FIRE Calculator – Financial Independence, Retire Early

Created by Arturo Barrantes
Reviewed by Dominik Czernia, PhD and Steven Wooding
Last updated: Jan 05, 2023

The FIRE calculator (financial independence retire early calculator) is a fantastic tool that helps you determine the amount of money you need to retire early. In this calculator, we are going to cover what it is and how much money you could need for "financial independence, retire early", popularly known as your FIRE number.

We will also explore how to calculate it and provide tips about how to reach financial independence earlier.

What is the FIRE early retirement movement?

The FIRE (financial independence retire early) movement promotes the idea of frugal living so people can save and invest more in order to retire earlier. The FIRE number indicates how much money you need to have in your accounts so you can stop working and living by withdrawing from your savings.

The main idea of saving and investing relies more on the compound effect of returns on your investments, as we explain in the CAGR calculator. For example, by trying our FIRE early retirement calculator, you can find out that 6,800 USD annually can become almost 1,000,000 USD in 30 years if the deposits grow periodically by 2.5% per year and the return on such deposits is 8%. To find this result, input you need to save yearly=$6, ⁣800\small \mathrm{you \ need \ to \ save \ yearly} = \$6,\!800 at the end of the calculator and the mentioned remaining parameters.

In order to achieve financial independence early, here we share two tips that you can verify with our calculators:

  • Avoid minimum payment on your credit card. As we explain in the credit card minimum payment calculator, spending over your means by using your whole credit card line can drastically reduce your ability to save because of the money you would have to put only into interest.

  • Start as early as possible. As you can see in the annuity calculator, the earlier you start saving and investing, the more time you give your money to compound, thus generating cash for your retirement.

How to calculate your FIRE number – FIRE formula

The fire retirement calculator considers several variables and formulas, but we are going to cover the main one that will show you the factors that have the main influence on your FIRE number. Check the following FIRE formula:

Saveyear=Amtreq×rg(1+r)n(1+g)n,\footnotesize \mathrm{Save_{year}} \! = \! \mathrm{Amt_{req}} \! \times \! \frac {r - g}{ \! (1 + r) ^ n \! - \! (1 + g) ^ n},

where:

  • Saveyear\mathrm{\small Save_{year}}Yearly savings: Refers to the amount of money you will have to save per year.
  • Amtreq\mathrm{\small Amt_{req}}Total amount required: This is your FIRE number. It indicates the amount of money you want to accumulate before retiring.
  • r\small rSavings rate of return (%): Refers to the growth rate your savings will have.
  • g\small gSalary growth rate (%) or inflation: Indicates how much your income will grow per year. In the calculator, we assume the salary growth rate equals inflation in the long run.
  • n\small nYears of saving: The number of years you will keep working and saving the amount indicated in Saveyear\mathrm{\small Save_{year}}.

We highlight the following facts:

  • The bigger the FIRE number (Amtreq\mathrm{\small Amt_{req}}), the more you have to save per year (bigger Saveyear\mathrm{\small Save_{year}}).

  • More years of working and saving (larger n\small n) will reduce the amount you have to save per year (lower Saveyear\mathrm{\small Save_{year}}). Notice how larger n\small n increases the denominator, thus, lowering the quotient.

  • Increasing the return on your investments (bigger r\small r) will also reduce the amount you have to save per year (lower Saveyear\mathrm{\small Save_{year}}). In general, any investment will provide more money if they are exposed to bigger interest rates.

Remember that the incredible FIRE calculator considers other formulas, including your retirement age and lifestyle expenses projection. Check the next section for a real-life example.

FIRE early retirement calculator – Real life example

In this section, we will cover how to calculate the FIRE number using the fantastic financial independence calculator. As for the input, we will consider the following:

  • Current age: 30 years old;
  • Current income: $80,000 per year;
  • Years of saving: 30 years;
  • Current savings: $0;
  • Savings' rate of return (%): 5%;
  • Salary growth rate (%) (inflation): 2.5%;
  • Years on retirement: 20 years; and
  • Total amount required: $1,000,000.
  1. Solving for the FIRE equation indicated in the previous section, we get that we need to save $11,239.11 yearly.

  2. As per the FIRE early retirement calculator, we obtain we will have to live with $37,995.29 per year, starting from our retirement year (see Expenses\mathrm{\small Expenses} in the calculator).

  3. We will have to save 14.05% of our income (see Share of income\mathrm{\small Share \ of \ income}).

FAQ

What are the risks of retiring early through the FIRE movement?

The most relevant risks of the FIRE (financial independence, retire early) movement include:

  • Stock market crash in the last years of your working period. Such an event could drastically reduce your funds.
  • High inflation growth in the early days of your retirement period. Your money would not have the same real value as before retirement.
  • You can live longer than expected; meaning, you could run out of money.

What are the best tips for retiring earlier?

As you can see in the Omni Calculator tool: the FIRE retirement calculator, we can reach our FIRE (financial independence retire early) number earlier by doing the following:

  • Live below your means; hence, you save as much as possible. Try to save at least 20% of your net income.

  • Increase your gross/net income: You can achieve it by learning new skills or starting a business.

  • Become tax-wise: Learn about tax laws in your country so you can reduce your tax liability and keep your equity growing at a faster pace.

Is $80,000 per year enough for FIRE, retiring early?

Yes, it is. Assuming you are 30 years old, plan to retire at 60, and live on $38,000 per year, yes, it is doable. For this example, we are assuming a return on your saving of 5% and salary growth of 2.5% per year.

On the other hand, if you manage to get an 8% return annualized on your savings, then you could increase your living expenses to $48,000. In that case, you would have to save $6,900 per year.

Can I retire early if I don't have a high income?

Yes. You can try the Omni Calculator tool, the FIRE calculator, and test it for your average income or do as follows:

  1. Save as much as you are comfortable with.

  2. Invest those savings, so they can grow through the years and provide you with a retirement fund.

  3. Another way is to use those savings to develop your abilities. Hence, you would be able to increase your income and probably save more.

Arturo Barrantes
Current age
yrs
Age of retiring
yrs
Current income
$
per month
Expenses
$
per month
Current savings
$
Savings rate of return (%)
%
Salary growth rate or inflation (%)
%
Amount required for financial independence
Years on retirement
yrs
Total amount required
$
To achieve financial independence
you need to save yearly
$
which is
% of your income
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