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50 and less than a million
Old 02-13-2009, 05:02 AM   #1
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50 and less than a million

Is there any one who has ER'd in the last year who is age 50 or less with 1 million or less in the coffers? Did the plan pay off ? Would you do it that way again? What have been the up-sides?
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:23 AM   #2
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Are you asking how much in liquid assets. I plan on going this year at 50 and only have a 1/2 million in savings. However my net worth is about 1.2 million and I will have a pension. If the pension is drawn out over 20-25 years and I'm not dead by then ,we can add another million or so.
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:24 AM   #3
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Without a pension and retiree health insurance, this is a virtual impossibility without either an austere lifestyle or at least a part-time j*b...
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 02-13-2009, 08:30 AM   #4
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A couple of years ago Barron's ran an article about a guy who did it with 600k; I wonder how he's doing?

My original question inplied 1 million or less w/o fancy pensions, COLA products/add ons etc.
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:35 AM   #5
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A couple of years ago Barron's ran an article about a guy who did it with 600k; I wonder how he's doing?
My guess: working again. I'm surprised he hasn't been featured somewhere if so; these fearmongering "I have to go back to work because this market/economy have busted my retirement" articles are quite common these days.

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My original question inplied 1 million or less w/o fancy pensions, COLA products/add ons etc.
Well, I guess "virtually impossible" might have been a bit strong. I guess I'd rephrase that as simply "way too risky." Sure, if you had the inflation-adjusted equivalent at that age and started retirement in 1982, you probably would have done just fine (assuming you went more conservative as you aged into the late 1990s). But I think without pensions or health insurance provided, you either have to live as a borderline pauper or get lucky in the timing of your retirement in order to have this be survivable.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:35 AM   #6
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I ER'd at 45, less than a million liquid assets, but with plans that should survive.

Not too much changed in my plans, except my budget. I also decided to keep my law license current. My plan includes things not affected by the current economy, including selling property some distant day in the future.

I put some new carrots in my planning, like buying a used Class B camper van if I find a great deal.

I think it's all doable with paid off property and autos and knowing the life you want to live. I'm very happy.
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:38 AM   #7
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Is there any one who has ER'd in the last year who is age 50 or less with 1 million or less in the coffers? Did the plan pay off ? Would you do it that way again? What have been the up-sides?
FIREd at 48. Net worth was way under $1M.
Income stream was COLAd govt pension with health insurance benefits, plus fixed annuity. 8 years til small deferred retirement pension starts. 14 years til minimum SS elgibility.
Plan paid off until inflation hit. I was able to lower expenses and met bills ONLY due to guaranteed income streams. Otherwise, it would have been really really ugly.
Absolutely, positively...I would do exactly what I did. A few minor potholes but no flat tires.
Upside....hmmmmm...I am Happy Wild and Freebird.
Stress removed = mental and physical health improved 300%, unbelievable positive feedback for FIRE decision from doctor and friends, yadda yadda yadda.
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:50 AM   #8
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Without a pension and retiree health insurance, this is a virtual impossibility without either an austere lifestyle or at least a part-time j*b...

Didn't the Kaderli's do it on $500,000 ?
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:57 AM   #9
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Didn't the Kaderli's do it on $500,000 ?
They still have earned income from the sale of stuff on their web site, so that doesn't completely count.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:17 AM   #10
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Whether a plan works or not takes time to see. I left the workforce full time last April with just over 1M in liquid assets and another $300K in real estate and other real property.

I thought I needed about 40K a year income to continue my lifestyle. It's more like 36K looking at first year results.

I have HDHP health insurance running about $300 a month at age 52 and no health issues.

I ended up working P/T but it was more of an accident than a plan. This cut my first year draw in half.

Figure out what your annual expenses are, add a 10% fudge/fun factor to that and run the numbers through FIRECALC.

What has been the upside? More time to go hunting, shooting and fishing. Much less stress, lost some weight, eat better and taking more time to prepare meals, taking more naps, more visiting friends, getting more projects accomplsihed around my house. Cut down on the use and cost of fossil fuels to heat my house as I have the time to tend a wood stove.

