Comparison With Another FIRE Couple

You know how I like to compare myself with other FIRE (Financially Independent, Retired Early) individuals. So here is one more of them. I do the comparison because there are very few of them and I just started my journey. So comparing with others helps me understand how they think, behave and spend. That way I can check if I am inline with them or whether I am an outlier. Either of those situations is alright with me, but it is just a fun exercise.


If you missed my earlier comparisons, you may be interested in the following


A brief

I don’t normally go about searching for other FIREers (can we call them that?). But today Google news happened to suggest an article on a FIRE couple. Google is getting pretty good at predicting what I like (should I be worried?). The only unfortunate thing about the recommendations is that it always sends me articles on FIRE folks from the US. It got that signal wrong. Or may be there aren’t that many publicly known FIRE families in India.


So this couple retired in their 30s some 5 years ago. He was a software engineer and his wife an engineer. Somewhat, similar to our story. They used to live in Tucson, USA and I have fond memories about the place because I was there for a couple of years :). They retired with 870K USD (about Rs. 5.9 crores) around 2017 and are now worth $1.2 million (Rs. 8.6 crores). They now live in an an Airstream (caravan) which I would love to live in one day!


Expenses

You can read all about their expenses in the article, but here is a comparison of my expenses with theirs. As usual I will assume a 20 multiplier when converting from USD to INR. If you are wondering why I am not using the USD to INR conversion of 72 (as of today), then read my previous post to understand why. Hint: it is a conversion factor that will match the living expenses in the US to India. Here is the table that compares our expenses with theirs

ItemTheir’s in USD /monthTheir’s in INR/yearOur’s in INR/yearDifference
House expenses14434,56013,000-21,560
Food and cash expenses1,000240,000262,75422,754
Utilities and services18744,88074,83129,951
Health, insurance etc651156,24013,205-143,035
Kid expenses0032,63432,634
Vehicle expenses7217,28025,5678,287
Travel expenses0080,42280,422
Miscellaneous11527,60031,5653,965
Projects33379,92070,000-9,920
Total2,502600,480603,9783,498

Some of their expenses did not fall into the exact line item, but I did account for all their expenses. For example they have a health share plan, homeowners, truck and Airstream insurance expense of $651. I just placed that in Health and insurance item above although some of those expenses could be moved to vehicle expense.


Key observations

You will notice that our total expenses match up. So we are spending about the same to keep our lifestyle. Where we diverge a lot is in insurance, house expenses, travel and utilities. It is easy to see why. They pay insurance for their house, health, truck etc. Where as we barely have any insurance. We save there (may not be for a good reason). We also spend less on house expenses.


On the other hand we spend more than them on travel (mostly flight tickets) and utilities. The utilities part is understandable given that these folks have a large solar array setup. They don’t have to pay electric or gas bills. And they also have rainwater harvesting, so no water bills too. We are still quite far from either although we built rainwater harvesting and solar panel project is in the works.


Another place we diverge is kid expenses. They don’t have kids, so no expenses there!


Other things

Our food, vehicle, miscellaneous and even project expenses are very similar! Like me they are also using 4% rule and are ready to be flexible with expenses, spending less during difficult times. They have a home gym so they can continue to be fit. Guess who else has one?


While they earn a little bit by working odd jobs, they do it out of their own interest. I don’t work for any money as yet. After 5 years in retirement, they don’t have any desire to go back to work. I am still yet to hit 5 years thought, but I feel the same. So there you have it. One more FIRE couple we match with (mostly).



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