FAT FIRE Calculator

Mon Mar 06 2023

Do you want to retire early and live a life of financial freedom without sacrificing your luxurious lifestyle? Or maybe you're a lifer New Yorker and just can't imagine ever leaving Manhattan but you want to leave the rate race ASAP.

Enter the Money Optimist FAT FIRE calculator! This simple yet powerful tool can help you determine your financial independence number, how much you need to save, and when you can actually reach your FAT retired life. Whether you're new to the FIRE movement or an avid FIRE-er, the FAT FIRE Calculator is the starting point to unlocking your most optimistic money life.

So let's jump in.

What Is Fat FIRE?

FAT FIRE stands for Financial Independence and Retire Early with a comfortable or luxorious lifestyle typically greater than $100k in expenses a year. It's a type of financial independence and retire early (FIRE) goal that focuses on achieving financial freedom while still maintaining a higher standard of living. This FIRE flavor has always resonated with me as I've always had expensive taste and have lived in hcol (high cost of living) cities, where $100k in annual expenses was the norm for a family of four. However I still wanted to achieve FI earlier than the traditional retirement age.

Unlike traditional FIRE, which typically involves living more frugally and cutting back on expenses to retire early, FAT FIRE allows for a more comfortable lifestyle and greater financial security in retirement. This may include traveling, covering expenses for lots of kids or aging parents, living in a HCOL area or having more disposable income to spend on hobbies that bring you joy. However, because you have a higher lifestyle to cover, FAT FIRE also requires a higher net worth and more savings to achieve compared to other types of FIRE goals so it tends to be a path of FIRE pursued by people with a higher annual income.

How much is considered Fat FIRE?

So, how much do you need to FAT FIRE? Well, it depends on your income, expenses, and where you live. But generally, to achieve a FAT FIRE lifestyle, you'll need a net worth of at least $2.5 million. That assumes you'll use the standard 4% withdrawal rate in retirement. That may seem like a lot, but remember, FAT FIRE is all about maintaining a comfortable lifestyle in retirement. Don't worry if your number is different - everyone's financial situation is unique. Just use the calculator above to figure out your own FAT FIRE number and how long it'll take you to get there.

What is a Good Fat FIRE net worth?

The minimum net worth typically described under FAT FIRE is $2.5mm which equals 25 x $100k/yr in annual expenses. However, your lifestyle may be more expensive so use the calculator above by adding your monthly FAT FIRE expenses to gauge how much you'll need in net worth to FAT FIRE.

How to Calculate Your FAT FIRE Number

There are several inputs needed to calculate your FAT FIRE number with the FAT fire early retirement calculator:

Current AGE

This is your age today. It's used as the starting point for how long it'll take you to reach for early retirement FAT FIRE number.

Current Total Investments

Your net worth is basically the total amount of your assets minus any liabilities that you may have. So, it includes things like cash, your retirement accounts, your investment portfolio, and any property you own, minus things like car debt, student loans, or credit card debt. This is where you're currently at in terms of your retire early number. It's your starting point for figuring out your FatFIRE number and how close you are to reaching FAT financial independence.

FAT FIRE Retirement Monthly Expenses

This is simply how much money you expect to spend every month during your future FatFIRE retirement. It covers all the basics like food, rent or mortgage payments, and utilities, but also any other fun stuff you want to do like going out to eat or taking trips. Don't forget to also factor in expenses that may not happen every month, like car maintenance or travel costs. Basically, it's all the money you need to have a good time and live your most optimist life in early retirement.

Monthly Total Savings Contribution

This is just how much money you're putting into savings every month. It includes any money you're saving from your paycheck after taxes, as well as any contributions you're making to retirement accounts, HSAs, or other savings vehicles. Basically, it's the amount you're setting aside each month to help you reach your FatFIRE number. So, the more you're able to save, the closer you'll get to achieving your goal!

If you're unsure how to calculate your monthly savings, you can head over to the savings rate calculator to figure out how much exactly you're saving every month.

Annual Interest Rate (%)

This is just how much you expect your investments to grow every year. On average, the stock market has historically provided an average growth rate of 8% after inflation, but there are no guarantees and returns can vary depending on the types of investments you make and your asset allocation mix. Personally, I recommend investing in low-cost index funds or ETFs for long-term growth. It's important to do your own research and diversify your investments to make the most of your money. Also, remember that the 8% rate of return is just an average and some years you might see higher returns, while other years might be lower depending on stock market growth and annual inflation rates.

