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FIRE early retirement calculator: What’s your FIRE age and number?

Use our financial independence calculator to get closer to an early retirement.

Our FIRE calculator can give you a rough idea of two things:

  1. Your FIRE number: How much money you need to retire early based upon your current and projected lifestyle.
  2. Your FIRE age: When you can retire early based upon your FIRE number and saving rate.

Before you begin, note that we provide a lot of leeway in seeing your projected average investment rate of return. Though you can select between 0 and 20%, keep in mind that a realistic long-term average annual return for a mixed stock/bond portfolio is between 6 and 8%.

How to use our FIRE calculator

Our early retirement calculator looks at your age, existing assets, savings rate, and projected retirement expenses to estimate the amount of money you need to have saved to retire. It also calculates — assuming a constant saving amount — when you’ll be able to retire early (your FIRE age). The calculator requires you to enter your:

  • Current age
  • After-tax annual income
  • Yearly expenses/cost of living
  • Current investment portfolio amount
  • Yearly contributions toward your investment portfolio
  • Your expected rate of return on your investments (you can use the slider to adjust the percentage)
  • Your current savings account balance (from all accounts)
  • The percentage of income you contribute to your savings accounts
  • Your savings rate of return (interest rate)
  • Your estimated retirement expenses on an annual basis, including income taxes

Once you’ve provided the above information, you can hit the “Calculate” button near the bottom.

You will then be shown your FIRE goal, which is the amount of money you should have to maintain your current standard of living once you reach retirement. The calculator will also provide your FIRE age, which is the age when you can expect to reach financial independence, achieve FIRE and be able to retire.

Feel free to run different scenarios through the calculator. You may find you’ll need to contribute more money to your investment and retirement accounts, or experiment with different rates of return to meet your goals.

What is the FIRE movement?

FIRE stands for financially independent, retired early. Over the last decade, the concept has captured the imagination of a growing number of Millennial and Gen Z workers who are realizing there is more to life than working well into their 70s. The FIRE movement refers to increasing amount of discussion and preparation surrounding the goal of early retirement. But what does early retirement entail, and is it right for you?

FIRE philosophy

At its core, the FIRE Movement revolves around the concept of freeing oneself from the conventional working cycle well before the age of 65. This is achieved by pursuing aggressive savings strategies, often targeting a savings rate of 50% or more. The math is simple: the less you spend and the more you save and invest, the quicker you can achieve financial freedom.

The FIRE strategy

  1. Aggressive Savings: Contrary to popular belief, the journey to early retirement is not just about earning more. It is equally about spending less. Maintaining a frugal lifestyle allows devotees to save a substantial part of their income.
  2. Investment Prowess: Merely saving isn’t enough. F.I.R.E. enthusiasts often look to grow their savings through wise investments, maximizing returns, and leveraging the power of compound interest.
  3. Financial Independence over Early Retirement: For many in the F.I.R.E. community, the ultimate goal isn’t just early retirement. It’s about having the freedom to choose one’s path without being tethered to a full-time job.

FIRE insights

  1. The Power of Planning: Start by envisioning your retirement. Understand your goals and chart out a roadmap. The earlier you start, the more achievable your goals become.
  2. Expenses in Check: Financial discipline is key. Regularly review your expenses, differentiate between needs and wants, and stay committed to your budget.
  3. Income Augmentation: While keeping expenses low is vital, looking for avenues to increase your income can accelerate your journey. This could be in the form of promotions, side hustles, or strategic investments.
  4. Prioritize Investments: A cornerstone of the F.I.R.E. philosophy is to make investing habitual. Even if you aren’t saving half of your income, consistently allocating a portion to investments can work wonders over time.

Is FIRE right for me?

The FIRE movement, while revolutionary, isn’t without its challenges:

  1. High Income Requirement: Realistically, to save aggressively, a substantial income is often necessary. However, one doesn’t need a six-figure salary to start on the path to financial freedom.
  2. Credit Card Caveats: Some F.I.R.E. advocates encourage using credit cards for rewards. However, the risks can outweigh the benefits if not managed meticulously.
  3. Job Satisfaction: While the allure of early retirement is undeniable, it’s vital to find joy in your profession. Instead of solely aiming to retire early, focus on a fulfilling career journey.

Steps to prepare for early retirement

  1. Debt Elimination & Emergency Funds: Begin by eliminating liabilities and setting up a robust emergency fund to tackle unforeseen challenges.
  2. Allocate 15% to Retirement Accounts: Consistently save a part of your income in tax-advantaged retirement accounts, ensuring you pick strong mutual funds.
  3. Accelerate Mortgage Repayments: Owning your home outright can significantly reduce your monthly expenses, bringing early retirement closer.
  4. Max Out Retirement Contributions: With a home paid off and no debt, consider raising your retirement contributions.
  5. Bridge the Retirement Gap: If aiming for ultra-early retirement, a taxable investment account can act as a bridge until you can withdraw from retirement accounts without penalties.

