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Socal FIRE wannabe
Old 04-06-2014, 10:46 AM   #1
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Socal FIRE wannabe

Hi folks. I found this forum a month or two ago and it is now a major source of information and inspiration for me.

Little about me I am 57, DW 58. 2 kids in college almost done with enough 529 to cover remainder of expenses(barely). Have been a practicing physician for 28 years. Still enjoy what I do but am really burnt out by the increasingly megacorp, impersonal, IT dominated environment medical practice now has. Want to leave practice before I permanently look and feel like a used tube of toothpaste. LOL

Little bit about financials. Have 2M in retirement with 1.6 of that pretax. About 200,000 cash. AA is about 50/50 equities and securities. Only debt is a $900,000(ouch) mortgage on my home currently on the market. That when sold should conservatively yield $500,000 cash. Plan to downsize and rent after sale. Have other semi liquidated assets that would add an estimated 200,000 tax free to my nest egg.

Using firecalc I am surprisingly close to or at FI depending on how much padding I put on my yearly budget. That assumes house sold. One problem is no way could I take that option while continuing to live in Southern California. Probably will have to move to a much more tax friendly state which me and DW will gladly do when the time is right. That may be 5 years or more because of primary responsibility for parents. 3 out of 4 still alive healthy and sharp.

So my plans for the near future are pretty well set. Plan to work till at least 59.5. Will slightly accelerate my savings and cut some expenses but really do not live beyond means. Most importantly will continue to educate myself on this forum and other retirement resources. All the while I know that with a few lifestyle changes and a move I really could comfortably FIRE at any time if I lose my ability to smile . Really look forward to learning a lot from this exceptional forum.
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Old 04-06-2014, 11:25 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, alot of great information available on this site.

I just relocated to the SoCal area and feeling the bite of real estate cost. We'll be renting for the year and see if it makes sense.
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Old 04-06-2014, 01:03 PM   #3
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Welcome. DW and I talk about this a lot... when I hit 42 we know we could move elsewhere and live like princes (not kings) forever... but it wouldn't be Coronado! Hopefully we can make FIRE and Coronado both work.
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Old 04-06-2014, 02:53 PM   #4
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Welcome Longranger. Sounds like you have a good plan to get out while still in the pre-toothpaste phase. I'm in medicine as well and in fact I'm in house on call right now. I'm feeling real worn around the edges as well...must get out soon! Anyway, I'm a firm believer in a written plan with goals (investor policy statement included) as are many successful persons on this forum. Haven't been to the land of the fruits and nuts, that is California, in a long while, but always enjoy it for a visit; where else can you see the ocean, desert, and mountains all in a relatively short drive. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 04-06-2014, 02:58 PM   #5
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Many places in southern California are wonderful to live, cost of housing, taxes and traffic excluded. Those special places on the water like coronado are treasures but most certainly at a $price.

If I were to FIRE tomorrow and stay in southern California I would target the slightly inland areas of San Diego county. More likely would explore areas north of San Francisco, look in the mountains etc.. Wherever I move to it would have to lower my expenses enough to allow both a cushion for the unknown and travel.
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Old 04-06-2014, 03:53 PM   #6
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Many places in southern California are wonderful to live, cost of housing, taxes and traffic excluded. Those special places on the water like coronado are treasures but most certainly at a $price.

If I were to FIRE tomorrow and stay in southern California I would target the slightly inland areas of San Diego county. More likely would explore areas north of San Francisco, look in the mountains etc.. Wherever I move to it would have to lower my expenses enough to allow both a cushion for the unknown and travel.
We just spent some time in Temecula and Murrieta and plan to relocate there from the SF Bay Area. The market is "soft" there, relative to coastal CA, yet it is still near enough the coast for an easy day trip.

Riverside County also just reinstated Prop 90,
which lets you transfer your property tax basis from other participating counties, under certain circumstances.



It is also not too far from Fallbrook and all those avocados!
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Old 04-06-2014, 03:53 PM   #7
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Welcome longranger, from another recent SoCal FIRE'd couple (@48/55)

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Originally Posted by Aiming_4_55 View Post
I just relocated to the SoCal area and feeling the bite of real estate cost. We'll be renting for the year and see if it makes sense.
Wondering if days like today make you 100% certain it makes sense.
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Old 04-06-2014, 04:26 PM   #8
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We just spent some time in Temecula and Murrieta and plan to relocate there from the SF Bay Area. The market is "soft" there, relative to coastal CA, yet it is still near enough the coast for an easy day trip.

