Reading the stories of people that have reached FIRE already – or that plan to be there in a few years – made me ask the question: what is our FIRE date? This is a very simple yet interesting question. Still, giving an answer turns out to be not a quick win. There are so many parameters and potential scenarios. Once you have a model, changing a parameter a little can produce a very different number ( the power of compounding interest I guess). Let me walk you through my high level model and the personal results. (Post includes download of my XLS simulator)
In the end, I decided to go for a very simple model with only a few parameters. I also decided to ignore inflation for now (this impacts the expected yearly return)
- start assets
pretty esay. This is the value of the current assets
- Yearly investments
This is the amount I plan to invest each year. It is a combination of recurring element (living below our means) and one off items like bonus, holiday allowance,…
I also recommend to adjust this in the year that you will mortgage free
The grand total is the yearly saving
- investment return
This needs to be the return reduced with inflation as my investments and savings will not inflate. I used a conservative 3 pct for this. I also allow for 2 other scenarions: 4pct and 5 pct. But given my too conservative portfolio for now, I prefer 3pct. If it turns out to be more, then I will be happy for that.
- exceptional costs
This is a column that allows to adjust the yearly assets in function of one or the other event. I have no crystal ball, but I anticipate some events: major travel with the family, university for the 2 kids…. Imagine your own potential costs that might occur.
As we have a company pension plan, I need to factor this into the model as well. Not sure yet on how to do this (My brain tries to figure it out for a while now… the money comes soonest in 2041, unless I use the real estate escape trick)
This field is the SWR that I expect to need in early retirment
Download the model
Want to see the Model and play with it? Download the FIRE SIMULATOR! You can play with the green boxes and put your personal numbers here. (As always, Do Your own Research and see if the math works for you) Let me know if it works for you.
The personal results
What is our expected retirement year? Looking at the above graph, we could retire 14 years from now: in 2029!!!
This is 14 years before the retirement age of 67 in Belgium…. Not too bad!!! Around the time that the kids leave the nest for university and thus we could have more free time.
But still, this is 14 long years. That’s long…! So, what would an increased expected return do? (I know, it is a hypothetical exercise, we dont know what the returns will be) At a 5pct return after inflation, we would win 3 years or a 21 pct less… Not that bad at all. Lets see where we end up. Another way to reach retirement sooner is to save more. I gave that a thought, and concluded that I am not prepared to yet to do that (I will post on the reasons why)
There is another option.
in 2025 we will be mortgage free. We will need less money per month. This might be the ideal moment to start an own business, first as a freelancer, later as who knows what. Actually, this trick, I could apply it maybe even sooner. To be seen…
How do you calculate your date? Do you have atool or simulator? When do you plan to retire?