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Anyone FIRE on less than a million?
Old 08-09-2010, 11:08 PM   #1
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Anyone FIRE on less than a million?

Just curious if anyone has successfully FIRE'd on less than $1Million and DID NOT have a defined benefit pension plan from their employer.
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:50 PM   #2
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Ain't there yet, but I will retire with about half that and only $400/mo in defined benefit pension. No choice. Also not 'early'.
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:51 AM   #3
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Just curious if anyone has successfully FIRE'd on less than $1Million and DID NOT have a defined benefit pension plan from their employer.
You would need to define the "E" in FIRE ("early"), the perimeter of the portfolio (includes paid-off house?), and of course the word "successfully". And while you're at it, how much less than $1 million.

FireCalc shows that with $750K in the bank now and $10K/year SS kicking in in 2022 allows you to withdraw $35K/year with a 90% success rate. Could be enough for a single 50-year-old in a modest rental appartment, but it might not be enough to hook in the next Anna Nicole Smith to keep you warm in your 80s.
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Old 08-10-2010, 05:22 AM   #4
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Not ERd yet. Too long to live. Too many things to see and do. Too much house (and resultant property tax, etc). Not likely I could do it on a million without major lifestyle changes. Not likely to be able to make said changes and remain married. YMMV

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Old 08-10-2010, 06:52 AM   #5
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Just curious if anyone has successfully FIRE'd on less than $1Million and DID NOT have a defined benefit pension plan from their employer.
I get the feeling you hate your job. And yes, accounting does suck.
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Old 08-10-2010, 07:00 AM   #6
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You would need to define the "E" in FIRE ("early"), the perimeter of the portfolio (includes paid-off house?), and of course the word "successfully". And while you're at it, how much less than $1 million.

FireCalc shows that with $750K in the bank now and $10K/year SS kicking in in 2022 allows you to withdraw $35K/year with a 90% success rate. Could be enough for a single 50-year-old in a modest rental appartment, but it might not be enough to hook in the next Anna Nicole Smith to keep you warm in your 80s.
This almost describes me. I'm close to ER. I'm 49 and have $600k in the portfolio. I'm single and budget $30k a year excluding the mortgage P&I. The thing that gets me to ER is that I get $2000 a month from a rental property. I still have $150k to pay on the mortgage so I want to pay that down a bit more, but if I was to refinance to a longer term and lower monthly payments I could arrange my cash flow so that I could ER now.
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Old 08-10-2010, 07:03 AM   #7
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Our goal is $3M even though our projected expenses are in the $60K range.
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:21 AM   #8
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I did not need $1M to FIRE in 2008 at age 45. My annual expenses are about $21.5k (debt-free since 1998) and my taxable account investments (about $650k) generate much more than that to cover them. I also have about $300k in an IRA and a frozen pension (and SS) waiting for me in 13-18 years from now.
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:29 PM   #9
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To find someone who "successfully FIRE'd", they must be dead, right? Otherwise, who knows if they run out of money before they die...
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:33 PM   #10
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To find someone who "successfully FIRE'd", they must be dead, right? Otherwise, who knows if they run out of money before they die...
You could see if the check to the funeral home bounced.
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:37 PM   #11
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Our goal is $3M even though our projected expenses are in the $60K range.
My planned expenses are the same, but my goal is $2M.
just wondering why do you plan for $3M? To make it safe?
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:55 PM   #12
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To find someone who "successfully FIRE'd", they must be dead, right? Otherwise, who knows if they run out of money before they die...
I was thinking that when I read it too. Hey, I could successfully start a Marathon...

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Old 08-10-2010, 01:33 PM   #13
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You would need to define the "E" in FIRE ("early"), the perimeter of the portfolio (includes paid-off house?), and of course the word "successfully". And while you're at it, how much less than $1 million.

FireCalc shows that with $750K in the bank now and $10K/year SS kicking in in 2022 allows you to withdraw $35K/year with a 90% success rate. Could be enough for a single 50-year-old in a modest rental appartment, but it might not be enough to hook in the next Anna Nicole Smith to keep you warm in your 80s.
Well then....guess I'm gold....no Anna for me.
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:35 PM   #14
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I could comfortably retire if I had $800K today. I might be able to make it work on $600K if needed and that is for 40 years. Too bad i'm hundreds of thousands short of either of those(i'm only 30).
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:54 PM   #15
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How is everyone handling health insurance?
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:56 PM   #16
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If this was 2014, all my remaining debt was paid off, and I had a million bucks invested, then I would just barely feel comfortable ER'ing. But I would probably keep working "just one more year" to make sure I have enough wiggle room for the decades ahead.

I say 2014 because that is when the government is generous enough to give me free/extremely cheap health insurance.

A million would get you $30,000-40,000 a year in spending. If that meets your projected expense needs then it should be fine.
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:59 PM   #17
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How is everyone handling health insurance?
Free/cheap obamacare coupled with a low taxable income (to make it free/cheap).
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:04 PM   #18
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I am not yet FIREd so take my comment with some skepticism. I think one can retire with less than a million but there are compromises and assumptions. First, the health care should be semi-free courtesy new law, live in a low cost area, low cost hobbies, less/frugal travel, and very less commitments (eg. kids education). I think with 2000/month + paid house its doable.

little story played for ER:

ER or not to ER:
Morpheus ( Laurence Fishburne ):
"You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in you bed and believe whatever you want to. You take the red pill, and stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes."

Actually ERed:
Morpheus ( Laurence Fishburne ):
"Neo, sooner or later you're going to realize just I did, there's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path."

Bear Market:
Cypher (Joe Pantoliano):
"You know, I know what you're thinking. 'Cause right now I'm thinking the same thing. Actually, I've been thinking it ever since I got here. Why, oh, why didn't I take the BLUE pill?"
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:08 PM   #19
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How is everyone handling health insurance?
Contributory group company from mega-corp. I retired from at age 59.

Currently, $500/mo for DW/me. Increases so far have been minimal.

In less than three years, we'll be on Medicare, with Medigap (at reduced rates) also through former company.

No problems thus far on the medical insurance front and I'm sure we will be on Medicare before changes (if any) by what's happening in the pre-Medicare world with proposed regs...
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:08 PM   #20
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Free/cheap obamacare coupled with a low taxable income (to make it free/cheap).

Talking about health care subsidies, it looks like you would have to make less than 400% of the poverty level to qualify. For a couple, that would be roughly $50K / per year. Our planned retirement income would be just above that although, in bad market years, we may qualify. That could help soften the blow.

I found this nifty simulator yesterday that shows what impact Obamacare could have based on income:

Health Reform Subsidy Calculator
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