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Old 06-09-2008, 07:05 PM   #41
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Why is it we medical folk have such a hard time retiring but the mega corps can't wait to leave ??
A guess from someone who has worked for a megacorp, but not in the medical field...

In the medical field, you get to see the good results you produce on a regular basis. Much more difficult to see in many megacorp positions.
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Old 06-09-2008, 07:14 PM   #42
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Do it! If you spent six months retired and couldn't handle it, would you be able to jump back into work? It might be less scary if you take it from a "let's try this for six months and see what happens" approach. I mean heck, I bet you could work full time at an urgent care facility if you really needed the money.
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Old 06-09-2008, 07:18 PM   #43
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Because only someone who really, really wants to be a doctor and stay one would go through so many years of schooling and wade through so much bull caca nonsense in order to become one. In contrast, any retard with a BA from Clown College State University can work for megacorp.
100% agree. Two very close friends are doctors (married to each other). The stories they tell of getting to where they are make me cringe. They are sooo not doing it for the money. I would suspect certain specialties like dermatology and plastic surgery suck up the more fiscally motivated candidates, too.
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Old 06-09-2008, 07:26 PM   #44
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Do it! If you spent six months retired and couldn't handle it, would you be able to jump back into work? It might be less scary if you take it from a "let's try this for six months and see what happens" approach. I mean heck, I bet you could work full time at an urgent care facility if you really needed the money.

That is the good thing about being in the medical profession . You can always unretire or work part time and nobody thinks anything of it .
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Old 06-09-2008, 08:41 PM   #45
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I think when the market is down it's the best time to prepare, because as the other investors are confused, it's easier to see clearly where the market is heading 10, 20 years down the road. Since your plan is supposed not to give you speculative gains but to generate a lifetime income, you should be concerned about whether the market is going up or down 10, 20 years down the road, from today.
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Old 06-14-2008, 04:48 AM   #46
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As my FIRE timer winds down (OK, it's still a little vague but it is still ticking ), one scenario is that things will be economically similar 6-12 months from now to how they are now.

At that point, the nest egg won't be quite as fat as I might have hoped but I would have been buying-in low for a year or more. I'd have plenty of cash on hand because that was the plan right along. No debts, probably a fun but modest part-time gig a couple days a week. I can weather 10-15 years without selling stocks if need be. Health insurance is assured, albeit on my own very heavy nickel. Plan to downsize but that can wait a few years.

I know the pundits say the scenario-from-hell is to retire smack into a recession or long bear market. I understand the arithmetic, but somehow it doesn't seem so bad (unless there's a serious once-in-a-century depression).

Am I missing something?
I think it would be worse to retire just BEFORE a recession. In that case, you'd go off thinking your nest egg would be X, and then whammo...10% less immediately. Hopefully you have diversified to the point that the recent downturn didn't affect you too badly.

At least now you know what you're getting into. And even though it's possible for the markets to go down further, it's more likely that they will go up given the market's "mean reversion" method over history.

Good luck, bet you can't wait to hit the magic day!
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Old 06-14-2008, 06:18 AM   #47
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go ahead and jump...

I put it off and finally did it June 2001 during the dot-com bubble burst... sp500 went from 1,527 to about 800 to now at 1360..Nasdaq went from 5050 to about 1200 to now at 2454, Dow went from 11722 down to about 7500 and now 12307..

. and Just before 9/11....I don't know if there is ever a good time.
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Another way of looking at this
Old 06-14-2008, 10:41 AM   #48
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Another way of looking at this

Is to consider an investment that normally provides a certain 7% real return, but is subject to infrequent instantaneous declines or rises and one of these declines occurs at the transition from accumulation to decumulation. A safe withdrawal rate of 4% would correspond to a 1-7/4, or 43% decline, not far from the decline of a recessionary bear market. The 4% predecline withdrawal rate would equal a 7% real postdecline rate, or 10% including 3% inflation. One this severe would occur over a few years rather than instantaneously, but that is basically what you are protecting yourself against.
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Old 06-14-2008, 11:17 AM   #49
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I pulled the plug last July 6 at 54. The ink was hardly dry on my termination papers before the US dollar plummeted and the Canadian dollar went above par. DW and my income for the first few years of retirement is fixed income from a US source, and we are living in Canada.

I am one of those (on this forum, at least) frequently scorned dinosaurs that has a pension from a state government. It has no inflation protection until 2013, then 1/2 of the CPI until 2018, then 3/4 of the CPI thereafter.

So we are very vulnerable to inflation, especially in the next few years. We do have significant investments (not enough to retire on alone, but great to augment our other cash-flows), but hope to leave them alone for 10 years. We have some (very modest) pension money from Canadian sources as well. I have mapped out our cash-flows over the next 15 years including said pensions, US social security, Canada OAP, Canada CPP (the last 2 won't amount to much), IRAs, RRSPs, etc. The hope is to let the investments mature and work on the consumption end for a few years.

As you can see, the perfect storm for us would be 1) plummeting US dollar 2) high inflation 3) low market returns. It would seem that something approaching that is occurring.

Despite all of this, I have no plans to return to work. We have taken the following steps to ensure that neither of us will need to work unless they want to:

1) house is paid for
2) starting a garden
3) I am going to start hunting deer (they're like rats around here)
4) heat with wood as much as possible--carbon neutral activity as well
5) exact expense tracking and budgeting
6) extra cash on hand for emergencies
7) overweight portfolio in international, commodities, oil, to help mitigate decline of US dollar

I find that I do not pay all that much attention to the market since pulling the plug. I pay much more attention to the budgeting spreadsheet, how to combine trips to save gas money, how to eat cheaply and healthy, and I am now getting much more exercise (have lost 13 lbs since retiring. In other words, I am living much more in the here-and-now and not obsessing about the future.

