Coast Fire Calculator

What if you could spend every dollar that you made as soon as you got your paycheck without having to worry about the future.  Just imagine much larger would your paycheck be without having to contribute to your 401k!

If any of this sounds appealing to you, then CoastFIRE might be what you’re looking for.

It is ideal for someone who has a job that they enjoy (or at least can tolerate) and wouldn’t mind working at for the foreseeable future.  Coast Fire could be the perfect recipe to the work/life balance problem so many of us are faced with.

Current Savings
Years Until Retirement
Return Rate

What is Coast FIRE?

This marks a stage in the journey towards financial independence and retirement, where you can basically stop saving and still reach your retirement goals.  Let’s say that you’re 35 years old and have saved up $500,000.  If you just let this money sit in a diversified portfolio earning an average of 7% a year, then you will have $5,338,290.74 by the time you’re 65!

You’re essentially able to just “Coast” on your way to retirement without having to worry about saving any extra money.

This also allows people to cut back on their working hours so that they can just “breakeven” at their job.


How Much Do You Need for Coast Fire?

You need to have saved and invested a significant amount of money and have a well-diversified portfolio that you are not going to withdraw from.  Since you won’t be withdrawing from your savings this means that you need to have a job or side hustle that covers all of your monthly expenses.

Let’s say that you were a full-time teacher for 20 years and at age 50 you had saved up enough that you no longer needed to contribute to your savings.  You could become a substitute teacher in your school district working just enough to cover your monthly expenses.

If you are considering Coast FIRE then you will want to take a hard look at your expenses and see how much you really need to spend every month.  You will want to be comfortable but also might realize that there is a lot you can cut from your monthly budget.  For example, in 2023 the average monthly payment for a new car is $723.00!  This comes out to over $8,500 a year for 5 years ($42,500).

But if you decide to keep driving your old car, buy a used car or sell your car and bike into work, you can lower your monthly expenses significantly which will lower the amount of hours you need to work to maintain Coast FIRE.  It really comes down to what is important to you, having nice new things or having time and freedom.

Coast Fire Caluclator Formula

Coastfire means that you won’t be adding to your retirement fund and you also won’t be withdrawing from it until you’re ready to retire.  This makes the formula extremely straight forward because all you need to do is pick your expected rate of return and how many years you plan on “coasting” until you retire.

  • Amount of Current Savings
  • x Years Until Retirement
  • x % of Expected Returns


How to Calculate Coast FIRE

The first thing to do is to make sure that you actually have enough money to retire on.  Time and cumulative interest is on your side so the longer you have until you plan on retiring, the better.  For example, $500,000 invested will be about $3,800,000 after 30 years.

The next step is to take a look at your income and see if it is at a level you can sustain.  If you want to reduce your hours, then you should have your income match your expenses.

The final piece of the puzzle is your expenses.  Remember, you won’t be withdrawing anything from your savings so you will need to make enough money to cover your expenses every month.


Problems with Coast FIRE

Coast FIRE may sound like an attractive proposition for those who want to reduce their working hours or maintain a healthy work-life balance without worrying about retirement planning. However, there are a few potential problems that someone pursuing Coast FIRE might face.

The first issue is that it can be challenging to calculate the exact amount of money needed to retire comfortably, especially if unexpected expenses arise. The math involved in Coast FIRE is complex, and it can be challenging to determine precisely how much money is needed to cover monthly expenses without sacrificing the desired quality of life. A miscalculation could leave you with insufficient savings when you need it most.

Another potential problem is that even if you have enough money to maintain your lifestyle, it may not be enough to cover unexpected expenses or a severe economic downturn. While Coast FIRE can provide financial security in the short-term, it may not provide enough protection in the long run.

Additionally, some people may find it challenging to maintain the discipline and focus needed to continue working after reaching Coast FIRE. Once they have achieved their desired level of financial independence, they may become complacent and lose the motivation to work. This can be especially true for those who have been working for a long time and are eager to retire.

Finally, Coast FIRE may require significant sacrifices in lifestyle choices to achieve. It may mean driving an older car, living in a smaller home, or giving up certain luxuries to reduce monthly expenses. These sacrifices can be challenging to maintain over an extended period and may affect your overall happiness and well-being.

In conclusion, Coast FIRE can be an excellent strategy for those who want to achieve financial independence while maintaining their current job and lifestyle. However, it is not without its challenges and requires careful planning and discipline to be successful.


Is Coast FIRE right for you?

Coast FIRE is a significant milestone in achieving financial independence and a comfortable retirement. It requires smart financial planning, consistent savings and investing.  However, the reward is financial security and the freedom to choose how to spend your time without worrying about financial constraints.


Coast Fire Tips

One important caveat to note is that you should still have an emergency fund that is generally not included in your “retirement” amount.  A robust emergency fund will have 3-6 months of cash in it and can be invested in a high yield savings account or money market account for quick access.


Can you Coast FIRE with 500k?

This is definitely doable and is essentially what I’m doing but it’s really going to depend on your age and expenses.

I am 37, single, and have been living abroad on and off for the past 10 years so my expenses are pretty low, less than $2,000.00 USD/month.

If I let my 500k grow at 7% for the next 30 years, I’ll have about $3.8 million.  I have some e-commerce websites that I bring in some income so now I just need to scale these to cover my expenses.  And if I have a wife/kids then I will need to increase how much I make every month.

Basically, the younger you are, the more time you have for your money to grow and weather the ups and downs of the stock market, so you can start Coast FIRE with 500k.

Pros and Cons of Coast FIRE


  • Without having to save any extra money, you can enjoy a higher quality of life, reduce your working hours, or both.
  • It can lead to a work-life balance only a select few can achieve.
  • You can maintain the benefits of your current job, while still reducing your working hours and enjoying your free time.
  • You can continue to earn a salary, which provides a sense of security.
  • You do not have to worry about investment or market volatility since you will not be withdrawing from your savings.


  • You will have less money when you retire, which can be a disadvantage for some.
  • Unexpected events, such as global pandemics, can dramatically affect your savings, so having a buffer is always a smart decision.
  • You need to have saved and invested a significant amount of money and have a well-diversified portfolio that you are not going to withdraw from.
  • Coast FIRE is not for everyone, and it requires a significant amount of financial planning and consistent saving and investing.
  • It may take longer to reach your retirement goals if you do not contribute additional funds to your retirement savings.



What’s the difference between FIRE and Coast FIRE?

The main difference between FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) and Coast FIRE is that with FIRE, someone has saved and invested enough money to retire early and maintain their desired lifestyle without needing to work.  You can read more about the 6 Types of FIRE here.

What’s the difference between Coast FIRE and Barista FIRE?

These are both very similar because both people have saved up enough so that they no longer need to contribute to their retirement savings.  The difference is that with Coast Fire, this person will earn enough to cover their expenses and will not withdraw anything from their retirement savings.

While someone doing BaristaFire will take withdrawals from their retirement while supplementing this with some side income.

Is Coast FIRE risky?

Coast FIRE is probably the least risky type of FIRE because you are still working and not withdrawing anything from your retirement savings.  The only potential risk is that you do not start with a high enough number or a long enough time frame.

For example, if you’re 60 years old and have $100,000 saved up and plan to retire at age 65 then you will only have $140,255 by the time you’re going to retire.  But now let’s say you’re 30 years old with that same $100,000 saved up and the same retirement age of 65.  Your money will have 35 years to grow and will be over $1,000,000 by the time you’re going to retire.

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