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Old 04-12-2013, 04:43 PM   #21
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Heh, heh, good till age 105 at 90% success rate.
Has FireCalc predicted that you have 90% chance to make it to 105?
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:50 PM   #22
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ChocoKitty, I am intentionally bailing even though I do not have quite enough of a stash to hang it up. DW and I will generrate enough income from work to bridge the gap until such time as the portfolio has grown big enough to carry the load. his could be several years or a decade, but I am fine with that.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:11 PM   #23
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Sounds like you could put together a few things to earn some money to make up for any shortfall so I'd definitely take that route. Been there and done that on hating going to w*rk every day and it's no way to live if it can be avoided.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:19 PM   #24
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That's something I'm considering too. Like I said, I enjoy finding ways to make money just for the challenge. So I guess I don't plan to truly retire in the strict definition of the word, at least not right now.
Yeah, you sound like you'll do all right. If you were planning to just hang it up and do nothing all day, you might be in trouble, but you sound like you intend to do paid work of some type. Is there's some part-time gig you can get in your field that wouldn't drive you too batty, or that you might actually enjoy? If so, that would be a nice option, because of the pay. If not, there are plenty of options for part-time work. Good luck with the writing gig; that's something I'm aiming for, too.

I sympathize with disliking your work. My dislike comes and goes. Work felt awful a month ago, but lately it's felt a little better. So maybe your feelings will change or at least become less intense? At a certain point, though, it's just too damaging to your mental and physical health to keep at it, in a job you hate.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:27 PM   #25
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Has FireCalc predicted that you have 90% chance to make it to 105?
Firecalc did not predict that I will live to 105.

Playing with numbers just plugged in time frames until the success rate at my desired withdrawal rates dropped below 100% then incremented it to get to 90%.
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:10 PM   #26
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Doing nothing all day would drive me batty. I'm one of those people who can't sit still and has to be constantly doing something productive (just wired that way, I guess). I guess that personality quirk will end up being a positive thing when I quit the day job.

This information is excellent, everyone. Thank you again!
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:34 PM   #27
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Your savings do give you some options. :

1. Having enough savings that you're $500 short, and having marketable skills, gives you the option to take some time off from work, and look for a better situation, a trial retirement, or a sabbatical. I can hear that you're past burn out in your note. You won't be living under a bridge in the short run. I've had a sabbatical before in my past, and came back more refreshed, and more urgently directed toward ER.

2. Maybe a $500 dollar gap wouldn't take very long to close. Have you figured out how much more time at w*rk that means? I've wanted to quit a number of times, and have found watching the gap close has been very comforting, and encouraging. The closer you get, the more pumped up you feel.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:45 PM   #28
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I retired in 2008 with a lot of padding in my budget & we all know how that went . You may retire into a bull market and be fine or retire into a market melt down . I would suggest padding the budget a little longer . Once you decide you will only work a few more years some of the stress may melt away .
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:54 AM   #29
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I retired in 2008 with a lot of padding in my budget & we all know how that went . You may retire into a bull market and be fine or retire into a market melt down . I would suggest padding the budget a little longer . Once you decide you will only work a few more years some of the stress may melt away .
+1. Especially since the $500 shortfall isn't all in discretionary expense. I'd be very uncomforable ERing into that situation. It also sounds to me that OP's ER budget is lower than current spending levels, which is yet another adjustment that needs to be made. If I were the OP and had lived a year or two of living with the ER budget then I'd feel more confident.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:18 AM   #30
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I empathize with you and everyone who is trapped in a job they hate. I have been there, but it has been a while.

At the moment, I enjoy my work and can work all I want and I get more valuable every year. (My apologies. ) I am also far beyond early retirement.

Having said that, I cannot by a country mile replace my current income in retirement. I will have only so much and we will have to make do with that. If we are looking at replacing my income, I can afford to retire two years after I am dead.

Going 'round the barn, it means that we will have to make significant lifestyle changes when I work no more. DW doesn't realize yet what might be entailed. She won't be thrilled, but she is resilient and practical and will manage. We were poor in the beginning, after all.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:32 AM   #31
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Hey all, I feel like I've been crunching numbers every weekend because I'm so ready to go. Has anyone cut the cord when they were a bit short according to FIRECalc? I would say I'm about $500/month short, maybe even less, but I honestly can't stand working in my field anymore. 24 years is a long time doing something you hate, and it's taken its emotional toll. I've tried working in different companies, different environments, different capacities, full-time, and part-time, but when the subject matter is the problem, job changes can only help so much. I'm tired of stuffing my brain learning stuff I have no desire to learn (like Excel VBA programming) when there's so much other stuff I DO want to learn.

I don't plan on doing nothing in retirement because I do like to keep busy and tackling challenges. For example, I'd like to focus on my writing and see where that gets me (I've made some money, but not much because I'm so sporadic about it). I'm also researching health insurance options right now because that's my biggest concern.

Your thoughts? Thank you so much for being such a great resource.

try this calculator instead

Retirement calculator: How much should I save for retirement? - MSN Money
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:02 PM   #32
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She won't be thrilled, but she is resilient and practical and will manage. We were poor in the beginning, after all.
Remember how the only thing you both wanted then was some cheddar and jug wine, maybe a joint, and about 5 hours of making love?

