The plan didn’t come to us like a dream in the night, but over years of reading about wealth building following others who have done it in the FIRE movement, trial and lots of errors. Between 2012 and 2016, we were GRINDING and almost everyone we knew was drinking from the same cup of work now, play later. Over time, our approach transitioned to work hard, play harder and finally, today, our motto is
work smart, opt out.
We fully expect our plan will evolve, but can say with absolute certainty that it won’t include being a corporate workhorse when we’re in our latter years. The concept of “opting out” is more widely known as achieving financial independence, early retirement or as the hardcore gunslingers of the movement call it; FIRE [financial independence, retire early]. There’s even a movie about it called Playing with FIRE and we’re proud to be cast members!
Now, you’re probably wondering, how are you going to make money? How are you going to survive? How will you take care of your kid(s)? The answer is; our money makes money so we don’t have to.
Look at it this way. If you invest $400 monthly over a forty year period, you’ll have a balance of $1 million [conservatively]. Despite the assumptions in that statement, what you should be asking yourself is –
What if I saved $500? $1,000, $1,500?
The answer is clearly, you’ll reach the million dollar mark in a shorter period of time which is an amount most people can live comfortably on, indefinitely. However, the million dollar question is “do I even need a million dollars”?
The answer to that question is solely based on your consumption rate; meaning the total amount of money it costs for you to cover your cost of living. For example, if you add up all of your bills and expenses on an annual basis, THAT number is your annual consumption rate. If you’re able to save up 25 times THAT number, several studies have verified that you can withdraw from that balance all you need to maintain that lifestyle and NEVER run out of money. Forever, ever.
Let’s use a realistic and simple example. Let’s say, you live in Atlanta and it costs you $40,000 [after taxes] to live. You just need to build a nest egg of $1 million and you can rest assured that if you withdraw 4% of that [$40K] on an annual basis you’ll have saved enough money to live indefinitely because your money will grow at a faster rate than you withdraw. Soooo…that’s the plan.
Save aggressively, invest at a crazy high rate over a shorter period of time and chuck the deuces at the high-stress, work life. Walk away from the traffic, free ourselves from the the cubicle/office, the golden handcuffs and start living good…on the low. Forever, ever.
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