The other day, standing in a packed tram and having just finished reading my book, rather than dig out my phone to aimlessly scroll through Twitter, I started to idly think about my goal to FIRE.
My stretch goal (now my actual goal) is to FIRE at the end of 2024. This is in about 5 years’ time, which really isn’t that far away. I’m over half-way there.
And then it suddenly hit me.
Assuming that I will be continuously employed, this means that I only have 60 more pay days from my employer!
If not gainfully employed all that time, then less than 60!
Rather than think ‘Hurray, only 60 more pay days til I can stop working!’, I felt a flutter of doubt and fear about my numbers. Numbers which I have checked and rechecked numerous times over the years.
What if it’s not enough!?
I did the maths and the resulting number (ie 60 x my monthly salary) on its own added to my current pot is not enough for me to FIRE.
But I don’t save the full amount, do I? My savings rate is around 40-odd percent which means that based on my current savings rate, I’ll not be in sniffing distance of what I need.
Of course, there’s a chance that I might get a pay rise or two in that time and the occasional bonus, but such increases/bonuses will have a minimal effect. I’m not looking to move to another job if I can help it, so no big hike in salary from switching companies.
I will therefore be relying heavily on growth and income from my investments to get me past the finish line. Oh and a lot of LUCK, in regards to sequence of returns risk.
What Will I Do?
Over the next 60 months, I will need to continue to remain focused, to be mindful of my spending whilst still continuing to lead and enjoy what I consider to be a normal life.
Over the next 60 months, I need to continue making extra cash via matched betting and ensuring that I continue to bank/invest any affiliate income I receive from the blog, plus any lotto or premium bond winnings.
While my sis and nephew are living with me, I need to make the most of the extra contribution to bills.
There will of course be obstacles for me to overcome, expenses which will try to wreck my plans.
Barely 3 weeks into the year and a spanner has already been tossed into the works.
Over the weekend, one of the crowns on my back teeth loosened and fell out, causing pain and discomfort. I went to the dentist and he told me what I was half expecting but not wanting to hear: my tooth is broken and needs to be extracted.
After extraction, the two teeth on either side of the resulting gap will be checked to see if they are strong enough to support a bridge, cost will be around £600.
If not, then it’s highly likely that I will need to have an implant which will cost an eye-watering £2k! 🙁 It’s not on the NHS as it’s classed as cosmetic work and I’ve already used up my dental cover provision this claim period (which would only cover £100 in any case!)
Leaving a gap is not an alternative – I won’t be able to chew properly on that side of my mouth, plus there could be a risk that my teeth could move or twist into the gap.
I can’t go through the rest of my life not being able to eat properly, so it’s a needs must.
Fortunately, I won’t have to pay the £2k in one go but my trusty emergency fund will take its biggest hammering so far and will need to be replenished. This in turn will affect my savings rate.
£2k pretty much wipes out one of my pay days, so it’s now just 59 more to go! YIKES!
How has this suddenly turned into a situation where I feel like I am running out of time (to save for FIRE), instead of joyfully counting down the time until I no longer need to work?
This is the goal I have set for myself, what I have been aiming for all these years.
I think this big dental cost is giving me negative vibes – I’m normally a glass half-full kind of person.
Time to go over those numbers once more…