The Escape Artist’s FI-o-MeterTM spreadsheet is a simple model that allows you to plug in your own age, income, savings and investment assumptions and then spits out how long it will be until you achieve Financial Independence.

Have a play with the assumptions: its instructive to see how the age at which FI is achieved varies in response. Remember that, like all models, it represents a simplification of real life…just like all maps are simplified versions of the real world.

There is no need to email me or comment below saying that you disagree with the input assumptions. You can easily just change them yourself and see what happens.

The maths is simple and the results may surprise you. But the numbers do not lie.


  1. Ok I’ll bite. If Financial Independence comes at a cost of working hard in your day job until the numbers match up then you can keep it.

    I’d rather work on the things I love to do, outside of traditional work and ‘work/play’ until I’m dead. I’ve quit corporate life and are nowhere close to FI but I am much happier than being on the path to FI.

    When you understand we all live to our means, it makes this journey to FI unrealistic. The goal posts change every time you get a pay increment.

    1. Hold on Hammo, not everyone spends all their income. There is no law compelling us to spend everything (though a lot of people dont seem to realise that). When we live within our means, the journey to FI becomes simple.

      I do agree with you that there is not one sole path to happiness though. You don’t have to do what I did. Its good to hear how other people approach this stuff so thanks for the comment.

  2. No probs. Nice site and I’ll have a little more poke around.

  3. Hi there,

    Nice spreadsheet. Have you thought about adding the option to have a lower amount of spending post-FI?

    I’m thinking of the person who currently lives and works in an expensive area (eg. London) but plans to retire somewhere with much lower costs.

    That should mean that they can achieve FI with a lower savings rate and / or in less time.

  4. David Kennedy · · Reply

    This made me smile…
    I designed a similar spreadsheet to this 20 years ago and gained FI last February, aged 47.
    It can be done!
    Keep championing the cause EA!

  5. […] You can experiment with these assumptions and see how long it will take you to get to financial freedom using this spreadsheet calculator. […]

  6. dcrefugee · · Reply

    Great site, great message…. thank you! Echo earlier comments…this spreadsheet does not account for an end/ lesser savings once you hit FI and also ability to factor lower living expenses if that is how things play out. Any suggestions on calculators that include these variables? I am sure someone out there has this up somewhere….

  7. Hello

    Great to find a U.K. site at last!

    May I just check what I should be entering in the “net worth” column, please?

    I own my own home, no mortgage, worth £620,000. I have share ISAs worth £125,000. All dividends are automatically reinvested. I have general household savings of £10k plus an emergency fund of £27k.

    I have no debts and am very fortunate to still be a contributing member of a final-salary pension scheme. I am 51 years old.

    I would ordinarily aggregate all of the asset values to reach a net worth figure, but since this is my long term home, it seems misleading to include the value for the purposes of assessing when I could reach FI, as it will remain an illiquid asset.

    I’m not financially very literate and have come to the FI party rather late, especially as I can challenge myself to raise my 25% savings rate.

    If you are able to spare some time to give me some guidance, I’d be most grateful.



    1. Hi Denise…personally I don’t include my house in my net worth calc…because we are not ready to sell it yet and monetise the asset. But one day we will sell and move to a smaller place which will (hopefully) release cash that I can invest…which will boost my net worth calculation at that point.

      p.s. I try not to fall in love with houses…I know they don’t love me back 😉

    2. FrugalFox · · Reply

      Do you consider yourself financial independent? I am 15 years younger than you but if I had those assets i would consider myself financially free….. I guess it depends on the lifestyle you want though.

  8. Great post&sheet. Suggested revision: The effect of beeing debt free on FI+1. When the time comes I will no longer need to make the part of my income that that currently goes towards interest+payments.

  9. Stephen E · · Reply

    Great post, thanks! I have taken this spreadsheet and made a version 2 with a few tweaks to suit my circumstances.

    Question – should the returns take into account of the impact of income tax? Returns used as income are subject to income tax, so isn’t it necessary to gross up the spending amount to determine the true returns required? Or have I totally misunderstood how tax works…

    1. Hi Stephen,
      I think it depends on where you get the returns from. If you’re holding shares in a Stock&Shares ISA and you’re getting paid any dividends and you withdraw them, partially or in full, then you’re not having to pay income tax on these dividends because dividends in S&S ISA’s do not attract any tax.

      If, on the other hand, you withdraw your dividends and put them into a savings account and you’re crossing the personal savings allowance (£1K basic rate tax-payer, £500 higher rate tax-payer, £0 additional rate tax-payer) then you would have to pay tax at your tax-rate on the amount above the personal savings allowance.

      Regards, Pinch

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