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Old 12-12-2014, 02:15 PM   #61
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If anyone has the ability to accumulate $3-10M or more in assets through their own initiative, its laughable to me that they need to ask the question on ERF, can I retire, and if they do, it would seem to me they are doing it for ego gratification only. Now if they inherited or won the lottery and don't know squat, that's a different story.

Anyway, as Gumby indicated, it's a fools errand to want to compare oneself to the assets of others.
IMHO it is more about reassurance than ego.

Some of us have done well, no doubt. But for some who have done well, once we leap. . . there is no turning back. So to seek advice from a site like this or Bogleheads.com is due diligence. Something one who is successful often does.

Remember, you don't have to be a financial guru to have been successful. Many of us have/had careers outside of finance.
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Old 12-12-2014, 02:24 PM   #62
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I do understand your points DFW_M5, as I hope I explained in my post. We just have different points of view which, of course, is not a problem at all.
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Old 12-12-2014, 02:35 PM   #63
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Baa, baa, black sheep! Pappy Boyington was a U-dub grad, in Aeronuatics. Ugly as sin and too tough to kill. I read his book before the TV show. Backatcha, Unclemick.
Ed and I graduated together back in 1973. I immediately became rich when I started working for $11,700/yr. I had a small amount of student loans to pay off but nothing significant.

I really didn't pay much attention to how much I had as long as I had a job. I lost a job in 1982 and had a shock when I realized I had put too much into a down payment to avoid high early 80s interest rates. I never made that mistake again. Fast forward to 2002, I got laid off again. After I eventually got a contractor job and discovered this forum (~2005), I finally counted my money. It was a little over $1MM and I realized I could fund a nominal retirement maintaining the same lifestyle we were leading. There wasn't much downside protection other than reducing expenses. Concerns over a "margin" kept me working starting my OMY situation but in-laws health soon gave me an continuing excuse to continue until now.

I've got enough where it makes no sense to keep working unless the goal is to give it to the grandkids. I can't see ever spending what we've got. I am pretty sure we would have been fine had I pulled the plug when I first realized we were FI back in 2005/2006 when I discovered this forum. I really think if I just had what I had in 2006, DW and I would be fine financially.
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Old 12-12-2014, 02:36 PM   #64
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Many reactions here are much like those of co-workers when we announce we're retiring at (pick one) 60/55/50/45...
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Does everyone here have millions saved?
Old 12-12-2014, 02:49 PM   #65
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Does everyone here have millions saved?

Just take the time to develop the granularity of your own goals. I've spent a lot of time working on mine, and I won't need numbers near that big. They wouldn't hurt though;-)
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Old 12-12-2014, 02:53 PM   #66
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I barely have 300k$ saved in USD, plus some home equity and the normal junk one accumulates in this country. I'd like to throw a bunch of it out, but my wife loves having 4 blenders that never get used. I'm optimistic overall; I think I can pay off the mortgage in five years and then ease into ESR until the nest egg approaches $2mm.

And I'm glad to see some Army solidarity on this board. It's been way too long since we beat those squids.
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Old 12-12-2014, 05:43 PM   #67
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And I'm glad to see some Army solidarity on this board. It's been way too long since we beat those squids.
And a long time to come before you ever will.
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Old 12-12-2014, 06:19 PM   #68
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It's darn amusing to listen to the folks boast about how small a portfolio they RE'd with but who have hefty pensions which, when coupled with SS, provide a decent life style even without a penny in savings. Of course if your pension + SS = a decent lifestyle you don't need a million buck portfolio. Duuuuuh.....

But for folks living off of portfolio withdrawals and SS, a million buck portfolio doesn't seem so outrageously big!

Sigh...... like many of our discussions here, it's tough to sort out the true apple to apple comparisons.....
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Old 12-12-2014, 06:32 PM   #69
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Seems like there are (generically) 3 groups on ER boards

1. The group that the OP alludes to, saved a bunch of money to retire. Often because if you don't you can't because you don't have what
2. The group with a decent pension that can be counted on so the amount of savings needed for ER does not need to be so large.
3. The 3rd group is probably smallest I would guess but these are the extreme saver/spenders who retire very early in some cases (Think Mr. MoneyMustache) who in some cases have retired from the corporate life but not necessarily from working (blogging for $$, writing books/articles etc but freelance so not officially employed )

However you do it, if you do it before the expected retirement age congratulations...that's winning in my books.
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Old 12-12-2014, 06:52 PM   #70
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There is also the group whose ER plans were considerably speeded up via inheritance.

One comment about the "pension" group: Many pensions don't allow "early" retirement (say, before age 55 or 57). So it is more of a "hang in there until you can collect" retirement.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuke_diver View Post
Seems like there are (generically) 3 groups on ER boards

1. The group that the OP alludes to, saved a bunch of money to retire. Often because if you don't you can't because you don't have what
2. The group with a decent pension that can be counted on so the amount of savings needed for ER does not need to be so large.
3. The 3rd group is probably smallest I would guess but these are the extreme saver/spenders who retire very early in some cases (Think Mr. MoneyMustache) who in some cases have retired from the corporate life but not necessarily from working (blogging for $$, writing books/articles etc but freelance so not officially employed )

However you do it, if you do it before the expected retirement age congratulations...that's winning in my books.
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Old 12-12-2014, 07:08 PM   #71
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I barely have 300k$ snip.......................

