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Old 02-19-2013, 01:45 PM   #21
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Hi inky, just curious on what the stock market return would need to average annually over the next 5 yrs for it to be cooperative for you?

I'm "hoping" for a 8.5%-9% return. I"m older but timeframe about the same as you. I work with smart SW Dev folks but not really one myself (IT Sourcing Governance- App Dev SOW). Hello from Seattle!
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:31 PM   #22
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Welcome inky. Great family and personal story. As a parent of two girls, I can only hope they turn out so well. Good luck on FIRE at 45.
Thank you. I'm lucky in that my parents encouraged risk-taking and independence from an early age. It helped too that my mom was a programmer and always worked outside the home, so she was a great role model in that regard.

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I thought that was just OUR family. And my dad discovered that if he waited to after noon on Christmas Eve he could normally get the tree free. We had some sad looking trees. and yeah - more than one pulled out of a pile of remainders after the tree stand closed down.
hahahaha... Rodi, are you my long-lost cousin?

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Hi inky, just curious on what the stock market return would need to average annually over the next 5 yrs for it to be cooperative for you?

I'm "hoping" for a 8.5%-9% return. I"m older but timeframe about the same as you. I work with smart SW Dev folks but not really one myself (IT Sourcing Governance- App Dev SOW). Hello from Seattle!
Hi Supernova72, my investments would have to return 5% on average for me to be able to retire in 4 years (I'm almost 41). So the stock market return would have to be a bit higher, since I'm 20% in bonds right now. (I follow Rick Ferri's Core Four portfolio.)

A 8.5%-9% return would obviously be much better! My savings goal allows for a 3% withdrawal rate in retirement. I may withdraw less if I still have some income coming in from a part-time job or from my hobbies. Firecalc shows a 100% success rate for these numbers.

My goal is to get my house paid off before retirement, and also to allow some time for the PPACA to take effect and stabilize so I have a better idea of what my costs will be. My income will be well below 400% of poverty level so I should be eligible for the federal subsidies.
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:43 PM   #23
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Welcome!

Work on building/maintaining/helping your professional network in the years you have left (and afterwards) so you're able to get references when you need them.

All the best.
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:12 PM   #24
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Welcome!

Work on building/maintaining/helping your professional network in the years you have left (and afterwards) so you're able to get references when you need them.

All the best.
Thanks, that's great advice. I need to spend more time updating my LinkedIn network.

Albuquerque has a lot of creative, freethinking types in its technical community that I enjoy meeting. One friend who is easing his way into retirement just accepted a yearlong position programming at a university in Bhutan. It pays a pittance in Western terms but enough for him to live off there. I'd definitely consider something like that once I am close to achieving my retirement goal.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:43 PM   #25
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Thank you. I'm lucky in that my parents encouraged risk-taking and independence from an early age. It helped too that my mom was a programmer and always worked outside the home, so she was a great role model in that regard.



hahahaha... Rodi, are you my long-lost cousin?



Hi Supernova72, my investments would have to return 5% on average for me to be able to retire in 4 years (I'm almost 41). So the stock market return would have to be a bit higher, since I'm 20% in bonds right now. (I follow Rick Ferri's Core Four portfolio.)

A 8.5%-9% return would obviously be much better! My savings goal allows for a 3% withdrawal rate in retirement. I may withdraw less if I still have some income coming in from a part-time job or from my hobbies. Firecalc shows a 100% success rate for these numbers.

My goal is to get my house paid off before retirement, and also to allow some time for the PPACA to take effect and stabilize so I have a better idea of what my costs will be. My income will be well below 400% of poverty level so I should be eligible for the federal subsidies.
Wow, only a 5% return to meet your goal of 4 years. That sounds like it won't be too hard to make that happen. I'm still waiting to see if our retiree medical stays in tact but it sure looks like a target right now. The new hires are not getting a pension now and it's on the table for our engineers (like the vote is tonight for them). I better study up on the PPACA just in case our retiree med goes away.

My goal is a bit of a pipe dream on the 8.5-9.0% return..since I'm 55 equities, 45 bonds and cash. Last year I returned 10.5% with that mix I believe. Good luck!
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:18 PM   #26
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Wow, only a 5% return to meet your goal of 4 years. That sounds like it won't be too hard to make that happen. I'm still waiting to see if our retiree medical stays in tact but it sure looks like a target right now. The new hires are not getting a pension now and it's on the table for our engineers (like the vote is tonight for them). I better study up on the PPACA just in case our retiree med goes away.

