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View Poll Results: What is the state of your finances since retirement?
Better 34 64.15%
Worse 3 5.66%
About the Same 16 30.19%
Voters: 53. You may not vote on this poll

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Better, Worse or About the Same?
Old 04-07-2013, 08:19 AM   #1
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Better, Worse or About the Same?

I was reading a post that asked the question of what the average age of ER was. This made me ponder the question of the current state of finances of all those brave Souls that have taken the plunge considering the tumultuous state of the economy. I have postponed ER to sure up the finances a bit, as I am painfully aware that once I leave my occupation, there is no way for me to make the kind of dough that I currently do. Sorry for the long winded intro. Anyone care to share the state of their finances since retirement? Excuse the eye Dr. Cliché. Better, worse, or about the same?
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:26 AM   #2
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8 years after retiring our portfolio has declined by 1% (excluding inflation).
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:33 AM   #3
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I answered, but I'd think # of years in retirement would be a big factor. It seems this board is made up of more folks within a few years (before and after) of retirement, and fewer long term retirees. FWIW
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:36 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
I answered, but I'd think # of years in retirement would be a big factor. It seems this board is made up of more folks within a few years (before and after) of retirement, and fewer long term retirees. FWIW
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:45 AM   #5
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Better:
Refinanced mortgage, lower monthly
DS has graduated college and has job
Medicare has kicked in, lower medical bills even with Medigap
SS has started
Portfolio is at about retirement inflation adjusted level so no depletion after 10 years

Worse:
Am older (but wiser)
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islandtraveler View Post
I was reading a post that asked the question of what the average age of ER was. This made me ponder the question of the current state of finances of all those brave Souls that have taken the plunge considering the tumultuous state of the economy. I have postponed ER to sure up the finances a bit, as I am painfully aware that once I leave my occupation, there is no way for me to make the kind of dough that I currently do. Sorry for the long winded intro. Anyone care to share the state of their finances since retirement? Excuse the eye Dr. Cliché. Better, worse, or about the same?
I am doing much better, my fellow Long Islander, than I was back in late 2008 when I ERed. I am up about 40% overall.
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:06 AM   #7
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NW ~ 9% higher than when I retired at the end of 2011 despite no income for a year and ~3.5% WR.
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:12 AM   #8
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Much better, not due to any investment wizardry so much as due to retiring in 2009, with the recession in full swing. Well, that, and my lower-than-planned withdrawal rate which so far has averaged less than 2%.
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:20 PM   #9
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Actually, we are doing better. Thank God we didn't sell during the crash. I was, thankfully a deer in the headlights and stayed the course because I didn't know what else to do.
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:22 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
I answered, but I'd think # of years in retirement would be a big factor. It seems this board is made up of more folks within a few years (before and after) of retirement, and fewer long term retirees. FWIW
Good point. I guess I should have qualified the time frame. I was thinking of about a 5-10 year history to see how a major financial downturn influenced a retirement portfolio.
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:53 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
I answered, but I'd think # of years in retirement would be a big factor. It seems this board is made up of more folks within a few years (before and after) of retirement, and fewer long term retirees. FWIW
I wonder if there is a connection between people's site activity and how long they've been retired? Eventually we will all stop posting.
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:53 PM   #12
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In my 6th year. Retired just before stuff "hit the fan". Had adjusted my AA to "lighten up" on equities for a few years before retirement. Am currently up ~15% above where I started retirement. Mostly luck, but I have to say better !
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Old 04-07-2013, 01:20 PM   #13
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I voted about the same because the face value of liquid investments is equal to what it was in 2006 when I retired. However, since retiring we have converted about 90% of our 401K into ROTHS with our gains along with building a $100K addition and purchasing a new car. Therefore, a point could be made we are in better shape. Once ROTH conversions are complete and we start drawing SS benefits the financials will definetly be better (baring another recession).
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:37 PM   #14
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Only been retired a year now but so far I can vote better. I'm so close to my spreadsheet projections it's scary.
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:29 PM   #15
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I voted about the same because the face value of liquid investments is equal to what it was in 2006 when I retired. However, since retiring we have converted about 90% of our 401K into ROTHS with our gains along with building a $100K addition and purchasing a new car. Therefore, a point could be made we are in better shape. Once ROTH conversions are complete and we start drawing SS benefits the financials will definetly be better (baring another recession).
Good point. We did heavy conversions too. For the next 5 years before RMD's we'll have low tax rates (due to easily being able to blend taxable income streams with Roth withdrawals). Sometimes planning pays off.
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:21 PM   #16
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We are into our 6th year of full retirement. The mortgage is paid off. Our combined pensions and SS income are enough to meet our everyday expenses. We take about 3% withdrawal (in good years) to pay for an international trip.

Things were much tighter (and scarier) in 2008 when DH first retired.
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:47 PM   #17
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Only been retired a year now but so far I can vote better. I'm so close to my spreadsheet projections it's scary.

Weird thing is that I developed a spreadsheet back in 2003 (6 years ER in 2009) and with all the uheaval we have had, I am pretty darn close to tracking my portfolio balance. within 1%.
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Old 04-07-2013, 06:30 PM   #18
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Better, traded homes in 2005. Going on 8 years now.

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Old 04-07-2013, 08:06 PM   #19
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I didn't answer the poll since nothing really applied. When DH retired almost 3 years ago and I semi-retired we knew that we were going to have some high housing related expenses over the next couple of years and we knew that we would have living expenses for several years that would be high as related to our long-term expenses (primarily related to have adolescents still at home with college expenses looming). So DH retired with the expectation that our portfolio would decrease over a period of time as the withdrawal rate would be much higher than it would be on a long-term basis.

So, in actual dollars you could say our finances are worse since our net worth has decreased, but from another standpoint they aren't worse as the overall change is well within the range of what was acceptable to us going into this.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:11 PM   #20
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My net worth is 27% higher than when I retired 18 months ago. I credit the bull market, unrealized gains, and some ER belt tightening. But to be clear, my income is much lower now than when I was working.
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