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Old 02-26-2013, 06:51 PM   #41
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The stress is more than I want to deal with. Its unhealthy. I don't enjoy getting up in the mornings anymore. Perhaps all I need is a different job. I've considered that option also. It sould be a tradeoff of of 3:1 years. Am I willing to work 3 or 6 more years somewhere else rather than put up with the BS here for 1 or 2 more ? I'd rather be free (but who wouldn't) and the numbers are close enough that "I think I can" but I'm afraid of making the decision on my own. Yeah, I know - I'm looking for a scapegoat, I get that.
We just cut our expenses until the calculators all came out to 100%. Have you read Your Money or Your Life? If not, it has some good food for thought that might help with your decision.
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:36 PM   #42
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We just cut our expenses until the calculators all came out to 100%. Have you read Your Money or Your Life? If not, it has some good food for thought that might help with your decision.
+1

100% success rate is an illusion. There are so many assumption made with these calculators and so many exogenous factors that can mess things up. They are certainly a useful tool. But don't attribute any divine guidance to them. One thing that is 100% certain is that had I waited for three calculators to all show 100% success, I would have given two or more years of my life to work, and traded good experiences for carrying an overflowing BS bucket.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:25 PM   #43
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Timo, I'm now going to raise the bar for the expectations of what my husband says about me to include admitting that I, too, walk on water.
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I know he thinks it...even if he doesn't say it out loud.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:32 PM   #44
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L&L,

Where do I find the Vanguard calculator?
https://personal.vanguard.com/us/ins...n-can-i-retire


It runs 5000 simulations, uses your AA, but assumes static spending. Good enough for a ballpark and comparison
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:44 PM   #45
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Are you carrying the obamacare cost all the way to 95? medicare would take over @65 should that should be a big step change down ( assuming medicare is still around )..
At age 67 I take it down to 15k per year. I've assumed they will raise the age to full retirement age. The 15k came from the Fidelity article that said a married couple will need 240 over 20 years. Being me, I added a 3k contingency

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As another post mentioned, I think you are over doing the contingency numbers, maybe double dipping in some places. Like the 150k for home expenses... for 150k I could buy a brand new house. So far in 12 years I've done less than 2K, and 1200 of that was new AC compressor.
The 150k covered 2 roofs (one on current home before I sell it, and one roof on new downsized home), 2 replacement cars (used), 3 AC units (2 on current house and 1 on new), 35k for new kitchen and bathrooms on the new house, 10k in moving expenses and 12k in new furniture for the new house. I've definitely double dipped with the 3k "one time" expenses.

I've done about 80k in improvements and repairs in my current house over 10 years. 8k was flooring (discretionary), 6k was rescreening of the lanai (discretionary to some degree). The rest was pretty mandatory. I still have my 1980 kitchen and bathrooms. But you're right - I've never had to spend that much on the two houses I had before this.

Good feedback. Thanks
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:48 PM   #46
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At age 67 I take it down to 15k per year.
Way too much at age 67, about right at age 87, far too little at age 97.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:05 PM   #47
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We just cut our expenses until the calculators all came out to 100%. Have you read Your Money or Your Life? If not, it has some good food for thought that might help with your decision.
I get to 97% on all three if I (a) remove my 200k contingency for a 10% market drop and (b) keep my MAGI below 60k and get HI premium subsidies. I guess the real question is .... are those two changes "reasonable".
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:10 PM   #48
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I will read the book - I haven't yet. As for cutting my expenses, I guess I'm choosing to work to fund the nicities I have in my budget (3k annual travel, 3k annual cash "allowance" for DH and I. Will I spend all that ? Probably not. Would I like the option ? you bet ! These things are actually more than I spend today - I haven't have TIME to spend or travel because of work. But you do give me food for thought. Perhaps it is just a matter of tweaking here and there.

Mental note to get the book from the Library !
You might also find it helpful to compare your planned annual expenses to the households in the Consumer Expenditure Survey. As other posters have mentioned, some of your contingencies and budget numbers are probably fairly high compared to what other households actually spend, especially if you look at the tables by age group.
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:21 AM   #49
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there is a big flaw in trying to use the ces survey. it may falsely draw the conclusion we spend less as we age.

the issue is it does not follow the same folks through the different ages, they are totally different groups of people.

the problem is each age group has its own cultural and income differences. the older folks may have been depression kids . they may have spent less their entire lives not just now.

as each group leaves the work force they had higher and higher wages and therefore different social security and income levels.

what is being perceived as spending less with age may be only an income adjustment.

the older folks get less therefore they spend less regardless of age.

we really do not know how any age group will alter spending if at all since no study ever was done with any group all the way through.

no question we may not travel or go out to eat as much but if we have the dough it gets spent on others in our families or healthcare or charities .
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:59 AM   #50
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there is a big flaw in trying to use the ces survey. it may falsely draw the conclusion we spend less as we age..
I did look at it and I'm fairly average once I adjust for a couple of very large differences (HI is 4k in the CES survey -- I WISH !), I don't have a mortgage, and I can't find vacations.