In conclusion, while the F.I.R.E. Movement offers a tantalizing proposition, it’s essential to tailor its principles to individual needs and circumstances. With meticulous planning, discipline, and determination, the dream of early retirement can become a reality for many.

How do I calculate my FIRE number?

Ah, the elusive FIRE number! It’s the magic figure every FIRE enthusiast is chasing, the amount of money you need saved to declare financial independence and possibly retire early. But how is this number determined? Let’s break it down step by step.

What is a FIRE number?

Before diving into calculations, it’s essential to understand what the FIRE number represents. In a nutshell:

  • It’s your safety net: This is the amount that, when invested wisely, should cover your living expenses indefinitely without you needing to work for money again.
  • Tailored to you: Everyone’s FIRE number is unique, reflecting individual lifestyles, desires, and needs.

Factors to consider

Your FIRE number isn’t just a random figure; it’s derived from various aspects of your current and projected future lifestyle. Consider:

  • Annual expenses: The most significant factor. How much do you (and will you) spend in a year?
  • Anticipated lifespan: While no one can predict the future, it’s good to have an estimate for planning purposes.
  • Expected rate of return: How much do you expect your investments to return each year?
  • Inflation: Over time, the value of money diminishes. Your FIRE number should account for this.
  • Contingency plans: Unexpected expenses or changes in your life can pop up. It’s good to have a buffer.

The 4% rule

A popular method in the FIRE community is the 4% Rule, also known as the Safe Withdrawal Rate (SWR). Here’s how it works:

  • Basics of the 4% Rule: The idea is that if you withdraw 4% of your investments in the first year of retirement and adjust for inflation after that, you’re unlikely to run out of money for at least 30 years.
  • Calculating your number: Simply take your annual expenses and multiply by 25. For example, if you spend 1,000,000 ($40,000 x 25).

Adjusting for personal circumstances

The 4% Rule is a useful guideline, but it’s not one-size-fits-all. To tailor it to your needs:

  • Adjust the withdrawal rate: If you want to be more conservative, you might consider a 3.5% or 3% withdrawal rate, which would mean multiplying your annual expenses by 28.5 or 33.3, respectively.
  • Consider other income sources: If you have passive income, such as rental properties or royalties, this can lower the amount you need to save.
  • Remember healthcare: Especially for those in countries without universal healthcare, accounting for medical expenses is crucial.

Tools and resources

There are several online calculators and apps to help you determine your FIRE number, taking into account factors like projected returns and inflation. While these are handy, remember they’re just tools; always apply your judgment and perhaps consult with a financial planner.

Some important FIRE disclaimers

The basic math of early retirement — the “4% rule” — is simple: If you save 25 times your annual expenditures, you can then withdraw 4% of cash from your investment portfolio each year to live on.

But this is a dramatic oversimplification that depends on achieving a certain level of long-term investment returns and avoiding long periods of high inflation. (It also requires that you never increase your spending and withdraw an income growth rate of more than 4% a year).

The real world is not a spreadsheet. Your investment returns may vary. You’re also human, and may change your mind someday about how much you want to spend.

Keep this in mind. Test lots of scenarios. FIRE is a journey, not a destination.

If you don’t already use Empower, I highly recommend their powerful free tools, including Investment Checkup and Retirement Planner. The latter is one of the best retirement calculators out there and it’s 100% free. Key features include the ability to run different scenarios and form a full annual spending plan.

FIRE income: Plan for more income

Remember the old saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket?” This rings especially true in the world of finance. Having multiple sources of income can cushion you against the unpredictable nature of the economy. One source might dry up, but you’ll have others to fall back on. This provides peace of mind and stability, essential ingredients for a stress-free early retirement.

Investments: For many on the FIRE journey, investments are the bread and butter. This could be in the form of stocks, bonds, or real estate. The beauty of investments is their passive nature. Once you’ve made an informed decision and invested your money, it grows on its own (given you’ve done your homework!). Dividend-yielding stocks or rental properties can provide a consistent income, giving you more freedom and flexibility.

Side hustles: Remember that hobby you always loved but never had the time to monetize? Early retirement is the perfect chance to turn your passions into profit. Whether it’s crafting, writing, photography, or consulting, there’s potential to generate income. Plus, it doesn’t feel like work when you’re doing what you love!

Real estate: Apart from traditional rental properties, there’s a world of real estate opportunities. Think about REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) or platforms like Fundrise that allow for crowdfunded real estate investing. These provide a taste of real estate income without the direct responsibilities of being a landlord.


The FIRE retirement calculator can help you determine how much money you need to retire earlier than you thought. You’ll also learn at what age you’ll be able to retire (which depends on how much you want to spend each year you’re retired). 

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