FIRE Calculator

Compute the success of various withdrawal rates with different portfolios.

How does this work?

The FIRE calculator is calculating the success rate of a withdrawal rate for a given situation. The calculator will try a retirement simulation starting at every possible month in the given period between the start and end year. Here is what happens during the simulation:

  • You start with a certain amount of money
  • Your portfolio value is adapted based on the returns each month
  • Money is withdrawn each month from your portfolio
  • The withdrawal is based on the withdrawal rate and the initial portfolio.
  • Your withdrawal is adjusted for inflation every month

For instance, if you simulate between 1950 and 2000 with 20 years of retirement, the calculator will try to a retirement simulation starting from every month between 1950 and 1980.

The data being used is the same data as the data from the Trinity Study. I am using U.S. Stocks and Bonds.

How to increase my retirement chances?

There are several ways you can increase your chance of success in retirement.

First, you can choose a better portfolio for your case. Ideally, you want a large allocation to stocks if your risk tolerance permits it. This will allow your portfolio to grow more. Then, you want broad index funds with very low fees.

Another way is to choose a better withdrawal rate. Simply said, a lower withdrawal rate will increase your chances of success. This means lower returns will not hurt your portfolio too much.

Using this FIRE calculator

First, choose how much money you have in your portfolio (the initial value). And, choose the period you want to consider for simulation by choosing the start and end year.

Then, choose how many years you want to simulate retirement. And choose how much of your initial portfolio you want to withdraw each year (your withdrawal rate).

Finally, choose your investment portfolio. Once you are done, click Simulate. After a short moment, the result should be presented to you.

Mr. The Poor Swiss is the author behind thepoorswiss.com. In 2017, he realized that he was falling into the trap of lifestyle inflation. He decided to cut on his expenses and increase his income. This blog is relating his story and findings. In 2019, he is saving more than 50% of his income. He made it a goal to reach Financial Independence. You can send Mr. The Poor Swiss a message here.

32 thoughts on “FIRE Calculator – The best Withdrawal Rate for your retirement”

  1. Hello! great calculator.
    It would be interesting to see what would happen if you withdraw a fixed sum (adjusted with inflation) instead of a percentage. Say that you have $300.000. Could I have withdrawn $12.000 per year without ending up with zero for a period of 25 or 30 years?

  2. Hello,

    Can a market crash affect the Trinity study and consequently your simulations?

    I am very new to investing and wanted to consider the risk of factors that can affect the investment and the early retirement plan.

    1. Hi Jorge,

      Yes, and no :)
      Market crashes are already taken into account since this is historical data. So the crashes of 1929 or 2001 or 2008 are all taken into account.
      Now, they are definitely important and constitute a severe risk if they happen soon after you retire. This is called a sequence of returns risks.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Thank you for all this work! I’d love to see some more simulations with additional factors. Something like a 50 year simulation where your withdrawal rate goes from 6% to 3% on year 20 to adjust for Social Security or pension. Also I’d love to see what happens if you stop withdrawals in the first 5 years if the market tanks hard. Some people might save up a buffer of cash to cover first few years of expenses, spend less, or maybe simply go back to work just to avoid withdrawals. There’s another dimension to the longer time lines (40-50 years) – people are much younger and more capable. In my case (I am 40), aiming for a 3.5% withdrawal rate means another 4-5 years of work vs 1 year if I go for the 6% withdrawals. There are several reasons making me think about it:
    – I do not care for having multiples of my portfolio left over when I die
    – at 65 my wife and I will receive SSI which will cover 2/3 of our expenses and drop our withdrawal rate to about 2%
    – I could offset most of the risk by going back to full time work any time in the next 5 years or so
    These years are precious for me. I’m still young, healthy, active and would love to spend more time with my little kids instead stressing out over all the dumb corporate issues I am constantly forced into. I cannot shake off the feeling that I could quit 4 years sooner by relying on my skills and youth.

    1. Hi MrD,

      These are good ideas :)
      I will try to create simulations to see how social security works out into it. I think it makes sense for a 50 years old retirement. But people that plan to retire early will probably have to be more careful since social security may not be here in 30 years.
      And I completely agree that being able to work fewer years is a big advantage if you can switch to a higher withdrawal rate.
      I will also try to simulate something with a large buffer of cash for emergency years.

      This will probably be in the form of articles, not directly in this calculator, at least at first.

      Thanks for your suggestions :)

      1. Fantastic work. Maybe in the results part you could say which period it performed worse in even with 100% chance of success, thus giving the user confidence as in “even in the great depression I would have done alright”. Thanks.

  4. Great work, thanks!!
    Would it possible for you to provide the data in 10% steps, unlike the current 20% steps (e.g. 30% stocks, 70% bonds)?

    1. Hi PMM,

      Wow, that seems really high! What withdrawal rate did you take? I guess 100% stocks.
      And did you take the average or the median? The average is very skewed towards high numbers in this demo. The median is a much better value.

      But that’s quite funny results :)

      Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Hi Rob,

      All the results are already inflation-adjusted.

      Do you mean I should allow people to disable inflation? I do not think this is really good since this would definitely show bad results. Don’t you think?

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