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Working on FI, RE doubtful
Old 08-12-2007, 10:17 PM   #1
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Working on FI, RE doubtful

I'm in the middle of the Boomer generation, concerned about my retirement. My retirement savings are well ahead of average for my age and income and I live well beneath my means. Except for credit card charges from the current billing cycle, I am debt free.

Nevertheless, I don't see myself retiring early or even at the age of 62. I have been posting on my blog on general topics, including when to take Social Security benefits.

Glad to be aboard and hope to have fruitful discussions.
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Old 08-12-2007, 10:26 PM   #2
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Welcome to the board. Getting to FIRE is not a race. You get there when you get there. Some can do it sooner than others. We are all different and have different needs, expenses, incomes and desires. What works from one person may not work for another. Don't sweat the timing in years to FIRE; just try to enjoy the trip on the way there. After FIRE is a whole new life just waiting for you.

Nice blog. I see you have already done a lot of homework in your retirement planning. There are scores of theads on the SS topic so please feel free to use the Search tool and read to your hearts's content.

Good luck and again welcome to the board.
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Old 08-30-2007, 02:31 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by EngineeringMyFinances View Post
I'm in the middle of the Boomer generation, concerned about my retirement. My retirement savings are well ahead of average for my age and income and I live well beneath my means. Except for credit card charges from the current billing cycle, I am debt free.

I can almost see your image when I look in the mirror. At middle age we were LBYM and debt free, had more than most (for our age) but retirement looked bleak. After the kids educational expenses were done, things took off. The nest egg, while not huge, was large enough, along with steady contributions to our ROTH IRAs, TSP and 403(b), to retire 5 years later.

Most people can only control their income to a limited amount. Almost everyone can control their cost of living. Controlling your costs is the ticket to FIRE.
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:51 PM   #4
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Perhaps "concerned" does not clearly state my mental attitude. I am concerned to the extent that I've got my eye on the situation and am planning my savings with the goal of not having to cut my standard of living when retiring sometime in my 60's. LBMM helps that a lot since I have to save for retirement myself -- I don't have a government pension (only a $300/month pension from my employer if retiring at 55).

"Concerned" does not mean that I'm worried or pessimistic. Though I realize that an illness, job loss, or other financial setup could derail my plans.

What "concerned" does is set me apart from the great unwashed masses who give the topic of retirement little thought and assume that a comfortable retirement automatically awaits them at the age of 65.
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:28 PM   #5
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Maybe what you mean is "motivated" rather than "concerned." I know I was sure motivated to FIRE and I worked very hard to make my dream a reality. I can't say I was really concerned as much as I was motivated to make it happen and that drove a lot of the things required to get to FIRE.

Keep planning but also keep your eye on the goal. What do you really want out of early retirement? When do you want to do it and what will it take to get there? The rest is execution.
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Old 08-31-2007, 02:12 AM   #6
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What % of your target Retirement Portfolio (assets) have you accumulated? Calc the % using today's $ for current and target?
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Old 08-31-2007, 03:10 AM   #7
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Perhaps "concerned" does not clearly state my mental attitude. I am concerned to the extent that I've got my eye on the situation and am planning my savings with the goal of not having to cut my standard of living when retiring sometime in my 60's.

When you have been LBYM you do not need to cut your standard of living in retirement. After LBYM I find it hard to spend wastefully in retirement.

LBMM helps that a lot since I have to save for retirement myself -- I don't have a government pension (only a $300/month pension from my employer if retiring at 55).

My DW who has worked at the same hospital as an RN for 28 years. She could start drawing her pension of $244/mo at 55yo.

You need to cover your own @$$. She has always put the maximum in her ROTH IRAs and her 403(b).

"Concerned" does not mean that I'm worried or pessimistic. Though I realize that an illness, job loss, or other financial setup could derail my plans.

What "concerned" does is set me apart from the great unwashed masses who give the topic of retirement little thought and assume that a comfortable retirement automatically awaits them at the age of 65.
Most of the people on this forum probably fell under your definition of "concerned" during their early stages of accumulation. When you see your plan actually working out, you become less concerned.
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Old 08-31-2007, 07:45 AM   #8
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As I describe on this post on my blog, if I were 66 today, I could replace about 90% of my current spending. But I'm not 66, and about 1/2 of that retirement income would be from Social Security.

And that projection assumes that taxes won't go up and that SS won't be cut. And there's the big elephant in the room that it doesn't cover: health care / long-term care. There are other risks to consider as well. I'm not losing any sleep over them, but it's better to plan now than later.
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:13 AM   #9
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What I don't see on your site is a discussion about expenses - did I miss it?

The analysis is very good. I would suggest (if you haven't done it) is to project your particular circumstances (expense, net worth, income) into the future.

Macro concepts are great but you can put your arms around the micro.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:31 PM   #10
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You may find that you won't spend nearly as much in retirement as you do in the work-a-day world. It costs money to maintain a "working" lifestyle. Transportation costs for example, you don't have to get to work anymore. Now your car will last forever...
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Old 09-01-2007, 08:08 AM   #11
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What I don't see on your site is a discussion about expenses
When it comes to expenses, I don't track every penny as do some people. I did it when younger with less income and more obligations. But now that my income is greater, my obligations fewer, and my spending habits established I don't need to do that. My method probably will not work for most people, so I'm not recommending it for anyone else - YMMV. You can infer my expenses in this post on my blog where I talk about how long my retirement savings would last at current spending rates without any Social Security income.

For retirement planning purposes, I estimate my spending as whatever's left over after paying taxes and setting aside for retirement. So "spending" includes money I set aside for mid-range expenses such as replacing my car or major repairs to my house, as I expect to have these expenses even in retirement. Yes, I have projected my retirement with a monster spreadsheet.
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... you won't spend nearly as much in retirement as you do in the work-a-day world
I don't expect my spending to drop in retirement. My working lifestyle is not that expensive. I take my lunch to work. My working clothing is what I'd wear anyway. As far as transportation costs, my 10-mile commute can easily be replaced by a trip to go somewhere and do something.

I expect my spending in retirement to go up, not down. With more time to pursue hobbies and go on trips, why wouldn't it? I just hope that my savings and health will support some extra fun for awhile.
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