover a down payment or sign a lease (requiring 1st, last & deposit) when the amount jumps from ~$600/mo to $2,000/mo (which might require $6k in cash).  Not much of an obstacle for us, but it is for many who have rarely (if ever) cut a check for more than $1k.

A comment I’ve heard over and over around here goes something along the lines of “oh I could get paid $20k more if I moved to [large HCOL city a few hours away] but I can’t afford to move”.  So they feel stuck.

Along with the higher pay is the higher cost of living. There are ways to keep cost of living down in HCOL areas, but most people aren't going to those lengths.

Or, as the kids put it, "Mo' money, mo' problems." I think the kids say that. I'm fairly certain of it.

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2019, 07:16:44 PM »
43 entries in the poll so far.

GuitarBrian

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #29 on: November 12, 2019, 06:28:04 PM »
I voted... 90-100% and FIRED... It varies, but seems like that would be about right. Passive income is about 24k a year.
I've been FIRED for 2 years. Currently 31 years old. I saved about 10k a year making mid? 20s. Roughly 50% savings rate. Bought rentals and now just manage them. Net worth has gone up about 5% since I FIRED,

SwordGuy

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #30 on: November 12, 2019, 07:51:59 PM »
I voted... 90-100% and FIRED... It varies, but seems like that would be about right. Passive income is about 24k a year.
I've been FIRED for 2 years. Currently 31 years old. I saved about 10k a year making mid? 20s. Roughly 50% savings rate. Bought rentals and now just manage them. Net worth has gone up about 5% since I FIRED,

You are the dude!   Way to go!

MVal

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #31 on: November 20, 2019, 07:53:06 AM »
Thank you, @SwordGuy for the add!

Just counting my investments alone, I'm at 34%. Liquid assets included doesn't get me much further, only to 35%, so either way I'm in the 30-40% section of the poll. I was surprised the biggest section of poll takers was those with 5% or less of their goal met. That is exciting we have so many new mustaches out there.

I don't want to keep my current job for the remainder of my FIRE journey and I've been toying with the idea of quitting when I have 40% of my goal reached; maybe take a little break, live on some FU money for a few months and clear my head. But I also want to buy a house soon, so gotta stay employed until I get that done.

SwordGuy

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #32 on: November 20, 2019, 08:04:43 AM »
Just counting my investments alone, I'm at 34%. Liquid assets included doesn't get me much further, only to 35%, so either way I'm in the 30-40% section of the poll. I was surprised the biggest section of poll takers was those with 5% or less of their goal met. That is exciting we have so many new mustaches out there.

34% is an awesome start!   You could get your income cut by over a third and still be ok!   That's a solid basis for financial stability and financial resilience!

We have a number of people at the 0-5% level, but we have the same number of people in the 30-60% range, so there are a lot of people making serious progress, too.

jeroly

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #33 on: November 20, 2019, 08:26:41 AM »
I hope I'm understanding this correctly.

Family of three (with baby #2 on the way) making $35,000/year.
FI goal is loosely: $1,250,000.00 with a paid-off house and withdrawal rate of 2ish% (in order to leave an endowment).
We have $30,000 so far. So .024%? And we're in our mid-thirties.

Crazy, I know.

But I expect our combined income to increase dramatically when my husband is done with school/I return to work when our kids are school-age. And I feel kind've unstoppable with our ability to live well on $24,000/yr (though with more than 1 kid, that will probably be more like $30,000).

$30,000 is 2.4% of $1,250,000, not .024%.

By the way, based on historical data (per the Trinity study), you’d have a 2/3 chance of winding up with more money than you started with (and hence be able to leave a substantial endowment) even with a 4% withdrawal rate.

Luz

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #34 on: November 22, 2019, 08:16:20 PM »
I hope I'm understanding this correctly.

Family of three (with baby #2 on the way) making $35,000/year.
FI goal is loosely: $1,250,000.00 with a paid-off house and withdrawal rate of 2ish% (in order to leave an endowment).
We have $30,000 so far. So .024%? And we're in our mid-thirties.

Crazy, I know.

