kristy & bill

Another spreadsheet success story!

I’ve been using your simplified early retirement spreadsheet now for the last 8 years. I have obviously tweaked it some to reflect our income and estimated expenses, but it still works great! I have also shared this with friends!

Yes!! Brilliant! Especially that last part. As a good friend of mine likes to say, “never keep knowledge to yourself – share it!”

I asked Kristy if she’d be willing to share her tweaked spreadsheet for us to gander, and she not only obliged but also gave us some juicy background on along with it :)

SPOILER ALERT: Her and her husband’s net worth is right around $1.5 Mil (nice!!) and looks like they’ll hit FIRE at 58 (they’re in their 40’s now).

Take it away Kristy!


I graduated college in 2000 and started working as a chemist making $36,000 per year. I had met my husband the year before, just a boyfriend at the time. We decided to quit the corporate world and move to the beach!

He worked at a liquor store and I waited tables for a few months. Then I found an apprenticeship job, as a real estate appraiser trainee. I decided to go for it and become a real estate appraiser as I hated the chemistry field and there were no jobs at the beach for chemistry at that time. My husband ended up managing the liquor store where he was just an employee and has been doing that ever since!

I got the education, experience, etc working as an appraiser for two years. Then I decided to switch and start appraising commercial properties. I continued my education and eventually received my MAI designation. This is the highest designation for real estate appraisers. This was in 2009.

I stayed with my company for 11 more years. I made pretty good money for a commercial appraiser, though it varied from $90,000 to $120,000 per year. In 2020 I quit my job and started my own real estate appraiser firm. I make about the same and work half as much… it’s awesome!

My husband went to college and obtained a finance degree. He worked at Vanguard for about a year (J$: Dream job!! :)). He started us investing in retirement at our first jobs. He taught me about finances, saving, investing, etc. over the years. Eventually we hired a financial planner. I know about the fees, but it has been worth it for us. We just don’t have the time anymore to handle our investments.

Current age: 44, my husband is 46. We have two kids, 17 F and 14 M. We will not be paying for college for both kids, but have been saving money since they were babies for college. We were able to save roughly $50,000 per kid.

We do have a house within walking distance to the beach and it’s our only debt. No car payments, no CC debt, no other debt.

I have attached the spreadsheet I have been using. Have fun with it!


kristy's early retirement spreadsheet


What a journey! From chemist to beach to waiting tables to apprenticeship to business owner! Not to mention a hearty mix of liquor and finances in there from her hunky husband, haha…

Always interesting what life has in store for us despite our own plans :) And of course, as they show, how much power WE have to change our own direction as well! Nothing stopping us from making big moves TODAY if we really want something. And it doesn’t even have to be something major either like a move to the beach or cross-country trip or whatever… Sometimes just taking that first step to *anything* feels good. And the flow might take you exactly where you need to go from there!

Awesome story, and awesome spreadsheet. Thanks so much for sharing with us, Kristy. And again, you can find her spreadsheet here if you want to download and tweak it yourself: Kristy’s Early Retirement Spreadsheet

To first steps!

j. money signature

PS: Here’s the original article if you missed it years ago –> The Early Retirement / Financial Freedom Spreadsheet. I created a *super* simple spreadsheet to tell me generally what I was looking at FIRE-wise, and then my man and fellow $$ blogger Go Curry Cracker got a hold of it and made some of his own tweaks which you can also find included there. Hope it helps!

[This post, Kristy’s Early Retirement Spreadsheet, was first published by J. Money on Budgets Are Sexy]