Then January Happened // The Joy of Fluid Goals

hiya friends! the last time we talked finances, we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave at the end of 2015, back when it appeared that we were ahead of schedule on our early retirement goals. but just like the nixon hangover that followed the 60s, what hunter s. thompson was talking about in that glorious passage that i love quoting, we are now experiencing the financial hangover, the realization that actual reality may shake out differently than we’d hoped. and we don’t have to go up a steep hill in vegas to see our high water mark — it’s right there on the spreadsheets. okay, no more quotes for today — i promise!

though the time we’re talking about was only six weeks ago, in some ways it feels like it’s been much longer. it was before the market correction/fluctuation/beginning of the recession/whatever the heck this is (mr. onl thinks we should just call it a nosedive). and while we’re not panicking, and we’re certainly not selling any shares (keep buying! shares are on sale!), we are taking a sober assessment of where we are now. and where we are is: back on pace for retirement at the end of 2017, not the end of this year. 

where the wave crested

in our usual tradition of not sharing actual numbers, here is a general sense of where we are, starting with the broadest measure, our net worth:

Net Worth Feb 2016

as you can see, we set a high water mark right at the end of 2015, and though we’ve been saving even more per month in the first few months of 2016 than we did on average last year, our savings can’t keep pace with the market declines. so we’re currently ebbing. it’s only february, of course, so we know we’ll get 2016 back to net positive even without the markets’ help. but the dip still ain’t nothing. here’s a different view of the net worth fluctuations:

Net Worth Feb 2016 Zoomed In

the scale on this is super zoomed in (we did not start with nearly zero last february!), but you can see that the last six weeks have wiped out most of our year-end deferred compensation/bonuses, and erased the lead we had on our imaginary early retirement pace setter. (note for newer readers: we get a biiiiig percentage of our income at the end of the year, so while it looks like we’ve only lost a few months of progress, december is a crazy important month for us. losing december’s progress hurts in a big way.)

not every number matters

so we’ve lost some net worth on paper, and we could freak out about that if we wanted to. but “net worth” is comprised of different components, some of which matter to our timeline, and some of which don’t  matter at all. like our 401(k)s — they’ve taken a big hit, but we don’t need those for 20 years, so we don’t really care. but those numbers are factored into our net worth all the same. and according to usaa and zillow, the value of both our home and our rental property have gone up significantly, but we haven’t adjusted our net worth calculations to account for that, since we can’t pay the bills with home equity (or at least not without taking out a heloc, which is not our cup of tea).

here’s how the three important components of our net worth — mortgage balance, taxable savings (the nest egg for our first ~20 years of retirement), and 401(k)s — have fared recently:

Net Worth Components Feb 2016

again, the scale is super zoomed in, so our 401(k)s aren’t actually three times as big as our taxable savings, as they look here. only our mortgage balance, comprising both our home and our rental, have consistently moved in the right direction (downward = good when we’re talking debt), and you can see the big drop that we got in december from making a seriously large principle payment out of our year-end cash. the 401(k) balance has had the most volatility, but we can live with that since we don’t plan to touch that money for a long time, and can leave it to grow in the usual two-steps-forward, one-step-back style of the markets. the orange line — our taxable savings — is what really matters in terms of our timeline, and it’s currently trending in the wrong direction.

taxable savings: the only number that really matters

here’s the taxable savings data solo, in an unskewed scale:

Taxable_Balance_Feb2016

the taxable funds, comprised mostly of vanguard index funds and cash, haven’t taken nearly as bad a hit as our 401(k)s, so we’re not in bad shape on this front, though we don’t love to see the numbers going down when we’re sinking more cash into those funds every month. but here’s a projection, to show what we need to have saved each year, and where we actually are:

Taxable Savings Projections 2016

we hit our goals exactly 2011-2014, but in 2015, we exceeded our projection by a good margin — enough for that dark blue bar to overhang the orange bar beneath it a bit. and given that we expect to be able to save more this year, we though it might just be possible to get all the way to the amount represented by the 2017 orange bar this year. but, without some legit help from the markets, it’s not going to happen. hitting the projections for 2016 and 2017, though, should be no problem at all, barring some massive, worldwide financial cataclysm. (knock on wood.)

the virtues of fluid goals

we did what the internets tell us to do: we set a big goal (moving up our retirement a year) and we put it out there. and while it’s too soon to tell for sure, it’s definitely looking like we’ll fall short. it would be easy to feel crushed, or at least sad. but instead, we’re doing fine. we credit that to keeping our goals fluid in our minds.

