Saturday, February 2, 2008

retire young

years ago, i decided that i wanted to retire young with a nest egg that i could reasonably live off of for my remaining years. well, i've decided to look back now to see where i was and how far i have left to go. i've never been fond of sites that post up net worth numbers or things like that, so i'll try to speak in generalities.

one key thing that i aim to achieve is for my investment/passive income to surpass my expenses. at that point, i'll feel comfortable quitting my day job, even in the face of rising inflation. currently, because we have a pretty substantial house payment, that horizon is out pretty far.

from about 2001 til now, our household income has more than doubled, but our housing expense has followed that increase in income -- but not exactly in the same scale. our liquid net worth from that time until now has increased about 10-fold. thanks largely to the increase in income and continued saving and investment.

of course, back in 2001, i was expecting to retire in 15 years. now, at about the half way mark to that goal, i just wanted to take some time to reflect -- without looking at lots of figures and stats -- to see how realistic it would be to retire in 7 years. just ballparking it, i'd say it would require some pretty aggressive measures to make it happen, but it would not require a lottery winning experience.

if we stay the course, i would say just from a back of the napkin type calculation, that we could achieve the break-even point somewhere out about 10 years, at which point our amassed principal might just be enough to produce an income stream approximately equal to our current expenses. so, i would say that we're not far off, especially considering that i am being very conservative in my approximations.

but, what it took to get to this point was to achieve a level of automation in my life that takes decision making out of the saving and investment process and to never waver from that.

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