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Old 02-10-2019, 09:00 AM   #61
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I always want to pull back in a bad year. I totally understand the emotional tole a downturn can take on a retiree. I guess sometimes it might be better to spend somewhat less just to feel you are "doing something" about it.
Seems we had a discussion a few years ago where it was shown that pulling back in slow times didn't make a really big difference over the course of one's RE.
I could be mistaken.
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:06 AM   #62
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Seems we had a discussion a few years ago where it was shown that pulling back in slow times didn't make a really big difference over the course of one's RE.
I could be mistaken.
You are probably right. We often revisit old thoughts. There is nothing like ruminating on the internet.
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:55 AM   #63
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So far on this thread you are the winner.
Oh goody, hopefully, the prize is 32 more years?
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:37 AM   #64
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Retirement date was 5-1-88 at age 52. Threads like this interest me because I'm always amazed at the people that can retire because of the investments they made and maintain. In my case it was because I had a defined benefit pension with 34 years service. I could never had done it otherwise. Maybe threads like this should be labeled FIREWP (with pension), FIREWL (won lottery), FIREWI (with inheritance) etc. We would need a portfolio of about $1.5 million to maintain our lifestyle.
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:55 AM   #65
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Retirement date was 5-1-88 at age 52. Threads like this interest me because I'm always amazed at the people that can retire because of the investments they made and maintain. In my case it was because I had a defined benefit pension with 34 years service. I could never had done it otherwise. Maybe threads like this should be labeled FIREWP (with pension), FIREWL (won lottery), FIREWI (with inheritance). etc. We would need a portfolio of about $1.5 million to maintain our lifestyle.
Yes! So true. We're banking solely on investments + SS + small pension ($12K per year in 2022). I guess that was the initial question my post.
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:31 PM   #66
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In my case it was because I had a defined benefit pension with 34 years service. I could never had done it otherwise. .
Ah, not necessarily. I have a pension. But way back in the late 90's I did, I guess what you'd call a "backstudy" on the value of the pension. I calc'ed how much would I have had to earn and DCA into a reasonable mutual fund all those years to end up with a "phantom 401-k" worth about what the pension was worth. If the wages I wasn't paid all those years in lieu of the pension had been paid and matched, at what was then the national average employer match, for the 20 yrs I worked, the numbers were surprisingly close. Like within a few thousand bucks close. Pay me now or pay me later I guess.

Yes, this is all dependent on what years of human history you live your life and work and get paid etc etc.
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Old 02-10-2019, 02:01 PM   #67
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Retirement date was 5-1-88 at age 52. Threads like this interest me because I'm always amazed at the people that can retire because of the investments they made and maintain. In my case it was because I had a defined benefit pension with 34 years service. I could never had done it otherwise. Maybe threads like this should be labeled FIREWP (with pension), FIREWL (won lottery), FIREWI (with inheritance) etc. We would need a portfolio of about $1.5 million to maintain our lifestyle.
no doubt that we are both lucky to have defined benefit pensions (37 yrs for me and 35 yrs for my wife). that and our SS finance our day-day living and funding several sinkng funds for future expenses.

my wife started us out on our investing without asking me. first i learned about it was when the first statement arrived in the mail. i was very nervous. my folks and grandparents had always preached that if the “5% savings account” was good enough for them it should be good enough for me. OTOH, my father and bro-in-law, especially the BIL, had been investing in mutual funds for quite some time. BIL convinced my wife to give it a go. once the ice was broken i saw the light and we’ve been investing for the last 38+ years. i give her all the credit for our FIRE status.
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Old 02-10-2019, 02:33 PM   #68
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We retired in 2000, both of us age 50. From 2000-2008 we lived it up, traveled and spent a lot, AA was 60-40 had very little in cash. We were caught short of cash in the 2008 downtown, spent sleepless nights. We DID cut back on our spending for a while, quit traveling because we did not have enough cash but we did not sell any asses at the low point. We learned a lesson. Now we have a lot of cash (probably too much) but we sleep good at night. We are now at a 50/50 allocation but a chunk of the fixed part is in CDs and Money Markets. I never want to worry about cash like I did in 2008.
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Old 02-10-2019, 03:29 PM   #69
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We retired in 2000, both of us age 50. From 2000-2008 we lived it up, traveled and spent a lot, AA was 60-40 had very little in cash. We were caught short of cash in the 2008 downtown, spent sleepless nights. We DID cut back on our spending for a while, quit traveling because we did not have enough cash but we did not sell any asses at the low point. We learned a lesson. Now we have a lot of cash (probably too much) but we sleep good at night. We are now at a 50/50 allocation but a chunk of the fixed part is in CDs and Money Markets. I never want to worry about cash like I did in 2008.
Reminds me of our cash issues in 2008. We had the most money in retirement accounts and the withdrawals were to come from our non-retirement accounts. But those non-retirement accounts kind of disappeared by the end of 2010. Changed my tax planning for sure. Also TIPS became somewhat less then liquid in 2008 because large investors were unloading them to cover their even less liquid positions (the explanation I read at the time).

