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Old 03-02-2012, 10:08 AM   #21
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I disagree with the generally negative responses, here. This article is dated 2/29, but I saw something very similar to this a few months back, perhaps it's a retread. In any event, it provides practical advice to that tweener segment of people - making respectable earnings, have respectable savings, but not quite financially able to retire.
This provides a good middle-of-the-road approach to them, that allows them to enjoy "retirement" without endangering their long term financial solvency.

I agree... it is a good approach IMO....

One of the problems is that you can focus to much on the savings side and not enjoy life today... and that can make you grumpy even if you are not working... enjoy life more today and maybe work does not suck as much...

I am actually looking at doing this a bit more... and in a few years I will probably move to part time to even delay it more...
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:14 AM   #22
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One of the problems is that you can focus to much on the savings side and not enjoy life today... and that can make you grumpy even if you are not working... enjoy life more today and maybe work does not suck as much...
I don't disagree with this -- it's important to save for tomorrow but it's also important to enjoy today because we know we have today and we may not have the tomorrows we save for. But this article seems to be suggesting that one ramp up their spending just before actual retirement as a way to compensate for not yet retiring.

Maybe some people are wired for that. But I know how I'd be in that situation -- any time I spent money on "stuff" like that, I'd feel guilty and bad because I feel like I just delayed my retirement by a few days. And multiplied by enough purchases, that could become years.
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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 03-02-2012, 10:52 AM   #23
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I do see the point about how adding to your retirement later in life really doesn't affect things as much. Now, that's provided you've been saving all along, and had decades for some of your investments to compound. But, the last few years really don't seem to make that much difference.

For example, in my case, running the Firecalc numbers, I have a 90.4% chance of being able to retire in 2016 if I invest $20,000 per year until then. If I push it to 2017, I have a 98.8% chance.

But, if I cut back my investing to $10,000 per year, I have a 91.6% chance of success if I retire in 2017, and a 98.8% chance if I do it in 2018. (but only an 85.5% chance of success if I retire in 2016).

So, in this case, I'd have $10,000 more per year to play with and have fun with, at the expense of having to work one more year. If I quit saving altogether and used that $20K per year for fun money, I'd have an 89.2% chance of success retiring in 2018 and a 97.6% chance if I retire in 2019. So in this case, I'd have to work two more years.

Now in my case, I think the time is more valuable than the money, but others may not see it that way.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:09 AM   #24
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I believe that the article is misnamed. Clearly it's not retirement when one keeps working. Catchy headlines do sell newspapers and get online traffic though.

Personally though I can relate to the logic to keep working and live better than the little savor that you previously were. If working lets you live larger, and it's OK with you to keep working then that's OK with me too. Living large and having big dreams can be great fun.

Regarding the Wally references, I just might have some perspective on that.... Once you realize that you are financially independent your whole "toe-the-line, go-along-to-get-along" mentality changes. At that stage you can be yourself, speak your mind, and (to a degree) do what you want. If some of the other worker-slaves think poorly of you then so be it. Being financially independent is really quite enlightening and refreshing.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:18 AM   #25
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Regarding the Wally references, I just might have some perspective on that.... Once you realize that you are financially independent your whole "toe-the-line, go-along-to-get-along" mentality changes. At that stage you can be yourself, speak your mind, and (to a degree) do what you want.
Yep, I've mentioned here before that this happened to my dad when he turned 55 and became eligible to retire (and was financially able to do so). At one point he fully intended to retire at 55... but his bosses knew that and didn't want to lose him, so they shielded him from most of the corporate BS that he hated and allowed him to concentrate on the parts of his job he enjoyed -- and he stayed for more than 2 more years before an early retirement incentive he couldn't pass up came on the table.

We spend so much of out working lives dependent on our employers, and when (like now) they call the shots and can dictate their terms, they do so and make work suck even more -- more work, longer hours, lower real pay and an "if you don't like it, the door is that way" attitude are common. So it would certainly be nice to turn the tables, assuming your employer doesn't want to lose you and they know they will lose you if they piss you off. That's a leverage many of us can only dream of having.
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:05 PM   #26
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Oh great. Another article on how you can't have your cake or eat it too.
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:13 PM   #27
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Reading the replies and some additional thought the article would have been better if it were titled "When to stop saving and start living more". The strategy I chose for that, at age 51, was semi-retirement. I have been 4 years in semi-retirement, working 20 hours a week at what was my full-time job, paid an hourly wage without benefits. I have afternoons off usually but can flex my time as needed. Bottom line, where I worked needed me more than I needed them. I had the financial resources to walk away and then they scrambled to get me back in some capacity. I feel better about work and enjoy it where before it was a grind and I was worn out. The funny thing is I have consistently been able to outperform two full time colleagues by some objective measures. That really annoys them because management is really on their case (the entertainment value of that is a benefit). Liz Weston lost her credibility with me 6 years ago when she declared her and her husband millionaires but had to include home equity to reach 7 digits. Had not thought much about her since then and will even less now.
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:17 PM   #28
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Now in my case, I think the time is more valuable than the money, but others may not see it that way.
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Old 03-02-2012, 05:05 PM   #29
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Great discussion here...never would have happened if the had given the article an honest (non-misleading) title. It was the same old story about the affordability of retirement, with 2% content about spending on travel and other retirement kinds of things. And as mentioned earlier, no detail as to how you'd manage, given you'd be at work instead of 3 weeks in Tahiti. Anyone read the 4 hour work week? If I could engineer one of those kinds of businesses, then, yeah! That book has some detail. Not easy to do, but if you can manage, then it would be awesome.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:32 PM   #30
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I think this is actually a really good point. Our savings are at the point that with a 5% return would be about the same amount that we can put in savings this year. Looking forward, the compound interest should be a lot bigger than the amount I can contribute each year. Being young, it's more important that we leave that money alone than it is to keep contributing.
I'm currently in a pretty high paying job for my experience, but I realized this year that if I got laid off and could only replace my take home pay, and reduced our contributions, it wouldn't affect my retirement date by very much.

