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Old 10-12-2013, 08:59 AM   #21
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Thank you all for your words of wisdom. I am going to buy a few books and start reading. I am also going to start tracking our expenses.

You have all given me lots to think about!

Ellen
Lots of good books on investing here Investment Books. But for your specific questions, this is the best recommendation I can give. A good primer on almost every topic related to retirement planning, easy to read. Best of luck...
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:01 PM   #22
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I am excited to post an update!! First of all we have officially married off a son and he is OFF the payroll! WHOOO HOOOO!

I have spent a lot of time reading the books that were recommended as well as reading on here.

Our financial progress is moving right along!

Cash $552K
Stocks $1.4m
Traditional IRA $151K
403 (b) $385K

I think we are doing pretty good!

Just wanted to update this post.

You all continue to inspire me and keep me looking towards the prize.
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:18 AM   #23
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Thanks, Aquafit2. I always enjoy seeing the updates and congrats on your son's marriage.

Have you found any of the books or other resources particularly helpful or are there some you'd recommend to others in a similar situation?
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:25 AM   #24
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You're well on your way to FI, congrats!
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No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
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Old 01-06-2015, 01:36 PM   #25
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Katiek, This website has been so tremendously helpful! But in addition to that I have read Millionaire teacher (A great read with lots of basic advice that I enjoyed and passed on to my young adult children) and then Bogleheads Guide to Retirement planning is awesome. Highly recommend that one. Then of course there is firecalc and orp that have helped me get a visual of what the money will look like in different situations. Such wonderful resources!
Just read a lot! There is so much to learn!
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Old 01-06-2015, 01:41 PM   #26
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Looks like a great improvement.
Are you still looking at 2017? Where are you going from here? You still have a big chunk of cash. But maybe that is by design.
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Old 01-06-2015, 01:56 PM   #27
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...

You should NOT do anything until you're comfortable you understand "the whole process," making decisions from an "overwhelmed" state is a very bad idea IMO - but you have lots of time to get comfortable. It does not have to be overwhelming at all...
[/QUOTE]

+1
In fact, I was going to recommend doing nothing at all until you've educated yourself more. Here's the dirty little secret: it's not at all that complicated, and not 1/10 as complicated as those in the investment industry would make the process out to be. I strongly recommend visiting the Wiki and forum on the Bogleheads site: Bogleheads Investing Advice and Info
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Old 01-06-2015, 01:57 PM   #28
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enginerd, we are thinking maybe October of 2016 now. The cash is there waiting for buying opportunities. I can't get my husband one bit interesting in this website or in reading about retirement.... although he is very anxious to retire. He just wants me to do all the planning. A little frustrating, but maybe he will decide to get more involved as we get closer to our target date.
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Old 01-06-2015, 02:15 PM   #29
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I can't get my husband one bit interesting in this website or in reading about retirement.... although he is very anxious to retire. He just wants me to do all the planning. A little frustrating, but maybe he will decide to get more involved as we get closer to our target date.
Many here have that issue, one spouse engaged, and the other not. There is always some risk and uncertainty in retiring, so there's some potential for significant conflict when one spouse is not engaged.

When your plan comes under stress after you retire with the inevitable market corrections, big unplanned expenses, etc. - will he stress out or blame you, or will he be supportive? If you have to trim expenses, will that be OK? You might want to know going in if you can't get him involved. Best of luck.
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No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
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Old 01-06-2015, 02:41 PM   #30
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Midpack, I am hoping to sit down with him soon and kind of look at it all and see what his expectations are. He said he thinks we need to pull all of our money out of the stock market when we retire. Does anyone think that is a good idea?
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Old 01-06-2015, 02:48 PM   #31
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Looks like you are doing great and well on your way to ER. Your assets equate to ours, give or take 100K, and we pulled the plug 18 months ago. It's truly all about expenses and how flexible you think you'll be if adjustments need to be made. We're still raising 3 kids and our annual expenses are 65-85K with room to scale back if needed.

In our case, the assets only have to get us to 62 as SS and pensions will then meet 100% of our expenses.

One thing I'm curious about is how you had 2 DS's in college for only 1800/month. I have to assume they got some really good scholarships as it would seem someone spending 150K/year wouldn't qualify for any financial aid. I'm curious, as it's a road we will soon be on when our oldest gets there in 2 years.
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Old 01-06-2015, 02:54 PM   #32
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Midpack, I am hoping to sit down with him soon and kind of look at it all and see what his expectations are. He said he thinks we need to pull all of our money out of the stock market when we retire. Does anyone think that is a good idea?
Unless your husband knows something we don't, I don't think it's a good idea to forsake the stock market.

In your situation, I think an asset allocation of 30/70 would be appropriate. But then again who am I to give investment advise. I can only tell you what I've settled on and that is a 55/35/10 (stocks/bond/cash) in a VG 3 Fund portfolio. My only aspiration for the portfolio is for 3% real return over time. Not a given, but doable.