But I expect our combined income to increase dramatically when my husband is done with school/I return to work when our kids are school-age. And I feel kind've unstoppable with our ability to live well on $24,000/yr (though with more than 1 kid, that will probably be more like $30,000).


Did you know that an American family aged 33-38, with a net worth of $30,000, is in the 47.55th percentile of median net worth for that age group?   That's right, if you've got a net worth of $30,000, you have done better than almost half the American households your age.
Among Americans 18 to 100, you're at the 34.57th percentile, or better than a third.

Nice! That's a helpful perspective!

Luz

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #35 on: November 22, 2019, 08:28:28 PM »
I hope I'm understanding this correctly.

Family of three (with baby #2 on the way) making $35,000/year.
FI goal is loosely: $1,250,000.00 with a paid-off house and withdrawal rate of 2ish% (in order to leave an endowment).
We have $30,000 so far. So .024%? And we're in our mid-thirties.

Crazy, I know.

But I expect our combined income to increase dramatically when my husband is done with school/I return to work when our kids are school-age. And I feel kind've unstoppable with our ability to live well on $24,000/yr (though with more than 1 kid, that will probably be more like $30,000).

$30,000 is 2.4% of $1,250,000, not .024%.

By the way, based on historical data (per the Trinity study), you’d have a 2/3 chance of winding up with more money than you started with (and hence be able to leave a substantial endowment) even with a 4% withdrawal rate.

Thanks for the correction. Can you elaborate on that last point? I read that a 2.5%ish withdrawal rate will basically guarantee that you're not touching the principle.  When you say "wind up with more money than you started with" are you saying that 4% would also leave the principle untouched? I thought the 4% rate is about making your money last a long lifetime, but not necessarily beyond.  And, under what conditions would the 1/3 chance of not leaving a sum come into play?

jeroly

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #36 on: November 23, 2019, 02:09:43 AM »
I hope I'm understanding this correctly.

Family of three (with baby #2 on the way) making $35,000/year.
FI goal is loosely: $1,250,000.00 with a paid-off house and withdrawal rate of 2ish% (in order to leave an endowment).
We have $30,000 so far. So .024%? And we're in our mid-thirties.

Crazy, I know.

But I expect our combined income to increase dramatically when my husband is done with school/I return to work when our kids are school-age. And I feel kind've unstoppable with our ability to live well on $24,000/yr (though with more than 1 kid, that will probably be more like $30,000).

$30,000 is 2.4% of $1,250,000, not .024%.

By the way, based on historical data (per the Trinity study), you’d have a 2/3 chance of winding up with more money than you started with (and hence be able to leave a substantial endowment) even with a 4% withdrawal rate.

Thanks for the correction. Can you elaborate on that last point? I read that a 2.5%ish withdrawal rate will basically guarantee that you're not touching the principle.  When you say "wind up with more money than you started with" are you saying that 4% would also leave the principle untouched? I thought the 4% rate is about making your money last a long lifetime, but not necessarily beyond.  And, under what conditions would the 1/3 chance of not leaving a sum come into play?

1. There are no guarantees, even with a 2.5% withdrawal rate.

2. Per the Trinity study, 2/3 of the time (based on historical data) you wind up with more than the original principal with a 4% withdrawal rate. The 1/3 chance generally comes into play when the sequence of returns plays out badly, i.e. your first few post-retirement years are bad for the market, as was the case for, say, 2001 retirees . (Whether or not your principle is untouched is an ethical question I’d rather not get into). This has worked most of the time in the past because, on average, a 50/50 asset allocation has historically yielded more than 4% after inflation.

nereo

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #37 on: November 23, 2019, 05:15:31 AM »
Jeroly gave a good explanation.  I would just add that there has never been a 30 year period in the last 140 years when a mixed portfolio was depleted (i.e. went to $0) even using a WR as high as 3.2%.  This includes periods with world wars, the great Depression, inflation, etc.
 
So either the future will be worse than even the worst periods of recent history for investors, or a WR of less than 4% will most likely result in a large inheritance (larger than you started with) upon your passing.

