Hello to all on this board,
On 4/30/09, we completed one year in ER. It was an amazing year with a lot of travel and quality time together at home and with our friends and family. We are one mellow couple now.
Our expenses came out to 90% of our budget and we did not feel like we had to try very hard or deprive ourselves to achieve it. I did not include income taxes since we worked for the first 4 months of 08. I adjusted the budget accordingly.
We planned to use 4% of our portfolio as our annual budget each year. We have a separate bucket of money used to pay down our mortgage and another one for a rainy day emergency. The 4% is calculated after removing the two bucket amounts from our portfolio.
The bad news - our portfolio is worth 27% less than it was on our first day of ER and a 4% withdrawal falls far short of what we need. Bob Clyatt advised, in a post on this board
, against falling back on the 95% of previous year withdrawal rule in the early years of ER. Bob's comment firmed up our decision to go back to work this year to make up the shortfall and maybe replenish the savings too.
We had fallback options which included moving to a less expensive part of the country, but have chosen to stay put for now.
Looking back, this has been a great year. We learned a lot about managing our finances in ER, learned about our risk tolerance and did some wonderful things.
Thanks to all on the board for your advice and, most importantly, for the wonderful sense of community that you provide.
If you are interested in our ER planning, I wrote a series of posts last year
And an early version of my ER plan is here
My ER Plan - your input requested
All questions and comments are welcome. I would also like to hear from others who ER'd around the same time. I know GotADimple did so on almost the same date.