This article is about whether you can reach the state of “FIRE” with P2P Lending. We will take a look at the returns you can achieve and how much you need to have in your p2p investment account to be Financially Independent and of course, Retire Early. So, let’s start with the basics:
What is FIRE?
First of all, I should make clear that when we say “FIRE” we mean Financial Independence, Retire Early. This is a movement that focuses on maximizing our savings rate by finding ways to increase income and decrease expenses. This model became particularly prevalent amongst millennials (such as myself) and gaining traction via online communities, blogs, podcasts, and online forums. It is also very importab]nt to us to remain debt-free throughout our journey to FIRE since this is an added expense and the interest we pay eats our returns away.
The goal is to accumulate assets until you can maintain your lifestyle through passive income. The typical rule of thumb is the 4% rule. The 4% is used to determine how much a retiree should withdraw from a retirement account each year. This is considered a safe withdrawal rate as the withdrawals will consist primarily of interest and dividends or interest in the case of p2p lending. With p2p lending, since returns are higher than usual, the amount of money you will be needing for retirement could be potentially lower. I will explain why in this post.
How much should you save for retirement?
Some people say that you must save 50% or more of your income to retire early, but I think that is entirely incorrect. Of course, the higher your savings rate, the sooner you will be able to reach FIRE. However, saving half or more of your paycheck can be challenging and at the end of the day unnecessary. You simply can’t stop enjoying life and start being utterly stingy until you retire. Life is meant to be enjoyed, and that is, more often than not, expensive. You just need to find the right balance between being fugal and enjoying life at the same time.
On the other hand, when your savings rate is so high, you are accustomed to a frugal lifestyle, and there is nothing you can buy that will match that sense of security and freedom!
My personal take on the subject is to save as much as you are comfortable with saving. My usual savings rate is between 20 and 30% of my income. I consider this to be a pretty healthy amount and certainly above average. For the average person here, their savings rate is usually nothing.
How much do I need to retire?
Based on the 4% rule, the calculation is pretty simple. You just take your yearly expenses and multiply it by 25. Say your annual expenses are 25,000 EUR then you need (25,000*25) 625,000 EUR to maintain your way of leaving. Depending on your investment yields, of course, this could be quite different, and the amount you need to keep your retirement could vary by a wide margin.
A lot of critics have said that in order to achieve FIRE in your 30s you need at least 5 million euros. The argument is coming through a paradigm that has failed in the past. They are arguing from the perspective that you need to put money into a traditional retirement account and deposit your money into a retirement plan until you take the money out of your retirement account when you reach the age of your planned retirement (30s in that scenario). That is simply not true and not what we are talking about. There is an alternative to that, and that is what this blog is all about.
What do I believe?
With p2p lending and more specifically with platforms like Mintos, Grupeer or even maybe Crowdestor, yields are way higher than the typical 4% needed for retirement. That means that by just having a portfolio of around 220,000 and an average return of 12% (which is more than realistic) you can retire early. This is probably saving you decades of saving for retirement. With a conservative portfolio yielding around 9% you can retire with a portfolio totaling approximately 290,000 EUR. This is with a conservative portfolio and with your principal amount staying intact. Take a look at my monthly income reports to get a better understanding of why I am such a massive proponent of p2p lending and why it should be an addition to anyone’s portfolio.
Conclusion – Can you retire with p2p lending?
My personal belief is that you can absolutely retire with p2p lending income. If you are following my p2p lending income reports, you will see that I started with nothing and now I am earing over 100EUR per month on interest. My expenses are around 1,200 EUR per month (which is low even for Greek standards), so I might not be close in a traditional sense, but when you see results and the interest being compounded you are getting addicted, and you start adding to your portfolio until you reach FIRE. I started at 0, and I am hopeful that I can get to FIRE in my mid-30s with monthly contributions to my portfolio and an average yield of around 10%.
With that in mind, I can retire with a portfolio of around 200,000-250,000 and an average yield of 10% in p2p lending, which is considered conservative in this asset class. Don’t get me wrong; I am not saying to build a portfolio entirely consisting of p2p lending but I wanted to prove with this article is that it is 100% possible to retire with this asset class.
With the recent addition of higher yield platforms like Envestio, Crowdestor, and Kuetzal that I am earing returns as high as 20% I am confident that this will increase my returns and achieve FIRE even faster.
If you are interested in this asset class, take a look at my article about the best p2p lending platforms in Europe and all the platform reviews that I have made.
Another way you can boost your returns is with bonuses that p2p lending platforms are offering for sign-ups, take a look at them.