SoftSimp writes:How much do you need in order to declare yourself financially independent?This is a very personal decision which to me is controlled more by your lifestyle than anything else. You have to be brutally honest about estimating the cost of the lifestyle which you desire. The rest is just math. How do you plan to get there? I suppose I am a little different than most folks. Being conservatice by nature, I opted for a career in the federal government. I expect to retire in about 5 years or so with an inflation-adjusted federal pension which is more than sufficient to fund my liferstyle. I have savings on the side as well, probably more than I need, but who knows what the future holds?My magic number is probably lower than most people's. Based on our current situation, I believe we'll be fine with about $500,000-$600,000 in savings/investments (this is for both DH and me). In addition, we'll have one investment property and our home. I think holding investment propertie(s) is vitally important for many early retirees. They provide a high, generally inflation-adjusted income. Good for you.So while we have equity in both our home and the investment property, if I don't count that we are basically starting from zero. In addition, we have 3 kids to put through college, ages 18, 6 and 2. You might find this post of mine interesting (particularly as regards the younger children). http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16401505&sort=usernameWelcome back! Good message boards don't just happen. They require effort. Eventually really good message boards are so useful and fun, participating seems almost effortless. I look forward to hearing more from you. Regards,FMO
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