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #38 on: November 29, 2019, 07:10:52 PM »
I hope I'm understanding this correctly.

Family of three (with baby #2 on the way) making $35,000/year.
FI goal is loosely: $1,250,000.00 with a paid-off house and withdrawal rate of 2ish% (in order to leave an endowment).
We have $30,000 so far. So .024%? And we're in our mid-thirties.

Crazy, I know.

But I expect our combined income to increase dramatically when my husband is done with school/I return to work when our kids are school-age. And I feel kind've unstoppable with our ability to live well on $24,000/yr (though with more than 1 kid, that will probably be more like $30,000).

$30,000 is 2.4% of $1,250,000, not .024%.

By the way, based on historical data (per the Trinity study), you’d have a 2/3 chance of winding up with more money than you started with (and hence be able to leave a substantial endowment) even with a 4% withdrawal rate.

Thanks for the correction. Can you elaborate on that last point? I read that a 2.5%ish withdrawal rate will basically guarantee that you're not touching the principle.  When you say "wind up with more money than you started with" are you saying that 4% would also leave the principle untouched? I thought the 4% rate is about making your money last a long lifetime, but not necessarily beyond.  And, under what conditions would the 1/3 chance of not leaving a sum come into play?

1. There are no guarantees, even with a 2.5% withdrawal rate.

2. Per the Trinity study, 2/3 of the time (based on historical data) you wind up with more than the original principal with a 4% withdrawal rate. The 1/3 chance generally comes into play when the sequence of returns plays out badly, i.e. your first few post-retirement years are bad for the market, as was the case for, say, 2001 retirees . (Whether or not your principle is untouched is an ethical question I’d rather not get into). This has worked most of the time in the past because, on average, a 50/50 asset allocation has historically yielded more than 4% after inflation.

Ahhh, now I'm curious! I have to ask: what do you mean by that?

jeroly

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #39 on: November 29, 2019, 09:46:48 PM »
I hope I'm understanding this correctly.

Family of three (with baby #2 on the way) making $35,000/year.
FI goal is loosely: $1,250,000.00 with a paid-off house and withdrawal rate of 2ish% (in order to leave an endowment).
We have $30,000 so far. So .024%? And we're in our mid-thirties.

Crazy, I know.

But I expect our combined income to increase dramatically when my husband is done with school/I return to work when our kids are school-age. And I feel kind've unstoppable with our ability to live well on $24,000/yr (though with more than 1 kid, that will probably be more like $30,000).

$30,000 is 2.4% of $1,250,000, not .024%.

By the way, based on historical data (per the Trinity study), you’d have a 2/3 chance of winding up with more money than you started with (and hence be able to leave a substantial endowment) even with a 4% withdrawal rate.

Thanks for the correction. Can you elaborate on that last point? I read that a 2.5%ish withdrawal rate will basically guarantee that you're not touching the principle.  When you say "wind up with more money than you started with" are you saying that 4% would also leave the principle untouched? I thought the 4% rate is about making your money last a long lifetime, but not necessarily beyond.  And, under what conditions would the 1/3 chance of not leaving a sum come into play?

1. There are no guarantees, even with a 2.5% withdrawal rate.

2. Per the Trinity study, 2/3 of the time (based on historical data) you wind up with more than the original principal with a 4% withdrawal rate. The 1/3 chance generally comes into play when the sequence of returns plays out badly, i.e. your first few post-retirement years are bad for the market, as was the case for, say, 2001 retirees . (Whether or not your principle is untouched is an ethical question I’d rather not get into). This has worked most of the time in the past because, on average, a 50/50 asset allocation has historically yielded more than 4% after inflation.

Ahhh, now I'm curious! I have to ask: what do you mean by that?
What is meant by that is that I was trying to let you know, by means of an apparently failed attempt at humor, that you seem to have no idea what the difference is between principal and principle.

Luz

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #40 on: December 13, 2019, 02:46:27 PM »
I hope I'm understanding this correctly.

