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FI Calculator

FI Calculator Use this calculator to estimate the length of time it will take to reach Financial Independence. Experiment with the inputs to see what levers you can pull to optimize your path.
Enter Your Information: Baseline Alternative Difference
Annual Expenses Yearly expenses in today's dollars. These will grow with the inflation rate.
Annual Savings Yearly savings in today's dollars. Only count money that is invested.
Initial Investment Balance Today's already saved and invested money.
Withdrawal Rate The targeted rate you plan to withdraw money after retirement. This will be used to calculate your FI target.
Investment Growth Rate The expected annual growth rate of your investment portfolio.
Inflation Rate The expected inflation rate, which will be used to calculate your future expenses.
FI Information:
Stash Rate The rate you are saving towards FI, defined as savings over expenses.
Target FI Number (Real) Your wealth target based on your annual expenses and withdrawal rate. In today's dollars.
Target FI Number (Nominal) The nominal wealth you will need when you actually reach FI.
Nominal Expenses The nominal amount you will be spending annually when you reach FI.
Real CAGR The Compound Annual Growth Rate of your investments less inflation.
Crossover Point When your investment growth begins to outpace your annual savings.
Years to FI The length it will take to reach FI with the given inputs.

About the FI Calculator

This calculator was created as a tool to help you evaluate the effect of different inputs to your path to Financial Independence. It uses some fancy math to generate a very precise number for your Years to FI, but don't be fooled: the real world is not so perfect. You are unlikely to save and spend exactly the numbers you estimate every year. Even if you are a budgeting ninja, the returns on your investments and the rate of inflation will fluctuate in the short term even if they average out over the long term.

Additionally, the calculator uses many simplifying assumptions to get you up and running with a directional answer, rather than filling out volumes of tax return like details to hone the precision. So instead of a final answer, use this calculator to pull different levers and see what effect they have. Some may surprise you. Let me know in the comments what interesting things you discover while using the calculator!

Notes and simplifying assumptions:
  • The calculator assumes all your Annual Savings and Initial Investment Balance are being invested and generating the specified Investment Growth Rate. Don't include cash or other "assets" that don't generate a return.
  • The Annual Expenses and Annual Savings amounts you enter will both be carried forward, adjusted by the Inflation Rate.
  • Your Stash Rate is defined as Annual Savings over Annual Expenses, as described here.
  • The Target FI Number (Real) is defined as your Annual Expenses over your Withdrawal Rate, as described here.
  • The Target FI Number (Nominal) is what target will have grown to due to the Inflation Rate by the time you reach it.
  • The Real CAGR is your portfolio's annual Investment Growth Rate adjusted by the Inflation Rate. The Real Growth Rate is this same number if compounded continually instead of annually, as used by the calculator.
  • At some point on your journey to FI, the returns being generated by your wealth each year will surpass the amount you are saving. This is labelled as the Crossover Point.


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