Originally Posted by wab
Of course it's risky. And what's worse is that nobody can calculate how risky it is.
Here's the wacky way I look at ER:
1) I assume it is an irreversible decision. I.e., I am basically making myself unemployable by leaving the rat race.
2) I am asking my nest egg to pay me wages for a lonnnng time. Probably 50 years. Possibly longer.
3) In 50 years, the world will look nothing like it does today. Very few assumptions will last 50 years. Most of the companies you invest in today will probably be gone in 50 years. Will the US still be a superpower in 50 years? No idea.
4) Leaving the security of a job (and perhaps employability) requires a level of comfort that your portfolio will survive. To me, at a minimum, that means surviving worst-case historical sequences. I don't know why people are comfortable with "95%" survivability. In 50 years, a *lot* can happen. I want 100% historical survival + an extra margin of safety. And that means looking at sequences like Japan-1990 as well as US performance.
But that's just me.
Originally Posted by brewer12345
I say this with all due respect: you people are nuts.
Maybe it is a mental disease of the wealthy and idle to suppose that ER is too risky for anyone else to do?
Geez, Wab, I figure that as long as you have an eBay account and a Dell script you'll always be able to generate enough income for your purposes. "Work Less, Live More" should work really well for the degree of automation you presumably have working for you.
You're not investing it all in Treasuries & CDs, are you? Because investing at that level of comfort is one thing when interest rates are 6-7%, and riding it through some of the lowest interest rates in history is quite another. I think anything over 80% is beyond FIRECalc's abilities to measure meaninfully (or any calculator's ability, for that matter) and being able to tighten the spending as necessary is more than enough margin to make up the remaining 20%. Well, that along with shotgun shells, MREs, and gold bullion.
I guess people have to choose between a hypothetical level of ER discomfort and a very real level of work discomfort. One of them is far less hazardous to your health, and I'm happy with my choice. I just hope I do have to live with the consequences of my decision for at least another five decades...
Originally Posted by Mr._johngalt
No can do as DW is history. Anyway, letting her anywhere near my PC always caused trouble.
I'm having trouble with your concept of "trouble". Which of these was the root cause of your "trouble":
- your decision to divorce her when she couldn't (wouldn't?) pay your bills anymore,
- your decision to leave yourself logged into this board when you walked away from your PC,
- your inability to appreciate the consequences of either of the above decisions,
- the possibility of further accusations of domestic violence, or
- the fact that she's more impressed by TH than she's impressed by you?