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How much is enough?


Oct 30, 2007
Arlington, TX
A different thread got me to thinking. (thanks Jill) What is the figure I am looking for of passive income to retire or at least quit the JOB?

As teachers my wife and I make roughly 90k a year. We live in a nice 4br2ba house. Our cars are paid for and we have 1 rental house. We have roughly 15 weeks of vacation time a year. We use our vacation time for major travels.

We have driven to Puerto Vallarta for a month, did Disney when our daughter was 5, Jamaica, 2 other trips to Playa del Carmen, Drove to see the Pepsi 400 in Daytona last summer and stayed on the road for almost 3 weeks plus we have season tickets to Texas Motor Speedway and have 3 day weekends camping 3 times a year with friends. Beautiful state parks in FL by the way.:) So vacations and time with the family are not a factor in our decision to go fastlane.

Due to No child left behind I no longer care about teaching as I used to. It has become too much of a J.O.B. and the responsibilty has shifted from the parents and the kids to the teachers for their learning. I need to come up with a figure that I would be comfortable with to just quit.

What is the level of retirement or "fastlane" that most want?

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New Contributor
Aug 24, 2007
Sydney, Australia
What is the level of retirement or "fastlane" that most want?
That really depends on each individuals needs and dreams. If things have slowed down by acheiving a lot of the dreams, maybe it just need to replace them with new dreams. Or maybe the dreams were set too low.

People find the most enjoyment and passion for life when they feel like they're growing and they're connected to the people around them. I'd suggest to find out what resonates in your heart and pursue it at a higher level.


Sep 4, 2007
Silicon Valley, CA
I haven't worked out a dollar amount. Right now, our expenses are low and I am able to keep them down. Am I living the lifestyle that I want to live? Not right now and I am planning on having children in the near future. I'm sure my expenses will increase once my children are here!

Abstractly, I would like to be at a level where :
- I can purchase a home like this (I don't know if I'd really like to live in a house that big but to have the ability to afford it is what I want)
- I can put my children through private school (eventhough I may not make that choice when the time comes)
- I have health care/senior coverage to cover my parents/husband and myself so that if
we want to live at home with private care,we can.

Basically, I would like to be at a point where I can do what I please with my money without worrying if I can "afford it" or if it would be better spent somewhere else. My dream wants are BIG (big house! live in a different country every 4 months! personal chef to make all my meals!) but my actual wants are fairly simple.


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Speedway Pass
Aug 8, 2007
rcardin as a fellow Texas teacher couple we agree. However, I don't think you're going to come to a consensus on a dollar amount. Too many variables. Wants, needs, kids or not, big house, small house, geography, new cars, old cars, etc. Would it be worth your sanity to give up the vacations and racing events so that you could walk away from teaching? You are the only one that can answer that for you. I personally am looking at a minimum of $5000/ month passive income for me to walk away from teaching(relatively new teacher=low salary/high stress). I am planning on reaching that level before August 1, 2008. My wife wants to keep teaching until she can get her full retirement in about 5-6 years. I want to focus on our RE business.

$5K is the number for me but is probably way too low for many others.



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Aug 27, 2007
Phoenix, AZ
Right now all my expenses including my new health insurance premium are under $2300 a month. So I dont need much. Just enough to be able to leave my nursing job and take care of my son. So probably when all was said and done about $4k a month just to leave room for emergencies or issues he may have down the road related to his autism and even that seems like way more money than I really need.



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Nov 12, 2007
suburbs of savannah in Ga
our magic number is also about 5k a month. though after we hit the sweet spot of covering our expenses it will be very very hard for me to send my dh off to slave himself at work everyday!

our expenses are roughly 2500 a month so that 5k would give us pleanty of money to put aside in a regular savings for emergencies or whatever.

anything above the 2500 is going to further investing.


Bronze Contributor
Jul 25, 2007
$100k a year.
That's all we want
(we need less).
We have no mortgage (well, besides the investment HELOC).
We don't have any fancy car habits.
We prefer to travel on the cheap.
And we're burger and fries type of people.

Plus the hubby teases me
because when we first met,
I told him that people with a household income of $100k were rich
(we're talking big eye rich - remember that I grew up without indoor plumbing)
and who needed more than that?

HOWEVER... I'm here on the fastlane
so I can figure out how to make that $100k a month.


New Contributor
Dec 3, 2007
Central Florida
I think there are two levels (or more) to this question. At what level of income do you quit your JOB? And, at what level do you just let the passive income COMPLETELY take over...perhaps from the sale of a business or liquidation of RE?

I would say 7k/month to quit both jobs (wife included), or about 4k for me to do so...not retire all together. At this point, I would pursue the fastlane plan FULL-time with the goal of achieving roughly a year's basic expenses in profit in 1-2 months' time.

I think making a specific # amount will be impossible for everyone to agree on, but making a statement of percentages would be more useful. For example, I would want about 20% or less of my annual income to cover 100% of our living, food, transportation, and child-associated expenses. The rest would be for further investing, vacations, gifts, etc.

This may be way off for someone else, but out of $1M per year, I would like to "live" off of about $200k.



Bronze Contributor
Aug 28, 2007
The quit your job formula should be pretty simple. Take your household expenditures for the past year, lets say 50k for the sake of argument. Now you just need to have enough assets to spin off 50k a year. Not too difficult to accheive.


Legendary Contributor
Speedway Pass
Aug 24, 2007
The quit your job formula should be pretty simple. Take your household expenditures for the past year, lets say 50k for the sake of argument. Now you just need to have enough assets to spin off 50k a year. Not too difficult to accheive.
Except that many people spend *more* money when they don't have a full-time job. They use that extra time to travel, shop, entertain, etc, so they actually need more money after retirement than they did before...


Bronze Contributor
Aug 28, 2007
"excellent point," said the ratracer to the wealthyman

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Jul 27, 2007
Washington DC
This is a very good question. It has been asked in one way or another here in the forum a couple of times before.
In my opinion, that magic number is a great part of your financial plan.
This is the number you have to get to in order to be financially free.
In order to get to that number you MUST define your desired lifestyle.
Then, calculate the cost for that specific lifestyle. This step is very easy to accomplish once you know what that lifestyle is.
But, in order to be sure you have the right lifestyle for you, and by that I mean defining the things that you really want to do/have you must know yourself, you really need to know who you are and what you really enjoy.
That's why many of these threads have a referral to the PLAN thread.


Bronze Contributor
Jan 23, 2008
An easy formula you might aim for is to quit your day-job when the passive income meets or exceeds your current income. That way, the standard of living to which you are accustomed is unaffected.

Remember, though: 15 weeks of vacation will be very expensive once you're on your own.

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