Nano
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Old 01-06-2015, 03:07 PM   #33
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And people wonder why I'm single...

The two main issues married couples argue about are children and money. No thank you. If anyone I was involved with wasn't on the same page as me regarding retirement investments, I'd tell them we would have to figure our retirement separately. Then again, I'm totally self-sufficient, so I'd have nothing to lose.
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Old 01-06-2015, 03:09 PM   #34
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He said he thinks we need to pull all of our money out of the stock market when we retire. Does anyone think that is a good idea?
It can be - if you meet one or more of the following criteria:

1) You have an absolutely bulletproof source of future income that will keep up with inflation.
- or -
2) You have a huge pile of money and even with continued current low interest rates have low enough spending that you can increase what you withdraw a little each year to compensate for inflation and not deplete your funds before both of you die.
- or -
3) You both don't plan on living long enough to worry too much about keeping up with inflation or running out of money.
- or -
4) You don't mind having to depend on SS and public assistance to live on when your funds are depleted.

The ups and downs of the stock market aren't easy for some people to stomach, but they beat the alternative.

You've been given some good advice in this thread. Take the time to get your arms around what you need to do and can be comfortable with. Do not make any sudden moves - slow and steady wins the race, as we all hope retirement is a long-distance run.
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Old 01-06-2015, 03:13 PM   #35
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Midpack, I am hoping to sit down with him soon and kind of look at it all and see what his expectations are. He said he thinks we need to pull all of our money out of the stock market when we retire. Does anyone think that is a good idea?
If you plan to pull everything out of equities when you retire, history would suggest you'll have to work (much) longer and save (much) more, or plan to spend (much) less? Where does he plan to put the money? Have him look at yields on CDs and bonds, they're not even equal to Inflation/CPI, when that will change is anybody's guess...

IOW, I think it's imperative that most retirees maintain some exposure to equities to keep up with inflation. There are a few here who choose otherwise, but they're in very well paying jobs with very low planned spending, like withdrawal rates in the 1-2% range. That's not practically possibke for most people.
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No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
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Old 01-06-2015, 03:32 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Aquafit2 View Post
Midpack, I am hoping to sit down with him soon and kind of look at it all and see what his expectations are. He said he thinks we need to pull all of our money out of the stock market when we retire. Does anyone think that is a good idea?
Not me. You need stock returns to allow your withdrawals to increase with inflation to maintain your standard of living. Minimum of 30%, but 40-60% is better.
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:17 PM   #37
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Looks like you are doing great and well on your way to ER. Your assets equate to ours, give or take 100K, and we pulled the plug 18 months ago. It's truly all about expenses and how flexible you think you'll be if adjustments need to be made. We're still raising 3 kids and our annual expenses are 65-85K with room to scale back if needed.

In our case, the assets only have to get us to 62 as SS and pensions will then meet 100% of our expenses.

One thing I'm curious about is how you had 2 DS's in college for only 1800/month. I have to assume they got some really good scholarships as it would seem someone spending 150K/year wouldn't qualify for any financial aid. I'm curious, as it's a road we will soon be on when our oldest gets there in 2 years.
NanoSour, Both of my boys qualified for scholarships for academic performance in high school. So the $1800 a month was just to cover their room and board.
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Old 01-11-2015, 04:21 PM   #38
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NanoSour, Both of my boys qualified for scholarships for academic performance in high school. So the $1800 a month was just to cover their room and board.
Darn, you've got some bright boys . What do they study? Sounds the married-off boy is already doing OK financially if he's off your payroll. You've done a wonderful job on raising them well.

Re spouse not being interesting in finances, my DH wouldn't exactly know how much he earns yearly. He logins to check his 401k maybe once or twice a year when I tell him to change the contribution percentage (in order to continue getting co. match until the YE) though I could do it for him as well. Since we are not close to retiring yet, I'm OK and stopped wasting my energy and time to educate him. I'll restart this conversation with him in 5-7 years when it's time to start planning the retiring date.
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:31 PM   #39
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aida2003, My oldest is in commercial property management and is married to a sweet girl that makes great money as well. My second son is preparing to take the DAT right now and will apply to dental school this summer.

I feel your pain on your DH not being interested in finances. I am pretty sure if anything ever happened to me, mine wouldn't have the first idea how much our mortgage is every month. The funny thing is, he is in finance for a profession. He is just not interesting in dealing with our finances because I do such a good job. HA HA!
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:18 AM   #40
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Do you have a financial planner? Many of the questions you are asking are excellent questions but I feel they are best answered by a professional money manager. Ultimately, the decisions are yours but personally I seek the advice of several professionals when making such investment decisions.

I would agree, holding that much cash is excessive. I agree with Target2019's advice about using QuickBooks or just a spreadsheet. In addition to tracking your expenses (and you'll find you spend more than you think), you can map out expected future cash flows and expected expenses using many different scenarios, with focus on the worst case. Always have a Plan B should worst case scenario happen.
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