top of page

Early retirement numbers

My early retirement numbers

Last week I was chatting with someone about how much we need to retire early. For some, the 4% rule will work, while others may think 3% feels safer or perhaps, like me, the calculation is something else entirely.

There is often a fascination with the numbers, so here are some of the more and less important numbers in my own early retirement (by the way, money in this post is in GBP, so for USD add 20% and for EUR add 10% based on today's forex rates).

65,134 was our rental property income (after costs and tax) from our last tax return.

57 is the percentage of our rental property as a proportion of our total investments.

58,778 were our total costs in 2018. Just over half that cost was for travel - I was travelling between 5 and 6 months that year.

The above 3 numbers mean that we're in the fortunate position of having early retirement finances that work comfortably for us. We only draw income from part of our investments and our costs are still less than our income. It doesn't make us complacent about money, but it does mean that my early retirement numbers can often be much less about money and much more about other things:

10,988 is the amount we paid letting agents in the last tax year to make our property portfolio largely passive income. OK, this is still a money item, and it's a lot of cash, but it gives us flexibility and freedom because we aren't tied down to the location where our properties are. It also means that we give our tenants a professional service while we live in another country.

50 is my current age, and it doesn't feel like a good number. I retired at 47 and I liked the sound of that better. 50 sounds much older and makes me think that I won't have forever to do the things I want. While I can't do anything about my age, I'm determined that I must do things now and not look back in later life and say "if only...".

61 is the size of our apartment in square metres (650 sq ft). That's a huge downsize from what we were living in five years ago. But it's a good thing. Smaller means it cost less to buy, less to heat, less in tax, has less impact on the environment and takes less time to clean. I'm a fan of downsizing for early retirement.

1 is the number of days until we start our 12 day trip to Germany. We've rented a campervan to drive to Berlin where I'm meeting a friend and cycling for 3 days to the North German coast.

19,032 is the metres of elevation over 18 high alpine passes during our Route des Grandes Alpes cycle ride from Lake Geneva to Nice on the Mediterranean coast. We'll set off at the end of August and we're already looking forward to the recovery cocktails day in Nice.

0 is the number of times I've regretted retiring early. That's not to say that it's all easy or perfect, it's not, but I wouldn't turn the clock back for a second. I put a lot of thought and effort into making my early retirement a success, but it's worth it, and I like that it is my responsibility to make sure that it works.

83 is a good weight for me in kilograms (183 lbs). I was 83.2kg this morning, which is pretty close.

1 time a month is how often I look at our net worth. Sometimes it goes up and sometimes it goes down. Up feels better, but they are long term investments and monthly movements aren't too important so long as our rental properties give us sufficient income.

144 or 170 are the chassis length choices if I choose to convert a Mercedes Sprinter into a campervan. It's quite possibly a daft idea, but sometimes we need to give daft ideas a try - well, so long as I can persuade Sally that it's really a genius idea in disguise!

4 cables changed on my bike yesterday with the help of a friend (2 brake and 2 gear). I'm hopeless at anything technical or mechanical but I think I might be able to do this without assistance next time. It's good to have the time to learn new things.

At the finish of Boston Marathon

40 seconds is the seriously annoying (I'm being polite!) small margin by which I missed a sub 3 hour marathon in Boston last year. My chance has probably gone, but now I've started running again I'm wondering whether I should still dream it's possible?

129 blog posts since I started my blog in early 2017. I didn't know I had so much to say!

12 is the number of weeks that I'll be travelling in California, Costa Rica and Colombia. Departure is just five weeks away.

4,130 is the cost of one business class return airfare between London and Los Angeles, while 325 is the price we paid for our economy class ticket. Business class is nice, but it's not 13 times better. Even if we can afford it, it doesn't seem good value for money. I'd rather go economy and use the extra 3,805 on something I'll value much more.

8 is my current happiness score (an idea borrowed from Joe at Retireby40). This should be a 9 if only I could figure out what life will look like for next year - I like a plan and the uncertainty of not having one knocks one point off my score. Joe rated his happiness score at 9 in July.

I was an accountant before early retirement so dealing with numbers was what I did every day. It seems that I'm still doing numbers, but I like my early retirement numbers a whole lot better.


Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page