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No longer lurking in CO at 46
Old 03-11-2014, 09:31 PM   #1
Confused about dryer sheets
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Aurora
Posts: 1
No longer lurking in CO at 46

I'm 46 and dreaming of ER in about 10 years (or sooner?)! I have been lurking (and learning) from these forums for several years.
My husband(47) and I are both working full-time and have 2 teenage children (ages 13 and 17).
We have aggressively worked in the last 10 years to pay off both of our student loan debts and have paid off our cars. Our only current debt is our mortgage ($217,000 owed, with estimated value of $299,000).
Assets: We have cash savings of $70,000 (including savings account and CD ladder) for an emergency fund. We have $954,00 in retirement accounts (currently invested 12%cash, 21% bonds, 27% large-cap stocks, 17% mid/small-cap stocks, 15% international stocks, 8% individual equities in DRP funds). Additionally we have a Health Savings Account with $52,000, and a taxable account with $13,000 in municipal bonds.
We have set aside $83,000 in 529 plans for our kids.

We have been very lucky with our joint income growth to $270,000/year this year. We have been putting $55,000 per year into our retirement accounts, with a variable match of up to $10,000 depending on my company. We prepay $300/month extra principle on our 13 year mortgage. I also have been saving $900/month for the 529 plans and about $900/month in taxable accounts.
I have been having difficulty deciding on a savings target for FIRE due to a number of current unknowns including 6 parents getting older who may need assistance, expenses to finish raising our children and helping with college, my company of 10 years discussing changes to our pension plan, my husband working for a state pension (which will mean that his SS is decreased under the WEP), and some health concerns. Of course we know that we also have the unknowns of retirement expenses, though we know we can live on well less than 50% of our current income in retirement.
Any thoughts are greatly appreciated!

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Old 03-11-2014, 10:27 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 1,128
Welcome sassnco, from a fellow Coloradoan!

It sounds to me like you've been doing a great job working toward financial independence and early retirement. It's hard to forecast what will happen between now and the day you retire, so all you can really do is keep up the good work you've been doing. I think you're on the road to success.


"Comprehensive health insurance is an idea whose time has come in America." President Richard M. Nixon, February 6, 1974
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:07 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Denver
Posts: 2,433
Welcome to the board. We're in Denver CO.

10 years is a good lead time to get all the details sorted out. My recommendations are to start (if you have not already) documenting your expenses in detail. That will help you figure out how much you need and also how your expenses change in time.

The only other suggestion is to understand what your taxes will be after you stop working & try to figure out if you need divert your savings to your taxable savings in the years closer to ER.

And yes - figure out what you're going to do when you have no outside demands on your time.

All the best.
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:11 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 3,351
Welcome! When I was your age, I planned to ER at 58, but for various reasons (and thanks to the excellent information and advice here) ended up pulling the plug much earlier. Sounds like you are on the right track. I'd echo the thought to start tracking expenses and keep up the savings (aka investing in your future).

Lots of nice folks and good stuff here, so enjoy!
"One of the funny things about the stock market is that every time one person buys, another sells, and both think they are astute." William Feather
ER'd Oct. 2010 at 53. Life is good.
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