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FIRE Plans - Confident Or Second thoughts given US Economics
Old 09-23-2007, 09:12 AM   #1
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FIRE Plans - Confident Or Second thoughts given US Economics

DW will RE soon... in days. I am sticking with the plan of FIRE in 4 years.

Does the state of our economy and the current issues give you second thoughts about FIRE.

For those approaching FIRE consider your plans. For those FIRED, assume you have not done so yet. For those that intend to FIRE much further out, assume you have met your target FIRE amount of money.

Given the economic woes, weak currency, housing bubble, energy problems, war, and on and on.... Would you FIRE today anyway or delay?
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Old 09-23-2007, 11:55 AM   #2
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If I wasn't already FIRE'd, I still would regardless of the economy. I'm fortunate to have a very good DB COLA'd pension, netting about 87.5% of my former net pay. Most of the missing 12.5% was spent on lunches & munchies, w*rk clothes, and other w*rk related items anyway, so I don't really miss it. Investments and investment income, for me, are just frosting on the cake. I personally like a LOT of frosting.....but can settle for a little if I HAVE to.
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Old 09-23-2007, 11:59 AM   #3
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FIRE today.

I'm still working, and the current conditions could continue for a bit, but not for an extensive period. The bigger risk I think is a natural disaster in my area, like Katrina. That would change all the assumptions.

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Old 09-23-2007, 12:16 PM   #4
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Yes and no.

Of course, I worry about the future, but not about things I can't change.

Diversification is the way to protect yourself against uncertainties, even major upsets.

Planning and preparation can put you in a position of long-term safety--if you can make tough decisions. A LOT of people choke at this point. I am having a few problems with DW accepting certain harsh realities.

Oh, yeah. Save more money.

Remember that the 3.5-4% safe withdrawal rate is based on worst-case history including the Great Depression and two world wars. Sure, something else worse could come along. Plan and act or freeze in the headlights--your choice.

By the way, what do you have against war, anyway?
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Old 09-23-2007, 12:26 PM   #5
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Hmmm...let's see.... its 1999 ...market is doing great, inflation is low, employment is great, no war,.....great time to retire.
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Old 09-23-2007, 05:02 PM   #6
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I didn't vote since I don't care about the economy. You didn't give a choice of "when the in-laws die." Until they do, we're trapped in Houston and I'd just as soon have the excuse of going to gainful employment instead of being sucked into endless visiting at the nursing/assisted living facility.
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Old 09-23-2007, 05:42 PM   #7
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Friday will be the end for me. I've been on vacation since August 3 and now it all coming to an end. All I have to do is sign out Friday afternoon and then there is a little party planned with about 75 guests signed up to attend so far.

Working on my last PowerPoint presentation now.

The first pension check should be in the bank November 1.

I'm not waiting any longer, 35.33 years is enough.
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Old 09-23-2007, 05:46 PM   #8
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Friday will be the end for me.
You've got this all wrong. It's just the beginning!
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Old 09-23-2007, 05:48 PM   #9
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Friday, September 28th is my last day. I'm not changing my plans!!!
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Old 09-23-2007, 06:03 PM   #10
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I REed in March 2000. The market drop at that time, and unanticipated health insurance problems gave me some sleepless nights, but even so I don't regret that I quit then.
Before I quit, I had more sleepless nights from job stress.
Life is short.
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Old 09-23-2007, 06:43 PM   #11
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ER ASAP! Which for me is 12-30-2008. We can live comfortably, if not extravagantly, on my pension. Investments are gravy. But maybe I'm a little "different" than most here. ER for me is not about not working. It's about working at what I WANT to work at, WHEN I want to work at it, and only then. In his book, How to Survive Without a Salary, this is what Charles Long referred to as casual income.

This stuff with the alarm clock and having to be to work on time 5X50 (with 2 weeks vacation) sucks.

Billy and Keisha are my heroes!
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Old 09-23-2007, 06:58 PM   #12
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I put "Retire Now".

Actually, right now my retirement plan assumes that shortly after I retire the market will tank and inflation will rise, and that the market won't recover for ten years.

