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View Poll Results: What is your "Magic Number" to "Income at Retirement" ratio (see explaination)?
9 or less 15 15.15%
10-14 21 21.21%
15-19 11 11.11%
20-24 19 19.19%
25-29 24 24.24%
30-34 5 5.05%
35 or more 4 4.04%
Voters: 99. You may not vote on this poll

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Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio
Old 03-30-2007, 10:22 AM   #1
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Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio

Inspired by the interesting "Magic Retirement Number" poll, I offer the more interesting (to me anyway ) "Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio" poll.

Divide your Magic Number (considered to be the gross assets required for you to retire tomorrow) by your current income. Thus, if you intend to retire at your current standard of living, spend everything you make, and believe in the 4% SWR, your ratio would be 25 (ignoring savings associated with quiting the job).

For purposes of this poll, pretend you do not have a pension (if in fact you do have one) and your mortgage is paid off. The question is, how much cash would you need, relative to your current income, to retire tomorrow.

My purpose in this poll is find out if people are willing/planning to retire at a reduced income in order to retire early, or are willing to retire later to get a higher income.

I'll go first, obviously. My ratio is 20. I would be out in a heartbeat! I may, at some point in the future, go out at a lower number. However, I would act today at that point.

[edit -> added "spend everything you make"]
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio
Old 03-30-2007, 10:42 AM   #2
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio

I came up with 9. I am retireing in July and don't plan on reducing my standard of living at all. Im at 25 of my current living expenses though. And I could reduce those more if needed without much difficulty. I currently make a very nice salary and could live nicely on just what I currently pay in taxes.
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio
Old 03-30-2007, 12:49 PM   #3
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio

My ideal ratio is 13. With a little belt tightening, I will probably settle for 10.
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio
Old 03-30-2007, 04:32 PM   #4
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio

My "magic number" divided by our current income is 13. My "magic number" divided by our household expenses is 30. I don't really know what this tells my about anything though?

Is there some way that one can use these ratios to evaluate how one is doing? Or to benchmark oneself?
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio
Old 03-30-2007, 04:41 PM   #5
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
My "magic number" divided by our current income is 13. My "magic number" divided by our household expenses is 30. I don't really know what this tells my about anything though?

Is there some way that one can use these ratios to evaluate how one is doing? Or to benchmark oneself?
This indicates you are saving about 57% of your income assuming that taxes are included in household expenses. I would say this is pretty good.
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio
Old 03-30-2007, 04:42 PM   #6
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio

Justin, I think those ratios say a lot.

Your 13 and 30 ratios together say that you are an extreme LBYMer, to me at least. Your 30 ratio tells me that you are ultra conservative. Is that how you see yourself too? May be not.
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio
Old 03-30-2007, 05:49 PM   #7
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio

My current expenses are different than my projected FIRE expenses. I won't have a lot of expenses like mortgage, as many miles on the cars each year, etc. But I will have to pay out of pocket for health insurance, and for greatly increased travel/pursuit of leisure.

I generally follow the 4% SWR for long range planning purposes. So my "magic number" divided by our FIRE projected expenses will be 25.
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio
Old 03-30-2007, 06:27 PM   #8
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio

Ratio of about 15 would do it .
I like this poll - it tells more when you take out the pensions . Our ratio would be lower if we were not 16 & 18 years away from full SS and felt surer about it being there - not to mention the unknowns of health coverage. when youngest gets out of college the ratio might nudge down a bit.
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio
Old 03-30-2007, 07:02 PM   #9
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbuzzard


Divide your Magic Number (considered to be the gross assets required for you to retire tomorrow) by your current income.
When you say current income do you mean gross or net? As you know, your gross goes way down when you retire but not necessarily you’re net.
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio
Old 03-30-2007, 07:30 PM   #10
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio

I answered '10-14'...but I'd 'quit my job' at < 9

Having enough residual income to travel the country in my RV and do some consulting and/or teaching is a much lower ratio than what I'd consider my 'ideal' retirement nest egg.

I'm going to go through a period in the not to distant future where I won't have to work, but will continue to do so because I'm throwing money in the bank like crazy.

Thus, if things get too stupid at work, I'll politely bow out (never burn bridges), and hit the road.

-Warthog


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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio
Old 03-30-2007, 09:04 PM   #11
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikerdude
When you say current income do you mean gross or net? As you know, your gross goes way down when you retire but not necessarily you’re net.
Gross for this poll.
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio
Old 03-31-2007, 02:05 AM   #12
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio

I chose under 9 because most of my income goes to taxes and saving for retirement. If I paid off the house I could live on 25-35% of my pay. I would like more but I probably won't have more I have 7.5 times my gross now but I am already old
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio
Old 03-31-2007, 11:45 AM   #13
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio

I think this poll is misleading because of two factors.
First the magic number tends to be lower for those folks who will either be receiving a pension as well as social security. Also two people with generous social security checks vers one individual with not so healthy social security check. The later will require a much larger portfolio balance.

Also, some retirees plan on reducing their income substancially when retiring, and others are planning on maintaining their current work status income when retired, so this too will efffect the required retirement nut.

So, in order to really look at this poll accurately, one would have to put a figure on their social security and pensions, and also disclose their percentage of current income requirement for retirement.

Without this, you will have numbers all over the board.
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio
Old 03-31-2007, 12:03 PM   #14
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio

Four years into retirement, using last full year gross employment earnings, the number is 10x. I excluded any income from self-employment on the side because we still have the option to continue that if needed.
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio
Old 03-31-2007, 12:27 PM   #15
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio

A number of years ago, a friend of mine left the air force. (no retirement) when we got together a year later he said something that shaped my retirement. “It is unbelievable how hard it is to stop spending!” Lowering his standard of living or spending less on day to day things was the most difficult thing he had done. I remember that, an decided that I would not retire until I had 100% of my current expenses covered plus some. I retired when the pension checks and social security cover that and then some. The savings I consider emergency funds or play money. Therefore I don’t have a clue how to answer this question.
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio
Old 04-02-2007, 07:14 AM   #16
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio

Note sure of the significance, but I figured there would be a normal distribution about some mean here. However, the data is pretty flat. Any comments?
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio
Old 04-02-2007, 07:33 AM   #17
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio

OP: I voted the bracket that includes 16.5 but that excluded Retired Pay, SS (@ X25) and home equity. If I included Retired Pay and SS it would be 58.1 and if I include home equity it would be 69.7. Guess I do not understand the reasoning for excluding a pension.
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio
Old 04-02-2007, 11:45 AM   #18
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustic23
Lowering his standard of living or spending less on day to day things was the most difficult thing he had done.
That's why you should go into retirement spending mode before you retire.

If you work for megacorp, I would recommend to anybody thinking of retiring
to take a sabbatical, that way if something doesn't work out the way you thought
it would and can go back to work and regroup. But I never see any experts mention
this?
Tom
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio
Old 04-02-2007, 01:08 PM   #19
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio

I'm like Justin. Current income = 12. Future expenses = 25. Which would make sense, because my magic number assumes a SWR of 4%. Anyone shooting for that SWR wouldn't retire until the # was 25, right?

I guess this does show that I save a good portion of my current income, but don't most of the people here? How else would we be planning to FIRE (or already be FIREd?).

Karen - confused.
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio
Old 04-03-2007, 02:57 PM   #20
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Re: Magic Number to Income at Retirement Ratio

depends.

To retire in my 50's, it's current income/.03. I'll still have a mortgage and I think I'll live a long time.

At age 59.5, it's income/.04 (the 25X typically used).
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