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I admit it, I do not see the purpose in FIREcalc
Old 04-14-2018, 04:58 PM   #1
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I admit it, I do not see the purpose in FIREcalc

There I said it.

I have a pension from the US Navy, we live on half of my pension.

I own our farm and our vehicles with no debt.

During my career, we invested in apartment complexes, one at each duty station. When I retired [2001] we liquidated and used the cash to buy our farm. In 2016 we bought a new apartment complex that we are remodeling. We already have four tenants [whose rent covers the property taxes, insurance and utilities], and when the remodel is complete we will have a total of fourteen tenants. Again no mortgage, no debt.

I have never bought any stocks. no mutual funds.

People talk about FIREcalc so much, and when I look at it, I do not see where to enter any of my information. I know that I 'can' retire, I have been retired for 17 years already.

Am I really as lost as I feel?

Please be kind to me
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Old 04-14-2018, 05:01 PM   #2
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It's just another of many calculators out there. Somewhat more flexible than others and uses more simulations.

Obviously you are set income wise anyway.
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Old 04-14-2018, 05:07 PM   #3
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That doesn't mean there's "no purpose" to it. It just means it's a tool not well suited to your situation. Real estate is so locale unique I don't know if there even could be a calculator that could be constructed that could do for you what Firecalc does for the stock owning demographic.
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Old 04-14-2018, 05:10 PM   #4
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Just your first statement that you only spend 1/2 your pension is enough to make firecalc less useful for you.

But many of us do not have income sources outside of our savings/investments... and we want to make sure we have enough saved to last our lifetimes.

Like you, I have rental income. I put that down in firecalc as a COLAd pension. In your case, if you have savings (cash/cd's) you'd put that down on the first page... then on the pensions/other income page you'd enter your pensions and rental income. And on the investments page you'd put the asset allocation of 100% fixed.

It wouldn't give you any info you don't already know... You have more income than spending... so you don't need to worry.

Congratulations on preparing well for retirement, and thank you for your service in the military.
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Old 04-14-2018, 05:23 PM   #5
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The very first sentence on the FIRE Calc home page, "Thinking of chucking it all and retiring early, long before you start getting a pension or Social Security, and before you have ready access to your 401k and IRA?" Says it all.
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Old 04-14-2018, 06:53 PM   #6
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In 2018, and for several years back now, the percent of folks planning a retirement that includes a pension is far below those of us planning without one. Private sector pensions, for the most part, are long gone.

So, especially for the ER planners, with no SS until at least 62, it's all about how you can make your assets work instead. Firecalc can therefore be very helpful for a large population.
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Old 04-14-2018, 07:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Aerides View Post
In 2018, and for several years back now, the percent of folks planning a retirement that includes a pension is far below those of us planning without one. Private sector pensions, for the most part, are long gone.

So, especially for the ER planners, with no SS until at least 62, it's all about how you can make your assets work instead. Firecalc can therefore be very helpful for a large population.
+1
I think Firecalc and some of the other calculators are very helpful as a piece of the "can I retire" decision.
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Old 04-14-2018, 07:13 PM   #8
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I was looking for a retirement calculator. One of my finds was FireCalc.

Completely by accident, I stumbled upon this forum by using FireCalc. A happy accident for which I am forever grateful.

I don't use FC all that much but I'm here on this forum every day for the past 10 years; but if it wasn't for FC, I may never have found this forum. That's 'purpose' enough for me.
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Old 04-14-2018, 08:13 PM   #9
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Bill Gates: "Man, this Firecalc thing is useless. I live on a very small fraction of my dividends."

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I admit it, I do not see the purpose in FIREcalc
Old 04-14-2018, 09:01 PM   #10
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I admit it, I do not see the purpose in FIREcalc

If you can live on half of a guaranteed income from your Navy pension, then yeah, it doesnít serve a purpose - FOR YOU.

I canít live on my Navy pension, so some of my income will come from investments, which means FIRECalc is useful - FOR ME... and for the broad majority of people here.

No need to call it useless then ask people to be kind. You knew the answer, FOR YOU, but I guess didnít recognize that that only applied to your very narrow circumstance. Most people donít live entirely on a pension, or especially a fraction of it. Kudos to you for being able to do so!
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:13 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Offgrid Organic Farmer View Post
In 2016 we bought a new apartment complex that we are remodeling. We already have four tenants [whose rent covers the property taxes, insurance and utilities], and when the remodel is complete we will have a total of fourteen tenants.

. . . .
I know that I 'can' retire, I have been retired for 17 years already.
There are >some< who would define "retirement" in such a way as to exclude buying and remodeling an apartment complex so as to allow one to be a property manager responsible for maintaining 14 living units, collecting rents, finding tenants, etc.

