Ok, where do you start? If you are new to the FI/RE movement, CONGRATS! We will make it “easy peasy” for you.
Quick disclaimer: Motherfier and Fatherfier are NOT engineer/tech/math guys you meet in FI community. We are just two immigrants that understand basic math. So if you need something sweet and simple, then you are in the right place. We still recommend to do some reading/listening in your spare time.
BLOGS: Mr. Money Mustache, JL Collins, Millennial Revolution, Mad Fientist
PODCAST: Choose FI (the one and only)
Ok! Ready? Let’s do this!
BECOME DEBT FREE! There is no way around this one. Cannot stress enough how important this it. Once you are free from financial slavery you have a clear path towards Financial Independence. Need an inspiration or get your tush kicked? Youtube “Dave Ramsey’s rants.”
GET YOUR FI NUMBER=TOTAL YEARLY EXPENSES *25
Figure out how much money per year will you need to become Financially Independent.
***Note: being FI means you have enough money saved to cover your day to day living expenses for the rest of your life; you can quit your job on the spot or continue working if you love what you do or choose a profession you are passionate about. Once you are FI you are free to do what you love!
For example, the living expenses might include: housing (rent), food, gas, phone, traveling, etc. Let’s say you have average of $3,000 of monthly expenses (note, there are no car/credit/student loan payments at this moment. You are debt free). Yearly cost: $3,000*12=$36,000.
Your FI number would be: $36,000*25=$900,000.
This number will be different for everyone. Some feel comfortable with $500,000 others need $2,500,000. Once you reach your FI number you are free to do what you want with your life.
THE 4% RULE:
FI number would not make any sense without explaining this essential rule. 4% is a SAFE WITHDROWAL RATE – the amount you can SAFELY withdraw from your account without EVER running out of your savings!!! For example, once you reach your FI number, you can start withdrawing 4% each year forever. 4% of $900,000 is $36,000!
You will not be able to save unless you live on a budget. Trim extra expenses NOW!
“Cutting your spending rate is much more powerful than increasing your income.” -Mister Money Mustache.
HOW AND WHERE?
Oh Boy, this one sounds so complicated and scary. Except that it is not. PLEASE READ “THE STOCK SERIES” by amazing JL Collins. This will give you all the detailed information you need.
MAKE IT SIMPLE.
Don’t overthink, don’t overanalyze.
- MAX OUT your 401(K), traditional IRA, HSA, or any other employer tax-advantaged plan.
- Invest into VTSAX index stock. Put money into it regularly and FORGET all about it. The more you save, the sooner you will be FI.
***Note: you don’t need a financial adviser; this type of service could get expensive. Anybody can invest!
SUPER IMPORTANT: Don’t watch the market like a hawk; there will be ups and downs. THIS IS NORMAL. OVER THE LONG TERM THE MARKET ALWAYS GOES UP. Don’t move your money, let it grow. MAKE IT SIMPLE!
Once you reached your magic FI number, CONGRATS! DO WHATEVER YOU WANT! Now, if you have money saved in 401(k)s, HSA, traditional IRA and other, then we highly recommend to read conversion series by Mad Fientist. You will be blown away by the content and the amount of work this guy accomplished.
Please check out our blog post on Milestones of FI to break this big goal into smaller manageable ones.
Congrats on reaching this far. You are awesome!