Family of three (with baby #2 on the way) making $35,000/year.
FI goal is loosely: $1,250,000.00 with a paid-off house and withdrawal rate of 2ish% (in order to leave an endowment).
We have $30,000 so far. So .024%? And we're in our mid-thirties.

Crazy, I know.

But I expect our combined income to increase dramatically when my husband is done with school/I return to work when our kids are school-age. And I feel kind've unstoppable with our ability to live well on $24,000/yr (though with more than 1 kid, that will probably be more like $30,000).

$30,000 is 2.4% of $1,250,000, not .024%.

By the way, based on historical data (per the Trinity study), you’d have a 2/3 chance of winding up with more money than you started with (and hence be able to leave a substantial endowment) even with a 4% withdrawal rate.

Thanks for the correction. Can you elaborate on that last point? I read that a 2.5%ish withdrawal rate will basically guarantee that you're not touching the principle.  When you say "wind up with more money than you started with" are you saying that 4% would also leave the principle untouched? I thought the 4% rate is about making your money last a long lifetime, but not necessarily beyond.  And, under what conditions would the 1/3 chance of not leaving a sum come into play?

1. There are no guarantees, even with a 2.5% withdrawal rate.

2. Per the Trinity study, 2/3 of the time (based on historical data) you wind up with more than the original principal with a 4% withdrawal rate. The 1/3 chance generally comes into play when the sequence of returns plays out badly, i.e. your first few post-retirement years are bad for the market, as was the case for, say, 2001 retirees . (Whether or not your principle is untouched is an ethical question I’d rather not get into). This has worked most of the time in the past because, on average, a 50/50 asset allocation has historically yielded more than 4% after inflation.

Ahhh, now I'm curious! I have to ask: what do you mean by that?
What is meant by that is that I was trying to let you know, by means of an apparently failed attempt at humor, that you seem to have no idea what the difference is between principal and principle.

Maybe emojis would have helped?
There's really no need to take a jab at my intelligence based on simple errors. I genuinely am interested in the points you raised and would appreciate a more respectful discussion.
BTW, poor spelling has little (if anything) to do with intelligence (or how well one does on standardized tests, as you assumed in another thread). Albert Einstein, Leonardo DaVinci (sp?), and Benjamin Franklin among so many others, were all poor spellers. Don't be so quick to draw conclusions. Overconfidence in one's own thinking poses a far greater threat to intelligence than confusion between "principle v principal" ever will. 

I think a 3% withdrawal rate might be a good choice for me. Maybe I'll keep the end dollar amount the same, just up my withdrawal rate a little to give us more fat in our lifestyle. There may be no guarantees, but it sounds like 3% is a better bet for what I want to do with my money than 4% would be.

SwordGuy

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #41 on: December 13, 2019, 04:35:23 PM »
@Luz, it was a humorous pun that played on the common misuse of two entirely different words that are often confused, principle and principal.  As such, spelling has nothing to do with it.

It wasn't mean, it wasn't malicious, it was just a pun.   It was word play.

Best of luck with your FIRE plans -- it looks like you're aiming for as safe a plan as one can get.

Dicey

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #42 on: December 14, 2019, 02:56:49 AM »
@Luz, it was a humorous pun that played on the common misuse of two entirely different words that are often confused, principle and principal.  As such, spelling has nothing to do with it.

It wasn't mean, it wasn't malicious, it was just a pun. It was word play.

Best of luck with your FIRE plans -- it looks like you're aiming for as safe a plan as one can get.
I loved the way you handled it, @Sword Guy. I admired how you made the point with good humor, without attacking anyone's intelligence. As kids, my youngest sister's teacher taught them, "The [School] Principal is your pal." I may have learned it second hand, but I've found it useful ever since. I thought of that lesson when I read the comment originally, but couldn't think of a humorous way to convey the point. I thought you did so beautifully, SG. IMO, there's no reason for anyone to take offense. Aren't we all here to learn?

