Podcast #14 – Are We Too Conservative?

Show notes for episode #14

In this episode, the Mechanic, the Accountant, and the Economist ponder whether people in the FIRE community are too conservative in deciding when to leave their day job? We’ll sample a few new beers as usual too. If you found this podcast you’re probably familiar with the FI/RE movement that has grown in popularity recently. Here at the FI Garage, we’re all on the path to FI, however, we consider the RE part optional.

Bonus Drink: the Mrs. Money Mechanic home brew cider [0:52]
Useful Hack – Costco Gift Cards [2:51]
  • If you get Costco gift cards you can shop in a Costco without a membership
  • What if you go over the value of your gift card? they cut you off [3:40]
  • Buying gift cards with your MasterCard [5:40]
Beer #1 – Sam’ 76 – from Samuel Adams [7:05]

Are We Too Conservative? [9:50]

  • Writing your own definition of FI and FIRE [14:28]
  • Geo arbitrage if your retirement account is in trouble [15:35]
  • Being open to taking on risk [15:45]
  • FIRE community’s interpretation of Trinity study [17:20]
  • How much do I need to save for Retirement by MMM [20:35]
  • Are you a failure if you have to return to your day job? [22:27]
  • “Your worst-case Scenario is everyone else’s every day” [22:52]
  • If it’s not the 4 percent rule, what is the rule? [23:20]
  • Ending up with 8X your original fund at the end of the assumed retirement period [25:15]
  • The first 5 years are the most telling in how your portfolio will perform [26:25]
  • Everyone’s answer to the too conservative question is going to be different [27:00]
  • The FI continuum [28:28]
  • Entrepreneurship for Pansies [28:55]
  • Even if we are too conservative – maybe it is a reasonable direction to err in [29:07]
  • FireCalc [30:05]
    • $40,000 annual spending and $600,000 portfolio success rate of 42 percent
    • $30,000 annual spending and $800,000 portfolio success rate of 87 percent
  • Do your own deeper dive! [32:44]
  • Including government programs, in your calculations OAS and CPP- the CPP is funded [35:30]
    • CPP is funded to 2081 [36:40]
    • Work for 20 years at the year’s maximum pensionable earnings your pension will be about $8,000 per year [42:05]
    • My Service Canada Account [43:58]
  • Personal FI [44:55]
  • What are your plans? Leave us a note! [46:47]
Beer #2 – Blue Buck – by Philips Brewing and Malting Co. (Victoria, BC) [37:20]
Bonus Drink #2: the Mrs. Money Mechanic home brew raspberry cider [48:48]
Reading List


    1. Hi Helene,

      Glad you are enjoying the podcast, thanks for listening!

      That is a great calculator, I love the added wrinkle of being able to state how much you’d like to leave behind. Thanks for sharing!

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