A Dream Life/Retirement Planner

A tiny section to respond to some questions that you might have about this tool. Let me know if you have any questions that aren't answered here.

FAQ
Is my information safe?
Absolutely! No one can or will see anything that you input or do on this site, so nothing to worry about there. I collect zero data, other than number of visitors to the site. If you’re still worried, remember that we don’t even have your name or contact info! 😁

Is this for a single person or for a couple?
You can do this both as an individual, and as a couple. However, you need to stay consistent - if you do it as an individual, then the account values, incomes, expenses, etc need to all be only for you as an individual. Same thing goes for a couple. Also, I’ve only built in two tax scenarios: one for single taxpayer (for if you do this for yourself), and one for married filing jointly (for if you do this with a significant other). I think these are good enough for now.

How can I use this tool?
The easiest way is to simply interact with it in the same way you’d interact with any other website! All you have to do is follow the instructions and go through the steps!

A second way to use the tool is if you really want to dig into the details, or if you want to mess around with the formulas or even build your own more detailed scenarios or add your own assumptions. In that case, feel free to create a free Coda account and copy the doc (there’s a button in the upper right hand corner) - you’ll get an alert saying that this doc is too big for the free account, but you’ll still get 14 days to play around with it.

Can I customize, add, or modify this tool to serve my own needs?
You bet, be my guest! I made this template to help my wife and I organize our thoughts and plan for the future, and I wanted to share it with you in the hopes that it would help you in some way. Click the “Copy” icon in the top right corner, and you’ll be free to do whatever your heart desires with your own version of this doc. The only thing I ask is that if you do end up sharing your own version, would be great to give me a shout-out! 🙏 Of course, if it’s something that could potentially help or interest lots of other people, I would be more than happy to look into updating it myself here - please and let me know what you have in mind!

How long will this exercise take me?
I think roughly half a day, if you want to do it right. The more time you dedicate to it, the more useful it’ll be I think. I definitely don’t recommend rushing through it. Perfect exercise for a weekend morning or afternoon!

Does this take into account inflation?
Yep, sure does, but let me explain a bit. This image below is a good example of inflation. It’s defined by as “the rate at which the the value of a currency is falling and consequently the general level of prices for goods and services is rising.” It means that everything will cost more in the future. In this model, everything you input is not inflation adjusted because those are the numbers we typically think in (in the calculations, we reduce all incomes and returns by the inflation rate).

For example, the return rate you enter is the actual return rate you see in your stock app, not the return rate after accounting for inflation. Another example: for your future expenses, those are the costs of those items today, not how much they would cost in 10 years or in 30 years (in the coffee image below, if it’s year 2000 and a cup of coffee costs $1.00, then you would still put$1.00 for the cost of coffee in 10 years, not $1.25). Does this take into account taxes? Yep, sure does. You’ll see the tax tables and other tax info referenced at the bottom of the relevant pages, and these tax tables are integrated into formulas that calculate everything in a huge spreadsheet. How is debt taken into account? I didn’t take debt into account into the calculations directly, but don’t worry, you can still add it manually into the calculations! In the page , in the “Alternative” section right above the graph, you can manually input your debt payments into the “One-time expenses” column. How do you do this? Let’s say you took out a loan to buy a car last year, and you still need to pay$200 per month for the next 25 months before the loan is paid off. In this column, you’d simply put $2,400 in the first row (your current age),$2,400 in the second row (next year), and \$200 in the third row (since you’ve already paid 24 months, so there’s only 1 month left).

Are the results and calculations here reliable and accurate?
Hmm. I’m no tax expert, but hey, I’ve tried my best as someone who’s interested in the subject and wants to help others. I just spent 7 days of my holiday vacation digging into all of this stuff and making it all work (the tax and retirement stuff was particularly annoying), but with that being said, I’m sure there are definitely bugs to be found and logic that breaks. Don’t hesitate to get in touch and let me know what’s up, so I can try to figure out what’s going on. Let’s consider this a V1 that is for the most part usable and hopefully delivers some value to you, but that still has plenty of room for improvement. 🤓

Who are you? (Can I trust you?)
Check out the section below! If you know me, then you probably trust me. If you don’t know me, then I guess I wouldn’t be offended if you don’t trust me. 😂

Who am I? I’m just a dude who left the Bay Area a couple of years ago with my wife and cat and moved to Paris. I used to work in Big Tech (I have a background in mechanical engineering), but recently I’ve been getting super into entrepreneurship, not only in the normal startup sense of the word but also in the side-hustle/muse/indie-hacker sense of the word.

I’m embarking on my very first entrepreneurial journey and will be sharing my experiences in the most open and transparent way possible via my blog, but I also am super interested in the no-code movement and plan on launching a number of no-code projects this year (for me, this counts as the first one!). Follow me on Twitter to stay up to date on what I’m up to on this front.

As far as personal finance goes, it’s a subject that I’ve been generally interested in for awhile, but that hasn’t really been at the front of my mind - I’ve been fortunate to not have to worry about paying back debt and have enjoyed relatively large incomes in the Bay Area. However, now that my wife and I have laid out our dream of being able to live 3 months out of the year in a totally different place, it is much more relevant and important for us to do this sort of financial planning to understand what income we need and how we can achieve that without “standard” 9-5 jobs (which are not compatible with our dream).

So that’s my story. Thanks for checking this tool out! 🙏 If this was helpful to you and you want to show your appreciation, buy me a coffee and I’ll drink it. You can also check out my blog and follow me on Twitter!