My 10 Year Plan: 2017 Update

I typically update my long-term projections each year around late spring. Due to the fact someone pressed the fast forward button on my year, I'm updating it now instead! If you're unfamiliar with my 10 year plan series, you can catch up by reading 2015's iteration and 2016's post before you continue with 2017.

I didn't really plan on turning this into a series, but it's definitely fun to look back at the old posts and see how quickly things changed! As I'm living it, it doesn't seem that fast, but looking back once a year really shows how fast things are accelerating!


My first post in 2015 had my estimated net worth at the end of 2017 being $138k. Last year's post estimated it as $162k. I'm only a few thousand dollars from my estimated goal with 5 months left in 2017. It seems insane to me that I upped the projection by $30,000 and I'm going to beat the pants off that! The projection for this year should be even more fun!

I'm kind of getting away from settling on one FI number. I know I said $587,500 in the past, but I'm thinking if I can create enough “passive” and passive income to replace my W-2 job I'll stop working then. So far that looks to be about $2500/month, but we'll see where that goes. I have a hard time not spending money!

Another thing I'm realizing that could be complicated is merging finances and plans with a partner. I'm nowhere near ready to do that with my boyfriend now, but being together and hearing/seeing his plan made me wonder how we'd merge our stuff and plans together. I've trained myself to think “worse case scenario” of being alone and on the FI journey, but I honestly have no idea how the merger would look in the future. Would we have too much money stuffed away in retirement accounts and not enough in taxable? How would we do bank accounts? Would we merge our accounts as much as possible or keep them separate for the most part? When would be a good time for him to quit working? For me to quit working? What would we do for healthcare? Would one of us go remote and move to the other's location to have the best of both worlds (partner and big W-2 income)? All of these questions are buried in my brain and will need pondering on a day when that time appears to be closer.

My Plan

Goal: $587,500 (23,500 x 25)

Start: Age 23, Net worth $10,000

Year 1 (2014): Age 24
Net worth $45k
Partially maxed 401k
Maxed Roth IRA
Comments: I made a mistake when calculating how much went into my 401k. I included the company match. So, while I ended up with almost $18k saved like I thought I would, I actually only saved $13k. I did max out my Roth IRA though, and also rented a house.
Year 2 (2015): Age 25
Net worth: $83k
Maxed 401k
Maxed Roth IRA
Comments: As of December 2015, my net worth was $83,000 (ish). I maxed out my 401(k) for real and vested my employer contributions, in addition to maxing out my Roth IRA. I rented an apartment for the last 6 months of 2015.
Year 3 (2016): Age 26
Net worth $133k
Max 401k
Max Roth IRA
Comments: My last year in the Early Development program. I got a raise and a promotion at the end of the year, which helped boost my net worth to $133k! That beat my projection by $9k and is due in part to a big bonus and maxing all my retirement accounts.
Year 4 (2017): Age 27
Net worth e$200k
Max 401k
Max Roth IRA
buy a house
Comments: No working overseas for the foreseeable future 🙁 I vested my pension and will max out all my retirement accounts. I bought my first multi-family property! I predict my net worth will be $200k by the time 2018 rolls around.
Year 5 (2018): Age 28
Net worth e$276k
Max 401k
Max Roth IRA
buy another house
Comments: I'll be eligible for a new job in the spring, so I could get another promotion/raise/moving allowance. I'll buy another multi-family property and rent it out. I could also move in/to be with my boyfriend. Estimated net worth is $276k.
Year 6 (2019): Age 29
Net worth e$357k
Max 401k
Roth IRA
buy another house??
Comments: Maybe live overseas? Maybe quit the W2 job? Maybe buy more properties? Life starts getting a bit hazy here. Estimated net worth is $357k. Holy smokes is that starting to pick up steam with a vengeance.
Year 7 (2020): Age 30
Net worth e$445k
Max 401k
Max Roth IRA
Comments: MOAR PROPERTIES??? I should probably not buy so many properties that I start to become a hoarder. Awkward. Net worth estimated to be $445k. WOWZAS.
Year 8 (2021): Age 31
Net worth e$538k
Max 401k
Max Roth IRA
probably done buying properties
Comments: Ok this is just getting ridiculous. I'd have one more year left at this rate…. and I'd be 31. FIST PUMP BRO! Estimated net worth is $538k, as I'm sure you can see on the left there.
Year 9 (2022): Age 32
Net worth e$639k
Max 401k
Max Roth IRA
Comments: So yeah…. once I hit that magic FI number I'd probably quit. That compound interest is ridiculous though. RIDICULOUSLY AMAZING! Estimated net worth would be $639k, which would be roughly $25,560 income every year per the 4% rule. That's more than enough to live off of with a PT job for fun money.
Year 10 (2023): Age 33
Net worth e$746k
Max 401k
Max Roth IRA
Comments: Or I could work a bit more and make my net worth even higher! This would get me $29,840 income per year. Holllaaa
Year 11 (2024): Age 34
Net worth e$861k
Max 401k
Max Roth IRA
Comments: One more year of calculations just to keep the tables the same length. This would be- wait for it- $34,440 income per year which is a lot of padding and awesomely amazing.

Honestly, despite my somewhat flippant attitude in the comments above, I'm kinda freaking out a bit. That is some INSANE compound interest-ing going on in those accounts.

Insane in the Membrane

$100k+ jumps in net worth in one year??? Seems a bit outrageous but that's what the numbers say. I will be very interested to see what next year's numbers look like for this series to see if I'm close at all.

Just in case you like pretty graphs, I made a pretty graph to chart the numbers listed above. 2015 is the bottom line, 2016 is the middle line, and 2017 is the top line. It's also logarithmic, by the way. Log 4 is what Google Sheets says.

