FIRE Station Fun – Calculating Returns

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Most of 2016 did not bring a lot of growth in the stock market.  It wasn’t until Election Day that the S&P500 really took off with gains of +15% behind the so-called Trump Rally, which seems to hinge on corporate and individual tax cuts and simplification.  Heaven knows how the Federal government is going to pay for all of that (more about that in next Monday’s post), but in the meanwhile, almost everyone’s retirement nest egg has gotten a big boost.

Conversely, my MegaCorp stock options are heading the wrong way.  Their business performance has been subpar for several consecutive quarters, they are turning over their senior management, and investors that were hoping to see them acquired are giving up on that potential payday.  They had a pretty strong performance in 2016, so a setback in the early part of this year isn’t so bad, but this is a company whose stock has risen every year but once in the last thirty years (and only -0.5% that year).

Nonetheless, I have not spent much time fretting over our early retirement nest egg.  I know we have enough cushion built into it, and our spending in 2017 has been less than last year.  As a result I have spent much less time in early retirement tracking numbers and more time living the life.

Getting a handle on your numbers before you make your FIRE escape is critical for anyone.  Here is a link to the steps that we took to ensure we were ready to early retire last year.   If you haven’t seen it, FIREcalc.com is an amazing tool that you can use to pressure test your assumptions a lot of different ways.

I would encourage you to take some time on Friday afternoon or this weekend!

Image Credit: Pixabay

7 thoughts on “FIRE Station Fun – Calculating Returns

    • I wish that was the case – that my work had anything to do with their stock price. This company I left at the end of 2012 (after 24 years). Stock was $36 the day I left – is $57 now. Reached as high as $72 at one point!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Good point about making time to just enjoy your life. I think some people get too obsessed about their numbers, portfolio, spending etc and let it consume them. Its good to check up on things regularly but you also have to look at the big picture. Once you have a plan in place you dont have to look at it every day or week. Chances are everything will be fine so dont be afraid to make time for the things you enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes – It is easy in a connected world to always be online or using apps to check your latest valuation, but important to not become a slave to your numbers.

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  2. Sounds familiar, the risk of being consumed by the journey to FIRE. It’s good to have focus, but it should not take over your life. Try to continuously remind myself of this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, they have a pension plan. It is a very good (and fully funded) defined benefit plan. I’m 51 now and could start getting it as soon as age 55.

      Liked by 1 person

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