But, aside from that--if your pension and your real estate job hobby provide enough income to meet your needs and that's the way you want to keep doing things, then the insight offered by FIRECalc may not be of much use to you. But, at some point, if you decide you want to liquidate your RE and put the money into something more passive (stocks, bonds, fixed-rate investments, etc), then you may find FIRECalc to be useful as you plan a strategy.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:37 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by samclem View Post
There are >some< who would define "retirement" in such a way as to exclude buying and remodeling an apartment complex so as to allow one to be a property manager responsible for maintaining 14 living units, collecting rents, finding tenants, etc.

But, aside from that--if your pension and your real estate job hobby provide enough income to meet your needs and that's the way you want to keep doing things, then the insight offered by FIRECalc may not be of much use to you. But, at some point, if you decide you want to liquidate your RE and put the money into something more passive (stocks, bonds, fixed-rate investments, etc), then you may find FIRECalc to be useful as you plan a strategy.
Yes that is possible.

I do not foresee it in the near future, but it is possible.

For now we plan to use all of the rental income for charity.

One of our current tenants is a church that we lease to, they pay no rent. And we have an LLC that will begin building greenhouses that we will give away to all the schools in this county.
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Old 04-15-2018, 05:02 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by copyright1997reloaded View Post
Bill Gates: "Man, this Firecalc thing is useless. I live on a very small fraction of my dividends."

Yep, that's kinda what I was thinking. OP is in a position where he doesn't even need to look at Firecalc.

Still, fun to look at.
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Old 04-15-2018, 05:07 AM   #14
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Yep, that's kinda what I was thinking. OP is in a position where he doesn't even need to look at Firecalc.

Still, fun to look at.
There's lots of tools in the world that I don't need and will never use but I'm still able to understand that others need them.
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:39 AM   #15
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Congratulations on planning very well. Care to share how it happened? It’s not intuitive or everyone would have done it. Who was your mentor - great parents, the military, friends? Perhaps you should teach a class to help the youngsters gain a leg up.
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Old 04-15-2018, 07:41 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Offgrid Organic Farmer View Post
There I said it.

I have a pension from the US Navy, we live on half of my pension.

I own our farm and our vehicles with no debt.

During my career, we invested in apartment complexes, one at each duty station. When I retired [2001] we liquidated and used the cash to buy our farm. In 2016 we bought a new apartment complex that we are remodeling. We already have four tenants [whose rent covers the property taxes, insurance and utilities], and when the remodel is complete we will have a total of fourteen tenants. Again no mortgage, no debt.

I have never bought any stocks. no mutual funds.

People talk about FIREcalc so much, and when I look at it, I do not see where to enter any of my information. I know that I 'can' retire, I have been retired for 17 years already.

Am I really as lost as I feel?

Please be kind to me
"I have no student loans, therefore I can't see the purpose in student loan calculators."

"I don't need a mortgage, therefore I can't see the purpose in mortgage calculators.''

"I'm not building anything, therefore I can't see the purpose in having a hammer."

etc etc

That a tool is not useful to YOU,in your situation, shouldn't preclude you from recognizing it's purpose and usefulness to others.



p.s. Buying and selling rental properties, setting up and running a LLC, etc doesn't sound like being retired to me...
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Old 04-15-2018, 07:42 AM   #17
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FIRECalc was essential to my retirement decision. When I first started contemplating and exploring early retirement, I was going to the WS type sites where:
"you need 25X of your annual income in your portfolio in order to retire."
"you need 80-100% of your current gross income in retirement."
"investing is hard - you'll need a professional money manager."

FIRECalc, this forum, and a handful of other blogs/forums saved my from that bullsh!t. My gratitude and thanks are as profound as they are sincere.
DW and I are enjoying our best years ever. We know it wont be long before the ravages of time change that. But for now, Let Freedom Ring!
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Old 04-15-2018, 07:43 AM   #18
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I post on other financial forums and the number of posts from folks with all sorts of financial puzzle pieces that they are trying to fit together are numerous. Calculators like Firecalc and Fidelity’s RPM at least help consolidate and then create the basis of a plan. So for many it’s a good starting place. Trouble is, many are still not aware of them.
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Old 04-15-2018, 07:46 AM   #19
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This discussion isn't about technical aspects of FIRECalc, so for a more general discussion it's better off in the "FIRE and Money" forum.
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Old 04-15-2018, 07:47 AM   #20
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The OP is SIRE, not FIRE. So FIREcalc doesn’t apply...

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