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Hi everyone
Old 05-04-2005, 03:14 PM   #1
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Hi everyone

Greetings,

I'm a new member of this forum and decided to join because my wife and I have always been planning and working toward early retirement but have not found many sources of information on the internet that we trust.

I'm 42, wife is 43 and we're both still working but would like to be financially independent by age 55. Unlike a lot of people we're both in an industry with no pension plan (consulting) so everything depends on our own personal savings, 401K IRA, etc. We both sock away as much money as possible. I've already maxed out my 401K for this year and my Roth IRA as well. Our dream is to have enough money to travel a lot in our retirement because we sure don't have the time to do it with our current jobs.

This seems like a great place to discuss ideas on how to plan for early retirement and how to keep living expenses reasonable. Most retirement calculators just tell you how much you'll need to save to have a certain retirement income but the hard thing to know is how much income you need. My reflex is to say just as much income as I have now but that doesn't take into account that our house will be paid off and we won't need to fund a 401K anymore after we retire. On the other hand, we'll be traveling more often and that might mean that we're spending more so who knows?

I'm hoping to get some good ideas from the people who have actually made the dream a reality.

I look forward to learning more and have enjoyed reading everyone's posts so far.
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Re: Hi everyone
Old 05-04-2005, 06:14 PM   #2
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Re: Hi everyone

Welcome! I too am a new member to this forum and am very excited by the opportunity to discuss plans with others who are like-minded. I've seen a number of discussions here and elsewhere about "how much $ for RE"? On the topic of travel it seems the concensus is that you need more $ for this in the early years but won't necessarily sustain the same rate through all of retirement. My dad FIRE'd at 51 (I think it was 9 years ago) he had done some pretty detailed analysis/spreadsheets to see what he would need and, despite not using all of the resources I have recently found through here and other related sites, he is still right on track. He says the only expense that outpaced his projections was healthcare - premiums+deductables+meds. It sounds like this part really needs carefull attention if not part of your retirement benefits.

DrLLLong

PS... when y'all get tired of hearing (seeing ) me say "My dad says..." just remember that before I met yunz guys he was my only FIRE mentor (not to mention that I happen to think he's a really smart guy)
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Re: Hi everyone
Old 05-04-2005, 07:20 PM   #3
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Re: Hi everyone


DrLLLong

PS... when y'all get tired of hearing (seeing ) me say "My dad says..." just remember that before I met yunz guys he was my only FIRE mentor (not to mention that I happen to think he's a really smart guy)
I'm a "really smart guy". I would be quite interested in what my kids think. I am pretty sure they thought I was an idiot when they were
teenagers. Now?...........not sure. I wonder.

JG
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Re: Hi everyone
Old 05-04-2005, 08:05 PM   #4
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Re: Hi everyone

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
I would be quite interested in what my kids think. I am pretty sure they thought I was an idiot when they were
teenagers. Now?...........not sure. I wonder.
Why don't you just ask them?

REW
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Re: Hi everyone
Old 05-04-2005, 08:50 PM   #5
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Re: Hi everyone

I think its safe to say that most kids have observed the same sort of metamorphosis in their parents. When the kids are small, their parents are godlike. Around 11 or 12 years later some sort of dementia sets into the parents and they become no better than idiots...well...sadistic idiots whose only purpose is to make said childs life miserable for no reason. About 9 to ten years after that the dementia leaves and the parents once again become brilliant and wise.

Someone in the medical community needs to look into this.

I would also like a conspiracy uncovered while we're investigating this medical phenomena. Small children have some sort of component to their vocal cord that allows them to make a high pitched shrill noise that hits some sort of adult organ directly connected to the base of the neck and the upper spine, which subsequently vibrates in a very annoying manner. At some point this vocal cord item is removed from all children, because I've never met an adult that could make that sound.

I want to know when this is done...I suspect the pediatricians have some sort of secret process where this is done when we're not looking.
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Re: Hi everyone
Old 05-05-2005, 05:15 AM   #6
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Re: Hi everyone

Quote:
Originally Posted by th

At some point this vocal cord item is removed from all children, because I've never met an adult that could make that sound.
I'm sure many people have heard adults with this trait... many of them have "ex-" in front of their title...* :P

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Re: Hi everyone
Old 05-05-2005, 05:54 AM   #7
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Re: Hi everyone

Tonsil's - age 5 - still remember the trauma of not being able to enjoy ice cream - Bill Cosby had an ancient monolog out covering this. And I didn't even know he was 'there' let alone knew me.

