Calculating Your FU Money Amount

Yesterday’s post What’s Your FU Money Amount prompted several great comments and tweets. Stephen Flemming chimed in with his target FU money amount from several years ago:!/StephenFleming/statuses/75752957307658240

Seeing Stephen reference $42 million made me think it would be interesting to calculate FU money assuming a “Buckhead fabulous” lifestyle. Here’s how that might be calculated assuming a 30 year horizon with no inflation and no interest/appreciation:

  • House – $1.5 million
  • Beach house on 30A – $2 million (@lance prefers Rosemary Beach)
  • The Westminster Schools for three kids ($20k/child/year) for 12 years – $720k
  • Ivy League college for four years @ $50k/year/child – $600k
  • Living expenses/property taxes/etc @ $150k year for 30 years – $4.5 million
  • Two nice cars @ $10k/year/car for 30 years – $600k
  • Two $50k angel investments per year for 30 years – $3 million
  • Total: $12,920,000

So, a little south of $13 million of after tax dollars in the bank gets you a “Buckhead fabulous” lifestyle in one of the wealthiest communities in the Southeast with extra to spare.

What do you think? How would you calculate your FU money?

15 thoughts on “Calculating Your FU Money Amount

    1. Sounds like my version of Vegas math! Play with what you are ok with losing. And then start playing with the winnings (if and when they happen but don’t account for it).

  1. David,

    Love this series. We are talking about FU money! FU money is gaudy, opulent, and over-the-top; I’m assuming FU stands for what I think you think it stands for — but perhaps not.

    “FU!” money includes:

    – Private Jet (10-15 mil)
    – Hunting Lodge in South Georgia – (15 mi)
    – Yearly campaign contributions – (50-100k)
    – Memberships at Peachtree, Seminole, Augusta, Pine Valley, Merion, Cypress Point, Shinnecock (750k)
    – Yearly vacations (30-50k)
    – – Lastly, your readers know the best education in Atlanta isn’t at Westminster. For well-rounded students, send them to Pace.

    So what is that? Let’s just ballpark it around $60-$75 mil — on the conservative end.


  2. Love this post! I’ve run this calculation over the years and I wish I had kept better track of it so I could have plotted the FU amount against my age. I’m guessing the peak of that data set was around age 24 where I actually needed less (no kids and unmarried) but had that ever so dangerous combination of shameless ego and complete naivety. Funny how that number seems to go down now not just due my continued shortening time on this planet but also my greater ease in giving an FU to a situation when needed! 🙂

  3. Alright, I decided to recreate my long-ago spreadsheet as a Google Doc so everyone can play. My assumptions are not carved in stone, and you should use your own. In particular, I suspect that both inflation and total taxes will be higher as the US slips into a European-style social democracy.

    Please only change the cells in blue. (No per-cell locking in Google Spreadsheets… boo!)

    You might be surprised at how much money you need to live in the style to which you would like to become accustomed. Compound interest is a bitch.

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