My goal is a bit of a pipe dream on the 8.5-9.0% return..since I'm 55 equities, 45 bonds and cash. Last year I returned 10.5% with that mix I believe. Good luck!
Thanks! A good part of my plan is based on an aggressive savings rate (50% of my gross salary). It would be nice if the stock market did some of the heavy lifting though.
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:42 PM   #27
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Thanks! I feel very fortunate to have both my parents as role models. My mom is not as knowledgeable about investing but she is if anything even more frugal than my dad.

I grew up in an upper-middle-class neighborhood where it was the norm to Live Way Beyond Your Means. At the time it wasn't always easy to be the only kid on the block whose family car had its taillights held on with duct tape! But now I can look back and laugh and appreciate my parents' rejection of conspicuous consumption.
It sounds like we may be distantly related. My grandparents' motto was "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without."

I recently had to borrow my uncle's car (20-year-old Honda) for a day while mine was in the shop. The sliver of wood holding his wobbly rear-view mirror at just the correct angle fell out, making the mirror useless, so I channeled my grandmother, retrieved a bright blue "chip clip" from the kitchen, and it did the trick beautifully - held the mirror just where I needed it. To this day he is driving around town sporting that jaunty chip clip on his mirror. The co-workers I related this story to were horrified, but all my family members see this as perfectly normal! I suppose if he doesn't pass inspection next time, it's good-bye chip clip.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:02 PM   #28
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It sounds like we may be distantly related. My grandparents' motto was "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without."

I recently had to borrow my uncle's car (20-year-old Honda) for a day while mine was in the shop. The sliver of wood holding his wobbly rear-view mirror at just the correct angle fell out, making the mirror useless, so I channeled my grandmother, retrieved a bright blue "chip clip" from the kitchen, and it did the trick beautifully - held the mirror just where I needed it. To this day he is driving around town sporting that jaunty chip clip on his mirror. The co-workers I related this story to were horrified, but all my family members see this as perfectly normal! I suppose if he doesn't pass inspection next time, it's good-bye chip clip.
lol, nice!

I think the world would be a better place if more people still adhered to your grandparents' motto!
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:05 PM   #29
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Thanks! A good part of my plan is based on an aggressive savings rate (50% of my gross salary). It would be nice if the stock market did some of the heavy lifting though.
Oh my, 50% of your income. Wow, that is some serious savings. I'm much closer to 25% and that takes into account my employer 401k match!

Wishing my mortgage would go by by...Boo hoo!
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:08 PM   #30
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lol, nice!

I think the world would be a better place if more people still adhered to your grandparents' motto!
I think the same can be said of your parents' thriftiness. They passed on a legacy that is standing you in good stead now. Best of luck with your four year plan!
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:18 PM   #31
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Oh my, 50% of your income. Wow, that is some serious savings. I'm much closer to 25% and that takes into account my employer 401k match!

Wishing my mortgage would go by by...Boo hoo!
I worked up to that rate as my salary rose and only have been able to achieve it for the last couple of years!

Yeah, can't wait to be rid of the mortgage! For now, though, it makes sense to keep it, since rates are so low and since it allows me to itemize my deductions. I plan to pay it off with a lump sum payment when I stop working.

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I think the same can be said of your parents' thriftiness. They passed on a legacy that is standing you in good stead now. Best of luck with your four year plan!
Aw, thanks! They were raised in extremely poor circumstances in post-war Europe, so I think their attitude is similar to older folks here who experienced the Great Depression and its aftermath. Best of luck to you too!
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:33 PM   #32
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Welcome from another 40 year old retired software gal. And I'm INTJ (or is it INFJ too close) too. LBYM works , we have done many years of 50% savings with a 4 people family.
Don't have much to say other than probably do not count on any consulting or part-time income .. kills the fun a bit , keep it discretionary .. If you get some its gravy.

Hope reality turns out to be better than plans & dreams ( or all of us).

-DesiGirl
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:11 PM   #33
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Welcome from another 40 year old retired software gal. And I'm INTJ (or is it INFJ too close) too. LBYM works , we have done many years of 50% savings with a 4 people family.
Don't have much to say other than probably do not count on any consulting or part-time income .. kills the fun a bit , keep it discretionary .. If you get some its gravy.

