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Old 01-27-2011, 03:47 PM   #21
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What does it mean when someone states: "the numbers are perfect"?

Just looking for a rule of thumb here (understanding it probably depends on reasonable expenses / LBYM for the person or couple)

4% SWR when retired @ 60?
3.5% SWR when retired @ 55?
3% SWR when retired @ 50?

I struggle with this at times and want to see what others mean.


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You have been given good advice here. Run your numbers and track your expenses. Maybe your DW will want to stop earlier once you leave and the numbers are perfect.
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Old 01-27-2011, 03:56 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiming_4_55 View Post
What does it mean when someone states: "the numbers are perfect"?

Just looking for a rule of thumb here (understanding it probably depends on reasonable expenses / LBYM for the person or couple)

4% SWR when retired @ 60?
3.5% SWR when retired @ 55?
3% SWR when retired @ 50?

I struggle with this at times and want to see what others mean.
I just knew I was going to get called out for that . For us, running our numbers through Firecalc and other calculators and getting a percentage of expected success that satisfies us (for some it is 100 percent, for some less) vs. our carefully tracked expenses and future budgets, then our numbers were as perfect as they were going to be for the ER lifestyle we wanted. YMMV
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:14 PM   #23
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Bestwifeever - I didn't mean anything negative by it. I'm slowly getting more comfortable with my numbers (5-6 years to RE) as I've used probably 8 - 10 calculators with good results (100% on FireCALC, 100% Flexible Retirement Planner, CNN Money, etc with good results ). I have two barriers to address for myself 1. young kids & healthcare and 2. SAHM, being the sole bread winner, I need to be over conservative for my family, but that is just me. YMMV. I'm still a newbie at this planning FIRE stuff. Thanks.


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I just knew I was going to get called out for that . For us, running our numbers through Firecalc and other calculators and getting a percentage of expected success that satisfies us (for some it is 100 percent, for some less) vs. our carefully tracked expenses and future budgets, then our numbers were as perfect as they were going to be for the ER lifestyle we wanted. YMMV
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:26 PM   #24
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Aiming, the first calculator I used I think was Fidelity's, maybe 10 or 12 years ago. It was very simple and it said we needed to save Zero more dollars to be able to retire right then. Woohoo but I am as conservative as you are and I took that with a big grain of salt but at least it was reassuring and I left my job a few years later. Two years ago DH was offered a severance and by then our kids were launched, our expenses diminished, and our numbers were "perfect" after running them through many, many more thingies and he felt comfortable making the leap.

Young kids and health care add more layers to the decision making, but there are people on the boards who ER'd and deal wth both.
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:34 PM   #25
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What does it mean when someone states: "the numbers are perfect"?
I struggle with this at times and want to see what others mean.
Try Bernstein's five-part "Calculator from Hell" series...
William Bernstein's books & website info
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:47 PM   #26
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Unrelated--NOVA, you have the cutest avatar ever! Is that you?[/QUOTE]

That is a picture of Sandy Duncan, from the 70s, I think. Here I am. If I could just put my hand over my mouth, we might look a little alike!
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:26 PM   #27
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Nords - Thanks, but I think I need to RE first so I can get through all the text. ;-)

I glanced at 1-2 parts, but did not try any thing yet, perhaps this weekend if I wake up before the family. Thanks for the link. Alot of great information here.



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Try Bernstein's five-part "Calculator from Hell" series...
William Bernstein's books & website info
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:25 PM   #28
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From the OP

Thanks all for the comments and advice. I am certainly planning to do ALL of the household chores and my DW would like that very much. Today we split the work, but spend at least one weekend day doing it. As far as the FI, I have poured over the numbers for years and have used multiple financial calculators. I am also in Fidelity's Private Client Group, so I have a great financial advisor to answer my questions and verify my calculations. My initial withdrawal rate will be less than 2.5% of our portfolio/year. While I know we will be fine financially, how much is enough? If I worked longer, we could vacation more and better, buy nicer houses, cars, etc. We are not really into material things much any more, but taking a world cruise would sound knida cool.

