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Old 07-03-2008, 08:25 AM   #41
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As Nords has indicated in his post "size dosen't necessarily matter".

For me, information other than your portfolio value means more. The question is that does your "life situation" match mine, so I can use your "thoughts" as my own?

Examples:

- How old are you?
- Are you retired?
- Are you married (or SO)?
- Do you have others that you support?
- Do you have a "next generation" to consider?
- Do you have a pension (or other income)?
- What are your goals?
- Are you "prejudiced" against any investment vehicle (such as cash, annuities - any kind, bonds, etc)
- Are you going to downsize/upsize/move when you retire?
- Any other details that show you are "like me" and I can seriously consider what you have done.

Portfolio investments values are "for entertainment purposes only". They mean little in a forum like this, when each of us is trying to apply our "gross common knowledge" to our own lives.

- Ron
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:47 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rs0460a View Post
As Nords has indicated in his post "size dosen't necessarily matter".

For me, information other than your portfolio value means more. The question is that does your "life situation" match mine, so I can use your "thoughts" as my own?

Examples:

- How old are you?
- Are you retired?
- Are you married (or SO)?
- Do you have others that you support?
- Do you have a "next generation" to consider?
- Do you have a pension (or other income)?
- What are your goals?
- Are you "prejudiced" against any investment vehicle (such as cash, annuities - any kind, bonds, etc)
- Are you going to downsize/upsize/move when you retire?
- Any other details that show you are "like me" and I can seriously consider what you have done.

Portfolio investments values are "for entertainment purposes only". They mean little in a forum like this, when each of us is trying to apply our "gross common knowledge" to our own lives.

- Ron
Good point! Another factor such as these would be whether or not you have paid off your home, and whether or not you define your portfolio and/or net worth as including your home. This seems to make for huge discrepancies, especially with our coastal "housing bubble" folks.

I have what I think is a humorous net worth story as an aside. In 1979 my ex and I applied for a bank loan to pay for a new boat. The loan officer was computing our net worth as part of the loan application form. She added the ENTIRE purchase price of our new home (in which we had nearly zero equity) to our net worth and did the same for our vehicles which were also pretty new and had hefty loan balances to pay off. She did not subtract the balances we owed. So, our net worth was huge and we qualified for the loan.

The point being that net worth often means whatever we want it to mean. The bank was probably wanting to make new loans.
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my 2 pfennigs worth
Old 07-03-2008, 09:09 AM   #43
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my 2 pfennigs worth

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Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
Agreed. Though these days, it's easier to provoke resentment by telling someone you have a large, COLA'd pension.
Ahhhh, so that's why I have been ignored. Large COLA'd pensions are anathema to this group.
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Old 07-03-2008, 09:16 AM   #44
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When I read about the average retirement savings for people in their early 50s, I feel pretty good about our situation. When I see some of the numbers on this board, I feel like a pauper. I'm here to learn from the experiences of others. I figure that I'm the one who needs to know if we're on track for FIRE based on the 1,001 variables of our situation that would require a 10,000 word essay to explain. Everyone has a very unique set of circumstances that depends upon their personalities as well as assets, pensions, insurance needs etc.
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Old 07-03-2008, 09:16 AM   #45
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Ahhhh, so that's why I have been ignored. Large COLA'd pensions are anathema to this group.
Nah, but the drooling sometimes gets out of hand!
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Old 07-03-2008, 09:25 AM   #46
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I once posted my actual net worth on a post where it was necessary information for others to answer the question I posed. But I did it knowing a) I think I am anonymous there, b) that most useful answers would come within a few days and c) I could then remove the net worth line, and I did just that. I took a chance on someone "quoting" my post, but fortunately (from my POV) that did not happen. It doesn't change my situation to know what others have, so I don't need to know. Some will always have more, some will always have less...
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:32 AM   #47
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When I read about the average retirement savings for people in their early 50s, I feel pretty good about our situation. When I see some of the numbers on this board, I feel like a pauper. I'm here to learn from the experiences of others. I figure that I'm the one who needs to know if we're on track for FIRE based on the 1,001 variables of our situation that would require a 10,000 word essay to explain. Everyone has a very unique set of circumstances that depends upon their personalities as well as assets, pensions, insurance needs etc.
My exact thoughts...except we are in our mid 50s.
Jeff
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Old 07-03-2008, 01:10 PM   #48
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When I read about the average retirement savings for people in their early 50s, I feel pretty good about our situation. When I see some of the numbers on this board, I feel like a pauper.
This forum is focused not on the average person, who will work until their 60s, but rather on the person seeking early retirement. So, it's natural for those thinking of an early exit from the workforce to have accumulated more wealth than the average.

In practice, though, you'll notice that many people here can only retire early if they are willing to either live on the edge of poverty or watch every penny for the duration of their retirement. Not everyone, but many. So, don't feel so bad about your own situation...

