FIRE Calculator

The FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement is a savings and investment pathway for retiring earlier than you normally would with traditional retirement savings methods. If retiring from the office decades before the average retirement age of 66 is something you’re interested in, here’s what you need to know and how to use our FIRE early retirement calculator to find out just how much you need to save to do it.

Your FIRE Factor

 

Your FIRE Goal

$1,125,000

The amount of money you should have to maintain your current standard of living at retirement.

FIRE Age

40

The age where you can achieve your FIRE goal and retire

 

How our FIRE calculator works

Written By: Christina Majaski | Edited By: Becca Stanek

To get started on saving for your early retirement, you’ll need to first calculate your FIRE number. This number is the amount of money you will need to have invested in order to quit working and live off the returns.

To calculate your FIRE number, you will need to enter the following information into our calculator:

  • Your current age
  • Your annual income after taxes
  • Your annual expenses (usually around 70% of your income)
  • Current savings account balance
  • Percentage of your income you contribute to savings
  • Savings rate of return
  • Estimated annual expenses in retirement
  • Your investment portfolio balance
  • Your yearly investment contribution amount
  • Investment rate of return

Once you’ve entered the data and pressed calculate, you will get your FIRE goal, which is the amount of money you need to maintain your current lifestyle in retirement. You’ll also get your FIRE age, which is the age at which you can likely achieve your FIRE goal and retire.

You can also calculate your FIRE number yourself (though not as specifically as the calculator can) using the rule of 25, which refers to saving 25 times your annual expenses. For example, if your annual expenses are currently $55,000, your FIRE number would be around $1,375,000.

What is the FIRE Movement? (Financial Independence, Retire Early)

The FIRE — or Financial Independence, Retire Early — movement is a path that many people are pursuing to increase their savings and investments investments so they can retire early and achieve financial independence. The movement was started by two financial professionals in their 1992 bestseller, “Your Money or Your Life”. In the book, Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez explained the process of comparing your expenses to the amount of time you spend working to earn the purchase.

The overall goal of FIRE is to retire at a younger age, often in your early 40s or 50s as opposed to the traditional retirement age of 65 or even 70. By retiring earlier, you can spend more of your time enjoying life rather than working.

Types of FIRE

There are four different variations of FIRE to choose from, each with its own features. Thus, you choose the right type of FIRE for your situation.

FatFIRE

The goal of FatFIRE is to have enough money invested that you can quit your full-time job and live a comfortable lifestyle, with household annual expenses of around $100,000. This type of FIRE focuses on saving more than the average investor, allowing you to both reach your goals sooner and be able to keep some frills in retirement.

LeanFIRE

If you’re okay with leading a more minimalist lifestyle and sticking to what might be considered extreme saving, you might consider LeanFIRE. This type of FIRE requires living frugally as opposed to FatFIRE, which is about maintaining your lifestyle. You can retire early with LeanFire, but only with enough to continue maintaining that frugal lifestyle.

CoastFIRE

CoastFIRE is an option if you start saving and investing as early as your 20s or 30s. This type of FIRE considers time and investment. When you are younger, you have longer for your investments to grow thanks to compound interest so you don’t have to invest as much and can stop contributing sooner — in other words, you can ‘coast’ toward retirement rather than taking up an aggressive savings strategy.

BaristaFIRE

This type of FIRE is for those who have reached their FIRE goal and no longer need to work a regular full-time job. However, you might still keep a part-time job (somewhere like a local coffee shop) to help cover any extra expenses. This type of FIRE is intended to allow you to pay for everyday expenses without dipping into your retirement fund.

How to achieve FIRE

If you’re wondering how to actually achieve FIRE, here’s a step-by-step guide that can help:

  1. Calculate your number. To get started, you need to know your FIRE number, the amount you need to have invested to retire at your goal age and cover your expenses with the returns. Our calculator can help you determine exactly how much you need to retire early, taking into consideration your current expenses and estimated yearly spending. You will also want to set a target date for your retirement, though you can change this at any time down the road.
  2. Choose the type of FIRE for you. Take a look at your financial situation and determine which type of FIRE that will work best for you, whether it’s FatFIRE, LeanFire, CoastFIRE or BaristaFIRE.
  3. Pay off high interest debt. If you have outstanding balances on high-interest debt, such as credit cards or loans, work on paying off these debts before you do anything else. The money you are paying in interest could be going toward your retirement savings. Sometimes this can mean doubling up on payments until the debts are cleared.
  4. Lower your expenses. Unless you choose LeanFIRE, you don’t have to go full-on minimalist. However, the best bet for any type of FIRE — or for being able to retire early in general — is to cut your expenses so you can put more money toward retirement. This could mean moving to a less expensive house or driving a less expensive car.
  5. Save any extra money. Once you’ve paid off high-interest debt and lowered your expenses, you should be able to put more money toward your retirement. Look for additional ways to save extra, such as cutting some entertainment expenses. While it may feel like a sacrifice, remember the goal is to retire early and enjoy more of your life.
  6. Invest. Just saving money isn’t going to get you to retirement early. You will also need to look for investment opportunities where your money can earn more than it could in the standard savings account. Before you decide what to invest in, consider your risk tolerance and make sure to diversify your portfolio so you’re not putting all of your eggs in any one basket.
  7. Look for ways to make more money. Last, look for opportunities to earn more money. Many members of the FIRE movement choose to take on part-time jobs in addition to their full-time jobs. While this might mean a lot of working hours, it could help you get you to retirement faster.

A financial advisor could help you achieve your FIRE goals

Following the FIRE movement might seem like a great idea on one hand, but on the other, it could seem a bit complicated. A financial advisor or professional can take a look at your assets and expenses and your retirement goal. Then, they can help you put together a plan for investing, saving and reaching those goals.

Early retirement FAQs

If you want to retire early, it’s best to start saving immediately. You don’t have to be a particular age to become part of the FIRE movement. If your goal is to retire early, you’ll need to evaluate your finances and start saving more money as soon as possible.

While most people will be able to fit into one of the types of FIRE, it isn’t a movement that is for everybody. Some people will find it difficult and stressful trying to optimize every dollar they make. Also, many people who make the FIRE movement work and do retire early end up moving to a country with a lower cost of living, which isn’t an option for everyone.

The “4% rule” can help you determine how much you need to withdraw from your retirement account when you retire, and it is not specific to the FIRE movement. This rule of thumb is intended to ensure that, as a retiree, you withdraw enough to live on each year while maintaining an account balance that can sustain you throughout retirement. The 4% accounts for inflation and life expectancy.

Regarding FIRE, this rule means you will typically withdraw up to 4% of your portfolio without lowering the principal amount so you have enough to live through retirement.