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  • Writer's pictureZachP

#73. Back To The Time Challenge Series!


For those that do not remember, in my 4th article, I calculated our FI ("financial independence") numbers.


As a recap, I determined that if we had the following amount of passive income per month, we would officially be FI:


Financial Independence Number = $2,710

Current Average Spending Number = $7,747

Current Target Retirement Number = $5,332


Then, using the 4% rule as a baseline, I then determined to be able to reach those monthly numbers, we needed the following amount in our investment accounts:

  • Current Financial Independence Number (“FI Number”) = $813,000

  • Retirement Number Needed to Continue Current Lifestyle = $2,324,100

  • Desired Lifestyle Retirement Number = $1,599,600

Reread article 4 if you want to know how I determined the above numbers. Also, click on the below image if you want to know more about the 4% rule from Investopedia:

With this in mind, I decided to crunch some numbers and lay out two different scenarios. Oh, and as a reminder, my Seven-Year Time Challenge ends September 24, 2029, the day I turn 40 years old.


Scenario 1 - Earn More AND Go Into Extreme Saver Mode


Our total dollar amount in our tax-free, tax-deferred, and after-tax investment accounts total roughly $165,000 (over $100k is in our after-tax account).


With 6 and 1/2 years remaining in the time challenge, I am going to assume a modest 4% per year investment growth over that time period.


Using these assumptions, we would need to invest $6,743.37 per month over the next 6 and 1/2 years to reach our FI number.


With our expected gross income for 2023, that would put our savings rate at 67%!


It is possible for us to reach that number, but my wife and I do not want to pursue that lifestyle - yet.


Scenario 2 - Find Other Sources Of Passive Income To Lower FI Number


The current FI number is $813,000 to account for $2,710 of monthly passive income. But, it is possible to play around with these numbers to entertain a different possibility.


Let's say that we were able to find a way to generate $1,710 of monthly passive income from other sources, such as through our commercial rental property. This would change the above numbers drastically.


Again, using the 4% rule as a baseline, this means we would need $300,000 in our investment accounts to generate $1,000 of monthly passive income.


Using the same assumptions as above, we would need to save $978.63 per month over the next 6 and 1/2 years to reach that number. This actually sounds possible!


The Worse Case Scenario (barring death, divorce, or disability)


We fail to keep up with our roughly 30% savings rate, we fail to generate enough passive income to reach FI by 9/24/29, and we keep trying to reach our number at a later date.


Wait . . . WHAT?!?!? That's really the worst-case scenario?!?!?


As I said above, not including death, divorce, or disability, the worst-case scenario still leaves us in a far better financial situation.


Setting Aspirational Goals


The great thing about setting big, aspirational goals is that even if you do not reach them, you should have still created a better life for yourself.


I think I have tweeted a couple of times about how I am never insulted when someone calls me a dreamer.


Being called a dreamer should be seen as a badge of courage. Then, if you are crazy enough to not only dream big but to take measurable steps to achieve those dreams, you are becoming a force that will be increasingly harder to stop.


That is what I am constantly striving for.



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