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Glad to find this forum!,
Old 01-29-2004, 05:15 AM   #1
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Glad to find this forum!,

Boy, am I glad to have found this forum... my husband and I have been planning on ER pretty much from the start, but it's hard to find information and support on actually putting our idea into practice, when it seems like all the rest of the world is happy to max out their credit cards and work until they drop.

So, a little bit of introduction... I'm 29, my husband is 31; our plan is to retire from full-time work in 5 years. We're living on about 25% of gross income, paying 25% in taxes, and socking away 50% or more every year (I love Quicken! We track all our expenses). It helps that we have zero debt, no kids (and not going to have any, either), one car, and simple tastes. It amazes me that people spend as much money as they do... we're not spending all that much more money than when we were graduate students living on tiny stipends, yet I feel like we have everything we want.

When we do retire, we want to move to a nicer area (for us, meaning more rural), and have time to do the fifty gazillion things that work interferes with. We'll probably still earn some money - my husband has a published book and continues to write articles, I have a book that I'm trying to get published, and I teach fencing - but it will be an incidental by-product of things that we like to do anyway, not a daily obligation.

I'm sure I'll have a lot of questions as time goes on... but for now I just wanted to say "Hello!"
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Re: Glad to find this forum!,
Old 01-29-2004, 05:43 AM   #2
 
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Re: Glad to find this forum!,

Hello and welcome to the forum!

5 years! - That is early!

I also use Quicken to track everything. Do you use the Quicken Financial Planner? I use it in conjunction with FIRECalc.

More power to you!
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Re: Glad to find this forum!
Old 01-29-2004, 02:35 PM   #3
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Re: Glad to find this forum!

Yes, I've played around a bit with the Quicken retirement planner (and any other retirement planner that I have happened across on the web!). I feel pretty confident that if we can build up a nest egg of $600K or so, then we can live quite nicely on $25K or so (4% withdrawal rate). That's what we are living on now, and we could spend less if need be.

Our nest egg is currently at $230K, invested with an asset allocation of about 40% large cap, 30% mid/small cap, 20% international, 10% bonds. I'm the "investment guru" of the house, and I've enjoyed learning as much as I can about investing. It's partly in index funds (specifically, Fidelity 4-in-1 Index) and partly in a handful of managed funds, all no-load and generally low cost. We max out all available retirement options - my husband's 401k, Roth IRAs and SEP-IRAs for both of us.

We don't own a house, and aren't planning on buying until we pack up and head to our future home - I've crunched the numbers every which way, and given the high prices in the area that we'd be interested in here, we're better off renting. Not all that keen on dealing with house and yard maintenence just at present, anyway! So we'll continue to rent and save our pennies.

I think the $600K figure is pretty attainable (or at least I hope so). We had a very good year in terms of saving this past year, and socked away $65K; a more typical year's savings is about $50K. So our savings should pile up another $250K in 5 years' time, plus whatever our investments made for us. Working a bit longer will, of course, be a possibility if necessary... but after the basics are taken care of, free time is infinitely preferable to more money!

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Re: Glad to find this forum!,
Old 01-29-2004, 02:43 PM   #4
 
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Re: Glad to find this forum!,

Hi,

Well if you are familar with Quicken, have you tried the FIRECalc program - real world returns!

A couple of Suggestions. Get the book "What Wall Street does not want you to know" by Larry Swedroe. -

Have you thought about Medical Insurance - This is the bugaboo that has everyone stumped here.

Also, You mentioned that where you'd like to retire, the real estate is high. - Why don't you look for a very low cost (as far as Real Estate) place to live. If you don't have to work, it opens up the whole country to you.
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Re: Glad to find this forum!,
Old 01-30-2004, 03:25 AM   #5
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Re: Glad to find this forum!,

I've been playing with FIRECalc... so far it seems to make sense. Incidentally, what is it an acronym for? I'm figuring RE must stand for "retire early" at least...?

Actually, the real estate is expensive where we're living now, but cheaper where we're thinking of retiring, so that's a good thing.

Health insurance... that is certainly one of the unknowns. From what I've read, our best option will probably be to get a high-deductible policy.

Thanks for the book recommendation - I'll see if our library has it!
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Re: Glad to find this forum!,
Old 01-30-2004, 03:37 AM   #6
 
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Re: Glad to find this forum!,

Financial Indepedence Retire Early

FIRE yourself!
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Re: Glad to find this forum!,
Old 01-30-2004, 06:37 AM   #7
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Re: Glad to find this forum!,

Good luck with being FIRE'd at 35. Don't let anyone make you feel guilty about it because it's something you've worked hard & sacrificed for.

You may also want to read "Four Pillars of Investing" by William Bernstein. He touches on many important issue in this book.

-Jay
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Re: Glad to find this forum!,
Old 01-30-2004, 12:25 PM   #8
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Re: Glad to find this forum!,

Quote:
Get the book "What Wall Street does not want you to know" by Larry Swedroe.
I didn't particularly like this book. *Oh sure it had a lot of interesting little tidbits of information but it was a real jumble. *It didn't flow well and seemed to be a bunch of random little articles shuffled together. *Which makes sense since I think he wrote the book by taking a batch of articles he had written for his financial planning company's newsletter. *Are Swedroe's other books similar?

I found nothing really new in it but then I've read quite a number of other books and journal articles. *I would instead recommend Malkiel's "A Random Walk Down Wallstreet" and William Bernstein's "Intelligent Asset Allocator". *Additional good choices would be as one of Bogle's books (the Vanguard guy) and any or all of Peter Bernstein's books - "Against the Gods", "The Power of Gold", "Captial Ideas".

Hyperborea
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Re: Glad to find this forum!,
Old 01-30-2004, 01:02 PM   #9
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Re: Glad to find this forum!,

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Additional good choices would be as one of Bogle's books (the Vanguard guy)
I read Bogle's book on mutual funds, and would not recommend it. He included such detail, that the points he was trying to make were obscured. I do like Swedroe's, especially for a beginning investor as I feel it is more concise and educational.

Wayne
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Re: Glad to find this forum!,
Old 01-30-2004, 02:59 PM   #10
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Re: Glad to find this forum!,

Even as a Boglehead- I must agree he's prone to overkill with data.

I usually stick to his presentations posted on the Vanguard website - and even there - well -- you can read for yourself.
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Re: Glad to find this forum!,
Old 01-30-2004, 03:06 PM   #11
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Re: Glad to find this forum!,

Quote:
Even as a Boglehead- I must agree he's prone to overkill with data.

I usually stick to his presentations posted on the Vanguard website - and even there - well -- you can read for yourself.
I agree that he can be. That's why I listed him as a secondary book. Also, it was in comparison to the really bad "What Wall Street Doesn't Want You to Know Book" by Swedroe.

I know that a lot of folks like Swedroe so would anybody have recommendations on which of his books to read? I've only read "What Wall Street..." and I was unimpressed. As I said before, it was a random collection of newsletter articles badly strung together.

Hyperborea
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