My left handed theory - ex -cu - a -tives are late blooming teenagers who actually got their way by screeming, yelling, and throwing tantrums. Some do not even undergo the voice change with age.
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Re: Hi everyone
Old 05-05-2005, 07:27 AM   #8
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Re: Hi everyone

Quote:
Originally Posted by unclemick2
Tonsil's - age 5 - still remember the trauma of not being able to enjoy ice cream - Bill Cosby had an ancient monolog out covering this. And I didn't even know he was 'there' let alone knew me.

My left handed theory - ex -cu - a -tives are late blooming teenagers who actually got their way by screeming, yelling, and throwing tantrums. Some do not even undergo the voice change with age.
This doesn't fit me. I don't recall ever screaming, yelling, etc to get my way as a teenager. Those tactics started later on
BTW, I did obtain a deep resonant radio announcer voice. Positively
senatorial

JG
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Re: Hi everyone
Old 05-05-2005, 11:40 AM   #9
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Re: Hi everyone

This senator?



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Re: Hi everyone
Old 05-05-2005, 06:37 PM   #10
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Re: Hi everyone

Truer words were never spoken, TH! I am at the idiot stage and I guess that I must be sadistic, because I live to make my teen daughter's life miserable.

Thanks, I needed your wise words of wisdom, because even though I know that these are just stages, I sometimes get my feelings hurt! It can be hard when you love them so much, and they look at you like they hate you more than anyone!

Can't wait for this stage to pass!

Dreamer
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Re: Hi everyone
Old 05-05-2005, 06:40 PM   #11
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Re: Hi everyone

I'm already preparing my one-liners for Gabe's teenage years: "Get back to me in ten years when my brains grow back..."
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Re: Hi everyone
Old 05-05-2005, 07:02 PM   #12
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Re: Hi everyone

Quote:
Thanks, I needed your wise words of wisdom, because even though I know that these are just stages, I sometimes get my feelings hurt! It can be hard when you love them so much, and they look at you like they hate you more than anyone!
I was just talking about this with my mom the other day. 12-13 was the worst age for me, I would burst into tears and run to my room for no apparent reason. She said I was pretty much miserable and she just tried to tread lightly and ignore me when I was being irrational. I remember at one point during that time period yelling at my dad as he walked out the door those fateful words "I hate you." I've always been a Daddy's girl and 5 minutes later I felt awful and it stayed with me all day. That evening I waited and waited for him to get home so I could tell him how sorry I was and that it was the most miserable day of my life thinking of him going through the whole day thinking I hated him. Tears were shed. I was forgiven.

Mom says after those few years I became and interesting person again and she actually enjoyed me as a teenager. By that point I think I had learned to think for myself and didn't find it necessary to involve my parents in every aspect of my life - more comfortable for all of us and I could appreciate my parents as people since we had developed a great degree of mutual trust and respect. I wasn't trying to (overtly) test the limits and they didn't have to play cop.

DrLLLong
...who admittedly was blessed with the world's greatest parents ('tho my mom says that SHE was)
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Re: Hi everyone
Old 05-05-2005, 08:12 PM   #13
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Re: Hi everyone

Well, I wasn't totally immune to teenage misbehavior. I barely
graduated from high school (unmotivated). Once I got mad at my parents and basically lived in my room for a month. Another time I
moved out entirely and moved in with a friend's family. I was used to having my meals put in front of me when I sat down at the table.
At my friend's house I made my own breakfast
(Oreos and beer). I soon decided Mom and Dad weren't so bad
and moved back in

JG
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Re: Hi everyone
Old 05-06-2005, 07:08 AM   #14
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Re: Hi everyone

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamer
Truer words were never spoken, TH! I am at the idiot stage and I guess that I must be sadistic, because I live to make my teen daughter's life miserable.

Thanks, I needed your wise words of wisdom, because even though I know that these are just stages, I sometimes get my feelings hurt! It can be hard when you love them so much, and they look at you like they hate you more than anyone!

Can't wait for this stage to pass!



Dreamer
Dreamer,

I feel your pain!!! We are going through this with our youngest daughter. This stage seems endless. She is a naturally quiet kid and has shut us out of her life. We've worried about depression, alcohol, and motivation. And that was before we hit bottom.

Her dad, DH, was crushed at her actions. Finally one day it seemed to dawn on her what she was doing to the family. Little by little, and I mean very slowly, she has come around. She is 17.

