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Old 03-02-2010, 09:41 AM   #41
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Working isn't so bad if you quit worrying about all the things that really doesn't matter. Yes the place could be managed better. yes some of the co-workers have unusual personalities. But who cares I can walk away anytime I want. For the first time you can be yourself at work - You don't have to keep your head down anymore.
I think so. To me, FI is the holy grail to seek, not specifically RE. With FI comes the ability (but not the obligation) to RE. FI is what enables all else.

I know I've mentioned this before, but this was my dad's mindset and experience. Once he turned 55 and became eligible for the pension, he knew they had the financial means to retire (i.e. they achieved FI). And at first he planned to retire at 55.

But the thing is, his bosses didn't want to lose him to retirement, so suddenly all the parts of his job that made him want to retire magically started going away and dropped on someone else. He told me that the last couple of years at work were among the most enjoyable ever because his bosses removed most of the crap and drudgery from his job. Plus, he had the ability to tell them to stick it and walk away if it became intolerable.

It wasn't until a couple of years later at 57 when he received an early retirement incentive I can only dream about and drool over: 6 months' pay as lump sum severance, an extra 5 years of credited service for pension calculations, and 100% employer-funded retiree health insurance until age 65. (Those were the days -- this was in 1992, actually. You don't see much of that in the private sector any more.) That offer was, obviously, way too good to pass on and more than I can even conjure up in my most pleasant retirement dreams.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:55 AM   #42
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For the first time you can be yourself at work
I experienced the same thing, once FIRE was truly in sight. W*rk became game-like and easier to endure. But "being myself" includes speaking my mind and standing up for myself, which was incompatible with the sanctioned atmosphere of quiet desperation at my company. You can bow down to a naked emperor for only so long. So I bowed out, instead.
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:34 AM   #43
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MasterBlaster, I totally agree with you. The psychological comfort of FI (even if your FI supports a relatively bare bones lifestyle) is the real goal, moreso than the FI itself, if that makes sense. I am kind of at that point right now (39, $1.9M portfolio, $1M paid-off home, partner with pension).

I am not working right now, but am interviewing for a big job to go back into my field at a leadership level. I actually like the work I do, and I'm drawn to the concept of making a big salary for a few more years and socking it away for even greater security. I live in New York, so I don't feel particularly wealthy, and I barely feel FI, but I know that if I get fed up, I can sell the house and move and leave the BS behind, go teach or write, and probably manage to live a decent life without working much. That makes the prospect of returning to a high-stress position infinitely more appealing. It's like jumping back on the ship but with your finger on the lifeboat release latch at all times. (Not sure that metaphor really works, but you get what I mean).
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:41 AM   #44
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The recession has been good to some of us.

Closed on a SFR last month. Paid $24K. Long term (4+ yrs) tenant in place paying $825/mo. KY property taxes are about 1% of assessed value. Current assessment is 67K. Pretty much automatic to get assessment lowered to sales price. Insurance is low here too. Vacancy not much of a factor - collected 102% of our scheduled rents last year. Of course, not all of our properties (20 homes) throw off 40+% returns. But, like I said, the recession has been good to some of us.

That $1,000.00 per day goal is closer than ever.
Ahh. Your return IS much better than mine. OTOH, 50 or 60 homes are going to require an energetic amount of management. Good on you - its a great time to be buying.
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:55 AM   #45
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In January I told my boss that I was retiring at the end of April (just as I turn 56). It is not public news yet at my place of employment but things are so much easier now. Knowing that I can leave any time just removes all stress. He has asked me to stay on indefinitely for one day per week doing only the things that I like. It is an extremely appealing offer and one that I will likely take.
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Old 03-02-2010, 01:52 PM   #46
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For me, the most relevant benchmark is how much I'll spend relative to what I spend now. I'm basically planning for spending to be flat. However, one of the major worries I deal with is that I will give up the opportunity to increase spending(significantly) if I want to in the future.

This is a bit illogical, as I spend as much as I want now. And I am comfortable at this spending level. I feel like I'm wasting money if I spend more. But it does nag at me, that I'm giving up the opportunity to upgrade my lifestyle if I get the urge. Being FI and working, it is really quit pleasant to just spend what I want, knowing I could always make more and I've got all the savings I need. I do like that situation. But I believe that benefits from RE will outweigh the benefit of not having to think about money.

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Old 03-02-2010, 04:54 PM   #47
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For the plan, I budget $80K in retirement with the mortgage, however I'm confident we'll really be in the $60-70K range. The mortgage is planned to be paid off 2-3 years after retirement for educational tax purposes and once it's paid off the budget goes to $65K. However, I think the real range will be $45-55K.

This is for two of us plus one of the kids who'll likely continue on to graduate school. Hopefully the others will be completely on their own by then. I use actual expenses as my estimate, less any work related costs that should disappear, plus any retirement insurance expenses. I'm using a larger expense number just to be conservative, making sure my plan will survive.
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:03 PM   #48
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The challenge is to remember everything, such as income taxes, home and car maintenance, a capital budget (cars, furniture, TV, etc, don't last forever), health care, vacations, possibly helping out grown kids, and so on. I suppose there's some value in seeing if you're in the right ballpark, but how your number compares to others' means nothing if your number is just flat wrong.
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:19 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
The challenge is to remember everything, such as income taxes, home and car maintenance, a capital budget (cars, furniture, TV, etc, don't last forever), health care, vacations, possibly helping out grown kids, and so on. I suppose there's some value in seeing if you're in the right ballpark, but how your number compares to others' means nothing if your number is just flat wrong.
...exactly. My budget includes an accrual for capital items, and I think I have all the bases covered, but just to be safe, everything is budgeted at a higher amount than I think I will really need, and there is a 30% slush fund in the initial budget target to cover the unknowns/helping kids/etc.