the only hard and fast goal we’ve set for ourselves is to quit at the end of 2017, but we’re even fluid on what “quit” means. if we fall short big time on our numbers, it could mean dropping to part time with our current jobs, though we sure hope it doesn’t end up meaning that. it could mean continuing to freelance, or taking other part-time jobs. our projected retirement budget has plenty of wiggle room in it, so if we need to adjust and live more frugally to quit at the end of 2017, we’ll do that. and maybe, just maybe, the markets will give us a tailwind this year after all, and let us zoom up our schedule.

even the big goal of maybe retiring this year was always a reach, and in some ways, it’s good that we had that silly notion smacked right out of our heads in a hurry, before we got too attached to the idea. (thanks markets, for correcting in january, and not waiting til july!) to us, it’s a good reminder that we’re always better off riding the wave than fighting against the current. so that’s the lesson we’re taking from all of this: go with the flow, go with the flow, go with the flow.

how are you handling the recent market misbehavior? anyone else rethinking your timelines? please share in the comments!

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68 thoughts on “Then January Happened // The Joy of Fluid Goals

  1. Yeah, my wife and I have no plans at the moment to alter our post-retirement goals. While the market will affect our lifestyle immediately after we finally call it quits and start traveling full time, our schedule is remaining the same. I’m out by December and the wife is done by February of 2017.

    When I say that the market will affect our post-retirement lifestyle, I am talking about the possibility of work camping a bit more, or boondocking more often than we had anticipated, or even pick up some part time blogging jobs or something similar just to bring in some additional cash here and there. We were planning on doing some of that stuff anyway, but the market might force us to focus a little more heavily on those goals in the first couple of years after retirement.

    The nice thing is we’ll have a few years of living expenses in a savings account, so luckily we won’t have to touch our investments until 2019 or so, which should give them enough time to rebound again back to where they were in 2015. This savings buffer is a huge advantage to this whole retirement plan of ours.

    Other than that, we’re being stubborn and not changing a thing. :)

    1. I give you guys such cajones credit for being willing to do your plan, markets be damned! :-) And your backup plan sounds so much like ours — maybe working more, finding ways to cut expenses, but not compromising on the timeline (at least our end of 2017 timeline, since this year is unlikely). And AMEN to the cash cushion! We’re also planning to have two years of expenses plus emergency fund in cash when we retire, and that thought gives me huge comfort. If we were facing down having to sell shares in this current market, well, I wouldn’t like that all. :-)

  2. The recent lull in the markets has changed my plans because my horizon is more like 5-7 years out. Best of luck meeting your stretch goal this year.

  3. I feel like since I started investing in the beginning of August 2015 (ahahahaha I know) I’ve been so desensitized that January didn’t really feel that bad?

    And don’t get me wrong, I know it was bad. It was August of 2015 bad. (I work with a bunch of dudes who think they can beat the market, it’s all I hear about every day.) But I guess I’m grateful I got that shock out of my system so early in the investing process. It’s helped me mostly ignore, or look very calmly on, the fluctuations that have been happening this year so far. That said, it’s easy to do when my retirement timeline is decidedly more than one or two years – and when the balance of my accounts is much lower than yours ;)

    That said, I’m taking the same approach as you are. Continuing to save, ramping up savings where I can, and letting the markets do their thing. I’m so, so impressed at the approach you guys are taking, and your outlook on all of this – that is some mad yoga zen to be like “Well, maybe we will retire a year later!”

    Mad. Yoga. Zen.

    1. In the scheme of things we’ve seen before, this is truly *not bad* (or at least not yet. It’s nowhere near 2008 bad, or 2000 tech crash bad, which is a good reminder. (Then again, at *some point* those crashes will happen again. And we have to be prepared to handle that, too! “We” being all of us.) And yeah, it’s great to get used to ups and downs early on! Because there will be plenty of them. And while you’re just starting to invest, and aren’t wed to a timeline, there’s a lot less riding on those ups and downs. I WISH we were as mad yoga zen as you say. :-) If work weren’t so taxing, I think it would be easier. But work is a mega drain, and that’s the tough part. I want off the treadmill so bad, sooooo bad. (But, then again, not so bad that I’m open to finding another job!)

  4. Ah, the joys of the market! Sorry guys, I know you were getting excited about calling it quits sooner than later. Who knows with this roller coaster ride – although probably pretty unlikely, maybe it will make a big swing up to get you back to the early schedule you were hoping for.

