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View Poll Results: How long a gap between FInancial independence and REtiring early?
1 microsecond or less 24 17.27%
6 months or less 20 14.39%
6 - 12 months 12 8.63%
1 to 2 years 20 14.39%
More than 2 years 34 24.46%
Still not RE, though I am FI 29 20.86%
Voters: 139. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-17-2008, 05:37 PM   #21
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We are very close to FI. DD #1 is in college and should finish in about 3 years. DD #2 has 3 more years to complete HS. It will take 5 more years to qualify for discounted medical insurance premiums from a megacorp. Therefore, my plan is 5 years before ER.
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Old 02-17-2008, 05:51 PM   #22
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FI seems to come in sizes. If I were to scale back lifestyle considerably, I am FI now. If I want to preserve my current lifestyle then FI is about 3 years away. If I want to raise my LBYM lifestyle to match some of my coworkers, then I'm likely decades away. I expect that as soon as I reach that middle FI, that I will want to RE as soon as possible. Maybe if there's a big bonus due or an external deadline like medical insurance I'll adapt that timing, but my plan is for these to occur as close to the same time as possible.
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Old 02-17-2008, 05:54 PM   #23
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RE came at me in the form of being laid off. At the time I did not know that I was RE as I was sure that I could easily step into a comparable position due to my unique skill and experience. Hubris soon turned to reality and common sense told me otherwise. So after about a year of looking for a new j*b, I checked my bottom line and decided that I had enough of a stash to last about 40 years anyway. Hello RE!
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:01 PM   #24
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Rich, I'll bet I'm rowing in the same boat as you. I'm FI by most measures, have been for several years. However, I'm still hauling that ball and chain, although it's a lot lighter now that I know I'm FI, and I've cut back to two days-a-week. It's tough to let it go completely though. But here is my trap. I've begun taking on more projects as if I'm retired, but I'm still making that infernal commute two days a week to help brother in the transition. It's starting to ware me out. What I've slowly begun to realize is that my replacement probably won't arrive until I firmly disappear completely from the business. It's all within my control, so in a weird sort of way, it keeps me working.

I'll bet you could bale tomorrow too if you weren't emotionally tied to the work. Right?
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:07 PM   #25
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If I could ignore health care, I would consider myself to be FI right now.

But since I can't ignore health care, that's fiction. I can't retire until next year, about one microsecond after I qualify for lifetime medical.
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:16 PM   #26
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I'll bet you could bale tomorrow too if you weren't emotionally tied to the work. Right?
Probably not quite at that point, but getting there. I don't think I'm ready to be totally retired or totally separated from the profession I've been practicing and enjoying for 33 years.

A flexible part-time scenario would be nice, earning just enough to live off of - no more retirement savings, downsize the house, upsize the RV for example .

This is kind of a fun pre-retirement state of mind to be in for the time being, especially with a little more time to visit family and less night and weekend call starting in July (that's a killer at my stage).
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As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:26 PM   #27
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It was about three or four years for me. I'd reached the "normal" retirement time - 25 years and age 48 - but was enjoying the work so much as I was in one of those rare positions that "Wow, I can't believe they're actually paying me to do this!" We had zero debt and at the time were saving about 45% of gross income.

But the bureaucracy made it hard to keep up with training and equipment/software requirements, the traffic was driving me nuts - when you work in law enforcement shooting someone over road rage is generally considered a bad career move - and when I looked at the retirement numbers I saw that if I retired my take-home pay would go up. So I was working there why? Ditto DW, who was doing financial accounting stuff for bioterrorism research and working 10-12 hr. days six or seven days a week, neck and back pain constant, collapse on the couch when she got home and all that.

So we got out of the rat race and moved to West Virginia.
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:34 PM   #28
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When I turned 52 I met the "rule of 70" requirement for early retirement. The pension and health care benefit were the last part of my plan. I sent an email to my boss on my birthday indicating I would be retiring in the next few months. After the email I was already retired in my mind .
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:39 PM   #29
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I'm a long time reader (originally under copyright1997), very infrequent poster. According to FireCalc and my own spreadsheet, I'm FI. But I am not quite "retirement eligible" at megacorp (less than a year), and the pension difference is significant. This, plus a general hesitation to leave additional room for unknowns has kept me from RE. Perhaps I should do yet another one of those "Can I Reitre Now" posts?
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:41 PM   #30
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Perhaps I should do yet another one of those "Can I Reitre Now" posts?
Yes. And No. Or maybe no. And yes.
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:58 PM   #31
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If I could ignore health care, I would consider myself to be FI right now.

