Just discovered this forum a week ago, read through a bunch of threads and it seems there is great information on this site with some experienced members.
Going to post my situation and thoughts, if anyone has any advice or tips I'd love to hear them. Planning on updating NW and mindset change itt yearly and on any major milestones. Thinking it will be a cool way to document my journey on my road to FIRE.
27 - Turning 28 in October.
Single, no DW or kids.
$83,000/year with 10% target bonus.
Max out Traditional 401(k) @ $18,000/year Vanguard, bimonthly deposit and 4% employer match. Max out Roth IRA @ $5,500/year Vanguard, bimonthly deposit. Rest into Vanguard brokerage account, deposit when excess cash gets to $4,000-$5,000. HSA maxing out @ $3,400/year+$31.25x24 employer contribution. Employer also quarterly matches 2.5% of salary into employee retirement account.
$156,000 - Including 2014 Subaru Impreza 45k miles bought cash @ 21k OTD, estimating 11k current value (probably low estimate but I'm planning on driving it for at least the next decade).
$21,000 - 13.5k in 'high' yield savings account at 1.05% APY as emergency fund. Equates to EF of 6ish months.
$36,400 in 100%VTSAX.
$53,000 in 27%CompanyStock / 73%TargetRetirement2055.
$8,100 in 100%TargetRetirement2055.
$3,600 will invest it once account reaches 10k.
$26,100 in 60%VFIAX (S&P500) / 40%VTSAX (total U.S. stock fund).
*Did you know 'bimonthly' means twice a month AND every other month? Lol, ffs who let that slip through the cracks? My case means twice a month.
One question I have is what is the main difference between VTSAX and S&P500 funds? I know the fundamental difference as VTSAX is all tradable U.S. companies and S&P is top 500 companies in USA but which fund is best for my situation and why is what I'm getting at.
Monthly Nut - Burn Rate
Rent: $830/mo including parking.
I live in Chicago and enjoy living here. It is a bit more pricey and higher taxes and cost of living than other areas but I'm fine with that. Do not want to buy a place in the city as I'm not wanting to live here forever and the city of Chicago is broke so I don't trust buying a place here.
I have always been frugal and LBMM. I'm not a cheap skate and I do splurge from time to time but on the big items I'm pretty financially smart. Owe most of that to my parents who are both engineers so we always had enough money growing up. My dad is more investment savvy as I've taught my mom more investment strategy in the past couple few months than she previously knew. She always saved but more w**ked for money than thinking it could w**k for her. They are almost 60, still w**king, 2.5 million in investment accounts, own house @~350k and condo @~300k, 0 debt. They do not rent the condo out, use it for vacation and let family use it whenever. They will be fine but just keep w**king as they like it. I owe SOOOOOO much to them, great childhood and they paid for my college which let me start investing right out of school.
Discovered the FIRE community around 4 months ago after a certain (arguably most famous?) blogger was interviewed on a self improvement podcast I love (am I allowed to say who it was? Want to share info but don't want to get banned on my first post for seeming like I'm trying to give free advertisement lol). After that I ran my own numbers, and realized I could reach an early exit fairly easily. Started reading a ton of the blogs, maybe 6 of them and all the good posts to absorb any info that could help me and then found this site. Always maxed out IRA and did minimum 10% 401k contribution since starting work but kinda just spent the rest as I knew I was doing better than most. I did buy a new car straight cash homie (my old Ford ZX2 died) so not like I was blowing my money on strippers and scratch offs. Kicked up to max 401k, max HSA, and opened brokerage account beginning of this year after discovering FIRE. Was simply lucky (or maybe my uncle told me) to invest with Vanguard and pick basic index funds starting out that I'd pick again if I had to do it again starting over. I realized the power of compound interest early and read some investing/financial books during college and at the beginning of my career. Upon realizing early retirement was a possibility, I started trying to cut back on things I don't need. Pretty easy to do as I already have all the toys I want right now, built my own computer, PS4, good home theater system with projector, and a Foosball table where most would put a dining room table are enough to satisfy my 'rich itch' for the time being. Other than the occasional video game and new pair of boxing gloves I only have 1 item on my shopping list so I should be able to keep expenses down and investments up. I do need a new mattress and bed setup, the one I have now I started sleeping on in middle school lol. Rocking a queen mattress as a 12 year old was great.
