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29 days to go...
Old 04-02-2008, 05:28 PM   #1
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29 days to go...

We plan to ER at the end of April, though we continue to think of it as a break of undetermined length. We want to keep our minds open to the option of going back to work - either full time or part time.

These are exciting times for us. Thanks to all on the board for the advice, examples etc. This board helped me make our ER decision.

I would like to post a different aspect of my thinking/plan/outlook as I go through this month.

Days to go: 29
State of Mind today: Mildly anxious.

Do we have enough?

We have kept track of our expenses for the past 5 years, during which we've done some major house repairs, made a major furniture purchase, bought a car (used). We've classified out every work related expense (like commuting). So we have a good feel for how much we need - at least, while we're each working 50 hour weeks! How much will we need when we have all the time to ourselves? We'll find out soon enough. We don't budget, but rather inspect our spending and try to modify our behavior to get the most joy out of it. Obviously, we'll have to keep to an overall budget from now on. To be safe, we've left some buffer in our planned annual withdrawal to allow us to spend modestly more than we did over the past 5 years.

I've analyzed my withdrawal amount using the SWR rules by Bengen, Guyton et al, Bob Clyyatt, FireCalc, Financial Engines (through vanguard), morningstar (through t-rowe price), ESPlanner and probably some that I've forgotten about - and they all tell me that I have enough. However, at 48, I could have another 48 years to go - that's a long, long time, so we'll keep monitoring expenses and portfolio over the next few years to be safe.

I've stopped the SWR analysis! Time to take a leap of faith.
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Old 04-02-2008, 06:28 PM   #2
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walkinwood, congratulations on taking the leap! Keep us informed about how things are going, and how you're feeling. There are a lot of us in very much the same position.

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Old 04-02-2008, 06:42 PM   #3
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walkinwood,

Congratulations on your ER. Five years of tracking your expenses is sound reassurance that you know exactly what you're spending. I don't see how you could go wrong. I only tracked my expenses for two years and found that I was plus or minus within a thousand dollars. All of the calculators you've used should give you added confidence. You should have a very secure ER, with all of your research and planning. Enjoy your new life!
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Old 04-02-2008, 07:03 PM   #4
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As a 48 year old Jersey guy myself, thinking of taking the plunge sometime soon, I wish you all the best in your ER!!! It's inspiring to see someone else doing it, and I wish you well.
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:00 PM   #5
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I made the jump March 2nd so I'm an expert
I have done a lot of back of the envelope calculations but not the more detailed ones many have done her. all because of a COLAd pension

This retiring into a recession could get interesting. And my youngest son is in his first year of college. I like my work enough but free time is even better. Off to see older son & grand children tomorrow.
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Old 04-02-2008, 10:27 PM   #6
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It seems that retirement is getting increased media attention lately. NBC news had a story on retirement tonight. The double whammy of falling stock prices coupled with housing prices spiraling downward have left many people without hope for retirement. NBC interviewed an airline employee who was close to 65 who said she laid her head down on the table and cried when she realized she could not retire because of the poor economy.
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:11 AM   #7
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... NBC interviewed an airline employee who was close to 65 who said she laid her head down on the table and cried when she realized she could not retire because of the poor economy.
There's a lot of doom and gloom in the news, but I like walkinwood's story much better! It's nice to know that ER is still doable for people who planned well, in spite of any quirks in the economy.
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Old 04-03-2008, 08:28 AM   #8
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Congratulations walkinwood. There was another thread here recently talking about people who worry most about retirement finances are usually the ones who have planned the best for it. Others live in blissful ignorance thinking SS or something else will take care of them. Sounds like you should be OK.
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Old 04-03-2008, 11:19 AM   #9
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There's a lot of doom and gloom in the news, but I like walkinwood's story much better! It's nice to know that ER is still doable for people who planned well, in spite of any quirks in the economy.
There sure is. I was on the CNN Money website the other day just perusing and they had like 25 stories of people in financial freefall. What purpose is this supposed to serve?
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Old 04-03-2008, 11:29 AM   #10
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I've also been perusing the CNN segment called 'America's Money'. The purpose it serves for me is to remind me to keep myself on track, so I don't go into foreclosure (I'm not even close, don't worry) or declare bankruptcy, or develop any of the other questionable financial habits profiled (like the woman who sold her car because the repairs would cost more than it's worth, but spends $200 a WEEK on a car rental).

There are, however, several 'good news' stories hidden within the scary ones. People who have their financial lives in order, who have savings, who paid down debt, and are ready---or almost ready---for retirement, like many of the posters in this forum (I hope to be one of those people someday----I'm getting there)!
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