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Old 07-09-2007, 10:18 PM   #1
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My Story

While on a business pleasure trip to Thailand with DW back in Oct 06, I (by accident) picked up Bob Clyatts book "Work Less - Live More" to read on the long flight from the east coast to Thailand. The 1st couple chapters of that book changed my life. He wrote about all the things that I have been feeling inside but unable to describe in my own words, and helped me figure out where I am from a FIRE standpoint, and hopefully where I need to go. The book got me excited about moving into another phase of my life. Its how I made it to this forum. I have been reading threads for several months now and thought I'd tell my story.

OK, here are the numbers:
I am 48, with 4 wonderful children - #1 has graduated college (boomeranger- but has a good job) - #2 Rising Junior college - #3 College Freshman - #4 - 11 years old. I don't care who you are if you have 2 kids in college at the same time it is a strain! $$!

DW -46- is a teacher and is 6 years out from full retirement. She will get around $30K per year - w/ Health Insurance cost @ $400 per mo. (family coverage in todays $$) with her COLA State Pension plan.

Our Assets look like this:
Mortgage - $ 150K - of $275K value on home..
----
Investment Real Estate $800K,, (2)Income Producing Beach Properties)
Private Business Partnership $400K,, ($15K - annual income)
Profit Share / 401K $300K

Total $1.5M

My plan is to work another 3 years and then hopefully bail (assets listed above should appreciate 8% or so per year). I will most likely sell out of either the real estate or business partnership to jump start my FIRE (Ideas?) - DW would like me to FIRE now because I don't enjoy my work as much as I use to - stress of having teenagers and their wants along with stress at work is burning me out fast. If I have learned anything the last couple of years is that its not how much you make - its how much you spend that is important. If I can get my kids squared away I should be alright. Anyone else relate to this tale?
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Old 07-09-2007, 10:31 PM   #2
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Run the numbers, dude.

Make a plan. Talk it out with spousal unit (it takes two!). Talk it out again. Practice. Talk some more. Prepare the ground. Repeat.

At some point, it will make more sense than working. Or, you will come to a balance that feels better.

Best of luck!
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Old 07-10-2007, 08:40 AM   #3
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shootn,

Are college costs paid out of current income or do you have college funds set aside but not included in what you listed? If college costs are being paid out of current income I don't see how you can RE now. What about future college costs for the 11 year old? Have you tried to estimate annual expenses in retirement to compare with expected income? Seems like you still have some serious planning to do.

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Old 07-10-2007, 03:12 PM   #4
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shootn,

Are college costs paid out of current income or do you have college funds set aside but not included in what you listed? If college costs are being paid out of current income I don't see how you can RE now. What about future college costs for the 11 year old? Have you tried to estimate annual expenses in retirement to compare with expected income? Seems like you still have some serious planning to do.
Well, I think that would highly depend on a few things:

1. Are you paying 100% of their schooling, or are they getting loans for some of the amount? Are they working through school, or getting a 100% free ride? Having kids help out with the costs certainly takes a load off. In my opinion having them involved in the payments also helps them focus on their classes.

I was a freeloader in college (other than my own spending money which I earned), and I didn't really focus until my senior year when I realized if I didn't finish, I'd have to start paying for school on my own.

2. Are they going to an in-state or out of state / exclusive college? College costs can vary drastically depending on where it is. Some people pay 30k per year, and some pay only a few thousand.

The combination of the 2 above would make a big difference. If you split the cost with the kids and it's 5k per year, I think you're fine depending on your other expenses. If you're picking up a 30k per year bill for each kid, you're most likely not fine yet.
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Old 07-10-2007, 06:33 PM   #5
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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thank for the inputs. spoke to DW today and said we gotta get serious about planning for ER together, she agrees. gotta get her to read the book

I am paying for 2 college kids out of current earnings, I have been saving for college since #1 was in 2nd grade. Stock market drop really dealt us a major blow, I was a bit too risky looking for those double digit returns and IPO's. Not the end of the world though- paid for #1's college - and am paying about 15K per year - per student as best we can without borrowing. I am pushing my kids to work this summer and save at least $1000 for there part of spending while in school. They have jobs should have gotten them going on this sooner. they spend the $$ they make too quick on things that don't matter. there will be consequences come this fall. we parents should expect our children to help pay for the things they want, easier said than done sometimes.

My goal to FIRE is about 3 years, does that sound realistic ?
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Old 07-10-2007, 06:46 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by shootnstar View Post

I am paying for 2 college kids out of current earnings, I have been saving for college since #1 was in 2nd grade. Stock market drop really dealt us a major blow, I was a bit too risky looking for those double digit returns and IPO's. Not the end of the world though- paid for #1's college - and am paying about 15K per year - per student as best we can without borrowing. I am pushing my kids to work this summer and save at least $1000 for there part of spending while in school. They have jobs should have gotten them going on this sooner. they spend the $$ they make too quick on things that don't matter. there will be consequences come this fall. we parents should expect our children to help pay for the things they want, easier said than done sometimes.

My goal to FIRE is about 3 years, does that sound realistic ?
As for the kids, you might just need to do some tough love. It depends on the college they're at, but many dorms have meal plans. Kids also like to head out to eat sometimes. You could pay for a meal plan, but no spending money. If the kids want to head out to Burger King for Whopper Wednesday (If they still have that, it was a big treat), they better save their money. And if they don't save their money, it's a valuable lesson they'll learn.

I know that I enjoyed having money, and being broke when my friends were heading out for fun really sucked. So it not only helps the kids learn the value of saving for the future, but it takes a bit of a load off your finances

As for if you can retire in 3 years, I think we're still missing what your current expenses are, and what your future plans are. Are you staying in this house? Are you planning on spending more/less in retirement, or the same type of lifestyle? 1.5M is a pretty decent sum of money, some people can certainly retire on that (lets say 60k per year). It's possible (especially with that pension coming down the line). The question is if you want your expenses to match that income.
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