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Old 05-17-2014, 02:43 PM   #21
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^ I live in Oregon. No wonder why I bought annuities.
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Old 05-18-2014, 06:37 AM   #22
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I used to work in NYC (12 years), and now Jersey City (1 year), since my company moved off Long Island where I live (was a 15 minute commute). Expected retirement in 3-4 months at age 49.

I don't see the hype of NYC. The rents are sky high, it is an over taxed and over regulated cr#p hole. I live on Long Island in a fully paid Condo, so my expenses are low, about $550 month taxes/maint. Why not move to a suburb to save money? You do not need millions to be FI, just get your expenses under control. I could go to the city anytime I want, not that I would ever want to.
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Old 05-18-2014, 09:07 PM   #23
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I guess everyone's response relates to getting out of Manhattan, besides maybe haha. I'm not really tied down to Manhattan as a personal choice, but I'm not looking to bolt out of here because I can't stand it either. I appreciate your concerns about my lower quality of life in Manhattan, the noise, madness, hype, expenses, being an overhyped crowded cr*phole, taxes, etc. and that I should move out of here so that I can FIRE. Personally, I like to be content with what little I have materially and sq.ft wise, and enjoy the short commute (more time for recreation, friends and recently family/kids), free air, central park, riverfront, restaurants, cafes, lively atmosphere, some peace when I want it (yes it can be found, specially in one's mind), drastically different neighborhoods and boroughs, bright and interesting people of all mindsets and nationalities, ability to travel anywhere in the world at reasonable cost and time, but shoot me for enjoying this! I find that many people living just outside of Manhattan have a real unexplainable hatred towards Manhattan that defies all reason and go to great lengths to justify their choice of suburb, borough, etc. even when nobody is talking about it. Can't they just not be haters, take it easy and live and let live? Over the last 13 years I calculate roughly I would have saved maybe close to $100k to be very critical (basically a small amount compared to the numbers we are talking about here) on housing costs if I lived outside Manhattan, but then I'd spend more time and money commuting, amongst other pointless home improvement nonsense, consumerism and cars/suvs my suburban friends seem to waste their time and money on. I also feel I would have personally wasted the best of my 20s and early 30s living any other way that I did. I've been fortunate enough to be able to save most of what I make. I was simply trying to get a view regarding FIRE and their 'number' from those that have actually worked here and lived here for a while, with a family, without pensions or trust funds, free rent or inherited residence or apartments bought back in the 80s or 90s at dirt cheap prices when NYC was unsafe and almost unlivable for a family. I now realize its sort of a pointless question, but thank you for your replies.
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Old 05-19-2014, 04:50 AM   #24
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I don't see how someone can retire early and live in Manhattan, unless they have a job that is paying an incredible salary and they have a special living arrangement that is low cost.

The OP to me, seems to me like a person who is unwilling to give up present spending for later benefit. I takes a huge amount of $$, and extreme frugality to get to the goal, and it is not easy sometimes. NYC is a place where you must spend money to enjoy your stay, it is the nature of the beast. It is not a place that is favorable to saving money.
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:47 AM   #25
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I'm not sure why you say this was probably a pointless question. I'm also not sure why you think you need to defend your suggestion it stay in NYC. I don't see many who said they "hated" Manhattan. You seem to think this is a form of jealously.




It appears that most people with families said they needed to leave NYC, to have the lifestyle they wanted and still have ER as a real option. That was what you wanted to know, correct, or didn't you want to hear from people who made a different choice.

Only you and your family can make the choice that is right for you, ER or NYC life, no one here is trying to run your life. Where you live is a personal preference.
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:28 PM   #26
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If you are saving almost everything you make, then you will be fine.

I love Manhattan, it's what I know. And I'm a fish out of water in Texas, but I had to be realistic. It's an expensive place to live, from the cost of food to the cost of entertainment. We were depending on both my DH's income which was twice what mine was and mine, and then he was going to retire. I didn't feel like working til death, not being able to ever make the same amount we made together and still not being able to live comfortably. Even if we had paid off our mortgages (had a 2nd home in PA we sold), which I was working on, my Upper East Side condo of 964 sq ft had property taxes of over $10,000/yr, common charges of over $1100/month and then there were special assessments as the 25 year old building aged. When the 2 of us were working, paying $4,000/month was easy and I still was debt-free early by paying off all our debt, HELOC, car notes, etc. But with 1 income and Social Security, we would have had to take 401K distributions earlier, use dividend interest sooner rather than reinvest it and so forth.

Do you have children in private school - that's $25,000-$30,000 a year before they get to college. But it seems you have enough.

So, go for it! You can always move or go back to work if it doesn't work out.
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Old 05-19-2014, 07:25 PM   #27
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I had my career in NYC, retired last year and moved to the burbs at the same time, age 44. My bogey was in the range you mentioned. I worked in banking and consulting, so it was doable in under 20. I never had a break on housing expenses, rented expensively for 10 then purchased and owned for 10. The last 10 were in Brooklyn in an area now pretty much as expensive as manhattan but when I bought it was cheaper. I bought for 500/sq ft and sold for over 1k.

It is doable, but you need to be in the high 6 figures minimum i think to pull off an early retirement, and NOT keep up with your peers spending habits.
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Old 05-20-2014, 10:10 AM   #28
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Thank you jon-nyc and iac1003 for adding a dose of reality and relevance to this discussion! Jon-nyc, I am hopefully on the same path as you are, our spending habits are enough to keep us comfortable, and we live pretty frugally compared to others in our income range. I think $5m would work if we moved somewhere out of the NYC area (we would love to live somewhere like Florida or California but we would not find any employment there in case we had to go back to work) and $10m if we stayed in the NYC/NJ area. $7.5m would work out to $150k draw at 2% for 50 years. So I at least have a goalpost, even if I'm not there at all and can only approach it closer to 50 if we are very lucky with finances, jobs, real estate, investments! Your real estate success definitely had something to do with your retirement I'm sure, I don't know if I will be so lucky if I buy in the crazy market right now or soon. I might wait for interest rates to head higher in 2-3 years before buying an apartment in the NYC metro area (no burbs for us yet as the commute won't work).
iac1003 - private school is more like $50k. We don't have kids in school yet, and prefer to go public, but NYC metro area is notorious for schooling issues. If we go private, forget ER or even R!
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Old 05-20-2014, 10:18 AM   #29
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Ouch, apparently the rest of us don't have much "reality or relevance" to you,
a public discussion board will springboard a lot of replies and opinions. Sorry if that annoys you, but you seem to have set some pretty tight parameters for a general discussion board.

Best of Luck!
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