🤖 The future? It’s time to start planning for it...
That’s what my wife and I told ourselves. Like many of you, we have lofty visions for the future, but we know that they’ll remain only in our imaginations if we don’t set out a concrete plan for how to achieve them. We both turned 29 last year (in 2020), and with 30 looming on the horizon, we decided that it was time to finally sit down and work through all of this important stuff that we’ve been putting off, even dreading.
We know many of you probably feel the same way - I’ve tried to do this before with Excel, and while there are a decent amount of resources out there, they're all over the place and the process had a lot of room for improvement. So we figured since we’d be doing this for ourselves anyways, we might as well share with everyone else in case it could help some of you out there.
It may be your first time trying this, or you may have tried to do this exercise before on your own and found it too complicated, but I promise that you’ll learn a ton from going through the steps in this tool! I’ve included many links to resources that go more in depth into the various subjects.
Note 1: None of your info/data is stored or visible to me or anyone else! Please go check out the page to get answers to some other important questions! There are many simplifications here (kind of the point), but wherever we’ve made some key assumptions or simplifications, we’ll note them for you in case you want to dig deeper. Don’t miss the little “About Me” section there as well! 😉
Note 2: Some tips on how to use this tool!
← if you see this symbol (sideways black triangle), click it to reveal what’s hidden! 👊 Perfect, just like that. There is a button in the top right corner that says “copy doc”. Click this if you want to make your own copy in order to dig into the formulas, or modify / change structural stuff beyond the options I’ve already given you here.
ℹ️ Important Details
🏆 Key outcomes
You’ll clearly define what your dream future looks like today, both in a qualitative high level way but also with concrete details like a home and kids. You’ll see how well prepared you are financially to realize your dream future, based on your current financial situation and your estimated future expenses. You’ll also be able to see what levels of income you need in the future to realize your dreams. You’ll create a short term action plan for 2021 to help you take your first concrete steps towards achieving your dreams.
🙋♀️ Who is this for?
Honestly, I hope that this helps lots of you out there, but I built it with primarily US-based millennials in mind (it uses the US tax and retirement system). You can go through it with your significant other, or on your own. I’ve tried to make it compatible with lots of different cases, but of course with all of the complexities of the tax and retirement system, it’s impossible to cover all of the cases. If you have a specific case that you think might be useful to lots of other people, and I’ll see if it’s worth adding.
⏱ Time requirement
As with any planning exercise, you probably shouldn’t rush through this. Some of you may have never actually reflected about your dream life before, while some of you may have some vague concept of what you want without ever imagining it or visualizing it in detail. And as far as the calculations go, the more accurate you are with your inputs (such as expenses, housing price estimations, age estimations, etc), the more reliable and relevant the results will be. My recommendation: block off a few hours to do this exercise.
🧠 How did we make this?
We’ve taken some concepts from (4HWW) by Tim Ferriss (about dreamlining, TMI, TDI, etc) and mixed them together with some other ideas we’ve come across, like from who did a life planning retreat and decided to buy a house to rent it out on Airbnb, from Youtube videos like and , from Ramit Sethi’s free PDF , from this , and from this . We started out with 4HWW which focuses on thinking big, defining steps, and applying timelines to your short-term (6 month or 1 year) dreams, but we found it to have many shortcomings due to the fact that it has a very short-term time horizon and completely ignores the implications of long-term goals, like having a house, kids, or enough money for retirement, on how much money you need to make today and in the near future. We do, however, think that is a useful approach to help you achieve your ideal lifestyle and take action, which is why we kept lots of that stuff while adding more quantitative calculations and estimations to be able to plan for future life events or changes.
🎟 The steps you’ll be taking
👉 Let’s get started, by taking a look at !