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Old 12-19-2013, 12:59 PM   #41
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I just did a rundown of my stash. Nominally I am up 62% since I retired in 1996 but on an inflation adjusted basis only a little less than 10%.
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Old 12-19-2013, 01:32 PM   #42
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We are still able to save monthly so our assets increased by about 14% in 2013. Income from DHs pension is still more than our monthly expenses and on top of that we have my very small income from my part-time job as a school crossing guard. Our Vanguard investments have grown and we also get some interest income. It's been a good year!
My assets have grown over 200% in the past 3 years. Ah, but the devil is always in the details. It's easy to increase 200% when you start with very little in retirement, and throw in a part time job for a couple years. In reality I am in same position as you Sue and your DH. I have a pension that more than covers my monthly expenses so I continue to grow the base that way. My last breath I take should be my peak net worth day. DD better wish me a long healthy life if she ever wants a big inheritance!
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Old 12-19-2013, 02:00 PM   #43
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Still having two ugly bear markets at the first 8 years of your retirement is not recommended.
That's the understatement of the day clifp!

I retired in mid-2006 so I faced the Great Recession in short order. I started my SS at 62 which helped. We kept withdrawals lower than originally planned. And I had some cash from a company buy-out I hadn't put into the market yet which prevented us from having to sell anything at the bottom. Still, a very nervous time until things climbed out of the hole!

Of course, retiring into high inflation is worse.........
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Old 12-19-2013, 02:37 PM   #44
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...

Of course, retiring into high inflation is worse.........
This is a very good point. When I ran the numbers and looked at detailed FIRECalc simulation results, I found the worst period for us was retiring in 1966. Would have wound up with a low at 38% of the starting portfolio. Interestingly this occurred 19 years out in 1984. This was worse then even retiring in 1929.
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Old 12-19-2013, 03:54 PM   #45
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Retired age 53 in 1989... current net worth is almost exactly the same as the day we retired... not planned that way, just happened.
Everything we have is in relatively secure funds... I bonds, annuity, IRA MM or reasonably liquid (convertible) assets... ie. honestly priced real estate...
Original plan was to have started drawing down savings 5 years ago, but looks like 2014 will be the first time. Forward looking "final" planning has gone from age 85 to well into the 90's, but don't expect that to happen.

Just a side note on net worth... I DO calculate my home as an asset:
Firecalc notes about the home:
Quote:
You are probably better off treating it outside the FIRECalc model, perhaps as an emergency source of funds should you need to tap the equity. But it's value already shows up in FIRECalc, in the form of reduced annual spending. If you had to increase your annual spending by $20,000 or so to cover mortgage costs, your required portfolio would increase by roughly $500,000.
So your paid-off house already acts as a valuable part of your plan. Entering it's cash value would double-count it and give you misleading results, since if you were to sell or mortgage it to free up cash, you would also begin to incur new expenses for rent or debt payments.
While I'm sure it all works out the same in the end, I look at it a little differently... We expect to move from our house to an apartment in a Continued Care facility within the next 5 years. The current all expense included rental rate for 2, for this is $30K/yr. We expect to sell the house and use the proceeds to supplement our $25K/yr Social Security... which plan may leave our net worth relatively intact.
Being this close to old, old age, it makes planning a little bit easier, knowing that if something happened tomorrow, it would not mean poverty, nor would we have to rely on our kids to do this for us.
Planning isn't always about money.
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Old 12-19-2013, 04:34 PM   #46
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Retired July 2009 at 51 yrs. No pension. NW up 45% since then.
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Old 12-19-2013, 07:00 PM   #47
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My last breath I take should be my peak net worth day.
I hope to avoid this scenario. Call me selfish but when my DW takes the last breadth well after I am in my grave (women live longer, that's all I am saying here), I sure hope she has exhausted all our asset if not the most. Any accidental leftover, DS will inherit despite against his protest.
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Old 12-19-2013, 07:12 PM   #48
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I hope to avoid this scenario. Call me selfish but when my DW takes the last breadth well after I am in my grave (women live longer, that's all I am saying here), I sure hope she has exhausted all our asset if not the most. Any accidental leftover, DS will inherit despite against his protest.
I know probably most people on this forum are equipped and able to live a retired life off of their assets and draw down rate. But I am 50 going on 80 I guess. I feel fortunate to have a monthly pension that covers everything I need and more. The money I save in retirement each month is truly just left over money that will accumulate. I would want to feel the way you do Rob if I was living off my assets in retirement, but I would be one of those types that would be scared to death I would outlive my money.
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:09 PM   #49
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Since June 2006 when I stopped working for money, net worth is up 14%. Spending hasn't really changed. Recent gains in equity markets have been partly offset by two kids in full-pay college, running $125K per year, but only for a few more years...
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Old 12-20-2013, 10:10 PM   #50
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Another Y2K retiree here. Well, 2nd half 1999, but I do track my NW compared to end of year 1999/Jan 1 2000.

I don't have the "real" numbers during the 2000s, but my NW peaked in Oct 2007. It was 55% above the initial value nominal. By Feb 2009, it dropped 40% from that peak value, and was even below the initial value by 6%. So you know that all was even worse in real terms.

I started to tracking cumulative inflation and my NW in real terms in 2011.

By the end of 2011, my NW was still -10% in real terms from the initial value. (That's up 24% nominally). It was down slightly from end of 2010, actually, but I don't have the specific numbers handy.

By March of 2012, I finally crossed my Oct 2007 peak number in nominal terms. But I was still behind by about 1% real compared to my initial value.

At the end of 2012, my NW had just broken even in real terms. Up 36.7% nominal, but cumulative inflation over that period was 36.4% - so very close. Still - considering spending and taxes over 12 years, I was very pleased.

