FIRE.063 80% and NOW!

Life Is So Great.  As I was sitting in the spa (‘Jacuzzi’) at the gym after my lap swim the other day, I did my 10-minute meditation/mindfulness/gratitude session.  Somewhere during the swim/meditation, I started thinking about the luxury of being engaged in activities that are of my choosing—for my betterment— at a time that I chose…right in the middle of the day.

To put these thoughts in perspective, daily life can be somewhere between an amazing Saturday and Christmas.  It’s somewhere between a great day and a gift day.  Or more specifically, an absolutely amazing gift, maybe one of the best gifts you can have.

  • How can someone get this gift for themselves and family? What would this gift mean to you and your family?
  • What does it take to leave the formalized workforce?
  • Do you have to have a “magic number” to allow “retirement?”
  • Do you have reasons you’d want to be a non-working, full-time life-living person?

WOW, that’s so many questions, with so many possible answers.

If you had a magic number for retirement, and a whole list of activities you’d like to do, then it seems like you just need a date to start that new lifestyle.

I’m assuming the magic number you’ve created—possibly based on the 4% rule of thumb—is the main consideration because, after all, without money, you’d just be a bum instead of FI.  Or, are those different at all?

My question is, would you live a little lower level of lifestyle to not have to work again?  Could you live on say, 80% of your current spending in order not to go to work each morning/each day?  Could you be happy with a little lower (or significantly lower) level of lifestyle?

There are so many articles that base your retirement expenses at 80% of your salary.  To me, it’s quite scary to think that most people spend ALL of their money, or most of it.

    I guess the 80% is based on:

  • 65% going to SS,
  • 5% to work expenses and
  • 10% to savings…everyone’s saving at least 10% right?
  • (Quick calc: saving 10% means after 8 yrs of saving you’ve earned 1 yr of retirement?)
  • (Quick calc #2: after 40 yrs of saving, you’ve earned 5 yrs of retirement.)
  • (Quick calc #3: saving 50% of income for1 yr, you’ve earned 1 yr of retirement.)
    • [Ignoring growth/inflation]

So it’s easy to see there are opportunities to live a lifestyle now that will set up an amazing lifestyle in the futureBut, don’t forget to enjoy each day now.  Over-sacrificing now may seem like punishment, making the FIRE goal less valuable overall.

The new quote I love:  “What a wonderful life I’ve had!   I only wish I’d realized it sooner.” – Colette.

So, could the Pareto 80/20 principle work for you?  Could you hit 80% of your “magic number” and forgo 20% of your lifestyle in order to FIRE sooner?

I definitely believe the best things in life are not money driven.  However, it’s really great to have some money around…


*** Nothing in this article is to be construed as financial advice.  I am not a financial planner, nor do I pretend to be.  You should always consult your own professional when seeking advice.

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