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Old 07-17-2010, 12:49 PM   #21
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It is entirely possible to retire comfortably, as a single person, on $20k/year. A number of board members did it. And that was even before the 2014 health exchange option was on the horizon. Under that, someone living on $20k/year would have their premiums capped at $1k/year, and doesn't go up with age or new conditions.

That said, the OP still needs to figure out a way to get an income stream of $20k/year, since he is not there yet. Retire because you are really looking forward to it and are ready, not just because work sucks. If work sucks, go find part-time work, or even full time work, that doesn't suck so you can achieve the $20k/year you need.
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:12 PM   #22
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Not without a major change in liefstyle. RVing as a PT or living in the third world.
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:22 PM   #23
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True rock-bottom living can be harder for a woman than for a man. For you, the option of finding different, less distressing work is about 1000x better than the retire-now option. Which if you think about it, you don't really have except maybe to go to an ashram in India. Then if you need to leave, perhaps write a book about how wonderful or awful that experience was. Also some very tough women just bum around in the third world. I am not sure what their options might be if or when this gets too tiring or emotionally draining.

It seems that to assure yourself of a fairly middle class lifestyle and reasonable autonomy you not only have to provide current income for quite a few more years, but you also have to save a lot more or hit a jackpot like a lottery or a meaningful inheritance.

Ha
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:04 PM   #24
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Thank you for all of your informative responses. It looks like i'm quite a long way off still. I work at a customer service job at a major retail chain with annoying as hell coworkers and boss - would love no more than to quit right now but looks like i can't afford it unless I drastically change either the income or expenses. The reason I hate work so much is I am a loner and hate dealing with people but due to an injury that affected short-term memory, options are rather limited. I'm not sure what kind of job would get me away from people but I know I can't do this for the rest of my life.

Shotgunner, thank you for the link and estimates - will check out the FireCac site.

Rescueme, you are right on the money - I have dealt with the black dog for as long as i can remember so it is a continuing struggle. I know it seems I have given up on life and perhaps in some sense I have - at least I have given up hope of being happy in a working environment when my brain is not up to par. My ideal job would be working w/ computers but since the accident I don't have the capacity i once had. Fortunately I have accumulated some capital over the years so it will hopefully serve as a cushion. I just don't trust the market these days and am not sure what to invest in - I am quite risk-averse but know in order to have a shot at FIRE some risk is necessary but not sure what

Anyway, I am so glad to have found this board and the wealth (no pun intended) of info in it. Thank you guys for the input and will keep you updated on this journey
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:13 PM   #25
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Maybe if you have a paid off house and your 300K was worth 1M in 2007. Then you have a shot at your 300K coming back. Life is just a big crapshoot anywhoo.
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:20 PM   #26
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due to an injury that affected short-term memory, options are rather limited.
I know nothing about how you qualify, or if you would, but your memory issue made me think about SS disability. You might want to explore that if you haven't already. If you qualify, that would change the picture.

Good luck.
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:29 PM   #27
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Maybe if you have a paid off house and your 300K was worth 1M in 2007. Then you have a shot at your 300K coming back. Life is just a big crapshoot anywhoo.
That is a very interesting hypothesis. But I can't see how what her $300,000 was worth in 2007 could possibly affect her investments going forward.

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Old 07-17-2010, 08:58 PM   #28
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That is a very interesting hypothesis. But I can't see how what her $300,000 was worth in 2007 could possibly affect her investments going forward.

Ha
I was about to say exactly the same thing.
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:07 PM   #29
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It is entirely possible to retire comfortably, as a single person, on $20k/year. A number of board members did it. And that was even before the 2014 health exchange option was on the horizon. Under that, someone living on $20k/year would have their premiums capped at $1k/year, and doesn't go up with age or new conditions.
When I was a grad student, I lived for several years on a stipend of about $1400/month and I thought I was doing really well. Rent was about $450 for my share of a 2 bedroom apartment and this left lots of money left over for eating out, car insurance, toys, etc. So definitely doable on even less if you can control health insurance costs.
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Old 07-17-2010, 11:22 PM   #30
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To provide an opposing view:
if living expenses are $20k per year and you have $300k, Jr High algebra tells us you would have zero money in 15 years. And you would be eligible for social security ... in 15 years

Unfortunately, real world economics are a little different than an eighth graders textbook. But it does show that with that amount of money, you don't need to earn much more either. Which at least means a lot less of the whole job thing is very much a possibility
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Old 07-17-2010, 11:46 PM   #31
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To provide an opposing view:
if living expenses are $20k per year and you have $300k, Jr High algebra tells us you would have zero money in 15 years. And you would be eligible for social security ... in 15 years

Unfortunately, real world economics are a little different than an eighth graders textbook. But it does show that with that amount of money, you don't need to earn much more either. Which at least means a lot less of the whole job thing is very much a possibility
I'm afraid social security is going down the tubes
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Old 07-18-2010, 12:14 AM   #32
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First congrats on accumulating $300K by age 37. The majority of people in this country sad to say will never see a nest egg that big...
I'll second that. Tiredwrkr, you can be proud of your accomplishment.