    Not sure if you’ve talked about this in a previous post, but I’m curious on your percentages of stocks, bonds, and cash.

    — Jim

    1. Thanks, Jim. :-) I think if we’d really been able to quit this year, it would have been on a much thinner margin than I’d truly be comfortable with, and it would mean some mandatory work later on. So we’re totally good with continuing for that extra year. Check out this post for our current asset allocation (http://ournextlife.com/2015/10/30/all-the-charts-our-progress-toward-early-retirement/). Generally speaking, we’re about 70/30 on stock index funds/bond funds, and those together comprise about 90% of our taxable assets currently, with the other 10% in cash. But we’re going to shift more to cash gradually, so that we retire with two years of living expenses plus emergency fund in cash.

  5. I don’t have any timelines so there wasn’t anything to adjust. It has changed my behavior a bit though. I’ve stopped logging in as much (which is a great improvement) and I’ve asked Hubs to stop looking altogether. He’s new to the investing roller coaster and does not react well to the dips! I’ll go back and get his numbers when the markets are playing nicer. It’s a better teaching moment when we can look with hindsight and I can show that nobody died.

    1. I like how you put it, “show that nobody died.” Thank you for putting my dumb charts in perspective. :-) So true that there are no catastrophes, we’re alive and well and our “losses” only exist if we look at them. If we don’t even check, they don’t exist. (Like how I went all “if a tree falls in the forest” on you?) The lesson to all of us, especially me: stop looking! :-)

  6. I actually looked at my Vanguard account yesterday for the first time in a few months.Oof. It wasn’t surprising or shocking, but it was definitely unnerving. The benefit of our situation is that we’re not trying to forge a path to early retirement. So when I tell myself, “Long haul, long haul”, I actually mean it. I think you’re absolutely right to emphasize the fluidity of goals. It’s much better to strategize now than scramble later. Here’s hoping the markets start to cooperate for you guys.

    1. So much better not to look! But I (obviously — re: the charts) do it too. I think, to your point about it all being unnerving, what is worrisome about the market drops (freefall?) is not *really* what it means for our retirement timeline, because we’re still fine on that front, and we have lots of contingency options. What’s worrisome is just the whole idea that we’re not in charge, the markets don’t behave rationally, and ultimately we don’t control our own destiny. That’s a scary notion, even if it should come as a surprise to exactly no one!

  7. It’s been a rocky ride over he last 6-8 weeks. We don’t have any short term goals to retire so not really affecting us. Still not fun to watch, but not panicking.Just trying to invest more while prices are down and keep reminding ourselves we still own the same amount of shares we did 2 months ago.

  8. Since I’m still a ways out from retirement the market hasn’t really had much of an affect on me. But I suppose this is a good lesson for all of us in that maybe we need to be way more OVER prepared than just prepared if we want to make some kind of big move? I would expect that even after you retire, markets will fluctuate over time, spending panic into the hearts of many.

    1. I definitely wonder about that — how I will cope with market fluctuations after we retire! We’re going to maintain a big cash cushion (like two years of living expenses worth of cash, plus emergency fund), so I hope that will be enough to calm my nerves. :-) And yeah, it IS a good lesson that it’s better to overprepare, than to save just barely enough!

  9. As our timeline is 2029, we are still in build up phaze. The cheaper we can buy now, the better. Looks like we have a different best case here.
    The good thing is that you have a flexible plan.

    I only look once a month to my portfolio. The next sneekpeek is march 1st. So, I have no real idea on where I am. I know I am quite defensive as my equity portfolio is still relative small.

    In my play portfolio, things are different… The sharp decline might force me to calm down a little. I could use an uptick in oil prices.

    1. I still think you’re going to end up retiring sooner than 2029. And yeah, the market downturn is a good thing for those who are several years away from quitting — so hooray! ;-) That’s amazing that you look so infrequently at your balance — I have definitely gotten better about that in the past several months, but I still check too often.

      1. I hope your are right on the 2029…! We do are best to beat that date.
        What makes it easy for me not too look that often is the abscence of tools like mint/personal capitak in Belgium. I need to fetch everything from multiple accounts and input this in my spreadsheet.
        There is 1thing I follow closely: my options trades. Maybe that is the reason I look seldom at the portfolio as a whole.