I decided to take the plunge because some day I am going to be be dead and that is a guarantee. Ihave lost the entire generation above me in my family.
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:24 AM   #11
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I ran the following in FIRECALC, $1M in assets, 30 year time frame, 50% allocation to equities, conservative cash position 5 year treasury rate, $16000 in SS income in 12 years from now, using spending model for 95% probability of success gave a spending model starting with $47K annually with deafult inflation rate on spending.

I respect Ziggy but I disagree with this scenario as impossible if you can get by on $47K or less.
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:06 AM   #12
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Too many variables to simply answer "yes" or "no" to original question, as we've seen posters in here who spend the same on entire food budget as others do on blueberries.

Does OP live in California or Mississippi? Is OP's hobby international travel or knitting? Hamburger steak with ketchup or filet?

Expenses is the big variable here.
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:11 AM   #13
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Is OP's hobby international travel or knitting?
My wife has caught the knitting bug. It ain't cheap. (Okay, cheaper than international travel even with some of today's travel bargains, but still...)
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:30 AM   #14
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I have a coworker who's wife has the scrapbooking bug, talk about a money pit. I was sure he was exaggerating until I mentioned in a conversation with someone else who also knew someone who poured that much money into it.

I'm not really even sure what scrapbooking entails but sheesh.
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:54 AM   #15
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Actually I would have to say I think it would be possible if one lived outside the US. The major roadblock for most in the US is undoubtedly medical insurance, so if you live in a country where private can be purchased cheaply or there is a national health scheme it would be achievable.
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Old 02-13-2009, 12:25 PM   #16
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See my by-line. I "retired" at 38 with a NW of about -$50,000 (yes that is a minus). Had COLA'd Retired Pay of about $10K, lifetime low cost medical care. 3 teenagers at home. All 4 kids are college graduates. Lived in VA, FL and OH and 30 years later NW is about $2.5MM - no inheritances, no windfalls. Just plugging along in life. Would I like to do that again? No, but it can be done today but would have to be about a $36K of retired pay, medical care, and a positive NW would help.
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Old 02-13-2009, 12:50 PM   #17
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I have a coworker who's wife has the scrapbooking bug, talk about a money pit. I was sure he was exaggerating until I mentioned in a conversation with someone else who also knew someone who poured that much money into it.

I'm not really even sure what scrapbooking entails but sheesh.
Construction paper, safety scissors, elmer's glue, and crushed Meteorites to be used as glitter.
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Old 02-13-2009, 01:31 PM   #18
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See my by-line. I "retired" at 38 with a NW of about -$50,000 (yes that is a minus). Had COLA'd Retired Pay of about $10K, lifetime low cost medical care. 3 teenagers at home. All 4 kids are college graduates. Lived in VA, FL and OH and 30 years later NW is about $2.5MM - no inheritances, no windfalls. Just plugging along in life. Would I like to do that again? No, but it can be done today but would have to be about a $36K of retired pay, medical care, and a positive NW would help.
Perhaps you've described your strategy elsewhere, if so, can you provide a link? Otherwise, it appears that the laws of finance do not apply to you.

Thirty years ago you were $50k in the hole. So just plugging along you've averaged adding $83k annually to your net worth? On a small pension? Without inheritance or windfall?
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Old 02-13-2009, 01:47 PM   #19
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Perhaps you've described your strategy elsewhere, if so, can you provide a link? Otherwise, it appears that the laws of finance do not apply to you.

Thirty years ago you were $50k in the hole. So just plugging along you've averaged adding $83k annually to your net worth? On a small pension? Without inheritance or windfall?
Sold the source of the -$50K debt for a reasonable profit (like about net $65K) put it into savings (Long term CD's and did not redeem them except to roll them over, for the most part) - Retired Pay COLA'd - now SS COLA'd - Personal Savings - 2% SWR - I little part-time work to eat - very low medical costs - it can be done. No strategy except maybe keeping living expenses way down.
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Old 02-13-2009, 01:47 PM   #20
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My mom lives on $1400 per month SS and pension with only about 200k in liquid assets. But she lives in Italy where medical insurance is only $300 per year. She owns her house outright and does not pay property tax. She lives frugally but well. It doesn't hurt she lives in a beautiful hill town in Tuscany.
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