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View Poll Results: How much money to retire
$500k 8 4.52%
$1M 21 11.86%
$1.5M 60 33.90%
$2M 45 25.42%
$2.5M 13 7.34%
$3M 10 5.65%
> $3M 20 11.30%
Voters: 177. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-06-2008, 11:59 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by unclemick View Post
heh heh heh - ballpark I could halve or double my budget(IMHO) cause I'm a cheap bastard(and proud of it) - but I'm 'forced' forced mind you to party cause the clock is ticking and I'm not getting any younger.
Right on unclemick!

I didn't RE until 58. Worked hard at tough, time-consuming jobs pretty much right up until the end. For me, it's important to have fun now and I'm glad that even the current slump in my portfolio performance isn't causing a big disruption in partying or fun-hog activities. At 60, it would be a big disappointment to have to delay fun-hog activities a decade when I probably won't enjoy them, if I can even still do them.

For folks fortunate to RE much earlier, I think things look a little different. For example, if at 50 I needed to postpone some fly-in fishing trips, canoe trips or that sort of thing a few years, it wouldn't be too big a deal. But at 60, postponing them adds the very real risk of never doing them.

Geezerhood isn't a prime time for pulling in your horns.

edited to add - current market performance/condtions is concerning enough that, at a planning pow-wow recently, we did prioritize some discretionary spending for the next couple of years so we'd know what we'd cut back on if things get worse....... But so far nothing actually crossed off the list.
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Old 03-06-2008, 12:08 PM   #22
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I voted $1M.

I excluded the spouse, because I don't have one and don't expect or plan to have one when I am 50. ("That's what you say now, 2Cor521..." I can hear you thinking and my parents saying.)

With a paid off house and kids on their own, and excluding healthcare, I can easily live on $15K in 2007 dollars. I would comfortably choose the 4% rule at age 50 under those circumstances for my basic living expenses, so that makes the basic nut $375K.

The balance of the $1M would be for health care between 50 and 65, just because you required it as part of the scenario.

In reality, I am seriously considering going nearly bare on health care -- such as with an extremely high deductible policy. I think most of the US has drunk some kool-aid by thinking that they must have health care coverage and health care no matter the cost. I think with anything, if the price gets too high, the only logical behavior is to evaluate the alternatives, weigh the risks and benefits, and make an informed decision. Other alternatives would be to go completely bare, or move to a foreign country and pay OOP.

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Old 03-06-2008, 12:08 PM   #23
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I picked $2 million because it was my planning number 12 years ago. Of course, I felt a 6% SWR was easily done at that time too.........

As far as AGE of RE, that is still being decided...........I don't know with the massive increase in health care whether pulling the plug super early is going to be feasible then.........
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Old 03-06-2008, 01:28 PM   #24
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I am with you on this 2Cor521....1M will be more than enough for me, myself, and I.
It's a good thing I remain to live like a college kid....minus the crazy parties and roommates...and a lot cleaner!
I am honing up on my yoga and learning reiki to take care of the minor things like aches, pains, and clear chakras. I will be getting the highest deductible as well.
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Old 03-06-2008, 01:44 PM   #25
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I entered 2 million as I am assuming a 3 percent withdrawl rate and allowing for greater than current inflation growth for healthcare. Just can't quite get the nerve to go for the 4 percent withdrawl rate at 1.5 million.
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Old 03-06-2008, 02:16 PM   #26
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Plus, I don't really want to quit right when a possible (long?) recession is starting. Not the best time to draw on the portfolio I hear.
Good idea - - keep working and paying into social security. Keep buying all those upscale things, to keep our economy thriving and unemployment down. After all, somebody's got to do it!

I'll regale you with tales of woe and misery from the front lines of retirement, as soon as I get there in late 2009. I can hardly wait!
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Old 03-06-2008, 04:07 PM   #27
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I chose $2M if the idea was to ER at 50 without healthcare coverage and only SS to plan for 10 - 15 years from ER date.
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Old 03-06-2008, 04:19 PM   #28
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Chinaco, I think I know what you're trying to gauge, if the start of a bear has people less confident... but, and this may be because I'm still a long way off, but I'd look at my personal inflation rate, expenses, expected mortality, and assume I was set when the lines crossed with enough cushion in between them for me to be able to sleep at night. After all, if we're truly accounting for a portfolio to be able to withstand market gyrations, then this is just a blip.

That said, I'd be more inclined to semi-re if my planned lifestyle allowed it. Partially meeting my living expenses with a few hours here and there would let me sleep a lot better at night.
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Old 03-06-2008, 04:51 PM   #29
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Chinaco, I think I know what you're trying to gauge, if the start of a bear has people less confident...
That was it. I was just trying to make most variables fixed.

The parameters I listed are not mine. I have ret health care from DW (she took an ER package) and I am a little older than the age listed. I plan to ER at 55.
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Old 03-06-2008, 05:08 PM   #30
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I also picked $2 million for this scenario. I'm 50 now and if DW and I were in this situation, I'm sure we would be traveling a fair amount of the time to enjoy it while relatively young and healthy. I would want a considerable cushion in our nest egg for any unforseen major expenses or bad investment performance.
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Old 03-06-2008, 05:23 PM   #31
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I

You are 50 years old married and fairly healthy. Kids are out of the house and seem to be making it. You would like to FIRE.