Withdrawal Rate in Retirement

This is how much money you plan on taking out of your retirement savings every year to cover your annual expenses. It's super important to figure out the right percentage so that you have enough money to last you through your entire retirement no matter what your life expectancy is. You don't want to take out too much too fast and run out of money, but you also don't want to take out too little and have to scrape by later in life. The default rate that a lot of people use is 4%, based on the Trinity Study . Basically, it found that if you invest your savings in the stock market, you can withdraw 4% a year for 30+ years without running out of money. But remember, this is just a guideline and your own situation might be different!

The FAT FIRE Calculator Results

Ok so now you have all of your inputs and you calculated your FAT FIRE numbers. Let's walk through the results.


Your Fat Fire number is the amount of money you need to save up before you can retire early and live off of your investments. It's your target savings goal! Once you hit that number, you're good to go and can start living the FAT FIRE life you've been envisioning.

Years to FAT FIRE

This tells you how long it'll take for you to reach your FAT FIRE goal based on how much money you have saved already, how much you spend each month, and how much you can save each month. It's like a countdown to when you can finally retire and live the good life! But keep in mind, you'll want to compare this timeline to the traditional retirement age and adjust your numbers in the calculator if needed. After all, you want to make sure you're not working forever and have plenty of time to enjoy your FIRE life.


This is simply the age you'll be when you hit your FAT Fire Number. Again, you can play with your savings rate and monthly expenses to shift this age down if it's not at your ideal FIRE age.

When can I FAT FIRE retire and how long do I need to save before I can retire?

Your ability to retire and reach your FAT FIRE number depends on several factors, including your current net worth, monthly costs, and savings rate. The FAT FIRE Calculator can help you determine when you can realistically retire by showing you how long it will take to reach your FAT FIRE number based on your current financial situation.

The calculator takes into account your current net worth, monthly expenses, monthly savings, and expected rate of return on your investments to estimate the number of years it will take for you to reach your FAT FIRE number.

Keep in mind that the calculator provides an estimate and that the actual time it takes to reach your FAT FIRE number may vary depending on market conditions, changes in your income, and changes in your expenses. Additionally, you should check back and update your results as your savings grow and your lifestyle changes.

What is a good FAT fire number?

A good FAT FIRE number is subjective and varies from person to person based on individual financial goals and lifestyle choices. Generally, it is recommended to aim for a FAT FIRE number that is 25 times your annual expenses. So, if your estimated annual expenses are $100,000, your FAT FIRE number would be $2.5 million. However, keep in mind that this is just a guideline and you may need more or less depending on your specific situation. It's important to take into account factors like inflation, unexpected expenses, and potential changes in lifestyle during retirement.

A good FAT FIRE number could be $3 million as it would equal a more conservative 3.3% withdrawal rate and still cover a $100,000/year lifestyle.

How much do you need to make for Fat FIRE?

When it comes to achieving Fat FIRE, there is no specific annual income requirement that applies to everyone. The amount you need to make depends on various factors, such as your current expenses, lifestyle, and desired retirement goals.

However, as a general rule, you'll need to have a high income and be able to save a significant portion of it to reach your Fat FIRE goals. In order to calculate how much you need to make, you'll first need to determine your Fat FIRE number using the FIRE calculator above and the monthly savings required to reach it. From there, you can work backward to figure out how much you need to make in order to save that amount each month.

Here are some good rules of thumb for savings rates starting from 0.

  • With a 10% savings rate, it'll take you ~37 years to reach financial independence
  • With a 20% savings rate, it'll take you ~28 years to reach financial independence
  • With a 30% savings rate, it'll take you ~22 years to reach financial independence
  • With a 40% savings rate, it'll take you ~17 years to reach financial independence
  • With a 50% savings rate, it'll take you ~14 years to reach financial independence

What is Fat FIRE vs Lean FIRE?

When it comes to the FIRE movement, there are many different flavors of financial independece but FAT FIRE is commonly compared to LEAN FIRE . Lean FIRE involves living frugally and saving aggressively to achieve FIRE as quickly as possible, with a goal of living off a small amount of money each year. The lean fire movement was really made famous by Mr. Money Mustache who retired early in his early 30's on <30k in living expenses per year.

On the other hand, FatFIRE involves accumulating a larger nest egg and having a more luxurious lifestyle during retirement. This means you will need to save more aggressively and/or work for a longer period of time to achieve your FI goals. It's important to decide which approach aligns with your personal goals and lifestyle preferences but I really recommend going through in order to align your FIRE number with the vision of your future life.

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