I think the data is useful for things like home maintenance costs and perhaps things like furniture and appliance replacements. ie: the things that I have called "future one time expenses". Totally agree that I may not be average but the CES data will at least give me a place to determine if I'm in the right ballpark.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:08 AM   #51
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I did look at it and I'm fairly average once I adjust for a couple of very large differences (HI is 4k in the CES survey -- I WISH !), I don't have a mortgage, and I can't find vacations.

I think the data is useful for things like home maintenance costs and perhaps things like furniture and appliance replacements. ie: the things that I have called "future one time expenses". Totally agree that I may not be average but the CES data will at least give me a place to determine if I'm in the right ballpark.
We found it helpful to look for areas of opportunity to cut where our spending was out of line with other households. The first thing that jumped out for me was hair costs. I cut out the trendy salon in the high rent area and found a great stylist at a strip mall. Total remaining lifetime savings: 24K. Find 10, 20 or more of those expenses to cut and it really lowers the total nest egg requirements. Even cutting a $10 a month expense comes out to almost 5K lower nest egg requirements with a 40 year time frame.
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:15 AM   #52
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Personal finance and medicine are the only two areas where I am conservative. Very liberal in about everything else.
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LOL thanks ObGyn ! thats why we love the ultraconservative that you are
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:48 AM   #53
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https://personal.vanguard.com/us/ins...n-can-i-retire


It runs 5000 simulations, uses your AA, but assumes static spending. Good enough for a ballpark and comparison
It's a ballpark - but I wouldn't try to get 100% out of a ballpark.
That's one of the reasons I like firecalc and Quicken Lifetime planner. You can input changes in your budget over time. firecalc lets you bring other cash sources online, or spending changes - with the pension/offset spending stuff. Quicken lets you modify for pretty much any life event.

For our case - changes in healthcare premiums as my husband hits medicare age, then I hit it, and as the kids get launched. We also look at funding 529's up till a certain point -then freeing up that chunk of money from our budget.... Vanguard doesn't allow for any of that.
And for a 40 year horizon, it seems to want a super low withdrawal rate - 2.2% for my case... (60/30/10) to get 100% success. That's lower than most other calculators.

I would NOT keep working just to tease out 100% from the vanguard calculator.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:16 PM   #54
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I would NOT keep working just to tease out 100% from the vanguard calculator.
Personally I'm not going to try for 100% in ANY calculator. I'm willing to take "some" risk. I just can't find the balance. Right now I get anywhere from 81% to 100% depending upon the assumptions of (a) reducing my noncash portfolio by 10% for a potential "market decline" and (b) assuming that I will have to pay full freight Obamacare HI premiums instead of getting a 15k subsidy if I can keep MAGI below 60, which requires spending 30k per year in non taxable funds (of which I have 1.1mm !).

I feel "good" about 92% success ... weird number but thats where I feel "ok" most of the time. Of course when push comes to shove, I'll probably want to up that to 98% LOL
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:21 PM   #55
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I'm willing to take "some" risk.
You may believe these words but my view of your posting history says just the opposite. You seem to build in a cushion on top of a pad above an extra margin of safety in every category you mention.

Nothing wrong with being conservative but you need to be honest with yourself when it comes to risk. I think your sig line is a very honest self-assessment.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:43 PM   #56
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You may believe these words but my view of your posting history says just the opposite. You seem to build in a cushion on top of a pad above an extra margin of safety in every category you mention.

Nothing wrong with being conservative but you need to be honest with yourself when it comes to risk. I think your sig line is a very honest self-assessment.
Yes, you are absolutely correct. I am very risk adverse. What I should have said is that "I'm willing to take some risk *according to the calculators* because I know I've built padding, cushions and diapers into my scenarios"
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:44 PM   #57
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Yes, you are absolutely correct. I am very risk adverse. What I should have said is that "I'm willing to take some risk *according to the calculators* because I know I've built padding, cushions and diapers into my scenarios"
That Depends?
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:05 AM   #58
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It's a ballpark - but I wouldn't try to get 100% out of a ballpark.
That's one of the reasons I like firecalc and Quicken Lifetime planner. You can input changes in your budget over time. firecalc lets you bring other cash sources online, or spending changes - with the pension/offset spending stuff. Quicken lets you modify for pretty much any life event.

For our case - changes in healthcare premiums as my husband hits medicare age, then I hit it, and as the kids get launched. We also look at funding 529's up till a certain point -then freeing up that chunk of money from our budget.... Vanguard doesn't allow for any of that.
And for a 40 year horizon, it seems to want a super low withdrawal rate - 2.2% for my case... (60/30/10) to get 100% success. That's lower than most other calculators.

I would NOT keep working just to tease out 100% from the vanguard calculator.
FIDO's RIP tool allows for this as well, with more spending adjustment flexibility than FIREcalc.
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:19 AM   #59
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I love the FIDO tool. I use FIREcalc and Vanguard as "sanity checks". FIDO seems to be the more conservative tool also.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:04 AM   #60
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My entire 'sucess rate' depends upon HI. Even with my assumed 10% market drop if I continue to get HI through DH's job, or f I can get Obamacare subsidy then I am good to go. So I am going to wait until October / November to make the call. Hopefully I DON'T have to say "OMY" but if I do I'll survive.
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