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Any interesting ways for measuring progress?
Old 08-05-2008, 04:09 PM   #1
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Any interesting ways for measuring progress?

I was wondering how everyone else tracks their progress towards FIRE. I just like looking at numbers, even if it doesn't necessarily change anything

I'm not particularly competent with spreadsheets, but I've made myself a fairly basic one that I fill in that has a row for every month, and a number representing the amount I would need to retire (adjusted for inflation), and an empty cell where I can put in how much I have, so I can make sure I'm not losing ground.

I also like to keep tabs on how much money I could draw down from what I have right now (basically net worth * .04 or .03 or whatever SWR figure you're comfortable with).

I've seen someone else has a FIRE clock in their signature, which I thought was a neat way to think about it.

Does anyone else have any different things they like to do that they'd like to share? They don't necessarily have to be "useful" to be interesting.

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Old 08-05-2008, 05:14 PM   #2
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I have always had a monthly savings goal, and try to see how much more than that I can manage to save each month.

Then, I try to figure out how much I will have saved by a tentative ER date, at that rate. That usually encourages me to save even more.

"You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore." - - - C. Columbus
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Old 08-05-2008, 05:56 PM   #3
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I have a chart which uses the rule of 72. (Divide rate of return into 72 and that is the number of years it will take an investment to double).

I then plug my 25X expenses number at top (say $2 M) then plus an age next to it (say 68). Meaning I need $2 M at age 68 to retire.

Then half the 25X number ($1 M) and reduce the age by 8 =60 (assuming a 9% return)
half and subtract again
$500k 52
250k 44
$125k 36

I am not 36 and have more than 125k, so I am ahead of schedule for an age 68 retirement.

I can then "shift" the numbers ($250k is needed by age 36 to retire at 60)
I can also shift the return (use 8% or 10% in different circumstances).

This is used to remind me my current level of deposits are good for normal retirement (on track) but I am not anywhere close to being on cruise control for FIRE.

Key milestones for me are being 6X and 12X from the goal- because that means I need 2 doubles, which could be done in 15 years, or one double, which I might be able to do in 5 years, to reach FIRE.
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:07 PM   #4
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I tend to think more in terms of concrete *things* instead of $$ amounts. For example, I think "the income from our current investments will pay for our mortgage/utilities/health insurance / groceries / boozefests etc." rather than "We've got XXX amount stashed away.

This gives me a feeling of being partially retired already, even if it is just the phone bill that's being paid through investment income.

As the list grows (and our debts shrink), I get even more motivated to have more things covered by passive income.
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