Predicting the Future

I’ve now been plugging money into my Go T’ Pub ISA for the last 4 months and, naturally, I start looking to the future as I see month on month growth in the value of it. One of the thing I enjoy about reading blogs is seeing people progress towards FI.

So, if my target retirement date in 2025 is to happen, what might the Go T’ Pub ISA look like? Will I be in a swanky pub or wine bar every day or will I be having an occasional water only?  One thing I do seem to have missed somewhere is what people think their end goal will be or how they are going to get there in detail. Sure there is the “I need to get £X,000 to do it” but I’ve not seen many forecasting it (feel free to point me in the direction of where there is!). RIT had a very good graph showing his progress going up, but nothing that included a forecast line.

Given that, I wanted to share my thoughts now that the GTP ISA is up and running and to look at how I see it panning out. If I am really honest, this is a totally pointless exercise 🙂 The money isn’t going into a savings account and who knows what the markets will do… but I know it will be interesting to look back over the years and see how it pans out, and this is a way of recording what I thought would happen. Again, I know I am putting in more per month than a lot of people will be able to do but this only means it may take a bit longer. The aim is to show how it pans out against how I thought it would. The forecast date I am taking this to is June 2025, and I am going to enjoy looking back at my spreadsheet to see how it is tracking.

So the first port of call is the standard calculator to see what a regular drip feed would look like into a regular savings account paying out.

So, from the basic approach, how does this look?

  • 2% return – £114,414
  • 4% return (my standard assumption) – £124,210
  • 7% return – £141,018
  • 10% return – £160,799
  • 12% return – £175,920

So, worst case it is still going to be over £114k. So hopefully around the £350 – £400 per month by 2025 being generated. A long way from providing for FIRE, but a good healthy social budget.

Now, that is a bog standard savings rate, which of course isn’t going to apply with the money going into the markets. So, time to have some spreadsheet fun!

So firstly, lets state some of the basic assumptions that are being made here to give some of the baseline numbers.

  1. Although the prices may go up over time, I am assuming I will buy 18 VWRL each month
  2. I have incorporated the additional VWRL I bought in July
  3. To start, I will take the base that I will not be reinvesting dividends – as this is supposed to be paying for my social life (although I suspect I will aim to reinvest)
  4. It runs from when I started this in 2017 through to June 2025
  5. I am ignoring inflation, or price increases on the grounds that I will adhere to assumption #1

So – what does that mean as a baseline?

18 units a month, and no dividends reinvested, I will get to June 2025 with 1,765 VWRLs – at current dividend rate of £1.20 per year (handily 10p a month!) that will give me an annual income of £2,118 – or £176.50 per month. Not brilliant, but not too bad income without having to do anything at all I guess – not a retirement amount but not to be sniffed at either.

So what happens if I were to not use the dividends to buy a pint or two, but reinvested them? Well, last year VRWL paid £1.20 per unit over the year, or 30p on average per quarter (I am going with 30p average for ease). What happens then?

Well, again I am just using the earned dividends and not adding any extra cash (which I reserve the right to!). Well, that means on June 2025 I would have 1,895 VWRL.  130 extra units just by not taking any money out, how cool is that? Well, again going on £1.20 per year income, that would give an annual income of £2,274 – or £189.50 per month. An extra £13 per month just for not taking the cash out.

Now, what if I were to try and not only reinvest the dividends, but also squeeze an extra unit each month – so transferring in an extra 50 or so quid at the end of each month? That would mean I would buy 19 a month from now on instead of 18.

This 1 extra unit per month compounds to 1,997 units. That would give an income of £2,396.4 or £199.70 per month. I have to say I would love to make it over the £200 per month if I can by 2025 – in effect needing £600 per quarter – which would require 2,000 units.

What I find strange is that this is lower than the £350 – £400 I predicted above. I guess that is reflected by the fact that VWRL is currently generating about 3% income not the 4% I used in the calculation above. Either way, this pointless exercise is going to be interesting to see how things pan out!

Out of interest I decided to look at the “best case” scenario as well. That means using the full £20,000 per year (assuming it doesn’t increase) and see what that looks like. Well, that’s 27 units per month, or with the dividends reinvested 2,810 VWRLs – which would generate £281 per month. Ah I can but dream!

