Barista FIRE Calculator

Calculate how you can unlock financial freedom much earlier with side income after quitting your day job

Barista FIRE is where the returns from your invested assets cover most, but not all of your living expenses, and you do work that you find enjoyable to make up for the difference and fund the rest of your lifestyle.

The big idea behind Barista FIRE is that by generating a relatively small amount of income on the side doing work you find enjoyable, you can dramatically reduce the net worth that you need to quit your full-time job and exit the rate race. This allows you to gain financial freedom much sooner than if you waited to reach your traditional Financial Independence / Retire Early (FIRE) milestone. While the term "Barista FIRE" comes from the friendly coffee-making profession, the ways you can make "fun money" are unlimited!.

To learn more about the details and math behind Barista FIRE, checkout my post: What is Barista FIRE? The complete guide to unlocking early financial freedom.

Investment growth rate

7

Inflation rate

3

Safe Withdrawal Rate

4

If you shift to Barista FIRE at age 45, then you will reach full FIRE at age 60!

If you stayed at your day job, you would reach full FIRE at age 48, which is 3 years after your Barista FIRE age.

Using this calculator

I made this calculator to help you plan and visualize what your financial trajectory could look like if you took the Barista FIRE approach.

  • On the left, start by entering your Current Age.
  • Current Annual Take-Home Pay is your current yearly income after taxes. This does include any contributions you are making to a retirement account like an IRA, 401k, or HSA. If you recieve an employer 401k match, you can include this value in your Current Annual Take-Home Pay.
  • Current Annual Expenses is your current total yearly cost of living. The calculator uses your Current Annual Take-Home Pay less Current Annual Expensesto calculate your annual contribution to your retirement savings.
  • Current Invested Net Worth is the current amount of your net worth that is invested in assets that you expect to grow at the Investment growth rate which you can adjust below. For example, if you have $100,000 invested in the stock market (perhaps through your employer's 401k) and $25,000 saved in your emergency fund, then you should enter $100,000 in this field.
  • Desired Barista FIRE Age is the age when you would quit your day job and transition to Barista FIRE.
  • Annual Spending in Retirement is the amount that you would plan to spend per year after quitting your day job. This would be your spending both during the Barista FIRE phase and once you reach full FIRE.
  • Monthly Income During Barista FIRE is the average monthly income you would plan to earn from your more enjoyable "Barista FIRE" job after quitting your day job.
  • Use the sliders to adjust the rates and watch the graph to the right immediately react to your change!
  • Investment growth rate is the average return that you expect your investments to grow, not adjusted for inflation. This calculator uses 7% as a default Investment rate of return, which is a relatively conservative assumption. Historically, the S&P 500 has returned on average 10% annually from its inception in 1926 to 2018.
  • Inflation rate is the average annual rate of inflation that you expect to experience in the future. Historically, the US economy has experienced an annual average inflation rate of 3%.
  • Safe Withdrawal Rate (SWR) is the estimated percentage of your net worth that you expect to withdraw to cover your living expenses in retirement. 4% is widely considered as the recommended SWR for retirement planning. This 4% withdrawal rate was found by the Trinity Study to have a 100% success rate over a 30-year retirement horizon with a 50% / 50% mix of stocks and bonds.

The green line on the graph represents the growth of your net worth over time with your customized inputs. The red line visualizes your full FIRE number. You reach your full FIRE point where the green line crosses the red line.

At your Barista FIRE Age, you can see a "bump" in the graph where the slope of the two curves changes. This point represents where you would quit your day job. Since you are likely bringing in less income during your Barista FIRE phase than previously, the growth of your net worth slows down since it is mostly driven by investment returns and not contributions.

The math behind the calculator

The code calculates your full FIRE number as follows:

(FIRE number) = (annual spending) / SWR

This calculator uses the compound interest formula:

A = P * ( 1 + n)^t

Here A is the final amount, P is the principle (initial amount), n is the annual growth rate, and t is the time in years.

But what about inflation?

Inflation is an important variable to account for when planning for retirement decades in the future. It is almost certain that we will experience inflation in the future, and for this reason having your money invested in assets and not all stuffed under your mattress is crucially important. Assets like stocks and real estate tend to rise with inflation while cash loses value, meaning the best way to preserve your wealth in times of high inflation is to be invested in these "hard" assets.

Don't worry about inflation, it's built-in to the calculator! This calculator accounts for inflation by subtracting the inflation rate (from the input slider) from the investment growth rate of return. This gives an inflation-adjusted rate of return which is then used to calculate your Coast FIRE number and draw the graph. With this approach, all the numbers in the calculator are adjusted to be in 2020 dollars. Think about it like this - you don't have to worry about cost-of-living increases because it's already skimmed off of your expected investment returns.