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Old 11-08-2010, 02:15 PM   #21
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Wow, I appreciate the feedback that I am possibly doing more than documenting my own history for myself to look back on -- that someone out there is actually taking some value from it!

One thing I will note for those just in the middle of their accumulation, or getting started, is that as Bogle (I think) said: "Invest we must..."

I am going to post two charts here in a minute -- one showing how my Investable assets just snapped higher by a startling fifteen thousand dollars in just two weeks (compare black line of last post to black line on this post. Yet taken as a percentage, or in the context of various other jiggles and jaggles I have experienced... well, it's just a ho hum month... as it will be if I lose 12K next month... weird, huh?

It was stomach tightening to see those various 'big' drops in NW, as we have gone through hard times, but I really did believe 'stay the course' would work. Oddly, the speed of the recoveries have been just as surprising to me as the onset of the dips were (look at chart with blue line):
NOTE: My chart year tick marks are anchored in Dec, not in Jan as is convention, because my first data was Dec 1991 -- so that shifts where the actual year is, from what you are likely used to:
1997 early
1998 midyear
2001 9/11 spike
2002 Q2-Q3 sag
2004 midyear
2006 midyear
2008 Q4 2008

Any of those dips might have been enough to scare me out of staying the course, had I been wired with a hair trigger. Fortunately, my investments were on autopilot, and I never dared do anything except annual re-balancing, or to re-allocate when I lost my job to be a bit more conservative -- exactly as I said I would do in that contingency per my prewritten investment plan. That means I was there for the (usually) rapid, but difficult to anticipate recoveries.

Anyway, best wishes to all reading this, regardless of your specific investment choices!



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Old 12-18-2010, 11:19 PM   #22
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I've also enjoyed following your story. Thanks for the updates.
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:03 PM   #23
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Hello DRiP Guy,

I admire your gumption and style to go ahead and retire, and, apparently, to make it work. I see that the balance on the Investable Assets has continued to increase, despite the fact that you are now consuming at least the dividends.

I'll try to follow your lead and start posting my own plans, as I'm almost 53 and plan to retire on my 56th birthday in Jan, 2014. I like the fact that you come back periodically and keep us up to date. Thanks
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:26 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbwitte View Post
Hello DRiP Guy,

I admire your gumption and style to go ahead and retire, and, apparently, to make it work. I see that the balance on the Investable Assets has continued to increase, despite the fact that you are now consuming at least the dividends.

I'll try to follow your lead and start posting my own plans, as I'm almost 53 and plan to retire on my 56th birthday in Jan, 2014. I like the fact that you come back periodically and keep us up to date. Thanks
Thanks, I will indeed keep things updated at significant junctures, and I'd encourage you to share as well: the comments, advice, and criticism I've gotten both here and at Bogleheads has been terrific.

One aspect that I am not sure I gave sufficient credit to, that provided me a definite 'tailwind', was a series of stock options, vesting from between 2007 through 2011. Some of them nearly expired worthless, but in the end all of them were eventually sold for at least some gain. I think the minimum for each of those 4 years so far was ~$5,000 net realized income, and the max was perhaps $15,000. The last of the options will probably be sold before 2012, so I would guess I still have somewhere between zero and another $5 to 10K to be realized from this source. I only point it out to be sure not to mislead anyone -- just like when I hope I previously made clear that I did not (and don't see any need to) segregate my market returns from new monies I put in from payroll savings in growing that nest egg.

Finally, over the years, I've used a spreadsheet, then Quicken, then a spreadsheet again, then Mint to help me visualize and track my progress. The spreadsheet still lets me be the most flexible, but as a free tool, I think Mint is great to get a quick snapshot -- here, the "investments" (includes stock, options, IRA) get added to the "cash" (includes checking, saving, MM, CDs) to total up what I consider my 'investable assets.' The credit card balance is atypical (Christmas splurging!) and will be paid off in full shortly - that is a habit I have kept to for a decade or more.

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Final post
Old 09-06-2016, 07:33 PM   #25
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Final post

Hello! It’s now closing on 10 full years since I started this thread. I wanted to do one final update to this thread, for two reasons:


One, as a close-out to the ‘story’ for anyone who read the thread. I feel it’s far enough along the journey now to serve it’s purpose as just one story among many, so far a success, but no guarantees for me or for anyone, of course. If a meteor strikes, or world financial meltdown occurs, I’ll be scrambling for scrap beer cans and shooting rats with a slingshot, just like the rest of you will be. Short of cataclysm though, I feel pretty solid.


Two, as a synopsis/case-study for a very important person in my life, who just recently is starting to gather up their own affairs and head into the retirement phase of life. Easier for them to read it as it happened, than have me explain it verbally like a war story.


So onward we trek…..


* I said I would sell my ~$250K house and buy one for about $100K, in a cheaper and more ‘livable’ area. Mission accomplished.


* Still living the frugal life. I am able to do what I like, when I like, but my tastes are simple. Initial WR after stopping work at ~47.5 y.o. was probably 4%, but over time has tapered to about 2.5% just through less expenses, and not doing too many things that cost a lot of money. The last year is probably back to 4%, due to moving expenses, and doing a bit more spending to equip the new place. Tax bracket is still low enough.


* NW is a bit less than where we left it at last update at the end of 2010, but not significantly. Still over the magic mark we love to see, but that means nothing in and of itself. I already expounded on how in percentage terms the ups and downs are not too bad, but if you ever take the time to look at absolute dollar value as the market gyrates, you can tie yourself into knots. So I don’t. As Bogle, and later his students have famously said: “I don’t know and I don’t care.”
I don't know and I don't care - Aug. 29, 2001


* Allocation is now roughly 60/40, stock to bonds, cash & cash equivalents. I do subscribe to the theory that you need a goodly amount of those stocks to keep your portfolio earnings up, and anyone who has looked at fixed income would probably agree. (Except h**** of course!) As to any increased risk, I’m still well within my own comfort zone. Although….


* I did start a 72(t) at age 54.5. I did this just because I felt more comfortable pulling some from the stock portion rather than using my on-hand cash reserves exclusively. By drawing from 401(k) now, and with CD rates now so low, those factors will be ‘pulling’ my portfolio to spin off less return, unless the market makes up for it. I think it’s all okay, as long as the trajectory always leaves me ample income until I pass. Since we don’t know what the markets will do, or when our own number will be up, there is no 100% guarantee; but as the years and decades progress, I’ll check my balances from time to time to avoid surprises. I did not count Social Security into my retirement planning, but it is always there as a backstop once I’m old enough.


*Well, that’s about it financially. I wish all of you a good ride, and will be signing off, and enjoying the retired life some more.
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:29 AM   #26
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Thanks for the update and glad life is still going well for you!
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:42 PM   #27
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I was sad to see you close the forum. I have enjoyed reading your posts. Just found this one today. Continued good luck in your retirement and I hope you haven't left the forum for good?
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:23 PM   #28
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Thanks for the update! For someone newly retired, so helpful to see your progression and how quickly you recovered from the recession. This will help me have faith to stick to our AA and not lose faith as time goes by. Thanks for sharing and for your honesty. Best of luck, and continue enjoying life.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Early Retirement Forum mobile app
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