As the name of the site already suggests, is about the tangible calculation of strategies to achieve financial independence “FI” through long-term investment in broadly diversified global stock portfolios. This topic is especially relevant in the United States because of the rather sparse statutory pensions compared to quite good tax incentives for own investments there. Every American is therefore encouraged to invest in the stock market until retirement and then to systematically withdraw the monthly expenses from the resulting portfolio in order not to rely on state pensions alone.

But around the time of retirement many questions start to arise:

All these questions typically require many evenings with Excel, and yet afterwards you still have the feeling that you did not calculate carefully enough and may have forgotten important aspects. At least I know this feeling very well, because I had many of these questions a few years ago.

About me: I am Uwe, 56 years old, a theoretical physicist by training but have worked for many years in the IT management of a German life science company. When, in the course of planned restructurings, severance programs on a large scale were announced, many colleagues began to draft exactly these kind of Excel sheets in the evenings to answer the question of what they would do in case they would be offered such a severance payment.

I went through this intensively for myself, but at some point I reached the limits of Excel. I always liked to break new ground in my IT-past anyway and Data Science has interested me on “management level” for quite some time. So this was the perfect occasion for me to get into Python programming myself. With Python, NumPy, Pandas and Jupyter notebooks, analysing my own case suddenly became very exciting and insightful.

At this point I also followed other bloggers in parallel and got deeper and deeper into the topic. During this time my own Python-based toolset has become more extensive, faster and better and at some point it actually answered the question of what I would do in the event of a concrete settlement offer. When such an offer was actually on the table, I took it and have therefore started a very early retirement at the end of 2021. However, I don’t know yet, if this situation will be really permanent, we’ll see …

So, since the end of last year I had a usable analysis toolkit in Python and, for the first time, a lot of time at my hand. So what could be more obvious than to develop this toolkit into an app and publish it. The result is and in the blog most of the posts will be about the use of the attached Simulator. I will probably publish only few general articles here about withdrawal strategies and financial independence. Instead, I will write articles that cover examples to run through specific scenarios with the simulator and hopefully encourage readers of this blog to do the same for their own FI situation. If you want to subscribe to this blog you can do so via the RSS-symbol in the navigation bar or directly through this link.

I also offer a comment function for the blog posts and look forward to receiving constructive criticism, comments and suggestions there. The whole blog and also the simulator was designed to be data sparse and also focused on data privacy, so you might wonder why there is no cookie-banner asking for your acceptance. The simple reason is that I only use technically required cookies on this site and also avoid data collecting services like Google Analytics. By design your data therefore should never leave this server.

If you still have concerns about entrusting your financial information to a foreign tool from an unknown source in Germany, I can understand this very well and would encourage you to read my privacy policy. I have no interest in collecting any data, let alone linking it somehow with IP-addresses and profiles. The tool is currently also free of charge and can be used anonymously without a registration requirement. I only collect anonymous statistics regarding page views to understand what topics and functions might be of interest.

A word of warning, though: The simulator (and this blog) is running on a relatively small virtual cloud instance in Germany and is paid out of my private pockets without advertising or sponsors. This means if dozens of interested people are tormenting the simulator at the same time, this server will most probably die a silent death. In this case, please don’t get frustrated and just check back later.

I wish everyone here a little bit of fun with the simulator, hopefully some good insights and lively discussions!