My primary retirement goal is to be able to retire at age 50. I already have enough money to do that at 26 years old, to spend $2,183/month of today’s dollars. That’s the power of compound interest.
In general, I assume that I will probably have some form of income over the next 24 years until I turn 50 and I’m also not going to spend it all since that would be the counter opposite of my personality, which will bring in this retirement date.
I remember reading rave reviews of FIRECalc as a retirement calculator over at the MMM forums that I decided to play around with it this morning. I started wondering how much I am really over saving for retirement by. Sure enough, it’s a lot! I already have enough in my portfolio to retire at age 50 and live for the rest of my life at my current spending rate. That’s pretty good! So then I started wondering if you just look at the contributions to tax-advantaged retirement accounts of ~$58,500 per year, when does FIRECalc think I could retire? Age 39! It unfortunately doesn’t seem to be able to answer the question of “How much more do I need to be saving now to retire at X age?” But when I told it I was saving $100,000 per year for retirement, it changed its mind to me being able to retire at age 32.
What do these numbers tell me? So long as I don’t increase my standard of living, I should be able to completely retire in about 10 years or in my late thirties. Or if I prefer to donate most of my current income, I could retire happily around age 48.
This is why I feel that there’s really no bad choice of where to stash my savings. I can pay down the mortgage faster, I can invest more in taxable accounts or in retirement accounts, or keep more money in cash. They’re all good options since I’ve already met my real goal. I still plan to keep contributing to retirement accounts since they help save on taxes.