That was part of my original retirement plan, but it didn't take long before the star of that little play was gone. Not nearly as attractive when flying solo.

None of this applies to you, I am sure you are a lot more realistic than I was.

Anyhow, I can't imagine that you will be money constrained.

Ha
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:22 PM   #33
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I would defer your retirement plans. A better goal might be firecalc plus 5 percent. It is not enough to retire, you want to make the most of your retirement. Rerun the numbers can come up with a plan B that gives you some cushion.
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Old 04-13-2013, 03:48 PM   #34
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+1. Especially since the $500 shortfall isn't all in discretionary expense. I'd be very uncomforable ERing into that situation.
I'm not sure the OP has a shortfall at all. She says:

Quote:
FIRECalc is giving me anywhere from 93% to 98% success depending on various spending scenarios. I'm excluding my tiny pension (about $270/month) and my one year cash cushion, and I'm assuming that I'll make no money from writing.
To me it all depends on what the spending scenarios are to get 93% or 98% and how realistic they are as well as what kind of certainty wanted. If she is getting 93% with a $500 a month shortfall and then getting 98% with a less shortfall then all may be fine. In fact, many people wouldn't consider that a shortfall at all.

I do scenarios in FireCalc all the time to see where it "breaks" with different scenarios. Personally, I shoot for 95% success rate and the main scenarios I do meet or exceed that. But I did one the other day that came up at about 85%. If that was the only scenario I ran I would not be comfortable with that, but my DH would be. The point is that I vary scenarios all the time. I do them with me taking SS at 62 and then me taking it at 66. I consider different possibilities of spending and try those. I change length of plan and rate of inflation. So just the fact someone runs a scenario that has 93% chance of success doesn't mean the person can't retire when the person also ran a scenario with 98% chance of success (based upon historical information, of course). The real issue is whether the person is happy with the success rate that is given for a level of spending and other inputs that person is willing to accept.

I am less concerned about the OP having a shortfall in FireCalc than I am about the OP not being sure about certain expenses. Of course, it is hard to have complete certainty (one reason I run a lot of different scenarios). But the better the information you use in running FireCalc the more likely it is that the result will be valuable to you.
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:19 PM   #35
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I reviewed my spending the past few months and saw I managed to stay within my budget despite a plane ticket, large car repair bill, and large vet bill. For planning purposes, I think I should assume these types of unexpected expenses will crop up each month, just in different ways.

I agree with the folks who said I should continue tracking my spending closely to have better data to work with. An option I'm kicking around is working two days a week at my employer (they use a lot of contractors and have a system in place already). Although I'll lose my benefits, it will allow me to keep my hands off my nest egg.

This is a little nerve-wracking, but it's good to have information and options.
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:19 PM   #36
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An option I'm kicking around is working two days a week at my employer (they use a lot of contractors and have a system in place already). Although I'll lose my benefits, it will allow me to keep my hands off my nest egg.
This is basically what I ended up doing. DH retired fully but I semi-retired and kept working at the same place working 1 or 2 days a week. I've done that for 3 years and it has been great (although I think I am getting close to calling it quits).
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:33 PM   #37
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When my husband wanted to semi-retire, we just cut the budget enough to make it work.

Have you looked at trimming your expenses as much as possible? Perhaps downsizing and/ or lower cost of living area?

If you are interested in a sustainable living lifestyle and do not live that way now, you might be amazed at how much you can lower your expenses. Air drying clothes, LED light bulbs, cooking from scratch, cloth napkins instead of paper towels, dropping cable or at least lowering the options, switching to a prepaid cell phone plan, dropping the landline, - maybe you could cut $500 from expenses categories like that. We cut our energy bill by more than half just by getting a Kill A Watt and reading some books on energy savings.

Then there are lots of little money making ideas on the fatwallet and flytertalk forums with credit card and checking account sign up bonuses and air miles that if you studied enough could possibly make $500 or more a month.
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:57 PM   #38
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What percentage of the overall projected budget is the $500? I think that is a significant question. If your projected budget is $5000/month and you are $500 short that is a relatively small amount of the big picture and it might be easier to find places to cut back to make up the difference. But if your projected budget is only $2000/month and you are $500 short, that is a pretty big percentage and I personally would not be comfortable with making the leap in that context.
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:03 PM   #39
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Is OP single? I think that makes a big difference. If it were me, myself and I, I would have retired or ESRd years ago. To get my life/time back, I would live a greatly reduced lifestyle. But it ain't just me.
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:11 PM   #40
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Yes, I'm single.

lhamo asks a good question. The $500 short is less than 15% of the monthly budget I'm working with now. I was able to cut another $120/month from the budget by getting rid of some non-essential luxuries without too much pain, so the gap is closing. However, I do like a few luxuries and a comfortable lifestyle, so I guess I'd probably prefer to do some paid work to keep them. This exercise is definitely good for zeroing in on the work vs. wants vs. free time trade-offs.
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