I took SS in 2012 which was very comforting . As it turned out our assets grew faster then if I had waited to age 70 to take SS. That was one fortunate thing for us about this long bull market.

So one lesson is to make sure you have enough in liquid assets which would include savings accounts (CD's) and Treasuries. At least make sure your tax picture won't be too strongly affected by the need to take IRA assets early.
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Old 02-10-2019, 03:44 PM   #70
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We retired in 2000, both of us age 50. From 2000-2008 we lived it up, traveled and spent a lot, AA was 60-40 had very little in cash. We were caught short of cash in the 2008 downtown, spent sleepless nights. We DID cut back on our spending for a while, quit traveling because we did not have enough cash but we did not sell any asses at the low point. We learned a lesson. Now we have a lot of cash (probably too much) but we sleep good at night. We are now at a 50/50 allocation but a chunk of the fixed part is in CDs and Money Markets. I never want to worry about cash like I did in 2008.
Glad to hear you did not need to resort to the world's oldest profession .

Seriously, we were still working at the time, but that left me with the desire to have 2-3 years cash/CD on hand at all times. We were about 60/40 at the time, and the drop was a little unnerving.
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Old 02-10-2019, 04:32 PM   #71
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quit traveling because we did not have enough cash but we did not sell any asses at the low point.
Yeah, the market price really tanked there for a while. In fact, I haven't seen those prices in donkey's years.
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Old 02-12-2019, 04:19 PM   #72
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I left on Pearl Harbor Day 2009. Portfolio is up 25% since. We do a fair amount of travel - 2 or so big trips a year. Business class or better when we fly. (Will spend 2 months in late spring / early summer in Europe - incl River Cruise). Otherwise we are fairly conservative financially - not a LOT of dinners out. Homebodies. We do as we please, no change to spending. Life is good.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:18 PM   #73
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I always want to pull back in a bad year. I totally understand the emotional tole a downturn can take on a retiree. I guess sometimes it might be better to spend somewhat less just to feel you are "doing something" about it.
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I think it's definitely a psychological thing. My investible assets went down by a pretty good chunk in September of last year, because I bought a house and put a pretty big down payment on it. Even though the market hadn't started to drop, yet, and technically I didn't "lose" money, simply shifted it from cash to home equity, it still bothered me, seeing my investible asset total drop by about 8.8%.

I noticed I started doing little things, like eating out less, not that I ate out a lot to begin with. And, it got worse in October, when the market truly started to drop. I also cut back a bit on driving wherever I could, and other minor extravagances. But, in the overall scheme of things, it really meant nothing. According to my spreadsheet, I "lost" $121,269 in value from my investible assets in October. My little cutbacks here and there might have managed to save at best, a couple hundred bucks. And in my case, I'm still w*rking, so it's not like I had to tap into investible assets, anyway.

But, psychologically, I guess, it still felt like I was doing something. Admittedly, it got a bit worse during the furlough. This time, even though the stock market, and my net worth, kept going up, I still felt the need to cut back on expenses wherever I could. And, with another shutdown looming, I just have this "we're not out of the woods yet" feeling.
In 1999 in preparation for retirement, one of the things we did was build up an earmarked "travel slush fund" to cover extra travel for the first 2 or 3 years of retirement anticipating our pent up demand once free of working. We cleaned up a motley set of smaller assets we'd randomly accumulated over the years - some tech stocks bought a year or two earlier, a small piece of land, some stock bought in the company ESPP - and threw them into this fund.

As it turned out, the big 2000-2002 bear did not impact our travel spending at all because we had this nice fund there to use up. We didn't even consider it. So for us, as long as we have short-term funds available we don't modify spending based on market events and pretty much ignore them until it's time to rebalance.

