I’ve already met my original retirement goal

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.

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18 thoughts on “I’ve already met my original retirement goal

  1. That’s so awesome! Do you think you’ll retire super early or donate to charity or both?

    My husband and I plan to get a big stash in the next 5 years or so to set us up for retirement/kid’s college, then donate a bunch of money while working because we want to give back. If you like your work, no need to just retire early.

    • I don’t know! Probably a bit of both. My plan has always been to set up a career I love and to save enough money that I have the runway to quit when I hate my job. I also don’t know if I’ll have kids, which is a big factor in when you can retire as well. I’m donating “only” 1% of my gross income right now, which I plan to increase to 2% once I pay off the mortgage. Once I’m FI, I will increase that probably up to 10% and possibly higher if I feel like it. My career can be pretty stressful though, so I have a feeling I’ll end up retiring earlier rather than later, but we’ll see how things play out!

  2. Great job so far, but if you think $2,183 a month is enough to retire on, think again. Perhaps if you get on public assistance it may be. Keep working it. Use other calculators too. Firecalc has its limitations, especially of you are forecasting out a long time. Use tools like Fidelity Income Planner and Flexible Retirement Planner. And make sure you are 100% sure.

    Retiring at 50 is a lot easier than 40. You have more SS and less years to plan for.

    • $2,183 is about what I spend after the mortgage right now, so that doesn’t seem that crazy. It’s also a lot for one person, in my opinion. Any calculations at this point are just to see milestones and estimates, not to predict certainties of how long my funds will last. I’ll do more specific math as things get closer.

      If you retire at 40, you are more likely to be able to find alternate income, whereas at 50, I don’t see very many people hiring you. That’s why my original retirement goal is to be able to retire at 50 – I see the older software developers getting pushed out a lot.

      • As an older software developer, I can attest to that. There are far more cheaper developers in other countries willing to work for a small wage by US Standards.

        $2,183 will be tight as you get older. It can be done, but make sure you have an extra cushion for healthcare and more travel. After all, you don’t want to just sit around all day.

        • That’s why I’ll keep saving ;) I’m not done saving. It’s nice to already have a basic amount saved though.

          There’s really no one in my last office over 35 unless they’re an executive. It’s pretty crazy.

  3. Woot! Awesome job! Obviously no need to rush into anything now, but it’s great that you now have a lot of different lifestyle options available to you. Are you pretty happy with your career right now? Are there other fields you’re thinking of transitioning into?

    • I’m not super happy with my career right now. We’ll see how the new job goes. It’s supposedly quite different from my previous one, so that should help! Otherwise, I’ll start looking at new plans.

    • Yes, exactly! It’s a nice milestone to pass :) And I will definitely keep saving what is leftover. I’ve started splurging a bit more lately, which is also nice.

  4. That’s flipping fantastic!

    The only thing I’d (YMMV of course) wonder about would be the costs of health care in retirement since I can only foresee them going up. Having watched both my grandma and mom suffer from serious health problems with no more than the most basic health insurance, I’ve always had a bit of extra concern on that front.

    • Oh definitely! I am most definitely concerned about how much healthcare will cost in retirement. It’s really hard to predict that far in the future though, so hopefully I have enough saved that it’ll be fine.

  5. Nice to see that your income is already at the level allowing you to retire at your 26 of age. With that, reinvesting and compounding you will be able to retire a lot earlier than in your 50s. You can shorten it to 40s and then do what you enjoy – working? Fine, I will also work if I want to. The difference is, that now I work because I have to. I wish to get into a situation when I will work because I want to and not have to. Good job!

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