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Levels of FI
Old 09-13-2016, 08:20 AM   #1
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Levels of FI

There are numerous blogs and stories out there about people who are RE and living various lifestyles. One young couple (20's) was living in a used RV living on a ridiculously small amount of money. Others are retired in their late 40's with a 200K/yr budget. This got me thinking about levels of FI as related to ER. Basically there is a bare bones FI where you can RE living in a small foreclosure (or tent, run down class C, etc...) all the way up to the 5000sq ft mansion but you have 10mil invested and a cola pension (and healthcare). For example, I could easily be RE in my course side townhouse in Arkansas. COL there is very low and I own the unit. 20-30K per year there which would include unlimited golf and a new (used) vehicle every 5 -8 years. The issue is that I (and DW) do not want to scale back for retirement. We actually are looking to increase in some areas. DW wants to trade her 6 yr old SUV for a 2 yr old vette. As of this moment we can support a 110K/yr budget in retirement. (0% SWR) My rough estimate with her wish list is more like 120-130K/yr. With that being said DW will work 6 more years to get 2nd pension (still only 50yrs old then) and I will pad the 401K for 2-3 more years. We could do 130K/yr now with a 4-5% SWR. Basically we are shooting for 120-130K/yr with 0 -1% SWR.

Has anyone on here found themselves wanting more after FIRE? Basically the numbers worked for an X K/yr RE but then you wanted more so those numbers no longer worked? I would like so much of a cushion that I could support a wide range or RE options.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:32 AM   #2
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Has anyone on here found themselves wanting more after FIRE? Basically the numbers worked for an X K/yr RE but then you wanted more so those numbers no longer worked? I would like so much of a cushion that I could support a wide range or RE options.
Coming up on 2 years of being FIREd, do I want *more*? Nope...I am perfectly happy with my "station in life." Would it be fun to have a Mooney Ovation or even a Carbon Cub to fly around on a daily basis? Well, hell yes it would be. Is it worth THAT much to me to go back to w*rk to do it? Only when hell freezes over. For me, my time is much, MUCH more valuable to me than anymore $$$.

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Old 09-13-2016, 08:35 AM   #3
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Has anyone on here found themselves wanting more after FIRE?
Not yet (fingers crossed). One big concern before we decided to retire was what we would do if one of our relatives needed our financial support for extended time periods. So before we decided to retire, we used Firecalc and I-ORP to determine the amount of yearly expenses our savings would support. Turned out they could support about 40% more than we were spending at the time so we had lots of leeway to spend more if desired. Of course this was one reason we were comfortable retiring when we did. If it were much closer, we might have extended work life a bit longer.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:37 AM   #4
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Has anyone on here found themselves wanting more after FIRE?

It all depends upon what level you want to spend. I wouldn't consider us to have been in a position to retire until the last year or two--even though we probably had sufficient assets to live safely on the equivalent of any of our siblings' (or parents') spending.

Combination of desire for extra safety margin (no pensions or health insurance provided by our careers), DW's likely long life, and wanting to spend more than we do now all mandated a few more years of accumulation. Now, just waiting to see if DW's replacement is signed on, what date she will start next summer, and what happens to the docket settings for a couple of big cases I'm enmeshed in....

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Old 09-13-2016, 08:42 AM   #5
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I know you meant "DW's replacement at work," but this sentence made me chuckle when I first read it Big case, indeed....

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Now, just waiting to see if DW's replacement is signed on, what date she will start next summer, and what happens to the docket settings for a couple of big cases I'm enmeshed in....

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Old 09-13-2016, 08:48 AM   #6
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Now, just waiting to see if DW's replacement is signed on, what date she will start next summer, and what happens to the docket settings for a couple of big cases I'm enmeshed in....

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I know you meant "DW's replacement at work," but this sentence made me chuckle when I first read it Big case, indeed....
I threaten her at times--but she rightly points out that I'd find it very difficult to move up in quality!
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:50 AM   #7
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I think people find their personal level of FI when Time becomes more valuable than Money.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:55 AM   #8
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I'm still working, but estimate that I hit a very basic level of FI back in 2013. At that point, if I lost the job, I probably would have been able to make a bare-bones retirement work, possibly having to pick up part time/entry level work to get me through the rough patches if the economy got too bad. Having that level of security was nice, but I wanted something more than bare bones.

I have noticed that, the older I get the more I want. Three years ago I didn't have a strong desire to move, but now I want out, and to a nicer, more expensive area. I also want to be able to travel. Not extravagant travel, but I don't want to just sit at home all the time, or be relegated to only doing day-trips. And I don't want to be at a financial point where I have to worry about having to replace the car, a major home repair, or medical emergency. So, because of that I'm hanging on a bit longer.
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:10 AM   #9
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I'm expecting my living expenses to more than double after I fully retire. Not so much from living larger, just that current living expenses are held down by work hours during which my spending is nil (or reimbursed). This isn't driving my OMYs, though, because what I foresee in annual WR would still be less than 3%.