Hope reality turns out to be better than plans & dreams ( or all of us).

-DesiGirl
Wow, you are living the dream! So cool. Love all the positive role models on here... it's really inspirational.

Good point on part time work killing the fun... If I do work, I want to be able to give it up if it turns out to be a drag. So I think I need to power on through until I reach true FI. Best to you.
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Old 10-17-2015, 09:38 AM   #34
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Hi everyone, thought I would come back and give an update since you all have always been so kind and helpful to me. I'm now 43. My original plan was to retire in 2015, but like so many others I fell into the OMY trap.

After turning down a job offer in London since it would have likely delayed retirement by several years, I learned about a new experimental initiative at Megacorp that allows employees to stay salaried but work on a freelance basis, choosing their projects, number of hours, and schedule as desired. This sounded too good to pass up, so I joined this new group as a half-time software engineer working a three-month-on, three-month-off schedule. I get paid a prorated half-time salary but continue to receive full benefits. I was able to get away from the dysfunctional projects I was on previously and pursue open-source Web development, something I had always been intrigued by but never really had the chance to pursue at work.

The first three months of my new gig followed immediately on to my fulltime job, so there was not much difference except that I now could work from home 100% and was able to choose my own projects. This was definitely an improvement but I soon discovered that the new projects I was on still had their fair share of dysfunction (of course). I was also limited by the types of work I could accept due to the three-month time limitation.

With the three months off that followed, I took a seven-week trip to Europe and then had five weeks at home before work started again.

I enjoyed the travels in Europe, but the five weeks at home were more blissful than I could ever have imagined. As a self-described travel junkie, I had always previously spent my entire vacations on the road and had never had any extended time at home when I wasn't working. I found it incredible to have every day free to structure as I liked, with so much freedom to pursue long-dormant interests that had been abandoned due to the stresses and time demands of work.

Going back to work after those three months off was like checking myself back into day prison, particularly knowing that I was FI and did not have to be there. However, I had committed to myself to give this program a year, and I also felt some obligation to friends and colleagues who had supported me and helped me get this highly coveted job, so I was determined to see it through for six more months.

The first two weeks back at work were pretty bad as I felt completely bored and disengaged. I also felt I couldn't really complain about my resentment and frustration to anyone, since most people could only dream of a three-month-on, three-month-off schedule. After a while, though, momentum built again and now I am extremely busy and can't complain of boredom... although I am still counting the days until my work stint ends at the end of October!

In November and December I'll be traveling in Japan and Taiwan, and then plan to give my notice when I get back. I'll continue to be paid half-time until the end of January, and then I'll be a free woman! I can't wait. I plan to spend the first year realizing my long-time goal of learning to speak Spanish fluently through language study in Mexico and Spain and travels in Colombia and Ecuador.

Thanks everyone for your help and support along the way! I look forward to soon having more time to post.
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Old 10-17-2015, 10:37 AM   #35
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Well done! This sounds like a good path to transition from the 'life as job' state to 'life is yours to live'.

Congratulations!
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Old 10-17-2015, 11:30 AM   #36
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Welcome from a retired DoD software engineer (INTP).
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Old 10-17-2015, 11:52 AM   #37
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It sounds like a great plan. Good for you for following your dreams and making them come true.
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Old 10-17-2015, 11:55 AM   #38
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Thanks everyone! Love that this is the only place I can talk about my plans openly with people who understand!
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Old 10-17-2015, 01:01 PM   #39
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Congratulations,

Interesting deal w*rking 50% wondering how many people will see things like you did? Once you get a taste of freedom it's difficult to go back to the insanity.
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Old 10-17-2015, 01:34 PM   #40
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Interesting deal w*rking 50% wondering how many people will see things like you did? Once you get a taste of freedom it's difficult to go back to the insanity.
I'm actually the only one working a three-month-on, three-month-off schedule. Going back after three months really was super hard!

There are a number of others though in the experimental program working a part-time week... Most are on the glide path to retirement.

Many of my colleagues are baffled by my ability to cut back my pay to half-time. My boss, who is in his 50s, really wants to cut back to 80% so he can take every Friday off, but he says he couldn't possibly afford it. Sad!
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