I guess it really boils down to what will make me happier, as I think if I am happy, my DW will be very supportive. It was helpful to hear that most of you that are ER are not bored - as that would be the most likely reason that I would return to work. Thanks again for the advice. I'll continue to read the posts here, and enjoy the new community.
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:33 PM   #29
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I am also in Fidelity's Private Client Group, so I have a great financial advisor to answer my questions and verify my calculations. My initial withdrawal rate will be less than 2.5% of our portfolio/year.
If your SWR is 2.5% then you don't need to suffer from "just one more year" syndrome!

C'mon in, the water's fine...
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:57 PM   #30
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NOVA- you have a beautiful smile and a great sense of color. Thanks for posting the pic!

Ha
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Old 01-27-2011, 10:36 PM   #31
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NOVA- you have a beautiful smile and a great sense of color. Thanks for posting the pic!

Ha
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Old 01-27-2011, 11:21 PM   #32
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Packman, just do it. If you are truly FI, what's the problem? My wife still works (part-time from home). Heck, I work sort of. I'm writing a book (several actually). Life is short. Take advantage of the opportunity (or was it a calculated plan?) and do it.

Bored? You are only as bored as you let yourself be. Don't confuse bored with relaxed and doing things on your schedule. My favorite times are sitting on my front porch, drinking a beer, smoking a cigar and just watching the world go by. Beyond that, I go fishing, play guitar, write, go to my sons' games, plan trips and figure out how to keep from getting a real job.

Don't you have dreams? A passion? Something you've always wanted to do, but could never find the time because of your stupid job? Well, ER and do it. You're already 4 years late. You think those 4 years are coming back around? Don't fall into the trap of "I need a little more money" or "I'm too valuable to retire" or "What will I do all day?"

Live you life, take you wife lunch, cook her dinner, take a class, learn an instrument, take up astronomy, buy an old car a restore it, volunteer, anything. Just don't spend anther day at job you hate, slowly killing yourself. The secret is just making the choice. Choose to retire, enjoy it and be happy.
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Old 01-27-2011, 11:31 PM   #33
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That is a picture of Sandy Duncan, from the 70s, I think. Here I am. If I could just put my hand over my mouth, we might look a little alike!
Your photo is just as cute as Sandy Duncan in the avatar--and most definitely there's a resemblance.
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Old 01-28-2011, 03:31 AM   #34
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NOVA- you have a beautiful smile and a great sense of color. Thanks for posting the pic!

Ha
I agree with you Ha Ha
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:10 AM   #35
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........... If I worked longer, we could vacation more and better, buy nicer houses, cars, etc. We are not really into material things much any more, but taking a world cruise would sound knida cool............
Yea, but.........none of us know how long we will live and how much of that remaining life will be truly enjoyable. Do you have any friends or relatives that met tragic early deaths? I sure do.

When I retired at 54, I thought of it as buying a life extension - in other words an increase of the years between when I was totally free and my death. It is pretty hard to put a dollar figure on that, but the opportunity to buy those years is now, not when you are older.

YMMV
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Old 01-28-2011, 06:02 PM   #36
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When I retired at 54, I thought of it as buying a life extension - in other words an increase of the years between when I was totally free and my death. It is pretty hard to put a dollar figure on that, but the opportunity to buy those years is now, not when you are older.
+1, +lots.

A couple of years ago I read a discussion about this or that health thing, eating more fibre or grapefruit or less starch or butter, don't remember. Anyway, the conclusion, by proper scientists, was that pretty much the only things you can do healthwise to significantly increase your life expectancy are /1/ stop smoking and /2/ get your BMI under 32 or so. Once you've done those things, everything else is a month extra, tops. And - this was the killer - that month - or even the two or three years you get from stopping smoking and losing the spare tyre - is at the back end. It's another month in the old folks' home.

Now, compare that with ER. You get to have that time now, when you're 50 (me; disclosure: not ER yet) or 54 or 58 or 62. When you can still get up in the morning and it only hurts your ankles a little to walk as far as the bathroom, not when you have to worry if you'll get there in time. When you can get home from a jog and nudge your spouse and wink and go and do what comes naturally. When you can put on loud rock music and play air guitar. (Oh? Just me then?)

