April 2018 Progress Update

In April 2018, our nest egg finished at 33.9% of goal. Our goal is a conservative 33x our current expenses, less a 0% interest car loan that will be paid off in January 2019. This goal anticipates a 3% withdrawal rate, as opposed to the 4% rate cited in the Trinity Study. Our mortgage is currently scheduled for payoff in 2029 and we don’t expect to do so before reaching financial independence. This is of course subject to change, but the payment and interest rate are quite low. We plan to keep travel and other discretionary spending low if we decide to retire early while we owe a balance on the mortgage.

Are we looking at fatFIRE based on our expenses? Maybe. We live a pretty great lifestyle currently and have resisted efforts to scale back. So, we’ve decided to set our goal to accommodate our present spending levels. If we’re able to reduce expenses, we will update our timeline and progress to goal accordingly. Are we even technically considered “RE” if we are both well into our 40s by the time we reach the FI portion of the equation?

We have a few goals in place for May, some financial and some more personal. I plan to write a post about goal setting and how we use short and long term planning. For now, our May goals are:

  • No restaurant bills until a planned vacation at the end of the month
  • This includes workday lunches, which must be packed or provided¬†
  • Run 25k race in 2:30 or faster (Ms. Vine)
  • Grocery bill under $250
  • Find a primary care physician and schedule an appointment (Ms. Vine). I’m currently working on 101 list from the DayZero project and this is one of the items on my list.¬†
  • Be car free (This really means test out one car life because car pooling and car sharing are allowed, along with public transit, biking, and walking).

The information on this chart dates back to September 2016 (the far left side of the chart). Big spikes in expenses involved items like a major bathroom renovation that we completed last summer, new appliances, and some tax-related expenses. Most of this has leveled out, as you can see from the right side of the chart. Investments includes our pre-tax contributions to 401k plans and HSAs.

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