One consequence of striving for early retirement is that you end up having no-life, so I’ve developed the visualisation below to provide some motivation.
It shows how long my current total savings would last assuming monthly outgoings of £700/ month (the minimum/ base mount I’ll need to live off once the mortgage is paid off).
The end date is set at July 2033 when I turn 60 and my teacher’s pension kicks in which, with lump sum factored in, is already set to provide me with more than £700/ month from that point forwards.
The start date is pretty arbitrary – I just backdated it to to this July because that’s my most recent birthday. No reason why I couldn’t start this at some point in the future, but you never know, I may find a duffel bag of £50s tomorrow and be able to retire at 44, there’s always hope. (And there in’s the curse of my life – hope).
Personally I like the Viz – it shows me clearly that each £700 I save (which is what I can tuck away each month at a push) brings my retirement date forward by a month. (OK perhaps if I’d started it at 2022 or something around there it would be a tad more motivational?!?)
In summary, here’s a few financial facts which have emerged out of this exercise, based on calculations specific to my own individual circumstances!
£700 saved = retirement date brought forwards by one month
£24 saved = retirement date brought forwards by one day
£1 saved (actually every so slightly less!) = retirement date brought forward by one hour.
Alternatively, you could express this in terms of how many hours and days each good or service costs you in terms of retirement-days lost. E.G…
1 large Cappuccino from Costa (cost £2.65) pushes one’s retirement back by 2 ½ hours.
1 pint and a bag of crisps in the pub (approx cost £5) pushes one’s retirement back by 5 hours.
1 Domino’s Pizza (£10 if on special) pushes retirement back by 1 day.
Another way of seeing this is to look at the time spent engaging in the ‘consumption moment’ in terms of a ‘time trade-off’ – Given that each of these activities takes me about 30 minutes then….
Enjoying a Cappuccino for 30 minutes pleasure extends my working life by 2 ½ hours, or 5 times the amount of time it takes me to delicately sup the Cappuccino.
Enjoying a pint and bag of crisps extends my working life by 5 hours, or ten times the amount of time it takes me drink the pint and scoff the crisps.
Enjoying a Domino’s for 30 minutes extends my working life by 10 hours, or 20 times the amount of time it would take me to eat the Pizza.
NB – Don’t forget that all of the above is based on my personal statistics entirely – and I’m not saying that it would take me 20 hours of work to earn enough to buy a Domino’s, of course it wouldn’t. What I mean is that, based on my needing £700/ month to retire, which works out at £24 a day, then £10 costs me half a day. If I forewent the Domino’s and saved the cash, I could retire half a day earlier (assuming I don’t eat Domino’s again, that’s not in the financial model).
Of course, with luck, my savings will accumulate at a faster rate – and so every now and again I’ll be able to notch another month forwards. Also, I could of course assume that once I retire with a lump sum of, say £60K, that I can expect some more money back from that in returns too. In short, this is a very conservative way of estimating my early retirement date.
I wish I had the technical expertise to do a live infographic of what’s above, rather than relying on a static version in word.
No more Domino’s!
If you like this sort of thing, then why not buy my book:
Early Retirement Strategies for the Average Income Earner, or A Critique of Curiously Ordinary Life of the Everyday Worker-Consumer
Also available on Amazon, but for $3.10 because I’d get a much lower cut if I charged less!