Riverside County also just reinstated Prop 90,
which lets you transfer your property tax basis from other participating counties, under certain circumstances.

It is also not too far from Fallbrook and all those avocados!
We have been considering Southern Cal, too, lately. We would like to travel so I am not sure it makes financial sense to have a home base in a very expensive place like the Bay Area if we won't be here most of the year.

It is lovely here though, lots to do and we make good use of all the parks and hiking trails. Then again we are ready for a change and perfect weather down South is always a plus.
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Old 04-06-2014, 04:34 PM   #9
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We have been considering Southern Cal, too, lately. We would like to travel so I am not sure it makes financial sense to have a home base in a very expensive place like the Bay Area if we won't be here most of the year.

It is lovely here though, lots to do and we make good use of all the parks and hiking trails. Then again we are ready for a change and perfect weather down South is always a plus.
We came to the Bay Area 32 years from North San Diego Co. (near this area) as the result of a job transfer. We still have family and friends down in the area, but most important, when we got there, it just felt right -- after lots of searching.
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Old 04-06-2014, 04:58 PM   #10
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Temecula and Murrieta are very nice. Bit of a drive to the beach but great value. Can find similar properties in the Vista /Fallbrook area for just a tad more and they have more moderation of climate by ocean breezes. Riverside has some awesome values but is hot and smoggy in summer. Riverside also has some serious traffic issues on the major highways. Then again no place is perfect and climate wise we are talking personal taste. Many people prefer the inland heat finding the coast too cold and overcast.
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Old 04-06-2014, 05:23 PM   #11
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Temecula and Murrieta are very nice. Bit of a drive to the beach but great value. Can find similar properties in the Vista /Fallbrook area for just a tad more and they have more moderation of climate by ocean breezes. Riverside has some awesome values but is hot and smoggy in summer. Riverside also has some serious traffic issues on the major highways. Then again no place is perfect and climate wise we are talking personal taste. Many people prefer the inland heat finding the coast too cold and overcast.
I know it's going to be hotter there than I'd like, for some part of the year, but DH likes the heat, so that's why we're getting a house with a pool. He can do productive stuff, and I'll float in the pool and drink whatever libation he prepares for me.

I am a native Texan, so I guess I will adjust to that heat. As long as there are no tornadoes . . . .

We lived at the Oceanside/Vista border when we were down there, and we haven't wanted to return, having seen it after quite some time. It's way more built-up than we'd remembered, so it isn't our first choice.

Fallbrook is very nice, but we figure that we get more house for the $$ in the Temecula Valley; for the kind of houses we are looking at, we were seeing something like a $100k price difference. Still, Fallbrook stays on the list, as does the Oceanside area, if we don't find anything we like in the valley.

I agree that the traffic down in Riverside Co. is horrid. We came into the area (Corona, actually) at 8 pm on a Saturday night, and we were amazed at how heavy the traffic was. Still, we live in a pretty bad area for traffic ourselves, and now that we don't w*rk, we can make choices about when we get on those freeways, if at all.

As you say, no place is perfect. We may not end up down there, or we may and then move again.
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Old 04-06-2014, 06:33 PM   #12
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Parts of inland Orange County are still reasonably priced and very nice. Neighborhoods like Rancho Santa Margarita, Foothill Ranch, and Aliso Viejo come to mind. None are more than 30 minutes to the beach, and all are master planned communities with newer homes.
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:04 PM   #13
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Welcome, I'm pretty new here myself and find this forum full of information. I too am a physician and 62, I stepped down to 3 long days a week 2+ years ago, non-physician husband (age 71) retired in 2010. We got out of debt prior to husband's retirement, sold our condo on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and moved to Austin TX. Much better COL. Between my salary and mandatory SS & 401K RMD, we make a bit over 1/2 of what our salaries were in NY & still save money. The weather is better than NY too. I'm a bit burned out on medicine and plan FIRE in 1 year but will probably work 1 day/week and supervise some NPs which I do now. In my specialty (geriatric psychiatry in nursing homes) it is pretty easy. I will be out of medicine for all intents and purposes by the time ICD-10 rolls around. No debt and living below one's means is key. My advice: ditch the expensive car if you have one or two and are still tied to car payments. Also the house, which you are also planning. Create a budget and cut out what you really don't need but leave some fun things in. You gotta live! It's a start.
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:13 PM   #14
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I'm a bit burned out on medicine and plan FIRE in 1 year but will probably work 1 day/week and supervise some NPs which I do now. In my specialty (geriatric psychiatry in nursing homes) it is pretty easy.
Thank you for your work in this area. I had a mom who needed it, and I appreciate what you do.
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:29 PM   #15
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Check out Canyon Lake, just north of Temecula. It's gated, and feels a little bit like a resort and a small town.
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Old 04-07-2014, 01:23 AM   #16
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Value is so relative in real estate. Anything near the ocean in a decent neighborhood in Southern California comes at a ridiculous premium just like properties in proximity to San Francisco, New York or Washington DC to name just a few. On top of that these addresses often occur in states with high taxes and high cost of living in general. My current property would cost less than half of what it does now an hour inland or north of the Bay area. In some other states with decent climate and much lower taxes I have seen properties nicer than mine listed for 25% of what mine appraises at. If I am going to live on a budget of $80,000/yr before SS it would be easier and more comfortable to not pay out an extra 10 or 20 thousand in state income, sales and property taxes.