So – I think I will set my initial goal at hitting 2,000 units – which means I need to buy an extra 235 units over the coming years (roughly 30 a year extra). That’s a tall order, no two ways about it. The best time to add the extra units is as early as possible so I need to knuckle down hard and try to squeeze as much extra cash out as possible – the sooner I earn enough in dividends to buy an extra unit the better. Let us see….

I will look forward to revisiting this post over the years and see how I do!

How much detail do you go into when planning into the future? Do you breakdown by month or just aim for a rough end game?


Author: fireinlondon

Fighting the high cost of living in London

4 thoughts on “Predicting the Future”

  1. Hi FiL

    Hahaha. First time I got the meaning behind the name ‘Go T Pub’ ISA. Never quite seen anyone else plan so meticulously for their future social budget as you as to invest aggressively in the markets. Great one! From this, I must deduce that your FIRE plan for the rest of life’s needs is solid.

    In my mind, the “I need to get £X,000 to do it” is probably the simplest way of thinking about it. It is not time dependent and it is the primary end point after. I suppose you can extrapolate an expected date of FIRE from all the variables but that will dependent of the FIRE end figure you came out decided you need. Any slight change in variable, ie fall in savings rate, umemployment, financial emergency, even a detour in life goals might impact on the date the FIRE. But generally, the FIRE figure you came up with would have accounted for your basic needs for functional living and will probably stay the same if you are in the same physical state as when you calculated it.

    I liked RIT graph, with the simple line at his FIRE number to graphically depict how far his portfolio is from his goal. Like a finishing line at a marathon.

    I am still refining my end game hence the seemingly haphazard approach. I am sieving through the various variables i mentioned above and trying to work out what’s important for me. For instance, even now, I am heavily tempted to own a car to extend my reach and ability to explore further afield which I know is a great experience you should try to have whilst you are young. (I never owned a car) Someone who is passed 30, 40 might have had that kind of experience and can easily let that choice go but my financial mind is calculating how that might affect my supposed FIRE plan and vetoing it every time. There are many choices to be had, Travelling, Dates, House ownership, etc and to me they are not questions I can simply answer with a flick of my finger. And there’s case of you can overthink things and over complicating things for yourself, which in a sense is probably part of my issue.

    Hence I like simplicity and am trying to embrace simplicity. Monthly tracking of cash flow for me and quarterly auditing of my portfolio. I have a vague FIRE minimum figure in my mind based on my outgoings now but that is likely to change but strategy is basically maximizing cash interest and tax sheltering accounts with an emphasis on an early FIRE.


    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi FP,

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂 Well yes – I like the social side of things, and these are generally expensive when spent in a pub, so this way separates my “day to day” costs versus pure fun 🙂
      The FIRE plan is well in control, however the question is when I can pull the trigger (a whole series in draft at present for that!).

      The “I need £X” is definitely the easiest, and I do have a number like that, however there are challenges such as when you can access what funds, so if everything is in an ISA then job done (note to younger readers, get going fast!) as opposed to say 50/50 pension (note to younger readers: Get your pension match!) – then you get the question of when you can access certain funds.

      Like you, I loved the simplicity of RITs graph and the easy view of how far left to go… but I am a minute planner, so I want to know month on month, and what I can do to beat my targets (I can be quite competitive in some things!)

      Definitely worth the wider experience and something I would actively encourage (one for a discussion down the pub). I dont have an issue with the car owning but do consider options such as rental and Zipcar etc. – we used to rent a car when we needed it as it was cheaper than owning for when we needed it.

      Ultimately, as long as you are saving a good percentage of your income then time is on your side, maximise the tax efficiency and enjoy life!


  2. Even in the worst case scenario, that’s a very big social pot – it’s brilliant! 🙂 I’ve got to concentrate on my ‘rest of life’ pot first and hope that I will have a little extra for the pub.

    Although I guess when I have a lot of time of my hands, I’ll be able to get well into the homebrewing so perhaps I won’t be at the pub so much! 😉


  3. Hi Weenie,
    Yes – hopefully it will be good, I guess it will also go to holidays, meals out and so forth but it should allow a nice level of freedom (although maybe not those £500 trainers ;-))

    Well there is that – if you have a good spot for the homebrew then why not go for it – we don’t hear although if we were to move out of London it’s something I would consider!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: