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New kids in town
Old 10-15-2013, 09:48 AM   #1
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New kids in town

We are Mike and Lori, the new kids in town. We decidied 2 years ago that we want to retire early (in 2014, at ages 55 and 56) and have been laying the plans since. We have looked at all of the advice, and seem to find more every day. This forum is by far the most insightful, so we are now joining in.

We have a cash portfolio now of $1.2 million (net worth $2 M+), and will keep a mortgage (2.9% on $250K, tax write-off today, pay-off when we reach 80, so invesment for future). Monthly mortgage cheaper than rent or to buy another home/place.

We have a financial/retirement advisor (a firm - United Capital) which uses a cash-flow process (Monte Carlo) to manage your wealth. We have a long-term care policy (Northwestern Mutual), have done the wills and trusts. We work a monthly budget, we will have employer health care up to age 65, don't plan to buy Dental or Vision insurance (will pay negotiated value in cash). We have a huge file of worksheets, information and articles that have helped us get to this point (Medicare, Social Security, credit scores, taxes pre post retirement, checklists, pensions, 401K's, bucket list of things we want to do, budget analysis, etc.)

I think we have it all, but of course, there is always something we may have forgotten. We are open to any/all feedback, questions, thoughts, opinions... We do not know everything, we only know everything others have taught us. Hope to meet a lot of you and get your experiences as a learning. We are 6 months away for our big day, and can't wait to get there!!!
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Old 10-15-2013, 12:35 PM   #2
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Welcome and congrats on your plans!
So what are you going to do with your newfound freedom in six months?
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Old 10-15-2013, 01:14 PM   #3
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Hi Sarah... we have several looong RV trips planned, cooking classes, learn to can food, grandkids, golf, fishing, chili cook-offs, camping, and about 100 other items on the bucket list. Most of all, relax, no work schedules, enjoy life! Got to live now, before time slips away...
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Old 10-15-2013, 02:53 PM   #4
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Way to go! I am happy for you.

People will typically respond it all depends on your expenses. It sounds like you must have that nailed down well.

I took the week off and pretended to be retired last week and played golf four out of five days. It's a very appealing way to spend the day.
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Old 10-15-2013, 05:09 PM   #5
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Welcome Vudubeer. Sounds like you've got your retirement well planned out. Congratulations!

I'll make one observation, and you can take it or leave it. You are keeping a mortgage on which you pay about $7000/yr interest and that is worth maybe $1500 against your annual taxes now and half that after you retire. So by seeing this I take it that you are concerned about costs on the order of $1000/yr. But if you have $1.2M under United Capital, you are likely paying them $6000-12000/yr to manage your money (0.5 to 1%). So my point is that you're likely leaving a lot more on the table with your FA than you ever had in the game with your mortgage. By managing your own money you could be paying that management fee to yourself. If you want to look at Monte Carlo scenarios, buy Crystal Ball or similar software for a fraction of your annual management fee.

Best of luck with your upcoming retirement. I'm not far behind you.
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Old 10-15-2013, 05:14 PM   #6
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.....
We have a financial/retirement advisor (a firm - United Capital) which uses a cash-flow process (Monte Carlo) to manage your wealth. ......
Can you explain how this works?
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:43 PM   #7
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Welcome aboard. Now, how about sharing a good chili recipe?! (I already know good beer).
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:27 PM   #8
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We have a financial/retirement advisor (a firm - United Capital) which uses a cash-flow process (Monte Carlo) to manage your wealth.
Would you mind sharing what you pay United Capital? I'm sure that will get some lively conversation going.

And welcome and congrats on making your plan a reality!
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:47 PM   #9
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Welcome from the Springs! 56 here (wife is 55) and I'm heading toward early semi-retirement in 2014. And yes, love me some CO pale ales and IPAs.....and chili (being a native Texan....).
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Old 10-16-2013, 06:07 PM   #10
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Would you mind sharing what you pay United Capital? I'm sure that will get some lively conversation going.

And welcome and congrats on making your plan a reality!
Here's their website. Couldn't be one of those high cost, promotion minded deals. Could it?

