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Mastering the FIRE Method: The Ultimate Guide to Early Retirement & Financial Independence

at some point of time you would have thought of retiring early or maybe you're thinking of it now and truth be told retirement is not about abandoning work there are very few who would say I won't work any further but what we yearn for is the freedom to operate to live life in the way we want and that brings us to the five moment now fire stands for financial Independence retirement it's a very catchy acronym and to put it in a nutshell it's a program that's designed around saving aggressively investing in high return instruments like equities and disciplined withdrawals which put together ensures you have enough money to cover your living expenses for the rest of your life and therefore retire early in this video I shall be explaining the concept in Greater details we look at the implementation steps some calculations and why fire needs to be a deliberate part of your financial life this might be a short video but it's a very powerful concept so let's begin the concept of fire was popularized in a book titled your money or your life it was built around self-sufficiency control over one's time moderate consumption and of course living life outside the nine to five for instance this guy Pete atney who is better known as Mr Money Mustache applied the fire principles which allowed him to retire from his job as a software engineer at the age of 30.

He's 48 now and he continues to live comfortably of his Investments after so many years and it's not just Pete there are writers bloggers people traveling the world software developers and even YouTubers who are using these principles to lead a more open life and have attached some articles and videos in the description to that effect some of these stories are really inspirational and it proves the fact that a little bit of planning on the financial side can have a profound impact on other aspects of one's life and in a very positive way now there are three parts one needs to address when implementing a fire strategy the first step is savings and the hardcore fire disciple is expected to save anywhere from 50 to 70 percent of one's monthly income this is of course easier said than done and probably where a lot of people make up their mind that this is not their cup of tea but from what I have read and what I've experienced the saving need not be always defined as a percentage and we can also work with absolute numbers which we'll see when I come to the calculations part now when we hear the word saving our first reaction or response is on reducing our expenses however money can also be saved by upping one's income which is what I suggest and it does make sense right I mean there is a limit to what one can save but income generation has a much longer Runway and in our case it can include taking a part-time job doing some consultancy work asking for a pay hike changing jobs for a better salary reskilling oneself or of course starting a side hustle which can be a mix of active and passive work in fact I have a friend in Bangalore who works as a data scientist from Monday to Friday and then on the weekends he takes classes on an edtech platform and also does some consultancy work to put it in numbers what was earlier a monthly saving of 50 000 Rupees is now easily over 2 lakhs a month and this guy has absolutely changed his life around by leveraging what he knows so he's on fire metaphorically speaking and the the fire strategy encourages us to find creative and better ways of increasing our savings rate the Second Step under the fire strategy is to spend wisely notice I didn't say don't spend I said spend wisely which means you need to identify what is an essential expense and what can be tagged as discretionary now people who practice Fire have a ton of helpful advice for us these include driving a good used car instead of a new one renting versus buying a house cooking at home rather than eating out track your daily expenses cancel unnecessary subscriptions Etc from what I've read these small steps can reduce your monthly expenses by up to 30 percent which if you choose to look at it differently is like getting a 30 incremented salary so you don't have to be stinky when it comes to your expenses but try to be a bit more rational about it and the third and final pillar in the fire system is the investment part now on a basic level the system requires advisors to invest as much money as you can and as early as possible so it's the principle of compounding at work here and this table here is a handy guide to how well your Corpus expands when you give it the necessary capital and a decent amount of time to grow now the fire method keeps this investing part ridiculously simple one you invest some money every month or as we call it you set up an sip a systematic investment plan and secondly this money is invested in a low cost Index Fund or ETF which in our case is either the nifty 50 or maybe a slightly broader Nifty 500 Index so essentially the focus here is to participate in the equity markets rather than actively trying to beat it which by my Reckoning should Fetchers and analyze return of 12 to 13 percent again the idea here is to maximize the returns which is why equities have been suggested but if that makes you a little uncomfortable then you can also settle for a mix of different asset classes which is something I explained in my video on asset allocation a few weeks back yet another investment you can make which is encouraged under the fire movement is on account of passive income dividends from stocks interest from your fixed deposits income from your blog your podcast YouTube channel monetization rental income are just some ways of making an Roi from physical or virtual assets now notice I have put this part under Investments and not income because passive income does require a lot of upfront work but once you do the hard work and you do it well one can expect a continuous stream of income over the next few years which will not only support your early retirement Ambitions but will also act as a safety net in fact there is something called an fi Ratio or the financial Independence ratio which largely means if your passive income is greater than your expenses then you're making some great progress on the path to financial Independence so to sum it up remember fire has three simple principles that you need to work on which is save more spend less and invest wisely if you're getting good value from this video then please do give this video a thumbs up and if you aren't a subscriber yet then do consider becoming one as I can then serve you videos as soon as they are released and also share with you some investing strategies tips and stories that are continually Post in the community section the original fire formula is based on the four percent rule which is the amount of saving you can safely withdraw every year without worrying that your money will run out for example let's say you are 29 years old and your monthly expenses are around 50 000 rupees if you want to retire at 40 then you have 11 years to accumulate a retirement fund so here's the math if household inflation is likely to grow by eight percent per annum then the 50 000 you spend now will rise to 1 lakh 16 000 rupees by the time you're 40.

