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FoolMeOnce suggested:

It might be premature to pronounce a board dead after only a half-dozen threads. Perhaps instead of giving up so soon, you would like to posit a nice on-topic post?


So, here's what I'd like to know:

1. How much do you need in order to declare yourself financially independent?

2. How do you plan to get there?

3. How close are you (years from goal and % of money you still need)?

1. 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'm assuming that both of these are completely mortgage free at that time.

The income on that figure, combined with the income we would be getting from the investment property, should be more than enough to sustain our standard of living. I'm figuring on an inflation rate of about 3% and an income averaging 8% annually.

2. Between now and then, I'd like to purchase more investment properties. I've found the return on that investment to be much more predictable and stable than stocks or bonds, while still providing a good return. The more investment properties we have, the lower that final savings figure will need to be.

3. We have a looong way to go, partially because I sort of declared financial independence a bit early. I'm self-employed and I'm not working as many hours as I can/should. I'm working on that issue. It's a matter of motivation. Right now our non-mortgage debt and our savings/investments are about equal. I'm working to agressively reduce the debt figure. Fortunately, we're only paying 4% at the moment, but that will increase as interest rates creep back up.

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. So for the next 4 years, I think we'll be doing very well if we manage to continue reducing debt and socking away about 25% each year toward investments.

So, I have no idea how many years away we are, but we have about 100% to go.


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