Please forgive my tone. I know the considerations being discussed are common knowledge on this forum. Regardless it still is taking some getting used to accepting and feeling really good about some of the changes I need to initiate to have a long happy healthy retirement. Not much if any ego involved just a mixture of excitement and fear as by my own standards retiring, moving, spending much more time with hobbies friends and family scares me because it sounds too good to be true. Fortunately or not will probably have a couple of years to tie up loose ends and figure some things out in my head before pulling the trigger.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:10 AM   #17
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Value is so relative in real estate. Anything near the ocean in a decent neighborhood in Southern California comes at a ridiculous premium just like properties in proximity to San Francisco, New York or Washington DC to name just a few. On top of that these addresses often occur in states with high taxes and high cost of living in general. My current property would cost less than half of what it does now an hour inland or north of the Bay area. In some other states with decent climate and much lower taxes I have seen properties nicer than mine listed for 25% of what mine appraises at. If I am going to live on a budget of $80,000/yr before SS it would be easier and more comfortable to not pay out an extra 10 or 20 thousand in state income, sales and property taxes.

Please forgive my tone. I know the considerations being discussed are common knowledge on this forum. Regardless it still is taking some getting used to accepting and feeling really good about some of the changes I need to initiate to have a long happy healthy retirement. Not much if any ego involved just a mixture of excitement and fear as by my own standards retiring, moving, spending much more time with hobbies friends and family scares me because it sounds too good to be true. Fortunately or not will probably have a couple of years to tie up loose ends and figure some things out in my head before pulling the trigger.
I understand the dilemma. My portfolio can generate up to $85K per year and, while I love living in San Francisco, that money could go a lot farther in many other US locations. Some days, when I enjoy the natural beauty of Northern California, I think that it's worth paying the premium to stay here. And some days, I think that the cost is just too high. It's a tough decision to make.
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Old 04-07-2014, 01:02 PM   #18
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Welcome to the forum longranger. I was a northern CA (east SF bay area) resident and left in late 2009. I could not be happier with the change. I grew up in bay area, but also lived around the country for work. That taught me every place has it good and bad. For me the bad of CA (high COL, high taxes, liberal politics) outweighed the good (weather and old car activities). It is sad that CA used to be a true land of opportunity, but it is no longer. High taxes and excess regulation have killed a lot of CA industrial and manufacturing base. Too many fruits and nuts for me, and not talking agriculture.

I feel bad for all the medical folks with the turmoil and uncertainty in your jobs. Burn-out seems to becoming more prevalent. My wife is an RN, so not quite the same as MD, but some similarities.

Back to your plans, it seems you have a good idea of what it will take. Biggest issue is your COL. Move to lower COL and you will be better shape and higher confidence. A lot of good advice and knowledge is available on here.
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:01 PM   #19
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My temperature tolerance has gone to &$%^ now in my third consecutive (fifth overall) year in San Diego (Coronado, La Jolla). It was 80 at lunch today during my run and I about died. I get cold at 62. Being from Indiana and having lived in South Carolina and even two summers in Bahrain, I have seen negatives and 140s, yet now... I tolerate 65-75 and that's about it.

But yeah, I might pay to have that forever. :-)
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:25 PM   #20
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Nash031 I suspect most people living in a top ten climate zone like Coronado get spoiled over time. Even living 3 miles from the water in south Orange county where we get about 10 degrees colder and warmer than you most days my tolerance for extremes has become pathetic.

On the few extended vacations my family has enjoyed I had no problem adapting to tropical heat or snowy mountain cold. Maybe it was the lack of stress that warmed my heart and cooled my jets.
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