Welcome back to the second annual Aussie FIRE survey results!
In case you missed last years results, you can grab them here.
It’s an honour to be able to run the largest FIRE surveys in Australia. This year’s survey has a focus on time intelligence and being able to track the progress of participants for future analysis which was the most requested feature from the Facebook community group (other than Super which I somehow missed last year 🙈). This identifier can’t be used until next year but I’m already really excited to track the progress of the cohort over time and there is some really cool analysis that can be done with the introduction of this data point.
This project took some time to put together and a major shout out to Sandra for building the extremely cool showcase site below.
This year’s survey goal was to get 1,056 submissions which give the dataset statistical significance (95% (industry standard) confidence level with a 3% margin of error of the community). I used the sample size formula found in statical modelling to come up with 1,056 as the number to aim for. If you’re interested in the math behind the modelling, you can check out this site that I used.
I’m so happy to report that the survey had 1,298 submissions across 21 countries 🤯🏌️♂️
I was originally assuming a community size of 100,000 but because we got so many submissions, this dataset should actually be accurate assuming over 1M+ community size (don’t ask me how statistics works) which is very promising because I doubt very much that the Australian FIRE community is anywhere near 1M!
The results are broken up into six sections:
- Firebug Profile
- FIRE Dashboard (interactive dashboard using the data from the survey)
Feel free to download the anonymized results of the survey here under the Open Database License (ODbL). I really look forward to seeing what you find—if you share on social media, make sure you tag me and I’ll give it a shout out!
This report is based on a survey of 1,298 Firebugs from 21 countries around the world.
- The survey was fielded from February 8th to March 15th 2021.
- Unfortunately, there wasn’t a timed component in the dataset which means I could not qualify responses. Google forms don’t have timed settings. I might look into new software next year
- Respondents were recruited primarily through channels owned/ran by aussiefirebug.com which included: Aussie FIRE Discussion Facebook group, Aussie Firebug Twitter Account and Aussie Firebug Blog
- All income figures are based on AUD. I’ll add a note to next years survey to make sure international submissions know this
- Net worth figures are in AUD
- Some visuals do not always take into consideration all the answers due to visual issues. There were 86 distinct values for banks for example. Reducing that to a top 10 is more visually appealing. You can always download the entire dataset if you want to know all the submissions
That expenses in NT is high. I wonder what’s the savings rate from those who live in Darwin for example.
If you click on the label for NT, it will filter the whole dashboard NT submissions. There were unfortunately only 13 submissions for NT so the data for that particular territory isn’t great.
AFB, kudos on this year’s survey. That must’ve taken a sh*t ton of work to put together!
Really interesting results and love seeing the changes and growth of the Aussie FI community over time.
Love the interactive dashboard. As a tech guy myself, I would’ve preferred Tableau over PowerBI, but I guess beggars can be choosers 😉
Haha the old Tableau vs PBI debate. I’ve used both professionally and I think Tableau does pure visualisation better, but PBI excels at cleaning the data, sharing it, integrating within the 365 platform which is an enormous value add for most companies I deal with and it’s cheap to get started.
It’s no wonder that PBI has been dominating the space within the last couple of years. Love Tableau too though
Had to laugh at the 8 kids who have degrees, one is even a doctor. Do you think typos or were there a few malicious entries?
Yeah, I think a few entries were taking the piss… But do I just straight up exclude them? I’m going to add a timed component next year to weed out the trouble makers
All 12 <16 also have an average net worth of $700k, $250k in super, and a median of $72k in expenses. 11 of them are couples, but there is one lonely soul.
Thanks so much for this, It was interesting to see how my survey results compared to my cohorts.
Someone has 1.6B in assets taking your quiz…
Probably safe to ignore that one lol
So I downloaded the dataset for a look around. Here’s a point that stood out for me:
Of 1298 responses, 130 say they have net assets (super plus all investment types minus combined debt owed) which add up to *more than the top end* of how they answered the ‘what is your FIRE number’ question. ie bang on 10% of respondents.
Out of this 130 who have exceeded their own FIRE target, only 46 answered yes to “have you FIREd?” and 84 said no.
Fully two thirds of people above their self-declared upper-end of their FIRE target say they have not FIREd! Isn’t that super interesting? So I wonder what FIRE really means to people, and perhaps here is a clue:
Out of the 46 who are above the max of their FIRE target and said they are FIREd, 36/46 (79%) have no debt.
Out of the 84 who are above the max of their own FIRE target and said they are not FIREd, 38/84 (46%) have no debt.
* People are much less likely to consider themselves financially independent if they have any debt
* I assume that much of the debt mentioned here is over PPOR & investment real estate
* So… real estate debt is rightly seen as a pathway towards FIRE… but it also seems to hold back many people feeling they’ve reached it?
Love the survey!!!
One improvement. it took me a solid 5 minutes to understand that at the top right corner in this link (https://survey.aussiefirebug.com/2021/) is where all the magic was (and I work in IT)
Then I send the link to 6 friends and after 24hrs I asked them if they realised that the top-right corner is where the magic is. Five out of 6 didn’t realised about it. They just downloaded the data and tried to make sense out if it.
Maybe a link at the end of the page would improve it?
Thanks for the feedback Diego.
I’ll have a look at improving the navigation mate 👍