You do not have health insurance so you need to provide for it till 65 (medicare).

....

Please comment.

How much money would you need in your portolf
Trick question?

At age 50, I might be foolish enough to go without health insurance, but wait, Chinaco, you wrote, "You would like to FIRE." So spouse could stay in the rat race and keep the insurance premiums paid. Less than $500,000, easy. Hopefully, spouse is younger so the after 65 insurance would be better than just MediCare.

I quit my job and moved cross country in '74 but was too busy having fun to notice there was a recession going on; took a few months off before getting another j*b.
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Old 03-06-2008, 05:40 PM   #32
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When I ER'd and soon thereafter found this board, $1million (with home paid off and separate from this NW figure) seemed eminently doable. Now I'm much more pessimistic so I voted $2million even though I don't have anywhere near $2million in investments, more like $1.1 (which I predict soon to be less). As someone pointed out on another thread.. the more you LBYM the fewer places you have to cut back when TSHTF. The way real inflation has been for us recently, a 4% w/d puts us way behind where we were just a couple of years ago. You can get a 100% success rate with FIREcalc using historical parameters, but I'm concerned that the future has completely new stuff to throw at us.

We'll get by.. we can always downsize the house and get something bearable, either a small house in the US or an ok apt. here.. for a grand savings of maybe $200k. A lot, and yet.. not a lot given the magnitude of what that really would have to render. Maybe the easy money / good times worm got into the brains of even the apparently frugal..
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Old 03-07-2008, 07:26 AM   #33
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Well I fully retired last Oct. with a little less than 2mil with a paid for house, 50 yrs old and paying $800 month for health care. I'll admit the drop in the market does not thrill me because I don't have the income to be buying more stocks at this time. But I have a balanced portfolio and I dont have to sell any stocks at this time either. And of coarse I don't like the net worth dropping.

I'm tracking my spending as best I can and so far I have not had any suprises. If we had a prolonged downturn I would probably just cut back on some of the extras in the budget. Take some trips closer to home, ect.

I have some fat in my budget based on a 4% withdrawl rate. If we end up with some down years I'm sure we will cut back alittle, if we have some big up years I'm sure we will splurge alittle. I sure as hell am not planning on going back to work.
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:25 AM   #34
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That was it. I was just trying to make most variables fixed.

The parameters I listed are not mine. I have ret health care from DW (she took an ER package) and I am a little older than the age listed. I plan to ER at 55.
I've been thinking about what my actual, real response would be.

If I was looking at a choice between retiring now at 50 or working 5 more years until 55. I'd probably stay working just a bit longer... leverage my job through the bear market so I can buy stocks on sale and hold off just a bit longer on tapping into my portfolio. I have a feeling the "just a little bit longer" bug would be hard to fight, if you don't absolutely hate your job, in this market.
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:29 AM   #35
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I voted 1M but I am a cheapskate in the midwest.
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:03 AM   #36
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Based on the suggestions here, there can't be many early retirees out there. I believe only 3% of the US population are millionaires. You know many of them are working and some will work beyond 65. Of course there are early retirees with good pensions that are not millionaires. I guess we are part of an exclusive club.

I wonder how many early retirees are in the US?
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:25 AM   #37
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With everyone focused on "the number" it seems like a good time to remember Bob Clyatt's solution. Amazing how much even a modest income stream makes a difference, using the 25x rule of thumb. Bringing in even $20k per year in ESR is like having an extra $500K saved, at least for as long as you can keep up the work.
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:50 PM   #38
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I voted $2m as that would make me feel comfortable as our existing plan is a non-COLA pension of $40k/year and portfolio of $1.5m.

However, what I would need to live very comfortably without our extensive travel plans would be $1.5m
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Old 03-07-2008, 07:58 PM   #39
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Voted for 2M - like the fact that it provides lots of flexibility.
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Old 03-08-2008, 12:53 AM   #40
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I thought I would take a poll. This has been done before, but I thought it would be interesting to see how people are feeling right now (economy on the ropes). There are too many variables to get this very accurate so I will limit the situations.

You are 50 years old married and fairly healthy. Kids are out of the house and seem to be making it. You would like to FIRE.

You do not have health insurance so you need to provide for it till 65 (medicare).

You have no pension except SS for you and your spouse.

You own your house.

Added - Your local economies costs are the national average (not the extreme highs like NYC or Silicon Valley or lows )



Please comment.

How much money would you need in your portolf
Good post! I voted for $3M just to be safe. I was just thinking about the same thing. I want to retire at 50. What if the economy is how it is when I'm 50? Do I retire or work a few more years? When I'm 50, I would have the same as you stated above except that I would have no pension but hopefully $400K in 401(k), and I do live in the "extreme highs." I guess I would opt to retire anyway.
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