So annually this comes to 14 lakh rupees and per the four percent rule it's 14 multiplied by 25 which means you need to accumulate a couples of three and a half crores to safely navigate through your retirement years or at least that's what the fire formula says now in my view there are some gaps with this four percent rule that I think we should all be aware of firstly this rule is okay for someone who has factored 25 maybe 30 years of retirement but if the retirement Horizon goes higher let's say 50 years for example then this formula starts getting a bit shaky and I've pinned a research study by Vanguard on this in the video's description secondly the four percent rule is a United States origination of the 1990s and has been tested on a historical basis when the yields on equities and Bonds were sufficiently high now we are not Americans and what works there will most likely not work for us which means there's an asset allocation and a market performance risk which needs to be accounted for and finally because each of us have our own preferences income goals saving patterns Etc I always felt it's important to have a customized fire implementation plan rather than picking something off the shelf which is why I created my own fire calculator which gives a clearer picture of how much I need to accumulate when can I idly retire how much withdrawals can I do on a monthly basis and at what point and in what circumstances my retirement money can run out so this obviously starts with the inputs and you need to type in your current age the age at which you want to retire and of course your life expectancy which I hope is strong and long then comes your current portfolio of Investments and this includes your mutual funds fds ppf EPF gold and other stuff and as a best practice kindly exclude the cost of the house where you will be staying post your retirement if you're still working then input the monthly savings and the annual increase you foresee input the expected returns from your investment the capital gain tax that can remain at 10 percent and finally have a view on how much will your expenses be in the first year of retirement and the expected household inflation rate and once we have these numbers keyed in as I have shown in this example the resulting output should clearly tell us three things one the amount of investment Corpus we need at the time of retirement which in this illustration is 2.2 crores at the age of 40.

Secondly we now have Clarity on how much can be spent on an early basis which starts from 12 lakhs so that's one lakh per month and it increases by eight percent every year and thirdly we get to know how sound or unsound this entire construct is like in this case our calculation shows that I'll run out of my money by the time I am 64 years old which is another way of saying that I need to rework my fire math which can include an increase in the monthly savings and the growth rate I can also consider extending my retirement age to a higher number let's say 45 years and finally I I can be a little careful with my expenses and instead of spending a lack of rupees maybe I can make do with 90 000.

So there are many permutations and combinations you can look at but my suggestion is try to be a little conservative in your estimates especially when it comes to return on investment the inflation rate and the post retirement monthly expenses now for your benefit I have enclosed the link of this worksheet in the video's description it's a downloadable sheet all the formulas are open so feel free to change the numbers improve the formula if required add your own customization if it helps you but have a clear idea on when and where you need to be on the path to financial Independence so when I first heard and read about fire I was not a big fan of it I mean saving 50 to 7 20 percent of one salary is almost next to Impossible and I would have shut sharp had I not realized that as a method fire is quite flexible and can be used in many different ways so the calculator is one way and you can make a customized version of it but then there are more strategies there are more variants of the fire strategy and if you are interested then do read up on lean fire fat fire Coast fire and a few more of these in related articles that I've Linked In the video's description the point is and I myself realized a very late in life that many of us don't know when to retire how much is needed to retire which is why we continue working in a role or occupation that we don't enjoy much and that's where I think fire as a strategy might be the solution and it's just three things right increase your income and savings lower your expenses and get your Investments right so read up more about this concept in the Articles and websites I've added in the description and I sincerely hope you practice some sort of fire going forward if you found this video useful then do press the like button do subscribe to my channel share this video and I'll see you three days from now until then foreign

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