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Old 02-06-2016, 10:03 AM   #21
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I was financially and emotionally ready a year prior to my early retirement.

I hung in hoping to get a package. Fourteen months later I got the golden handshake. A bonus of two plus years of salary/benefits. Good ROI for staying another 14 months until I was 59. Bridged to my full DB pension at age 62.

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Old 02-06-2016, 10:12 AM   #22
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Eee ba gum
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I was ready at age 53 both financially and emotionally, but held on to 55 to get retiree health benefits. Turned out to be well worth it because it also meant I could start drawing my pension at 55 instead of 62.

Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55, moved to England in May 2016
Enough private pension and SS income to cover all needs
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Old 02-06-2016, 10:18 AM   #23
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 44,780
My retirement decision wasn't based on a "25x spending" or similar metric. I relied heavily on FIRECalc and a couple of other calculators, an enormous volume of spreadsheet calculations, plus a one time review of our situation by a fee-only FA.

Even with all indicators in the green, I came down with a case of OMY syndrome.

I'd planned to retire in 2004 (age 57, DW was already retired) but realized if I worked OMY and threw everything I could at our mortgage, I could retire a year later without a house payment. It turned out to be a brilliant decision as the company I worked for was sold and all my underwater stock options magically surfaced. Cashing out the options just prior to retiring equaled a full year's salary, which was a very nice parting gift.
Numbers is hard

Charter resident of the lumpen slums of cyberspace

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
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Old 02-06-2016, 12:01 PM   #24
Dryer sheet wannabe
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: California
Posts: 22
If I count vacation home, were about 2.9% WR and 34 x, including tax expenses, not considering small pension and SS. But still in OMY syndrome.

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Old 02-07-2016, 08:11 AM   #25
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Location: Eagan, MN
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I have always been a busy person. While holding a full-time job, I purchased a tavern in southern Minnesota. My partner and I ran it for five+ years, and then sold. I ran for political office as the endorsed candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives. I received my graduate degree while working.

I had a lawn care and snow plowing business, that started shortly thereafter. It was a great weekend and after work project – unless it rained for a few days. Then it was hell. Or if it was super-hot outside. Or it was cold and snowy. Or if I had other things to do. But the sacrifice made money, and helped garner capital to invest in real estate.

I really ramped up my investing career in 2008. I purchased a 4-plex, and did what I thought was an extensive remodel. As it turns out, it was mostly new appliances, painting and cleaning in most of the units. A light remodel.

This worked well for about 9 months, and another 4-plex became available. I bought it. After all, if the first 4-plex was a deal, the second one would be too. About 9 months later, another one. Then another and a final one in 2012. I had a total of five 4-plexes, plus the two duplexes I already had.

Each 4-plex required a significant down payment, nearly $100K. Each one required a lot of work and vacancy expense. You can add another $10K to $60K to the purchase price. Each one cash flowed better than the previous, but my investment account was slowing eroding away. I would spend $100K on the property, and a year later my account would be close to where I was again, just slightly lower. After five buildings, including one that took ~$260K cash, I was down quite a bit.

In 2012, I purchased my last 4-plex, and it was a cash deal. Approximately $200K investment, plus another $60K in repairs, and a lot of free labor to get it back in rentable condition. On 1/1/2013 I had it completely rented, approximately 6 months after I purchased it. Something happens when you do not have a mortgage. Rental property cash flows like a madman.

Prior to tax year 2013, I always received a big refund in my income taxes. I had lots of deductions due to all of the depreciation, interest expenses, property taxes, etc. I paid a lot of taxes through my employer, and I claimed zero deductions, so they withheld a lot. Those big refunds were a good deal. I was working so much, and trying to keep the rentals going, that I didn’t have time to spend money, or see how much the rental were cash flowing. I was just working, sleeping, and working again. Nights, weekends, vacations, etc. were all used to work on the rentals.

I also did a property flip in November 2013 that generated a bit, but required another $140K outlay before it was sold in January 2014. I always felt that I was barely making money, but it was because I was continuing to invest in properties and had no time to look.

As I was doing my 2013 taxes around February of 2014, I realized that I was going to have to pay income taxes. Despite of having already paid a large sum, I had to send in additional check for about another $10K. WOW. I really needed to look at my income stream and see how much I was really making.

I calculated it out, and low and behold, I was making more than my gross pay at my real job. I didn’t have to work. I still could not quite believe it, so I set a retirement date on a whim. I have saved about 50% more than my gross pay at my real job for the past 3 years. Here is how I set my date to leave my real job.

I figured that I was near 55, so I said “25% chance I will retire at 55, 50% chance at 56, and 25% chance at 57”. There was no science to it. Since my birthday is in November, I added a few months because I wanted to max out my 401K the next year by the end of April, then leave. I found out that after 1,000 hours, my company gives me another year of pension, which is about an extra $100 per month at 65, so I added just a couple of months to my end date to ~6/25. I then added July 1st, to get another 1.67 days of vacation and healthcare paid for the month. I added July 5th in, so I would get paid for July 4th, double-pay day.

At one time, I did have a “do or die” asset amount I wanted to have in my investment account of $1.5M, but since then, I paid off my personal home, another large rental mortgage, almost paid off another large rental mortgage, and purchased another rental property with cash. All told, paying those extra mortgages off generates another almost $4,000+ per month in cash flow. So my investment account is not going to be that high.

Looking back, I probably should have left a year ago, or even three, but I am now nearly 100% positive I will not have financial issues, regardless of what the stock market does. And I can live better than I did while working.
FIRE no later than 7/5/2016 at 56 (done), securing '16 401K match (done), getting '15 401K match (done), LTI Bonus (done), Perf bonus (done), maxing out 401K (done), picking up 1,000 hours to get another year of pension (done), July 1st benefits (vacation day, healthcare) (done), July 4th holiday. 0 days left. (done) OFFICIALLY RETIRED 7/5/2016!!
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Old 02-07-2016, 08:31 AM   #26
Recycles dryer sheets
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 457
At one point our goal was 20X and when we reached that point realized that was too close for comfort and FIRECalc indicated significant chances of failure.

Our next goal was 25X and while FIRECalc showed much better success rates we realized that was still not a sufficient cushion for us.

We continued to save and invest, along with understanding our expenses, and finally found ourselves at 33X and FIRECalc showed 100% success almost without fail. We used FIRECalc along with a series of spreadsheets, including some budgeting calculations for off-chart spending, and finally decided 33X was sufficient knowing we may find ourselves back into 20X - 30X spending with market downturns.
Dreamin' of Streamin'
FIRE'd at 52 on 7/8/11
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:24 PM   #27
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Los Angeles area
Posts: 1,479
I was ready to retire when my dividend income (from my all-stock portfolio) minus health insurance and taxes equaled my take-home pay minus mortgage (which I had just paid off) and savings.

This happened in 2004, although I worked 2 more years because I was in a sweet spot at work. I retired with 17x my gross pay (about 30x my expenses?) at 48.
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Old 02-09-2016, 08:07 AM   #28
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Location: North Bay
Posts: 1,049
We (57 and 53) are at 50x estimated expenses, and will retire this year. I'll find out in a couple of weeks whether I'll be eligible for a severance package to help ease my exit.

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