How much more is an extra year at 55 worth, compared to an extra year at 85? 10, 20, 50 times? When we're gone, we're gone, and everyone but our kids will have forgotten about us six months later. We should spend less time thinking about our egos - to be satisfied by the scale of our funeral? - and more time thinking about our real selves.

As I said above, I'm not quite ER-ready yet, but I'm more than 50% likely to be going back to college in the fall of this year to study something called Positive Psychology. After 30 years of w*rk of which 20 in MegaOrg, it's time to clear out the BS. When my studies are over, I can go back for a couple more years at MegaOrg, or maybe do something to help other people with their life choices. I kissed my last @$$ some time ago.

I make a good salary, and this course will theoretically cost me in excess of 100K. But since there was No. Freaking. Way that I was ever going to stay until the statutory requirement age, all I'm doing is deferring ER by a calendar year and having my first w*rk-free year a few years early.
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Old 01-28-2011, 07:29 PM   #37
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It's natural to feel worried about making such a big, possibly irreversible change in your life. But if you've planned for it, this could be the start of a great new chapter in your life. If you've done your homework, not just on the financials but also on how you'll spend your time, then go for it!
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Old 01-29-2011, 09:48 AM   #38
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Thanks again to everyone for the replies and the confidence booster. I am almost sure it's time to take the leap, and I plan to give my notice in March after I return from a nice vacation in which I will clear the mind a bit.

I got my first real job when I was 15 years old, and ever since then, I have never not worked, even for a week. Anytime I've switched employers, I left one on a Friday and started with the next on the following Monday. Other than vacations, I've never even spent a week just staying home and not working. So this is truly a life changing decision. Going from 35 years of accumulating wealth to (hopefully) 35 years of spending it, is also going to be something to get used to. But it's TIME.
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:27 AM   #39
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Pacman, I retired from my job after 30yrs Dec 17th. I am 54 yrs old. January has been my longest time off from work in all that time. When I realized last June that retirement was financially feasable I instantly new that it would be the right decision. It wasn't just that the previous year had been a "bad" year. It was also the realization that I had worked at this job and place for 30 years and it was time for a change. Everyone kept asking what was I going to do? I honestly didn't know because I hadn't been thinking of or preparing for retirement. However, I just wasn't worried about it. My plan was to relax for 6 months, decompress, and then find something else to do. That's what I told people and you could see the doubt in some of their faces but it didn't matter to me what they thought. Most people were supportive. Of course my wife was the first to say that it was a great idea.

It helped that my social life didn't depend on the people or environment at work. I also don't mind spending time alone at home. I picked up my wife's share of the housework and she loves this. She will continue to work for another couple of years.

The issue of what I was going to do was mostly a leap of faith that I would be able to deal with this new start in life. So far it has been great. I do everything at my own pace and the days fill up. I reserve time for exercise. Time to do something fun and relaxing. Time to do chores and housework. Time to do something with and around other people.

You can't truly predict what the long term future is going to be like, say 5-10 years from now. I was able to weather the ups and downs of the work world so I figure I will be able to weather the future. I am also comfortable with my self identity while not working. I am proud of what I accomplished during my engineering career and now it is a, "been there, done that" sort of thing.

I am at the beginning of this work/retirement transition. You can't really know what it's going to be like until you just do it. Your safety net is both financial and social. If both of these are OK then I would say go for it.
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:38 AM   #40
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I am 52 and have been early retired for over one year.

My last year in retirement has been my best year ever. While working I had no clear vision what I would do while retired. The paths I have taken while in retirement have been unexpected and life affirming. My partner and I got to rediscover each other without work draining my energy. I ended up bicycling and going to the health club and controlling my diet and losing 60 pounds and am now quite fit. Something for which I would never have thought possible.

The unknowable opportunities which open up when one retires is why I always encourage others in a similar situation that I was to retire as soon as possible. Paths not taken because of continuing to work could be life affirming but missed.

I too, in the back of mind, believed that I could return back to work. For me now, I realize that was a lie. After tasting the freedom of retirement, I would never go back to work except for some minus three sigma type event.
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