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Old 01-09-2008, 08:50 PM   #21
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So anyway, do you have a time frame goal? Or a money goal? And if you have a money goal as I assume most do, how does it affect you emotionally when you see your time frame being pushed back day after day in a prolonged market downturn like this appears to be?
We have a time frame and a money goal in mind. I do not mind to delay ER since job satisfaction is still good.
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:15 PM   #22
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Money. With a target SWR and expense plan. I'm pushing hard to get there as soon as possible and while I'm okay with markets working against me sometimes, I do wish they wouldn't.

BUT - I'm also aware that I'm sitting on a ticking time bomb of job dissatisfaction. My job is fine, so maybe it's work in general that I'm tired of. I'm trying to keep it in check long enough to meet the money goal, but also aware that if it gets too bad, I'll revise the money goal to make it instead a time goal (probably NOW! if it gets that bad).
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Old 01-10-2008, 01:17 AM   #23
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I am about where I have enough to meet my minimum financial requirement to retire but I am almost 60 and enough health issues that I don't think I can buy health insurance at any price. I don't mind my job it is almost fun and not always boring, and I don't have anything else to do.
I am waiting for something to happen to trigger retirement. If the company doesn't make profits to fund profit sharing or my boss retires or my boyfriend retires or I get sick I will retire. Mean while on the really down market times I am grateful to have a good job. Every year I wait to retire gives me about 60K more to retire on and I would be very marginal if I retired now. I could work as long as 65 to get medicare but more likely to quit around 63.
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:17 AM   #24
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I had a time goal ... but it was to finish out 30 years with megacorp. Thiis is, considered by many, as the earliest 'full' retirement without being forced out ...etc. so it's sort of a badge of honor. I also could have retired a year earlier due to the age/number of years rule in place.

In saying that, I had already exceeded my $ goals. I had enough to pull the cord about 3 or 4 years earlier.

utrecht, I was in the same situation as you seem to be in. I have a non-cola'ed pension. It's an 'ok' chuck of money ... it covers about 1/2 of what I have budgeted each year. I also had the luxury of setting up an income stream with preferreds, municipals, and a 5 year CD ladder to cover the rest. My budget allows for extensive travel. My plans were to have the growth in my equities side of the portfolio replenish the CD ladder each year with some inflation growth added in. If we go into an extended bear market, I can cut back a little (although that will be a last resort) and also see if I can stretch the 5 year CD ladder to 6 or 7 years.
Worse case, I could live on the pension and income stream from preferreds and municipals. Waiting gave me a fairly nice cushion to play with.

So I probably am a bit less stressed than most when the market takes a downturn as it has so far this year. In 2000 when the market took a big hit, I had lost about 35% of value in my portfolio. I was still working and about 7 years away from my 'date'. It was too far away for me to worry about and I had seen this before. So I just continued to max out stock plan and 401K and kept my nose to the grindstone. Fast forward 7 year later and voile'... I'm FIRED.

In your case, and I'm sure you have already done this, so I apologize for stating the obvious, I would do the math to see what you think you need to do your living and traveling. Set up a plan to fund it with a bit of a buffer and then execute.

Best of luck on your planning and execution.
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Old 01-10-2008, 12:58 PM   #25
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Yes, your situation is similar to mine. Heres the only thing that has me worrying.

As you said, we could live on our pensions alone (wife has one also), if we needed to, but we'vre been saving like maniacs for a while now and I have spreadsheets showing our projected end value at the end of the 7 years (when I turn 50). We've already gotten used to this final number and have made plans based on the income we think we will be able to draw based on that number. But my spreadsheets are based on 9% avg return and as the market has dropped and if we dont get 9% over these final 7 years, we obviously wont have the amount of money we thoguth we would.

Since we are already making plans based on that number, we would have to either lower our expectations of retirement or work longer. Neither sounds like fun, so its annoying / depressing.
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Old 01-10-2008, 01:45 PM   #26
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i had a money goal and was darn close to it (before the drop this past month)
Now its a time goal. Waiting till im 10yrs fulltime and im getting out! personality conflict w/the immediate boss
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Old 01-10-2008, 07:29 PM   #27
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Yes, your situation is similar to mine. Heres the only thing that has me worrying.

As you said, we could live on our pensions alone (wife has one also), if we needed to, but we'vre been saving like maniacs for a while now and I have spreadsheets showing our projected end value at the end of the 7 years (when I turn 50). We've already gotten used to this final number and have made plans based on the income we think we will be able to draw based on that number. But my spreadsheets are based on 9% avg return and as the market has dropped and if we dont get 9% over these final 7 years, we obviously wont have the amount of money we thoguth we would.

Since we are already making plans based on that number, we would have to either lower our expectations of retirement or work longer. Neither sounds like fun, so its annoying / depressing.
whoops ... sorry to hear that.

I guess we differ in that I had originally (about 4-5 years ago) lowered my projected avg return to 5% to run the numbers. I was able to raise this conservative number as each year ended and I had made substantially more. At the end (right before retirement), I was projecting 7% per year. But during that time, we did not have any major prolonged downturns, so I was 'more than' ok. As I got closer my buffer got fairly big. Big enough to set up the income stream and cd ladder and not have to be overly reliant upon a large swr. My withdrawal rate is a smidge more than 3%.

You may need to rerun the numbers and be a bit more conservative to see where you are. Then you can decide if you want to keep to your timetable or delay it a bit. The alternative is to lose sleep and periodic bouts of annoyance and depression. Best of luck to you on your planning.

btw, I have found that 7 years is a long time (counting backwards to 2000/2001, we went thru one heck of a ride and survived) and anything can happen (up and down). If nothing else, I have learned to be flexible in life.
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Old 01-10-2008, 08:14 PM   #28
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I have a time goal because I'm waiting for lifetime medical through my employer/pension. That will be in less than two years when I turn 50.

That said, money is a factor too. I've estimated how much I'll have if I retire at 50, 51, 52, or 53. My estimated SWR plus pension is about 100K at 50, and 150K at 53. That's a significant difference but I don't know if it's worth the extra three years. Gosh, I sure hope not.

Also, especially at the beginning of retirement, I'll be able to easily live off my pension and not touch my savings. Since my pension is not really impacted by the market, significant drops, while disappointing, do not cause me much pain. I'm still in the accumulation phase. Stocks are cheaper now. I'm stocking up.
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Old 01-10-2008, 08:32 PM   #29
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We are very close to our $ goal while waiting three more years for the eligibility for reduced health insurance premium, the oldest daughter to complete college and the youngest one to enter college. We will not have any pensions.
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