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Subject:  Re: A visual tool Date:  9/8/2003  6:13 PM
Author:  wmhughes Number:  688 of 5224

Personally, my visual tool is a large printed "thermometer", kind of like those goal thermometers they use for charities like United Way, UNICEF, etc. I post this visual tool on the wall inside my closet.

The thermometer has a round "bulb" at the bottom (purely for looks) and a very tall neck. I've lined off the thermometer with dollar increments that are gradually increasing. For example, I have a $1 million thermometer that has 40 increments ($$ goals). The first few increments are only $5K apart and the last few increments (leading to $1M) are $50K apart. When I initially made this thermometer, the goal was to color-in two increments/year, thus reaching $1M in 20 years. As I color-in each goal, I put the month & year next to the line. I always use a green (color of money) crayon to do my coloring and a red pen to label the date.

I haven't colored since August 2000 due to the lousy stock market.

You could set the top line of your thermometer to be the total amount needed to FIRE and develop suitable, gradually increasing, increments to color in as you progress toward your goal.

I see my visual tool ever time I go in my clothes closet, which is several times/day.

If you're using a paper chain, what do you do during a significant down market? Do you put the links back onto the chain? Do you have to dig them out of the garbage, or do you just make new ones? (don't answer that)

I had a major setback about 10 years ago (divorce), so I crossed out the red dates, retreated, and entered new dates.

Fool on!
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