That said, it takes a large portfolio to generate money to replace one's income. As a rule of thumb, a $1million portfolio only generates $40,000/year, and even that has been questioned as perhaps on the optimistic side.

It appears to me that you are conservative with your spending. If so, if you are not happy in your current job, then perhaps a different and less stressful job, even if it is lower pay, would work for you. A lower income is still a lot better than no income. And if it has health benefits, it's a huge advantage.

And about SS, I do not believe it will go away. It will simply provide even less of one's needs than now. But if you have a supplemental savings, you will be OK. One more reason to find that less stressful job.

Best wishes to you.
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Old 07-18-2010, 10:02 AM   #33
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To provide an opposing view:
if living expenses are $20k per year and you have $300k, Jr High algebra tells us you would have zero money in 15 years. And you would be eligible for social security ... in 15 years
How would he be eligible for SS at 52? 37 years old +15 years = 52.
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Old 07-18-2010, 10:16 AM   #34
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How would he be eligible for SS at 52?
Jr. High Algebra... the way I remember it.
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Old 07-18-2010, 10:18 AM   #35
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To provide an opposing view:
if living expenses are $20k per year and you have $300k, Jr High algebra tells us you would have zero money in 15 years. And you would be eligible for social security ... in 15 years

Unfortunately, real world economics are a little different than an eighth graders textbook. But it does show that with that amount of money, you don't need to earn much more either. Which at least means a lot less of the whole job thing is very much a possibility
This assumes zero inflation and zero growth on the $300k (i.e. put the money under the mattress - or in the bank which grants about the same amount in interest LOL!). These two forces offset each other to some degree, however.

And like ikonomore, I was wondering about the 37+15 getting to SS, too.
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Old 07-18-2010, 12:59 PM   #36
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I was thinking from his wording that he meant 37+15, and then there would be a 15 year gap to fill after that to reach SS at 67.
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Old 07-18-2010, 01:09 PM   #37
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How would he be eligible for SS at 52? 37 years old +15 years = 52.
I think he means that after the 300K had run out in 15 years, then in another 15 years he'd be eligible for SS. 37 + 15 + 15 = 67.

Yes the math is fuzzy and a bit basic, but I think TomG is trying to show that even very rough math would indicate that 300K isn't enough.

OTOH, I'd like to echo the words of those who praised tiredrkwr for amassing such a sum at his age. To have close to 300K saved up on a retail workers wage at the age of 37 is really something.

As one or two others have said, there are ways to live on 10K/yr in the US, but it will be hard work. Take some time to play with Firecalc and input different scenarios. See what happens if you never save again and just work to cover your expenses for another 5 yrs, 10 yrs, 15 yrs. It looks like you must have saved a good portion of your wages in the past, so perhaps now you could give yourself a break, continue working at a slightly more enjoyable job, but spend the extra money on some fun instead of saving it - or just work less.

Best of luck to you - I think you've already done the hard part in saving that chunk of money!
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Old 07-18-2010, 01:26 PM   #38
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Poorly written. Trying to show $300k with current expenses is exactly half needed to retire (or even 2/3 if you go by age 62)

Math isn't fuzzy. It's the logic that ignores things like inflation, changes to social security, unplanned expenses, et cetera, that doesn't work

But it is just a matter of perspective as to how close or far away you are from being able to retire completely or at least cut way back
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Old 07-18-2010, 01:49 PM   #39
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Poor choice of the word fuzzy. My apologies.
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:10 AM   #40
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First off, let me join the others in congratulating you in your accomplishment. $300K saved by the age of 37 is damned impressive...especially considering the way the economy has turned in the past few years!

Unfortunately, if you stop working now, I have a feeling that $300K will get used up fairly quickly. If you burn through it at the rate of $20K per year, my guess is that it would probably be gone in 15-20 years.

The old rule of thumb I'd heard was no more than 4% withdrawal rate, adjusted for inflation, if you want your nest egg to last at least 30 years. However, if you go down to a 3% withdrawal rate, there's a good chance it would last forever.

One thing you might want to consider, if you're really getting fed up with the workforce, is finding part-time work. Preferably, work enough hours that you at least have health insurance. If you went with the 3% withdrawal rate, you could pull out $9,000 per year, and if your expenses stay at $20K per year, you'd only have to work enough to cover the $11K difference.
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