Are you pursuing financial freedom and early retirement?
Ever wondered how much money you’d need to bid farewell to the daily grind? Look no further, as we unveil the secrets behind the FIRE movement and the magic formula for calculating your path to financial freedom.
For many, the prospect of retirement at 65 seems like a distant dream. But for those following the Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) movement, this dream becomes a concrete goal.
Grant Sabatier, the mastermind behind the financial site Millennial Money and author of “Financial Freedom,” asserts that your FIRE number is the amount of money required to sustain you for the rest of your life.
Calculating this figure is remarkably simple. According to Sabatier, you can calculate your FIRE number by multiplying your expected annual expenses by 25. For example, if your yearly expenses amount to $40,000, then multiplying this by 25 results in a million dollars, which represents your financial independence nest egg.
This million-dollar sum signifies the threshold for financial independence, enabling you to live off the interest or returns generated for the rest of your life. However, the exact figure varies depending on individual financial situations and assumptions.
The calculation is grounded in the “4% rule,” popularized by the influential 1998 “Trinity study.” This rule posits that retirees can safely withdraw 4% of their portfolio annually, adjusted for inflation, without depleting their funds. Though the original study covered a 30-year retirement period, updated calculations show that you can live off between 3.5% and 4% of your money for longer retirement spans.
To calculate your FIRE number, divide your intended annual retirement expenses by 0.04. However, some experts suggest aiming for a lower withdrawal rate, especially for extended retirements. Morningstar researchers recommend a withdrawal rate between 3.3% and 4%, considering factors such as bond market yields and stock valuations.
While your FIRE number serves as a retirement guide, remember that planning for life beyond work demands more than one calculation.
Real-life retirement expenses may differ from your initial projections, and market fluctuations can impact your withdrawal strategy.
If the enormity of your FIRE number overwhelms you, Grant Sabatier advises breaking it down into manageable milestones.
Focus on saving six months of expenses, then a year, and so on. By taking it one step at a time, you’ll be well on your way to achieving financial independence and retiring on your terms.