In contrast to early retirement modeling that looks for all the worst cases and failure modes, our actual life the past almost four years illustrates that good things can offset the bad events in life.
Financial planning for early retirement is pretty straightforward. Figure out how much you plan on spending in early retirement then save up till you have between 25 and 33 times your annual expenses in your investment portfolio. We initially planned on spending $32,000 per year plus a large lump sum for the three kids’ college tuition. Using the 33x multiplier (which represents a 3% withdrawal rate), that means we needed $1,056,000 plus another $100,000 to cover tuition, or roughly $1,150,000 in total investments. That’s about what we started with four years ago but now we have a lot more.
This year is flying by so far! Now that we are one third of the way through 2017, our financial picture for the year is becoming clearer. And it’s a good picture so far. Our spending for April remained below budget at $2,981 while our income of $3,321 slightly exceeded our expenses. Our portfolio and other assets continue their upward trajectory with a $34,000 gain bringing our total net worth to $1,805,000.
This time of year is one of the prettiest in North Carolina, with moderate temperatures perfect for exploring the outdoors. Or lounging in the hammock on the back porch. The past month has been incredibly busy for us with school events, time with family and friends, tackling some issues around the house, and entering the final stages of planning and preparation for our nine week summer vacation in Europe (we leave in about a month).
Guest post from Early Retirement Dude:
It’s May of 2005 and I’m officially quitting my job this morning—or, technically, I’m being laid off because I’ve turned down a directed transfer—and part of the process is an exit interview with our divisional president.
I’ve just turned thirty-six.
Cliff is a good guy, and for a couple more hours I’m two tiers down from him on the org chart. I report directly to a woman who reports directly to him, so he and I have gotten to know one another and become friends. He’s also helped me out career-wise; involved me in higher-level meetings, invited me to the right cocktail parties, and been solicitous of my opinion.
I can’t believe we are already a quarter of the way through 2017! Financially speaking, we are doing incredibly well as we ride this bull market up and up. March left us $15,000 wealthier thanks to investment gains with our net worth climbing to $1,771,000. Our expenses for a family of five were very modest at just $1,388, while our income remained strong at $3,747 for the month thanks to quarterly dividend payments.
On the non-financial side, life is going swimmingly well. We’re two months away from our nine week sojourn through Europe. Springtime brings us beautiful weather here in North Carolina so we get to enjoy the outdoors more. And last but not least our oldest daughter made the A honor roll. College scholarships here we come!