F.I.R.E. For Dummies
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There are a few areas on your F.I.R.E. (Financial Independence, Retire Early) journey where you may need a little extra help. In this Cheat Sheet, I suggest some resources for some of the best F.I.R.E. calculators, point out where to find a F.I.R.E.-friendly financial planner, and offer a quick reference for organizing and planning your estate.

The Ultimate List of F.I.R.E. Calculators

Coming up with your F.I.R.E. number or other important calculations related to your personal finances can be difficult to figure out. Fortunately, you can find calculators online that will help you quickly get the information you need on your F.I.R.E. journey. Here’s a list of helpful calculators:





Mad Fientist FI Laboratory


Engaging Data




Playing with FIRE




Portfolio Visualizer


Millennial Money




Nerd Wallet




Resources to Find a F.I.R.E.-friendly Financial Planner

Compensation models for financial planners have changed over the years. Now, you can get the professional help you want without having to relinquish control of managing your investments. Financial professionals use one or a combination of these models for their services:

  • Fee only: Only charge fees for the services they offer and are paid directly by you. They can’t receive other sources of compensation such as commissions or incentives for the sale of products. This is a very broad term and may include the option to manage your investments for a fee.
  • Advice only: Only gets paid for advice and professional guidance they provide on the major areas of financial planning. Although they don’t manage investments, they can still advise you on them.
  • Hourly: Charge an hourly fee much like you would pay an attorney
  • Subscription: Charge a regular fee (typically monthly or quarterly) for ongoing planning work

Here are some directories that clearly list compensation models for each professional, so you know what to expect before contacting someone:

Checklist for Organizing and Transferring Your Estate

With a little planning and organization, you control and direct where possessions, assets, and accounts go when it’s time to hand over your estate. Many of the methods are simple and quick and avoid probate. It’s very low or no cost if you’re doing it yourself (DIYing), or you can pay a pro who may be worth every penny, especially if you have a complex situation. Here is a checklist for organizing and transferring ownership of your estate.

Action Probate? Description
Naming beneficiaries No Insurance, retirement, brokerage, banking, home and car (if allowed by your state)
Property and accounts titled in accordance with your wishes No Home/real estate, vehicles, bank, brokerage
Trust No Any allowable assets you choose to go inside the trust
Will Yes Assets that do not transfer by naming a beneficiary or title (personal property)
Legacy binder No For emergencies, incapacitation, or in the event of your death (not a legal document
Note: Community property states may have special estate planning  rules for married couples.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Jackie Cummings Koski, MSPFP, CFP, AFC, is a personal finance educator and consultant who reached F.I.R.E. in her 40s after growing her wealth to over $1 million. Her personal finance tips have been featured on media platforms like CNBC, Forbes, and Market Watch. She is author of the award-winning book Money Letters 2 My Daughter.

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