Aussie Firebug

Financial Independence Retire Early

I publish these net worth updates to keep us accountable, inspire others and show that reaching financial independence in Australia is very doable without winning the lotto, having a high paying job or inheriting a wad of cash. The formula to be able to retire early is simple, the hard part is being consistent and sticking to a plan for many years. The table at the bottom details our entire journey from being $36K in debt all the way until we reach 🔥

A coupla big changes for these updates as we kick off a new financial year.

But before I dive into that, I have to talk about the big milestone for July… which was moving into our new home 🏡.

We got the keys on the 9th and I couldn’t be any happier with how it’s all turned out. Yeah, moving sucks and it took a few weeks of setting everything up until it felt like home… but man… there’s just no better feeling than being settled in your very own castle with your wife 💑!

It’s such a far cry to where we were just 12 months ago. Working, eating and sleeping in a tiny bedroom in SE London whilst flat sharing with 3 roommates. But going through all that just makes this feeling so much sweeter. Mrs FB and I have always rented in pretty modest apartments since moving out of home because it’s all we needed. But this house represents our future. We have two spare bedrooms atm but hopefully, they will be filled in the not so distant future 🤞.

It’s the little luxuries like a walk-in wardrobe, ensuite and open plan kitchen that just makes us feel super appreciative of the position we’re in.

I feel like we’ve ticked off some major milestones in 2021:

  • Got back to Australia ✅
  • Started my freelance business ✅
  • Sold investment property 3 ✅
  • Got married ✅

But buying a home was the big one (wedding close second 😜) and it really feels like we’re embarking on the next chapter of our lives.

Net Worth Update

Righto righto,

So this update has been a long time coming. Because whilst the purpose of these net worth updates has mostly been about keeping us accountable and giving some inspiration to others. A major component of them is to give a practical guide as to how we’re going to fund our retirement once we hit FI.

And the net worth figure alone doesn’t really tell the whole story. I have been thinking all month about what to include and exclude in these updates moving forward and come to the following conclusion.

  • I’m keeping the net worth number to be as transparent as possible. It’s not the best number to determine FIRE status but it does give a complete picture of our finances so it’s staying in
  • The PPoR is going to be included as an asset
  • There’s a new chart (below) that will show our FIRE progression. This will only include income-producing assets and will not include our PPoR
  • The same chart will also include how much money we’ve spent each month
  • I will include a 4% line that will show what our portfolio could theoretically redraw in retirement
  • Once the 4% line eclipses our expenses, I will officially declare us FIRE and it will be the end of these updates

So without further ado, here are the new charts

I’ve reworked the net worth visual to give a more complete picture and show exactly how we arrive at our number each month.

A few things to note:

  • HECS debt has been included. This has actually been factored in from the start but I’ve never put it in the charts because I was lazy
  • I’ve separated the PPoR from our investment property (IP). The reason behind this is because the equity of our IP is a part of our FIRE number whereas the PPoR is not. We’re planning to sell our last IP this year so hopefully it will be less confusing once that happens
  • You need to hover (or click, for the mobile users) over each part of the bar chart to show the exact numbers because the visual got too messy if I forced it to display all the numbers

The FIRE portfolio represents all of our income-producing assets (minus any debt associated with them). The above portfolio is what will generate the income for us in retirement. You might have noticed that I haven’t included Super in this portfolio.

Why’s that you ask?

Because that’s not our strategy! We decided to pay more tax and become financially independent outside of Super as opposed to doing the 2 pot strategy that the Aussie Firebug calculator works out for you.

And before you comment, yes yes yes. I know. The two-phased strategy is the quickest and most tax-efficient way to reach FI for Australians (as my calculator demonstrates), we just don’t want to have to draw down our pre-super pot. Plus it makes a lot more sense the closer you are to your preservation age. A bit harder to stomach when we first started this journey in our mid 20’s.

Now, this chart is actually the most important one and displays the two metrics that determine if we have reached FIRE.

  1. How much money are we spending to maintain our lifestyle
  2. How much money can we draw from the FIRE portfolio to fund this lifestyle

A few things to note:

  • The expenses are all over the place because we’ve had a few one-off items this year like the wedding and buying a home. Now that we’re in our house, the expenses should start to be more consistent
  • We’re using the 4% rule for this calculation and I’ve gone back and done the rough calculations for the last 6 months so the graph looks a bit prettier (as opposed to just having one data point). So for July 2021, our FIRE portfolio is $721,461. Four percent of that = $28,858. Divide that number into 12 and we get $2,404. So theoretically (using the 4% rule), our FIRE portfolio could fund a lifestyle of $2,404 a month right now.
  • I’m lumping cash and real estate equity into the 4% rule to make it easier. We plan on selling our last IP this year anyway so the FIRE portfolio will be made up of some cash but mainly shares in the future
  • You’ll notice a bit of a dip for this month for our 4% withdrawal. This is because $106K of cash was poured into our PPoR and we’re not including that asset in our FIRE portfolio because it doesn’t produce any income. We also had to pay stamp duty in July which was around $18K cold hard cash 💸😢

And that’s it! I will keep the FIRE Progress chart rolling every 6 months so it doesn’t clog the visual too much.

What do you guys think? Does this paint a clearer picture of our FIRE progress and how we plan to become financially independent? Are there any other key bits of data you’d love to see included in these updates?

I’d love to know your thoughts in the comment section below 🙂


No updates this month.

Property 1 was sold in August 2018

Property 3 was sold in April 2021

The current value of our properties is a rough guesstimation based on similar surrounding properties. I only really update these when we get an official bank valuation


The above graph is created by Sharesight

With the house finally settling in July, it’s time to jump back into the share market.

I’m just getting my ducks in a row to execute the debt recycling strategy that my accountant and I have cooked up. More details on that in the coming months 😁




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Download my personal spreadsheet I use to calculate my net worth each month

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