A financial independence retire early (FIRE) calculator can be a great resource to visualize your path to financial independence. We built a FIRE calculator that provides several key functions. Use it to determine your FIRE number, how long it may take to FIRE, and what your retirement income looks like today vs. at your FIRE goal.
The FIRE Calculator can be a great way to quickly check your math and ensure you understand the variables that dictate compound interest over time. It can also be used to share information with someone who may not understand the concepts, but rather is able to visualize it through the FIRE Calculator.
How to Use The FIRE Calculator
This Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) Calculator is intended to give you a visual of your current and projected retirement situation. By understanding where we are presently at compared to where we would like to be, we can make more intelligent, data-driven financial decisions to get there.
Inputting your Inputs
In the left-hand side (orange) of the calculator are your inputs. These inputs are unique to you, your financial situation, and your own financial goals. No information is retained or stored by the FIRE Calculator.
Current Investments: The amount of money you currently have invested across all of your investments.
Annual Contributions: The amount of money you contribute to investments (or plan to) each year.
Current Age: Your age today
FIRE Age: The age you would like to reach financial independence and possibly retire early.
Expected Investment Returns: The average annual return you expect to earn on your investments.
Annual Retirement Expenses: The annual expenses you will need to cover in retirement.
Safe Withdrawal Rate: The percentage of your total investments you plan to withdrawal each year.
Interpreting the Results
In the bottom left corner, you’ll see the results of your inputs. These numbers include your total contributions, the future value of your compounded contributions, and your FIRE number.
Total Contributions: The total amount of money you contributed to your retirement accounts.
Future Value: This is your potential future nest egg. Contributions compounded over time.
FIRE Number: This is the account value you would need to reach in order to retire safely.
A) If your “Future Value” number is lower than your “FIRE Number,” then you’re not meeting your financial retirement goals. If that’s the case, I recommend visiting our page HOW TO FIRE.
B) If your “Future Value” number is higher than your “FIRE Number,” then you’re likely on track to meet your financial retirement goals and you may be able to decrease your time to retirement. If that’s the case, I recommend you sharing this FIRE Calculator with someone you know. You might change their life.
In the bottom right of the FIRE Calculator, you’ll see additional results of your inputs. These results are helpful to get a visualization of your current and future retirement potential.
It’s the amount you may be able to pay yourself in retirement if you were to retire today (based on contributions) and at your FIRE target. It’s a great way to see if your desired outcome is actually achievable and if it will meet your needs in retirement.
When building this FIRE Calculator, I wanted it to be different than the others that currently exist today. I wanted it to provide an honest reflection to the end-user and provide them a result that may pique their interest in learning more.
Statistically, the majority of Americans of any age are not saving enough for traditional retirement. If you have a friend or loved one who you’re concerned about, consider sharing this calculator with them.
It may be a sobering look at their retirement picture that may not jive with what they thought was happening.
Only when we have accurate data that we can interpret and reflect on, can we expect to be able to make intelligent, data-driven decisions about our financial future.