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Hi, I Havana K Lew!
Old 07-28-2002, 03:38 PM   #1
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Hi, I Havana K Lew!

Just reading everyone's introductions is fascinating and embarrassing.

I'm afraid I was a grasshopper the first 35 odd years of my life and have spent the last 25 being the ant. If you don't know the parable, I screwed around in my youth and have been working like a dog to catch up ever since. I never felt comfortable or lasted long in the lead dog role, either! So you know what my view has been in the last 3 decades.

I will be able to retire comfortably at 80% of current income by drawing full social security and a pension in September 2008 at the ripe old age of 66. My wife will be 57, and, having put in as many "working" years as myself, will also be retiring.

Our current 401k savings are to be used to cover the 10 years between when my wife retires and when she can draw full Social Security. But, thanks to the current market and our late start at savings, we may not be able to do even that.

Most of our excess cash has gone into either our home or, until recently, expensive vacations. We have mostly lived beyond our means but not necessarily outlandishly. We hope to have enough energy and cash in retirement to continue our hobbies of travel and gardening and landscaping.

I envy you 30 year olds who are either there or on on the road to FIRE. I'd like to retire earlier but just don't see it in the cards. If anyone has a miracle cure for our dilema, I'd sure appreciate it.
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Re: Hi, I Havana K Lew!
Old 07-28-2002, 04:38 PM   #2
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Re: Hi, I Havana K Lew!

Short of winning the lottery, I don't believe there is a magic pill to early retirement.

We each take different paths in our existence. Who is to say which is the correct or best path. As long as you can look back and say, "I had a pretty good life", that is what is important.

Best of luck to you and the Mrs.
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Re: Hi, I Havana K Lew!
Old 07-28-2002, 07:42 PM   #3
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Re: Hi, I Havana K Lew!

On the other hand, is 80% the amount you need?

Typically people will, before retirement, be putting 35+% into taxes, 20+% into mortgage payments, and, if they are prudent, 10-20% into savings for retirement. They will also have a pretty significant amount going into work clothes and dry cleaning, commuting expenses, etc.

After retirement, you can get taxes way down by taking the maximum against deductions from IRAs and then the rest from post-tax savings/investments. Presumably you will have the house paid for before starting retirement. Plus you no longer save for retirement. Car costs and other work-related expenses go away.

So, I hope you might see where retirement on something less than 80% can be possible. If you WANT 80%, for additional expenses after retirement (travel, etc), great! But I think too many financial advisors trotted out that 75-80% number without any analysis.


Good luck!

Dory36
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