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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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FIRE Scenario - How are ya feelin' now!
Old 03-06-2008, 04:44 AM   #1
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FIRE Scenario - How are ya feelin' now!

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
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Old 03-06-2008, 06:01 AM   #2
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Opps, I voted $2.5MM but then actually read the constraints. Too old, among others. Null my vote.
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Old 03-06-2008, 06:24 AM   #3
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I voted 1.5 million and I am assuming that your house is paid off, and you will continue living in it. (If not, add the balance left to pay on the house.)

I would have selected a lower figure if health insurance was not an issue.

Also, I would have selected a much lower figure if you were single, since I feel that married people often have less control over what their partner spends than they have over their own expenses. I know, I know, what a revelation!

Anyway, health couldn't cost more than half a million (I would certainly hope!) and 4% of a million is $40K. In an average part of the country (not Seattle, SF, or NYC), I would think a couple could live a pleasant lifestyle in a paid off house with $40K income plus SS (if you get it).
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Old 03-06-2008, 07:19 AM   #4
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these two factors are the killer.
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.
i took a WAG at $1.5M based on several online calculators i had run for myself before FIRE.
no clue otherwise...


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Old 03-06-2008, 07:34 AM   #5
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The situation you describe fits us almost perfectly - just add 10 years to the age 50 statement. Based on our three years experience in retirement, I'd have to go with $2M primarily due to the increases we've seen in the cost of health insurance premiums. If both you and your spouse aren't in excellent health and without pre-existing conditions, it can be a budget killer.
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:00 AM   #6
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$1M for an income stream plus another $500K reserve for the health insurance situation, a total of $1.5M.
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:06 AM   #7
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I chose 3 million. I calculated a 3% withdrawal because of your age. If you can live on less than 90K per year you can reduce the amount accordingly.
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:12 AM   #8
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I would think somewhere between 1.5 and 2 mil. depending on your lifestyle .
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:24 AM   #9
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- you want the before coffee or after coffee opinion?

300k, a valid American Passport and a seriously bad attitude - er that was 93.

Two cups of coffee, whatever number an inflation calculator brings 300k up to, a renewed Passport, a better attitude - stylishly frugal instead of well you know.

I just paid $50 for two cups of coffee and a doughnut - they did throw in an oil/filter change, new air filter and a car wash.

The doughnut(from Dunking doughnuts) was ok.

heh heh heh - don't listen to me - even though being seriously wrong planning 1.3 mil at age 63(2006) - I have managed to bogey thru 14 yrs of ER without serious depraviation - a plan is good but don't fail to adjust to life on life's terms.
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclemick View Post
- a plan is good but don't fail to adjust to life on life's terms.
Now that is wise advice.

I think that those of us who have been poor/desperate at some time in our lives, know how to manage with very little income. We may not LIKE it, but we can and will adjust to income changes promptly as needed.

But those who have never been in dire straits may not know how to adjust, or may remain in a state of denial ("NOBODY can live on less than $xxxxx per year!").

I suspect that failure to promptly "adjust to life on life's terms" as UncleMick put it, could have serious economic consequences. So, those who have never been truly poor might want to pad their budget a bit to allow for the possibility of temporary poverty and associated learning curve. I have never been retired but this sounds sensible to me, anyway.
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:32 AM   #11
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I picked 1.5 simply because my current "boy, now this is living!" plan calls for 1.6 and semi-RE at 45. If I didn't have to plan on rapidly rising health care coverage and a 55 year timeframe (plan says spouse and I are going at 100, one way or another), then I could get by with less. I also don't feel comfortable at more than a 3% SWR and that 3% includes some wiggle room.

edit: I'd say 45 is reasonably close to your scenario of 50. I think the biggest unknown in this case would be planned mortality and what happens if you screw up and live too long. And, do you plan to FIRE FIRE or Semi-FIRE. Working a few hours here and there could greatly reduce your portfolio size needs, especially if that part-time work gives you access to group coverage at a rate lower than your individual coverage.

Note: All dollars are in current dollars.
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:56 AM   #12
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I'm the one who picked $500K, but we're in a situation that almost doesn't exist anymore. We have a defined-benefit pension with 100% COLA (for the Wash. D.C. metro area), medical, prescription, dental and vision coverage for life for 30% of the group premium. This becomes secondary to Medicare at 65. Zero debt, no mortgage. The only possible "gotcha" that I can think of is long-term-care coverage but only 5% of people end up needing that.
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:12 AM   #13
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Chinaco's scenario sounds about like ours, I've generally used $1.7 mil as low (mortgage paid off) but would prefer closer to $2 mil. I am conservative when it comes to financial estimates.
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
I'm the one who picked $500K, but we're in a situation that almost doesn't exist anymore. We have a defined-benefit pension with 100% COLA (for the Wash. D.C. metro area), medical, prescription, dental and vision coverage for life for 30% of the group premium. This becomes secondary to Medicare at 65. Zero debt, no mortgage. The only possible "gotcha" that I can think of is long-term-care coverage but only 5% of people end up needing that.
Walt, this is a poll where you to play by Chinaco's rules. He's more interested in your opinion than your specific situation, which is why he's provided the situation.

Given healthcare inflation, I'd probably be pretty nervous about retiring on $1M these days.
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:22 AM   #15
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It seems that little attention is being paid as to whether we're talking about a single or a couple. At our house, we see little econonmy of scale from living as a couple compared to two singles.

I'd say, given you have a strong urge to RE and are willing to live a prudent LBYM lifestyle, $1.5M for a single or $2.5M for a couple willing to leverage some common expenses.

Assumptions: House equity is included in the above figures, SS only other income, average med plan premiums, middle-middle class lifestyle including partaking of some travel, vacations, entertainment, etc.
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:30 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Want2retire View Post
temporary poverty and associated learning curve. .
For me, just because I know well how to live in poverty, I don't like it a bit. Having experience and knowing how to deal with poverty may eliminate the learning curve, but the memories of poverty left me more conservative in my financial plans, more willing to work longer, than if I'd had no experience with poverty.
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:37 AM   #17
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I entered 2 million. The recurring theme seems to be the health care uncertainty... Does Wal Mart Canada need greeters?

DD
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:50 AM   #18
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Hmmm - is it time to hang from the windows and walk to school uphill both ways?

Or has the 18-24k per year budget of ancient threads on this forum fallen into the dustbin of history - slain by inflation and the falling dollar among other things?

It is always amusing to me that one often gets discussed without the other. Also given the range of ER's - the 'margin of safety' or wiggle room that an individual ER couple may feel comfortible with varies widely.

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.
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:34 AM   #19
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Almost 2 mill. But we are increasing our standard of living in retirement. So if push came to shove we could get by on quite a bit less.
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:51 AM   #20
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My target was and still is 1.5 million (in 2008 dollars). The current economic situation has not yet made me rethink my plan. But healthcare costs might be a factor when the times come. One thing seems to have changed however: my wife has decided that retiring in her 40's was not something she was interested in (she suffers from the "what would I do with myself all day long" syndrome). She would like to work until the age of 55. Based on current projections, we could reach FI at the age of 43-45 and, despite this new development, we will continue our aggressive savings plan to reach that goal (after all one never knows, she might change her mind again). But I have made no secret of the fact that I will retire as soon as we reach our target (I feel like we would have enough padding with a 1.5M portfolio to weather most situations). But if she wants to continue working for another 10 years (which is fine with me), that could give us some extra financial padding, plus 10 years of cheap health insurance.
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