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View Poll Results: FOR THOSE NOT ALREADY RETIRED:
My outlook/time horizon on (early) retirement HAS changed 54 50.47%
My time horizon on (early) retirement has NOT changed 53 49.53%
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:08 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Alan View Post
A few years back while in England on vacation there was an article comparing UK SS with other EU countries, and just for kicks they added in the US SS which dwarfed everyone else's.
Do you mean the payments dwarfed everyone else's?
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:25 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helen View Post
Do you mean the payments dwarfed everyone else's?
Correct - the average SS recipient in the USA received much more than the average SS recipient in an EU country.
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Old 03-15-2009, 09:36 PM   #43
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My hoped for age 59 1/2 retirement is now looking more like age 62. One leg of my "three-legged stool" is a non-COLA pension, so our 401k setback puts the hurt on the inflation protection aspect of our nest egg.

DW and I enjoy traveling around the U.S. so scaling back to a "heat and eat" lifestyle to retire earlier isn't an option. I'm willing to put in a few extra years to help feed our roaming addiction

My pension plan appears to be sound at present, but who knows when a freeze or other change could come to pass?
If that happens, I would have to consider semi ER an option.
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Old 03-15-2009, 10:03 PM   #44
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I'm still on track to hit FI just past age 47, but only because I have been pretty ruthlessly cutting back on my expenses as my portfolio has shrunk.

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Old 03-15-2009, 10:13 PM   #45
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The original plan was for this June at age 46. I intend to add one more year. I have about 15 years of cash (actual cash, not equivalents), but would like to add a full year of equity investments at these prices.
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Old 03-15-2009, 10:18 PM   #46
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I don't think SS is going anywhere for most people. But as Ziggy said, a lot of us fear that we will be means-tested out of SS. I already hear people on the left say aloud that rich people should not be receiving any SS benefits at all because they don't need it. If you can retire early without a DB pension, I am pretty sure that you'll be considered "rich".
I suspect that unless there is a MAJOR overhaul of the tax system, it should remain possible to not be "rich" enough to be means tested out of SS, even if the huddled masses get their wish. It's not too hard to manage income in a way that makes you appear to be one of the great unwashed, even while you live a pretty comfortable life. Now if they do away with the itemized deductions and significantly increase cap gains taxes, it could be a different story. But to those who can do it, I think getting as much of your IRA money into Roths vs. traditional would be helpful in keeping under the "rich" radar. That fully taxable RMD moving forward is really going to bite some of us in the gluteus.
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Old 03-15-2009, 10:26 PM   #47
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I suspect that unless there is a MAJOR overhaul of the tax system, it should remain possible to not be "rich" enough to be means tested out of SS, even if the huddled masses get their wish. It's not too hard to manage income in a way that makes you appear to be one of the great unwashed, even while you live a pretty comfortable life. Now if they do away with the itemized deductions and significantly increase cap gains taxes, it could be a different story. But to those who can do it, I think getting as much of your IRA money into Roths vs. traditional would be helpful in keeping under the "rich" radar. That fully taxable RMD moving forward is really going to bite some of us in the gluteus.
That would be true if they did means-testing based on income. In that case, even people with DB pensions could be in trouble. But I think that they could start doing means-testing based on assets. They do it already for medicaid, so why not do it for SS too... For example: No SS benefits for people with a net worth exceeding $500K ex-primary residence...
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Old 03-15-2009, 11:14 PM   #48
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Well, that would suck. Have to move my assets offshore or something. I WANT MY SS!
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Old 03-15-2009, 11:40 PM   #49
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That would be true if they did means-testing based on income. In that case, even people with DB pensions could be in trouble. But I think that they could start doing means-testing based on assets. They do it already for medicaid, so why not do it for SS too... For example: No SS benefits for people with a net worth exceeding $500K ex-primary residence...
so i guess we shud be buying very expensive houses? doesnt seem fair to us that r living in a place just big enough for us. or us away from the east and west coasts
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Old 03-16-2009, 07:48 AM   #50
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I'm in the SIRE column but have still postponed my target date because of uncertainty and a little greed on my part. The uncertain part was that part-time work was going to be my fall-back in case anything went terribly wrong. Obviously there is much more competition for those jobs now. The greed part is that in August I can add 2.5% to my pension. So I'm treading water for at least another six months and giving the market a chance to make up its mind. Socialized health care is another unknown at this time.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:08 AM   #51
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We had planeed to retire in two years after we both became eligible for subsidized health insurance from our employer. The subsidized health insurance program was discontinued last month. So we will work a few more years to compensate for increased healthcare costs and see how this economic mess plays out.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:43 AM   #52
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I am probably 7 years away from FIRE at this point. Maybe 10. But I have been that way for a few years. We seem to be stuck in neutral, and watching the portfolio and net worth crawl backwards to levels last seen a year or two ago is disheartening. But I know that severe market downturns are typically followed by significantly above average positive returns. And the current market downturn has been worse than all previous downturns (in modern history) except the Great Depression. So from my viewpoint, we will probably have a good 7 years of investing ahead of us.

But changing the market returns from 7% to 15% in the spreadsheet only trims off a couple of years (hence the 7-10 year estimate) since a major component of increases in the portfolio will be new contributions over a relatively short time period.
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Old 03-16-2009, 02:01 PM   #53
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Definitely postponed. Despite the race between portfolio value and newly sampled luxuries, our net worth was just 5% short of our target at the peak in 2007. I thought for sure we would escape in 2008. Now with no retirement pension or health benefits, and a wounded equity heavy portfolio, it is going to be awhile.
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Old 03-18-2009, 05:42 PM   #54
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Given the audience here, I would expect the results to be overwhelmingly to one side. I was on track to FIRE comfortably in 1-3 years, now I don't expect to retire for X years, my whole outlook has changed dramatically - sigh. I only know of one person here who seems to be overfunded and could stay on track, although I am sure the SIRE crowd will foil my attempt at a lopsided poll (I am a pure FIRE candidate, no pension or retiree health care).
Here's a larger sample: http://forms.sunlife-usa.com/ga/get_...?form_id=19983

Quote:
Because of the current economic environment, do you think you will be working longer than you had planned?
Over half (54%) of current workers say the current economic crisis will delay their retirement plans by one year or more.
Younger (30-39) and older (60+) workers are less likely to say the current economic environment has impacted their retirement plans.
About 60% of the 50-59 age group said they would need to delay at least a year.
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