If I had spent one more construction season north of the arctic circle (and not quit in July last summer but held out until November), I would have received an extra $600/month or so (but hell--I'd be THERE now instead of here). But when I look at all I've done since I quit, and look in the mirror and see how many years have fallen off my face, I know I made the right decision.

The bottom line is that despite the adverse economic climate, my confidence level in being able to contend with whatever has come up has gone way up.

If you are thinking about pulling the plug, don't underestimate your resilience.
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Old 06-14-2008, 01:59 PM   #50
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Thanks, Bosco. Good real-world observations.
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Old 06-16-2008, 02:36 PM   #51
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I think it would be worse to retire just BEFORE a recession. In that case, you'd go off thinking your nest egg would be X, and then whammo...10% less immediately.
This is exactly what happened to a friend of mine. She quit at 62 assuming that her modest pension (cola=2% per annum) and social security (this year's cola=2.4%), augmented by modest savings (she's a simgle woman who did clerical work) combined with a frugal lifestyle, would be sufficient to last her the rest of her life.

If inflation had stayed in the 3%-4% range, she could have. But the unofficial inflation rate is about 8%, more if you factor in gas. She sold her car, trimmed all her expenses to the bone, and she still thinks she may have to ask her kids for money. It's killing her.

This isn't a case of a doctor wearing belts plus suspenders (in the financial sense), just a lower-middle-income single women who thought she could get by by living very frugally, and not making it. But I think the assumptions she made apply to all of us. Inflation and unexpected changes in our worldview (like the price of gasoline doubling or tripling) are what sinks retirements.

I've pushed back my retirement a couple of times ... now my husband is planning on retiring at age 58 (5 years) in order to get his full pension and benefits, and I am planning on retiring in 6 more years, to get my full pension. It's a huge setback for us (although we'll still be fairly young). I am not a doctor, miuch of my net worth is invested in real estate which has stagnated, and my investment funds are not doing great. I'd rather retire later and try to live off my pension for a few years in order to let my investments and real estate rebound.
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Old 06-17-2008, 01:09 AM   #52
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Maybe better to retire in a recession than a little while before a recession--we all seem to be more realistic and cautious than when I first started reading these boards about four years ago.

I retired early a year ago... and never looked back.

I am completely out of debt [house, car, everything]
so my part-time self-employment pays all the bills,
while my nest egg still grows.

The hardest decision I have to make now.... is where
to go for lunch.


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Old 06-17-2008, 01:53 AM   #53
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Rich, you worry too much. You can survive personal disasters that would reduce many of us to armed robbery.
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Old 06-17-2008, 07:23 AM   #54
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Rich, you worry too much. You can survive personal disasters that would reduce many of us to armed robbery.
But...

Ah, I know .
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Old 06-17-2008, 08:03 AM   #55
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I say go for it Rich....this is what you have worked for so hard all of those years!
Hang out on the beach, with your grandkids, your wife......you will never get these moments back again!
There will always be something screwy going on with our economy and it is never a "good enough" time to retire......it just has to be the good enough time for YOU to retire!
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Old 06-17-2008, 08:05 AM   #56
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I retired early a year ago...my part-time self-employment pays all the bills.
If being part-time self-employed still qualifies someone to be retired, then I've been retired for a while now and haven't even realized it.
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Old 06-17-2008, 09:40 AM   #57
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If being part-time self-employed still qualifies someone to be retired, then I've been retired for a while now and haven't even realized it.
Well, if you're part-time employed then that also means you're part-time retired... and a good case study for the 3rd edition of Bob's book!
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Old 06-17-2008, 10:30 AM   #58
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If being part-time self-employed still qualifies someone to be retired, then I've been retired for a while now and haven't even realized it.

I am retired from my long time corporate job... and my part-time
self-employment is more like a glorified hobby, so it's fun, and not
like a real job... except it does bring in enough $$ to live on every
month.

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Old 06-17-2008, 04:56 PM   #59
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only someone who really, really wants to be a doctor and stay one would go through so many years of schooling and wade through so much bull caca nonsense in order to become one. In contrast, any retard with a BA from Clown College State University can work for megacorp.
In the great majority of cases, that's entirely true. But unfortunately there are a some dubious, proprietary, for-profit overseas medical schools that cater to applicants rejected by more reputable institutions. And no one says that a medical school grad has to go through the extra work necessary to become qualified as a specialist; some are happy just to work as GPs.

BTW, no disrespect intended to Rich or our other physician friends out there. I should also note that for every one dubious medical school in existance, there are probably at least 10 dubious law schools.
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Old 06-19-2008, 11:11 AM   #60
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I plan to retire within the next year so most likely will retire into a recession. But as Finance_Dave says it’s better to know in advance. I try to rely on the ideas of spend-down plans like FIREcalc that the plan will work in good times and bad. So with the bad years up front I’m less likely to double or triple my assets. My mom used a spend down plan; at the end of her life she was just this side of going broke but had children to fall back on. Honestly, I was a little disappointed that she didn’t need financial help from me!

Rich, it sounds like you will be more than okay financially. If that were the only consideration, maybe you would retire now. Looking forward to hearing your continuing story.
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