        1. I didn’t think about how easy the tools make it to check balances. Even our bank lets us link up our other accounts, so we don’t even have to log in to Personal Capital to see our balance. And we definitely do not have the temperament to do the options trades that you do! :-)

  10. Since we have a little more time (5-7 years) the correction isn’t having a big impact on our plans. It has made me think seriously about cash flow and how much cash reserve we need on hand. I think that number is going to be much higher/more conservative. Instead of having one year of cash on hand, I will probably want more like three, to ensure that we don’t need to make any major withdrawals during a sustained downturn. But we are probably excessively risk adverse!

    1. Yeah, for that timeline, the correction is a good opportunity to buy more! Glad it’s a good thing for some of our buddies. :-) I’m with you on being more conservative with regard to risk, and liking the idea of a cash cushion. Most of the advice we’re read has said that two years cash is sufficient — provides for long enough to ride out most historic recessions without having to sell shares, and minimizes the downside risk of missing out on growth opportunities. Would love to know what you end up deciding to do, when the time comes!

  11. Good job keeping a positive attitude. Our goals our fluid with respect to how many side hustles we will need once we “semi-retire.” However, there are some prerequisities before we reach that date – the most important one is that we have all of our debt paid off.

    1. I’m in total agreement with you that paying off your debt is a non-negotiable, and I admire your resolve to tackle it! It seems like you have a good mix of staying focused on that goal and fluid on some others. :-)

  12. I don’t post our net worth due to wanting to keep that info private but I do like your method of presenting graphs with no specific numbers. That still shows your progress. Maybe I need to start doing that.

    Jan was a tough month for many people, the stock market has been sucky and that definitely contributed to the net worth drop for most people.

    1. Yeah, we started doing the “percentage charts” last fall, and we like them. Still lets us share a sense of things without giving away that stuff that we don’t want out there on the internet. And yeah, “sucky” is a good word for January (and now February!). :-)

  13. Where to begin? :) Yep, I totally understand the fluidity of goals, market stability, our own projections and more when trying to figure out what number we need to hit and how soon we could hit it. Like you, our number got moved up from I think 2020 or 2022 to 2018, then a stretch goal of 2017, if one of us kept working some sort of job in a new state. For us, it would be worth it even if we hadn’t hit our goal 100%. Like Steve mentioned, we would have enough saved to not really dip into our savings for a bit, as long as even a little money was coming in.

    Like every other thing that has been dashed pretty hard watching the market slide on down… On the plus side, it awakens us to how much things could get affected by a market slump when we’re totally dependent on those investments. Sure, by then we’ll have more in dividends, and probably even – gasp, Bonds (or something similar)! These past few months have been a good reminder that steady isn’t always a bad thing, as we’re building up our cash reserves even more still planning for the future.

    In the end my take on it is, Meh… I have no control over it, and am pretty darn lucky to be in the position I am (we are) to be able to even still contemplate and dream about “retirement” in a few years. If everything really tanks and moves projections and stuff back say, 3 more years, that’s still early/mid 40’s. Wow, it’s still amazing to think about.

    1. Are you guys not invested in bonds?? Not that that’s the big takeaway from your comment, but that jumped out at me. We’re about 70/30 stocks/bonds, which is a historical risk/reward ratio we’re comfortable with, but I’d love to know if you guys have a different allocation… you might be blowing my mind. :-) I love your positive attitude about all of it, and your great reminder that we’re lucky no matter what. Though I think you like your job more than we do. :-) Haha.

      1. Haha! I think I just may like my job more than you guys. :)
        Currently, this is just an estimate, as I haven’t looked in a while, but our allocation is closer to 90/10 or 85/15? It’s pretty high in stocks, because we’re wanting more growth. Yes, that exposes us to even more “losses” when the market crashes and what not, but when it rebounds, we’re sitting well for that to. So, our risk tolerance is definitely higher, and we’re fine with that for now. When we get to a “need it for real” point, we’ll put more into a dividend strategy sort of portfolio and we’ll protect a bit more with bonds or something similarly stable. At this point, we don’t want to have “too much” (which is all relative based on your own risk tolerance) in bonds and not have it “growing” or “shrinking” with the market. I guess the big take away from the comment and this reply is that we trust that the stock market isn’t going to fail or stay down for multiple prolonged years/decade style.
        I remember Mrs. SSC crunching some numbers and projections in cFiresim and changing our bond allocation, and we moved more into bonds after that, because we realized it didn’t change our date, and limited our exposure, but it probably still isn’t as high as 30%. I guess it all comes down to what we’re each comfortable with, and we’re definitely more risk acceptable with more stock market index funds, yada, yada, and less heavy on bonds/similar at this stage of the game. — mind blown? :)

        1. Thanks for sharing your breakdown! We have based on our allocations on research on historical risk/reward ratios for stock/bond balances. We felt like there wasn’t a lot of upside to going higher than 70 percent stocks, but there was a lot more potential downside. But we’re probably also more risk averse than you guys are! Your strategy certainly makes good sense!

