When Can I Retire?
FIRE, an acronym for "Financial Independence, Retire Early", is a movement that involves saving and investing money so that early retirement is possible via self-sustaining investment returns. Check our intro section first if you're unfamiliar with lean FIRE.
This version of our early retirement calculator has been tuned with default values for lean FIRE. Enter your details into the fields below to estimate when you can retire and see how your net worth changes depending on when you retire.
Years until Retirement0
Years Until Lean FIRE
Lean FIRE Age
Net Worth At Retirement$ 0
Lean FIRE Number
|Age||Income||Expenses||Savings||Investment Returns||Expected Retirement Spending*||Change in Net Worth||Net Worth||Amount Needed|
* Note about the "expected retirement spending" column. If your withdrawal rate is lower than your investment return rate (which provides a margin of safety), retirement is not at the point when returns fully cover expenses, but some time after.
Summary of Results for Lean FIRE
The results below are based on the default values above. Enter your own values into the retirement calculator above to get your own personalized and interactive results estimating when you'll be able to retire along with a detailed summary down here.
Given the income and expenses that you've provided, your annual savings rate will be 0 % per year.
If you currently expect an annual spending of 0 in retirement and are targeting a withdrawal rate of 0 of your net worth each year in retirement for your spending, the estimated initial amount you'll need for retirement is 0. This needed amount is calculated by taking your retirement spending and dividing by your retirement withdrawal rate. Within the lean FIRE community, this amount is often called the lean FIRE number, lean FIRE amount, or lean FIRE target.
However, since you have specified a positive value for inflation, which increases how much things cost with time, your expenses and expected retirement spending will increase with time too. As a result, the net worth you'll need in order to retire will also increase with time. Essentially, it has become a moving target.
That being said, if you want simpler calculations and want to stick with the simplified way of thinking about how much money you'll need (with it being a singular non-changing number) or are certain you can control your retirement spending to be the same every year, simply enter 0% for the inflation field. If you want inflation to affect only your expenses and not your expected retirement spending, enter 0% for inflation, but enter the inflation rate into the growth field for the rows that correspond to your expenses.
However, since you have specified a negative value for inflation, which means deflation and decreases how much things cost with time, your expenses and expected retirement spending will decrease with time too. As a result, the net worth you'll need in order to retire will also decrease with time. Essentially, it has become a moving target. That being said, if you want simpler calculations or are certain your retirement spending will be the same every year, simply enter 0% for the inflation field. If you want deflation to affect only your expenses and not your expected retirement spending, enter 0% for inflation, but enter the deflation rate into the growth field for the rows that correspond to your expenses.
By considering the details that you've provided and calculating when your net worth reaches the amount needed for retirement, we estimate that you'll be able to successfully retire in 0 years at the age of 0 with a net worth of 0. Through the graph above, you're able to see how much higher a net worth you'll be able to attain if you delay retirement for a couple years which can provide extra safety and help decrease the chance of running out of money in retirement.
Feel free to try adjusting your details above to see what happens given different scenarios!
After going through the calculations with the details you've provided, unfortunately, a successful and full retirement that only relies on investments for retirement spending does not seem possible. Your estimated future net worth never reaches the amount needed for retirement. The graph above should show how close or how far away you are.
Don't fret though. In this case, try lowering your expenses, increasing your income, seeking out new forms of income, or lowering your expected retirement spending. When thinking about retirement spending, don't forget about social security in retirement which will help cover costs and lower the expected spending you'll need to cover yourself. You may also consider different forms of early retirement. For example, two alternative forms of early retirement include barista FIRE and coast FIRE. The former involves a partial retirement phase involving easy work which may be part-time. In other words, if full early retirement is not possible, partial early retirement might still be.
Try adjusting your details above to see what happens given different scenarios.
To learn more about Lean FIRE and our calculator, continue reading below!
Investomatica's Lean FIRE Calculator
Mobile friendly and easy to use web application
- A modern, clean and dynamic interface that's easy to use and also works just as well on mobile phones as it does on desktop computers. Our web application is also completely free to use.
Flexible and customizable
- With a fine tuned balance between flexibility, customization, and usability, our lean FIRE calculator supports an extremely wide variety of possible scenarios while ensuring uncompromised ease of use.
- Want to see how a large one time purchase or windfall will impact your timeline? Perhaps you're interested in how additional income from a temporary side hustle will help out? Our lean FIRE calculator supports all this and much more.
- Designed with a global design philosophy, our lean FIRE calculator can be used regardless of where you're working and saving, whether that be locally or as an expat in an international location.
Automatic calculations and saving
- Our lean FIRE calculator will automatically calculate and re-calculate as you enter and change values.
- Visit often? Our calculator saves you time by automatically saving your last entered numbers and options so you can pick up right where you left off. Note that all data is only stored locally on your browser. If you want to reset the calculator, there's a handy "reset calculator" button. Alternatively, clearing your browser cache works too.
