Note that all values are in current dollars, adjusted for future inflation.
This simple calculator is designed to help you to answer the question of how a major consumption purchase like a vacation or new car impacts your timeline to FIRE. The results are suprising and thought-provoking. Your dream vacation may only add a few weeks to your FIRE timeline. On the other hand, buying that new BMW might mean working for an extra six months.
Financial Independence / Retire Early (FIRE) is a personal finance milestone where you have accumulated enough assets that the returns on your investments are enough to cover your cost of living. Once you have reached FIRE, you can live off the returns from your investments indefinitely and you have the freedom to spend your time however you like, without the need to work for income.
You don't have to wait until age 67 to gain complete freedom over your time. Adjust the inputs on this calculator to see how soon you can reach FIRE and how much you need to accumulate to reach this milestone.
This calculator makes it easy to understand how a major consumption purchase that you make today impacts your timeline to Financial Independence.
To use this calculator, simply fill in the inputs at the top of the page and click "calculate" to recalculate the impact your purchase has on your FIRE timeline.
Your FIRE number is the amount of money you need to have invested such that the returns from your investments are enough to cover your ongoing living expenses. This number is based only on your estimated annual spending in retirement and your Safe Withdrawal Rate (SWR):
(FIRE number) = (annual spending) / SWR
This calculator uses your input allocation percentages and rate-of-return for each to calculate a weighted-average rate-of-return for your net worth as it moves through the simulation.
At its core, 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.
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 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 FIRE number and draw the graph. With this approach, all the numbers in the calculator are adjusted to be in today's 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.
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