I'm fine with being super aggressive early on. Own mostly stocks as shown above. Have talked about starting a business with my brothers (they're 23 & 24) owning/renting real estate but not sure if we're going to start that, we're all in different locations so stock ownership may be my main investment bucket. Hoping the market drops earlier in my investing career (opposed to later, ideally it would never drop lol), if it happened I'd dump my emergency account plus whatever else I could into the market and rebuild the emergency fund as the market recovered.
I'm going to hold almost all stocks as long as I have a paycheck. When I'm close to FIREing I'm thinking I will either shift a % into a bond index or keep something like 3-5 years in cash in case the market drops, I can use the cash while the market recovers and then top back off after the correction to avoid burning the value off during a recession. Maybe a combo of the two above.
After FIREing I'm going to use cash and brokerage to fund living expenses while rolling over a portion of my Traditional IRA (rolled over from 401k) into my Roth every year to stay in a low tax bracket but still have access to retirement funds before 59.5 without paying the penalty. After my brokerage account runs out tap the deposits from Roth IRA as you can touch them after 5 years? Am I on the right track with this thought process?
I'm thinking we're due for a correction shortly, maybe this year maybe in 4, but the P/E ratio is the second highest it's ever been and household debt and consumer debt are rising. That coupled with the third longest stretch between recessions make me think one is on the horizon. Thoughts?
Another question I have is should I save up a bit of money that should go into brokerage account or continue to invest every $4k mark? I know no one can tell me where the market will be in 3 years but with 401k and IRA deposits on autopilot I'm wondering if I should 'save' for a market dip and dump money in then as it is at an all time high or just keep chugging along and investing on a set frequency?
Why I Want To Retire
I want to retire early to improve on things I enjoy. I like my job but don't want to w**k for megacorp forever. The company I w**k for is a good one but don't want to rely on a paycheck. I am an engineer and do interesting w**k and like the people I w**k with but being stuck in a cubicle is getting old after 4 years, can't imagine doing it to age 65. I also hate performance evaluations and office politics (admittedly they are low where I work). I do not enjoy waking up at 5:30am either.
A long way from hitting this retirement to -do list but it goes something like this, travel, poker (more on this below), piano lessons (took them for 10 years as a kid, I'm good but want to get even better. I've written 1 song and want to compose more), guitar lessons (I suck), MMA/jiu-jitsu, read more books. I think growing cannabis and/or homebrewing would be a cool hobby to pick up too pending it's legal and everything when I FIRE. If I have kids I'd be very thankful if I could show they are my #1 priority and stay at home to be with them and raise them in the best possible way. Getting to FIRE would be the best way to make that a reality.
I'm assuming most members of this site are not poker players and initial reaction of most is it's lumped in with slots and table games where you gamble against the house and are statistically going to lose. Poker you play against other people and is more like a game of chess than blackjack. While there is luck, over the long run if you make the correct decisions and have a large enough bankroll to ride out the variance you will make money, kinda like the stock market! I am a proven winner (height of my semi-pro career made 10k in a year) and could probably aim to at least make grocery money post retirement. I have 3 friends who are professional poker players - Yes, that's all they do for income. Gives me an outlet to early retirement income and could play part time so it's not a constant grind if I want to take a month off. I'm not planning on relying on it, thinking of it more like SS, if it's there when I retire, great, bonus income. I'm not playing as much poker right now as most of my efforts are going toward improving in MMA, 1 year in and really enjoying it. While I enjoy poker, playing/studying/watching training vids, I don't know where the game will be a decade from now and I have this path through megacorp to secure myself forever financially I just can't make the leap yet to go full on professional.
Not relying on SS or any inheritance although both are a possibility. If I get them, great. Will reassess and go from there if it happens.
Pros About Me Financially
- I live with 2 roommates, helps with rent. They are great guys and we get along well, hope to keep it going for a while, lived with one of them in college and we both ended up moving to Chicago.
- I walk to the grocery store and walk to the gym, benefits of city living
- Have a nice Trek bike that I need to repair (tires both flat) but love riding that instead of driving when possible.
- Family phone plan with parents and brothers.
- Freerolling Spotify membership, xmas present from mom.
- Buzz my own hair for haircuts.
- We don't pay for gas for the apartment, huge during Chicago winter.
