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Old 05-12-2015, 01:38 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
We had about $1.3 million in investments when I quit working. I figured that was enough. DW continues to work, and those paychecks plus the market pushed us over $1.4 million.

We have 3 youngish kids, so wanted a bit more than a million to make sure we had "enough" and to plan for a few small bumps in the road. And some for college.

$1 million plus a paid off house gets you pretty far, especially if you're in line for Social Security that's meaningful. That's not a hugely popular opinion here, but it provides a lifestyle that's roughly in line with what the median household can afford when you back out things like taxes, mortgage payments (or rent), and costs of working. In other words, you have to watch what you spend, but you don't have to live a life of strict deprivation.

Our budget is $32,400/yr (in Raleigh NC), but I figure we can spend $40k/yr at a 3% withdrawal rate. We don't strictly budget and might blow the $32k spending target since we're doing 2 months of overseas travel this summer.
Your wife works and you are a stay at home dad with 3 small kids.

So how do you consider yourself retired? Raising 3 kids is a full time job.
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Old 05-12-2015, 02:44 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by purplesky View Post
Your wife works and you are a stay at home dad with 3 small kids.

So how do you consider yourself retired? Raising 3 kids is a full time job.
Ha ha! She's not working again till August and maybe not for long after that.

The oldest 2 are in school most of the day. The youngest isn't really that hard to take care of. But, uh, yeah, uh, raising 3 kids is a full time job.

And I was raising 3 kids while working - retiring had nothing to do with the fact that I'm raising 3 kids. Even when DW officially gives notice, we'll still both be full time parents raising 3 kids. Will neither of us be retired at that point? Gosh this non-retirement gets harder daily!
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Old 05-13-2015, 06:23 AM   #23
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I ask this because if we pay off our home, be debt free.....live under a strict budget -- is it possible?

When I say partial retire....I really mean having a job we actually enjoy (less stress), and no more rat race.
I can relate. NW roughly 700k usd (in Europe though - healthcare!), semi-retired since end of last year. Single, no kids.

Semi as in I haven't had a single dollar/euro coming in since november last year, and not really actively looking for work.

It may turn out to be a sabbatical though, I find my energy levels keep going up and feel like picking up some things to do professionally. Thinking about starting my own company (again) or doing some free lance work on the side, through clients I served before or professional network.

Is it possible for you? I think so, especially if you plan to still work for some income at much better terms like you say.

Money wise living in an expensive city with a high travel&entertainment budget might be tough. It all depends on what you mean with "a strict budget"

Financially speaking I feel I only have to work to finance said (semi-expensive) city living, travel and whatever silly thing (building a tesla coil?) I'd like to do that costs money. All of that is nice, yet I can do without it.

Kind of a neat feeling, all work is essentially optional. It agrees with me .. also fits in the "be flexible" attitude you'll need anyway if you "retire" really young (<55y?). No-one knows what the future will bring.

Temptation to work again high-intense for higher cash is also there (work x years, then REALLY be free), depending on the day of the week When I see my brother racing from A to B 50+ hours a week, not so much.

Postponing fun in life is all good, we've all done that to some degree, yet one won't live forever. Where is your balance?

In short: Yes, you can. Do the math, if it fits, go for it. YOLO and all that
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Old 05-13-2015, 09:36 AM   #24
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The decision to retire @53 was based on the thinking that, on paper, the numbers were close. Give it a try, and if it didn't seem to be working out, we could adjust with part time or fun w*rk... just enough to satisfy our needs, until SS kicked in.

Our situation might have been a little different, as health issues made it risky to continue with taking on risk to grow my own business, and leaving DW with an impossible debt, should my cancer return.

While we don't do cruises, world travel, or lived in a monied society... and we drive older cars and shop at Aldi's, we have been incredibly happy and never stressed about money.

Key to what we consider to be our success, is being on the same track... working together with plenty of give and take, and enjoying what we do, together. 57 years together, four sons, and now, no wages in the past 25 years, life has been very good.

We're not alone in this. In our Florida MFG Home community, there are many who have done the same thing. While the mantra is to "Live below your means", our choice was to find a lifestyle where the community builds a social structure that accounts for the income and spending level of those who live there. And so:

Potlucks and picnics instead of expensive restaurants.
Hoseshoes and billiards instead of golf. Activities membership $6/yr.
Pontoon boat flotillas, instead of Cruise ships.
Skits and talent shows instead of Theatre
Day trip caravans to Daytona Beach instead of Hotel vacations
Shorts and sandals instead of suits and dresses.
Community of mutual help and assistance instead of paid services.