United Capital | Private Wealth Counseling | Investment Advisor

Ha
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:29 AM   #11
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Chili recipes are all over the internet... the secret is FRESH green chili's (green chili of course). We get ours from Hatch, New Mexico every year. AND, never add any "fillers" like corn, beans, flour, etc. Check out CASI (Chili Appreciation Society International) for great recipes.
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:40 AM   #12
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We have not paid them yet, as we are still building our portfolio using their guidance. They charge a 1.62% on portfolio for managing retirement account and managing portfolio/investments. Fee-based, no commisions or products to buy. We have a good relationship with their staff, and they have been very helpful in making us "ready" financially and mentally. We are NOT money people, and do not want to spend our valuable time doing the math, so we want to have someone help us with that. We can do the monthly budgets, savings, and basic money management, but we are not investors. Our portfolio is currently returning about 12% (we have four 401K accounts, and two pension accounts). Maybe after a few years we will be more comfortable taking over on our own (thus why we are interested in this forum). But right now, TIME is most precious asset and we have so many things to do rather than sitting at the computer and managing our investments (United Capital also allows you to cancel with them at any time).

So thats our story (and we are sticking t it... for now :-)
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:54 AM   #13
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Oh, this is going to get fun..
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:42 AM   #14
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Oh, this is going to get fun..
I don't think so. He has now spoken very clearly, and indeed forcefully. At this time he is not interested in any help from here, and furthermore he has better things to do with his time. I make it a point to let no mean no, in all areas of life, except paid employment as a persuader.

Even Jesus doesn't hit you over the head and force you to be baptized.

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Old 10-17-2013, 11:05 AM   #15
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Can you explain how this works?
Monte Carlo simulation (optimization?) software can be bought by a number of vendors. Not anything special there, quite honestly. However, some "wealth management" firms use it to help sales..........

I know it is impossible to believe, but not everyone has unconditional love for Vanguard.........
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Here to learn...
Old 10-17-2013, 11:24 AM   #16
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Here to learn...

We are here to learn to become independent. I assume everyone who joins this forum has that intent. I guess if you already know everything, you would not be here.

Early retirement is a dream for many, and one we want to become a reality. Our mega-corp is just too much to deal with any more. Don't want to start over in a new company, so the time is upon us. Wish I had another couple of years to learn to be more financially independent, but not worth continued employment and time. So we will use the resources we can, to get to where we need to go. Financially independent some day...

Question: why does the ER banner on the top have adds for finding FA's? If financially independent means FA's are bad? Just a question....

And I am amazed by all of those who understand all of this investment strategy stuff. I did not learn that thru my education or career. I will read all of the books recommended, and maybe some day. Thanks for sharing all of your opinions and information. I will keep tuned in to learn.
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Old 10-17-2013, 11:45 AM   #17
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Welcome to the forum. Can't speak to the ads, most of what I see are non latin based characters(that I can't read).

A good easy read is Millionaire Teacher. Enjoy your time, thanks for the chile tips.

MRG
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Old 10-17-2013, 11:50 AM   #18
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Since you seem to have your mind made up about delegating investment management to someone else, I don't think it makes sense to talk you out of it. I understand that some people simply don't have the time or inclination and are willing to pay for this service. However, their fee is way too high and there are other firms that would be just as nice, just as helpful, just as knowledgeable, etc for half the cost, given a $1 million + portfolio. You could buy a lot of RV fuel with an extra $10,000 per year in your pocket!
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Old 10-17-2013, 12:50 PM   #19
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Question: why does the ER banner on the top have adds for finding FA's? If financially independent means FA's are bad? Just a question....
I suspect the site was setup with ads to pay for its up keep. The ads are related to your own personal search/browsing history. Most online sites have nothing to do with the ads you are shown. They just provide a spot for a third party to place them. I took a quick look at the html source for my current forum page and I believe the ad I currently see on the site is provided by google. Since one of my most recent google searches was for a home builder, I am currently seeing an ad for some builder called "blu homes".
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:02 PM   #20
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Clicking on the description part of the add shows this:

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This ad was served by Quantcast. Quantcast collects and uses non-personally identifiable (non-PII) data to better target advertisements to individuals in an effort to create a more relevant experience for each person. Usually referred to as "online behavioral advertising," Quantcast uses information gathered through your browser in order to predict your preferences and show you advertising that is more likely to be of interest to you. A full description of our data collection methods and related policies can be found in our Privacy Policy. If you would like to opt out of Quantcast's collection and use practices, please go to THE SELF-REGULATORY PROGRAM FOR ONLINE BEHAVIORAL ADVERTISING | www.aboutads.info.
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