Meet Sue. She’s straight out of school with 0 investments and a $36,000/year job. She’s hardcore in her simple living, and has a roommate so she can save for an early retirement. She manages to live on a tiny $16,320/year take-home budget.
It’s hard work, but she’ll be a millionaire at 44, even without a major promotion. There’s a good chance she could retire at 40, or keep working to drastically increase her retirement quality of life. If she keeps it up for about 30 years, at 50, she’ll be making 140k just on investment income and she’ll have a couple million in the bank (and growing toward major f.u. money).
Introducing FU Money Calculator 2.0
My trial run of an open-access wikisheet was a huge success. Thanks to the hundreds of you who have collaborated and experimented with the document in the last couple of days, I’ve put together an update that accounts for your pre-tax 401k contributions as well as a home loan. Special thanks to James G. McIlhargey, who contributed the loan debt model!
In the interest of proving a point, I’ve put together 3 example scenarios of very normal people becoming wealthy by being excessive in their frugality.
John Q. Hacker
John doesn’t care about being rich. He just wants to retire ASAP so he can focus on his software and robot projects. He’s a 27 year-old hacker and has been working hard for several years. He makes reasonable money, could make more, but enjoys a fun open source job working for a small company. He reads Hackszine daily, and decides to try taking an aggressive retirement path of 13 years, so that he can spend the rest of his life writing his own software, making robots, and tending to the garden in the house he just bought.
It’s not easy and he has to make some sacrifices, but John is able to retire at 40. Any side jobs he decides to take on are just gravy. He’s his own man.
Dick and Jane
Finally, meet Dick and Jane. They’re college grads and have been out of school for a while. They have some savings, and a combined income of 80k. They have just taken out a loan on a modest home for 170k. After a few years, they have a baby and their income drops 25% due to childcare and one parent working part-time.
Before their kid is in college, they could start thinking about retiring.
Run Your Own Simulation
FU Money Calculator 2.0 is available both as a template that you can copy to your own private spreadsheet, or as a fully collaborative wikisheet for those of you who would like to contribute fixes, improvements or other simulations back to the Hackszine community. Thanks to Hackszine reader jrochelle, who tipped us off on how to make a Google Spreadsheet template.