It's not that we wouldn't have liked to travel, and lived a more opulent lifestyle... and yes, we'll never take that trip to Europe or Japan... never get to sit at the Captain's table on a cruise... or even spend a week at Sandals....
At the same time, seeing others living their own dreams gives some vicarious fascination and enjoyment.

It was a different time, but with far, far less than a million dollars, a wonderful retirement and never during this time, did we ever feel "poor". Today, in our retirement community... regular house in a CCRC, the subject of money never even comes up. While there are residents who have less than us, there a many who are very wealthy... impossible to tell the difference.
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Old 05-13-2015, 09:45 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
Even when DW officially gives notice, we'll still both be full time parents raising 3 kids. Will neither of us be retired at that point? Gosh this non-retirement gets harder daily!
It's called retirement with lots of current responsibilities and commitments!
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Old 05-13-2015, 10:38 AM   #26
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It's called retirement with lots of current responsibilities and commitments!
There is great deal of fascination with the word "retirement" here. Of course there is, this is an early retirement website! My mom was what used to be called a "housewife," though highly educated (a masters degree, fluent in French, worked during WWII, later as an English teacher and librarian) she chose to stay at home and raise her kids. If you had called her "retired" she would have laughed. I haven't had a W-2 in over 30 years, was I unemployed, retired, or trying to run a business? After my mom did reach the age when she would normally be retired, I don't think I ever heard her actually use that term. She was just living her life as she always had, transitioning to new struggles and adventures after her husband passed, and her kids were on their own. I have my definition of the word, others have theirs. I doubt it really matters. But there are two things I think that do matter. One is Financial Independence. Whether you are retired, working or somewhere in between, when you don't need to labor every day at work to live you are FI. Whether you choose to work or not is another matter. The second, even more important thing is quality of life, feeling fulfilled, having meaning in your life, happy to see each new sunrise, and enjoy every sunset. Spending your time raising your kids and being FI, really can't get a much better quality of life than that in my opinion.
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Old 05-13-2015, 11:09 AM   #27
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There is great deal of fascination with the word "retirement" here. Of course there is, this is an early retirement website! My mom was what used to be called a "housewife," though highly educated (a masters degree, fluent in French, worked during WWII, later as an English teacher and librarian) she chose to stay at home and raise her kids. If you had called her "retired" she would have laughed. I haven't had a W-2 in over 30 years, was I unemployed, retired, or trying to run a business? After my mom did reach the age when she would normally be retired, I don't think I ever heard her actually use that term. She was just living her life as she always had, transitioning to new struggles and adventures after her husband passed, and her kids were on their own. I have my definition of the word, others have theirs. I doubt it really matters. But there are two things I think that do matter. One is Financial Independence. Whether you are retired, working or somewhere in between, when you don't need to labor every day at work to live you are FI. Whether you choose to work or not is another matter. The second, even more important thing is quality of life, feeling fulfilled, having meaning in your life, happy to see each new sunrise, and enjoy every sunset. Spending your time raising your kids and being FI, really can't get a much better quality of life than that in my opinion.
Well expressed summary to my one liner. You said it better than I could ever have done!
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Old 05-13-2015, 03:22 PM   #28
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It's called retirement with lots of current responsibilities and commitments!
Pretty much. And those responsibilities and commitments vary year to year.

2013-2014 was a little rough with a 1-2 year old. 2015 with a 3 year old is a lot easier and way more fun.

2016-2017 should only get easier based on past experience with the added benefit of the kiddo traveling more easily.

By August of 2017 (possibly Aug 2016), the little guy will be in school all day and daily life will change a lot.

By the time the little guy is out of the house (well, he'll be 18) around 2030, life will change a lot again. I'll still be in my 40's at that point and hopefully not "old" yet. I'll still be bald though.

I guess these phases of life run in parallel to the more traditional experiences of folks here. Folks are active in their 50's. Start to slow down in their 60's. Slow down dramatically in their 70's.
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Old 05-13-2015, 06:29 PM   #29
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Pretty much. And those responsibilities and commitments vary year to year.

2013-2014 was a little rough with a 1-2 year old. 2015 with a 3 year old is a lot easier and way more fun.

2016-2017 should only get easier based on past experience with the added benefit of the kiddo traveling more easily.

By August of 2017 (possibly Aug 2016), the little guy will be in school all day and daily life will change a lot.

By the time the little guy is out of the house (well, he'll be 18) around 2030, life will change a lot again. I'll still be in my 40's at that point and hopefully not "old" yet. I'll still be bald though.

I guess these phases of life run in parallel to the more traditional experiences of folks here. Folks are active in their 50's. Start to slow down in their 60's. Slow down dramatically in their 70's.

Very well said.
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