Optimistic Update To The 4% Rule

If you’re not familiar with the name Bill Bengen, you probably are familiar with his work.  Back in 1994, he published his Trinity Study suggesting that a 4% withdrawal rate of retirement savings would be ‘safe’ for most retirees, based on historical financial returns. Bengen – now long retired himself – has been in the news updating his thoughts on the ‘4% Rule’, as he … Continue reading Optimistic Update To The 4% Rule

Is 90% ‘Good Enough’ Odds?

I read through a good online discussion of retirement spending/investment probabilities this weekend. Someone was asking early retirees in a forum if they felt a 90% probability of out-living your retirement nest egg was enough, based on a online calculator like FIREcalc. I’ve written about FIREcalc probabilities before and using Monte Carlo analysis to help pressure test your FIRE plan. It is a great tool. … Continue reading Is 90% ‘Good Enough’ Odds?

How Fast Are Prices Really Rising?

Inflation is one of the assumptions that our FIRE financial model is the most sensitive to. Even a half percent change in inflation over a 40 year retirement plan is hugely significant. We use an assumption that our spending inflation will be between 2.5-3.0% a year, which is slightly higher than what the official US Consumer Price Index (CPI) has averaged. I’ve read articles in … Continue reading How Fast Are Prices Really Rising?

Financial Advice For Your Twenties

Our son is just out of college and about 4 weeks into his career in software & web design.  He signed up for all of his work benefits right away, including his health insurance and retirement 401K plan. He’s very thoughtful with his financial approach, but I saw an online chat about ‘Financial Advice For People In Their Twenties’ from the fatFIRE Facebook Group that … Continue reading Financial Advice For Your Twenties

Do You Have A Financial Advisor?

A survey in a recent online group asked early retirees if they work with a professional financial advisor. I was surprised to see that the great majority (about two-thirds) of folks did not. While I always tell people you need to be knowledgeable enough to be your own primary financial advisor, it’s nice to have a professional financial advisor as a secondary resource. That is, … Continue reading Do You Have A Financial Advisor?

How Long Can FIRE Last?

If you are like me, you sometimes see articles in the personal finance press about people who are very young – in their 30s and 40s – who have quit their jobs and declared themselves FIRE’d (financially independent & retired early). Recently, ABC’s Good Morning America ran this piece on a couple who retired very young and the ‘secret strategies’ they want to share with … Continue reading How Long Can FIRE Last?

How Early Is Early Retirement? (New Data)

It’s a basic question, but one that I have struggled to find any data on: how many people retire at what age?  I found a chart from a University of MN study a few years ago and ‘reverse engineered’ some data, but I knew that my math wasn’t very exact. Now I came across this chart / data from a helpful website called DQYDJ.com … … Continue reading How Early Is Early Retirement? (New Data)