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Old 02-24-2008, 05:43 PM   #21
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Having a four-year goal gives me focus to continue to LBMM and invest steadily. If I don't have enough money by that date, or if I leave my job earlier, I'm okay with that as long as I know that I built up as much as I could... and work for a while longer to keep growing it.
I like your plan - lots of paths open if one thing or another changes.

A toxic (for you) job for 4 years can be devastating. I like the sound of having an exit strategy if it gets too bad, even if it means postponing full retirement a few years, in a less stressful and more rewarding position.
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Old 02-24-2008, 10:32 PM   #22
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Hi Anne, and a belated welcome.

Just a couple of points: I am much older than you at 46 targeting 48, but am still planning a 3% or less WR for the first few years at least. I don't want to worry about not having enough when I reach my 80s or 90s.

The other point: you will definitely be able to return to work after retirement if you so choose, but as someone in the position to hire lots of people, I would have to say that most will view you with skepticism if you try to re-enter after 10 or 15 years of retirement. Folks in my position always wonder what someone has done for those years, why they are coming back, and "how rusty are they". The point is you will be able to work, but you will be rusty, and your habits and appetite for w*rk may change. I have seen it often in people I hire who have been out of the ratrace workforce for a few years. The advice is just to exercise caution...

Just my two cents...

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Old 02-24-2008, 10:50 PM   #23
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Just a couple of points: I am much older than you at 46 targeting 48, but am still planning a 3% or less WR for the first few years at least. I don't want to worry about not having enough when I reach my 80s or 90s.
I could certainly do this. I do wonder, though, does this still hold if I have a rollover IRA that I won't touch until 60/65? During semi-retirement, I would take out my SWR based only on my taxable account, pretending that my IRA didn't exist.

It seems like the consensus that is developing is that RE in the mid-thirties is a pipe dream. I guess I'm okay with this. Even getting the mortgage paid off and taking a lower-paying job while I let my portfolio grow is a step towards FI at some point in my life.
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Old 02-25-2008, 12:43 AM   #24
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Hey Anne, thanks for posting. I am also turning 30 later this year. Although I don't have a high-paying job, DH and I are diligent savers and we are shooting for FI in 10 years. I think your plan is great, especially given your very high saving ratio. It's not that we all want to sit at home all day (although sometimes that would be nice), it's the freedom that matters.

I don't know about you, but DH and I have talked about teaching English overseas or doing other low-stress, more creative jobs that allow us to experience more while our investments continue to grow. If my job really becomes unbearable, we might even quit in 5-8 years. It just means we have to retire a little later (mid to late 40s instead of 40), but it may be OK if we get to teach English in Thailand, Taiwan or Japan for a couple of years. Basically all I want to do in retirement is traveling anyway.

I have seen some high-deductible health plans that are more affordable ($200-300/mo) if you are relatively young and healthy. You may want to look into it.

Anyway this whole Early Retirement concept has really helped me deal with my job. It gives me the hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and I won't be stuck in the same place for decades. Keep saving and good luck with the job!
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Old 02-25-2008, 01:29 AM   #25
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Anne, first of all, I think you may be able to pull it off, but if I were in your shoes at 30, I probably would tough it out even though the environment is kind of acrid, for the four years until you are 34. But, you have to plan the work (seems in good order) and then work the plan. If it were me, I would probably then take a step back (semi-retire) and do something like interim or project work (in the legal world I think they call it "of Counsel")...enough to pay the bills, while letting the nest egg grow. However, you do bring up a good point about rollover IRA vs taxable and can you do a 3% from your taxable...I suggest you look at it as a total. Figure our if 3% per year is enough to meet your needs (when you are not working) and then withdraw up to that total (of your total nest egg) but withdraw from your taxable accounts. There are other ways (look up SEPP) whereby you could withdraw from rollover IRA, but if you are going to work, you will not want to do that, I don't think.

Good luck!

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Old 02-25-2008, 08:06 AM   #26
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I could certainly do this. I do wonder, though, does this still hold if I have a rollover IRA that I won't touch until 60/65? During semi-retirement, I would take out my SWR based only on my taxable account, pretending that my IRA didn't exist.

It seems like the consensus that is developing is that RE in the mid-thirties is a pipe dream. I guess I'm okay with this. Even getting the mortgage paid off and taking a lower-paying job while I let my portfolio grow is a step towards FI at some point in my life.
Hey, don't swing too far away from your dream, just remodel it a little. This group is just doing what it does best: distilling hundreds of years of collective experience into one thread so you can make your decisions more wisely. Consensus? Don't think we ever achieve that . You have no idea how far along the path you already are compared to your contemporaries.

A part-time worthwhile job is a great idea, not just financially but to stay engaged. Maybe a nice 2-3 month vacation between the current job and the next one, to give yourself a reward for seeing the light. You will be amazed at how much stress reduction you'll derive from knowing that your work is optional and not indentured. Throw in health insurance and a few other perks and your plan will be supercharged just a few years later than your current target date, and you won't mind waiting a little if your work is enjoyable.

And remember 72T distributions if you don't want to burn through all your post-tax dollars.

You're probably a little ragged at the moment from work-toxicity but it will fall into place now that you are taking steps to make it so.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:41 AM   #27
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Anne,

I'm not competent to say Welcome to the boards, because this is my 1st post over here. I discovered these boards a week or so ago and I ENJOY reading real stories.

Anyhow... I wanted to say that I enjoyed reading your story. I found the following notion interesting "you married because everyone else did." It seems that many people subconsciously follow some unwritten rules of the society.
E.g. A few years back I realized that I don't have to spend money "to enjoy today" because my parents and my sister do. Not that I spent much money ... Now I just attempt to evade discussions about materialistic things because I don't want to argue either. I'm sure I'm like a black sheep in the family now but I ignore that, too. I'm living my life and they're living theirs. Though sometimes I get concerned that I'll be the ONE to help them all because they have no savings and I do

Good luck in your journey.

PS. It's a stupid question probably, but in your OP did you really mean MILLIONS? Like $115M in student loans, etc.
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:42 AM   #28
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PS. It's a stupid question probably, but in your OP did you really mean MILLIONS? Like $115M in student loans, etc.
Thank heavens, no. Although thinking about that makes $115,000 in student loans look pretty reasonable! I've fallen into the finance industry habit of using M for thousands and MM for millions.

I hear you about peer pressure to spend. Maybe, when your family starts talking about all the stuff they bought or want, you can steer the conversation towards personal finance and investing? They might find it boring at first, but maybe it'll get them thinking.
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:45 AM   #29
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I hear you about peer pressure to spend. Maybe, when your family starts talking about all the stuff they bought or want, you can steer the conversation towards personal finance and investing? They might find it boring at first, but maybe it'll get them thinking.
The funny thing is, once you develop the mindset, watching new deposits grow your balances and seeing the overall portfolio rise over time is just as fulfilling as having "stuff."

Of course, like anything it's possible to go overboard and become obsessive about it, but better to be obsessive about saving than about running up a huge tab on the plastic because you've gotta have more stuff...
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Old 02-25-2008, 05:08 PM   #30
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Welcome Anne,

Maybe consider going part time or lesser hours at your current firm. I found that I disliked my job less when I cut down to 4 days a week. Maybe you would too. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
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