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Truth is, I don't even know where to start on my road to FIRE.

Maybe this will help. I've been on the Retire Early Home Page board for quite a while and think that a 3.5% or 4% withdrawal from my assets will work for me. This is known over there as the SWR: safe withdrawal rate. So I figure what my yearly expenses are and then add and subtract as necessary. Fewer kids then, so less food cost etc. Fewer vehicles, because fewer kids. No mortgage, because I'll trade my house in for something I can buy outright. No social security tax. No savings cost!

Add a fudge factor amount and multiply the whole shebang by 25 to 30. That's what I'll need. Then I'll withdraw 3.5% to 4% from that amount the first year. In subsequent years, I'll multiply the yearly amount by the inflation figures for the past year.

I estimate that inflation will run at 3.5%. Therefore, I multiply the amount that I would need for a year if I retired today by 3.5% for every year that I project figures out. I have a lovely spreadsheet that helps me with all this.

Does that help?

I figure that even if I don't make it (RE), I'll at least retire in a better financial situation than if I didn't think about it.

You got that right!

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