Envisioning the future of my finances

Some day, my pre-tax 401(k) will be worth more than one year’s annual salary.

Some day, withdrawing 4% of my investments could cover all of my needs. That some day will be sooner than you think – it’ll come in 2016.

Some day, my liquid assets will be worth more than my mortgage.

Some day, my pre-tax 401(k) will gain or lose more in a year than I can add myself, likely in the year I turn 30. My Roth IRA is already at this point.

Some day, my mortgage will be paid off, reducing my expenses by about $12,000 per year. Then I will increase my donations budget from its current 1% of my gross income to 2% of my gross income.

Some day, I will be a millionaire on paper.

Some day, I will start adding to my taxable account at Vanguard, beyond just adding to my retirement accounts. At the point that I start doing this, my retirement accounts will already be worth almost half a million dollars.

Some day, I will learn about tax loss harvesting.

Some day, my investment accounts will be worth enough to sustain my lifestyle indefinitely with a 4% withdrawal rate. Then I will increase my donations budget to 5% of my gross income, at which point I could open up a donor advised fund. Those seem cool! Also, simpler come tax time.

Some day, my investment accounts will be worth enough to sustain my lifestyle indefinitely with a 3% withdrawal rate. Then I will increase my donations budget to 10% of my gross income, at which point I would definitely open up a donor advised fund.


There are all sorts of levels of financial freedom that I look forward to discovering in my future. The level I’m at now is pretty cool too.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Readers, what levels of financial freedom do you look forward to in your future?


17 thoughts on “Envisioning the future of my finances

  1. Love your list of checkpoints – so much more imaginative than the typical $XXk goals. Think I shall use some of your ideas about the swings in the 401k balance, and add them to my net worth goals. Ooh, I could also do some threshold goals in other currencies (we have retirement accounts in 3, this being the third we’ve lived in).

    Thanks for the inspiration! *fires up an FX calculator*

    • Thanks! I don’t think that freedom checkpoints are really in terms of specific dollars – they’re the feeling you get from accomplishing a more wishy washy goal. Thresholds in other currencies are good too! I forgot the checkpoint where some day I will be able to retire in a LCOL area in North America. I’m really looking forward to that one! It will probably happen next year too.

  2. Great list. Right now I take it day by day, contributing as much as possible to my retirement accounts and brokerage account. The goal after that is reach a point where 4% of my portfolio will cover 100% of my expenses. Once I get there, I’ll tack on some more goals :)

    • I try to take it day by day (hence the no dates that I want to hit these milestones), but I’m still a planner! Yup, 4% is my big goal too! After that, I’ll get more detailed about a plan.

  3. I have some similar goals. Somewhere on my Spreadsheet, there is a note that at retirement, I will withdraw an annualized 4% out of my investments on a monthly basis, and whatever is unused each month has to get donated to charity.

  4. I love your vision for your future, and some of the decision triggers you’ve mapped out, like upping your charitable contributions when you hit certain milestones! And wow — 4% is so close! That’s awesome. We are definitely at the point where our 401ks fluctuate in much greater amounts than we can contribute, and same for our overall portfolio. 2016 should be the year for a *big* cash milestone for us, which I’m super excited about, and then 2017 is the last year of full-time work, and 2018 is the first year of freedom… so we have a few exciting years ahead too. :-)

    • 4% is several years away for my entire lifestyle, but just the needs will be met next year! Apparently I have a lot of discretionary spending :)

      Yes, you have some big years coming up! I’m excited to see how the next few years unfold for you two :)

  5. I wonder how much quicker I’d reach my “goals” if I forewent donations. To be fair though, it’s not a whole lot more than your 1%.

    • Definitely a bit quicker. That’s why I’m trying not to donate too much before I’m FI, but I still want to get in the habit, you know? I feel like my 1% of gross isn’t enough to stall my goals too much really, so that seems to be a fair trade. I mean, it’s less than I put into my Roth IRA or HSA each year.

    • It’s definitely exciting even though it is just my needs – it should surpass $900/month, but not quite $1,000/month in 2016. Pretty cool! Definitely makes it easier to consider taking a sabbatical too. Hope you are doing well!

  6. We’re really just letting things accumulate these days. After the year is up, I will take stock with what’s left and see where is logical to go next (probably including a kitchen remodel). It sounds like DH’s company may be switching their 401K plan to something that doesn’t add huge fees, which would give us a bunch more tax-advantaged savings room. Our mortgage will be gone in a little over a year. I guess we will start putting money into taxable stocks, which is something we haven’t done since we got grown-up jobs!

    • That’s a good plan too. I’m doing a bit of that. It’s fun picturing the future though! I can’t wait to put money into taxable again but that’s a ways away at this point. Exciting about your husband’s 401(k) possibly improving :)

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