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #43 on: December 16, 2019, 06:19:37 AM »
The last few months have been pretty depressing for us from a savings standpoint, but things are finally looking up.  After sitting on the market far too long our condo is in closing, and the improved cash flow should increase our savings rate in 2020 (and beyond).  Spouse has a secure job with benefits - so that covers our biggest financial worry (healthcare).  We are even transitioning into renting out a portion of our home, which should cover over half of our mortgage even after accounting for vacancy and maintenance - for a segment of our home that otherwise is just storage for our over abundance of crap.

SwordGuy

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #44 on: December 16, 2019, 06:36:15 AM »
The last few months have been pretty depressing for us from a savings standpoint, but things are finally looking up.  After sitting on the market far too long our condo is in closing, and the improved cash flow should increase our savings rate in 2020 (and beyond).  Spouse has a secure job with benefits - so that covers our biggest financial worry (healthcare).  We are even transitioning into renting out a portion of our home, which should cover over half of our mortgage even after accounting for vacancy and maintenance - for a segment of our home that otherwise is just storage for our over abundance of crap.

Good news and a good plan!

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #45 on: December 16, 2019, 08:05:44 AM »
I had already bookmarked it to read when you batsignalled me, @SwordGuy, and now I'm finally getting around to responding to this thread.
I put myself down for 0-5% (but had done the maths wrong), then changed it to 5.01-10% (but had included what is actually my private pension pots and therefore only accessible when I'm "normal" retirement age). So I've deducted that and am back to 0-5% (currently 1%).

I don't think I'll ever FIRE but at least I now feel like I won't have to keep working forever. In fact my plan is to cut back to working 50% after age 50. My side-gig income seems to be levelling off at about 50% of my expenses per year, so that's good, too. The plan for next year is to save all of my side income. And I really like the job I moved to this year so I'm not so sure about cutting back to part-time anymore. We'll see. For now I'm just glad to be actually saving.

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #46 on: December 17, 2019, 06:28:32 AM »
I had already bookmarked it to read when you batsignalled me, @SwordGuy, and now I'm finally getting around to responding to this thread.
I put myself down for 0-5% (but had done the maths wrong), then changed it to 5.01-10% (but had included what is actually my private pension pots and therefore only accessible when I'm "normal" retirement age). So I've deducted that and am back to 0-5% (currently 1%).

I don't think I'll ever FIRE but at least I now feel like I won't have to keep working forever. In fact my plan is to cut back to working 50% after age 50. My side-gig income seems to be levelling off at about 50% of my expenses per year, so that's good, too. The plan for next year is to save all of my side income. And I really like the job I moved to this year so I'm not so sure about cutting back to part-time anymore. We'll see. For now I'm just glad to be actually saving.

I think having a comfortable retirement in old age and maybe a bit earlier is already quite something to achieve for someone on a low income.

My parents and inlaws are all in their 60s and struggling to keep working, but they can't retire until state and company pensions kick in at 67. They all worked hard and didn't do stupid things with their money but life happens. They put money in their company pensions and expected that and a paid off home to be enough. None of them will enter retirement without a mortgage payment and pensions are lower and later than they expected. I would be happy enough already if I escaped that fate.

SwordGuy

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #47 on: December 17, 2019, 07:24:03 AM »

I think having a comfortable retirement in old age and maybe a bit earlier is already quite something to achieve for someone on a low income.
Agreed!

Luz

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #48 on: December 20, 2019, 10:18:33 PM »
@Luz, it was a humorous pun that played on the common misuse of two entirely different words that are often confused, principle and principal.  As such, spelling has nothing to do with it.

It wasn't mean, it wasn't malicious, it was just a pun.   It was word play.

Best of luck with your FIRE plans -- it looks like you're aiming for as safe a plan as one can get.


Oh, I get that it was a pun about confused spelling. I can laugh about it, even if it's mildly annoying to be corrected by the grammar police. It reminds me of the kid who had all the answers in middle school and made sure to point out your mistakes at every chance. Really, is that necessary? I guess we all just kind've rolled our eyes and put up with it.
It was just the follow up comment that struck me as a bit arrogant. I'm not personally offended in the least. I just don't like when people are self-important like that.

But, it's water under the bridge. And I stand corrected if there was no self-importance involved.