        2. I can see that side of it too. We have re-evaluated previously and put more into bonds/stable markets because we found our threshold for where the risk/reward stopped being worth it for us. Again, it depends on your risk tolerance and how much you want to be exposed. Another thing that could play into it, could be the fact that when we started looking at those risk profiles we were expecting the 2020 sort of date, so some ups and downs, Meh, no worries. Like “real retirees” now that we’re possibly within a year or two or more depending on the market, of “needing” those funds, we may look at re-allocating more of it into more stable areas, so that we don’t have to delay our FFLC due to a sudden market drop right around our date. Since things change and are so fluid as you pointed out, it would make more sense to re-evaluate once more since our situations have changed, and more importantly our outlook has changed, to where we may get forced into this situation earlier than we’d like anyway. May as well be prepared for any situation. :)

        3. Your approach makes total sense, especially given your original timeline. I’m just a risk weenie. :-) But it makes sense, now that you know you’re close, to look closely at your allocations, build up your cash cushion, etc.

  14. I like your approach of fluid goals, and to focus on the things you can control (eg savings rate).
    Since your taxable funds includes your investment property, do you find the yield on that is less volatile than the 401ks?

    Reason I ask is that I’m thinking of a bucket income approach and perhaps I can use our investment property income for necessities if the yield is more consistent, and 401k (in Australia we call it superannuation) for extras like more expensive travel, entertainment, major giving, renovations etc. then I could at least be confident of covering necessities.

    I try to reframe it instead of a particular date, I am just creating an ‘options era’ and have to roll with the punches as they come.
    Stay the course!

  15. The bulk of our assets are in bonds, so although the paper loss was hard to swallow our income remains constant. If we had to liquidate for some reason we would have taken quite a hit, but fortunately we didn’t need to do so. We are riding out the markets as always, more determined than ever to avoid any withdrawals while things calm down. We did make one change, though, which was to move any maturing assets to tax exempt investments (just as they naturally rollover, we’re not actively selling out of anything). Other than that, we’re staying the course. It’s certainly a punch in the gut to see those balances fall precipitously when there’s no more earnings to invest, but we remain optimistic the markets will correct and we’ll be made whole over the next year or so.

    1. Wow, that’s fantastic that you’re not having to liquidate any shares! Our retirement strategy, lacking any pensions, will rely on selling shares of our index fund holdings, so we’re hoping that having a two to three year cash cushion will be a sufficient hedge. But only time will tell! Good for you guys for sticking to your resolve and not selling!

      1. A two or three year cushion should keep you extremely comfortable and insulate you against even an extended bear market. Being so young and having such marketable skills, worst comes up worst you consult part time and take advantage of all the tax benefits of being self employed to supplement your holdings, but I doubt you’ll even need to.

  16. Ah, I can see how this would feel discouraging. Although, as you know, anything could happen any day, market-wise: stocks could surge tomorrow, and you could be writing a post six weeks from now that says exactly the opposite of all this. But that’s easy for me to say, as I will not be retiring anytime in the next five zillion years no matter what the markets do. (Unless the markets maybe want to pay off my student loans?)

    Man, you wrote this post and made all these figures last-minute AND you’re working an 80-hour week? I feel exhausted just thinking about this.

    Hunter S. Thompson is one of those people who I know I should be familiar with, but I’m just not, other than that photo with the cigarette. I should probably remedy that.

    1. Yes, for sure — anything can happen! As for this post and the charts — it was mostly just adding a month or two to existing charts. Nothing from scratch. :-) And I had some time at 6 am at the airport yesterday, so decided to write rather than get a headstart on work, when I knew no one was expecting me to be online.

      Hunter Thompson is wonderful, but so different from writers of literary fiction. He’s more of a poet reporter, or a poet outlaw, but he’s so worth reading. Fear & Loathing is so often reduced to being a book about doing a lot of drugs (and it is), but there’s incredible beauty in it, and sadness, and perspectives on the 60s that I’ve not heard elsewhere. Please add it to your list… but put it lower on the list than Fates and Furies! :-)

  17. I think this is maybe kind of a good thing. Imagine if it were 2017. You retired in December 2016, ahead of schedule…and boom, huge market slump. Now, you do have cash to live off so you don’t have to sell shares at a loss immediately but…. This way, you’re still working and have plenty of time not just to hit your goal, but to overdo it so that you have extra to get you through the inevitable future market slumps.

