1500 Days Until We Quit

The pandemic has me calculating all of our numbers on the daily, which made me realize, today is 1500 days from our target quit date of May 20, 2025! Why is this significant? Well, I’m sure you’ve heard of Mr. 1500 days. He and his wife set out to amass $1 million (+their remaining mortgage amount) in 1500 days. When they began in January of 2013, they had $586,000 and were contributing $2000/month toward investments. So… did they make it? YES! On April 19, 2016, they hit their goal (just 1204 days into their journey!). They now have a net worth over $3.6 million and are doing exactly what they want to be doing.

That means WE CAN DO IT TOO!

The New Plan

So our goal is the same as the 1500s. In 1500 days, we hope to have $1 million invested + at least 1 year cash + either a paid off mortgage or enough in a brokerage to pay off the mortgage. (If we pay nothing extra on our mortgage, we’ll need $235,000 to pay off the balance in May 2025.) We currently have $500k invested (THANK YOU CRAZY MARKETS!), which is less than the 1500s started with, but even if we just max out our two 401ks, we’re contributing $3,250 monthly, so we should be able to catch up.

Now, we’re more conservative in our estimates. I don’t trust the market to return 10% and I don’t think we could live off of $1 Million forever. However, that was never our goal. We want to be entrepreneurs for awhile without having to depend on the money forever. We are already CoastFI at 65 which means our $500,000 will take care of us forever after we’re 65 if we don’t touch it until then. This new goal will take us to Flamingo FI, which is another made-up goalpost, but I like it’s simplicity. Flamingo FI means you can count on your money doubling every 10 years counting on a 7.2% return and the rule of 72. So, with $1 million invested, in 10 years, that would be $2 million if we don’t touch it for 10 years and then we could withdraw between $60-80,000 forever (counting on a 3-4% withdraw rate).

With enough money to cover the mortgage and a 1 year emergency fund, we would just need to make enough for living expenses for a decade before being able to tap the investments. This sounds like a good balance between an exciting entrepreneurial challenge and a big enough safety net in case we either hate it or are terrible at it.

Why May 20, 2025?

The goal has always been to be available full time the summer before Penny is a senior in high school. We want her to be entirely in charge of the summer itinerary that year to maximize our time with her before she’s potentially getting college prepped the next year. She will get to choose where we travel and what we do that entire summer. May 20 is an arbitrary date that felt like a nice round number and is likely a few days before school will get out for the kids. 😉

Because the goal is not to never work or earn money again, I reserve the right to quit earlier if we hit our numbers earlier! This is, after all, about pursuing the things we want to do, so if that opportunity happens earlier, we’ll take it! (I mean, if we keep earning $20k/week with these crazy market increases, we’ll get there in no time!)

What’s the Entrepreneur Plan?

Mr. T and I have been dabbling for a few years with online side hustles we really enjoy. We currently sell t-shirts and coloring books on Amazon (affiliate link). With the pandemic, we’ve had almost zero time to work on any of those things, but have still managed to earn about $500/month as totally passive income. So, we’re not worried we’ll earn ZERO money when we quit our jobs.

We also have a HUGE LIST of things we want to create. We have so many stories we want to write together–likely YA fantasy. We’ve been piecing the worlds together in conversation over the past few years and are very excited to be able to go full time trying to map out and write the stories.

We also want to build an Etsy shop the kids can run to earn money in high school (and build up their Roth IRAs early). TBD what that looks like, but it’s on the list.

The list also includes an Alaska travel game we created a decade ago and a whole bunch of other things we’d like to see become realities. For us, most of this stuff isn’t about money. It’s about seeing these things in our brains become realities. But I’m also sure we can figure out something that will earn us money along the way. After all, we spent a year playing the Unemployment Game and won!

What are the Blog Plans?

We’ll keep documenting our journey along the way as we always have. Quarterly still feels like the right amount. I want to use real numbers because real numbers were what helped me know it was possible. But monthly seems braggy (and I can’t commit to more than quarterly right now!) Hopefully as we emerge from this pandemic (and I’m no longer working so much on COVID research and have a little more mental capacity), I’ll start posting more.

I have lots of things I have to work through as we get prepared for this big leap that I hope to talk through here including:

  • Pay off the house vs. Have the amount in a brokerage account (and how this decision impacts taxes and ACA subsidies)
  • Planning for healthcare
  • Helping the kids with college – how much and in what form (we don’t have 529s for any of the kids)
  • Eventual withdraw plans / Roth conversions, etc.
  • Donor advised fund?
  • AND MORE…

And don’t worry! I’ll definitely keep you posted on the Birch tapping experiment and update the annual dipnetting numbers. I’m hoping to get back to a more consistent schedule by the end of 2021, but who knows what the world will look like then. No guarantees.

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13 Comments

  1. I love this line: “We also have a HUGE LIST of things we want to create.”

    I love it because you’re setting yourself up for success. You’ll have a smooth move as you slide into your passion projects full-time. Dare I predict that you’ll start making way more than $500/month shortly after retirement? You’ll wish you did it sooner. The Internet Retirement Police may call you out, but ignore them.

    I just looked at your Amazon store and ordered a copy of Your Cat Is Trying To Kill You. A local friend has such a cat, so this will make a perfect gift.

    Best of luck and please stop in and say “Hi!” when your travels take you through Colorado!

    • MaggieBanks

      We’re very excited for the future! And we will definitely swing by when we visit Colorado. I’m sure we’ll make it there at some point.

  2. You know I’m excited for you and I hope for both our sakes that this takes the best case scenario route 😃

    I’m glad to have a “gaming it out” partner in you.

    • MaggieBanks

      Yes! Calculating and recalculating is so fun isn’t it?

      • David

        I felt like I was really far away from this stage at the end of 2019, and now less than a year and a half later, I’m in a pretty similar situation to your family’s. It feels wild to have made this much progress. I know the market is not going to keep doing this forever, and I’m likely in for another long slog at some point in the next few years, but it’s really encouraging. Keep up the amazing work.

        • MaggieBanks

          I’m with you! This past year has moved us SO MUCH CLOSER. I’m sure it won’t last forever, but so far, I’m not complaining. 😉

  3. Thomas A Waffle

    So exciting! and I’m always happy to see there are other people in the ~same place/timeline as us. Our date right now is July 7, 2025 but I’m pretty sure we’ll hit our numbers before then – seriously I’m only committing (in my head) to staying at work 6 months at a time.

    • MaggieBanks

      I’m down to a one-month at a time commitment at work. 😉

  4. That’s funny, when I wrote my about page a while ago, I said that we’re aiming to reach financial independence by 2025 by having enough dividend income to cover our expenses. I didn’t set a specific date though, but I like your 1500 days target. Maybe we should have a friendly race lol.

  5. Always good to come across a fellow journey wo/men – although I’m beginning to admire those who have more kids than us, and still close to FIRE. Good luck, and I’ll be following your progress from now on.

  6. Glad to see you have adopted Flamingo FI! 🙂 Sounds like it will fit in well with your plans of being entrepreneurs. We just semi-retired recently and have no plans to stop work completely either. Good luck, it sounds like you have a pretty solid plan in place!

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