By 2008/2009 we had morphed into a system where we kept a year or two of after-tax expenses in short-term funds available to draw on as needed. Again - we didn't modify spending in spite of having our net worth cut in half. Interestingly, we had lower spending in general at that time, but that spending drop had already been going on since we started seriously RVing in 2003.
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Old 02-15-2019, 04:14 PM   #74
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Does anybody leave their account 100 into mutual funds and use a buffer, such as a 3 year or 5 year cd ladder to counter market swings? It always seemed to me that if you had a significant amount of money in your nest egg, and 3-5 years of spending money in a cd ladder, it would be fairly easy and safe to leave that nest egg in high performing mutual funds, rather than blend it down in a conservative fashion?
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Old 02-15-2019, 04:34 PM   #75
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^ that has been on a few discussions before. The majority say, that it would be a good move to invest 100% with a long term if other funds were there for them to live on.

I have some I really should do that too (100%) because I would have plenty in CD ladders to live on. I just haven't and don't know if I will.
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Old 02-15-2019, 05:00 PM   #76
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All the wisdom on this forum brings me to the question of portfolio longevity. I can hope for the best in the future, but what about those who survived the 2008 crash, dips in the past (15-20 years) and are doing just fine?

I can guess from a few posters but it would be interesting to see the numbers.

-At any point did you have to curb your spending?
-How did you adjust your portfolio during 2008-2012?


I tire of the hype in financial media about what to do next. Learning from the past is advantageous to the future (personal experiences, not graphs, calculators and tables).
I got out of stocks in 2006. It was obvious what would happen. Unfortunately I could not convince my wife to sell a property that was vastly inflated. We lost about 65K because of that.
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Old 02-15-2019, 05:50 PM   #77
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I retired in March 2008, coming up on my 11th anniversary. Initially I had a slightly goofy portfolio that FinancialEngines had cranked out and I rather mindlessly followed, while I studied and learned. In the summer of 2008 I started selling off all the goofy stuff, with not much in gains or losses, moving to a money market fund at Vanguard. My intent initially was to do periodic buys to build a typical Boglehead portfolio, index funds split between stock and bond markets.

When the Great Fluctuatiion started later in 2008 I thought it would be a dandy time to reset things. In mid-November I noticed the market was being stupid about Treasury Inflation Protected Securities, and my own portfolio design called for all the bond money that was not in an IRA to go into something both tax efficient and inflation protected in some form, so I bought a TIPS fund.

The stock market looked scary, so I stayed on the sidelines a while longer, til February 2009. By then people were whispering about the DOW going to zero and other such nonsense, so being the cranky contrarian I am, I bought. Total stock market fund, and ETFs for FTSE and Small Cap Value (Yes, I am a Fama-French Heritic.)

The portfolio has grown rediculously since then. After a mediated divorce and asset division, I still am well ahead of where I was when I retired. My ex and I are both in good financial shape and doing OK. I’m still planning on deferring Social Security til I am 70.
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Old 02-15-2019, 05:53 PM   #78
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Yes! And never tipping more than 15%. Let others be the high rollers.
Since my mother and my spouse were both waiters, it doesn't bother me at all to be considered a "high roller". Being a good waiter is a physically demanding job, and it was a heck of a lot harder work than me sitting at a desk answering a phone for 8 hours.

Not tipping well isn't something I'd be proud of, but that's just me. Different strokes for different folks.
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Old 02-15-2019, 06:37 PM   #79
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Since my mother and my spouse were both waiters, it doesn't bother me at all to be considered a "high roller". Being a good waiter is a physically demanding job, and it was a heck of a lot harder work than me sitting at a desk answering a phone for 8 hours.

Not tipping well isn't something I'd be proud of, but that's just me. Different strokes for different folks.
I agree. I would prefer to tip well, even if that means I need to dine out less often.
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Old 02-15-2019, 06:41 PM   #80
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Now in my 13th year of retirement. Never had to cut back. My wife and I bought stuff like crazy in late '08 and early '09. There were sales on everything, stocks, bonds, travel, home improvements.

All you had to do was believe the world was not coming to an end. OK. It took more than a little faith for that, but we got some real bargains. These days, I've been raising cash because I can't find any bargains in stocks. But one day, the cycle will start all over again.

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