Cezil

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Re: Race to 100% FI (ONLY if below Median Household Income!!!)
« Reply #49 on: December 21, 2019, 07:52:39 AM »
Hi!  I’m finally getting a chance to getting around to this, it’s been so busy.  I really like what you are trying to do here in this thread!

I didn’t vote because I don't think I quite qualify anymore (household, we make over $100K nowadays), I haven’t done my financial review yet for the year (so I don’t know right now, but maybe 10-12% ish), and I want to put a caveat out there: This entire time, I’ve had and lived with my SO.  We’ve treated ourselves as a roommate situation - splitting bills and costs to a percentage of our incomes.  We’re usually within 0-10% of income of each other, so we’ve done expenses as approximately 45% & 55% so we each have a more “equal” amount of money to sock towards savings (or spend, in his case), adjusting to/from 50/50 as necessary.  I was aware of FI/RE for a long time, having discovered it while in college, but as I had no clue what it all meant, I didn’t adopt most of it.  But it sure sounded cool, by people who knew what they were doing.

After a few hiccups post-college (toxic jobs, unpaid internship, sister got diagnosed with rare bone cancer and I moved home and cared for her 24/7 for a year so our parents & her fiancé didn’t have to quit their jobs to do it), I got my first “real”, “high paying” job in 2011 making $32K/year.

By 2013/2014 the concept of FI/RE had sunk in and I had started with my debt payoff journey of student loans.  This journey began in 2005 when I signed up for my first loan ever (5 figures) fresh out of high school, not really understanding I’d be completely on the hook for paying it off, by myself.  Repeat each year.  In principle alone, it was over $45,000.  Interest gets deferred on those suckers, and grows.  I worked 1-2 part-time jobs while going to college full time “because you’re supposed to work a job, always”, and my mom had gently suggested that I use that money to pay off the deferred interest (what the hell is that?!).  I remember paying something like $200-$300/month towards that purpose, not really putting 2 and 2 together as I learned about FI/RE.  I was not the brightest with financial education at the time.
 
I’d say when I paid off my final student loan in…2017?, I had paid probably over $50 or 60K.  That’s just money, not including other things, like emotions, that were paid into it.  There were a lot of tears in Springtimes as $3K tax returns went poof! into my debt payoff.  I was in my mid 20’s and yeah, it was frustrating to say the least.  It didn’t help that SO was spending and didn’t understand my perspective, so despite wanting to save up like a madwoman, I was also spendy and we did lots of spendy vacations and stuff so I didn’t save much.  Throughout this year (2019), he finally saw the light and joined me on board.

I’ve been with the same employer over the years (but I am ready to leave).  SO has had different jobs, has been laid off/unemployed for a time, etc.  I think this year is the first year I just brushed making $50K (thanks, overtime).

Despite making under $50K for the past 8 years, I managed to save up enough money that a few months ago, I was able to join the Race from $100K-$250K gauntlet thread, having about $110K saved now in various places (401k, Roth IRA, HSA, tiny amount in brokerage, personal possessions, etc.).  In 2016 I started with I think around $30K net worth.  So I think I did some good work in 3 years time, and I hope it takes me less than 3 years to get to the $200K mark.  Since 2016, I also juggled paying off over $15,000 in new debts (hi, car and medical), as well, so while it hasn’t been a walk in the park (it's been kind of tight because no rest for the weary, hello another 2 temporary part time jobs), it has been productive.

Now that I’m at the 100K mark, in reflection, I have to admit that through that slog, it felt like I was getting nowhere.  I got very impatient, I got depressed, I lost ‘the way’ a few times.  And one day I woke up, wrote down my monthly numbers, and realized that while I felt the bi-weekly sting of contributing 30%+ to my 401k each paycheck, it actually has paid off and grown.  The market is doing crazy things and I just shoved my money into it, hoping for the best.  And here I am.  Sorry for being so wordy, but I figured seeing the journey might help someone else.  Let me know and I can edit it down to just relevant numbers.

Good luck everyone!
« Last Edit: December 21, 2019, 07:54:44 AM by Cezil »