As for cushion there's the question of money and the question of time. OLYs and OMYs trade between the two. The ideal balance probably depends on health, family history, and what you plan to do with your free time. Settling into those golden handcuffs may hedonically adjust your bucket list. I'm stretching out the transition, but I'm not about to risk saving the best for never.
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:34 AM   #10
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Seems similar to the Question:

Q: How much do I need to retire?

A: Twice what you have.

Most everyone would like more. That is not the issue. In my opinion the issue is balancing: (1) time left on the earth (obviously in the abstract), (2) assets to live on, and (3) doing what makes you happy.
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Old 09-13-2016, 10:01 AM   #11
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I truly enjoy having more than I need. I didn't plan to retire as soon as I could, didn't hate my job, worked for a micro-corp.

I would rather spend my time planning how to blow more dough than clipping coupons and being frugal.

Your retirement is all about you. Do what you want to do -
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Old 09-13-2016, 10:26 AM   #12
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I'm just fine with my "Station in life" as someone just put it. In fact When I quit I was fully expecting to have to keep working at something for a while. Yeah. I did. For 5 whole months because the opportunity landed in my lap and I thought it would be fun. That was back in the 90's. I was pleasantly surprised that nothing more was required than to simply stay retired
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Old 09-13-2016, 11:06 AM   #13
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Seems similar to the Question:

Q: How much do I need to retire?

A: Twice what you have.

Most everyone would like more. That is not the issue. In my opinion the issue is balancing: (1) time left on the earth (obviously in the abstract), (2) assets to live on, and (3) doing what makes you happy.
Incidently, I roughly went like this: Phase1: I need 250k Phase 2: I need twice whatever I have. Phase 3: I'd like 1.5 whatever I have.

Not in Phase 4 yet. Sometimes I regress to Phase 2.5: I'd like twice whatever I have
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Levels of FI
Old 09-13-2016, 11:20 AM   #14
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Levels of FI

I'm sure that I could spend more money. :-p

W*rking a few more years would have made for a larger cushion, but wouldn't have put me in the globetrotter/gourmet diner/landed-gentry category, so I chose plan A, get the hell out. So far it's seems like a good trade-off...
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Old 09-13-2016, 11:23 AM   #15
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TSWR.

Has anyone on here found themselves wanting more after FIRE? Basically the numbers worked for an X K/yr RE but then you wanted more so those numbers no longer worked? I would like so much of a cushion that I could support a wide range or RE options.
And that's a personal journey for everybody. My decision to ER was a combination of things.

One thing I am really grateful to my parents for is that they taught us kids that a lot of stuff is a matter of choices. If you spend all your allowance on that toy on Saturday, you've got to get through the rest of the week on nothing. some times I learned the lesson, lol other times not so much.

When I decided to quit my corporate gig, I had a few "must". I had to be able to sustain my current comfort level and I wanted to finish paying for my kids education.

Realistically I still know I can't do or afford everything my greedy eyes see. I would need to be Oprah in order to do that, so I prioritize. I love designer bags, can I treat myself to one every few years? no problem, can I get one every week? well I would have had to keep working and that's not worth it.

my budget includes about 900 bucks a month for travel. Am I going around the world every year on that budget? Naw but I can vacation they way I like annually.

So after analyzing every thing, I was happy with where I was so it was time to pull the plug.
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Old 09-13-2016, 11:26 AM   #16
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I think people find their personal level of FI when Time becomes more valuable than Money.
I totally agree.

Another way to frame it, which is independent of money:

"I want to be doing less of what I am currently doing, and more of something else"

For me, I love being an entrepreneur and business owner. For now. However, there's a thousand other things I want to do as well in this lifetime. It will be when that draw becomes too great that I will pull the trigger, and choose to invest my time doing something else entirely.
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Old 09-13-2016, 11:45 AM   #17
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Time is priceless and no matter how much more money I have I can't buy more of it (time).
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Old 09-13-2016, 11:49 AM   #18
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I have three levels of FI in my planning. Level 1, basic living expenses at the re-retirement level, at which I am semi-retired. Level 2, comfortable retirement expenses with generous travel allowances, at which my wife will retire. We are currently borderline here. Level 3, luxury retirement expenses with business-class tickets for international travels, at which I will fully retire. After reaching each higher levels, my appetite for work has been decreasing accordingly.
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Old 09-13-2016, 11:59 AM   #19
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Its a function of the value you place on time waiting to cushion your finances. If spending more is a priority for you vs retiring now and settling for less, do what ever floats your boat. Thats a decision each person/couple needs to make for themselves.
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Old 09-13-2016, 12:25 PM   #20
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Iím often surprised on this forum at how many people (and many are couples) are willing to retire on $40-60K a year in order to retire in their late 40ís or early 50ís. I donít have the desire or the guts to do that. If I was a whiz software engineer or had extensive experience in corporate American and knew that I could go back to work and find an equivalent job if needed, it might be different. And I have no home repair or car repair skills although I can cook, clean, paint, and do most of my yard work. So retirement is final and there is no going back; I had better make certain that my income is sufficient for the rest of my life.

I started with a planned retirement income that was $10-15K less than my current goal but unexpected home repairs threw me in a panic and caused me to rethink my budget. So I'm in OMY mode. And like bclover and flyingaway's wife, I prefer comfort and some travel.
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