By the end of last month (Nov 2013), my NW was running ahead of inflation by 15.5%. Up 54% in nominal terms.
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Old 12-20-2013, 10:58 PM   #51
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Audrey, I'm not quite sure what your emotions are regarding the ups and downs but I know mine. I look back at some periods of higher portfolio balances (in real terms) and have to remind myself not to judge this stuff in terms of my accumulation days. Now I'm spending more and hopefully enjoying the experiences.

There is no way to put a monetary value on the spending experiences whereas it's simple arithmetic to see the portfolio balance. I'm not going to make the mistake of over emphasizing the later.

Still I'm hopeful of making better investment decisions going forward. Maybe I can have it both ways. Hope springs eternal.
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Old 12-20-2013, 10:59 PM   #52
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You are all giving me confidence in my plan to retire soon.

With DOW breaking new record, do you think gaining in NW will continue, stay flat, or go down? Bull market will have to end sometime.
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Old 12-20-2013, 11:09 PM   #53
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You are all giving me confidence in my plan to retire soon.

With DOW breaking new record, do you think gaining in NW will continue, stay flat, or go down? Bull market will have to end sometime.
That's right! The bull market will end sometime, though I don't know when - - a month from now? a year? five years? It's hard to predict in advance without a crystal ball.

When it ends, if we have a significant crash, you will hear much wailing and chest beating from some, and some others will declare with great melodrama that they are pulling everything out of the market. Calmer folks will say that they are tightening their belt, keeping their investments pretty much the same, and holding on for the roller coaster ride ahead.

After the 2008-2009 crash, I guess IIRC that by 2010 a few people began to happily announce a full recovery of their net worth. As the months passed, more and more joined them.
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Old 12-20-2013, 11:16 PM   #54
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After the 2008-2009 crash, I guess that by 2010 a few people began to happily announce a full recovery of their net worth. As the months passed, more and more joined them.
I was wondering about what happened to folks in this forum through the recession and recovery. Good to know that many have recovered from the recession.

I had number of roller coaster years through late 1990s, dot.boom crash, recovery, 2008 recession, and another recovery. I was a millionaire one year, felt like broke next year, millionaire again, felt like broke again, ..., it certainly toughened me up but was torture while going through the up and downs.
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Old 12-20-2013, 11:20 PM   #55
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I was wondering about what happened to folks in this forum through the recession and recovery. Good to know that many have recovered from the recession.

I had number of roller coaster years through late 1990s, dot.boom crash, recovery, 2008 recession, and another recovery. I was a millionaire one year, felt like broke next year, millionaire again, felt like broke again, ..., it certainly toughened me up but was torture while going through the up and downs.
That's for sure! One thing about the forum during the 2008-2009 crash... we all had company while going through this, because we could post about it to others on the forum.
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Old 12-21-2013, 07:32 AM   #56
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Another Y2K retiree here. Well, 2nd half 1999, but I do track my NW compared to end of year 1999/Jan 1 2000.

I don't have the "real" numbers during the 2000s, but my NW peaked in Oct 2007. It was 55% above the initial value nominal. By Feb 2009, it dropped 40% from that peak value, and was even below the initial value by 6%. So you know that all was even worse in real terms.

I started to tracking cumulative inflation and my NW in real terms in 2011.

By the end of 2011, my NW was still -10% in real terms from the initial value. (That's up 24% nominally). It was down slightly from end of 2010, actually, but I don't have the specific numbers handy.

By March of 2012, I finally crossed my Oct 2007 peak number in nominal terms. But I was still behind by about 1% real compared to my initial value.

At the end of 2012, my NW had just broken even in real terms. Up 36.7% nominal, but cumulative inflation over that period was 36.4% - so very close. Still - considering spending and taxes over 12 years, I was very pleased.

By the end of last month (Nov 2013), my NW was running ahead of inflation by 15.5%. Up 54% in nominal terms.
So 13 years later, do you think your NW is more or less than what you expected it to be 13 years into retirement?
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:04 AM   #57
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Anyone whose portfolio has not grown after withdrawals over the past five years, might do well to reconsider their withdrawal rate plan...
Totally agree. These investment results are not sustainable. Retired fall of 2006 and cash portfolio up a nominal 42% with only spending divs.
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:30 AM   #58
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My objective is to grow our spending as much as possible consistent with keeping a secure portfolio for the future. It is not just to watch our net worth grow.

As others have noted, it is hard to get the balance just right.
agree. I don't see any reason why we couldn't spend a fair amount more if the portfolio cooperated.
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:59 AM   #59
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Still having two ugly bear markets at the first 8 years of your retirement is not recommended.
Understatement of the millennium.

Another Y2K retiree here. There have been ups and downs. Our portfolio is higher in nominal terms, lower in real terms, also lower than where I thought it would be. If I were to adjust for college expenses and some real estate that might be different, but then again, maybe not, and it's not really a big deal. Over this period our withdrawal has averaged at least 4%, which is where it is right now. I am more confident today that our portfolio will survive than I was back in 12/99.

Back then I was totally focused on return. For me, wrong. Now what matters (for me) is reducing risk. Our portfolio should last, and I am convinced the greatest source of risk, by an order of magnitude, is not market valuations but self-inflicted.
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Old 12-21-2013, 10:32 AM   #60
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So 13 years later, do you think your NW is more or less than what you expected it to be 13 years into retirement?
Overall I would say I am very pleased, especially considering some of the expenses we have indulged in over the years.

I will be quite pleased just to have NW keep up with inflation, so anything beyond that is just icing on the cake.

Our expenses have not in any way risen with inflation, so it really "feels" more like our NW is up 50% since retiring in our personal "real" terms, and that feels delightful!

Knock on wood!!! Multiple times!!!
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