But since I can't ignore health care, that's fiction. I can't retire until next year, about one microsecond after I qualify for lifetime medical.
As soon as I was approved for an individual health care policy, I felt FI. Within a month, I gave my notice. A 2 year notice. I won't go into all that again, but that time frame gave me a chance to pad 'the number'.
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:59 PM   #32
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Yes. And No. Or maybe no. And yes.
Same here, I used to indecisive, but now I'm not so sure
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Old 02-17-2008, 08:40 PM   #33
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Became FI last month when I paid the last college tuition payment of my last child. I choose not to RE in this type of economy. I'll wait it out until things look better, when it looks like we've emerged from this downturn. Have great job with great hours, great pay and benefits and the 9% 401k match is my bonus. Just turned 57.
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Old 02-17-2008, 10:36 PM   #34
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More than two years.

FI is a relative thing to some of us. How much is really enough to be FI? Depends. I was technically FI long before I seriously considered retiring. The amount needed to be FI kept changing over the years; usually due to changes in life-style. Sometimes up...sometimes down. I know I have more than enough for a very good lifestyle for as long as either of us live and beyond. Not Bill Gates lifestyle but much better than the average Joe. I can live with that.

Some personal issues kept me in the w*rkforce longer than I intended. The original plan was out at age 55. I made it out a year earlier than my plan but still a few years after being FI. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do.
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Old 02-18-2008, 05:43 AM   #35
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It will be one nanosecond after DW's pension and health care package kick in in 1233 days. Three years also gives me time to sell my share of my business and some Florida real estate ( I hope)
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Old 02-18-2008, 06:14 AM   #36
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In many of the careers I had at megacorp I was managing complex projects, situations, and environments. So I got used to planning my work. Many years ago I 'planned' on retiring at the 30 year mark with megacorp.
So that is what I did.

I was FI at least 3 years before I RE'ed. I was probably (never reviewed detailed numbers) there before the 2000 debacle minor market correction but had to RESIST PANICKING :o stay the course while the market righted itself But pre-2000 was way to early for me to focus on retirement so I didn't. My ignorance delaying RE has actually helped me to build a bigger buffer so that I don't have to sweat any of these '2000 like minor market corrections'. (like in January for instance).
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Hard to know
Old 02-18-2008, 07:02 AM   #37
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Hard to know

I have no goal on the horizon in terms of perks to attain (pension, lifetime medical, etc.). We will have to live totally off the nest egg. So there is no specific date to reach, only a general feeling/estimation that we have enough. My hope at this point is the next president and congress will create some sort of universal health plan, which is my biggest concern at this point. The unsteadiness in the stock market has not helped.

By most measures we are FI, but I am gunning for a 2% SWR. That may seem extreme, but we would be around 2.5% now and are only in our 40s so it does not seem that bad to wait a few years and pad the nest egg. I guess by most measures I am FI but not choosing to RE (yet).
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Old 02-18-2008, 07:12 AM   #38
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I'm still not RE, but have been FI for about 3 years now.

The bad thing is, the longer I work the more my expenses seem to go up. Just bought a new house, taking more vacations to try to get the attitude better, etc. I really want a simplier lifestyle, and I used to have one, but lately I'm going in the wrong direction it seems. Like the treadmill is speeding up on me.........
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Old 02-18-2008, 09:13 AM   #39
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. My hope at this point is the next president and congress will create some sort of universal health plan, which is my biggest concern at this point.
You seem to have done a fine job without some president or congress creating anything for you. I would not hang my retirement on them. Rely upon what you can provide (i.e. plan for health insurance). It's a better bet IMO.
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The unsteadiness in the stock market has not helped.
hmmm I like to think of the market and it's associated volitility as my friend. It has a track record of going up. Nothing I have seen presently or in the near term future seems to indicate that it will do otherwise. Sure, if you've never lived thru down markets, it can be nerve racking. If you get the right AA (for your 'sleep level') then you'll be alright.
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By most measures we are FI, but I am gunning for a 2% SWR. That may seem extreme, but we would be around 2.5% now and are only in our 40s so it does not seem that bad to wait a few years and pad the nest egg. I guess by most measures I am FI but not choosing to RE (yet).
Whatever will allow you to sleep at night. I see nothing wrong with having a buffer... in fact I (inadvertently) built one myself. I find myself so mellow that I think I'm back in the 60's.
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Old 02-18-2008, 09:32 AM   #40
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I became FI after an inheritance but continue to work. Without the inheritance, I would not have been FI for at least another decade. It took a while to get it into my head that I now had options. Psychologically, I was not ready to RE at that time so I began some long term planning. I'm glad I did, because the gyrations in the markets would otherwise make me feel a bit queasy, given that I will not have a pension. I have actually become more LBYM since receiving the inheritance, because I now have a goal and don't want to jeopardize it. All told, the time between receiving the inheritance and RE is estimated to be 7-8 years.
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