And I'm glad to see some Army solidarity on this board. It's been way too long since we beat those squids.
This board is infested with "Squids" , and many are the worst kind , "Bubbleheads" . You are probably now on double secret probation after a comment like that
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Old 12-13-2014, 07:57 AM   #72
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USAF here, while I like Navy, its about time for Army to win one!
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Old 12-13-2014, 08:19 AM   #73
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IMHO it is more about reassurance than ego.
This is how I see it.

I really like to run ideas by others to see if I've overlooked anything. Most of the time I'm OK, but a couple of times someone has pointed out something significant that I would have missed.

Either way it is reassuring.
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Old 12-13-2014, 09:05 AM   #74
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This is how I see it.

I really like to run ideas by others to see if I've overlooked anything. Most of the time I'm OK, but a couple of times someone has pointed out something significant that I would have missed.

Either way it is reassuring.
Assurance is good. I have read the posts here for few years now as well as in Bogleheads. I see new comers stumbling like bumper cars. Some would post similar finance situation than mine. I just sit back, and read the responses. Eventually, I acquire some level of assurance that way.
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Old 12-13-2014, 10:04 AM   #75
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I have never, in 6 years of active forum membership, read of a situation that closely resembles ours. (We never saw ourselves in the money-magazine profiles, either). I knew we, as a family, were outliers before I joined, and the forum posters have only confirmed this. We're unique! Nevertheless, I've gained valuable insights from fragments of similarities from others' stories.

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Old 12-13-2014, 10:13 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by nuke_diver View Post
Seems like there are (generically) 3 groups on ER boards

1. The group that the OP alludes to, saved a bunch of money to retire. Often because if you don't you can't because you don't have what
2. The group with a decent pension that can be counted on so the amount of savings needed for ER does not need to be so large.
3. The 3rd group is probably smallest I would guess but these are the extreme saver/spenders who retire very early in some cases (Think Mr. MoneyMustache) who in some cases have retired from the corporate life but not necessarily from working (blogging for $$, writing books/articles etc but freelance so not officially employed )

However you do it, if you do it before the expected retirement age congratulations...that's winning in my books.
I have enough in a smattering of small pensions that when added to SS at age 70 I can cover my basic living expenses. Savings provides two things in my case. First, I have a fund that will cover the SS between when I retire and age 70. Second, I look at being able to safely take 5% of my net portfolio (minus sinking fund) for luxuries and vacations. The worst thing that happens to me is I'm forced to forgo a few weeks in Europe if the market tanks.
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Old 12-13-2014, 10:40 AM   #77
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I think that many who have accumulated large sums don't necessarily have the skills/confidence currently to assess and plan their retirement. One only need to point to the countless lump sum vs annuity buyout questions that get posted. I also think some of the multimillionaire crowd join the forum because the have become suspicious of their advisors and are just now starting to learn and question what they have been told.


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Old 12-13-2014, 11:47 AM   #78
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If someone has lived a narrow life, how could he or she know the range of possibilities? If you have been a C level executive, or high pension government worker, you know what all your friends and work mates do. And don't forget, at least in the case of men, if you have money, your intended life-style had better not be below what your wife intends, or poof! there it goes. Just look at Harold Hamm, whose wifey is dissatisfied with a billion dollar payment and is suing for more.

I know most of these situations, (well not high pension government workers). I also know the lives of many middle aged and old people who have basically no money, but lives that are great for them-living in an attractive city, in age restricted subsidized housing. They are not going to get lonesome, they are not going to be stuck out somewhere when illness or disability make daily living difficult, if they want a smoke they buy an umbrella and go outside to a nearby park and puff with other addictees. I walk by a group of them every day. Like everyone else they have concerns and sorrows, but they do not seem to stress so heavily over the picayune things that are so common on this forum.

Ha
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Old 12-13-2014, 11:57 AM   #79
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We have watched coworkers and neighbors who had high incomes, or in one case millions from stock options, lose their houses or go bankrupt. The skills to make money are not necessarily the same as the skills one needs to invest it or even simply hang on to it. I think they could have benefited from the collective wisdom here.

Another couple we know from the work world uses a neighborhood dad / professional financial adviser who has fees on top of fees on tops of fees so it would be mathematically impossible after taxes and inflation for them to ever get ahead, yet they seem kind of proud to have "their guy" in the shiny high rise downtown as their adviser, like they have some special kind of adviser unavailable to the unwashed masses. They are far from stupid income or career-wise, so this financial naivety perplexes us, but we just mind our own business, and treat it like black holes - maybe something we will never quite understand and we just accept that.
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Old 12-13-2014, 12:36 PM   #80
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My FIL died with a small fraction of my portfolio yet he was forever talking about his adviser and the CPA that did his taxes. When I took over his finances, I got rid of the high fee, no benefit adviser and started doing his taxes for him. He was paying several thousand dollars in unnecessary fees every year. Nobody was doing anything of value for him.

One thing I've seen is that once someone retires they usually eventually look at that billing statement and realize how much they are paying (not my FIL). That typically leads to a little education and firing the adviser. I think that's one of the factors in why advisers keep telling people to keep on working. If they are busy at their job, they don't look at how much they are being charged for doing next to nothing.
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