I wouldn't quite call it FI, but it does feel nice to have our retirement accounts in such a good position.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:43 PM   #31
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If I had a nickel for every time that cartoon's been posted on this website then I'd be retir-- um, never mind.

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Great discussion here...never would have happened if the had given the article an honest (non-misleading) title. It was the same old story about the affordability of retirement, with 2% content about spending on travel and other retirement kinds of things. And as mentioned earlier, no detail as to how you'd manage, given you'd be at work instead of 3 weeks in Tahiti. Anyone read the 4 hour work week? If I could engineer one of those kinds of businesses, then, yeah! That book has some detail. Not easy to do, but if you can manage, then it would be awesome.
Sure, Ferris makes it sound pretty good in the book, but Mr. Money Mustache had a few interesting perspectives on that lifestyle:
Get Rich With: Good Old-Fashioned Hard Work | Mr. Money Mustache
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:12 PM   #32
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One of the problems is that you can focus to much on the savings side and not enjoy life today... and that can make you grumpy even if you are not working... enjoy life more today and maybe work does not suck as much...

I am actually looking at doing this a bit more... and in a few years I will probably move to part time to even delay it more...
As a couple we did something approaching the article, and what you suggest.

I wanted to wait until 55 to get the pension and retiree health insurance, but 6 years before that we really didn't need to be saving at the rate we were. DW had 4 weeks vacation allowance at her company, and I had 6 weeks. A job opportunity within the same megacorp came up but in a different State and working for a UK Director that I knew and was good friends with, so I took it, and DW quit her job dropping our combined income by about 30%. (all of her salary had been going into savings plus some of mine).

Apart from 6 weeks of vacation that we could both take, I had lots of business trips to Europe and DW was now able to come with me, and did so on several of them, mostly to the UK, Spain and Belgium. On 2 occaisions she spent 6 weeks over in the UK, traveling around as well as visiting family.

DW also took on all the household chores, plus the change of job in a different field and completely different location was a very welcome change for both of us.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:34 AM   #33
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It's important to save for tomorrow but it's also important to enjoy today because we know we have today and we may not have the tomorrows we save for.
If anyone ever answered that one definitely, life would certainly be easier. We all struggle with balancing today & tomorrow, and answer imperfectly...best we can do.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:57 AM   #34
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I think the approach in the article is perfect for someone like me. Too scared to actually retire but probably has enough in savings to do so. I'm thinking if I do decide to wait a couple of more years that I will actually TRAVEL during my vacation time (I am the Queen of Staycations ! always have been). I have three or four big trips on my bucket list. Right now I have the funds for them excluded from all my portfolio / retirement calculators. If I w*rk two more years to pay for (and take) those vacations during that period that would allow me to add the 40k I have set aside to my retirement porfolio and boost those success ratios up a notch or two. It sort of IS having your cake and eating it too !

I just need to figure out of I can deal with stress and the BS another two years .... close game !
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:19 AM   #35
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If I had a nickel for every time that cartoon's been posted on this website then I'd be retir-- um, never mind.
Some thoughts need to be reinforced ...

Anyway, it seem to be an answer (without words) to a comment made. It's kind of amazing that it becomes "the answer" to a lot of discussions/comments, here. Sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand words...
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:30 AM   #36
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In the Navy this is referred to as the "ROADS" scholarship program: "Retired on Active Duty Service", or "might as well be retired for all the work that we get out of them".
I'm familiar with the phenomenon from my current and previous megacorps. I used to work with a guy in his mid 60's who was repeatedly being asked about his retirement plans. His standard response was: "I retired 20 years ago but just didn't tell anyone". Funniest thing is, I think that to a great degree it was true, as he was working from a home office, and as far as I could tell most days he put in just couple of hours of real work.
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:38 AM   #37
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I would not call what the article described as retirement, but I can see that it would work well for some people. If I had a couple of kids to finish putting through college and a mortgage to pay off, I might work longer to do so, but also, reward myself by spending some of the former retirement savings money on those things I really want to do but have not yet done. Compromise and balance often make sense.
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:35 PM   #38
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Funniest thing is, I think that to a great degree it was true, as he was working from a home office, and as far as I could tell most days he put in just couple of hours of real work.
He was probably more productive in those couple hours than an entire week of the extreme programmers working around a shared cubicle while attending department meetings and mandatory training seminars...
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Old 03-03-2012, 03:49 PM   #39
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Sure, Ferris makes it sound pretty good in the book, but Mr. Money Mustache had a few interesting perspectives on that lifestyle:
Get Rich With: Good Old-Fashioned Hard Work | Mr. Money Mustache
Loved that link...thanks!
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And here’s the best part: the insane work will bring you just as much happiness as the leisure time!
I agree with that too. My best vacations are where we overhaul the boat's engine rather than just take a boat ride. It's harder to see when you're working for megacorp, but even then, it can be seen that what you're doing is leading to something else.

--Dale--
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:11 PM   #40
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My best vacations are where we overhaul the boat's engine rather than just take a boat ride. It's harder to see when you're working for megacorp, but even then, it can be seen that what you're doing is leading to something else.

--Dale--
Projects are a LOT more fun when you do them on your timetable and only you or your family are the ones who get to decide what should be done!

There is no rule that says you're not allowed to work (oops!) on projects just because someone else is not paying you!

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Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
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