    1. Financially — yes, totally. I am so much more comfortable knowing we have a little extra cushion, both in terms of cash and in terms of shares. But — in terms of wear and tear on our psyches and souls, it’s tougher. The pace we’re going with work is not sustainable, and that’s where we get over eager and impatient. But, we’re not going to make the leap early without solid math behind us, so overall, agree that the two-year plan is better.

  18. I’m ignoring it. :) Time horizon for me is far into the future so these shorter term changes don’t affect me as much, outside of seeing the top line number fall. It’s important for me to understand why it falls but as for my response, it’s all about maintaining calm and not doing something rash.

    What are the plans for if the market falls even further? 20%, 40%, etc. and how it impacts your timeline and how you’ll react?

    1. You are the zen master, Jim. :-) And yeah, if the market drops a LOT, I’m not gonna lie — it will be stressful. But that’s what the cash cushion, rental income and other contingencies are for, right?

      1. Ha yes, but man those emotions are hard to keep in check. So one thing that has helped is knowing that on the whole I’m “up” from when I started investing (up nominally, I don’t go as far as calculating it in real terms). It’s strictly psychological though… the games we play to keep sane. :)

        1. I know we’ve had some roller coaster moments in the past, but never when our funds were this built-up. So it will be interesting! Lots of yoga will likely be in order. :-)

  19. We are not changing our course (and buying expensive scotch!). We use a ‘three bucket’ strategy. Cash bucket is 3 years spending. Heavy bond bucket is another 3. Heavy equity bucket is the remainder – about 2/3rds of our total portfolio. Not sure if this is s correction or the start of something bigger. For us, we manage for asset protection more than growth, so we are not highly exposed (down about -2.5% in 2016).

    1. That’s an interesting way of breaking it out — thinking of your allocations beyond cash in terms of years, not just dollars or percentages. I think our allocations will be fairly similar by the time we pull the plug!

  20. We were certainly overdue for a market correction so no surprise there but I do wonder if this is the start of something bigger. I keep thinking that we need to start buying in the market again now that we purchased our investment property so for us the timing is actually good. Just be glad that this happened now and not just before your retirement date. It is certainly scary though to see how easily things can change when our goals are based on the market where we have little control.

    1. Knock on wood that this isn’t the start of a freefall, 2008-style! And yeah, it’s always scary to get these reminders that we’re ultimately not in control. But all we can do is try not to worry too much and keep saving while we can. :-)

  21. Okay I’m going to give you my initial reaction with the understanding that I don’t know you guys THAT well and this is mainly based off of this one post…if the market dropping over the past 6 weeks moves your retirement date back a year, are you really prepared to retire this early? What if the market dropped 25% over the next two months and home values took a massive nosedive (I know you don’t factor them in, but still)? The way I see it early retirement should be comfortable and factor in the boom bust cycle of our economy. Without knowing numbers or your plans for early retirement, it seems like you may benefit by waiting 4 or even 5 years to retire. Just some thoughts – again with VERY limited information!

    1. I love that your comment clearly comes from a place of concern — so thank you for weighing in. The truth is that we are way more than comfortable with a FIRE date of end of 2017, but just got ahead of our goals in 2015 and figured there was a *chance* we could get there with some help from the markets this year. But we have multiple contingencies built in, non-market passive income, a solid cash cushion, and big enough investment funds currently and planned that we’ll be more than fine in 22 months. Thanks for commenting!

  22. Since we still have quite a way to go on our journey, the markets tanking isn’t bad at all. It means we can increase our savings rate this year (the plan anyway) and throw it into the market on sale! I’m actually hoping it stays down for awhile so we can throw as much into it as we can (at least our energy audit rebate which should come in the next couple of weeks!)

    1. So glad you guys can take advantage of the misbehaving market! (I mean, we can too, but we’re grumpier about it.) :-) Fingers crossed that there are no rebounds before you get your energy rebate!

  23. I’m only 35 – so I’m taking advantage of the market volatility! I’ve already maxed out my wife’s Roth IRA and am working to do the same to mine. It’s crazy how people my age get scared of investing at times like this when they should be even more aggressive. Buy low!

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