However most people specify a certain date or year to reach FIRE, I don’t. I do have a number in my mind but I don’t focus myself on it. The journey towards FIRE should be enjoyed and many obstacles will cross the path. In my case, it doesn’t make much sense to fix a certain FIRE date. In my current stage of life and the coming years, my whole life will (or should) be determined. Will I have a partner, kids, a real estate property with mortgage,…? Who knows… The future is too uncertain for me to just toss a date on FIRE. The parameters can vary heavily.
A thing with a fixed FIRE date is, what are you going to do when you hit the date but not reach FIRE? Are you gonna be unhappy? All the years of investing didn’t pay off eventually? Was it one big lie? Is living on lower standards an option to yet reach FIRE? No, it’s nothing more than a long-term guideline which adapts accordingly to one’s life in my opinion. FIRE isn’t the ultimate goal, happiness is.
Now let’s satisfy the number craving people:
At 01/01/2021, I will be 25 years old. I want my net worth to reach €250,000 or receive €5,750 in yearly dividends. The reasons I write this as an ‘or’-goal are the following: I can’t forecast stock market movements neither dividend increases. The date gives me a little under 3 years and 9 months to reach the goal.
I don’t think of FIRE as a one-lap sprint. To me it’s more interesting to set temporary milestones along the way to keep motivation high on the mid-term. This way it doesn’t seem like forever to get along with the process.