I updated the FV formula from $7500 to $15,000 per quarter since I seemed to be doing such a ‘bad' job at predicting the future last time. Doubling the predicted amount is nothing to sneeze at!

Also take into consideration that this is solely money I earn until I retire early. This chart doesn't include money coming in from Social Security or my newly vested Defined Benefit pension! If SS sticks around, I could potentially start getting $1800 a month extra! But I feel like that would take a minor miracle since I'm so young. Sigh. It's nice to dream about!

Where do you think your net worth will be at the end of the year? In 5 years? Anyone want to place a fun side bet?

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30 thoughts on “My 10 Year Plan: 2017 Update

    • Yeah there’s a lot I left out in the post. This is mostly just to focus on how much my NW could grow if I keep this whole crazy FI thing going.

  1. Fantastic work! Plans to hire property managers to lessen your load, especially if moving overseas? Plan to continue to purchase property in your area or look outside for optimal return purposes? I’m still looking at various ways to improve cash flow in FI, but without active management or any work on my part 🙂

    • Yes I will absolutely hire a property manager. All the properties I buy have that built in. I still am looking in my area since the returns are better than just about any market I’ve seen.

    • It’s so awesome! Of course this is all predicated on the market continuing to climb so we’ll see how that goes. I recommend it! It’s definitely a fun exercise even if the formula/figuring is a little crude.

  2. Nice job, Gwen!! You’re really plowing forward full steam ahead.

    That graph though! Maybe I’ll need to work on incorporating FV into my spreadsheet 🙂

    Inspirational post, for sure!



  3. Not to be a ‘downer’, but what happens if the market takes a turn for the worse? Something like 2008 or 2000? I didn’t read your investing strategy, so forgive me if this has already been answered somewhere.

    • Yeah this is all highly dependent on the market continuing to climb. The FV formula has this pegged at 7% growth. Obviously I don’t think the market won’t crash at some point but I’m in the buy and hold camp so I won’t be selling as much as possible in a down market.

  4. I bet it’s a lot of fun to see how things progress year to year 🙂 Are you hoping to have kids in the future? How do they factor into your plan if so?

    • It quite honestly blows my mind to see the progress each year. It’s one of the best parts about writing a blog!

      I’m currently undecided on kids. With the right partner, I wouldn’t hesitate. Just depends on who I end up with and if we decide to have them. I don’t think they’ll impact spending too much. There are ways to keep spending down on kiddos.

  5. Good stuff! Gwen, when you factor social security remember that it is based on your highest 30 years of wage income. So with FIRE you would have a lot of zeros to account for in the math. Definitely not a reason to avoid early retirement, but just to keep in mind that your annual social security statement (where I’m guessing that $1800 figure came from) assumes that you will continue working til retirement age.

    • That $1800 figure came from my pension of $1100 plus an estimate for SS. Of course, I’m not actually counting either of those in my projections because who knows if they’re still going to be there in 35 years.

    • If anything, he’s a few pages ahead of me! He and I are very aligned on our financial goals and aspirations. It is the best feeling ever to be with someone who not only understands why I’m doing these things, but encourages me and inspires me to do better.

  6. Dang – how’d I miss this! First I would like to say you are DRIVING ME CRAZY with your 23500/yr calculation. I need whole numbers! Even if you are not using your FI number anymore I am bumping you up an extra $500 per years to make it 24k = 600k FI. 🙂 I seriously have the twitches right now.

    Beyond that, I love the idea of a 10 year projection. Even if it is loosely based with soooooooo many factors to consider, it is fun to look back and see where your head was at. I think someone recently mentioned an app/website that you can write your future self a letter and it will send it for you in 5 years or whatever. I need to get on that. I mean, I know the blog is basically that but something I can’t look back on and cheat! When I come to visit you can help me with the mathy stuff for my 5 year projection (in 10 years I’ll almost be 50!! I don’t want to think that far!).
    Miss Mazuma recently posted…Make The First MoveMy Profile

  7. Congrats on all your progress and continuously looking forward. You will be in FI in no time. Maybe one suggestion I have is to take it easy. I used to track my NW very intensely but it ended up giving me a lot of pressure. Enjoy the journey and I am sure you will get there before you know it.
    Mao recently posted…The ONE thing that Americans can do betterMy Profile

  8. Wait until this current real estate bubble bursts and be poised to strike on property 2. I’m pretty sure we’ll get a nice little dip in the not so distant future (1 to 2 years maybe)? I’ve been chomping at the bit to add property #5 but the twin cities market is INSANE. I would be looking elsewhere, but I’m not ready to go Paula Pant just yet.

  9. Your blog has been such an inspiration to me! I love reading your posts and updates, they always get me so pumped up for the future. I have so much faith in you just from reading your posts, I know you’ll be able to reach your goals in no time. Your blog, and a few others, have inspired me to start my own journey.

    I began my journey in April of this year, so I’m pretty fresh on the FIRE train. My current net worth is $18,778 (on my blog I have it at -$4,800 because I wasn’t including my truck in my net worth until now). I’m hoping by the end of the year I will get it up to $19,300. I don’t have a job right now so I’m not expecting a large growth here. However, I am a licensed Realtor, so if I sell any houses this goal may change drastically 😛 Or for me it would be drastic anyways.

    In 5 years, my goal is at least $200,000. I don’t know what my future holds or what kind of income I will be making in the future but considering how little I spend, I think I’ll be able to do this easily as long as I avoid lifestyle inflation and put my money in the right places.

    I also bet you’ll exceed your goals!

    Good luck!

  10. Pretty Impressive! The way you shared your goals is just amazing. I think one should have plans after retirement to live a comfortable life. Thank you for sharing such a nice information with the users.

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