(What me? Pessimist?)
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Old 09-23-2007, 06:59 PM   #13
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ER ASAP! Which for me is 12-30-2008.
That's my date also if I can make it. Economy has given me pause, however the current work environment is spurring me on!
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Old 09-23-2007, 07:52 PM   #14
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DH and I are still planning to RE at the end of March, 2008. Yes, the financial uncertainties are a little disconcerting--but we'll make it work. Waiting until everything is nice and stable is a bit like market timing.....so, FIRE away!
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Old 09-23-2007, 08:39 PM   #15
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Does the state of our economy and the current issues give you second thoughts about FIRE.
Given the economic woes, weak currency, housing bubble, energy problems, war, and on and on.... Would you FIRE today anyway or delay?
Let's break this down into three choices: yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

If yesterday was a great day then you'll wish you had ERed to leave work at the top of your game. If yesterday sucked then you'll know that today or tomorrow are that much more likely to revert to the mean, and would be great times to be ERed.

If today is a great day then you'll wish you'd ERed to enjoy it even more. If today really sucks then you'll wish you'd ERed so that it wouldn't be so bad.

If you think that tomorrow is going to suck, would you rather be working or ERed?

Here's another way to look at it: Which day would you rather wake up dead and think "Well, at least I had time to enjoy my ER!": yesterday, today, or tomorrow?

I'll now leave you to your regular Sunday night routine, when you can prepare for the coming workweek. Tomorrow I'll be thinking "Thank God it's Monday!!"

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Actually, right now my retirement plan assumes that shortly after I retire the market will tank and inflation will rise, and that the market won't recover for ten years.
What's your ER date again? I don't want to change my asset allocation, but maybe I'd buy a few options...
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Old 09-23-2007, 09:05 PM   #16
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I'll now leave you to your regular Sunday night routine, when you can prepare for the coming workweek. Tomorrow I'll be thinking "Thank God it's Monday!!"

Yep, can't wait for Monday. I hate weekends, too many working stiffs jamming everything up.
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Old 09-23-2007, 09:18 PM   #17
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What's your ER date again? I don't want to change my asset allocation, but maybe I'd buy a few options...
LOL!! 2009-2010. Expect Armageddon and worse by the end of 2010...

But I'll be ready for it! If nothing happens, then I'll just have a little more to live on.
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Old 09-23-2007, 11:19 PM   #18
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Congrats to those with COLA pensions that are sufficient to support their living without having to worry about the economy or the stock market. Let's suppose in the unlikely event that the pension providers (even the government) announce that they would default their obligations because of a severe recession, would you change your perspective about the economy or the stock market. You probably would say that such an event will never, never, never happen. However, this is only a hypothetical question.
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Old 09-24-2007, 12:02 AM   #19
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Congrats to those with COLA pensions that are sufficient to support their living without having to worry about the economy or the stock market.
Damn the torpedoes- full speed ahead! This sentiment mostly comes from those whose back is being watched by someone else- usually the friendly taxpayer!

Ha
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Old 09-24-2007, 03:07 AM   #20
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Good comments. I voted to Retire today also.

I have a traditional portfolio. Stocks, bonds, cash... I do need a little more international exposure. Right now I about 12% of equity is international. I will probably move that to %15 - 20%. Bonds and cash are all domestic except about 1/2 the bonds are in an actively manage bond fund that has some international exposure... perhaps 5%.

But I still feel like I need to have something else in the portfolio as a hedge against something unexpected.

I have been thinking about 3 items, but the purchases would need to be timed because some of them are fairly high right now:
  1. Precious metal (like the VG index fund) - perhaps 3% (a bit of a currency hedge without the currency) But gold is high right now... I know it will go back down. I think purchasing now would be at the peak. Matter of fact, If I owned it now, I would probably be averaging out of it.
  2. Commodity ETF - perhaps 2%
  3. More international bond exposure - Some percentage of bonds. (any ideas on the % needed)
Items 1 and 2 about would be sold when they fatten up and purchased when they were down (contrarian). I see not need in holding those forever.

The International Bonds would be a permanent fixture.
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