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What's it take to feel FI
Old 04-29-2007, 06:49 PM   #1
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What's it take to feel FI

Hi folks,

Well I've done the math a thousand times if I've done it once.
At age 42, if I do nothing but average 7% rate of return, I'll have over $2M at age 62.
If I can earn 6% per year on that, I can w/d 144K per year for over 30 years without running out of money.
This seems to be the worst case scenario - barring catastrophe of some sort.
I earn a good buck - will continue to save 15-20% of earnings out of habit and because I can never turn away free money in the form of 401K match.

All is good yet I don't feel FI - still stress out over money - how come?
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Re: What's it take to feel FI
Old 04-29-2007, 07:52 PM   #2
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Re: What's it take to feel FI

Triumph,

Because it is hard to undo a lifetime of habits in a short time frame. Some of us, including myself, are already there, and still worry. The things that made us save in the first place are still there. The what ifs, the desire for security, maybe even the delight in seeing the money pile grow. With no more w*rking, all that reverses. No more outside income. Especially in a bad year, net worth could decline.

As much as I weathered the 2000-2002 period, without selling anything, our net worth still increased. We saved enough to offset the losses. Of course 2003-2007 has been like a rocket, with the capital gains augmenting the savings.

With me, and maybe you, this is like a journey. You do not get there in the first hour, but hopefully over time, you will recognize and delight first in FI and then RE.
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Re: What's it take to feel FI
Old 04-29-2007, 08:17 PM   #3
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Re: What's it take to feel FI

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triumph
All is good yet I don't feel FI - still stress out over money - how come?
Because age 62 is 20 years away and you really want to retire sooner.
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Re: What's it take to feel FI
Old 04-29-2007, 09:45 PM   #4
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Re: What's it take to feel FI

Welcome to the board, Triumph.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triumph
All is good yet I don't feel FI - still stress out over money - how come?
In our case it was convincing ourselves by worrying constructively. If you've done the math a thousand times on FIRECalc then shft over to FinancialEngines.com or some other difficult, tedious, high-data-entry calculator (my vote would be ESPLanner) and crunch the numbers some more.

Eventually, somewhere between "This is cool!" and "This is way too much detail" you'll feel satisfied that you haven't missed anything.

One day you'll realize that your ER portfolio earned more money that day/week/month than you did. Another time you'll realize that you're tired of putting up with all the crap at work. Yet another time you'll feel that work intrudes on all the neat hobbies you thought about when you read Ernie Zelinski's "How To Retire Happy, Wild, & Free".

Eventually you'll realize that you have enough, and maybe even reach "you can't spend it fast enough." At that point you'll be both FI and able to sleep at night.

Until then... well, if you don't absolutely hate work and if it's not getting in the way of the rest of your life, then you might as well keep on working. In my case work was always interfering with the other things I wanted to do.

But if you're satisfied that you've crunched the numbers correctly, see if you can take a month or two off work to test-drive your ER life. If you don't want to go back, then you've learned to live with both the FI and the RE components of FIRE!
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