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Old 03-17-2010, 12:50 AM   #50
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I agree with skyvue. Here are my projections in todays dollars: You might have to scroll a bit...as I copied and pasted from Excel files....

RETIREMENT BUDGET
EXPENSES


Without House Payment or Country Club










MONTHLY FIXED

MONTHLY
YEARLY



Column1

Charter


100
1200
Electric,H20Trash City

450
5400
Anthem Health Care

600
7200
Verizon


100
1200
SunTrustEquity House PYMT

0
Encompass Insurance
200
2400
Country Club


0


Sum
1450
17400
MONTHLY OTHER



Newspaper


15
180
Groceries


500
6000
Me-_Gas

150
1800
Me- Spending

200
2400



Sum
865
10380
TAXES




City Property Tax House
250
3000
City Property Tax Car

100
1200
City Property Tax Car


0


Sum
350
4200
OTHER A




House Maint/Yard

100
1200
Dogs: Haircuts

30
360
Dogs: Food

75
900
Clothes:

200
2400
Clothes:


0
Haircuts:

75
900
Haircuts:


0
YMCA


66
792


Sum
546
6552
OTHER B




SunTrust Credit Card



Doctos Appt



Health Deductible



Prescriptions



Christmas




Birthdays




Travel




Hobbies






Sum
0












EXPENSES
3211
38532
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Old 03-17-2010, 12:51 AM   #51
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wow ...sorry...that certainly didn't work.! Still you can see total yearly after tax dollars needed are $38,532.
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Old 03-17-2010, 02:23 PM   #52
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My wife has kept track, kinda on the obsessive side, of expenses every since we were married (~27yrs). We have no debt, have been in the new house for a few years now so we have some history on the utilities (Geothermal is great). We also have two kids still at home. The number that we have now is the number that I'm using to plan plus about 25%.

The wife is going to continue working for another ten years as she gets summers off and wants to get that pension. I'm probably going to take a buyout in about 105 days. Her gross is just about the number so we'll have to use some farm income and maybe I'll do some part-time to cover the tax man. Every scenario seems to work, but with interest paying what is does now it tends to make me nervous. It's not that I'm worried about my standard of living as much as the kids inheritance....
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Old 03-17-2010, 03:48 PM   #53
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In January I told my boss that I was retiring at the end of April (just as I turn 56). It is not public news yet at my place of employment but things are so much easier now. Knowing that I can leave any time just removes all stress. He has asked me to stay on indefinitely for one day per week doing only the things that I like. It is an extremely appealing offer and one that I will likely take.
I haven't told my boss yet but plan to give them maybe 6 weeks notice and retire in July (or earlier if I get mad enough - I will be 62 in June). I want to wait to tell them until my annual "raise" (LOL) goes into effect on a paycheck in mid-May so they can't change it. I just had my annual review today and for the first time I felt free to tell my manager what I thought and what a load of crap it was. Annual review of my flaws, not my strengths. Ha. I'm an I.T. professional with an MBA, puleeze.

So I relate totally - it is very liberating to know that I could walk right now. I'm not so much working as showing up - well, I get the job done, just not worried about spending time on this forum while at work, for example. It's not stress-free for me (darn) but it will be.

It is SO FREEING! If they made me an offer like yours I might think about it - because of the health insurance dilemna after COBRA - but they won't.

The original thread was about how much to live on - I share a house and expenses with my S.O. of many years. I anticipate needing around $40K initially - maybe more because of the cost of health insurance. I am the spreadsheet queen - I really do track this and my investment portfolio.

Right now I am maxing out a 401k and a Roth IRA every year (at the over-50 catch up level). I live on what's left and seem to have money left over. I'm not sure how to calculate it because so much is affected by the pretax stuff.
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Old 03-17-2010, 04:11 PM   #54
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I hope you can tell them where to stick it when the time comes, at 62 Y.O. you deserve freedom and no criticism! You sound like you are really on top of your investments, so I'm sure you can do it.
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Old 03-17-2010, 04:26 PM   #55
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I hope you can tell them where to stick it when the time comes, at 62 Y.O. you deserve freedom and no criticism! You sound like you are really on top of your investments, so I'm sure you can do it.
LOL... Oh, I have a place in mind where they can stick it, thanks! My manager is 34 or so - I have at least 25 more years of work experience...sigh. I don't want her job, just appropriate respect.

Yay for freedom! and thanks again
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:42 PM   #56
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I am 45 retired and DW is still working--for another year or so probably or until she gets sick of it. Two kids, boys 10 and 12, and they have their own college funds.

Our monthly budget is pretty high at right at 11K per month, but that includes the mortgage/property taxes/insurance ($3750) on our kind of flashy house. Of that 11K, DW throws in $1200 from her job (spends the rest on shoes), our rental real estate kicks in around $2800 net and the portfolio provides the rest.
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:14 PM   #57
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We're downsizing and saving madly, will sell one car soon and will then be out of debt. The downsizing is in preparation for starting our ER with a truck/travel trailer. Budgeted expenses are $1500-2000/month. Call it $25,000 for the year.

The rest of our budget/plan is so unique as to be almost unrepeatable. Call it experimental.
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