The path to Financial Independence

Have you given any thought to Financial Independence?

Do you know what you must save so that you are reasonably sure that you won’t run out of money before you run out of time?

Do you plan to build that nest egg in a way that does not require you to work longer, take more risk, or save more than is truly necessary to achieve that independence?

Counsel Fiduciary’s sole mission is help you safely, and reasonably, plot the course of Financial Independence in a simple, concise, and actionable way.

At a very high level, we can determine that you stand a reasonable chance of fully funding your retirement, also known as financial independence, once you have amassed roughly twenty times your annual spending.

Annual Budget (inc. taxes)

$ 100,000
$ 200,000
$ 500,000
$ 1,000,000

Required Nest Egg*

$ 2,000,000
$ 4,000,000
$ 10,000,000
$ 20,000,000

Unless you have an inheritance or win the lottery, you will, over time, need to amass the Required Nest Egg, or you will run out of money before you run out of time. This feat is daunting, and can be likened to climbing a mountain.

No climb is the same.

Ms. Abernathy is 40 years old, with an annual budget of $500,000 and a current nest egg of $500,000. She would need to save significantly more per year if she wanted to be financially independent at 55 rather than, say, 70. She could also increase the “risk” in her portfolio to reduce time it would take her to achieve financial independence.

Mr. Blake, also 40, loves to work and enjoying his current lifestyle. He’d prefer to work longer, and retire at say, 70, so that he can enjoy the rewards of his work today.

Finally there’s Mr. Chen who has just turned 40. With a current nest egg of $2,000,000, he would have to save less per year to get to financial independence because he is starting with a larger investment pool to work with.

If we look at each of these 40-year-olds’ journeys to financial independence, it is indeed like mountain climbing. Over time while adding to their nest eggs, they climb the hill of financial independence and, having achieved that, they take the journey down the other side of spending their nest egg in retirement.

Ms. Abernathy has the steepest climb because she chooses to be financially independent earlier than her peers.

Mr. Blake has a more leisurely tack upwards because he has chosen to offset his time for more money saved now.

Mr. Chen’s climb is also less arduous, it’s as if he had a direct route to the summit from basecamp.

Elements for a successful summit

Desired age of financial independence
Current nest egg
Annual budget


Annual amount to be saved
Comfort with “risk”
Desired estate goal

All of these elements interact in a way that creates a route up the mountain that is unique to you. Your colleague in the next office may be the same age, have the same current nest egg, and willingness to save. But if she wants to be done with the rat race tomorrow, and you find your life’s meaning in your work, the two of you will have very different routes in getting up (and down) the mountain.

Counsel Fiduciary is here to help you set your route on the mountain.

Which base camp are you starting from?
Will you be going full gear or just galoshes?
How long are you willing to spend reaching the summit?
Do you want to spend time at the summit, or return quickly to base camp?
Do you want to take a challenging route, or do you prefer a more leisurely one?
Is this a solo journey or do you plan to bring others with you?
None of these are easy questions to answer if you have never climbed a mountain before. With Counsel Fiduciary, you have financial sherpas to guide you on your way. With us, you can expect to lay low in your tent from time to time, and you might even get a scrape or two. Yet with us, there is the tent. And there is the knowledge of how to avoid the crevasses. Let us embark on a journey of financial independence. That mountain is daunting. Together, we will summit it and return safely to sea level, without the worry of running out of money before you run out of time.