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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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Attempt at most lopsided poll ever
Old 03-14-2009, 08:43 AM   #1
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Attempt at most lopsided poll ever

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).
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Old 03-14-2009, 08:50 AM   #2
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Midpack, for clarity would you like me to modify the thread title to read "Attempt at most lopsided poll ever: Has your ER date changed?"


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Old 03-14-2009, 08:58 AM   #3
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The amusing thing is my life is that we have two schools of thought. One says the economy will turn around late this year or early next year. The other says this will drag for five, maybe, ten years. What's the difference when your retirement plan was two years from now? Work maybe 8 more years? I will admit that my "plans" are not shared with my management so I can change my mind without fanfare.
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:08 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Midpack, for clarity would you like me to modify the thread title to read "Attempt at most lopsided poll ever: Has your ER date changed?"

Guess I thought the title was provocative enough to induce people to look...but whatever you think is best.
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:10 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
Guess I thought the title was provocative enough to induce people to look...but whatever you think is best.
It's your poll and your thread, you make the call.
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:11 AM   #6
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I semi-retired about a year ago. I'm not going back to full-time work. Also no pension, no retiree healthcare. Our expenses are paid from investments and our jobs. My spouse still works; I put in about 20 hours a week. Of course that does not count as full retirement.

Because of all the help I received here in the past few years, I made my "number" about 20% higher than the minimum determined by FIRECalc. I figured that if the market dropped 20%, I would not really be affected.

Well, I have been affected. We have reduced spending on eating out, but not really other areas. This is mostly because we were so darn cheap frugal to begin with except for going to restaurants. We will probably cut back on charitable contributions as well. I hope to be back to 2007 levels of net worth in a few years.

So maybe the lesson is not to live so frugally, but to be profligate in good times and buy stuff and experiences that don't put you in debt and that have little to no carrying costs (a $10K dSLR setup or really nice laptops/computers or TV/media setups come to mind), but that also would not disappear in a stock market downturn. Then when times get tougher, you simply dial down current spending. Or if you don't want to spend more in good times, have a more conservative asset allocation with more fixed income.

And a final note, folks who were near or in retirement probably did not have an asset allocation with more than 60% to 70% equities. This should mean that their reduction in net worth has been muted.
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:17 AM   #7
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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).
I need to change my screen name to muchlonger But not too much longer. Just a bit longer.
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:20 AM   #8
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I need to change my screen name to muchlonger But not too much longer. Just a bit longer.
I like "Whoknowshowmuchlonger"...
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:29 AM   #9
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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).
It would be interesting to know how people with pensions and or health care benefits voted vs. all others.
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:29 AM   #10
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The legs on my stool have been damaged, so it's a bit wobbly...

At one time, I thought I'd possibly be retired this year, about the time I hit 55yo.

One leg was sawed-off when I was laid off in '98, turning what might have been a lump sum of ~ $250k into $22k... This was somewhat mitigated, in that when I was rehired, I got a larger 401k match than before. Also, if I stay where I'm at for four more years, I'll be eligible for a $400/mo pension starting at age 62.

Am eligible for subsidized HI, which I hope won't vaporize before I hit 65...

Portfolio is down 36% from the all-time high, but if we can stem the bleeding here, I'm still "ok"...

Early SS is 7.5 years away. So, fIRE (small f) is somewhere between 4 and 7 years, which was my latest devious plan before the current "Great Recession"...
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:42 AM   #11
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Two years ago I was targeting sometime in the second half of this year. Now it looks to be no earlier than end of 2010, but probably more like sometime in 2012.

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Old 03-14-2009, 09:50 AM   #12
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Added two years to my plan.
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Old 03-14-2009, 10:07 AM   #13
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Added two years to my plan.
If I was still working, I'm sure I would work another year or two. But I'm not planning on going back full time. If my old company calls and say they have a need for a part time person, I would listen. I planted a seed with them when I finished a small project during the winter. If nothing develops, that's fine too.
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Old 03-14-2009, 10:23 AM   #14
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Last August I decided to retire this spring. It's still on; my last day of work will be March 31.

In August I was at 100% in FIRECalc. My investments are down about 25% since then, so I've reduced my budget by about 15% and I'll put off some home improvements I was planning on doing this year. With those changes I'm still near 100% in FIRECalc.

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Old 03-14-2009, 10:31 AM   #15
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It would be interesting to know how people with pensions and or health care benefits voted vs. all others.
I can tell you from previous polls and posts, that the SIRE crowd seems to outnumber the pure FIRE crowd about 2:1. That's significantly changed how I take the responses I get at this forum. Many responses seemed almost cavalier, 'yeah, go for it, you won't regret retiring - I haven't looked back' until I realized many of them had pensions (even COLA'd) and retiree health care in some form. One is not better than another, but it's a very different set of circumstances...
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Old 03-14-2009, 10:59 AM   #16
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I would like to retire once the mortgage is paid off. That won't happen as quickly now that our investments have tanked. (I don't want to start a debate about paying off the mortgage - this forum has shown that it's a personal decision, with equal arguments on both sides).

I wonder how many people's retirement decisions are influenced by inheritance, or expectation of same? Knowing that we could expect $0.00 from family, separates us from many of our friends and acquaintances, who either have inherited already, or know that some day, a tidy sum is coming their way. Needless to say, these folks do not understand our LBYM ways.
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:35 AM   #17
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It would be interesting to know how people with pensions and or health care benefits voted vs. all others.
I think it's pretty obvious that those who have them won't be nearly as damaged as those who don't, and I expect this to become an increasingly contentious public policy issue. In my case I had been looking at early 50s and probably by 55, and now barring something unexpected it's looking more like 62.
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:58 AM   #18
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As of this morning, it looks like we might have to postpose ER by a couple of years, but we should still be able to fully retire between the ages of 45 and 50, so we are still on track with our original plan. No pension and no retiree healthcare.
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Old 03-14-2009, 01:43 PM   #19
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It would be interesting to know how people with pensions and or health care benefits voted vs. all others.
I am not retired and plan to be SIRE'd early 2010 with a non-COLA pension so I voted for no change to RE plans. However, I am in the private sector, and the situation is this:

1. Sales are down 70% - biggest customers are car makers, refrigerator makers, construction industry etc. 2 of our biggest customers just went bankrupt

2. I work for a JV company owned by 2 megacorps, both of whom got rid of their pension schemes many years ago but we managed to hang onto ours.

3. One of the owners is on the verge of bankruptcy -could happen any minute, they just hired a firm of lawyers that specialize in structured bankruptcy and the share price fell to 16c a few days ago.

4. The other owner is also in deep do-do, but just won a law-suit and now has $1.3B in cash to try and ride through the downturn.

5. There is a fair chance the pension will be modified or eliminated before I RE


Given the uncertainty I ran the figures assuming that us 25 year veterans will get to keep the pension but defer'ed until normal retirement age 62 instead of being allowed to RE at 55. If that is the case I can still RE but income will have to be reduced so it won't be the lifestyle we were planning on.

If something worse happens, then I will have to think hard about the date of Jan 14, 2010. Nothing in life is certain except the usual....
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Old 03-14-2009, 01:47 PM   #20
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Note: The FIRECalc discussion has been split off to a new thread found here.
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