- Freerolling a Costco membership from my old roommate 3 years ago, hope to keep that one going - thanks Kyle!
- Freerolling Amazon prime from roommate.
- My roommate owns a dog, mini beagle - all the perks for me with no financial drain.
- No DW or kids, want to have them in the future but obv need to find the right woman and have the stars align. Not worrying about this one, will cross that bridge when it appears.
- No debt.
- Credit score of 800-820.
- Make a bit of bonus money 1%-5% rewards from using CCs correctly. I don't churn them but might open another one shortly.
Cons About Me Financially
- Drive to work, 30min/15miles, pretty much have to as biking is a bit too long and I drive through a sketch neighborhood omw.
- Live in downtown Chicago, although more expensive it is a ton of fun, worth it to me, and I make it justifiable with the roommates.
- Lost my freeroll Netflix membership as my ex gf kicked me off and changed her password. Probably my fault as I made my own profile on her account after we broke up, I would probably still have access if I'd just used it without making the additional profile - worth every penny.
- Probably eat out and go out a bit too much but meh, this new keto diet I'm trying out might help that.
- I like collecting and listening to vinyl records. This is one thing I've cut back on this year. Nothing crazy, I have 30 or 40. I'll still buy one every now and then but I think for a while before pulling the trigger.
- $100,000 NW. Achieved April 2016, age 26.
- $500,000 NW.
- $1,000,000 NW.
- $1,000,000 in cash+investments.
- NW > lifetime W2 earnings.
- Own a house.
- FIRE, don't have a target date yet but would be great if I could do it before 40.
I don't care about money for money's sake, while I do think 1mill would be a cool number to reach, not sure if I will stay with megacorp that long and hit it here. Long way away from making that decision so no need to think too hard on it at the moment.
Haven't thought too hard about what my FIRE number is as I'm a ways away from it. My breakaway target income is 25k-30k, I live now on 25k/year while renting in downtown Chicago, so I'm thinking 1million invested will secure me there. I could cut monthly expenses by about $500 if I needed to so I'm pretty sure I could hack it on 20k/year even without poker.
My situation will change if I ever get married or have kids so will have to look at that if it happens.
I want to move to Vegas and live there at least initially. Long way to go ldo but I'd probably buy a house/condo there if housing market isn't crazy around that time. Will have to figure out of it makes sense to buy while employed and if I will pay cash or leave that money in the market and pay off mortgage slower when that happens. I'm okay renting initially if it makes sense, just not sure how much harder it is to but when unemployed.
A lot of uncertainty as what I'll need for health care costs in retirement with what's happening in that field here in 2017 as Trump changes things up, won't have to worry about that for a while either so we'll see how it plays out and adjust accordingly. I am very healthy, eat great, am in good shape, and other than taking the occasional allergy pill I don't have any issues. Haven't had candy or a soda in years and water is my third favorite drink behind bourbon and beer. Uncle had prostate cancer tho so I do have that as a possibility to keep in mind.
If I lost my job I'd really have to look if I would take a shot at the poker thing full time or look for a new job in the city. Right now it'd probably be job but if my NW reaches 500k that may be the tipping point should my employer decide to end our relationship.
If everything goes as it is now and the market returns 8% for the next decade and I keep my job and get standard annual raises/bonuses, I will hit 1million NW around age 37. Lot of variables in there, could be sooner with promotions or if I get lucky and if I hit it later than that I won't be upset. I know I'm headed in the right direction so I am going to keep smiling and enjoy the journey.
- I have never paid for a haircut in my life.
- I have never had a negative net worth.
- While I have never cut dryer sheets in half, (good idea! Going to start) I always have cut sponges in half to get more use out of them haha
They get moldy and gross before they wear out so I get twice the use out of them if I cut them in half. I do it more for an environmental standpoint but good to know it's a financially smart move too.
- My mom's dad came to America in his 20s during the war owing his boat ticket, no money, owned the clothes on his back, knew 4 words of English, two of which were 'pork chop', and knew carpentry. He went from that to happily retired and financially well off. He gave me (and 6 other grandchildren) $5,000 to invest as an early inheritance gift last year and I just had a couple few beers with him this weekend at the sharp old age of 88. He can still have a good time. Hope I make it that far
Thanks for reading this far! I'd like to hear any thoughts, insights, and opinions you have. Will give NW update at end of every year.