- This calculator is only meant to simulate pre-retirement. The data shown after your estimated retirement age serves to illustrate how much higher your net worth would be if you continue working and serves as a point of reference. For example, one common question is "what would my net worth be if I work just a couple years longer".
- This depends on where you're located, but most jobs will incur income tax that is automatically withheld and taken out by your employer. The income fields in this calculator expect numbers that represent what your income is after tax. If you're considering switching to a new job for a higher salary, but aren't sure what the income will be after tax, check out our income tax calculators. You'll get an estimated take home pay number with which you can plug into this early retirement FIRE calculator.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is lean FIRE?
As the name suggests, lean FIRE is a lean subset of the FIRE movement with tighter budgets and lower expenses. As a reminder, FIRE is an acronym that stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early. This early retirement calculator estimates when you can retire and the amount of money needed for early retirement.
Is lean FIRE possible for me?
Whether or not lean FIRE is possible depends on a lot of factors including your income, expenses, savings, and investments. Making use of an lean FIRE calculator to estimate different scenarios is a good idea.
Quick overview about Lean FIRE
Lean FIRE is a subset of the FIRE movement that revolves around lower budgets and lower expenses. This allows many more people to participate in the journey to financial freedom. By lowering your expected spending in retirement, the amount of money you'll need to save up can be reduced and in some cases even be reduced quite dramatically.
To achieve lower expenses, it's critical to outline exactly what's important in your life. There are often many unnecessary luxuries that we can forgo with little to no detriment to our lifestyles. Also, the competitive markets and marketplaces around us provide lots of opportunities to save money through deals and special offers.
Yet another way many approach lean FIRE is by planning on moving to a place with a lower cost of living. With the rise of remote work, this has becoming more and more a possibility for many.
This version of our early retirement calculator is specially tuned with defaults for lean FIRE. That being said, you can adjust the values however you see fit.
Expected annual spending in retirement
In order to estimate your expected annual spending in retirement, you need to think about what kind of lifestyle you want in retirement. There are also age dependent factors as well. Depending on your retirement age, medicare and other government benefits may be available for you and help lower costs. Social security may be available and the income from that will help cover some spending. If you will have a pension, that will further help to lower the amount of spending you yourself have to cover with your own savings. Additionally, if you have a mortgage, if may be fully paid off by retirement, so you might no longer have mortgage payments by then. These are just a few examples, but it's important to note that spending in retirement may be lower than what you expect at first glance.
Amount needed for retirement
The amount of money you'll need retirement is calculated by dividing your expected annual spending in retirement by your chosen retirement withdrawal rate. Financial independence and full retirement is possible when your net worth surpasses this needed amount.
Participants in the FIRE movement call this needed amount the FIRE number, FIRE amount, or FIRE target.
Annual withdrawal rate in retirement
When in retirement, what will ultimately pay the bills is your saved money and investments. In other words, you'll have to withdrawal a small portion of your net worth each year in retirement to pay off expenses. So the withdrawal rate you choose heavily affects when you'll be able to retire.
Assuming your net worth stays intact, a high annual withdrawal rate will mean a lower net worth is required for retirement while a low annual withdrawal rate will mean a higher net worth is required. While we can on purposely choose a higher withdrawal rate, we also need our investments to back this up. If you withdraw money from your net worth faster than it can grow, your net worth won't stay intact and will dwindle with time. So there's a fine balance that must be taken here.
There have been many studies on different withdrawal rates. One of the most well known research publications was written by three professors from Trinity University in 1998. Informally, this study is called the Trinity Study. The goal was to identify the probability of successful retirements given different withdrawal rates. Long story short, their research suggested that withdrawal rates between 3% and 4% were extremely unlikely to exhaust any portfolio of stocks and bonds during periods of 15 to 30 years. As a result, many like to think of 4% as being a relatively safe withdrawal rate.
How does inflation affect early retirement?
Inflation is a phenomenon that raises the cost of things over time while deflation lowers the cost of things over time. Our calculator shows all results in current dollars for intuitive and easy to understand results.
What most people expect to spend in retirement is based on how much things cost now. With inflation, things will cost more in the future, so your expected lifestyle in retirement will also cost more in the future. This then affects the amount of money needed for retirement. In other words, the amount of money you'll need for retirement will change with time.
Ultimately, inflation has a negative impact on finances and delays retirement. You'll either need your income and investments to keep up or take efforts to reduce and control spending so that the effects of inflation are limited.
Note that inflation can rise and fall with time as well. The inflation field in our calculator expects an average inflation rate.
Lean FIRE Calculator Disclaimer
- The numbers and results produced are simply estimates based on the values that you have provided. Future results are not guaranteed.
- Our content is neither retirement advice nor financial planning advice. Everything is strictly for educational purposes only.
- It is your responsibility to conduct your own due diligence or consult with a licensed financial advisor before making any decision or taking on any action.
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