Quote:
I figure that I'm the one who needs to know if we're on track for FIRE based on the 1,001 variables of our situation that would require a 10,000 word essay to explain. Everyone has a very unique set of circumstances that depends upon their personalities as well as assets, pensions, insurance needs etc.
But it probably won't take a 10,000 word essay when you've accumulated enough money to retire. At that point, the math may be much more simple and obvious.
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Old 07-03-2008, 01:18 PM   #49
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In practice, though, you'll notice that many people here can only retire early if they are willing to either live on the edge of poverty or watch every penny for the duration of their retirement. Not everyone, but many. So, don't feel so bad about your own situation...
The official poverty line in the US for 2 persons in the family unit is $14,000. There seems to be a consensus that the only person in recorded history on this board to come close to being able to live on that was UncleMick and he's a cheap bastard with an authentic curmudgeon certificate. So, the reality is that most people feel comfortable living multiple brackets above the poverty line... and probably many of them have chosen to check out of working early as a trade-off to consuming more than is necessary.
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Old 07-03-2008, 11:53 PM   #50
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What I need < my number < what I'd like

Close enough?
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Old 07-04-2008, 07:49 AM   #51
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I have noticed that the higher the worth gets, the less likely folks are to share the number. There have been a number of posts when people report on passing a milestone, usually $100,000 or a multiple or 2 or 3 of that.

I do not recall instances of people announcing they passed 1 million or 5. There probably are a variety of reasons for that, from modesty, privacy, ward off envy, etc.
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Old 07-04-2008, 08:07 AM   #52
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I have noticed that the higher the worth gets, the less likely folks are to share the number. There have been a number of posts when people report on passing a milestone, usually $100,000 or a multiple or 2 or 3 of that.

I do not recall instances of people announcing they passed 1 million or 5. There probably are a variety of reasons for that, from modesty, privacy, ward off envy, etc.
Well, for me, you identified the reason why I don't talk about "numbers".

About 30 years ago, I had the opportunity to change jobs. I did so. With the increase in base pay (along with a lot of overtime pay) I was truly living the "good life".

I stopped in at my old job site, and I just happened to have a current pay stub in my pocket. When folks at the old job site asked me how things were going, I pulled out the stub to show them how things (financially) had gotten better.

A few days after my visit, I came to realize that I was actually "bragging" on my good fortune. While some feel comfortable with this action, I felt that it was not in "good manner" to do so.

Forward about 30 years (to today). I (and my DW) are FI. I was able to retire last year (at age 59) many years before my planned retirement.

If you look at our "financial health", you will find that we have enough to last "several lifetimes" into our future.

Are we "blessed" - yes. Am I going to talk about it? No.

I made that mistake many years ago, and I'm not going to repeat it, here.

I (and my DW) are running "our own game" and I know we will be successful. I don't need to talk about that, since it means little to your "plan" (and it should not!).

- Ron
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Old 07-04-2008, 11:09 AM   #53
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Here's our number - 7,03,2011 - thats the month, day and year that DW has mandated as full retirement. Right now its the number that means the most to me. We can somewhat control the $ we have. We cant control the time we have left.
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Old 07-04-2008, 01:24 PM   #54
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I agree with many of the posts here on why many of us don't share our numbers. NORDS said it best and I agree that posting networth without a proper context becomes a "mine is bigger than yours" game that leads nowhere.

I also agree with Ha Ha that if one asks a specific question about "do I have enough ?" or "can I retire ?", "who much longer?", etc. there needs to be enough detail in the question to allow the appropriate calculation; otherwise, the answer can only be "it depends."

My own reasons for not sharing much on my specifics is more with privacy. I don't do a lot to hide my identy and family and friends know I frequent this board so I keep details to myself as there is nothing to be gained by stating them here.

I don't share the details of my financial status with my own family. My brother can guess based on where I live and the fact that I am FIRED many years before he will be. My FIL and the other side of the family can only guess and would never pose the question beyond "how much did you pay for the house" kind of question.

Some families are more private about money than others. Growing up, we never talked about money other than the basics of trying to save it and not spending too much of it. I parent only discussed salary and expenses in generalities. It was not until after they both retired did I learn of how much they made and what they had invested.

Some families are much more open about finances and I think it is a good thing as it makes every family member aware of what it takes to run a household. The danger is that kids have a tendency to blab to other kids and household income would become known throughout the neighborhood and many would find this embarasing.

Public forums are public. Given enough time and effort a person could determine your identity if you have provided enough information to do so. How much you feel comfortable sharing is a personal thing so don't expect too many folks to share a real number here on the board. I have "enough" and it is divided up in different places. My monthly income comes from some of these different places and varies by how much I need each month. The rest comes from other places. How much is in each place varies from time to time.
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