I have had to take a lot of financial precautions because of her attitude. When she received her inheritance from her grandfather I made sure to put assets in my name, when I could. The other assests that were in her name only, like EE bonds, are conveniently not mentioned. I did this because I felt that as soon as she turned 18 she would bolt. She thinks that her assests are in a trust and I don't correct her. When she has matured and is able to make good decisions I will tell her what she has. Until then, ??

I heard someone say once, "You are only as happy as your most unhappy child........"

LovesLife

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Re: Hi everyone
Old 05-06-2005, 12:09 PM   #15
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Re: Hi everyone

Hydroguy,

Welcome to the board!* You said "Most retirement calculators just tell you how much you'll need to save to have a certain retirement income but the hard thing to know is how much income you need.* My reflex is to say just as much income as I have now but that doesn't take into account that our house will be paid off and we won't need to fund a 401K anymore after we retire. On the other hand, we'll be traveling more often and that might mean that we're spending more so who knows?"*

Yes, the how much do we need question.* There are a couple of ways to try to figure this out.* One is to use your take home pay and subtract out the mortgage and other expenses that will go away and add back in the new expenses.* Do you currently run a budget or track expenditures?* It can be an interesting and telling activity that doesn't have to be time consuming or difficult.* Another way is to find someone who is living a similar lifestyle in retirement as you would like to and ask them to share some numbers with you.*

You might enjoy this thread, http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...pic,258.0.html.

Cheers,

Chris
(Who's 1 year old daughter is sweeter than pie...)*
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Re: Hi everyone
Old 05-06-2005, 02:23 PM   #16
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Re: Hi everyone

Thanks for the good advice newellcr. Knowing how much we'll need to RE is the hardest question of all because I don't want to set some unrealistically high number and then postpone retirement for a few years longer than necessary. On the other hand it would really be horrible to be a WalMart greeter at 85 because the money ran out.

Doug
(who's 1 year old puppy is sweeter than pie too although he's got bad breath)
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Re: Hi everyone
Old 05-06-2005, 02:34 PM   #17
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Re: Hi everyone

Thanks.

We're very lucky to both be healthy right now and also to have good coverage but it'll be very expensive to pay for coverage 100% after retirement and it's hard to predict medical costs because the cost increases seem to be exponential rather than linear.

Other than stocks and bonds, what other investment vehicles are most appropriate for those of us interested in dropping out of the rat race? Are rental properties a good idea? I've heard a lot of horror stories about insane renters who seem to have an inordinant number of "rights".

I enjoy your posts and imagine you must be quite entertaining at cocktail parties.


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Re: Hi everyone
Old 05-06-2005, 07:17 PM   #18
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Re: Hi everyone

I am!
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Re: Hi everyone
Old 05-07-2005, 04:24 AM   #19
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Re: Hi everyone

Quote:
Originally Posted by hydroguy
Thanks for the good advice newellcr. Knowing how much we'll need to RE is the hardest question of all because I don't want to set some unrealistically high number and then postpone retirement for a few years longer than necessary. On the other hand it would really be horrible to be a WalMart greeter at 85 because the money ran out.

Doug
(who's 1 year old puppy is sweeter than pie too although he's got bad breath)
hydroguy

Knowing how much you'll need to RE is its own topic and there is a lot of historical info here on the subject. Why be concerned with it:?

1. Its unknowable...like the market. You can't fortell the future. You might need a little, might need alot.
2. Simplisticaly it is knowable. Just find an online buget calculator and fill it out.
3. Its provacative... So many are so worried about it that it has created a market and snake oil salesmen retirement planners make handsome profits (for their own ER) during your period of vulnerability and indecision.

What to do? Keep It Simple. Use a budget calculator or pencil and paper. Run through FIRECALC. Estimate your monthly needs and adjust your portfolio as necessary. Live on your interest, dividends, capital gains. Wether its steak and fine wine or nuts and berries is up to you.

Do the math. Plan your ER. Fear not.

BUM
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Re: Hi everyone
Old 05-07-2005, 08:35 AM   #20
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Re: Hi everyone

I agree with BUM on this. "Fear" holds people back in so many
areas, including ER. If you can get on top of your fear enough
to think, really think creatively..........why, the world can be your oyster in no time. DW and I have this conversation all the time.
It's not that either of us is overly cautious, it's just that I
consider all possible outcomes before I leap. She just says
"I can do that" (too much optimism and not enough thinking).
Anyway, my advice is don't get totally reckless but don't let fear
hold you back. If you do you will wind up with a pretty boring
life.

JG
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